Consitutional Law

The Pronk Pops Show 901, May 30, 2017, Story 1: Jared Kushner Talked To Russians — So Do Democrats — “Treason?” — Russia/Trump Collusion — No Evidence — No Credibility — No Crime — American People Bored With Progressive Propaganda — Show Me — Put Up or Shut Up — Big Lie Media and Desperate, Delusional, Demented Democrat Distraction For Not Covering Obama Administration Spying On American People and Republican Candidates For President — Videos Story 2: Amazon Benefits From Growing Trend Of Consumer Shopping Online — Benefits of Amazon Prime For $99 Per Year — Videos — Story 3: Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology — Coming Soon??? — Videos —

Posted on May 30, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Consitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Freedom of Speech, History, Human, Language, Law, Life, Media, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Terror, Terrorism, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 860: March 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 859: March 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 858: March 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 857: March 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 850: March 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 848: February 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 847: February 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 846: February 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 845: February 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 844: February 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 843: February 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 842: February 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 841: February 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 840: February 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 839: February 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 838: February 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 837: February 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 836: February 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 835: February 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 834: February 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 833: February 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 832: February 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 831: February 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 830: February 2, 2017

Image result for jared kusner back channel with russia

Image result for branco cartoons russia trump collusion

Image result for branco cartoons obama spied on trump using nsaImage result for branco cartoons trump colluded with russians

 

 Story 1: Jared Kushner Talked To Russians — So Do Democrats — “Treason?” — Russia/Trump Collusion — No Evidence — No Credibility — No Crime — American People Bored With Progressive Propaganda — Put Up or Shut Up — Big Lie Media and Desperate, Delusional, Demented Democrat Distraction For Not Covering Obama Administration’s Spying On American People and Republican Candidates For President —  Videos

Backchannel diplomacy refers to secret lines of communication held open between two adversaries. It is often communicated through an informal intermediary or through a third party. 

 Amb. Bolton on Jared Kushner’s backchannel talks

Jared Kushner under FBI scrutiny in Russia probe

Cracking the Kushner Russian code: Kushner Russian back channel explained part 1

Published on May 27, 2017

What you need to know about Jared Kushner’s ties to Russia. Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in December that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, asked him about setting up a communications channel between the transition team and the Kremlin using Russian facilities in the United States. Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications. The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser. The White House disclosed the meeting only in March, playing down its significance. But people familiar with the matter say the FBI now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest. Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate — a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.

Cracking the Kushner Russian code: Kushner Russian back channel explained part 2

Published on May 27, 2017

Cracking the Kushner Russian code: Kushner Russian back channel explained. Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret channel with Kremlin. Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in December that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, asked him about setting up a communications channel between the transition team and the Kremlin using Russian facilities in the United States. Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications. The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser. The White House disclosed the meeting only in March, playing down its significance. But people familiar with the matter say the FBI now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest. Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate — a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.

Will recent revelations impact Jared Kushner’s influence on Trump?

Sean Spicer Dodges Questions On Jared Kushner-Russia Meetings

Sean Spicer holds first briefing since Jared Kushner/Russia ties reports

CNN panel: No way Jared Kushner was ‘lone-wolfing’ backchannel pitch to Russian- Trump was involved

James Clapper: Dashboard Light Was On Over Trump Campaign, Russia (Full) | Meet The Press | NBC News

Published on May 30, 2017

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells Chuck Todd that he was “very concerned about the nature” of approaches between the Trump campaign and Russian agents during the 2016 elections.

Fmr. DNI James Clapper: I HAVE SEEN NO EVIDENCE OF TRUMP-RUSSIA COLLUSION

Published on Mar 5, 2017

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says that, to his knowledge, there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. This clip is from Clapper’s interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press on March 5, 2017.

Former CIA Chief “Concerned” Trump Could Be On “Treasonous Path”

Inside Dems’ ‘Big Lie’ About Trump And Russia

Tucker Carlson Trump Collusion With Russia: Inappropriate Deals with Russia. Fox News 2017

Krauthammer on Trump-Russia collusion: “I don’t trust the story”

James Clapper: ‘Still no EVIDENCE of any Russian Collusion with Trump Campaign’

“You Don’t Do Evidence Well I Do” Trey Gowdy Demands Answers On Trump Russia Collusion Investigation

Former Senate Intel Chair Dianne Feinstein No Evidence Of Russia Trump Camp Collusion

CNN: Alt-Left Journalistic Malpractice, Fake News Proliferation and Contamination

CNN Host gets Destroyed By John Sununu For Russian Collusion Fake News

 Story 2: Amazon Benefits From Growing Trend Of Consumer Shopping Online — Benefits of Amazon Prime For $99 Per Year — Videos —

Image result for amazon online shopping

 What Is Amazon Prime and Is It Worth It?

Introducing Amazon Go and the world’s most advanced shopping technology

IT’S PRIMETIME AT AMAZON.COM … SHARES HIT $1,000

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, the internet goliath that revolutionized the way much of the world buys books, toilet paper and TVs, hit a new milestone Tuesday. Its stock surpassed the $1,000 mark for the first time.

That price put Amazon’s market value at about $478 billion, double that of the world’s biggest traditional retailer, Wal-Mart, and more than 15 times the size of Target. A $1,000 investment on Amazon’s first day of trading in 1997 would be worth more than $500,000 today.

Not only has Amazon changed the retail landscape since it became a public company 20 years ago, it’s now part of a small cadre of high-flying stocks belonging to companies that have defied Wall Street and shunned stock splits.

Those splits make the stock more affordable and generate brokerage fees. But companies like Amazon have chosen to reward its long-term investors.

The last time Amazon has split its stock was nearly 18 years ago, according to financial research firm FactSet.

Another company with a similar philosophy is Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.

Amazon just beat Alphabet to the $1,000 level, with its Class A shares just $2 short of $1,000 Tuesday.

Only four other U.S.-listed companies have shares trading above $1,000: online travel booking company Priceline Group Inc., homebuilder NVR Inc., pork producer and ocean transportation company Seaboard Corp. and the apostle of long-term investing, Warren Buffett, with his holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. But stock prices only tell a part of the story.

The value of a company is determined by its stock price and the number of shares on the market. Amazon.com is well over four times the size of Priceline, NVR and Seaboard combined. It’s 17 percent bigger than Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate with ownership stakes in some of America’s most well-known consumer brands like Coca-Cola, insurance companies and U.S. infrastructure.

Since launching a website to sell mostly books in 1995, Amazon has transfigured retail, sent revenue numbers to stratospheric heights, and is among the biggest reasons longtime powerhouses like Macy’s, Borders bookstores and even RadioShack have suffered.

Those companies are closing locations and Amazon is filling the void, sometimes literally.

Last week in a location once occupied by Borders, the bookstore chain that went out of business in 2011, Amazon opened its first bookstore in New York City.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_AMAZON_1K_STOCK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-05-30-11-55-52

 

About Amazon Prime

Receive all the benefits of Amazon Prime including FREE Two-Day Shipping for eligible purchases, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, and the ability to borrow books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for $99 a year or $10.99 a month. We also offer a Prime Video membership for $8.99 a month that only includes Prime Video as a benefit.

The benefits include:

  • FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits. For more information, go to Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits.
  • FREE Same-Day Delivery in eligible zip codes. For more information, go to Order with Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery.
  • Prime Now: Get FREE two-hour delivery or scheduled delivery on over 10,000 items, from groceries to electronics and more. Plus, get free delivery from your favorite local stores. Available in eligible zip codes only. For more information go to Prime Now.
  • Amazon Restaurants: One-hour delivery from popular restaurants for Prime members in eligible ZIP codes. Learn more at amazon.com/restaurants.
  • FREE Release-Date Delivery: FREE Release-Date Delivery on eligible pre-order items delivered on their release date to ZIP codes within the continental U.S. For more information, go to Release-Date Delivery.
  • Prime Video: unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to About Prime Video.
  • Prime Music: unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to About Prime Music.
  • Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage and enhanced search and organization features in Amazon Drive for you and the members of your Family Vault. For more information, go to About Prime Photos.
  • Prime Pantry: Access to Prime Pantry, where members can purchase and ship to addresses in the contiguous U.S. low priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box. Prime Pantry orders cannot be shipped to addresses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
  • Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon Elements products, Amazon’s own line of everyday essentials.
  • Amazon Dash for Prime: Never run out of your favorite products with Amazon Dash Button. For more information, go to Amazon Dash Button.
  • Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com. For more information, go to About Prime Early Access.
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: access to members in the U.S. For more information, go to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
  • Prime Reading: You can borrow books, magazines, and more from the Prime Reading catalog and read them on your Fire tablet, Kindle e-reader, or the Kindle reading apps for iOS and Android. For more information, go to Borrow Books from Amazon Prime Reading.
  • Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks. For more information, go to Kindle First.
  • Audible Channels for Prime: Get access to Audible Channels, a $60/year value, for free. Audible Channels includes unlimited listening to original audio series and playlists handcrafted for every interest. You’ll also receive access to Prime Exclusive Audiobooks, a collection of streaming audiobooks including best sellers, family favorites, celebrity-narrated classics and more. Just download the free Audible app and sign in with your Amazon account to start listening.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited: Prime members can get discounted Amazon Music Unlimited monthly plans and there are annual plans available exclusively to Prime members. For more information, go to Amazon Music Unlimited.
  • Video Add-On Subscriptions: Members can purchase Video Add-on Subscriptions to premium content providers. Browse available Video Add-on Subscriptions, or manage your existing subscriptions.
  • Deals and Discounts, Compliments of Amazon Family: These include 20% off diapers through Subscribe & Save and 15% off eligible products from your baby registry. For more information go to Get 20% off Diaper Subscriptions or About the Completion Discount.
  • Twitch Prime: Members get exclusive discounts on physical games pre-orders and new releases. Twitch.tv users who link their Amazon Prime account get ad-free viewing on Twitch, a free Twitch channel subscription every month, and exclusive access to free game content. For more information, go to Twitch.tv.
  • Membership Sharing: Two adults living in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits. For more information, go to About Amazon Households. If you have a paid Prime membership under your personal account you can share your shipping benefits with your Amazon Business user account. Go to Amazon Prime and Business Accounts.

Note:

  • Amazon Prime isn’t available for customers who purchase products for the purpose of resale or use Amazon Prime to ship products to their customers or potential customers.
  • Some items are not available for Two-Day Shipping due to special shipping characteristics and instead will receive free standard shipping, which delivers in 4-5 business days.
  • Your Prime Membership may be subject to sales tax in some states.
  • Customers who receive a Prime free trial through Amazon Student or are guests of another membership aren’t eligible for the following benefits unless they are eligible through their Amazon Household: membership sharing, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Prime Video, Prime Music, and shopping discounts provided by Amazon Family such as 20% off diapers and 15% Baby Registry Completion discount. Customers who are guests of another membership aren’t eligible for Prime Photos.
  • To use Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, the Kindle device must be associated with the Prime account that’s eligible for the benefit.
  • We may change these benefits occasionally as provided in the Prime Terms & Conditions.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200444160

Story 3: Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology — Coming Soon??? — Videos

Image result for amazon to go

Why Amazon Go Is Being Called The Next Big Job Killer | Tech Bet | CNBC

How does Amazon Go work?

The Fox News Specialists 5/29/17 | Fox News | May 29, 2017

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 865, March 31, 2017, Story 1: Conservative and Libertarian Talk Radio Could Turn On Trump For Attacking Freedom Caucus and Failure To Completely Repeal Obamacare By Law (Statute) Not Discretion of Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Thomas Price — Establishment Republican House Speaker Ryan’s Bad Faith, Bad Process, Bad Bill — Socialized Medicine Obamacare Lite vs. Good Faith, Good Process, Good Bill — Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Competitive Health Insurance Premiums and Deductibles Decreases! — Close The Deal Mr. President — Videos — Story 2: Obama Administration Spied On American Citizens Including Trump and Trump Team — Obama Scandal Far Worse Than Nixon’s Cover-up of Watergate Break-in — Legacy Fading Fast — Grand Jury Should Be Impaneled Now! — Videos

Posted on March 31, 2017. Filed under: American History, Applications, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Communications, Computers, Congress, Consitutional Law, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, History, House of Representatives, Human, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Language, Law, Life, Media, Medicare, Mike Pence, National Security Agency, News, Nixon, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, Social Security, Software, Spying, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 860: March 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 859: March 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 858: March 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 857: March 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 850: March 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 848: February 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 847: February 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

 

Story 1: Conservative and Libertarian Talk Radio Could Turn On Trump For Attacking Freedom Caucus and Failure To Completely Repeal Obamacare By Law (Statute) Not Discretion of Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Thomas Price — Establishment Republican House Speaker Ryan’s Bad Faith, Bad Process, Bad Bill — Socialized Medicine Obamacare Lite  vs. Good Faith, Good Process, Good Bill — Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Competitive Health Insurance Premiums and Deductibles Decreases! — Close The Deal Mr. President — Videos —

 

“Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted,”

 Image result for trump tweet freedom caususImage result for Trump on freedom caucus ring leaders

Image result for cartoons obama spyied on trump

Image result for obama spied on trump

Limbaugh on Trump’s Shots at Freedom Caucus: These Guys Are Not the Enemy — Dems Are the Enemy

Laura Ingraham: ‘Really Unhelpful’ to Trump’s Agenda for Him to Be Slamming House Freedom Caucus

Hannity 3⁄31⁄17 ¦ HANNITY Fox News March 31, 2017

Laura Ingraham: Trump’s Attacks on Freedom Caucus ‘Ridiculous’

Hannity: Freedom Caucus not to blame for health care failure

Newt Gingrich outlines why GOP health care bill failed

Freedom Caucus Jim Jordan: Ryan’s Legislation Doesn’t Lower Premiums For Americans!

Rep. Mo Brooks Files A Bill To Repeal Obamacare

Published on Mar 27, 2017

On the same day that the House of Representatives canceled its vote on Ryancare, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks filed a simple one-line bill to repeal Obama’s signature health care law.
The Huntsville Republican titled the bill ‘Obamacare Repeal Act.” It is short and to the point, AI.com reported.
“Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted,” the bill reads.
Brooks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, told constituents last week that he was a “no” vote on the Obamacare repeal/replace bill offered by Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Also last week, in an interview with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Brooks called the Speaker’s bill “a horrible replacement bill.”

Rep. Brooks: We need a bill that repeals Obamacare

Rep. Mo Brooks: ‘Deceptive’ to call GOP’s plan a repeal of Obamacare

Donald Trump THREATENS The Freedom Caucus, said Rush Limbaugh

SEAN SPICER ON TRUMP’S ANTI FREEDOM CAUCUS TWEET

Rand Paul: 75 Percent Chance We Repeal Obamacare

Ep. 239: Trump Needs To Lead Not Oppose The Freedom Caucus

Employers Will Cut Wages and Workers to Pay for Obamacare Premiums

News Wrap: Trump takes aim at the Freedom Caucus

SMOKING GUN Devastating New Email Released, Look What Obama’s Caught Ordering His Spy Ring To Do

The House Freedom Caucus: What You Need To Know | TIME

Wh On Changes Of President Trump Working With House Freedom Caucus Again: It Depends – Cavuto

Mark Levin Interviews Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows

Is The House Freedom Caucus Unwilling to take “Yes” For an Answer?

Freedom Caucus’s reasonable demand on Obamacare repeal

Poll: Just 17 percent of voters back ObamaCare repeal plan

 

Poll: Just 17 percent of voters back ObamaCare repeal plan

A majority of American voters oppose the Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, while very few voters support it, a new poll finds.

A poll published Thursday by Quinnipiac University found that 56 percent of voters disapprove of the GOP healthcare plan, while just 17 percent support it.

Even among Republicans, only 41 percent support the American Health Care Act, while 24 percent oppose it. And 80 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of Independent voters disapprove of the plan.

Republicans are scrambling to shore up support for the repeal-and-replace bill ahead of an expected House vote later Thursday. President Trump is meeting with members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, who are seeking a number of changes to the bill in exchange for their support.But centrist Republicans are fleeing from the bill as it changes to fit the conservatives’ desires, complicating efforts to get the bill passed in the House.

The poll found that 46 percent of voters say they will be less likely to vote for their Congressional representative if they vote to approve the GOP health insurance plan.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted from March 16 to 21 and surveyed 1,056 voters. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/325448-poll-majority-of-voters-disapprove-of-gop-obamacare-repeal-plan

 

Essential health benefits

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the context of health care in the United States, essential health benefits (EHBs) are a set of benefits that certain health insurance plans are required to cover for patients.[1]

Essential health benefits must be offered by health plans in individual and small group markets, both inside and outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace.[2][3] Large-group health plans, self-insured ERISA plans, and ERISA-governed multiemployer welfare arrangements not subject to state insurance law are exempt from the EHB requirement.[4]

Essential health benefits

The ACA sets forth the following ten categories of essential health benefits,[5][6] at Section 1302(b)(1) of the Affordable Care Act, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 18022(b):[7]

  1. Ambulatory patient services. [outpatient care]
  2. Emergency services.
  3. Hospitalization. [inpatient care]
  4. Maternity and newborn care
  5. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.
  6. Prescription drugs.
  7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices.
  8. Laboratory services
  9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management;
  10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

The essential health benefits are a minimum standard: “Qualified health plans are not barred from offering additional benefits, and states may require that qualified health plans sold in state health insurance exchanges also cover state-mandated benefits.”[8]

The ACA’s list of essential health benefits is defined in terms of ten broad classes.[9] The act gives “considerable discretion” to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to determine, through regulation, what specific services within these classes are essential. However, the Act provides certain parameters for the secretary to consider. The secretary (1) must “ensure that such essential health benefits reflect an appropriate balance among the categories … so that benefits are not unduly weighted toward any category”; (2) may “not make coverage decisions, determine reimbursement rates, establish incentive programs, or design benefits in ways that discriminate against individuals because of their age, disability, or expected length of life”; (3) must take into account “the health care needs of diverse segments of the population, including women, children, persons with disabilities, and other groups”; and (4) must ensure that essential benefits “not be subject to denial to individuals against their wishes on the basis of the individuals’ age or expected length of life or the individuals’ present or predicted disability, degree of medical dependency, or quality of life.”[10]

According to a Commonwealth Fund report in 2011:

As it stands, federal regulations for 2014 and 2015 do not establish a single, nationally uniform package of health services. Instead, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gave states discretion to determine the specific benefits they deem essential. This approach was well-received by many state officials, who valued the opportunity to tailor benefit standards to reflect state priorities, and by insurers, who retained more control over benefit design. Groups representing consumers and providers were less supportive, however, expressing concern that the degree of flexibility found in the rules undermines the law’s promise of consistent, meaningful coverage.[11]

History

Coverage of essential health benefits was first required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA) of 2010, which was a major piece of health care reform legislation.[1] The EHB provisions of the ACA was an amendment to the Public Health Service Act.[12]

Dr. Shana Alex Lavarreda, the director of health insurance studies for the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, explains that before the ACA’s passage, U.S. health insurance sector experienced “a race to the bottom, with insurers cutting benefits to lower premiums.”[1] The establishment of essential health benefits “set a standard for insurance. Anything below that is not true health insurance.”[1] The EHB requirement came into effect on January 1, 2014.[1]

Revision and repeal of essential health benefits coverage was proposed in the Republican part American Health Care Act of 2017.[13] House Freedom Caucus members lobbied during legislation discussion with House Speaker Paul Ryan to remove EHBs as a condition for approval of the AHCA bill.[14]

Comparison with minimum essential coverage

Essential health benefits should not be confused with minimum essential coverage (MEC). MEC is the minimum amount of coverage that an individual must carry to meet the individual health insurance mandate, while EHBs are a set of benefits that qualified health plans (QHPs) must offer.[15] MEC is a low threshold; many forms of coverage that do not provide essential health benefits are nevertheless considered minimum essential coverage.[15]

Notes

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Frank Lalli, The Health Care Law’s 10 Essential Benefits: The Affordable Care Act ensures you’ll have access to these medical and wellness services, AARP The Magazine (August/September 2013).
  2. Jump up^ Essential Health Benefits, HealthCare.gov (accessed November 12, 2015).
  3. Jump up^ Rosenbaum, Teitelbaum & Hayes, p. 2.
  4. Jump up^ Rosenbaum, Teitelbaum & Hayes, p. 3.
  5. Jump up^ 10 health care benefits covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace, HealthCare.gov (accessed November 12, 2015).
  6. Jump up^ Alexandra Ernst, 10 Essential Health Benefits Insurance Plans Must Cover Starting in 2014, FamiliesUSA (March 28, 2013).
  7. Jump up^ 42 U.S. Code § 18022 – Essential health benefits requirements
  8. Jump up^ Rosenbaum, Teitelbaum & Hayes, p. 3.
  9. Jump up^ Rosenbaum, Teitelbaum & Hayes, p. 3.
  10. Jump up^ Rosenbaum, Teitelbaum & Hayes, pp. 3-4
  11. Jump up^ Giovannelli, Lucia & Corlette, p. 2.
  12. Jump up^ Rosenbaum, Teitelbaum & Hayes, p. 2.
  13. Jump up^ “Republicans may gut an overlooked provision of Obamacare — and disrupt health insurance”. Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  14. Jump up^ Luhby, Tami. “Essential Health Benefits and why they matter”. CNN. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  15. ^ Jump up to:a b Susan Grassli & Lisa Klinger, Understanding the Difference between Minimum Essential Coverage, Essential Health Benefits, Minimum Value, and Actuarial Value, Leavitt Group (January 27, 2014).

Sources

External links

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Acronyms(colloquial) PPACA, ACA
Nicknames Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Reform, Healthcare Reform, Obamacare
Enacted by the 111th United States Congress
Effective March 23, 2010; 7 years ago
Most major provisions phased in by January 2014; remaining provisions phased in by 2020
Citations
Public law 111–148
Statutes at Large 124 Stat.119through 124 Stat.1025(906 pages)
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Houseasthe “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009” (H.R. 3590) byCharles Rangel (DNY) on September 17, 2009
  • Committee consideration byWays and Means
  • Passed the House on October 8, 2009 (416–0)
  • Passed the Senate as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” on December 24, 2009 (60–39) with amendment
  • House agreed to Senate amendment on March 21, 2010 (219–212)
  • Signed into law by PresidentBarack Obamaon March 23, 2010
Major amendments
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011
United States Supreme Court cases
National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
King v. Burwell

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and nicknamed Obamacare, is a United States federal statute enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by PresidentBarack Obama on March 23, 2010. Under the act, hospitals and primary physicians would transform their practices financially, technologically, and clinically to drive better health outcomes, lower costs, and improve their methods of distribution and accessibility.

The Affordable Care Act was designed to increase health insurance quality and affordability, lower the uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage and reduce the costs of healthcare. It introduced mechanisms including mandates, subsidies and insurance exchanges.[1][2] The law requires insurers to accept all applicants, cover a specific list of conditions and charge the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex.[3]

The ACA has caused a significant reduction in the number and percentage of people without health insurance, with estimates ranging from 20-24 million additional persons covered during 2016.[4][5] Increases in overall healthcare spending have slowed since the law was implemented, including premiums for employer-based insurance plans.[6] The Congressional Budget Office reported in several studies that the ACA would reduce the budget deficit, and that repealing it would increase the deficit.[7][8]

As implementation began, first opponents, then others, and finally the president himself adopted the term “Obamacare” to refer to the ACA.[9]

The law and its implementation faced challenges in Congress and federal courts, and from some state governments, conservativeadvocacy groups, labor unions, and small business organizations. The United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power,[10]found that states cannot be forced to participate in the ACA’s Medicaid expansion,[11][12][13] and found that the law’s subsidies to help individuals pay for health insurance are available in all states, not just in those that have set up state exchanges.[14]

Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act amendment, it represents the U.S. healthcare system‘s most significant regulatory overhaul and expansion of coverage since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.[15][16][17][18]

Contents

 [show] 

Provisions

The President and White House Staff react to the House of Representatives passing the bill on March 21, 2010.

The ACA includes provisions to take effect between 2010 and 2020, although most took effect on January 1, 2014. Few areas of the US health care system were left untouched, making it the most sweeping health care reform since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.[15][16][17][19][18] However, some areas were more affected than others. The individual insurance market was radically overhauled, and many of the law’s regulations applied specifically to this market,[15] while the structure of Medicare, Medicaid, and the employer marketwere largely retained.[16] Most of the coverage gains were made through the expansion of Medicaid,[20] and the biggest cost savings were made in Medicare.[16] Some regulations applied to the employer market, and the law also made delivery system changes that affected most of the health care system.[16] Not all provisions took full effect. Some were made discretionary, some were deferred, and others were repealed before implementation.

Individual insurance

Guaranteed issue prohibits insurers from denying coverage to individuals due to pre-existing conditions. States were required to ensure the availability of insurance for individual children who did not have coverage via their families.

States were required to expand Medicaid eligibility to include individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level, including adults without disabilities or dependent children.[21] The law provides a 5% “income disregard”, making the effective income eligibility limit for Medicaid 138% of the poverty level.[22]

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment process was simplified.[21]

Dependents were permitted to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until their 26th birthday, including dependents that no longer live with their parents, are not a dependent on a parent’s tax return, are no longer a student, or are married.[23][24]

Among the groups who remained uninsured were:

  • Illegal immigrants, estimated at around 8 million—or roughly a third of the 23 million projection—are ineligible for insurance subsidies and Medicaid.[25][26] They remain eligible for emergency services.
  • Eligible citizens not enrolled in Medicaid.[27]
  • Citizens who pay the annual penalty instead of purchasing insurance, mostly younger and single.[27]
  • Citizens whose insurance coverage would cost more than 8% of household income and are exempt from the penalty.[27]
  • Citizens who live in states that opt out of the Medicaid expansion and who qualify for neither existing Medicaid coverage nor subsidized coverage through the states’ new insurance exchanges.[28]

Subsidies

Households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level were eligible to receive federal subsidies for policies purchased via an exchange.[29][30] Subsidies are provided as an advanceable, refundable tax credit[31][32] Additionally, small businesses are eligible for a tax credit provided that they enroll in the SHOP Marketplace.[33] Under the law, workers whose employers offer affordable coverage will not be eligible for subsidies via the exchanges. To be eligible the cost of employer-based health insurance must exceed 9.5% of the worker’s household income.

Subsidies (2014) for Family of 4[34][35][36][37][38]
Income % of federal poverty level Premium Cap as a Share of Income Incomea Max Annual Out-of-Pocket Premium Premium Savingsb Additional Cost-Sharing Subsidy
133% 3% of income $31,900 $992 $10,345 $5,040
150% 4% of income $33,075 $1,323 $9,918 $5,040
200% 6.3% of income $44,100 $2,778 $8,366 $4,000
250% 8.05% of income $55,125 $4,438 $6,597 $1,930
300% 9.5% of income $66,150 $6,284 $4,628 $1,480
350% 9.5% of income $77,175 $7,332 $3,512 $1,480
400% 9.5% of income $88,200 $8,379 $2,395 $1,480
a.^ Note: In 2014, the FPL was $11,800 for a single person and $24,000 for family of four.[39][40] See Subsidy Calculator for specific dollar amount.[41] b.^ DHHS and CBO estimate the average annual premium cost in 2014 would have been $11,328 for a family of 4 without the reform.[36]

Premiums were the same for everyone of a given age, regardless of preexisting conditions. Premiums were allowed to vary by enrollee age, but those for the oldest enrollees (age 45-64 average expenses $5,542) could only be three times as large as those for adults (18-24 $1,836).[42]

Mandates

Individual

The individual mandate[43] is the requirement to buy insurance or pay a penalty for everyone not covered by an employer sponsored health plan, Medicaid, Medicare or other public insurance programs (such as Tricare). Also exempt were those facing a financial hardship or who were members in a recognized religious sect exempted by the Internal Revenue Service.[44]

The mandate and the limits on open enrollment[45][46] were designed to avoid the insurance death spiral in which healthy people delay insuring themselves until they get sick. In such a situation, insurers would have to raise their premiums to cover the relatively sicker and thus more expensive policies,[43][47][48] which could create a vicious cycle in which more and more people drop their coverage.[49]

The purpose of the mandate was to prevent the healthcare system from succumbing to adverse selection, which would result in high premiums for the insured and little coverage (and thus more illness and medical bankruptcy) for the uninsured.[47][50][51] Studies by the CBO, Gruber and Rand Health concluded that a mandate was required.[52][53][54] The mandate increased the size and diversity of the insured population, including more young and healthy participants to broaden the risk pool, spreading costs.[55] Experience in New Jersey and Massachusetts offered divergent outcomes.[50][53][56]

Business

Businesses that employ 50 or more people but do not offer health insurance to their full-time employees pay a tax penalty if the government has subsidized a full-time employee’s healthcare through tax deductions or other means. This is commonly known as the employer mandate.[57][58] This provision was included to encourage employers to continue providing insurance once the exchanges began operating.[59] Approximately 44% of the population was covered directly or indirectly through an employer.[60][61]

Excise taxes

Excise taxes for the Affordable Care Act raised $16.3 billion in fiscal year 2015 (17% of all excise taxes collected by the Federal Government). $11.3 billion was an excise tax placed directly on health insurers based on their market share. The ACA was going to impose a 40% “Cadillac tax” on expensive employer sponsored health insurance but that was postponed until 2018. Annual excise taxes totaling $3 billion were levied on importers and manufacturers of prescription drugs. An excise tax of 2.3% on medical devices and a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services were applied as well.[62]

Insurance standards

Essential health benefits

The National Academy of Medicine defined the law’s “essential health benefits” as “ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care”[63][64][65][66][67][68][69] and others[70] rated Level A or B by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.[71] In determining what would qualify as an essential benefit, the law required that standard benefits should offer at least that of a “typical employer plan”.[68] States may require additional services.[72]

Contraceptives

One provision in the law mandates that health insurance cover “additional preventive care and screenings” for women.[73] The guidelines mandate “[a]ll Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity”.[74] This mandate applies to all employers and educational institutions except for religious organizations.[75][76] These regulations were included on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine.[77][78]

Risk management

ACA provided three ways to control risk for insurers in the individual and business markets: temporary reinsurance, temporary risk corridors, and permanent risk adjustment.

Risk corridor program

The risk-corridor program was a temporary risk management device defined under the PPACA section 1342[79]:1 to encourage reluctant insurers into the “new and untested” ACA insurance market during the first three years that ACA was implemented (2014-2016). For those years the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “would cover some of the losses for insurers whose plans performed worse than they expected. Insurers that were especially profitable, for their part, would have to return to HHS some of the money they earned on the exchanges”[80][81] According to an article in Forbes, risk corridors “had been a successful part of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and the ACA’s risk corridors were modeled after Medicare’s Plan D.”[82] They operated on the principle that “more participation would mean more competition, which would drive down premiums and make health insurance more affordable” and “[w]hen insurers signed up to sell health plans on the exchanges, they did so with the expectation that the risk-corridor program would limit their downside losses.”[80] The risk corridors succeeded in attracting ACA insurers. The program did not pay for itself as planned with “accumulated losses” up to $8.3 billion for 2014 and 2015 alone. Authorization had to be given so that HHS could pay insurers from “general government revenues”. Congressional Republicans “railed against” the program as a ‘bailout’ for insurers. Then-Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), on the Appropriations Committee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services and the Labor Department “[slipped] in a sentence” — Section 227 — in the “massive” appropriationsConsolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (H.R. 3547) that said that no funds in the discretionary spending bill “could be used for risk-corridor payments.” This effectively “blocked the administration from obtaining the necessary funds from other programs”[83] and placed Congress in a potential breach of contract with insurers who offered qualified health plans, under the Tucker Act[79] as it did not pay the insurers.[84][84] On February 10, 2017, in the Moda Health v the US Government, Moda, one of the insurers that struggled financially because of the elimination of the risk corridor program, won a “$214-million judgment against the federal government”. Justice Thomas C. Wheeler stated, “the Government “made a promise in the risk corridors program that it has yet to fulfill. Today, the court directs the Government to fulfill that promise. After all, ‘to say to [Moda], ‘The joke is on you. You shouldn’t have trusted us,’ is hardly worthy of our great government.”[85]

Temporary reinsurance

Temporary reinsurance for insurance for insurers against unexpectedly high claims was a program that ran from 2014 through 2016. It was intended to limit insurer losses.[citation needed]

Risk adjustment

Of the three risk management programs, only risk adjustment was permanent. Risk adjustment attempts to spread risk among insurers to prevent purchasers with good knowledge of their medical needs from using insurance to cover their costs (adverse selection). Plans with low actuarial risk compensate plans with high actuarial risk.[citation needed]

Other provisions

In 2012 Senator Sheldon Whitehouse created this summary to explain his view on the act.

The ACA has several other provisions:

  • Annual and lifetime coverage caps on essential benefits were banned.[86][87]
  • Prohibits insurers from dropping policyholders when they get sick.[88]
  • All health policies sold in the United States must provide an annual maximum out of pocket (MOOP) payment cap for an individual’s or family’s medical expenses (excluding premiums). After the MOOP payment cap is reached, all remaining costs must be paid by the insurer.[89]
  • A partial community rating requires insurers to offer the same premium to all applicants of the same age and location without regard to gender or most pre-existing conditions (excluding tobacco use).[90][91][92] Premiums for older applicants can be no more than three times those for the youngest.[93]
  • Preventive care, vaccinations and medical screenings cannot be subject to co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles.[94][95][96] Specific examples of covered services include: mammograms and colonoscopies, wellness visits, gestational diabetes screening, HPV testing, STI counseling, HIV screening and counseling, contraceptive methods, breastfeeding support/supplies and domestic violence screening and counseling.[97]
  • The law established four tiers of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. All categories offer the essential health benefits. The categories vary in their division of premiums and out-of-pocket costs: bronze plans have the lowest monthly premiums and highest out-of-pocket costs, while platinum plans are the reverse.[68][98] The percentages of health care costs that plans are expected to cover through premiums (as opposed to out-of-pocket costs) are, on average: 60% (bronze), 70% (silver), 80% (gold), and 90% (platinum).[99]
  • Insurers are required to implement an appeals process for coverage determination and claims on all new plans.[88]
  • Insurers must spend at least 80–85% of premium dollars on health costs; rebates must be issued to policyholders if this is violated.[100][101]

Exchanges

Established the creation of health insurance exchanges in all fifty states. The exchanges are regulated, largely online marketplaces, administered by either federal or state government, where individuals and small business can purchase private insurance plans.[102][103][104]

Setting up an exchange gives a state partial discretion on standards and prices of insurance.[105][106] For example, states approve plans for sale, and influence (through limits on and negotiations with private insurers) the prices on offer. They can impose higher or state-specific coverage requirements—including whether plans offered in the state can cover abortion.[107] States without an exchange do not have that discretion. The responsibility for operating their exchanges moves to the federal government.[105]

State waivers

From 2017 onwards, states can apply for a “waiver for state innovation” that allows them to conduct experiments that meet certain criteria.[108] To obtain a waiver, a state must pass legislation setting up an alternative health system that provides insurance at least as comprehensive and as affordable as ACA, covers at least as many residents and does not increase the federal deficit.[109] Such states can exempt states from some of ACA’s central requirements, including the individual and employer mandates and the provision of an insurance exchange.[110] The state would receive compensation equal to the aggregate amount of any federal subsidies and tax credits for which its residents and employers would have been eligible under ACA plan, if they cannot be paid out due to the structure of the state plan.[108]

In May 2011, Vermont enacted Green Mountain Care, a state-based single-payer system for which they intended to pursue a waiver to implement.[111][112][113] In December 2014, Vermont decided not to continue due to high expected costs.[114]

Accountable Care Organizations

The Act allowed the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which are groups of doctors, hospitals and other providers that commit to give coordinated, high quality care to Medicare patients. ACOs were allowed to continue using a fee for service billing approach. They receive bonus payments from the government for minimizing costs while achieving quality benchmarks that emphasize prevention and mitigating chronic disease. If they fail to do so, they are subject to penalties.[115]

Unlike Health Maintenance Organizations, ACO patients are not required to obtain all care from the ACO. Also, unlike HMOs, ACOs must achieve quality of care goals.[115]

Others

Legislative history

President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010

Background

An individual mandate coupled with subsidies for private insurance as a means for universal healthcare was considered the best way to win the support of the Senate because it had been included in prior bipartisan reform proposals. The concept goes back to at least 1989, when the conservativeHeritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care.[125] It was championed for a time by conservative economists and Republican senators as a market-based approach to healthcare reform on the basis of individual responsibility and avoidance of free rider problems. Specifically, because the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requires any hospital participating in Medicare (nearly all do) to provide emergency care to anyone who needs it, the government often indirectly bore the cost of those without the ability to pay.[126][127][128]

President Bill Clintonproposed a healthcare reform bill in 1993 that included a mandate for employers to provide health insurance to all employees through a regulated marketplace of health maintenance organizations. Republican Senators proposed an alternative that would have required individuals, but not employers, to buy insurance.[127]Ultimately the Clinton plan failed amid an unprecedented barrage of negative advertising funded by politically conservative groups and the health insurance industry and due to concerns that it was overly complex.[129] Clinton negotiated a compromise with the 105th Congress to instead enact the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 1997.[130]

John Chafee

The 1993 Republican alternative, introduced by Senator John Chafee as the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act, contained a “universal coverage” requirement with a penalty for noncompliance—an individual mandate—as well as subsidies to be used in state-based ‘purchasing groups’.[131] Advocates for the 1993 bill included prominent Republicans such as Senators Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Bob Bennett and Kit Bond.[132][133] Of 1993’s 43 Republican Senators, 20 supported the HEART Act.[125][134] Another Republican proposal, introduced in 1994 by Senator Don Nickles (R-OK), the Consumer Choice Health Security Act, contained an individual mandate with a penalty provision;[135] however, Nickles subsequently removed the mandate from the bill, stating he had decided “that government should not compel people to buy health insurance”.[136] At the time of these proposals, Republicans did not raise constitutional issues with the mandate; Mark Pauly, who helped develop a proposal that included an individual mandate for George H. W. Bush, remarked, “I don’t remember that being raised at all. The way it was viewed by the Congressional Budget Office in 1994 was, effectively, as a tax.”[125]

Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts went from 90% of its residents insured to 98%, the highest rate in the nation.[137]

In 2006, an insurance expansion bill was enacted at the state level in Massachusetts. The bill contained both an individual mandate and an insurance exchange. Republican Governor Mitt Romney vetoed the mandate, but after Democrats overrode his veto, he signed it into law.[138] Romney’s implementation of the ‘Health Connector’ exchange and individual mandate in Massachusetts was at first lauded by Republicans. During Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, Senator Jim DeMint praised Romney’s ability to “take some good conservative ideas, like private health insurance, and apply them to the need to have everyone insured”. Romney said of the individual mandate: “I’m proud of what we’ve done. If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing it, then that will be the model for the nation.”[139]

In 2007, a year after the Massachusetts reform, Republican Senator Bob Bennett and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden introduced the Healthy Americans Act, which featured an individual mandate and state-based, regulated insurance markets called “State Health Help Agencies”.[128][139] The bill initially attracted bipartisan support, but died in committee. Many of the sponsors and co-sponsors remained in Congress during the 2008 healthcare debate.[140]

By 2008 many Democrats were considering this approach as the basis for healthcare reform. Experts said that the legislation that eventually emerged from Congress in 2009 and 2010 bore similarities to the 2007 bill[131] and that it was deliberately patterned after Romney’s state healthcare plan.[141]

Healthcare debate, 2008–10

Healthcare reform was a major topic during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. As the race narrowed, attention focused on the plans presented by the two leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and the eventual nominee, Barack Obama. Each candidate proposed a plan to cover the approximately 45 million Americans estimated to not have health insurance at some point each year. Clinton’s proposal would have required all Americans to obtain coverage (in effect, an individual mandate), while Obama’s proposal provided a subsidy but rejected the use of an individual mandate.[142][143]

During the general election, Obama said that fixing healthcare would be one of his top four priorities as president.[144] Obama and his opponent, Sen. John McCain, proposed health insurance reforms though they differed greatly. Senator John McCain proposed tax credits for health insurance purchased in the individual market, which was estimated to reduce the number of uninsured people by about 2 million by 2018. Obama proposed private and public group insurance, income-based subsidies, consumer protections, and expansions of Medicaid and SCHIP, which was estimated at the time to reduce the number of uninsured people by 33.9 million by 2018.[145]

President Obama addressing Congress regarding healthcare reform, September 9, 2009

After his inauguration, Obama announced to a joint session of Congress in February 2009 his intent to work with Congress to construct a plan for healthcare reform.[146][147] By July, a series of bills were approved by committees within the House of Representatives.[148] On the Senate side, from June to September, the Senate Finance Committee held a series of 31 meetings to develop a healthcare reform bill. This group — in particular, Democrats Max Baucus, Jeff Bingaman and Kent Conrad, along with Republicans Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley and Olympia Snowe — met for more than 60 hours, and the principles that they discussed, in conjunction with the other committees, became the foundation of the Senate healthcare reform bill.[149][150][151]

Congressional Democrats and health policy experts like MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber[152] and David Cutler argued that guaranteed issue would require both community rating and an individual mandate to ensure that adverse selection and/or “free riding” would not result in an insurance “death spiral”.[153] This approach was taken because the president and congressional leaders had concluded that more progressive plans, such as the (single-payer)Medicare for All act, could not obtain filibuster-proof support in the Senate. By deliberately drawing on bipartisan ideas — the same basic outline was supported by former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Tom Daschle and George J. Mitchell—the bill’s drafters hoped to garner the votes necessary for passage.[154][155]

However, following the adoption of an individual mandate, Republicans came to oppose the mandate and threatened to filibuster any bills that contained it.[125] Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who led the Republican congressional strategy in responding to the bill, calculated that Republicans should not support the bill, and worked to prevent defections:[156]

It was absolutely critical that everybody be together because if the proponents of the bill were able to say it was bipartisan, it tended to convey to the public that this is O.K., they must have figured it out.[157]

Republican Senators, including those who had supported previous bills with a similar mandate, began to describe the mandate as “unconstitutional”. Journalist Ezra Klein wrote in The New Yorker that “a policy that once enjoyed broad support within the Republican Party suddenly faced unified opposition.”[128] Reporter Michael Cooper of The New York Times wrote that: “the provision … requiring all Americans to buy health insurance has its roots in conservative thinking.”[127][134]

Tea Party protesters at the Taxpayer March on Washington, September 12, 2009

The reform negotiations also attracted attention from lobbyists,[158] including deals between certain lobby groups and the advocates of the law to win the support of groups that had opposed past reforms, as in 1993.[159][160] The Sunlight Foundation documented many of the reported ties between “the healthcare lobbyist complex” and politicians in both parties.[161]

During the August 2009 summer congressional recess, many members went back to their districts and held town hall meetings on the proposals. The nascent Tea Party movement organized protests and many conservative groups and individuals attended the meetings to oppose the proposed reforms.[147] Many threats were made against members of Congress over the course of the debate.[162][163]

When Congress returned from recess, in September 2009 President Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress supporting the ongoing Congressional negotiations.[164] He acknowledged the polarization of the debate, and quoted a letter from the late Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy urging on reform: “what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”[165] On November 7, the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act on a 220–215 vote and forwarded it to the Senate for passage.[147]

Senate

The Senate began work on its own proposals while the House was still working. The United States Constitution requires all revenue-related bills to originate in the House.[166] To formally comply with this requirement, the Senate used H.R. 3590, a bill regarding housing tax changes for service members.[167] It had been passed by the House as a revenue-related modification to the Internal Revenue Code. The bill became the Senate’s vehicle for its healthcare reform proposal, discarding the bill’s original content.[168] The bill ultimately incorporated elements of proposals that were reported favorably by the Senate Health and Finance committees. With the Republican Senate minority vowing to filibuster, 60 votes would be necessary to pass the Senate.[169] At the start of the 111th Congress, Democrats had only 58 votes; the Senate seat in Minnesota ultimately won by Al Franken was still undergoing a recount, while Arlen Specter was still a Republican (he became a Democrat in April, 2009).

Negotiations were undertaken attempting to satisfy moderate Democrats and to bring Republican senators aboard; particular attention was given to Republicans Bennett, Enzi, Grassley and Snowe. On July 7 Franken was sworn into office, providing a potential 60th vote. On August 25 Ted Kennedy—a longtime healthcare reform advocate—died. Paul Kirk was appointed as Senator Kennedy’s temporary replacement on September 24.

After the Finance Committee vote on October 15, negotiations turned to moderate Democrats. Majority leader Harry Reid focused on satisfying centrists. The holdouts came down to Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who caucused with Democrats, and conservative Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson. Lieberman’s demand that the bill not include a public option[153][170] was met,[171] although supporters won various concessions, including allowing state-based public options such as Vermont’s Green Mountain Care.[171][172]

Senate vote by state.

  Democratic yes (58)
  Independent yes (2)
  Republican no (39)
 Republican not voting (1)

The White House and Reid addressed Nelson’s concerns[173] during a 13-hour negotiation with two concessions: a compromise on abortion, modifying the language of the bill “to give states the right to prohibit coverage of abortion within their own insurance exchanges”, which would require consumers to pay for the procedure out of pocket if the state so decided; and an amendment to offer a higher rate of Medicaid reimbursement for Nebraska.[147][174] The latter half of the compromise was derisively termed the “Cornhusker Kickback”[175] and was repealed in the subsequent reconciliation amendment bill.

On December 23, the Senate voted 60–39 to end debate on the bill: a cloture vote to end the filibuster. The bill then passed, also 60–39, on December 24, 2009, with all Democrats and two independents voting for it, and all Republicans against (except Jim Bunning, who did not vote).[176] The bill was endorsed by the AMA and AARP.[177]

On January 19, 2010, Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown was elected to the Senate in a special election to replace Kennedy, having campaigned on giving the Republican minority the 41st vote needed to sustain Republican filibusters.[147][178][179] His victory had become significant because of its effects on the legislative process. The first was psychological: the symbolic importance of losing Kennedy’s traditionally Democratic Massachusetts seat made many Congressional Democrats concerned about the political cost of passing a bill.[180][181]

House

House vote by congressional district.

  Democratic yes (219)
  Democratic no (34)
  Republican no (178)
  No representative seated (4)

Brown’s election meant Democrats could no longer break a filibuster in the Senate. In response, White House Chief of StaffRahm Emanuel argued that Democrats should scale back to a less ambitious bill; House SpeakerNancy Pelosi pushed back, dismissing Emanuel’s scaled-down approach as “Kiddie Care”.[182][183]

Obama remained insistent on comprehensive reform. The news that Anthem Blue Cross in California intended to raise premium rates for its patients by as much as 39% gave him new evidence of the need for reform.[182][183] On February 22, he laid out a “Senate-leaning” proposal to consolidate the bills.[184] He held a meeting with both parties’ leaders on February 25. The Democrats decided that the House would pass the Senate’s bill, to avoid another Senate vote.

House Democrats had expected to be able to negotiate changes in a House-Senate conference before passing a final bill. Since any bill that emerged from conference that differed from the Senate bill would have to pass the Senate over another Republican filibuster, most House Democrats agreed to pass the Senate bill on condition that it be amended by a subsequent bill.[181] They drafted the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which could be passed by the reconciliation process.[182][185][186]

As per the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, reconciliation cannot be subject to a filibuster. But reconciliation is limited to budget changes, which is why the procedure was not used to pass ACA in the first place; the bill had inherently non-budgetary regulations.[187][188] Although the already-passed Senate bill could not have been passed by reconciliation, most of House Democrats’ demands were budgetary: “these changes—higher subsidy levels, different kinds of taxes to pay for them, nixing the Nebraska Medicaid deal—mainly involve taxes and spending. In other words, they’re exactly the kinds of policies that are well-suited for reconciliation.”[185]

The remaining obstacle was a pivotal group of pro-life Democrats led by Bart Stupak who were initially reluctant to support the bill. The group found the possibility of federal funding for abortion significant enough to warrant opposition. The Senate bill had not included language that satisfied their concerns, but they could not address abortion in the reconciliation bill as it would be non-budgetary. Instead, Obama issued Executive Order 13535, reaffirming the principles in the Hyde Amendment.[189] This won the support of Stupak and members of his group and assured the bill’s passage.[186][190] The House passed the Senate bill with a 219–212 vote on March 21, 2010, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against it.[191] The next day, Republicans introduced legislation to repeal the bill.[192] Obama signed ACA into law on March 23, 2010.[193] Since passage, Republicans have voted to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act over sixty times; no such attempt by Republicans has been successful.[194] The amendment bill, The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, cleared the House on March 21; the Senate passed it by reconciliation on March 25, and Obama signed it on March 30.

Impact

Coverage rate, employer market cost trends, budgetary impact, and income inequality aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

This chart illustrates several aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including number of persons covered, cost before and after subsidies, and public opinion.

Coverage

The law has caused a significant reduction in the number and percentage of people without health insurance. The CDC reported that the percentage of people without health insurance fell from 16.0% in 2010 to 8.9% during the January–June 2016 period.[195] From Q4-2013 to Q1-2016, a Gallup survey found that the uninsured rate among adults declined from 17.1% to 11.0%, a decline of 6.1 percentage points.[196] In a 2016 review, Obama presented data showing that the uninsured rate had declined by 43%, from 16.0% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015, mostly in 2014.[197] The uninsured rate dropped in every congressional district in the U.S. between 2013 and 2015.[198]

In March 2016, the CBO reported that there were approximately 27 million people without insurance in 2016, a figure they expected would range from 26-28 million through 2026. CBO also estimated the percentage of insured among all U.S. residents would remain at 90% through that period, 92-93% excluding unauthorized immigrants.[4]

Those states that expanded Medicaid had a 7.3% uninsured rate on average in the first quarter of 2016, while those that did not expand Medicaid had a 14.1% uninsured rate, among adults aged 18 to 64.[199] As of December 2016 there were 32 states (including Washington DC) that had adopted the Medicaid extension, while 19 states had not.[200]

The Congressional Budget Office reported in March 2016 that there were approximately 12 million people covered by the exchanges (10 million of whom received subsidies to help pay for insurance) and 11 million made eligible for Medicaid by the law, a subtotal of 23 million people. An additional 1 million were covered by the ACA’s “Basic Health Program,” for a total of 24 million.[4] CBO also estimated that the ACA would reduce the net number of uninsured by 22 million in 2016, using a slightly different computation for the above figures totaling ACA coverage of 26 million, less 4 million for reductions in “employment-based coverage” and “non-group and other coverage.”[4] The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that 20.0 million adults (aged 18–64) gained healthcare coverage via ACA as of February 2016, a 2.4 million increase over September 2015. HHS estimated that this 20.0 million included: a) 17.7 million from the start of open enrollment in 2013-2016; and b) 2.3 million young adults aged 19–25 who initially gained insurance from 2010-2013, as they were allowed to remain on their parent’s plans until age 26. Of the 20.0 million, an estimated 6.1 million were aged 19–25.[5]

By 2017, nearly 70% of those on the exchanges could purchase insurance for less than $75/month after subsidies, which rose to offset significant pre-subsidy price increases in the exchange markets.[201] Healthcare premium cost increases in the employer market continued to moderate. For example, healthcare premiums for those covered by employers rose by 69% from 2000-2005, but only 27% from 2010 to 2015,[6] with only a 3% increase from 2015 to 2016.[202]

The ACA also helps reduce income inequality measured after taxes, due to higher taxes on the top 5% of income earners and both subsidies and Medicaid expansion for lower-income persons.[203] CBO estimated that subsidies paid under the law in 2016 averaged $4,240 per person for 10 million individuals receiving them, roughly $42 billion. For scale, the subsidy for the employer market, in the form of exempting from taxation those health insurance premiums paid on behalf of employees by employers, was approximately $1,700 per person in 2016, or $266 billion total in the employer market. The employer market subsidy was not changed by the law.[4]

Insurance exchanges

As of August 2016, 15 states operated their own exchanges. Other states either used the federal exchange, or operated in partnership with or supported by the federal government.[204]

Medicaid expansion

Medicaid expansion by state.[205]

  Adopted the Medicaid expansion
  Medicaid expansion under discussion
  Not adopting Medicaid expansion

As of December 2016 there were 32 states (including Washington DC) that had adopted the Medicaid extension, while 19 states had not.[200] Those states that expanded Medicaid had a 7.3% uninsured rate on average in the first quarter of 2016, while those that did not expand Medicaid had a 14.1% uninsured rate, among adults aged 18 to 64.[199] Following the Supreme Court ruling in 2012, which held that states would not lose Medicaid funding if they didn’t expand Medicaid under the ACA, several states rejected expanded Medicaid coverage. Over half of the national uninsured population lived in those states.[206] In a report to Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that the cost of expansion was $6,366 per person for 2015, about 49 percent above previous estimates. An estimated 9 million to 10 million people had gained Medicaid coverage, mostly low-income adults.[207] The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated in October 2015 that 3.1 million additional people were not covered because of states that rejected the Medicaid expansion.[208]

States that rejected the Medicaid expansion could maintain their Medicaid eligibility thresholds, which in many states were significantly below 133% of the poverty line.[209]Many states did not make Medicaid available to childless adults at any income level.[210] Because subsidies on exchange insurance plans were not available to those below the poverty line, such individuals had no new options.[211][212] For example, in Kansas, where only able-bodied adults with children and with an income below 32% of the poverty line were eligible for Medicaid, those with incomes from 32% to 100% of the poverty level ($6,250 to $19,530 for a family of three) were ineligible for both Medicaid and federal subsidies to buy insurance. Absent children, able-bodied adults were not eligible for Medicaid in Kansas.[206]

Studies of the impact of state decisions to reject the Medicaid expansion calculated that up to 6.4 million people could fall into this status.[213] The federal government initially paid for 100% of the expansion (through 2016). The subsidy tapered to 90% by 2020 and continued to shrink thereafter.[214] Several states argued that they could not afford their 10% contribution.[214][215] Studies suggested that rejecting the expansion would cost more than expanding Medicaid due to increased spending on uncompensated emergency care that otherwise would have been partially paid for by Medicaid coverage,[216]

A 2016 study led by Harvard University health economics professor Benjamin Sommers found that residents of Kentucky and Arkansas, which both accepted the Medicaid expansion, were more likely to receive health care services and less likely to incur emergency room costs or have trouble paying their medical bills than before the expansion. Residents of Texas, which did not accept the Medicaid expansion, did not see a similar improvement during the same period.[217] Kentucky opted for increased managed care, while Arkansas subsidized private insurance. The new Arkansas and Kentucky governors have proposed reducing or modifying their programs. Between 2013 and 2015, the uninsured rate dropped from 42% to 14% in Arkansas and from 40% to 9% in Kentucky, compared with 39% to 32% in Texas. Specific improvements included additional primary and preventive care, fewer emergency departments visits, reported higher quality care, improved health, improved drug affordability, reduced out-of-pocket spending and increased outpatient visits, increased diabetes screening, glucose testing among diabetes patients and regular care for chronic conditions.[218]

A 2016 DHHS study found that states that expanded Medicaid had lower premiums on exchange policies, because they had fewer low-income enrollees, whose health on is worse than that of those with higher income.[219]

Healthcare insurance costs

U.S. healthcare cost information, including rate of change, per-capita, and percent of GDP. (Data source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services[220])

The law is designed to pay subsidies in the form of tax credits to the individuals or families purchasing the insurance, based on income levels. Higher income consumers receive lower subsidies. While pre-subsidy prices rose considerably from 2016 to 2017, so did the subsidies, to reduce the after-subsidy cost to the consumer. For example, a study published in 2016 found that the average requested 2017 premium increase among 40-year-old non-smokers was about 9 percent, according to an analysis of 17 cities, although Blue Cross Blue Shield proposed increases of 40 percent in Alabama and 60 percent in Texas.[221] However, some or all of these costs are offset by subsidies, paid as tax credits. For example, the Kaiser Foundation reported that for the second-lowest cost “Silver plan” (a plan often selected and used as the benchmark for determining financial assistance), a 40-year old non-smoker making $30,000 per year would pay effectively the same amount in 2017 as they did in 2016 (about $208/month) after the subsidy/tax credit, despite large increases in the pre-subsidy price. This was consistent nationally. In other words, the subsidies increased along with the pre-subsidy price, fully offsetting the price increases.[222]

Healthcare premium cost increases in the employer market continued to moderate after the implementation of the law. For example, healthcare premiums for those covered by employers rose by 69% from 2000-2005, but only 27% from 2010 to 2015,[6] with only a 3% increase from 2015 to 2016.[202] From 2008-2010 (prior to Obamacare) health insurance premiums rose by an average of 10% per year.[223]

Several studies found that the financial crisis and accompanying recession could not account for the entirety of the slowdown and that structural changes likely share at least partial credit.[224][225][226][227] A 2013 study estimated that changes to the health system had been responsible for about a quarter of the recent reduction in inflation.[228] Paul Krawzak claimed that even if cost controls succeed in reducing the amount spent on healthcare, such efforts on their own may be insufficient to outweigh the long-term burden placed by demographic changes, particularly the growth of the population on Medicare.[229]

In a 2016 review of the ACA published in JAMA, Barack Obama himself wrote that from 2010 through 2014 mean annual growth in real per-enrollee Medicare spending was negative, down from a mean of 4.7% per year from 2000 through 2005 and 2.4% per year from 2006 to 2010; similarly, mean real per-enrollee growth in private insurance spending was 1.1% per year over the period, compared with a mean of 6.5% from 2000 through 2005 and 3.4% from 2005 to 2010.[230]

Effect on deductibles and co-payments

While health insurance premium costs have moderated, some of this is because of insurance policies that have a higher deductible, co-payments and out-of-pocket maximums that shift costs from insurers to patients. In addition, many employees are choosing to combine a health savings account with higher deductible plans, making the impact of the ACA difficult to determine precisely.

For those who obtain their insurance through their employer (“group market”), a 2016 survey found that:

  • Deductibles grew by 63% from 2011 to 2016, while premiums increased 19% and worker earnings grew by 11%.
  • In 2016, 4 in 5 workers had an insurance deductible, which averaged $1,478. For firms with less than 200 employees, the deductible averaged $2,069.
  • The percentage of workers with a deductible of at least $1,000 grew from 10% in 2006 to 51% in 2016. The 2016 figure drops to 38% after taking employer contributions into account.[231]

For the “non-group” market, of which two-thirds are covered by the ACA exchanges, a survey of 2015 data found that:

  • 49% had individual deductibles of at least $1,500 ($3,000 for family), up from 36% in 2014.
  • Many marketplace enrollees qualify for cost-sharing subsidies that reduce their net deductible.
  • While about 75% of enrollees were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their choice of doctors and hospitals, only 50% had such satisfaction with their annual deductible.
  • While 52% of those covered by the ACA exchanges felt “well protected” by their insurance, in the group market 63% felt that way.[232]

Health outcomes

Insurance coverage helps save lives, by encouraging early detection and prevention of dangerous medical conditions. According to a 2014 study, the ACA likely prevented an estimated 50,000 preventable patient deaths from 2010 to 2013.[233]City University public health professors David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler wrote in January 2017 that a rollback of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion alone would cause an estimated 43,956 deaths annually.[234]

Federal deficit

CBO estimates of revenue and impact on deficit

The CBO reported in several studies that the ACA would reduce the deficit, and that repealing it would increase the deficit.[7][8][235][236] The 2011 comprehensive CBO estimate projected a net deficit reduction of more than $200 billion during the 2012–2021 period:[8][237] it calculated the law would result in $604 billion in total outlays offset by $813 billion in total receipts, resulting in a $210 billion net deficit reduction.[8] The CBO separately predicted that while most of the spending provisions do not begin until 2014,[238][239] revenue would exceed spending in those subsequent years.[240] The CBO claimed that the bill would “substantially reduce the growth of Medicare’s payment rates for most services; impose an excise tax on insurance plans with relatively high premiums; and make various other changes to the federal tax code, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs”[241]—ultimately extending the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by 8 years.[242]

This estimate was made prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling that enabled states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, thereby forgoing the related federal funding. The CBO and JCT subsequently updated the budget projection, estimating the impact of the ruling would reduce the cost estimate of the insurance coverage provisions by $84 billion.[243][244][245]

The CBO in June 2015 forecasted that repeal of ACA would increase the deficit between $137 billion and $353 billion over the 2016–2025 period, depending on the impact of macroeconomic feedback effects. The CBO also forecasted that repeal of ACA would likely cause an increase in GDP by an average of 0.7% in the period from 2021 to 2015, mainly by boosting the supply of labor.[7]

Major new sources of increased tax receipts include:[95] higher Medicare taxes; annual fees on insurance providers; fees on the healthcare industry such as manufacturers and importers of brand-name pharmaceutical drugs and certain medical devices; limits on tax deductions of medical expenses and flexible spending accounts; a 40% excise tax on plans with annual insurance premiums in excess of $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family; revenue from mandate penalty payments; a 10% federal sales tax on indoor tanning services. Predicted spending reductions included a reduction in Medicare reimbursements to insurers and drug companies for private Medicare Advantage policies that the Government Accountability Office and Medicare Payment Advisory Commission found to be excessively costly relative to government Medicare;[246][247] and reductions in Medicare reimbursements to hospitals that failed standards of efficiency and care.[246]

Although the CBO generally does not provide cost estimates beyond the 10-year budget projection period because of the degree of uncertainty involved in the projection, it decided to do so in this case at the request of lawmakers, and estimated a second decade deficit reduction of $1.2 trillion.[241][248] CBO predicted deficit reduction around a broad range of one-half percent of GDP over the 2020s while cautioning that “a wide range of changes could occur”.[249]

Opinions on CBO projections

The CBO cost estimates were criticized because they excluded the effects of potential legislation that would increase Medicare payments by more than $200 billion from 2010 to 2019.[250][251][252] However, the so-called “doc fix” is a separate issue that would have existed whether or not ACA became law – omitting its cost from ACA was no different from omitting the cost of other tax cuts.[253][254][255]

Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton health economist, wrote. “The rigid, artificial rules under which the Congressional Budget Office must score proposed legislation unfortunately cannot produce the best unbiased forecasts of the likely fiscal impact of any legislation”, but went on to say “But even if the budget office errs significantly in its conclusion that the bill would actually help reduce the future federal deficit, I doubt that the financing of this bill will be anywhere near as fiscally irresponsible as was the financing of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.”[256]Douglas Holtz-Eakin, CBO director during the George W. Bush administration, who later served as the chief economic policy adviser to U.S. Senator John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign, alleged that the bill would increase the deficit by $562 billion because, he argued, it front-loaded revenue and back-loaded benefits.[257]

Scheiber and Cohn rejected critical assessments of the law’s deficit impact, arguing that predictions were biased towards underestimating deficit reduction. They noted that for example, it is easier to account for the cost of definite levels of subsidies to specified numbers of people than account for savings from preventive healthcare, and that the CBO had a track record of overestimating costs and underestimating savings of health legislation;[258][259] stating, “innovations in the delivery of medical care, like greater use of electronic medical records[260] and financial incentives for more coordination of care among doctors, would produce substantial savings while also slowing the relentless climb of medical expenses… But the CBO would not consider such savings in its calculations, because the innovations hadn’t really been tried on such large scale or in concert with one another—and that meant there wasn’t much hard data to prove the savings would materialize.”[258]

In 2010 David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General then working for The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, stated that the CBO estimates are not likely to be accurate, because they were based on the assumption that the law would not change.[261] The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities objected that Congress had a good record of implementing Medicare savings. According to their study, Congress followed through on the implementation of the vast majority of provisions enacted in the past 20 years to produce Medicare savings, although not the payment reductions addressed by the annual “doc fix”.[262][263]

Economic consequences

CBO estimated in June 2015 that repealing the ACA would:

  • Decrease aggregate demand (GDP) in the short-term, as low-income persons who tend to spend a large fraction of their additional resources would have fewer resources (e.g., ACA subsidies would be eliminated). This effect would be offset in the long-run by the labor supply factors below.
  • Increase the supply of labor and aggregate compensation by about 0.8 and 0.9 percent over the 2021-2025 period. CBO cited the ACA’s expanded eligibility for Medicaid and subsidies and tax credits that rise with income as disincentives to work, so repealing the ACA would remove those disincentives, encouraging workers to supply more hours of labor.
  • Increase the total number of hours worked by about 1.5% over the 2021-2025 period.
  • Remove the higher tax rates on capital income, thereby encouraging additional investment, raising the capital stock and output in the long-run.[7]

In 2015 the Center for Economic and Policy Research found no evidence that companies were reducing worker hours to avoid ACA requirements[264] for employees working over 30 hours per week.[265]

The CBO estimated that the ACA would slightly reduce the size of the labor force and number of hours worked, as some would no longer be tethered to employers for their insurance. Cohn, citing CBO’s projections, claimed that ACA’s primary employment effect was to alleviate job lock: “People who are only working because they desperately need employer-sponsored health insurance will no longer do so.”[266] He concluded that the “reform’s only significant employment impact was a reduction in the labor force, primarily because people holding onto jobs just to keep insurance could finally retire”, because they have health insurance outside of their jobs.[267]

Employer mandate and part-time work

For more details on health insurance mandates, see Health insurance mandate.

The employer mandate requires employers meeting certain criteria to provide health insurance to their workers. The mandate applies to employers with more than 50 employees that do not offer health insurance to their full-time workers.[268] Critics claimed that the mandate created a perverse incentive for business to keep their full-time headcount below 50 and to hire part-time workers instead.[269][270] Between March 2010 and 2014 the number of part-time jobs declined by 230,000, while the number of full-time jobs increased by 2 million.[271][272] In the public sector full-time jobs turned into part-time jobs much more than in the private sector.[271][273] A 2016 study found only limited evidence that ACA had increased part-time employment.[274]

Several businesses and the state of Virginia added a 29-hour-a-week cap for their part-time employees,[275][unreliable source?][276][unreliable source?] to reflect the 30-hour-or-more definition for full-time worker.[268] As of yet, however, only a small percent of companies have shifted their workforce towards more part-time hours (4% in a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis).[270] Trends in working hours[277] and the effects of the Great Recession correlate with part-time working hour patterns.[278][279] The impact of this provision may have been offset by other factors, including that health insurance helps attract and retain employees, increases productivity and reduces absenteeism; and the lower training and administration costs of a smaller full-time workforce over a larger part-time work force.[270][277][280] Relatively few firms employ over 50 employees[270] and more than 90% of them offered insurance.[281] Workers without employer insurance could purchase insurance on the exchanges.[282]

Most policy analysts (on both right and left) were critical of the employer mandate provision.[269][281] They argued that the perverse incentives regarding part-time hours, even if they did not change existing plans, were real and harmful;[283][284] that the raised marginal cost of the 50th worker for businesses could limit companies’ growth;[285] that the costs of reporting and administration were not worth the costs of maintaining employer plans;[283][284] and noted that the employer mandate was not essential to maintain adequate risk pools.[286][287] The effects of the provision generated vocal opposition from business interests and some unions not granted exemptions.[284][288]

A 2013/4 survey by the National Association for Business Economics found that about 75 percent of those surveyed said ACA hadn’t influenced their planning or expectations for 2014, and 85 percent said the law wouldn’t prompt a change in their hiring practices. Some 21 percent of 64 businesses surveyed said that the act would have a harmful effect and 5 percent said it would be beneficial.[289]

Hospitals

From the start of 2010 to November 2014, 43 hospitals in rural areas closed. Critics claimed that the new law caused these hospitals to close. Many of these rural hospitals were built using funds from the 1946 Hill–Burton Act, to increase access to medical care in rural areas. Some of these hospitals reopened as other medical facilities, but only a small number operated emergency rooms (ER) or urgent care centers.[290]

Between January 2010 and 2015, a quarter of emergency room doctors said they had seen a major surge in patients, while nearly half had seen a smaller increase. Seven in ten ER doctors claimed that they lacked the resources to deal with large increases in the number of patients. The biggest factor in the increased number of ER patients was insufficient primary care providers to handle the larger number of insured patients.[291]

Insurers claimed that because they have access to and collect patient data that allow evaluations of interventions, they are essential to ACO success. Large insurers formed their own ACOs. Many hospitals merged and purchased physician practices. The increased market share gave them more leverage in negotiations with insurers over costs and reduced patient care options.[115]

Public opinion

Prior to the law’s passage, polling indicated the public’s views became increasingly negative in reaction to specific plans discussed during the legislative debate over 2009 and 2010. Polling statistics showed a general negative opinion of the law; with those in favor at approximately 40% and those against at 51%, as of October 2013.[292][293] About 29% of whites approve of the law, compared with 61% of Hispanics and 91% of African Americans.[294]Opinions were divided by age of the person at the law’s inception, with a solid majority of seniors opposing the bill and a solid majority of those younger than forty years old in favor.[295]

Congressional Democrats celebrating the 6th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in March 2016 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Congressional Democrats celebrating the 6th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act in March 2016 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Specific elements were popular across the political spectrum, while others, such as the mandate to purchase insurance, were widely disliked. In a 2012 poll 44% supported the law, with 56% against. By party affiliation, 75% of Democrats, 27% of Independents and 14% of Republicans favored the law overall. 82% favored banning insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, 61% favored allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, 72% supported requiring companies with more than 50 employees to provide insurance for their employees, and 39% supported the individual mandate to own insurance or pay a penalty. By party affiliation, 19% of Republicans, 27% of Independents, and 59% of Democrats favored the mandate.[296] Other polls showed additional provisions receiving majority support, including the creation of insurance exchanges, pooling small businesses and the uninsured with other consumers so that more people can take advantage of large group pricing benefits and providing subsidies to individuals and families to make health insurance more affordable.[297][298]

In a 2010 poll, 62% of respondents said they thought ACA would “increase the amount of money they personally spend on health care”, 56% said the bill “gives the government too much involvement in health care”, and 19% said they thought they and their families would be better off with the legislation.[299] Other polls found that people were concerned that the law would cost more than projected and would not do enough to control costs.[300]

Some opponents believed that the reform did not go far enough: a 2012 poll indicated that 71% of Republican opponents rejected it overall, while 29% believed it did not go far enough; independent opponents were divided 67% to 33%; and among the much smaller group of Democratic opponents, 49% rejected it overall and 51% wanted more.[296] In June 2013, a majority of the public (52–34%) indicated a desire for “Congress to implement or tinker with the law rather than repeal it”.[301] After the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, a 2012 poll held that “most Americans (56%) want to see critics of President Obama’s health care law drop efforts to block it and move on to other national issues”.[302]A 2014 poll reported that 48.9% of respondents had an unfavorable view of ACA vs. 38.3% who had a favorable view (of more than 5,500 individuals).[303]

A 2014 poll reported that 26% of Americans support ACA.[304] Another held that 8% of respondents say that the Affordable Care Act “is working well the way it is”.[305] In late 2014, a Rasmussen poll reported Repeal: 30%, Leave as is: 13%, Improve: 52%, i.e., 65% wanted to leave ACA alone or improve upon it.[306]

In 2015, a CBS News / New York Times poll reported that 47% of Americans approved the health care law. This was the first time that a major poll indicated that more respondents approved ACA than disapproved of it.[307] The recurring Kaiser Health Tracking Poll from December 2016 reported that: a) 30% wanted to expand what the law does; b) 26% wanted to repeal the entire law; c) 19% wanted to move forward with implementing the law as it is; and d) 17% wanted to scale back what the law does, with the remainder undecided.[308]

Separate polls from Fox News and NBC/WSJ both taken during January 2017 indicated more people viewed the law favorably than did not for the first time. One of the reasons for the improving popularity of the law is that Democrats who opposed it in the past (many prefer a “Medicare for All” approach) have shifted their positions since the ACA is under threat of repeal.[309]

A January 2017 Morning Consult poll showed that 35% of respondents either believed that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were different or did not know.[310] Approximately 45% were unsure whether the repeal of Obamacare also meant the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.[310] 39% did not know that “many people would lose coverage through Medicaid or subsidies for private health insurance if the A.C.A. were repealed and no replacement enacted,” with Democrats far more likely (79%) to know that fact than Republicans (47%).[310]

A 2017 study found that personal experience with public health insurance programs leads to greater support for the Affordable Care Act, and the effects appear to be most pronounced among Republicans and low-information voters.[311]

Political aspects

“Obamacare”

The term “Obamacare” was originally coined by opponents as a pejorative. The term emerged in March 2007 when healthcare lobbyist Jeanne Schulte Scott used it in a health industry journal, writing “We will soon see a ‘Giuliani-care’ and ‘Obama-care’ to go along with ‘McCain-care’, ‘Edwards-care’, and a totally revamped and remodeled ‘Hillary-care‘ from the 1990s”.[9][312] According to research by Elspeth Reeve, the expression was used in early 2007, generally by writers describing the candidate’s proposal for expanding coverage for the uninsured.[313] It first appeared in a political campaign by Mitt Romney in May 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa. Romney said, “In my state, I worked on healthcare for some time. We had half a million people without insurance, and I said, ‘How can we get those people insured without raising taxes and without having government take over healthcare?’ And let me tell you, if we don’t do it, the Democrats will. If the Democrats do it, it will be socialized medicine; it’ll be government-managed care. It’ll be what’s known as Hillarycare or Barack Obamacare, or whatever you want to call it.”[9]

By mid-2012, Obamacare had become the colloquial term used by both supporters and opponents. In contrast, the use of “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” or “Affordable Care Act” became limited to more formal and official use.[313] Use of the term in a positive sense was suggested by Democrat John Conyers.[314] Obama endorsed the nickname, saying, “I have no problem with people saying Obama cares. I do care.”[315]

In March 2012, the Obama reelection campaign embraced the term “Obamacare”, urging Obama’s supporters to post Twitter messages that begin, “I like #Obamacare because…”.[316]

In October 2013 the Associated Press and NPR began cutting back on use of the term.[317] Stuart Seidel, NPR’s managing editor, said that the term “seems to be straddling somewhere between being a politically-charged term and an accepted part of the vernacular”.[318]

Common misconceptions

“Death panels”

Main article: Death panel

On August 7, 2009, Sarah Palin pioneered the term “death panels” to describe groups that would decide whether sick patients were “worthy” of medical care.[319] “Death panel” referred to two claims about early drafts.

One was that under the law, seniors could be denied care due to their age[320] and the other that the government would advise seniors to end their lives instead of receiving care. The ostensible basis of these claims was the provision for an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).[321] IPAB was given the authority to recommend cost-saving changes to Medicare by facilitating the adoption of cost-effective treatments and cost-recovering measures when the statutory levels set for Medicare were exceeded within any given 3-year period. In fact, the Board was prohibited from recommending changes that would reduce payments to certain providers before 2020, and was prohibited from recommending changes in premiums, benefits, eligibility and taxes, or other changes that would result in rationing.[322][323]

The other related issue concerned advance-care planning consultation: a section of the House reform proposal would have reimbursed physicians for providing patient-requested consultations for Medicare recipients on end-of-life health planning (which is covered by many private plans), enabling patients to specify, on request, the kind of care they wished to receive.[324] The provision was not included in ACA.[325]

In 2010, the Pew Research Center reported that 85% of Americans were familiar with the claim, and 30% believed it was true, backed by three contemporaneous polls.[326] A poll in August 2012 found that 39% of Americans believed the claim.[327] The allegation was named PolitiFact‘s “Lie of the Year”,[319][328] one of FactCheck.org‘s “whoppers”[329][330] and the most outrageous term by the American Dialect Society.[331]AARP described such rumors as “rife with gross—and even cruel—distortions”.[332]

Members of Congress

ACA requires members of Congress and their staffs to obtain health insurance either through an exchange or some other program approved by the law (such as Medicare), instead of using the insurance offered to federal employees (the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program).[333][334][335][336][337]

Illegal immigrants

ACA does not provide benefits to illegal immigrants.[338] It explicitly denies insurance subsidies to “unauthorized (illegal) aliens”.[25][26][339]

Exchange “death spiral”

One argument against the ACA is that the insurers are leaving the marketplaces, as they cannot profitably cover the available pool of customers, which contains too many unhealthy participants relative to healthy participants. A scenario where prices rise, due to an unfavorable mix of customers from the insurer’s perspective, resulting in fewer customers and fewer insurers in the marketplace, further raising prices, has been called a “Death Spiral.”[340]During 2017, the median number of insurers offering plans on the ACA exchanges in each state was 3.0, meaning half the states had more and half had fewer insurers. There were five states with one insurer in 2017; 13 states with two; 11 states with three; and the remainder had four insurers or more. Wisconsin had the most, with 15 insurers in the marketplace. The median number of insurers was 4.0 in 2016, 5.0 in 2015, and 4.0 in 2014.[341]

Further, the CBO reported in January 2017 that it expected enrollment in the exchanges to rise from 10 million during 2017 to 13 million by 2027, assuming laws in place at the end of the Obama administration were continued.[342] Following a 2015 CBO report that reached a similar conclusion, Paul Krugman wrote: “But the truth is that this report is much, much closer to what supporters of reform have said than it is to the scare stories of the critics–no death spirals, no job-killing, major gains in coverage at relatively low cost.”[343]

Opposition

Opposition and efforts to repeal the legislation have drawn support from sources that include labor unions,[344][345]conservative advocacy groups,[346][347] Republicans, small business organizations and the Tea Party movement.[348] These groups claimed that the law would disrupt existing health plans, increase costs from new insurance standards, and increase the deficit.[349] Some opposed the idea of universal healthcare, viewing insurance as similar to other unsubsidized goods.[350][351] President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “repeal and replace” it.[352][353]

As of 2013 unions that expressed concerns about ACA included the AFL-CIO,[354] which called ACA “highly disruptive” to union health care plans, claiming it would drive up costs of union-sponsored plans; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and UNITE-HERE, whose leaders sent a letter to Reid and Pelosi arguing, ” ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”[345] In January 2014, Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and D. Taylor, president of Unite Here sent a letter to Reid and Pelosi stating, “ACA, as implemented, undermines fair marketplace competition in the health care industry.”[344]

In October 2016, Mark Dayton, the governor of Minnesota and a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, said that the ACA had “many good features” but that it was “no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people” and called on the Minnesota legislature to provide emergency relief to policyholders.[355] Dayton later said he regretted his remarks after they were seized on by Republicans seeking to repeal the law.[356]

Legal challenges

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius

Opponents challenged ACA’s constitutionality in multiple lawsuits on multiple grounds.[357][358][not in citation given] In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled on a 5–4 vote that the individual mandate was constitutional when viewed as a tax, although not under the Commerce Clause.

The Court further determined that states could not be forced to participate in the Medicaid expansion. ACA withheld all Medicaid funding from states declining to participate in the expansion. The Court ruled that this withdrawal of funding was unconstitutionally coercive and that individual states had the right to opt out without losing preexisting Medicaid funding.[359]

Contraception mandate

In March 2012 the Roman Catholic Church, while supportive of ACA’s objectives, voiced concern through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that aspects of the mandate covering contraception and sterilization and HHS‘s narrow definition of a religious organization violated the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion and conscience. Various lawsuits addressed these concerns.[360][361]

On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 that federal subsidies for health insurance premiums could be used in the 34 states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges.[362]

House v. Burwell

In United States House of Representatives v. Burwell the House sued the administration alleging that the money for premium subsidy payments to insurers had not been appropriated, as required for any federal government spending. The Obamacare subsidy that helps customers pay premiums was not part of the suit. Without the cost-sharing subsidies, the government estimated that premiums would increase by 20 percent to 30 percent for silver plans.[363]

Non-cooperation

Officials in Texas, Florida, Alabama, Wyoming, Arizona, Oklahoma and Missouri opposed those elements of ACA over which they had discretion.[364][365] For example, Missouri declined to expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance marketplace engaging in active non-cooperation, enacting a statute forbidding any state or local official to render any aid not specifically required by federal law.[366] Other Republican politicians discouraged efforts to advertise the benefits of the law. Some conservative political groups launched ad campaigns to discourage enrollment.[367][368]

Repeal efforts

ACA was the subject of unsuccessful repeal efforts by Republicans in the 111th, 112th, and 113th Congresses: Representatives Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) introduced bills in the House to repeal ACA the day after it was signed, as did Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) in the Senate.[369] In 2011, after Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, one of the first votes held was on a bill titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” (H.R. 2), which the House passed 245–189.[370] All Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for repeal.[371] House Democrats proposed an amendment that repeal not take effect until a majority of the Senators and Representatives had opted out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Republicans voted down the measure.[372] In the Senate, the bill was offered as an amendment to an unrelated bill, but was voted down.[373] President Obama had stated that he would have vetoed the bill even if it had passed both chambers of Congress.[374]

2017 House Budget

Following the 2012 Supreme Court ruling upholding ACA as constitutional, Republicans held another vote to repeal the law on July 11;[375] the House of Representatives voted with all 244 Republicans and 5 Democrats in favor of repeal, which marked the 33rd, partial or whole, repeal attempt.[376][377] On February 3, 2015, the House of Representatives added its 67th repeal vote to the record (239 to 186). This attempt also failed.[378]

2013 federal government shutdown

Strong partisan disagreement in Congress prevented adjustments to the Act’s provisions.[379] However, at least one change, a proposed repeal of a tax on medical devices, has received bipartisan support.[380] Some Congressional Republicans argued against improvements to the law on the grounds they would weaken the arguments for repeal.[284][381]

Republicans attempted to defund its implementation,[365][382] and in October 2013, House Republicans refused to fund the federal government unless accompanied with a delay in ACA implementation, after the President unilaterally deferred the employer mandate by one year, which critics claimed he had no power to do. The House passed three versions of a bill funding the government while submitting various versions that would repeal or delay ACA, with the last version delaying enforcement of the individual mandate. The Democratic Senate leadership stated the Senate would only pass a “clean” funding bill without any restrictions on ACA. The government shutdown began on October 1.[383][384][385] Senate Republicans threatened to block appointments to relevant agencies, such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board[386] and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.[387][388]

2017 repeal effort

During a midnight congressional session starting January 11, 2017, the Senate of the 115th Congress of the United States voted to approve a “budget blueprint” which would allow Republicans to repeal parts of the law “without threat of a Democraticfilibuster.”[389][390] The plan, which passed 51-48 is a budget blueprint named by Senate Republicans the “Obamacare ‘repeal resolution.'”[391] Democrats opposing the resolution staged a protest during the vote.[392]

House Republicans announced their replacement for the ACA, the American Health Care Act, on March 6, 2017.[393] On March 24, 2017 the effort, led by Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, to repeal and replace the ACA failed amid a revolt among Republican representatives.[394]

Implementation history

Once the law was signed, provisions began taking effect, in a process that continued for years. Some provisions never took effect, while others were deferred for various periods.

Existing individual health plans

Plans purchased after the date of enactment, March 23, 2010, or old plans that changed in specified ways would eventually have to be replaced by ACA-compliant plans.[citation needed]

At various times during and after the ACA debate, Obama stated that “if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan”.[395][396] However, in fall 2013 millions of Americans with individual policies received notices that their insurance plans were terminated,[397] and several million more risked seeing their current plans cancelled.[398][399][400]

Obama’s previous unambiguous assurance that consumers’ could keep their own plans became a focal point for critics, who challenged his truthfulness.[401][402] On November 7, 2013, President Obama stated: “I am sorry that [people losing their plans] are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.”[403] Various bills were introduced in Congress to allow people to keep their plans.[404]

In the fall of 2013, the Obama Administration announced a transitional relief program that would let states and carriers allow non-compliant individual and small group policies to renew at the end of 2013. In March 2014, HHS allowed renewals as late as October 1, 2016. In February 2016, these plans were allowed to renew up until October 1, 2017, but with a termination date no later than December 31, 2017.[citation needed]

2010

In June small business tax credits took effect. For certain small businesses, the credits reached up to 35% of premiums. At the same time uninsured people with pre-existing conditions could access the federal high-risk pool. Also, participating employment-based plans could obtain reimbursement for a portion of the cost of providing health insurance to early retirees.[405]

In July the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) took effect to offer insurance to those that had been denied coverage by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition. Despite estimates of up to 700,000 enrollees, at a cost of approximately $13,000/enrollee, only 56,257 enrolled at a $28,994 cost per enrollee.[405]

2011

As of September 23, 2010, pre-existing conditions could no longer be denied coverage for children’s policies. HHS interpreted this rule as a mandate for “guaranteed issue“, requiring insurers to issue policies to such children.[citation needed] By 2011, insurers had stopped marketing child-only policies in 17 states, as they sought to escape this requirement.[406]

The average beneficiary in the prior coverage gap would have spent $1,504 in 2011 on prescriptions. Such recipients saved an average $603. The 50 percent discount on brand name drugs provided $581 and the increased Medicare share of generic drug costs provided the balance. Beneficiaries numbered 2 million[407]

2012

In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius decided on June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate was constitutional when the associated penalties were construed as a tax. The decision allowed states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. Several did so,[408] although some later accepted the expansion.[409]

2013

In January 2013 the Internal Revenue Service ruled that the cost of covering only the individual employee would be considered in determining whether the cost of coverage exceeded 9.5% of income. Family plans would not be considered even if the cost was above the 9.5% income threshold. This was estimated to leave 2–4 million Americans unable to afford family coverage under their employers’ plans and ineligible for subsidies.[410][411]

A June 2013 study found that the MLR provision had saved individual insurance consumers $1.2 billion in 2011 and $2.1 billion in 2012, reducing their 2012 costs by 7.5%.[412] The bulk of the savings were in reduced premiums, but some came from MLR rebates.

On July 2, 2013, the Obama Administration announced that it would delay the implementation of the employer mandate until 2015.[281][413][414]

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (or CLASS Act) was enacted as Title VIII of Obamacare. It would have created a voluntary and public long-term care insurance option for employees.[121][123] In October 2011 the administration announced it was unworkable and would be dropped.[415] The CLASS Act was repealed January 1, 2013.[416]

The launch for both the state and federal exchanges was troubled due to management and technical failings. HealthCare.gov, the website that offers insurance through the exchanges operated by the federal government, crashed on opening and suffered endless problems.[417] Operations stabilized in 2014, although not all planned features were complete.[418][419]

CMS reported in 2013 that, while costs per capita continued to rise, the rate of increase in annual healthcare costs had fallen since 2002. Per capita cost increases averaged 5.4% annually between 2000 and 2013. Costs relative to GDP, which had been rising, had stagnated since 2009.[420] Several studies attempted to explain the reductions. Reasons included:

  • Higher unemployment due to the 2008-2010 recession, which limited the ability of consumers to purchase healthcare;
  • Out-of-pocket costs rose, reducing demand for healthcare services.[421] The proportion of workers with employer-sponsored health insurance requiring a deductible climbed to about three-quarters in 2012 from about half in 2006.[224]
  • ACA changes[224] that aim to shift the healthcare system from paying-for-quantity to paying-for-quality. Some changes occurred due to healthcare providers acting in anticipation of future implementation of reforms.[120][225]

2014

On July 30, 2014, the Government Accountability Office released a non-partisan study that concluded that the administration did not provide “effective planning or oversight practices” in developing the website.[422]

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby the Supreme Court exempted closely held corporations with religious convictions from the contraception rule.[423] In Wheaton College vs Burwell the Court issued an injunction allowing the evangelical college and other religiously affiliated nonprofit groups to completely ignore the contraceptive mandate.[424]

A study found that average premiums for the second-cheapest silver plan were 10-21% less than average individual market premiums in 2013, while covering many more conditions. Credit for the reduced premiums was attributed to increased competition stimulated by the larger market, greater authority to review premium increases, the MLR and risk corridors.[citation needed]

Many of the initial plans featured narrow networks of doctors and hospitals.[425][not in citation given]

A 2016 analysis found that health care spending by the middle class was 8.9% of household spending in 2014.[426]

2015

By the beginning of the year, 11.7 million had signed up (ex-Medicaid).[427] On December 31, 2015, about 8.8 million consumers had stayed in the program. Some 84 percent, or about 7.4 million, were subsidized.[428]

Bronze plans were the second most popular in 2015, making up 22% of marketplace plan selections. Silver plans were the most popular, accounting for 67% of marketplace selections. Gold plans were 7%. Platinum plans accounted for 3%. On average across the four metal tiers, premiums were up 20% for HMOs and 18% for EPOs. Premiums for POS plans were up 15% from 2015 to 2016, while PPO premiums were up just 8%.[citation needed]

A 2015 study found 14% of privately insured consumers received a medical bill in the past two years from an out-of-network provider in the context of an overall in-network treatment event. Such out-of-network care is not subject to the lower negotiated rates of in-network care, increasing out-of-pocket costs. Another 2015 study found that the average out-of-network charges for the majority of 97 medical procedures examined “were 300% or higher compared to the corresponding Medicare fees” for those services.[citation needed]

Some 47% of the 2015 ACA plans sold on the Healthcare.gov exchange lacked standard out-of-network coverage. Enrollees in such plans, typically received no coverage for out-of-network costs (except for emergencies or with prior authorization). A 2016 study on Healthcare.gov health plans found a 24 percent increase in the percentage of ACA plans that lacked standard out-of-network coverage.[citation needed]

The December spending bill delayed the onset of the “Cadillac tax” on expensive insurance plans by two years, until 2020.[429]

The average price of non-generic drugs rose 16.2% in 2015 and 98.2% since 2011.[426]

2016

As of March 2016 11.1 million people had purchased exchange plans,[citation needed] while an estimated 9 million to 10 million people had gained Medicaid coverage, mostly low-income adults.[207] 11.1 million were still covered, a decline of nearly 13 percent.[430] 6.1 million uninsured 19-25 year olds gained coverage.[431]

Employers

A survey of New York businesses found an increase of 8.5 percent in health care costs, less than the prior year’s survey had expected. A 10 percent increase was expected for 2017. Factors included increased premiums, higher drug costs, ACA and aging workers. Some firms lowered costs by increasing cost-sharing (for higher employee contributions, deductibles and co-payments). 60% planned to further increase cost-sharing. Coverage and benefits were not expected to change. Approximately one fifth said ACA had pushed them to reduce their workforce. A larger number said they were raising prices.[432]

Insurers

The five major national insurers expected to lose money on ACA policies in 2016.[433] UnitedHealth withdrew from the Georgia and Arkansas exchanges for 2017, citing heavy losses.[204] Humana exited other markets, leaving it operating in 156 counties in 11 states for 2017.[434] 225 counties across the country had access to only a single ACA insurer. A study released in May estimated that 664 counties would have one insurer in 2017.[435][not in citation given]

Aetna cancelled planned expansion of its offerings and following an expected $300 million loss in 2016 and then withdrew from 11 of its 15 states.[436] In August 2016 Anthem said that its offerings were losing money, but also that it would expand its participation if a pending merger with Cigna was approved.[437] Aetna and Humana’s exit for 2017 left 8 rural Arizona counties with only Blue Cross/Blue Shield.[438]

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Minnesota announced that it would exit individual and family markets in Minnesota in 2017, due to financial losses of $500 million over three years.[439]

Another analysis found that 17 percent of eligibles may have a single insurer option in 2017. North Carolina, Oklahoma, Alaska, Alabama, South Carolina and Wyoming were expected to have a single insurer,[440] while only 2 percent of 2016 eligibles had only one choice.[441]

Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group also exited various individual markets. Many local Blue Cross plans sharply narrowed their networks. In 2016 two thirds of individual plans were narrow-network HMO plans.[425]

One of the causes of insurer losses is the lower income, older and sicker enrollee population. One 2016 analysis reported that while 81% of the population with incomes from 100-150% of the federal poverty level signed up, only 45% of those from 150-200% did so. The percentage continued to decline as income rose: 2% of those above 400% enrolled.[442]

Costs

The law is designed to pay subsidies in the form of tax credits to the individuals or families purchasing the insurance, based on income levels. Higher income consumers receive lower subsidies. While pre-subsidy prices rose considerably from 2016 to 2017, so did the subsidies, to reduce the after-subsidy cost to the consumer. For example, a study published in 2016 found that the average requested 2017 premium increase among 40-year-old non-smokers was about 9 percent, according to an analysis of 17 cities, although Blue Cross Blue Shield proposed increases of 40 percent in Alabama and 60 percent in Texas.[221] However, some or all of these costs are offset by subsidies, paid as tax credits. For example, the Kaiser Foundation reported that for the second-lowest cost “Silver plan” (a plan often selected and used as the benchmark for determining financial assistance), a 40-year old non-smoker making $30,000 per year would pay effectively the same amount in 2017 as they did in 2016 (about $208/month) after the subsidy/tax credit, despite large increases in the pre-subsidy price. This was consistent nationally. In other words, the subsidies increased along with the pre-subsidy price, fully offsetting the price increases.[222]

Cooperatives

The number of ACA nonprofit insurance cooperatives for 2017 fell from 23 originally to 7 for 2017. The remaining 7 posted annual losses in 2015. A General Accountability Report found that co-ops’ 2015 premiums were generally below average. At the end of 2014, money co-ops and other ACA insurers had counted on risk corridor payments that didn’t materialize. Maryland’s Evergreen Health claims that ACA’s risk-adjustment system does not adequately measure risk.[citation needed]

Medicaid

Newly elected Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued an executive order to accept the expansion, becoming the 32nd state to do so. The program was expected to enroll an additional 300,000 Louisianans.[443]

2017

More than 9.2 million people signed up for care on the national exchange (healthcare.gov) for 2017, down some 400,000 from 2016. This decline was due primarily to the election of President Trump, who pulled advertising encouraging people to signup for coverage, issued an executive order that attempts to eliminate the mandate, and has created significant uncertainty about the future of the ACA. Enrollments had been running ahead of 2016 prior to President Obama leaving office, with 9.8 million expected to sign-up, so President Trump’s actions potentially cost about 600,000 national enrollments (i.e., 9.8 million expected – 9.2 million actual = 0.6 million impact).[444]Of the 9.2 million, 3.0 million were new customers and 6.2 million were returning. The 9.2 million excludes the 11 states that run their own exchanges, which have signed up around 3 million additional people.[444] These figures also exclude the additional coverage due to the Medicaid expansion, which covers another approximately 10 million persons, as described in the impact section above.

In February, Humana announced that it would withdraw from the individual insurance market in 2018, citing “further signs of an unbalanced risk pool.”[445] That month the IRS announced that it would not require that tax returns indicate that a person has health insurance, reducing the effectiveness of the individual mandate, in response to an executive order from President Donald Trump.[446]

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini stated that ACA was in a “death spiral” of escalating premiums and shrinking, skewed enrollment.[447] However, a U.S. judge found that the Aetna CEO misrepresented why his company was leaving the exchanges; an important part of the reason was the Justice Department’s opposition to the intended merger between Aetna and Humana. Aetna actually pulled out of states where it was making money on the exchanges, while remaining in some states where it was not.[448] Further, the CBO reported in March 2017 that the healthcare exchanges were expected to be stable; i.e., they were not in a “death spiral.”[449]

Molina Healthcare, a major Medicaid provider, said that it was considering exiting some markets in 2018, citing “too many unknowns with the marketplace program.” Molina lost $110 million in 2016 due to having to contribute $325 million more than expected to the ACA “risk transfer” fund that compensated insurers with unprofitable risk pools. These pools were establish to help prevent insurers from artificially selecting lower-risk pools.[450]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

 

Story 2: Obama Administration Spied On American Citizens Including Trump and Trump Team — Obama Scandal Far Worse Than Nixon’s Cover-up of Watergate Break-in — Legacy Fading Fast — Grand Jury Should Be Impaneled Now! — Videos

Krauthammer analyzes the fallout over the Trump-Russia probe

WH points to new surveillance info amid growing questions

Hannity 3⁄31⁄17 ¦ HANNITY Fox News March 31, 2017

BREAKING NEWS The O’reilly Factor 3⁄31⁄17 ¦ Bill O’reilly Fox News March 31, 2017

Lou Dobbs Tonight 3⁄31⁄17 ¦ Fox Business ¦ March 31, 2017

Former Obama official floundering in her own lies. Evelyn Farkas is so Farked

Surveillance Confirmed Of President Trump. Obama spied on Trump. where is the arrest?

Obama Official Admits They Were Surveilling Trump & His Team, Unmasking Names & Leaking Intel

Nunes Overkill and Schizophrenic Russophobic Frothing Continue

HUGE: Obama SCREAMS LIKE A BABY After Being Refused Meeting With Trump at White House

Judge Napolitano is back: GCHQ British spying on behalf of Obama is real

Obama went to British intelligence to spy on Trump says Judge Napolitano

HUGE: Trump Calls Dems’ Bluff, Comes Forward With Evidence Obama Spied on Him.

Team Obama Gets Caught Committing Political Espionage, Spying on Trump & His Team

Obama may be subpoenaed over Trump’s wiretapping

Rep. Devin Nunes: Obama Officials Face Five Years In Prison For Trump Wiretap(VIDEO)!!

Obama is SCREWED! The NSA Just Released the SMOKING GUN Trump Was Waiting For!

OBAMA CONDUCTED INCIDENTAL SURVEILLANCE ON TRUMP COMMUNICATIONS

NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney on Tucker Carlson 03.24.2017

CIA Whistleblower Larry C. Johnson About Trump Wiretapping And CIA Control Of The Media

Tucker Carlson : Did Obama Admin Spy On President Trump’s Team “Compelling Evidence Revealed”

NSA WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS TRUMP WAS WIRETAPPED AND MONITORED

Worse Than Watergate: Obama Ordered Wiretaps of Trump’s Campaign

The Truth About Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

Rules for Radicals: What Constitutional Conservatives Should Know About Saul Alinsky

Obama, Saul Alinsky connection, dedication to lucifer?

The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor

Judge Napolitano: For the first Time in Modern Era We Have President Who Is Adversary of Deep State

Napolitano: Why Hillary lost

Minute Speech that Got Judge Napolitano Fired from Fox News

BREAKING: Obama SCREAMS LIKE A BABY After Being Refused A Meeting With Trump At The White House

Four Secret Service agents and two United States Marines had a good laugh earlier today when Barack Obama showed up unannounced at the White House, demanding a meeting with President Trump. At first, the former president just nodded and waved and started walking through the door at the ellipse like he owned the place until he came face to face with Agent Brock Neidemeir, who used to serve on his detail.

After a short discussion, Neidemyer agreed to call down to the Oval Office and was told by Trump’s secretary Rosalita that he wasn’t welcome and that Trump had no time for him. Obama, being the sore loser that he is, started stomping around like a baby and demanding he be allowed in. People as far away as the south gate could hear him whining.

There’s no telling why Obama felt the need to show up at the White House or why he thought he could just waltz right in like he owned the place. One thing is for sure: Trump isn’t going to allow someone who knows how to do his job that much better than him come down the halls of the West Wing to show him up. He has real issues to deal with.

http://thelastlineofdefense.org/breaking-obama-screams-like-a-baby-after-being-refused-a-meeting-with-trump-at-the-white-house/

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The Pronk Pops Show 834, February 8, 2017, Story 1: President Trump’s Order To John Kelly, Department of Homeland Security, –“Secure the Borders” — Pause For Vigorous Vetting — Videos — Story 2: Senator Warren Defames and Lies As Did Coretta Scott King In Her Letter About Senator Sessions — Rule 19 — Objection — Senator Take You Seat — Three Cheers! — Story 3: Awaiting 9th Circuit Three Judge Panel Decision –Videos

Posted on February 8, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Consitutional Law, Countries, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Empires, Employment, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Life, Media, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Polls, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Social Science, Somalia, Success, Sudan, Syria, Taxation, Taxes, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: President Trump’s Order To John Kelly, Department of Homeland Security, –“Secure the Borders” — Pause For Vigorous Vetting — Videos —

Image result for john kelly dhs

Image result for cartoons about ban travel 7 countriesImage result for john kelly dhs
Image result for john kelly dhs

Image result for john kelly dhs

President Trump Interview With Bill O’Reilly Super Bowl Sunday

DHS: Trump’s travel ban is necessary, lawful

DHS Secretary John Kelly: ‘This Is All On Me’…Should Have Talked To Congress About Immigration Order

Published on Feb 7, 2017

The abrupt rollout of President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending immigration from seven terror-prone countries “is all on me,” Homeland Security Secretary Jack Kelly told a congressional hearing on Tuesday. Although the executive order was developed before his confirmation, Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee that just after his inauguration, he met with his (small) staff and made some changes. The order took effect on Friday evening, and “the thinking was to get it out quick,” so people with bad intentions would not have time to “jump on an airplane and get here.”

Kelly told the committee, “In retrospect, I should have — this is all on me, by the way — I should have delayed it just a bit, so that I could talk to members of Congress, particularly the leadership of committees like this, to prepare them for what was coming, although I think most people would agree that this has been a topic of President Trump, certainly during his campaign and during the transition process.” Kelly also noted that as Customs and Border Patrol officials began to implement the order, adjustments were quickly made to “fine-tune it.”

“Although the immigration pause has been an “inconvenience,” Kelly said everyone delayed or denied entry was treated “humanely.” He denied reports that people were made to stand up for hours on end or that people were insulted. “But going forward, I would have certainly taken some time to inform the Congress, and that’s certainly — that’s something I’ll certainly do in the future.” Kelly said the Trump administration is not contemplating adding additional countries to the list of seven, but the administration is looking at additional vetting processes to be sure they know who is coming into the country.

Homeland Secretary John Kelly I should have consulted Congress on travel ban

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Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testifies before a congressional committee on US border security, explaining that Islamic terrorists have access to fake documents (and counterfeit document production tools) to enter Europe and then the US.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly Testifies on Border Security. Feb. 7. 2017.

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2014 California Gold Star Parents – General John F. Kelly, USMC – Full Version

Donald Trump launches blistering attack on judges in ‘disgraceful’ travel ban hearing and calls it ‘a sad day’

Watch | Donald Trump launches blistering attack on judges

 By 

Donald Trump has angrily denounced the three judges hearing his travel ban appeal, describing the process as “disgraceful” and saying it was a “sad day” for the United States.

Addressing a conference of police chiefs, Mr Trump told the crowd he had listened to Tuesday’s hearing with dismay.

“I won’t say the court was biased. But so political,” he said.

Mr Trump attempted to litigate the case himself, reading at length from a document and commenting on how it proved the legal foundations of his travel ban – which was halted on Friday.

Mr Trump went on: “I listened to lawyers on both sides last night, they were talking about things that had nothing to do with it.

“It’s so sad when you read something so perfectly written and so clear to anybody. I watched last night in amazement and I heard things I couldn’t believe.

“I don’t ever want to call a court biased so I won’t call it biased, and we haven’t had a decision yet, but courts seem to be so political. “But it would be so great for our sysem if they could read something and do what’s right.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/08/donald-trump-dismisses-travel-ban-hearing-politics-us-waits/

Homeland Security secretary says a border wall won’t be built all at once

The nation’s top Homeland Security official portrayed himself Tuesday as a steward of President Trump’s vision for border security as he laid out a path to fruition for some of Trump’s most bombastic campaign promises.

In his first appearance on Capitol Hill, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly described plans for safeguards along the border that were more piecemeal than the “big, beautiful wall” Trump has touted.

Kelly said his agency would first build sections of wall and fencing where border agents see an immediate need and fill in gaps with ground sensors, surveillance blimps and other technologies that help detect illegal border crossings, emphasizing that the government lives in “a world of finite time [and] resources.”

“We’re not going to be able to build a wall everywhere all at once,” Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee, adding that Border Patrol agents told him they preferred barriers they could see through rather than a solid wall.

But Kelly also said measures for the “extreme vetting” of travelers were under consideration that go further than visa officers ever have. The Homeland Security Department may demand that some visa applicants trying to enter legally hand over passwords to their social media accounts before flying to the U.S.

“They don’t want to cooperate, they don’t come in,” Kelly said.

In three hours of testimony, Kelly filled in specifics on several national security goals Trump has broadly set. And like a soldier carrying out orders, Kelly, a retired Marine general, shouldered the blame for the haphazard rollout of the president’s order temporarily blocking entry for refugees and all travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, even though he was largely left out of crafting the decree.

“The thinking was to get it out quick so that potentially people that might be coming here to harm us would not take advantage of some period of time that they could jump on an airplane,” Kelly said.

In retrospect, he said, “I should have delayed it just a bit” to prepare lawmakers and the public for the changes that were coming.

The confusion surrounding its implementation is “all on me,” Kelly said, putting himself in the awkward position of apologizing for the execution of a directive he didn’t see until the week it was issued and wasn’t told was coming until the day before it was signed.

Live coverage: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing over Trump’s travel bans »

The writing of Trump’s order was limited chiefly to a handful of senior White House advisors, including Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller, and agency lawyers. Lawmakers of both parties condemned the White House over its implementation.

The White House officials who directed the rollout should have come before the committee to “answer for this debacle” rather than Kelly, said Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the panel.

Even committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who advised Trump on the travel restrictions during the transition and defended the president’s decision to implement them, criticized how the directive was put into action.

“The rollout of this executive order has been problematic. It has caused confusion here in Congress, across the country and around the world,” McCaul said.

Homeland Security officials were forced in the hours after the order was signed to scramble to issue instructions to border agents. Amid the uncertainty, some border agents blocked lawful permanent residents from entering the country.

Kelly defended his department’s work and insisted that Customs and Border Protection officers were not to blame for the chaos that unfolded at airports, saying the turmoil was not in immigration lines but in arrival halls flooded with protesters and frustrated relatives of people blocked by the order.

Civil liberties advocates and Democrats have criticized the president’s order as unfairly targeting Muslims, pointing to Trump’s repeated calls during the campaign to block Muslims from the U.S.

A lawsuit attempting to overturn Trump’s travel ban appeared to be on the fast track to the Supreme Court. Judges on the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday.

Travelers from the countries targeted by Trump’s temporary ban — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — have hurried to board flights to the U.S. during what might be a brief window to enter the country while the legal challenges play out.

McCaul was adamant the order didn’t target a religious group. “This is not a Muslim ban, and even the suggestion that it is will alienate our allies and embolden” terrorists, he said.

Nonetheless, the administration is also looking at ways to step up background checks on citizens from the seven countries before they travel, such as demanding social media account passwords, Kelly said. Most of those nations have unreliable police forces or lack identity systems to help confirm travelers are who they say they are, he said.

“It is very hard to truly vet these people in these countries,” Kelly said.

Trump’s Jan. 27 order also required the Homeland Security Department to give him a list within 30 days of other countries that do not provide adequate information to border officials, but the agency has stopped work on that part of the order while the courts review it.

“There is no additional list,” Kelly said after the hearing.

Kelly also laid out for lawmakers the lengthy timeline needed to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Kelly said he wanted to see construction of a wall “well underway” within two years. Costs have been estimated at $12 billion to $38 billion.

And echoing White House complaints, Kelly strongly denied a report in the Washington Post that Bannon had asked him to keep in place the temporary ban on green-card holders being allowed into the U.S.

“Every paragraph, every sentence … was wrong,” Kelly said. “It was a fantasy story.”

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) asked whether Kelly had concerns about political advisors pressuring him to act.

“I work for one man. His name is Donald Trump,” Kelly said. “He has told me one thing: ‘Secure the border.’”

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-kelly-travel-ban-20170207-story.html

John F. Kelly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named John F. Kelly, see John F. Kelly (disambiguation).
John F. Kelly
John Kelly official DHS portrait.jpg
5th United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Jeh Johnson
Commander of the United States Southern Command
In office
November 19, 2012 – January 16, 2016
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Douglas Fraser
Succeeded by Kurt Tidd
Personal details
Born John Francis Kelly
May 11, 1950 (age 66)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s) Karen Hernest
Children 3
Education University of Massachusetts, Boston(BA)
Georgetown University(MA)
National Defense University(MS)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1970–1972
1972–1976 (inactive reserves)
1976–2016
Rank US Marine 10 shoulderboard.svgGeneral
Commands United States Southern Command
1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
Multinational Force West
Battles/wars Persian Gulf War
Operation Desert Storm
Iraq War
1992 Los Angeles Riots
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2) with Valor

John Francis Kelly (born May 11, 1950) is the fifth and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security. He is a retired United States Marine Corpsgeneral and the former commander of United States Southern Command, the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Kelly previously served as the commanding general of the Multi-National Force—West in Iraq from February 2008 to February 2009, and as the commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North in October 2009.[1] Kelly succeeded General Douglas M. Fraser as commander of U.S. Southern Command on November 19, 2012.[2] Kelly was succeeded by Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd on January 14, 2016.

Kelly became Secretary of Homeland Security in January 2017 under PresidentDonald Trump.

Early life and education

Kelly was born on May 11, 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts into an Irish Catholic family.[3][4] He grew up in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.[4] Before he reached the age of 16, he hitchhiked to Washington State and rode the trains back, including a freight-hop from Seattle to Chicago.[4][5] He then served for one year as a United States Merchant Marine, where he says “my first time overseas was taking 10,000 tons of beer to Vietnam“.[6][5]

In 1970, when his mother told him that his draft number was coming up, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.[3][4][5] He was discharged from active duty as a sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.[3][4][5] He was commissioned on December 27, 1975[3] as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps via Officer Candidates School.[1] In 1976, he graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston and, in 1984, he received a Master of Science degree in National Security Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.[3][7]

Career

Kelly returned to the Second Marine Division where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, company executive officer, assistant operations officer, and infantry company commander. Sea duty in Mayport, Florida, followed, at which time he served aboard aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CV-59) and USS Independence (CV-62). In 1980, then-Captain Kelly attended the U.S. Army’s Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C., serving there from 1981 through 1984, as an assignment monitor. Kelly returned to the Second Marine Division in 1984, to command a rifle and weapons company. Promoted to major in 1987, he then served as a battalion operations officer.[1]

Kelly’s official U.S. Southern Command portrait

In 1987, Kelly transferred to the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, serving first as the head of the Offensive Tactics Section, Tactics Group, and later assuming the duties of the Director of the Infantry Officer Course. After three years of instructing young officers, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School for Advanced Warfare, both located at Quantico.[1]

Completing duty under instruction and selected for lieutenant colonel, he was assigned as commanding officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (1st LAR), 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. During his tenure, 1st LAR was called in to provide augmentation support for police in the city of Long Beach, California during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Holding this command position for two years, Kelly returned to the East Coast in 1994, to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. He graduated in 1995 and was selected to serve as the Commandant‘s Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, where he was promoted to colonel.[1]

Kelly testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee

In 1999, Kelly transferred to joint duty and served as the special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium. He returned to the United States in 2001 and was assigned to a third tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, now as the assistant chief of staff G-3 with the Second Marine Division. In 2002, Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the assistant division commander. Much of Kelly’s two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq.[1] In March 2003, while in Iraq, Kelly was promoted to brigadier general, which was the first known promotion of a Marine Corps colonel in an active combat zone since that of another First Marine Division assistant division commander, Chesty Puller, in January 1951.[8]

In mid-April Gen. Kelly took command of the newly formed Task Force Tripoli and drove it north from Baghdad into Samarra and Tikrit.[9] During the initial assault on Baghdad, Kelly was asked by a reporter of The Los Angeles Times if (considering the size of the Iraqi Army and the vast supplies of tanks, artillery and chemical weapons available to Saddam’s forces) if he would ever consider defeat. Kelly’s archetypal response was, “Hell these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima. Baghdad ain’t shit.” [10]

Kelly briefing reporters at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

His next assignment was as legislative assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Michael Hagee. In January 2007 Kelly was nominated for major general,[11] and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 11, 2007.[12]

Kelly’s next assignment, in July 2007, was as commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).[13] On February 9, 2008 Kelly assumed command of the Multi-National Force–West in Iraq, replacing Major General Walter E. Gaskin.[14] After a year in Iraq Kelly returned to the States in February 2009.[15]

Kelly was the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense and personally greeted Secretary Panetta at the entrance to the Pentagon on July 1, 2011, Panetta’s first day as secretary.[16] Kelly succeeded General Douglas M. Fraser as commander of U.S. Southern Command on November 19, 2012.[2]

In a 2014 speech regarding the War on Terror, Kelly said:

“If you think this war against our way of life is over because some of the self-appointed opinion-makers and chattering class grow ‘war weary,’ because they want to be out of Iraq or Afghanistan, you are mistaken. This enemy is dedicated to our destruction. He will fight us for generations, and the conflict will move through various phases as it has since 9/11.”[17]

Kelly was succeeded by Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd on January 14, 2016.

Secretary of Homeland Security

Kelly is ceremonially sworn in prior to President Trump’s speech at DHS Headquarters on January 25, 2017. Kelly was actually sworn in a five days earlier.

On December 7, 2016, then President-electDonald Trump nominated Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a cabinet-level position.[18] People familiar with the transition said that Trump’s team was drawn to Kelly because of his southwest border expertise.[19] On January 20, 2017, Kelly was confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security by the United States Senate with a vote of 88-11.[20] On that evening, he was sworn in by Vice PresidentMike Pence.[21]

Personal life

In 1976, Kelly married Karen Hernest. They had three children: Robert M, John Jr, and Kathleen.[22]

In 2010, Kelly’s 29-year-old son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, was killed in action when he stepped on a landmine while leading a platoon of Marines on a patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan. The younger Kelly was a former enlisted Marine and was on his third combat tour, and his first combat tour as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer. At the time of his death, Robert Kelly was with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Robert Kelly’s death made John Kelly the highest-ranking military officer to lose a son or daughter in Iraq or Afghanistan.[23] Kelly’s other son is a Marine Corps major.[24][25][26]

Awards and decorations

Combat Distinguishing Device.pngAward star (gold).png
Gold star

Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Bronze star

Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Order of San Carlos - Grand Officer (Colombia) - ribbon bar.png
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit w/ 1 award star and Combat V Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 award star Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ 3 award stars
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon Presidential Unit Citation (United States) Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 1 oak leaf cluster
Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 2 service stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 1 service star Iraq Campaign Medal w/ 3 service stars Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 4 service stars Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon Grand Officer of the Order of San Carlos (Colombia)[27] Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge

See also

Immigration policy of Donald Trump

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Illegal immigration was a signature issue of President Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, and his proposed reforms and remarks about this issue have generated headlines.[1] A hallmark promise of his campaign was to build a substantial wall on the United States-Mexico border. Trump has also expressed support for a variety of “limits on legal immigration and guest-worker visas”,[1][2] including a “pause” on granting green cards, which Trump says will “allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages”.[3][4][5] Trump’s proposals regarding H-1B visas have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign, but as of late July 2016, he appears to oppose the H-1B visa program.[6] Trump has questioned official estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the United States (between 11 and 12 million), insisting the number is much higher (between 30 and 34 million).

Positions on immigration

Trump has questioned official estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the United States (between 11 and 12 million), asserting that the number is actually between 30 and 34 million.[7] PolitiFact ruled that his statement was “Pants on Fire”, citing experts who noted that no evidence supported an estimate in that range.[7] For example, the Pew Research Center reported in March 2015 that the number of illegal immigrants overall declined from 12.2 million in 2007 to 11.2 million in 2012. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. labor force ranged from 8.1 million to 8.3 million between 2007 and 2012, approximately 5% of the U.S. labor force.[8]

Birthright citizenship

Trump proposes rolling back birthright citizenship – a historically broadened interpretation of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that all persons born on U.S. soil are citizens – so as not to grant citizenship to US-born children of illegal immigrants (whom he refers to as “anchor babies“). The mainstream view of the Fourteenth Amendment among legal experts is that everyone born on U.S. soil, regardless of parents’ citizenship, is automatically an American citizen. [9][10]

Kate’s Law

Trump during his campaign promised to ask Congress to pass Kate’s Law to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal reentry receive strong, mandatory minimum sentences. The law is named after Kate Steinle who was allegedly shot and killed in July 2015 by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who was deported by from the US a total of five times.[11]

A law authored in the House was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security on July 29, 2015.[12] The Senate version of the bill was filibustered by the senate in July 2016.[13][14]

Border security

Trump has emphasized U.S. border security and illegal immigration to the United States as a campaign issue.[15][16] During his announcement speech he stated in part, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems…. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”[17] On July 6, 2015, Trump issued a written statement[18] to clarify his position on illegal immigration, which drew a reaction from critics. It read in part:

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. This was evident just this week when, as an example, a young woman in San Francisco was viciously killed by a 5-time deported Mexican with a long criminal record, who was forced back into the United States because they didn’t want him in Mexico. This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States. In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government. The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world. On the other hand, many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it. But these people are here legally, and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally. I am proud to say that I know many hard working Mexicans—many of them are working for and with me … and, just like our country, my organization is better for it.”[19]

A study published in Social Science Quarterly in May 2016 tested Trump’s claim that immigrants are responsible for higher levels of violent and drug-related crime in the United States.[20] It found no evidence that links Mexican or illegal Mexican immigrants specifically to violent or drug-related crime.[20] It did however find a small but significant association between illegal immigrant populations (including non-Mexican illegal immigrants) and drug-related arrests.[20]

In addition to his proposals to construct a border wall (see below), Trump has called for tripling the number of Border Patrol agents.[21]

U.S.–Mexico border wall proposal

Main article: Executive Order 13767
Further information: Mexico–United States barrier

Trump speaking about his immigration policy in Phoenix, Arizona, August 31, 2016.

Trump has repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, and has said that Mexico would pay for its construction through increased border-crossing fees and NAFTA tariffs.[22] In his speech announcing his candidacy, Trump pledged to “build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”[23][24] Trump also said “nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively.”[24] The concept for building a barrier to keep illegal immigrants out of the U.S. is not new; 670 miles of fencing (about one-third of the border) was erected under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, at a cost of $2.4 billion.[24] Trump said later that his proposed wall would be “a real wall. Not a toy wall like we have now.”[25] In his 2015 book, Trump cites the Israeli West Bank barrier as a successful example of a border wall.[26] “Trump has at times suggested building a wall across the nearly 2,000-mile border and at other times indicated more selective placement.”[27] After a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on August 31, 2016, Trump said that they “didn’t discuss” who would pay for the border wall that Trump has made a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.[28] Nieto contradicted that later that day, saying that he at the start of the meeting “made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall”.[29] Later that day, Trump reiterated his position that Mexico will pay to build an “impenetrable” wall on the Southern border.[30]

John Cassidy of The New Yorker wrote that Trump is “the latest representative of an anti-immigrant, nativist American tradition that dates back at least to the Know-Nothings” of the 1840s and 1850s.[31] Trump says “it was legal immigrants who made America great,”[32] that the Latinos who have worked for him have been “unbelievable people”, and that he wants a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to have a “big, beautiful door” for people to come legally and feel welcomed in the United States.[33]

According to experts and analyses, the actual cost to construct a wall along the remaining 1,300 miles of the border could be as high as $16 million per mile, with a total cost of up to $25 billion, with the cost of private land acquisitions and fence maintenance pushing up the total cost further.[27] Maintenance of the wall cost could up to $750 million a year, and if the Border Patrol agents were to patrol the wall, additional funds would have to be expended.[27] Rough and remote terrain on many parts of the border, such as deserts and mountains, would make construction and maintenance of a wall expensive, and such terrain may be a greater deterrent than a wall in any case.[27] Experts also note that on federally protected wilderness areas and Native American reservations, the Department of Homeland Security may have only limited construction authority, and a wall could cause environmental damage.[27]

Critics of Trump’s plan question whether a wall would be effective at stopping unauthorized crossings, noting that walls are of limited use unless they are patrolled by agents and to intercept those climbing over or tunneling under the wall.[27] Experts also note that approximately half of illegal immigrants in the U.S. did not surreptitiously enter, but rather “entered through official crossing points, either by overstaying visas, using fraudulent documents, or being smuggled past the border”.[27]

Mass deportation of illegal immigrants

Foreign born in US labor-force 1900-2015. Approximately 8 million of the foreign-born in the labor force were illegal immigrants in 2012.

Early in his campaign, in 2015, Trump proposed the mass deportation of illegal immigrants.[34][35][36] During his first town hall campaign meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, Trump said that if he were to win the election, then on “[d]ay 1 of my presidency, illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast”.[37]In June 2016, he stated that he would not characterize his immigration policies as including “mass deportations”.[38][39][40] However, on August 31, 2016, contrary to earlier reports of a “softening” in his stance[22][41][42][43][44], Trump laid out a 10-step plan reaffirming his hardline positions. He reiterated that all illegal immigrants are “subject to deportation” with priority given to illegal immigrants who have committed significant crimes and those who have overstayed visas. He noted that all those seeking legalization would have to go home and re-enter the country legally. [30][45]

Trump’s proposals for deportation also include a “Deportation Force”, modeled after the 1950s-era “Operation Wetback” program during the Eisenhower administration that ended following a congressional investigation.[46][36][46] Historian Mae Ngai of Columbia University, who has studied the program, has said that the military-style operation was both inhumane and ineffective.[36][46] Trump has said of his proposal: “We would do it in a very humane way.”[35]

According to a Washington Post analysis, if Trump’s criteria for immediate deportation as of September 2016 are met, the number of individuals prioritized for removal by ICE agents would range between about 5.0 and 6.5 million.[47] Analysts also noted that Trump’s mass-deportation plan would encounter legal and logistical difficulties, since U.S. immigration courts already face large backlogs.[35] Such a program would also impose a fiscal cost; the fiscally conservative American Action Forum policy group estimates that deporting every illegal immigrant would cause a slump of $381.5 billion to $623.2 billion in private sector output, amounting to roughly a loss of 2% of U.S. GDP.[48]Doug Holtz-Eakin, the group’s president, has said that the mass deportation of 11 million people would “harm the economy in ways it would normally not be harmed”.[35]

Proposed Muslim immigration ban

Trump frequently revised proposals to ban Muslim immigration to the United States in the course of his presidential campaign.[6] In late July 2016, NBC News characterized his position as: “Ban all Muslims, and maybe other people from countries with a history of terrorism, but just don’t say ‘Muslims’.”[6](Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News that Trump tasked him to craft a “Muslim ban” and asked Giuliani to form a committee to show him “the right way to do it legally”.[49][50] The committee, which included former U.S. Attorney General and Chief Judge of the Southern District of New YorkMichael Mukasey, and Reps. Mike McCaul and Peter T. King, decided to drop the religious basis and instead focused on regions where Giuliani says that there is “substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists” to the United States.[50])

Trump proposed a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States (the U.S. admits approximately 100,000 Muslim immigrants each year)[51] “until we can figure out what’s going on” in December 2015.[52][53][54][55] In response to the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, Trump released a statement on “Preventing Muslim Immigration” and called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on”.[56] Trump clarified how this would work in an interview with Willie Geist on in December 2015:

Geist: “Would airline representatives, customs agents or border guards ask a person’s religion?”
Trump: “They would say: ‘Are you Muslim?'”
Geist: “And if they said, ‘yes’, they would not be allowed in the country?”
Trump: “That’s correct.”[57]

Trump cited President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s use during World War II of the Alien and Sedition Acts to issue presidential proclamations for rounding up, holding, and deporting German, Japanese, and Italian alien immigrants, and noted that Roosevelt was highly respected and had highways named after him.[58][59][60][61] Trump stated that he did not agree with Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans, and clarified that the proposal would not apply to Muslims who were U.S. citizens or to Muslims who were serving in the U.S. military.[62][63] The measure proposed by Trump would be temporary,[53] until better screening methods are devised,[54] although the proposal had also been phrased in more controversial ways.[55]

In May 2016, Trump retreated slightly from his call for a Muslim ban, calling it “merely an idea, not a proposal”.[64] On June 13, 2016, he reformulated the ban so that it would be geographical, not religious, applying to “areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies”.[64][65] Two hours later, he claimed that ban was only for nations “tied to Islamic terror”.[64] In June 2016, he also stated that he would allow Muslims from allies like the United Kingdom to enter the United States.[64] In May 2016, Trump said “There will always be exceptions” to the ban, when asked how the ban would apply to London’s newly-elected mayor Sadiq Khan.[66] A spokesman for Sadiq Khan said in response that Trump’s views were “ignorant, divisive and dangerous” and play into the hands of extremists.[67]

In June 2016, Trump expanded his proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States to cover immigration from areas with a history of terrorism.[68] Specifically, Trump stated, “When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.”[68] According to lawyers and legal scholars cited in a New York Times report, the president has the power to carry out the plan but it would take an ambitious and likely time-consuming bureaucratic effort, and make sweeping use of executive authority.[69] Immigration analysts also noted that the implementation of Trump’s plan could “prompt a wave of retaliation against American citizens traveling and living abroad”.[69] In July 2016, Trump described his proposal as encompassing “any nation that has been compromised by terrorism”.[70] Trump later referred to the reformulation as “extreme vetting”.[71]

When asked in July 2016 about his proposal to restrict immigration from areas with high levels of terrorism, Trump insisted that it was not a “rollback” of his initial proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants.[72] He said, “In fact, you could say it’s an expansion. I’m looking now at territory.”[72] When asked if his new proposal meant that there would be greater checks on immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, such as France, Germany and Spain, Trump answered, “It’s their own fault, because they’ve allowed people over years to come into their territory.”[73][74]

On August 15, 2016, Trump suggested that “extreme views” would be grounds to be thrown out of the U.S., saying he would deport Seddique Mateen, the father of Omar Mateen (the gunman in the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting), who has expressed support for the Taliban.[75][76][77] On 31 August in Phoenix Trump would make a speech billed by then running-mate Pence as important and offering many details.[78] In the speech, Trump vowed “places like Syria and Libya” were “places from which immigration would be suspended” under his immigration plan.[79][80] Jeff Sessions at the time said the Trump campaign’s plan was “the best laid out law enforcement plan to fix this country’s immigration system that’s been stated in this country maybe forever”. [81]

Sessions is Trump’s nominee to be Attorney General of the Department of Justice. During confirmation-hearing testimony, he acknowledged supporting vetting based on “areas where we have an unusually high risk of terrorists coming in”; Sessions acknowledged the DOJ would need to evaluate such a plan if it were outside the “Constitutional order.”[82]

Other proposals

Trump has proposed making it more difficult for asylum-seekers and refugees to enter the United States, and making the e-Verify system mandatory for employers.[21]

Syrian refugees

Trump has on several occasions expressed opposition to allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S.—saying they could be the “ultimate Trojan horse[83]—and has proposed deporting back to Syria refugees settled in the U.S.[84][85] By September 2015, Trump had expressed support for taking in some Syrian refugees[84][86] and praised Germany’s decision to take in Syrian refugees.[87]

On a number of occasions in 2015, Trump asserted that “If you’re from Syria and you’re a Christian, you cannot come into this country, and they’re the ones that are being decimated. If you are Islamic … it’s hard to believe, you can come in so easily.” PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim as “false” and found it to be “wrong on its face”, citing the fact that 3 percent of the refugees from Syria have been Christian (although they represent 10 percent of the Syrian population) and finding that the U.S. government is not discriminating against Christians as a matter of official policy.[88]

In May 2016 interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump stated “Look, we are at war with these people and they don’t wear uniforms….. This is a war against people that are vicious, violent people, that we have no idea who they are, where they come from. We are allowing tens of thousands of them into our country now.” Politifact ruled this statement “pants on fire”, stating that the U.S. is on track to accept 100,000 refugees in 2017, but there is no evidence that tens of thousands of them are terrorists.[89]

Presidential actions

On January 27, 2017, as part of a plan to keep out radical Islamic terrorism, Trump signed an executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals“, that suspended entry for citizens of seven countries for 90 days: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, totaling more than 134 million people.[90] The order also stopped the admission of refugees of the Syrian Civil War indefinitely, and the entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days.[91] Refugees who were on their way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.[92]

Implicated by this order is 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1182 “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” 8 U.S. Code § 1182 (Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952).

Critics argue that Congress later restricted this power in 1965, stating plainly that no person could be “discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.” (8 U.S. Code § 1152) The only exceptions are those provided for by Congress (such as the preference for Cuban asylum seekers).[93]

Many legal challenges to the order were brought immediately after its issuance: from January 28 to January 31, almost 50 cases were filed in federal courts.[94] Some courts, in turn, granted temporary relief, including a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO) that bars the enforcement of major parts of the executive order.[95][96] The Trump administration is appealing the TRO.[96]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_policy_of_Donald_Trump

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The Pronk Pops Show 825, January 26, 2017, Story 1: Trump’s Impossible Dream — What Good is Dreaming It If You Don’t Actually Do It! — Approval Numbers Rising To 59% — President Trump Addresses Republicans in Philadelphia — We Must Deliver — Videos — Story 2: United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May Addresses Republicans — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Signs Two Executive Orders On Immigration — What is Next? — Cutting The $650 Billion in Federal Funding To All Sanctuary Jurisdictions (Cities, Counties and States) — Financial Leverage Long Overdue! –Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 825: January 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 824: January 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 823: January 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 822: January 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 821: January 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 820: January 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 819: January 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 818: January 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 817: January 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 816: January 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 815: January 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 814: January 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 813: January 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 812: December 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 811: December 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 810: December 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 809: December 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 808: December 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 807: December 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 806: December 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 804: November 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 803: November 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 802: November 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 801: November 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 798: November 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 797: November 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 796: November 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 795: November 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 794: November 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 793: November 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 792: November 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 791: November 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 790: November 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 789: November 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 788: November 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 787: October 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 786: October 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 785: October 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 784: October 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 783: October 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 782: October 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 781: October 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 780: October 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 779: October 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 778: October 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 777: October 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 776: October 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 775: October 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 774: October 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 773: October 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 772: October 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 771: October 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

 Story 1: Trump’s Impossible Dream — What Good is Dreaming It If You Don’t Actually Do It! — Approval Numbers Rising To 59% — President Trump Addresses Republicans in Philadelphia — We Must Deliver! — Videos —

Image result for president trump a in philadelphiaImage result for president trump addresses republicans in philadelphia t

 “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

~President Donald J. Trump Inauguration Speech

72 percent agreed

17 percent disagreed

11 percent were not sure

Rasmussen Reports

 

Jim Nabors – Impossible Dream

WATCH: President Trump Departs On Air Force One For The First Time

LIVE: Trump Addresses Congressional Republicans in Philadelphia

What do people think of President Trump so far?

Limbaugh Explains Trump’s Historically Low Approval Rating: ‘FAKE NEWS, FAKE POLLS’

Honda – The Impossible Dream (TV Commercial)

President Trump’s job approval rating hits 59 percent

Voters also agree with key statements in his inaugural address

President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, before signing an executive order on the Keystone XL pipeline. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
– The Washington Times – Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Things appear very promising for the new White House: A new Rasmussen Reports survey released Thursday says President Trump has a 59 percent job approval rating among likely voters.

In separate findings, the pollster also isolated key passages in Mr. Trump’s inaugural speech and asked respondents if they agreed with the ideas he presented.

Voters like Mr. Trump’s populist standing: 72 percent agreed with his statement that “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.” 17 percent disagreed, 11 percent were not sure.

A majority of the respondents — 52 percent — also agreed with this statement: “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first.” Thirty-seven percent disagreed, 11 percent were undecided.

In addition, Rasmussen also reveals that 54 percent of voters favor a proposal that would cut spending up to 10 percent and cut staffing up to 20 percent. in some federal government agencies. Twenty-seven percent oppose such cuts, while 19 percent are undecided.

The results are based on tracking polls of 1,500 likely U.S. voters conducted Sunday through Wednesday.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/25/president-trumps-approval-rating-rises-57-percent/

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-one percent (41%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 44% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 31% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of +13 (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).

In the latest of this week’s executive orders, Trump has begun a crackdown on illegal immigration, adding thousands of Border Patrol agents, starting the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and cutting federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce immigration law. He also has imposed a temporary ban on refugees from and visas for citizens of several Middle Eastern countries until the U.S. government can do a better job screening out possible terrorists.

Stopping illegal immigration has long been voters’ number one immigration priority.

Most also support Trump’s plan for temporarily restricting immigration from countries with a history of terrorism and for testing to screen out newcomers who don’t share America’s values.

The new president has pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership mega-trade deal and promises to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. We’ll tell what voters think at 10:30 a.m. EST.

Trump this week also told business leaders that he hopes to cut regulations on corporations by 75% or more because current regulations “make it impossible to get anything built.” Few voters defend the current level of government regulation.

 

Most voters support the president’s plan for major spending and staffing cuts in the federal government, but many still worry he won’t shrink the government enough.

Many of Trump’s Cabinet nominees still have not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate, due largely to delaying efforts by Democrats. Voters are closely divided over the impact of these delays.

A sizable number of voters believe last Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington made its point and will champion women’s rights worldwide.

 

Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the president since they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask.

To get a sense of longer-term job approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology).

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_jan26

 

 Story 2: United Kingdom Prime  Minister Theresa May Addresses Republicans — Videos —

 

Image result for prime minister may addresses republican in philadelphia January 26, 2017 Image result for prime minister may addresses republican in philadelphia January 26, 2017

Nigel Farage praises Prime Minister May’s speech

Watch British Prime Minister Theresa May address GOP retreat

Theresa May UK Prime Minister Speech at Congressional Institute Philadelphia

Theresa May’s speech to Republicans in Philadelphia: full text

I defy any person to travel to this great country at any time and not to be inspired by its promise and its example.  For more than two centuries, the very idea of America – drawn from history and given written form in a small hall not far from here – has lit up the world.

That idea – that all are created equal and that all are born free – has never been surpassed in the long history of political thought.  And it is here – on the streets and in the halls of this great city of Philadelphia – that the founding fathers first set it down, that the textbook of freedom was written, and that this great nation that grew “from sea to shining sea” was born.

Since that day, it has been America’s destiny to bear the leadership of the free world and to carry that heavy responsibility on its shoulders. But my country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, has been proud to share that burden and to walk alongside you at every stage.

For the past century, Britain and America – and the unique and special relationship that exists between us – have taken the idea conceived by those “fifty-six rank-and-file, ordinary citizens”, as President Reagan called them, forward. And because we have done so, time and again it is the relationship between us that has defined the modern world.

One hundred years ago this April, it was your intervention in the First World War that helped Britain, France, our friends in the Commonwealth and other allies to maintain freedom in Europe.  A little more than seventy-five years ago, you responded to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour by joining Britain in the Second World War and defeating fascism not just in the Pacific but in Africa and Europe too.

And later, in the aftermath of these wars, our two countries led the West through the Cold War, confronting communism and ultimately defeating it not just through military might, but by winning the war of ideas. And by proving that open, liberal, democratic societies will always defeat those that are closed, coercive and cruel.

But the leadership provided by our two countries through the Special Relationship has done more than win wars and overcome adversity. It made the modern world.

The institutions upon which that world relies were so often conceived or inspired by our two nations working together.
The United Nations – in need of reform, but vital still – has its foundations in the Special Relationship, from the original Declaration of St James’ Palace to the Declaration by United Nations, signed in Washington, and drafted themselves by Winston Churchill and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund, born in the post-war world at Bretton Woods, were conceived by our two nations working together.

And NATO – the cornerstone of the West’s defence – was established on the bonds of trust and mutual interests that exist between us.  Some of these organisations are in need of reform and renewal to make them relevant to our needs today. But we should be proud of the role our two nations – working in partnership – played in bringing them into being, and in bringing peace and prosperity to billions of people as a result.

Because it is through our actions over many years, working together to defeat evil or to open up the world, that we have been able to fulfil the promise of those who first spoke of the special nature of the relationship between us. The promise of freedom, liberty and the rights of man.

“We must never cease”, Churchill said, “to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law, find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence”.

So it is my honour and my privilege to stand before you today in this great city of Philadelphia to proclaim them again, to join hands as we pick up that mantle of leadership once more, to renew our Special Relationship and to recommit ourselves to the responsibility of leadership in the modern world.

And it is my honour and privilege to do so at this time, as dawn breaks on a new era of American renewal.  For I speak to you not just as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but as a fellow Conservative who believes in the same principles that underpin the agenda of your Party. The value of liberty. The dignity of work. The principles of nationhood, family, economic prudence, patriotism – and putting power in the hands of the people.

Principles instilled in me from a young age. Principles that my parents taught me in the vicarage in Southern England in which I was raised.  I know that it is these principles that you have put at the heart of your plan for government.

And your victory in these elections gives you the opportunity to put them at the heart of this new era of American renewal too.

President Trump’s victory – achieved in defiance of all the pundits and the polls – and rooted not in the corridors of Washington, but in the hopes and aspirations of working men and women across this land. Your Party’s victory in both the Congress and the Senate where you swept all before you, secured with great effort, and achieved with an important message of national renewal.

And because of this – because of what you have done together, because of that great victory you have won – America can be stronger, greater, and more confident in the years ahead.

And a newly emboldened, confident America is good for the world.  An America that is strong and prosperous at home is a nation that can lead abroad. But you cannot – and should not – do so alone. You have said that it is time for others to step up. And I agree.

Sovereign countries cannot outsource their security and prosperity to America. And they should not undermine the alliances that keep us strong by failing to step up and play their part.

This is something Britain has always understood. It is why Britain is the only country in the G20 – other than yours – to meet its commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence, and to invest 20% of that in upgrading equipment. It is why Britain is the only country in the G20 to spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas development. It is why my first act as Prime Minister last year was to lead the debate in Parliament that ensured the renewal of Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent. And it is why the Government I lead will increase spending on defence in every year of this Parliament.

It is why Britain is a leading member – alongside the United States – of the coalition working successfully to defeat Daesh; why we have agreed to send 800 troops to Estonia and Poland as part of NATO’s forward presence in eastern Europe; why we are increasing our troop contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support mission that defends the Afghan government from terrorism; and it is why we are reinforcing our commitment to peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, South Sudan and Somalia.

And it is why Britain is leading the way in pioneering international efforts to crack down on modern slavery – one of the great scourges of our world – wherever it is found. I hope you will join us in that cause – and I commend Senator Corker in particular for his work in this field. It is good to see him here today.

As Americans know, the United Kingdom is by instinct and history a great, global nation that recognises its responsibilities to the world.

And as we end our membership of the European Union – as the British people voted with determination and quiet resolve to do last year – we have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident, sovereign and Global Britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.

We will build a new partnership with our friends in Europe. We are not turning our back on them, or on the interests and the values that we share. It remains overwhelmingly in our interests – and in those of the wider world – that the EU should succeed. And for as long as we remain members we will continue to play our full part, just as we will continue to cooperate on security, foreign policy and trade once we have left.

But we have chosen a different future for our country.  A future that sees us restore our parliamentary sovereignty and national self-determination, and to become even more global and internationalist in action and in spirit.

A future that sees us take back control of the things that matter to us – things like our national borders and immigration policy, and the way we decide and interpret our own laws – so that we are able to shape a better, more prosperous future for the working men and women of Britain.  A future that sees us step up with confidence to a new, even more internationalist role, where we meet our responsibilities to our friends and allies, champion the international cooperation and partnerships that project our values around the world, and continue to act as one of the strongest and most forceful advocates for business, free markets and free trade anywhere around the globe.

This is a vision of a future that my country can unite around – and that I hope your country, as our closest friend and ally, can welcome and support.

So as we rediscover our confidence together – as you renew your nation just as we renew ours – we have the opportunity – indeed the responsibility – to renew the Special Relationship for this new age. We have the opportunity to lead, together, again.

Because the world is passing through a period of change – and in response to that change we can either be passive bystanders, or we can take the opportunity once more to lead. And to lead together.  I believe it is in our national interest to do so. Because the world is increasingly marked by instability and threats that threaten to undermine our way of life and the very things that we hold dear.

The end of the Cold War did not give rise to a New World Order. It did not herald the End of History. It did not lead to a new age of peace, prosperity and predictability in world affairs.

For some – the citizens of Central and Eastern Europe in particular – it brought new freedom.  But across the world, ancient ethnic, religious and national rivalries – rivalries that had been frozen through the decades of the Cold War – returned. New enemies of the West and our values – in particular in the form of Radical Islamists – have emerged.  And countries with little tradition of democracy, liberty and human rights – notably China and Russia – have grown more assertive in world affairs.

The rise of the Asian economies – China yes, but democratic allies like India too – is hugely welcome. Billions are being lifted out of poverty and new markets for our industries are opening up.  But these events – coming as they have at the same time as the financial crisis and its fall out, as well as a loss of confidence in the West following 9/11, the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sporadic terrorist attacks – have led many to fear that, in this century, we will experience the eclipse of the West.

But there is nothing inevitable about that. Other countries may grow stronger. Big, populous countries may grow richer. And as they do so, they may start to embrace more fully our values of democracy and liberty.

But even if they do not, our interests will remain. Our values will endure. And the need to defend them and project them will be as important as ever.  So we – our two countries together – have a joint responsibility to lead. Because when others step up as we step back, it is bad for America, for Britain and the world.

It is in our interests – those of Britain and America together – to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests and the very ideas in which we believe.  This cannot mean a return to the failed policies of the past. The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene. We must be strong, smart and hard-headed. And we must demonstrate the resolve necessary to stand up for our interests.

And whether it is the security of Israel in the Middle East or Estonia in the Baltic states, we must always stand up for our friends and allies in democratic countries that find themselves in tough neighbourhoods too.

We each have different political traditions. We will sometimes pursue different domestic policies. And there may be occasions on which we disagree. But the common values and interests that bring us together are hugely powerful.

And – as your foremost friend and ally – we support many of the priorities your government has laid out for America’s engagement with the world.  It is why I join you in your determination to take on and defeat Daesh and the ideology of Islamic extremism that inspires them and many others terrorist groups in the world today. It is in both of our national interests to do so. This will require us to use the intelligence provided by the finest security agencies in the world. And it will require the use of military might.

But it also demands a wider effort. Because one of the lessons of fighting terrorism in the last 15 years or so is yes, killing terrorists can save innocent lives. But until we kill the idea that drives them, the ideology, we will always have to live with this threat.

And as they are defeated on the ground, the terrorists are exploiting the internet and social media to spread this ideology that is preying on vulnerable citizens in our own countries, inspiring them to commit acts of terror in our own cities.

That is why the UK has led the world in developing a strategy for preventing violent extremism, and why the British and American governments are working together to take on and defeat the ideology of Islamist Extremism. I look forward to working with the President and his Administration to step up our efforts still further in order to defeat this evil ideology.

But of course, we should always be careful to distinguish between this extreme and hateful ideology, and the peaceful religion of Islam and the hundreds of millions of its adherents – including millions of our own citizens and those further afield who are so often the first victims of this ideology’s terror. And nor is it enough merely to focus on violent extremism. We need to address the whole spectrum of extremism, starting with the bigotry and hatred that can so often turn to violence.

Yet ultimately to defeat Daesh, we must employ all of the diplomatic means at our disposal. That means working internationally to secure a political solution in Syria and challenging the alliance between the Syrian regime and its backers in Tehran.

When it comes to Russia, as so often it is wise to turn to the example of President Reagan who – during negotiations with his opposite number Mikhail Gorbachev – used to abide by the adage “trust but verify”. With President Putin, my advice is to “engage but beware”.

There is nothing inevitable about conflict between Russia and the West. And nothing unavoidable about retreating to the days of the Cold War. But we should engage with Russia from a position of strength. And we should build the relationships, systems and processes that make cooperation more likely than conflict – and that, particularly after the illegal annexation of Crimea, give assurance to Russia’s neighbouring states that their security is not in question. We should not jeopardise the freedoms that President Reagan and Mrs Thatcher brought to Eastern Europe by accepting President Putin’s claim that it is now in his sphere of influence.

And progress on this issue would also help to secure another of this nation’s priorities – to reduce Iran’s malign influence in the Middle East.
This is a priority for the UK too as we support our allies in the Gulf States to push back against Iran’s aggressive efforts to build an arc of influence from Tehran through to the Mediterranean.

The nuclear deal with Iran was controversial. But it has neutralised the possibility of the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons for more than a decade. It has seen Iran remove 13,000 centrifuges together with associated infrastructure and eliminate its stock of 20% enriched uranium. That was vitally important for regional security. But the agreement must now be very carefully and rigorously policed – and any breaches should be dealt with firmly and immediately.

To deal with the threats of the modern world, we need to rebuild confidence in the institutions upon which we all rely.  In part that means multinational institutions. Because we know that so many of the threats we face today – global terrorism, climate change, and unprecedented mass movements of people – do not respect national borders. So we must turn towards those multinational institutions like the UN and NATO that encourage international cooperation and partnership.

But those multinational institutions need to work for the countries that formed them, and to serve the needs and interests of the people of those nations. They have no democratic mandate of their own. So I share your reform agenda and believe that, by working together, we can make those institutions more relevant and purposeful than they are today.

I call on others, therefore, to join us in that effort and to ensure they step up and contribute as they should. That is why I have encouraged Antonio Guterres, the new UN Secretary General, to pursue an ambitious reform programme, focusing the United Nations on its core functions of peacekeeping, conflict prevention and resolution. And it is why I have already raised with my fellow European leaders the need to deliver on their commitments to spend 2pc of their GDP on defence – and 20pc of their defence budgets on equipment.

It is also why I have already raised with Jens Stoltenberg – the Secretary General of NATO – the need to make sure the Alliance is as equipped to fight terrorism and cyber warfare, as it is to fight more conventional forms of war.

America’s leadership role in NATO – supported by Britain – must be the central element around which the Alliance is built. But alongside this continued commitment, I am also clear that EU nations must similarly step up to ensure this institution that provides the cornerstone of the West’s defence continues to be as effective as it can be.

Yet the most important institution is – and should always be – the nation state. Strong nations form strong institutions. And they form the basis of the international partnerships and cooperation that bring stability to our world.

Nations, accountable to their populations – “deriving” as the Declaration of Independence puts it “their just powers from the consent of the governed” – can choose to join international organisations, or not. They can choose to cooperate with others, or not. Choose to trade with others, or not.

Which is why if the countries of the European Union wish to integrate further, my view is that they should be free to do so. Because that is what they choose.

But Britain – as a sovereign nation with the same values but a different political and cultural history – has chosen to take a different path.  Because our history and culture is profoundly internationalist.

We are a European country – and proud of our shared European heritage – but we are also a country that has always looked beyond Europe to the wider world. We have ties of family, kinship and history to countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and countries across Africa, the Pacific and Caribbean.

And of course, we have ties of kinship, language and culture to these United States too. As Churchill put it, we “speak the same language, kneel at the same altars and, to a very large extent, pursue the same ideals”.

And, today, increasingly we have strong economic, commercial, defence and political relationships as well.

So I am delighted that the new Administration has made a trade agreement between our countries one of its earliest priorities. A new trade deal between Britain and America must work for both sides and serve both of our national interests. It must help to grow our respective economies and to provide the high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future for working people across America and across the UK.

And it must work for those who have too often felt left behind by the forces of globalisation. People, often those on modest incomes living in relatively rich countries like our own, who feel that the global system of free markets and free trade is simply not working for them in its current form.

Such a deal – allied to the reforms we are making to our own economy to ensure wealth and opportunity is spread across our land – can demonstrate to those who feel locked out and left behind that free markets, free economies and free trade can deliver the brighter future they need. And it can maintain – indeed it can build – support for the rules-based international system on which the stability of our world continues to rely.

The UK is already America’s fifth largest export destination, while your markets account for almost a fifth of global exports from our shores. Exports to the UK from this State of Pennsylvania alone account for more than $2 billion a year. The UK is the largest market in the EU – and the third largest market in the world – for exporters here.

America is the largest single destination for UK outward investment and the single largest investor in the UK. And your companies are investing or expanding in the UK at a rate of more than ten projects a week.

British companies employ people in every US state from Texas to Vermont. And the UK-US Defence relationship is the broadest, deepest and most advanced of any two countries, sharing military hardware and expertise. And of course, we have recently invested in the new F-35 strike aircraft for our new aircraft carriers that will secure our naval presence – and increase our ability to project our power around the world – for years to come.

Because of these strong economic and commercial links – and our shared history and the strength of our relationship – I look forward to pursuing talks with the new Administration about a new UK/US Free Trade Agreement in the coming months. It will take detailed work, but we welcome your openness to those discussions and hope we can make progress so that the new, Global Britain that emerges after Brexit is even better equipped to take its place confidently in the world.

Such an agreement would see us taking that next step in the special relationship that exists between us. Cementing and affirming one of the greatest forces for progress this world has ever known.

Seventy years ago in 1946, Churchill proposed a new phase in this relationship – to win a Cold War that many had not even realised had started. He described how an iron curtain had fallen from the Baltic to the Adriatic, covering all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe: Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Sofia and Bucharest.

Today those great cities – homes of great culture and heritage – live in freedom and peace. And they do so because of the leadership of Britain and America, and of Mrs Thatcher and President Reagan.

They do so – ultimately – because our ideas will always prevail. And they do so because, when the world demands leadership, it is this alliance of values and interests – this Special Relationship between two countries – that, to borrow the words of another great American statesman, enters the arena, with our faces marred by dust and sweat and blood, to strive valiantly and know the triumph of high achievement.

As we renew the promise of our nations to make them stronger at home – in the words of President Reagan as the “sleeping giant stirs” – so let us renew the relationship that can lead the world towards the promise of freedom and prosperity marked out in parchment by those ordinary citizens 240 years ago.

So that we may not be counted with the “cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat”, but with those who “strive to do the deeds” that will lead us to a better world.  That better future is within reach. Together, we can build it.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/theresa-mays-speech-republicans-philadelphia-full-text/

 

Story 3: President Trump Signs Two Executive Orders On Immigration — What is Next? — Cutting The $650 Billion in Federal Funding To All Sanctuary Jurisdictions (Cities, Counties and States) — Long Overdue! –Videos

Image result for sanctuary cities name and shame Image result for sanctuary cities list of

President Trump signs order to build U.S.-Mexico border wall

What is a Sanctuary City? It’s Not What They’ve Been Telling You

President Trump signs order to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding

US ‘sanctuary’ cities face funding cuts if migrant-tolerant policies continue

Published on Jan 26, 2017

Donald Trump’s new Mexican border policy looks something like this; hire 5000 new guards, close the frontier, and suffocate the cities offering sanctuary status to illegal migrants.

Sanctuary facilities began to be made available in several churches in the 1980s for
migrants fleeing central America’s savage conflicts who failed to obtain asylum. The large town of Cambridge in Massachusetts is one of these sanctuary cities. Local officials insist it will remain so. Cambridge to remain sanct…
READ MORE : http://www.euronews.com/2017/01/26/us…

Officials In Sanctuary Cities Blast President’s Trump’s Plan To Cut Federal Funds For Special Project

GOOD NEWS: Trump Can Immediately Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities & Illegal Immigration.

Jim Nabors’ Last “Back Home Again in Indiana” 2014

Texas governor vows sanctuary cities will not be tolerated

ONE LAST TIME-JIM NABORS

Trump eviscerates Obama’s immigration policy in two executive orders

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, January 25, 2017

With a couple of strokes of his pen, President Trump wiped out almost all of President Obama’s immigration policies on Wednesday, laying the groundwork for his signature wall along the Mexican border, unleashing immigration agents to enforce the law and punishing “sanctuary cities” that try to defy federal law and thwart his deportation surge.

Left untouched, for now, is Mr. Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty that is shielding more than 750,000 Dreamers.

But most of Mr. Obama’s other policies, including his “priorities” list that protected almost all illegal immigrants from deportation, are now gone. In their place is a series of directives that would free border agents to enforce long-forgotten but punitive parts of the law beyond the border; encourage Mexico to take a more active role in discouraging illegal migration; and close the loopholes that illegal immigrants have learned to exploit to gain a foothold in the U.S.

“From here on out, I’m asking all of you to enforce the laws of the United States of America — they will be enforced, and enforced strongly,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday during a visit to the Homeland Security Department’s headquarters. “We do not need new laws. We will work within the existing system and framework.”

He called for adding 5,000 more U.S. Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to the payroll — his promised “deportation force” — and released his own set of priorities that put many more illegal immigrants in danger of being kicked out and give plenty of discretion to agents to decide how to handle the cases.

He also proposed a weekly name-and-shame list of sanctuary cities and the criminals they are releasing, saying communities deserve to see who is being let back onto their streets because their local leaders refuse to cooperate with immigration agents.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/25/trump-eviscerates-obamas-immigration-policy/

Sanctuary city

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Cities of Refuge.

In the United States and Canada, a sanctuary city is a city that has adopted a policy of protecting illegal immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws in the country in which they are now living illegally. Such a policy can be set out expressly in a law (de jure) or observed only in practice (de facto). The term applies generally to cities that do not use municipal funds or resources to enforce national immigration laws, and usually forbid police or municipal employees to inquire about a person’s immigration status. The designation has no precise legal meaning.[1]

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a “City of Sanctuary” is a place that is committed to welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and others who are seeking safety. The movement is spread across over 80 towns, cities and local areas in England, Wales, Ireland including Northern Ireland and the Republic, and Scotland. The emphasis is on building bridges of connection and understanding, which is done through awareness raising, befriending schemes and forming cultural connections in the arts, sport, health, education, faith groups and other sectors of society.[2] Glasgow, Sheffield and Swansea are noted Cities of Sanctuary.[3][4]

Terminology

The concept of a sanctuary city goes back thousands of years. It has been associated with Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Baha’i, Sikhism, and Hinduism.[5] In Western Civilization, sanctuary cities can be traced back to the Old Testament. The Book of Numbers names six cities of refuge in which the perpetrators of manslaughter could claim the right of asylum. Outside of these cities, blood vengeance against such perpetrators was allowed by law.[6] In 392 CE, Christian Roman emperor Theodosius I set up sanctuaries under church control. In 600 CE in medieval England, churches were given a general right of sanctuary, and some cities were set up as sanctuaries by Royal charter. The general right of sanctuary for churches in England was abolished in 1621 CE.[5]

In the United States

Local governments in certain cities in the United States began designating themselves as sanctuary cities during the 1980s.[7][8] Some have questioned the accuracy of the term “sanctuary city” as used in the USA.[9] The policy was first initiated in 1979 in Los Angeles, to prevent police from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees. The internal policy, “Special Order 40“, states: “Officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person. Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of title 8, section 1325 of the United States Immigration code (Illegal Entry).”[10] These cities have adopted “sanctuary” ordinances banning city employees and police officers from asking people about their immigration status.[11][12]

Electoral politics

This issue entered presidential politics in the race for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008. Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo ran on an anti-illegal immigration platform and specifically attacked sanctuary cities. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney accused former mayor Rudy Giuliani of running New York City as a sanctuary city.[13] Giuliani’s campaign responded saying that Romney ran a sanctuary Governor’s mansion, and that New York City is not a “haven” for undocumented immigrants.[13]

After the murder of a restaurant waitress in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in late June 2009 that was suspected to be perpetrated by three undocumented immigrants (one of whom was not deported despite being arrested for two prior DUI incidents), then mayoral candidate Richard J. Berry decried the city’s sanctuary city policy. He also vowed, if elected, to repeal the policy that has been continued by the incumbent mayor, Martin Chávez.[14]

Following the shooting death of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco (a sanctuary city) by an undocumented immigrant, Hillary Clinton told CNN on 8 July 2015: “The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported. I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”[15] The following day, her campaign stated: “Hillary Clinton believes that sanctuary cities can help further public safety, and she has defended those policies going back years.”[16]

Political action

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 addressed the relationship between the federal government and local governments. Minor crimes, such as shoplifting, became grounds for possible deportation.[17] Additionally, the legislation outlawed cities’ bans against municipal workers’ reporting persons’ immigration status to federal authorities.[18]

Section 287(g) makes it possible for state and local law enforcement personnel to enter into agreements with the federal government to be trained in immigration enforcement and, subsequent to such training, to enforce immigration law. However, it provides no general power for immigration enforcement by state and local authorities.[19] This provision was implemented by local and state authorities in five states, California, Arizona, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina by the end of 2006.[20] On June 16, 2007 the United States House of Representatives passed an amendment to a United States Department of Homeland Security spending bill that would withhold federal emergency services funds from sanctuary cities. Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) was the sponsor of this amendment. 50 Democrats joined Republicans to support the amendment. The amendment would have to pass the United States Senate to become effective.[21]

In 2007, Republican representatives introduced legislation targeting sanctuary cities. Reps. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., Thelma Drake, R-Va., Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Tom Tancredo introduced the bill. The legislation would make undocumented immigrant status a felony, instead of a civil offense. Also, the bill targets sanctuary cities by withholding up to 50 percent of Department of Homeland Security funds from the cities.[22]

On September 5, 2007, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a House committee that he certainly wouldn’t tolerate interference by sanctuary cities that would block his “Basic Pilot Program” that requires employers to validate the legal status of their workers. “We’re exploring our legal options. I intend to take as vigorous legal action as the law allows to prevent that from happening, prevent that kind of interference.”[23][24]On May 5, 2009, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed a bill into law that prohibited sanctuary city policies in the state of Georgia.[25]

On June 5, 2009, the Tennessee state House passed a bill banning the implementation of sanctuary city policies within the state of Tennessee.[26]

In June 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry proposed legislation to ban sanctuary cities, SB 9, to the Special Session agenda for the State Legislature.[27] Public hearings on the sanctuary cities legislation were held before the Texas Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee on June 13, 2011.[28]

On January 25, 2017 President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Secretary of Homeland Security and Attorney General to defund sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration law.[29]He also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to begin issuing weekly public reports that include “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”[29]

Effects

According to one study by Loren Collingwood, assistant professor of political science at University of California at Riverside, sanctuary policy itself has no statistically meaningful effect on crime.[30]

According to a study by Tom K. Wong, associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, and published by the Center for American Progress, “Crime is statistically significantly lower in sanctuary counties compared to nonsanctuary counties. Moreover, economies are stronger in sanctuary counties—from higher median household income, less poverty, and less reliance on public assistance to higher labor force participation, higher employment-to-population ratios, and lower unemployment.”[31] The study evaluated sanctuary and non-sanctuary cities “while controlling for differences in population, the foreign-born percentage of the population, and the percentage of the population that is Latino”.[31]

Laws by city

Arizona[edit]

  • Following the passage of SB 1070, a state law, few if any cities in Arizona are “sanctuary cities.” A provision of SB 1070 requires local authorities to “contact federal immigration authorities if they develop reasonable suspicion that a person they’ve detained or arrested is in the country illegally.”[32] The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates restrictive immigration policies, labels only one city in the state, South Tucson, a “sanctuary city”; the label is because South Tucson does not honor ICE detainers “unless ICE pays for cost of detention.”[32]

California

Colorado

Connecticut

  • In 2013, Connecticut passed a law that gives local law enforcement officers discretion to carry out immigration detainer requests, though only for suspected felons.[36]
  • New Haven, Connecticut became one of the first sanctuary cities in the US in 2007
  • Hartford, Connecticut became a sanctuary city in 2008[37]

Illinois

  • Chicago became a “de jure” sanctuary city in 2012 when Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council passed the WELCOMING CITY ORDINANCE. [38][39] The ordinance protects residents’ rights to access city services regardless of immigration status. The ordinance states that Chicago police officers cannot arrest individuals on the basis of immigration status alone.[40] Chicago came under fire during the 2016 elections, prompting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reaffirm Chicago as a sanctuary city. [41][42]
  • Urbana, Illinois [43]

Louisiana

Maine

  • In 2011, Maine governor Paul LePage rescinded a 2004 executive order that prohibited state officials from inquiring about immigration status of individual seeking public assistance stating “it is the intent of this administration to promote rather than hinder the enforcement of federal immigration law”. In 2015 Governor LePage accused the city of Portland, Maine of being a sanctuary city. Portland city officials, however, did not accept that characterization. Portland cooperates with federal authorities although “city employees are prohibited from asking about the immigration status of people seeking city services unless compelled by a court or law”[46]

Maryland

  • In 2008, Baltimore and Takoma Park are sometimes identified as sanctuary cities.[47] However, “[m]ost local governments in Maryland — including Baltimore — still share information with the federal government.”[48] In 2016, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that she did not consider Baltimore to be a “sanctuary city.”[49]

Massachusetts

  • Boston has an ordinance, enacted in 2014, that bars the Boston Police Department “from detaining anyone based on their immigration status unless they have a criminal warrant.”[50] Cambridge, Chelsea, Somerville, Orleans, Northampton, and Springfield have similar legislation.[50] In August 2016, Boston Police Commissioner, William B. Evans re-issued a memo stating ““all prisoners who are subject to ICE Detainers must receive equal access to bail commissioners, which includes notifying said prisoner of his or her right to seek bail.” Bail commissioners are informed of the person’s status on an ICE detainer list and may set bail accordingly.[51]

Michigan

  • Detroit and Ann Arbor are sometimes referred to as “sanctuary cities” because they “have anti-profiling ordinances that generally prohibit local police from asking about the immigration status of people who are not suspected of any crime.”[52] Unlike San Francisco’s ordinance, however, the Detroit and Ann Arbor policies do not bar local authorities from cooperating and assisting ICE and Customs and Border Protection, and both cities frequently do so.[52]

Minnesota

  • Minneapolis has an ordinance, adopted in 2003,[53] that directs local law enforcement officers “not to ‘take any law enforcement action’ for the sole purpose of finding undocumented immigrants, or ask an individual about his or her immigration status.”[54] The Minneapolis ordinance does not bar cooperation with federal authorities: “The city works cooperatively with the Homeland Security, as it does with all state and federal agencies, but the city does not operate its programs for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws. The Homeland Security has the legal authority to enforce immigration laws in the United States, in Minnesota and in the city.”[53]

New York

New Jersey

Oregon

  • State law passed in 1987: “Oregon Revised Statute 181.850, which prohibits law enforcement officers at the state, county or municipal level from enforcing federal immigration laws that target people based on their race or ethnic origin, when those individuals are not suspected of any criminal activities.[59][60]
  • Beaverton city council passed a resolution in January 2017 stating, in part, “The City of Beaverton is committed to living its values as a welcoming city for all individuals …regardless of a person’s … immigration status” and that they would abide by Oregon state law of not enforcing federal immigration laws.[61]
  • Corvallis[62]
  • Portland[63]

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Pittsburgh

Texas

  • Austin[64]
  • Houston – Harris County Sheriff vows to ignore Federal laws, ending his county’s participation in an ICE program known as 287(g)[65]

Washington

In Canada

In Canada, Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, have declared themselves sanctuary cities since 2014.[67][68]

In the United Kingdom and Ireland

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a “City of Sanctuary” or “Places of Sanctuary”, is a city that provides services, such as housing, education, and cultural integration, to asylum seekers (i.e. persons fleeing one country and seeking protection in another).[2] The movement began in Sheffield in the north of England in 2005. It was motivated by a national policy adopted in 1999 to disperse asylum seekers to different towns and cities in the UK. In 2009, the city council of Sheffield drew up a manifesto outlining key areas of concern and 100 supporting organizations signed on.[69]

A “City of Sanctuary” is not necessarily a formal governmental designation. The organization “City of Sanctuary” encourages local grass roots groups throughout the UK and Ireland to build a culture of hospitality towards asylum seekers.[70]

Glasgow is a noted City of Sanctuary in Scotland. In 2000 the city council accepted their first asylum seekers relocated by the Home Office. The Home Office provided funding to support asylum seekers but would also forcibly deport them (“removal siezures”) if it was determined they could not stay in the UK. As of 2010 Glasgow had accepted 22,000 asylum seekers from 75 different nations. In 2007 local residents upset by the human impact of removal seizures, organized watches to warn asylum seekers when Home Office vans were in the neighborhood. They also organized protests and vigils which led to the ending of the removal seizures.[3][4]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary_city

Center for Immigration Studies

Sanctuary Cities Continue to Obstruct Enforcement, Threaten Public Safety

By Jessica Vaughan
December 14, 2016

Sanctuary jurisdictions remain a significant public safety problem throughout the country. About 300 jurisdictions have been identified by ICE as having a policy that is non-cooperative and obstructs immigration enforcement (as of September 2015). The number of cities has remained relatively unchanged since our last update in August 2016, as some new sanctuary jurisdictions have been added and few jurisdictions have reversed their sanctuary policies.

Over the 19-month period from January 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, more than 17,000 detainers were rejected by these jurisdictions. Of these, about 11,800 detainers, or 68 percent, were issued for individuals with a prior criminal history.

According to ICE statistics, since the Obama administration implemented the new Priority Enforcement Program in July 2015 restricting ICE use of detainers, the number of rejected detainers has declined. However, the number of detainers issued by ICE also has declined in 2016, so it is not clear if the new policies are a factor. It is apparent that most of the sanctuary policies remain in place, raising concerns that the Priority Enforcement Program has failed as a response to the sanctuary problem, and has simply resulted in fewer criminal aliens being deported.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General recently found that some of the sanctuary jurisdictions appear to be violating federal law, and may face debarment from certain federal funding or other consequences.

The sanctuary jurisdictions are listed below. These cities, counties, and states have laws, ordinances, regulations, resolutions, policies, or other practices that obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE — either by refusing to or prohibiting agencies from complying with ICE detainers, imposing unreasonable conditions on detainer acceptance, denying ICE access to interview incarcerated aliens, or otherwise impeding communication or information exchanges between their personnel and federal immigration officers.

A detainer is the primary tool used by ICE to gain custody of criminal aliens for deportation. It is a notice to another law enforcement agency that ICE intends to assume custody of an alien and includes information on the alien’s previous criminal history, immigration violations, and potential threat to public safety or security.

The Center’s last map update reflected listings in an ICE report that was originally published by the Texas Tribune, with a few additions and changes resulting from the Center’s research.

States
California, Connecticut, New Mexico, Colorado

Cities and Counties

Arizona
South Tucson

California (in addition to all counties)
Alameda County
Berkley
Contra Costa County
Los Angeles County
Los Angeles
Monterey County
Napa County
Orange County
Riverside County
Sacramento County
San Bernardino County
San Diego County
San Francisco County
San Mateo County
Santa Ana (New)
Santa Clara County
Santa Cruz County
Sonoma County

Colorado (in addition to all counties)
Arapahoe County
Aurora Detention Center
Boulder County
Denver
Denver County
Fort Collins
Garfield County
Glenwood Springs
Grand County
Jefferson County
Larimer County
Mesa County
Pitkin County
Pueblo County
Routt County
San Miguel County

Connecticut (in addition to state LEAs)
Bridgeport
East Haven
Fairfield County
Hamden
Hartford County
Hartford
Manchester
Meriden
New Haven
New Haven County
New London County
Stamford
Stratford
Tolland County

Florida
Broward County
Hernando County
Hillsborough County
Miami-Dade County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County

Georgia
Clayton County

Illinois
Champaign County
Chicago
Cook County
Des Plaines
Hanover Park
Hoffman Estates
Palatine

Iowa
Allamakee County
Benton County
Cass County
Clinton County
Delaware County
Dubuque County
Franklin County
Freemont County
Greene County
Ida County
Iowa County
Jefferson County
Johnson County
Linn County
Marion County
Monona County
Montgomery County
Polk County
Pottawattamie County
Sioux County
Story County
Wapello County
Winneshiek County

Kansas
Butler County
Finney County
Harvey County
Johnson County
Sedgwick County
Shawnee County

Kentucky
Campbell County
Franklin County
Scott County
Woodford County

Louisiana
New Orleans
Orleans Parish

Maine
Portland

Maryland
Baltimore City
Montgomery County
Prince George’s County

Massachusetts
Amherst
Boston
Cambridge
Hampden County
Holyoke
Lawrence
Northhampton
Somerville
Springfield

Minnesota
Bloomington
Brooklyn Park
Hennepin County
Ramsey County

Nebraska
Douglas County
Hall County
Lancaster County
Sarpy County

Nevada
Clark County
Washoe County

New Jersey
Linden
Middlesex County
Newark
Ocean County
Plainfield
Union County

New Mexico (in addition to all counties)
Bernalillo County
Dona Ana County
Luna County
Otero County
Rio Arriba County
San Miguel County
Santa Fe County
Taos County

New York
Franklin County
Nassau County
New York City
Onondaga County
Rensselaer County
Saratoga County
St. Lawrence County
Wayne County

North Dakota
North Dakota State Penitentiary
South West Multiple County Corrections Center

Oregon
Baker County
Clackamas County
Clatsop, Oregon
Coos County
Crook County
Curry County
Deschutes County
Douglas County
Gilliam County
Grant County
Hood River County
Jackson County
Jefferson County
Josephine County
Lincoln County
Linn County
Malheur County
Marion County
Multnomah County
Oregon State Correctional Institution
Polk County
Sherman County
Springfield Police Department
Tillamook County
Umatilla County
Union County
Wallowa County
Wasco County
Washington County
Wheeler County
Yamhill County

Pennsylvania
Abington
Bedford County (New)
Bradford County (New)
Bucks County (New)
Butler County (New)
Chester County
Clarion County (New)
Delaware County
Erie County (New)
Lebanon County (New)
Lehigh County
Lycoming County (New)
Montgomery County
Montour County (New)
Perry County (New)
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pike County (New)
Westmoreland County (New)

Rhode Island
Rhode Island Department of Corrections

Texas
Dallas County
Travis County

Vermont
Winooski (New)
Montpelier (New)

Virginia
Arlington
Chesterfield County

Washington
Benton County
Chelan County
Clallam County
Clark County
Cowlitz County
Fife City
Franklin County
Jefferson County
Issaquah
Kent
King County
Kitsap County
Lynnwood City
Marysville
Pierce County
Puyallup
Skagit County
Snohomish County
South Correctional Entity (SCORE) Jail, King County
Spokane County
Sunnyside
Thurston County
Walla Walla County
Washington State Corrections
Whatcom County
Yakima County

Washington, DC

Wisconsin
Milwaukee County

 

http://cis.org/Sanctuary-Cities-Map

Trump creates name-and-shame list to embarrass sanctuary cities

 

Trump creates name-and-shame list to embarrass sanctuary cities

– The Washington Times – Thursday, January 26, 2017

President Trump on Wednesday ordered the Homeland Security Department to begin releasing a name-and-shame list of sanctuary cities, listing the specific crimes such as murder or robbery committed by those who have been released back into their communities under the sanctuary policies.

That was one of a number of less-noticed but potentially far-reaching moves tucked inside two new executive orders erasing decades of previous immigration enforcement policy and replacing it with the Trump plan, which calls for aggressive enforcement of existing laws.

Border Patrol and interior enforcement agents have been unshackled from the limits imposed by former President Barack Obama, as Mr. Trump said he wants to see them doing the jobs they were hired for.

He said he wants to enlist those local police and sheriff’s offices that are eager to enforce immigration law, and will punish those that throw up roadblocks — including the new name-and-shame list.

Some 279 cities and counties refused to cooperate on at least some deportations in 2016, accounting for 2,008 immigrants who were shielded, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Each of those immigrants’ convictions will now be publicly listed so residents can see the level of crimes committed by those released into their communities, under the Trump orders.

Analysts said that list could help rally internal opposition to sanctuary cities, which are already rallying to defy Mr. Trump.

“We will fight against attempts to undermine our values and the security of our cities,” said the group Cities for Action, a coalition of big municipalities that support sanctuary policies. “As mayors and county executives nationwide have made clear today, we will continue to provide for all in our communities — regardless of where they come from — and work to continue building trust between city residents and law enforcement.”

In addition to the shame list, Mr. Trump ordered Homeland Security to produce a list four times a year of all illegal immigrants serving time in federal or state prisons, or being held for trial.

And in another striking move, Mr. Trump ordered Homeland Security officials to begin releasing more information on illegal immigrants. He said the Privacy Act, which has regularly shielded information about illegal immigrants from public disclosure, will no longer apply to anyone who isn’t a citizen or green card holder.

That could give the public a new depth of transparency, enabling them to see the types of illegal immigrants the government is encountering.

One part of the new orders would allow Homeland Security to ship illegal immigrants caught crossing the border from Mexico back into Mexico, even as they await the outcome of their deportation cases in the U.S.

That’s allowed under existing law, but legal analysts said they’d never heard of it being used, and debated how far it might be used. But immigrant-rights advocates said it could hurt migrants who need protections.

“Given that many of the people crossing the border today are children and families fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, invoking this provision threatens to undermine our commitment to refugee protections,” said Tom Jawetz, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress.

The Mexican Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment on the provision Wednesday night.

Experts said it’s an open question whether Mexico could stymie that part of Mr. Trump’s orders by refusing to take back those who crossed over its northern border into the U.S.

Another lesser-noticed provision of the new orders would push Homeland Security to collect fines from both illegal immigrants and “those who facilitate their presence” in the U.S.

That could potentially include sanctuary colleges and universities that protect illegal immigrants, and businesses that hire unauthorized workers.

Current law calls for fines of more than $20,000 per illegal immigrant for companies that are repeat offenders.

Conspiracy to harbor an illegal immigrant carries potential jail time or a fine of up to $10,000.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/26/donald-trump-creates-name-and-shame-list-embarrass/

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The Pronk Pops Show 819, January 18, 2017, Story 1: President Obama The Last Press Conference — Bankrupting America and Burdening Future Generations With Massive Debt — A Legacy of Lies and Failures — Videos

Posted on January 19, 2017. Filed under: Abortion, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Budgetary Policy, China, Communications, Congress, Consitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Fast and Furious, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Iraq, Islam, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, News, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 819: January 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 818: January 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 817: January 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 816: January 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 815: January 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 814: January 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 813: January 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 812: December 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 811: December 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 810: December 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 809: December 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 808: December 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 807: December 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 806: December 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 804: November 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 803: November 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 802: November 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 801: November 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 798: November 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 797: November 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 796: November 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 795: November 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 794: November 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 793: November 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 792: November 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 791: November 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 790: November 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 789: November 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 788: November 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 787: October 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 786: October 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 785: October 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 784: October 26, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 783: October 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 782: October 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 781: October 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 780: October 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 779: October 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 778: October 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 777: October 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 776: October 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 775: October 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 774: October 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 773: October 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 772: October 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 771: October 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

 

“The history of the failure of war can almost be summed up in two words: too late.
* Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy.
* Too late in realizing the mortal danger.
* Too late in preparedness.
* Too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance.

* Too late in standing with one’s friends.”
– General Douglas Macarthur

Great Speeches

General Douglas McArthur’s

Farewell Address to West Point

National Debt Clock————————————————————————————————————————–

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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Image result for branco cartoons on obama lies and failures

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President Obama Final Press Conference Highlights

President Obama Holds his Final Press Conference

Hannity: Obama hiding the truth about his failed presidency

President Obama’s job performance

65 Outrageous Lies by President Obama

Obama Administration – 8 Years of Lies and Corruption – Just another puppet after all

Obama’s Failures / Explosive Video rocks You Tube (please share)

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off

MUST SEE VIDEO!!! Who is the REAL Barack Obama – The Liar Deceiver Puppet Satan

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

Former NSA Head Exposes Agency’s Real Crimes

Tom Drake — Full Interview

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’

“You’re Being Watched”: Edward Snowden Emerges as Source Behind Explosive Revelations of NSA Spying

Snowden – The 10 Biggest schoking Revelations

The Snowden Case What You’re Not Being Told

The Truth About Edward Snowden

Obama’s ties to Rashid Khalidi

FOX: Gibson (Obamas relationship with Khalidi)

Obama/Khalidi tape

Mark Levin: L.A. Times refuses to release the tape of Obama’s Khalidi party. What’s the reason?

LA TIMES suppresses Hides Video Linking Obama with Terrorist Khalidi Palestinian PLO

President Obama’s Final News Conference Video by The New York Times

The following is the full transcript of a news conference that President Obama held in Washington on Wednesday, as prepared by the Federal News Service.

For further updates and coverage, follow our live analysis.

OBAMA: Let me start off by saying that I was sorely tempted to wear a tan suit today…

(LAUGHTER)

… for my last press conference

OBAMA: But Michelle, whose fashion sense is a little better than mine, tells me that’s not appropriate in January.

I covered a lot of the ground that I would want to cover in my farewell address last week, so I’m just going to say a couple of quick things before I start taking questions.

Continue reading the main story

First, we have been in touch with the Bush family today after hearing about President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush being admitted to the hospital this morning. They have not only dedicated their lives to this country.

OBAMA: They have been a constant source of friendship and support and good counsel for Michelle and me over the years. They are as fine a couple as we know, and so we want to send our prayers and our love to them. Really good people.

Second thing I want to do is to thank all of you. Some of you have been covering me for a long time. Folks like Christie (ph) and Lynn (ph). Some of you I’ve just gotten to know. We have traveled the world together. We did a few singles, a few doubles together. I’ve offered advice that I thought was pretty sound, like don’t do stupid stuff.

(LAUGHTER)

And even when you complained about my long answers, I just want you to know that the only reason they were long was because you asked six-part questions.

(LAUGHTER)

But I have enjoyed working with all of you. That does not, of course, mean that I’ve enjoyed every story that you have filed, but that’s the point of this relationship. You’re not supposed to be (inaudible) fans, you’re supposed to be skeptics, you’re supposed to ask me tough questions. You’re not supposed to be complimentary, but you’re supposed to cast a critical eye on folks who hold enormous power and make sure that we are accountable to the people who sent us here, and you have done that.

And you have done it for the most part in ways that I could appreciate for fairness, even if I didn’t always agree with your conclusions. And having you in this building has made this place work better. It keeps us honest, it makes us work harder. You have made us think about how we are doing what we do and whether or not we’re able to deliver on what’s been requested by our constituents. And for example, every time you’ve asked why haven’t you cured Ebola yet or why is there still that hole in the Gulf, it has given me the ability to go back and say, “Will you get this solved before the next press conference?”

(LAUGHTER)

I spent a lot of time on my — in my farewell address talking about the state of our democracy. It goes without saying that essential to that is a free press. That is part of how this place, this country, this grand experiment of self-government has to work. It doesn’t work if we don’t have a well-informed citizenry, and you are the conduit through which they receive the information about what’s taking place in the halls of power.

So America needs you and our democracy needs you. We need you to establish a baseline of facts and evidence that we can use as a starting point for the kind of reasoned and informed debates that ultimately lead to progress. And so my hope is is that you will continue with the same tenacity that you showed us, to do the hard work of getting to the bottom of stories and getting them right and to push those of us in power to be the best version of ourselves and to push this country to be the best version of itself.

I have no doubt that you will do so, I’m looking forward to being an active consumer of your work, rather than always the subject of it. I want to thank you all for your extraordinary service to our democracy.

And with that, I will take some questions and I will start with Jeff Mason, whose term is apparently not up.

(LAUGHTER)

I thought, you know, we’d be going out together, brother, but you’ve got to hang around for a while.

QUESTION: I’m staying put.

OBAMA: Jeff Mason from Reuters.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Are you concerned, Mr. President, that commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence will send a message that leaking classified material will not generate (inaudible) groups like WikiLeaks? How do you reconcile that in light of WikiLeak’s connection to Russia’s acting in (inaudible) election?

And related to that, Julian Assange has now offered to come to the United States. Are you seeking that? And would he be charged or arrested if he came here?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, let’s be clear. Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence, so the notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think that it goes unpunished I don’t think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served.

It has been my view that given she went to trial; that due process was carried out; that she took responsibility for her crime; that the sentence that she received was very disproportional — disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received; and that she had served a significant amount of time, that it made sense to commute and not pardon her sentence.

And, you know, I feel very comfortable that justice has been served and that a message has still been sent that when it comes to our national security, that wherever possible we need folks who may have legitimate concerns about the actions of government or their superiors or the agencies in which they work, that they try to work through the established channels and avail themselves of the whistleblower protections that have been put in place.

I recognize that there’s some folks who think they’re not enough. And, you know, I think all of us when we’re working in big institutions may find ourselves at times at odds with policies that are set. But when it comes to national security, we’re often dealing with people in the field whose lives may be put at risk or, you know, the safety and security and the ability of our military or our intelligence teams or our embassies to function effectively.

And that has to be kept in mind. So, with respect to WikiLeaks, I don’t see a contradiction. First of all, I haven’t commented on WikiLeaks generally. The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked. I don’t pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange’s tweets, so that wasn’t a consideration in this instance. And I’d refer you to the Justice Department for any criminal investigations, indictments, extradition issues that may come up with him.

You know, I — what I can say broadly is that in this new cyber age, we’re going to have to make sure that we continually work to find the right balance of accountability and openness and transparency that is the hallmark of our democracy. But also recognize that there are adversaries and bad actors out there who want to use that same openness in ways that hurt us, whether that’s in trying to commit financial crimes or trying to commit acts of terrorism or folks who want to interfere with our elections.

And we’re going to have to continually build the kind of architecture to make sure our — the best of our democracy is preserved; that our national security and intelligence agencies have the ability to carry out policy without advertising to our adversaries what it is that we’re doing, but do so in a way that still keeps citizens up to speed on what their government is doing on their behalf.

But with respect to Chelsea Manning, I looked at the particulars of this case the same way I have the other commutations and pardons that I’ve done. And I felt that in light of all the circumstances, that commuting her sentence was entirely appropriate.

Margaret Brennan?

QUESTION: Mr. President.

OBAMA: There you go.

QUESTION: Thank you.

The president-elect has said that he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia if they substantially reduced their nuclear stockpile.

QUESTION: Given your own efforts at arms control, do you think that’s an effective strategy? Knowing this office and Mr. Trump, how would you advise his advisers to help him be effective when he deals with Vladimir Putin. And given your actions recently on Russia, do you think those sanctions should be (inaudible).

OBAMA: Well, a couple of things. Number one, I think it is in America’s interest and the world’s interest that we have a constructive relationship with Russia. That’s been my approach throughout my presidency. Where our interests have overlapped we’ve worked together.

At the beginning of my term, I did what I could to encourage Russia to be a constructive member of the international community and tried to work with the president and the government of Russia in helping them diversify their economy, improve their economy, use the incredible talents of the Russian people in more constructive ways.

I think it’s fair to say that after President Putin came back into the presidency, that an escalating anti-American rhetoric and an approach to global affairs that seem to be premised on the idea that whatever America’s trying to do must be bad for Russians, so we want to try to counter act whatever they do. That returned to an adversarial spirit that I think existed during the Cold War, has made the relationship more difficult.

And it was hammered home when Russia went into Crimea and portions of Ukraine. The reason we imposed the sanctions, recall, was not because of nuclear weapons issues, it was because the independence and sovereignty of a country, Ukraine, had been encroached upon by force, by Russia. That wasn’t our judgment, that was the judgment of the entire international community.

And, Russia continues to occupy Ukrainian territory and meddle in Ukrainian affairs and support military surrogates who have violated basic international laws and international norms. What I’ve said to the Russians, is as soon as you stop doing that, the sanctions will be removed. And I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests, but also the interests of preserving international norms if we made sure that we don’t confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues.

On nuclear issues, in my first term we negotiated the START II Treaty and that has substantially reduced our nuclear stock piles, both Russia and the United States. I was prepared to go further, I told President Putin I was prepared to go further. They have been unwilling to negotiate.

If President-elect Trump is able to restart those talks in a serious way, I think there remains a lot of room for our two countries to reduce their our stock piles. And part of the reason we’ve have been successful on our non-proliferation agenda and on our nuclear security agenda, is because we were leading by example. I hope that continues.

But I think it’s important just to remember that the reason sanctions have been put in place against Russia, has to do with their actions in Ukraine. And it is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principal that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries.

I’ve said before, I expect Russia and Ukraine to have a strong relationship. They are historically bound together in all sorts of cultural and social ways, but Ukraine is an independent country and this is a good example of the vital role that America has to continue to play, around the world, in preserving basic norms and values. Whether it’s advocating on behalf of human rights, advocating on behalf of women’s rights, advocating on behalf of freedom of the press.

OBAMA: You know, the United States has not always been perfect in this regard, there are times where we — by necessity are dealing with allies or friends or partners, who themselves are not meeting the standards that we would like to see met when it comes to international rules and norms.

But I can tell you that in every multilateral setting in the United Nations, in the G-20, in the G-7, the United States typically has been on the right side of these issues and it is important for us to continue to be on the right side of these issues because if we, the largest, strongest country and democracy in the world, are not willing to stand up on behalf of these values, then certainly China, Russia and others will not.

Kevin Corke.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. You have been a strong supporter of the idea of a peaceful transfer of power demonstrated not terribly far from the Rose Garden. And yet, even as you and I speak, there are more than five dozen Democrats that are going to boycott the inauguration of the incoming president. Do you support that? And what message would you send to Democrats to better demonstrate the peaceful transfer of power?

And if I could follow, I wanted to ask you about your conversations with the president-elect previously. And without getting into too much of the personal side of it, I’m just curious, were you able to use that opportunity to convince him to take a fresh look at some of the important ideas that you will leave this office with; maintaining some semblance of the Affordable Care Act, some idea of keeping DREAMers here in the country without fear of deportation? Were you able to use personal stories to try to convince him? And how successful were you?

OBAMA: Well, I won’t go into details of my conversations with President-elect Trump. As I’ve said before, they were cordial. At times, they’ve been fairly lengthy and they’ve been substantive.

I can’t tell you how convincing I’ve been. I think you’d have to ask him whether I’ve been convincing or not. I have offered my best advice, counsel about certain issues both foreign and domestic. And you know, my working assumption is that having won an election, opposed to a number of my initiatives and certain aspects of my vision for where the country needs to go, it is appropriate for him to go forward with his vision and his values. And I don’t expect that there’s going to be, you know, enormous overlap. It may be that on certain issues, once he comes into office and he looks at the complexities of how to in fact provide healthcare for everybody, something he says he wants to do, or wants to make sure that he is encouraging job creation and wage growth in this country, that may lead him to some of the same conclusions that I arrived at once I got here. But I don’t think we’ll know until he has an actual chance to get sworn in and sit behind that desk. And I think a lot of his views are going to be shaped by his advisers, the people around him, which is why it’s important to pay attention to these confirmation hearings.

I can tell you that — and this is something I have told him — that this is a job of such magnitude that you can’t do it by yourself. You are enormously reliant on a team. Your Cabinet, your senior White House staff, all the way to fairly junior folks in their 20s and 30s but who are executing on significant responsibilities. And so, how you put a team together to make sure that they’re getting you the best information and they are teeing up the options from which you will ultimately make decisions.

OBAMA: That’s probably the most useful constructive advice and the most constructive advice that I’ve been able to give him, that if you find yourself isolated because the process breaks down or if you’re only hearing from people who agree with you on everything or if you haven’t created a process that is fact-checking and probing and asking hard questions about policies or promises that you’ve made, that’s when you start making mistakes.

And as I indicated in some of my previous remarks, reality has a way of biting back if you’re not paying attention to it.

With respect to the inauguration, I’m not going to comment on those issues. All I know is I’m going to be there. So is Michelle. And I have been checking the weather and I’m heartened by the fact that it won’t be as cold as my first inauguration.

(LAUGHTER)

Because that was cold.

Janna Rodriguez (ph)?

QUESTION: (inaudible), Mr. President (inaudible). You have said that you would come back and fight for the Dreamers. You said that a couple of weeks ago. Are you fearful for the status of those Dreamers — the future of the young immigrants and all immigrants in this country, with a new administration?

And what did you mean when you said you would come back? Would you lobby Congress? Maybe explore the political arena again?

And if I may ask a second question: Why did you take action on (inaudible) a week ago?

OBAMA: Well, let me be absolutely clear. I did not mean that I was going to be running for anything anytime soon. So, what I meant is that it’s important for me to take some time to process this amazing experience that we’ve gone through; to make sure that my wife, with whom I will be celebrating a 25th anniversary this year, is willing to re-up and put up with me for a little bit longer.

I want to do some writing. I want to be quiet a little bit and not hear myself talk so darn much. I want to spend precious time with my girls.

So those are my priorities this year. But as I said before, I’m still a citizen. And I think it is important for Democrats or progressive who feel that they came out on the wrong side of this election to be able to distinguish between the normal back-and-forth, ebb-and-blow of policy. Now, are we going to raise taxes or are we going to lower taxes? Are we going to, you know, expand this program or eliminate this program? You know, how — how concerned are we about air pollution or climate change?

Those are all normal parts of the debate. And as I’ve said before, in a democracy sometimes you’re going to win on those issues and sometimes you’re going to lose. I’m confident about the rightness of my positions on a lot of these points, but we’ve got a new president and a Congress that are going to make their same determinations.

And there will be a back-and-forth in Congress around those issues. And you guys will report on all that.

But there’s a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake. I put in that category if I saw systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion. I put in that category explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise.

OBAMA: I’d put in that category institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press. And for me at least, I would put in that category efforts to roundup kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids, and send them someplace else, when they love this country. They are our kids’ friends and their classmates, and are now entering into community colleges or in some cases serving in our military, that the notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out.

It doesn’t mean that I would get on the ballot anyway.

With respect to wet foot, dry foot, we underwent a monumental shift in our policy towards Cuba. My view was after 50 years of a policy not working, it made sense for us to try to reopen diplomatic relations, to engage a Cuban government, to be honest with them about the strong disagreements we have around, you know, political oppression and treatment of dissenters and freedom of press and freedom of religion, but that to make progress for the Cuban people, our best shot was to suddenly have the Cuban people interacting with Americans and seeing the incredible success of the Cuban-American community and engaging in commerce and business and trade, and that it was through that process of opening up these bilateral relations that you would see over time serious and significant improvement.

Given that shift in the relationship, the policy that we had in place with wet foot, dry foot, which treated Cuban immigrants completely different from folks from El Salvador or Guatemala or Nicaragua or any other part of the world, one that made a distinction between whether you got here by land or by foot. You know, that was a carryover of a old way of thinking that didn’t make sense in this day and age, particularly as we’re opening up travel between the two countries.

And so, you know, we had very length think consultations with the Department of Homeland Security, we had some tough negotiations with the Cuban government, but arrived at a policy which we both think is both fair and appropriate to the changing nature of the relationship between the two countries.

Nadia (inaudible).

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. I appreciate the opportunity and I want to wish you and your family the best of luck in the future.

OBAMA: Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. President you have been criticized and even (inaudible) attacked for the U.N. Security Council resolution that considered Israeli settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace. Mr. Trump promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem. He appointed an ambassador that doesn’t believe in a two-state solution.

How worried are you about the U.S. leadership in the Arab world and beyond as (inaudible)? With this ignite (inaudible) protect Israel? And in retrospect, do you think that you should have held Israel more accountable, like President Bush Senior did with (inaudible)? Thank you.

OBAMA: I am — I continue to be significantly worried about the Israeli-Palestinian issue. And I’m worried about it both because I think the status quo is unsustainable, that it is dangerous for Israel, that it is bad for Palestinians, it is bad for the region and it is bad for America’s national security.

OBAMA: And you know, I came into this office wanting to do everything I could to encourage serious peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. And we invested a lot of energy, a lot of time, a lot of effort first year, second year, all the way until last year. Ultimately, what has always been clear is that we cannot force the parties to arrive at peace. What we can do is facilitate, provide a platform, encourage, but we can’t force them to do it. But in light of shifts in Israeli politics and Palestinian politics, a rightward drift in Israeli politics, weakening of President Abbas’ ability to move and take risks on behalf of peace in the Palestinian territories.

In light of all the dangers that have emerged in the region and the understandable fears that Israelis may have about the chaos and rise of groups like ISIL and the deterioration of Syria, in light of all those things, what we at least wanted to do, understanding that the two parties wouldn’t actually arrive at a final status agreement, is to preserve the possibility of the two-state solution because we do not see an alternative to it.

And I’ve said this directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu, I’ve said it inside of Israel, I’ve said it to Palestinians as well. I don’t see how this issue gets resolved in a way that maintains Israel as both Jewish and a democracy. Because if you do not have two states, then in some form or fashion you are extending an occupation, functionally you end up having one state in which millions of people are disenfranchised and operate as second class residents.

You can’t even call them citizens necessarily. And so – so the goal of the resolution was to simply say that the settlements, the growth of the settlements are creating a reality on the ground that increasingly will make a two-state solution impossible. And we’ve believed consistent with the position that has been taken with previous U.S. administrations for decades now that it was important for us to send a signal, a wakeup call that this moment may be passing.

And Israeli voters and Palestinians need to understand that this moment may be passing. And – and hopefully, that then creates a debate inside both Israeli and Palestinian communities that won’t result immediately in peace but at least will lead to a more sober assessment of what the alternatives are. So, the president-elect will have his own policy. The ambassador or the candidate for the ambassadorship obviously has very different views than I do.

That is their prerogative, that’s part of what happens after elections, and I think my views are clear. We’ll see how – how their approach plays itself out. I don’t want to – I don’t want to project today what could end up happening but obviously it’s a volatile environment. What we’ve seen in the past is when sudden unilateral moves are made that speak to some of the core issues and sensitivities of either side, that can be explosive.

And what we’ve tried to do in the transition is just provide the context in which the president-elect may want to make some of these decisions.

QUESTION: (OFF MIKE)

OBAMA: Well, that’s part of what we’ve tried to indicate to the incoming team in our transition process, is pay attention to this because this is – this is volatile stuff. People feel deeply and passionately about this and as I said – as I’ve said, I think, many times, the actions that we take have enormous consequences and ramifications. We’re – we’re the biggest kid on the block and I think it is right and appropriate for a new president to test old assumptions and reexamine the old ways of doing things.

But if you’re going to make big shifts in policy, just make sure you’ve thought it through and understand that there are going to be consequences and actions typically create reactions. And so you want to be intentional about it. You don’t want to do things off the cuff when it comes to an issue this – this volatile.

QUESTION: On LGBT rights —

OBAMA: I’m sorry where’s Chris (ph)?

QUESTION: I’m right here in the back.

OBAMA: I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.

QUESTION: On LGBT rights, we’ve seen a lot of achievements over the past eight years, including (inaudible) hate crimes (inaudible), marriage quality nationwide and insuring transfer (ph) people feel visible and respected.

How do you think LGBT rights will rank in terms of your accomplishments in your life? And how confident are you that progress will endure or continue under the president-elect?

OBAMA: I — I could not be prouder of the transformation that’s taken place in our society just in the last decade. And, I’ve said before, I think we made some useful contributions to it, but the primary heroes in this stage of our — our growth as a Democracy and a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said, this is who I am and I’m proud of it.

And, that opened people’s minds and opened their hearts. And, eventually, laws caught up. But, I don’t think any of that would have happened without the activism, in some cases loud and noisy, but in some cases just quiet and very personal. And — and I think that what we did as an administration was to help to — the society to move in a better direction, but to do so in a way that didn’t create an enormous backlash and was — was systematic and respectful of the fact, you know, in some cases these issues were controversial.

I think the way we handled, for example, don’t ask, don’t tell, being methodical about it, working with the joint chiefs, making sure we showed this would not have an impact on the effectiveness of the greatest military on Earth. And then to have Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Chairman Mike Mullen and joint chiefs who were open to evidence and ultimately worked with me to do the right thing.

I am proud of that, but again, none of that would have happened without this incredible transformation that was happening in society out there. You know, when I gave Ellen the Presidential Medal of Freedom, I meant what I said. I think somebody that kind and likable, projecting into, you know, living rooms around the country. You know, that changed attitudes. And that wasn’t easy to do for her. And that’s just one small example of what was happening in countless communities all across the country.

So — so I’m proud that in certain places we maybe provided a good block down field to help the movement advance. I don’t think it is something that will be reversible because American society has changed, the attitudes of young people, in particular, have changed. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some fights that are important, legal issues, issues surrounding transgender persons. There’s still going to be some battles that need to take place.

OBAMA: But, if you talk to young people, Malia, Sasha’s generation, even if their Republicans, even if their Conservative, many of them will tell you, I don’t understand how you would discriminate against somebody because of sexual orientation. That’s just sort of burned into them in — in pretty powerful ways.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: April Ryan (ph).

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

Long before today, you’ve been considered a (inaudible) president. Under your watch, people have said that you have expanded the rubber-band of inclusion. And with the election and the incoming administration, people are saying that the rubber-band has recoiled and maybe is even broken.

And I’m (inaudible) back to a time on Air Force One going to Selma, Alabama, when you said your job was to (inaudible). With that, what gaps still remain when it comes to rights issues on the table? And also, what part will you play in fixing those gaps after — in your new life?

And lastly, you are the first black president. Do you expect the country to see this again?

OBAMA: Well, I’ll answer the last question first. I think we’re going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corner of this country. Because that’s America’s strength. When we have everybody getting a chance and everybody’s on the field, we end up being better.

I — I think I’ve used this analogy before. We — we killed it in the Olympics in Brazil. And Michelle and I, we always have our — the Olympic team here. And it’s a lot of fun, first of all, just because, you know, anytime you’re meeting somebody who’s the best at anything, it’s impressive.

And these mostly very young people are all just so healthy looking and they just beam and exude fitness and health. And so we have a great time talking to them. But they are of all shapes, sizes, colors. You know, the genetic diversity that is on display is remarkable.

And if you look at Simone Biles, and then you look at a Michael Phelps, they’re completely different. And it’s precisely because of those differences that we’ve got people here who can excel at any sport.

And by the way, more than half of our medals came from women. And the reason is is because we had the foresight several decades ago with something called Title IX to make sure that women got opportunities in sports, which is why our women compete better, because they have more opportunities than folks in other countries.

So, you know, I use that as a metaphor and if in fact we continue to keep opportunity open to everybody, then yeah, we’re going to have a woman president. We’re going to have a Latino president. And we’ll have a Jewish president, a Hindu president. You know, who knows who we’re going to have.

I suspect we’ll have a whole bunch of mixed up presidents at some point that nobody really knows what to call them.

(LAUGHTER)

And that’s fine.

Now, what do I worry about? I — I obviously spent a lot of time on this, April, at my farewell address on Tuesday. So I won’t go through the whole list.

I worry about inequality because I think that if we are not investing in making sure everybody plays a role in this economy, the economy will not grow as fast and I think it will also lead to further and further separation between us as Americans — not just along racial lines. I mean, there are a whole bunch of folks who voted for the president-elect because they feel forgotten and disenfranchised.

They feel as if they’re being looked down on. They feel as if their kids aren’t going to have the same opportunities as they did.

And you don’t want to — you don’t want to have an America in which a very small sliver of people are doing really well, and everybody else is fighting for scraps, as I said last week. Because that’s oftentimes when racial divisions get magnified, because people think, well, the only way I’m going to get ahead is if I make sure somebody else gets less; somebody who doesn’t look like me or doesn’t worship the same place I do.

That’s not a good recipe for our democracy. I worry about, as I said in response to a previous question, making sure that the basic machinery of our democracy works better. We are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote rather than easier. And that dates back. There’s an ugly history to that that we should not be shy about talking about.

QUESTION: Voting rights?

OBAMA: Yes, I’m talking about voting rights.

The reason that we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is — it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery and it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise (ph). And that’s not who we are. That shouldn’t be who we are. That’s not when America works best. So I hope that people pay a lot of attention to making sure that everybody has a chance to vote. Make it easier, not harder.

This whole notion of election — voting fraud, this is something that has constantly been disproved, this — this is fake news. The notion that there are a whole bunch of people out there who are going out there and are not eligible to vote and want to vote. We have the opposite problem. We have a whole bunch of people who are eligible to vote who don’t vote. And so the idea that we put in place a whole bunch of barriers to people voting doesn’t make sense. And then the — you know, as I said before, political gerrymandering that makes your vote matter less because politicians have decided you live in a district where everybody votes the same way you do so that these aren’t competitive races and we get 90 percent Democratic districts, 90 percent Republican districts, that’s bad for our democracy too. I worry about that.

I think it is very important for us to make sure that our criminal justice system is fair and just, but I also think it’s also very important to make sure that it is not politicized, that it maintains an integrity that is outside of partisan politics at every level. I think at some point, we’re going to have to spend — and this will require some action by the Supreme Court, we have to re- examine just the flood of endless money that goes into our politics, which I think is very unhealthy.

So there are a whole bunch of things I worry about there. And as I said in my speech on Tuesday, we’ve got more work to do on race. It is not — it is simply not true that things have gotten worse. They haven’t. Things are getting better and I have more confidence on racial issues in the next generation than I do in our generation or the previous generation. I think kids are smarter about it. They’re more tolerant. They are more inclusive by instinct than we are, and hopefully, my presidency maybe helped that along a little bit.

But you know, we — when we feel stress, when we feel pressure, when we’re just fed information that encourages some of our worst instincts, we tend to fall back into some of the old racial fears and racial divisions and racial stereotypes, and it’s very hard for us to break out of those and to listen and to think about people as people and to imagine being in that person’s shoes.

And by the way, it’s no longer a black and white issue alone. You got Hispanic folks and you got Asian folks, this is not just the same old battles that — we’ve got this stew that’s bubbling up from people everywhere and we’re going to have to make sure that we in our own lives and our own families and work places do a better job of treating everybody with basic respect and understanding that not everybody starts off in the same situation and imaging what would it be like if you were born in an inner city and had no job prospects anywhere within a 20 mile radius or how does it feel being born in some rural county where there’s no job opportunities within in a 20 mile radius and seeing those two things as connected as opposed to separate.

So, you know, we got work to do, but overall, I think on this front, the trend lines, ultimately, I think will be good.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: Christie Parsons (ph).

QUESTION: Thank you.

OBAMA: And Christie (ph), you are going to get the last question. Christie (ph)…

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: … is, you know, I’ve — I’ve been knowing her since Springfield, Illinois. When I — when I was a state senator, she listened to what I had to say. So the least I can do is give her the last question as president of the United States. Go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: There you go, go ahead.

QUESTION: Well, thank you, Mr. President. It has been an honor.

OBAMA: Thank you.

QUESTION: And I have a personal question for you, because I know how much you like those.

The first lady put the stakes of the 2016 election in very personal terms, in a speech that resonated across the country. And she really spoke the concerns of a lot women, LGBT, people of color, many others. And — so I wonder now, how you and the first lady on talking to your daughters about the meaning of this election and how you interpret it for yourself and for them?

OBAMA: You know, every parent brags on their daughters or their sons. You know, if your mom and dad don’t brag on you, you know you got problems.

(LAUGHTER)

But man, my daughters are something. And — and they just surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up. And, so these days when we talk, we talk as parent to child, but also we learn from them. And, I think it was really interesting to see how Malia and Sasha reacted. They were disappointed.

They paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it because it’s consistent with what we have tried to teach them in our household and what I’ve tried to model as a father with their mom and what we’ve asked them to expect from future boyfriends or spouses. But what we’ve also tried to teach them is resilience and we’ve tried to teach them hope and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world.

And so, you get knocked down, you get up, brush yourself off and you get back to work. And that tended to be their attitude. I think neither of them intend to pursue a future of politics and in that, too, I think their mother’s influence shows.

(LAUGHTER)

But, both of them have grown up in an environment where I think they could not help, but be patriotic to love this country deeply, to see that it’s flawed, but see that they have responsibilities to fix it. And that they need to be active citizens. And they have to be in a position to talk to their friends and their teachers and their future co-workers in ways that try to shed some light as opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury. And I expect that’s what they’re going to do. They do not — they don’t mope.

And — and what I really am proud of them, but what makes me proudest about them, is that they also don’t get cynical about it. They — they have not assumed because their side didn’t win or because some of the values that they care about don’t seem as if they were vindicated that automatically America has somehow rejected them or rejected their values. I don’t think they feel that way.

I think they have in part through osmosis, in part through dinner time conversations appreciated the fact that this is a big complicated country and democracy is messy, it doesn’t always work exactly the way you might want. It doesn’t guarantee certain outcomes. But if you — if you’re engaged and you’re involved, then there are a lot more good people than bad in this country and there’s a core decency to this country and — that they got to be a part of lifting that up. And I expect they will be.

And in that sense, they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic. I’ve been asked — I had — I’ve had some off-the-cuff (ph) conversations with some journalists where they said, “OK, you seem like you’re OK, but really, what are you really thinking?”

(LAUGHTER)

And I’ve said, “No, what I’m saying really is what I think.” I — I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen. I think there’s evil in the world, but I think at the end of the day, if we work hard and if we’re true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time. That’s what this presidency has tried to be about. And I see that in the young people I’ve worked with. I couldn’t be prouder of them.

And so, this is not just a matter of no drama Obama, this is — this is what I really believe. It is true that behind closed doors, I curse more than I do publicly…

(LAUGHTER)

… and sometimes I get mad and frustrated like everybody else does, but at my core, I think we’re going to be OK. We just have to fight for it, we have to work for it and not take it for granted and I know that you will help us do that. Thank you very much, Press Corps, good luck.

END

National debt of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Federal Debt Held by the Public as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), from 1940 to 2016 with future projections

Graph of GDP and the gross national debt

The National debt of the United States is the amount owed by the federal government of the United States. The measure of the public debt is the value of the outstanding Treasury securities at a point of time that have been issued by the Treasury and other federal government agencies. The terms national deficit and national surplus usually refer to the federal government budget balance from year to year, not the cumulative total. A deficit year increases the debt because more money is spent than is received; a surplus year decreases the debt because more money is received than spent.

There are two components of gross national debt:[1]

  • Debt held by the public, such as Treasury securities held by investors outside the federal government, including those held by individuals, corporations, the Federal Reserve System and foreign, state and local governments.
  • Debt held by government accounts or intragovernmental debt, such as non-marketable Treasury securities held in accounts administered by the federal government that are owed to program beneficiaries, such as the Social Security Trust Fund. Debt held by government accounts represents the cumulative surpluses, including interest earnings, of these accounts that have been invested in Treasury securities.

In general, government debt increases as a result of government spending, and decreases from tax or other receipts, both of which fluctuate during the course of a fiscal year. In practice, Treasury securities are not issued or redeemed on a day-by-day basis,[2] and may also be issued or redeemed as part of the federal government’s macroeconomic monetary management operations. The aggregate, gross amount that Treasury can borrow is limited by the United States debt ceiling.[3]

Historically, the US public debt as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) has increased during wars and recessions, and subsequently declined. The ratio of debt to GDP may decrease as a result of a government surplus or due to growth of GDP and inflation. For example, debt held by the public as a share of GDP peaked just after World War II (113% of GDP in 1945), but then fell over the following 35 years. In recent decades, however, aging demographics and rising healthcare costs have led to concern about the long-term sustainability of the federal government’s fiscal policies.[4]

On November 7, 2016, debt held by the public was $14.3 trillion or about 76% of the previous 12 months of GDP.[5][6][7][8] Intragovernmental holdings stood at $5.4 trillion, giving a combined total gross national debt of $19.8 trillion or about 106% of the previous 12 months of GDP.[7] $6.2 trillion or approximately 45% of the debt held by the public was owned by foreign investors, the largest of which were China and Japan at about $1.25 trillion for China and $1.15 trillion for Japan as of May 2016.[9]

History

US federal debt held by the public as a percentage of GDP, from 1790 to 2013, projected to 2038

US Federal Debt as Percent of GDP since World War II, with presidential terms marked.

The United States government has continuously had a fluctuating public debt since its formation in 1789, except for about a year during 1835–1836. To allow comparisons over the years, public debt is often expressed as a ratio to gross domestic product (GDP). Historically, the United States public debt as a share of GDP has increased during wars and recessions, and subsequently declined.

The United States public debt as a percentage of GDP reached its highest level during Harry Truman‘s first presidential term, during and after World War II. Public debt as a percentage of GDP fell rapidly in the post-World War II period, and reached a low in 1974 under Richard Nixon. Debt as a share of GDP has consistently increased since then, except under Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Public debt rose during the 1980s, as Ronald Reagan cut tax rates and increased military spending. It fell during the 1990s, due to decreased military spending, increased taxes and the 1990s boom. Public debt rose sharply in the wake of the 2007–08 financial crisis and the resulting significant tax revenue declines and spending increases.

Valuation and measurement

Public and government accounts

Detailed breakdown of government holders of treasury debt and debt instruments used of the public portion

On January 26, 2016, debt held by the public was $13.62 trillion or about 75% of the previous 12 months of GDP.[5][6][7][8] Intragovernmental holdings stood at $5.34 trillion, giving a combined total gross national debt of $18.96 trillion or about 104% of the previous 12 months of GDP.[7]

The national debt can also be classified into marketable or non-marketable securities. Most of the marketable securities are Treasury notes, bills, and bonds held by investors and governments globally. The non-marketable securities are mainly the “government account series” owed to certain government trust funds such as the Social Security Trust Fund, which represented $2.74 trillion in 2011.[10]

The non-marketable securities represent amounts owed to program beneficiaries. For example, in the case of the Social Security Trust Fund, the payroll taxes dedicated to Social Security were credited to the Trust Fund upon receipt, but spent for other purposes. If the government continues to run deficits in other parts of the budget, the government will have to issue debt held by the public to fund the Social Security Trust Fund, in effect exchanging one type of debt for the other.[11] Other large intragovernmental holders include the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Savings and Loan Corporation’s Resolution Fund and the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (Medicare).[citation needed]

Accounting treatment

U.S. debt from 1940 to 2011. Red lines indicate the “debt held by the public” and black lines indicate the total national debt or gross public debt. The difference is the “intragovernmental debt,” which includes obligations to government programs such as Social Security. Stated as a formula, National Debt = Debt held by the Public + Intragovernmental Debt. The second panel shows the two debt figures as a percentage of U.S. GDP (dollar value of U.S. economic production for that year). The top panel is deflated so every year is in 2010 dollars.

Only debt held by the public is reported as a liability on the consolidated financial statements of the United States government. Debt held by government accounts is an asset to those accounts but a liability to the Treasury; they offset each other in the consolidated financial statements.[12]

Government receipts and expenditures are normally presented on a cash rather than an accrual basis, although the accrual basis may provide more information on the longer-term implications of the government’s annual operations.[13] The United States public debt is often expressed as a ratio of public debt to gross domestic product (GDP). The ratio of debt to GDP may decrease as a result of a government surplus as well as due to growth of GDP and inflation.[citation needed]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac obligations excluded

Under normal accounting rules, fully owned companies would be consolidated into the books of the owner, but the large size of Fannie and Freddie has made the U.S. government reluctant to incorporate Freddie and Fannie into its own books. When Freddie and Fannie required bail-outs, White House Budget Director Jim Nussle, on September 12, 2008, initially indicated their budget plans would not incorporate the GSE debt into the budget because of the temporary nature of the conservator intervention.[14] As the intervention has dragged out, pundits have started to further question this accounting treatment, noting that changes in August 2012 “makes them even more permanent wards of the state and turns the government’s preferred stock into a permanent, perpetual kind of security”.[15]

The government controls the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which would normally criticize inconsistent accounting practices, but it does not oversee its own government’s accounting practices or the standards set by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board. The on- or off-balance sheet obligations of those two independent GSEs was just over $5 trillion at the time the conservatorship was put in place, consisting mainly of mortgage payment guarantees and agency bonds.[16] The confusing independent but government-controlled status of the GSEs has resulted in investors of the legacy common shares and preferred shares launching various activist campaigns in 2014.[17]

Guaranteed obligations excluded

U.S. federal government guarantees are not included in the public debt total, until such time as there is a call on the guarantees. For example, the U.S. federal government in late-2008 guaranteed large amounts of obligations of mutual funds, banks, and corporations under several programs designed to deal with the problems arising from the late-2000s financial crisis. The guarantee program lapsed at the end of 2012 when Congress declined to extend the scheme. The funding of direct investments made in response to the crisis, such as those made under the Troubled Assets Relief Program, are included in the debt.

Unfunded obligations excluded

The U.S. government is obligated under current law to make mandatory payments for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) projects that payouts for these programs will significantly exceed tax revenues over the next 75 years. The Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) payouts already exceed program tax revenues, and social security payouts exceeded payroll taxes in fiscal 2010. These deficits require funding from other tax sources or borrowing.[18] The present value of these deficits or unfunded obligations is an estimated $45.8 trillion. This is the amount that would have had to be set aside in 2009 in order to pay for the unfunded obligations which, under current law, will have to be raised by the government in the future. Approximately $7.7 trillion relates to Social Security, while $38.2 trillion relates to Medicare and Medicaid. In other words, health care programs will require nearly five times more funding than Social Security. Adding this to the national debt and other federal obligations would bring total obligations to nearly $62 trillion.[19] However, these unfunded obligations are not counted in the national debt.[citation needed]

Measuring debt burden

GDP is a measure of the total size and output of the economy. One measure of the debt burden is its size relative to GDP, called the “debt-to-GDP ratio.” Mathematically, this is the debt divided by the GDP amount. The Congressional Budget Office includes historical budget and debt tables along with its annual “Budget and Economic Outlook.” Debt held by the public as a percentage of GDP rose from 34.7% GDP in 2000 to 40.5% in 2008 and 67.7% in 2011.[20]

Mathematically, the ratio can decrease even while debt grows, if the rate of increase in GDP (which also takes account of inflation) is higher than the rate of increase of debt. Conversely, the debt to GDP ratio can increase even while debt is being reduced, if the decline in GDP is sufficient.

According to the CIA World Factbook, during 2015, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio of 73.6% was the 39th highest in the world. This was measured using “debt held by the public.”[21] However, $1 trillion in additional borrowing since the end of FY 2015 has raised the ratio to 76.2% as of April 2016 [See Appendix#National debt for selected years]. Also, this number excludes state and local debt. According to the OECD, general government gross debt (federal, state, and local) in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $22.5 trillion (125% of GDP); subtracting out $5.25 trillion for intergovernmental federal debt to count only federal “debt held by the public” gives 96% of GDP.[22]

The ratio is higher if the total national debt is used, by adding the “intragovernmental debt” to the “debt held by the public.” For example, on April 29, 2016, debt held by the public was approximately $13.84 trillion or about 76% of GDP. Intra-governmental holdings stood at $5.35 trillion, giving a combined total public debt of $19.19 trillion. U.S. GDP for the previous 12 months was approximately $18.15 trillion, for a total debt to GDP ratio of approximately 106%.[23]

Calculating the annual change in debt

Comparison of deficits to change in debt in 2008

Conceptually, an annual deficit (or surplus) should represent the change in the national debt, with a deficit adding to the national debt and a surplus reducing it. However, there is complexity in the budgetary computations that can make the deficit figure commonly reported in the media (the “total deficit”) considerably different from the annual increase in the debt. The major categories of differences are the treatment of the Social Security program, Treasury borrowing, and supplemental appropriations outside the budget process.[24]

Social Security payroll taxes and benefit payments, along with the net balance of the U.S. Postal Service, are considered “off-budget”, while most other expenditure and receipt categories are considered “on-budget”. The total federal deficit is the sum of the on-budget deficit (or surplus) and the off-budget deficit (or surplus). Since FY1960, the federal government has run on-budget deficits except for FY1999 and FY2000, and total federal deficits except in FY1969 and FY1998–FY2001.[25]

For example, in January 2009 the CBO reported that for fiscal year 2008 (FY2008) the “on-budget deficit” was $638 billion, offset by an “off-budget surplus” (mainly due to Social Security revenue in excess of payouts) of $183 billion, for a “total deficit” of $455 billion. This latter figure was the one commonly reported in the media. However, an additional $313 billion was required for “the Treasury actions aimed at stabilizing the financial markets,” an unusually high amount due to the Subprime mortgage crisis. This meant that the “debt held by the public” increased by $768 billion ($455B + $313B = $768B). The “off-budget surplus” was borrowed and spent (as is typically the case), increasing the “intra-governmental debt” by $183 billion. So the total increase in the “National debt” in FY2008 was $768B +$183B = $951 billion.[24] The Treasury Department reported an increase in the National Debt of $1,017B for FY2008.[26] The $66 billion difference is likely due to “supplemental appropriations” for the War on Terror, some of which were outside the budget process entirely until President Obama began including most of them in his FY2010 budget.[27]

In other words, spending the “off budget” Social Security surplus adds to the total national debt (by increasing the intragovernmental debt) while the “off-budget” surplus reduces the “total” deficit reported in the media. Certain spending called “supplemental appropriations” is outside the budget process entirely but adds to the national debt. Funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was accounted for this way prior to the Obama administration.[27]Certain stimulus measures and earmarks were also outside the budget process. The federal government publishes the total debt owed (public and intragovernmental holdings) monthly.[28]

Reduction

Negative real interest rates

Since 2010, the U.S. Treasury has been obtaining negative real interest rates on government debt, meaning the inflation rate is greater than the interest rate paid on the debt.[29] Such low rates, outpaced by the inflation rate, occur when the market believes that there are no alternatives with sufficiently low risk, or when popular institutional investments such as insurance companies, pensions, or bond, money market, and balanced mutual funds are required or choose to invest sufficiently large sums in Treasury securities to hedge against risk.[30][31]

Economist Lawrence Summers and blogger Matthew Yglesias have stated that at such low interest rates, government borrowing actually saves taxpayer money and improves creditworthiness.[32][33]

In the late 1940s through the early 1970s, the US and UK both reduced their debt burden by about 30% to 40% of GDP per decade by taking advantage of negative real interest rates, but there is no guarantee that government debt rates will continue to stay so low.[30][34] Between 1946 and 1974, the US debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 121% to 32% even though there were surpluses in only eight of those years which were much smaller than the deficits.[35]

Converting fractional reserve to full reserve banking

The two economists, Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof, working for the International Monetary Fund, published a working paper called The Chicago Plan Revisited suggesting that the debt could be eliminated by raising bank reserve requirements, converting from fractional reserve banking to full reserve banking.[36][37] Economists at the Paris School of Economics have commented on the plan, stating that it is already the status quo for coinage currency,[38] and a Norges Bank economist has examined the proposal in the context of considering the finance industry as part of the real economy.[39] A Centre for Economic Policy Research paper agrees with the conclusion that, “no real liability is created by new fiat money creation, and therefore public debt does not rise as a result”.[40]

Debt ceiling

US debt ceiling at the end of each year from 1981 to 2010

The debt ceiling is a legislative mechanism to limit the amount of national debt that can be issued by the Treasury. In effect, it will restrain the Treasury from paying for expenditures after the limit has been reached, even if the expenditures have already been approved (in the budget) and have been appropriated. If this situation were to occur, it is unclear whether Treasury would be able to prioritize payments on debt to avoid a default on its debt obligations, but it would have to default on some of its non-debt obligations.

In 1995[41] and 2011,[42][43] congressional Republicans unsuccessfully made threats of default on the national debt through non-renewal of the debt ceiling to try to obtain political concessions from President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama, respectively.[citation needed]

Debt holdings

Estimated ownership each year

Because a large variety of people own the notes, bills, and bonds in the “public” portion of the debt, Treasury also publishes information that groups the types of holders by general categories to portray who owns United States debt. In this data set, some of the public portion is moved and combined with the total government portion, because this amount is owned by the Federal Reserve as part of United States monetary policy. (See Federal Reserve System.)

As is apparent from the chart, a little less than half of the total national debt is owed to the “Federal Reserve and intragovernmental holdings”. The foreign and international holders of the debt are also put together from the notes, bills, and bonds sections. To the right is a chart for the data as of June 2008:

Foreign holdings

Composition of U.S. Long-Term Treasury Debt 2000–2014, from U. S. Department of the Treasury, TIC reporting system

As of September 2014, foreigners owned $6.06 trillion of U.S. debt, or approximately 47% of the debt held by the public of $12.8 trillion and 34% of the total debt of $17.8 trillion.[44] The largest holders were China, Japan, Belgium, the Caribbean banking centers, and oil exporters.[46]

The share held by foreign governments has grown over time, rising from 13% of the public debt in 1988[47] to 25% in 2007.[48]

As of September 2014 the largest single holder of U.S. government debt was China, with 21% of all foreign-held U.S. Treasury securities (10% of total U.S. public debt).[49]China’s holdings of government debt, as a percentage of all foreign-held government debt are up significantly since 2000 (when China held just 6 percent of all foreign-held U.S. Treasury securities).[50]

This exposure to potential financial or political risk should foreign banks stop buying Treasury securities or start selling them heavily was addressed in a June 2008 report issued by the Bank of International Settlements, which stated, “Foreign investors in U.S. dollar assets have seen big losses measured in dollars, and still bigger ones measured in their own currency. While unlikely, indeed highly improbable for public sector investors, a sudden rush for the exits cannot be ruled out completely.”[51]

On May 20, 2007, Kuwait discontinued pegging its currency exclusively to the dollar, preferring to use the dollar in a basket of currencies.[citation needed] Syria made a similar announcement on June 4, 2007.[52] In September 2009 China, India and Russia said they were interested in buying International Monetary Fund gold to diversify their dollar-denominated securities.[53] However, in July 2010 China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange “ruled out the option of dumping its vast holdings of US Treasury securities” and said gold “cannot become a main channel for investing our foreign exchange reserves” because the market for gold is too small and prices are too volatile.[citation needed]

According to Paul Krugman, “It’s true that foreigners now hold large claims on the United States, including a fair amount of government debt. But every dollar’s worth of foreign claims on America is matched by 89 cents’ worth of U.S. claims on foreigners. And because foreigners tend to put their U.S. investments into safe, low-yield assets, America actually earns more from its assets abroad than it pays to foreign investors. If your image is of a nation that’s already deep in hock to the Chinese, you’ve been misinformed. Nor are we heading rapidly in that direction.”[54]

Forecasting

Further information: United States federal budget

CBO: Public Debt Under “Extended” and “Alternate” Scenarios

Spending for mandatory programs is projected to rise relative to GDP, while discretionary programs decline

Interest to GDP, a measure of debt burden, was very low in 2015 but is projected to rise with both interest rates and debt levels over the 2016–2026 period.

CBO short-term outlook

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported in its February 2014 Budget and Economic Outlook (which covers the 2014–2024 period) that deficits were projected to return to approximately the historical average relative to the size of the economy (GDP) by 2014. The CBO estimated that under current law, the deficit would total $514 billion in fiscal year 2014 or 3.0% GDP. Deficits would then slowly begin rising again through 2024 due primarily to the pressures of an aging population and rising healthcare costs per person. The debt to GDP ratio would remain stable for much of the decade then begin rising again toward the end of the 10-year forecast window, from 74% in 2014 to 79% in 2024.[55]

CBO long-term outlook

The CBO reports its Long-Term Budget Outlook annually, providing at least two scenarios for spending, revenue, deficits, and debt. The 2014 Outlook mainly covers the 25-year period through 2039. The “extended baseline scenario” assumes that the laws currently on the books will be implemented, for the most part. The CBO reported in July 2014 that under this scenario:

If current laws remained generally unchanged in the future, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next few years. After that, however, growing budget deficits would push debt back to and above its current high level. Twenty-five years from now, in 2039, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP. Moreover, debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely. By 2039, the deficit would equal 6.5 percent of GDP, larger than in any year between 1947 and 2008, and federal debt held by the public would reach 106 percent of GDP, more than in any year except 1946—even without factoring in the economic effects of growing debt.[56]

The “extended alternative fiscal scenario” assumes the continuation of present trends, which result in a more unfavorable debt position and adverse economic consequences relative to the baseline scenario. The CBO reported in July 2014 that under this scenario:

[C]ertain policies that are now in place but are scheduled to change under current law are assumed to continue, and some provisions of current law that might be difficult to sustain for a long period are assumed to be modified. Under that scenario, deficits excluding interest payments would be about $2 trillion larger over the first decade than those under the baseline; subsequently, such deficits would be larger than those under the extended baseline by rapidly increasing amounts, doubling as a percentage of GDP in less than 10 years. CBO projects that real GNP in 2039 would be about 5 percent lower under the extended alternative fiscal scenario than under the extended baseline with economic feedback, and that interest rates would be about three-quarters of a percentage point higher. Reflecting the budgetary effects of those economic developments, federal debt would rise to 183 percent of GDP in 2039.[56]

Over the long-term, the CBO projects that interest expense and mandatory spending categories (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) will continue to grow relative to GDP, while discretionary categories (e.g., Defense and other Cabinet Departments) continue to fall relative to GDP. Debt is projected to continue rising relative to GDP under the above two scenarios, although the CBO did also offer other scenarios that involved austerity measures that would bring the debt to GDP ratio down.[56]

The CBO estimated under the baseline scenario that the U.S. debt held by the public would increase approximately $8.5 trillion between the end of 2014 and 2024. Under a $2 trillion deficit reduction scenario during that first decade, federal debt held by the public in 2039 would stand at 75 percent of GDP, only slightly above the value of 72 percent at the end of 2013. Under a $4 trillion deficit reduction scenario for that decade, federal debt held by the public would fall to 42 percent of GDP in 2039. By comparison, such debt was 35 percent of GDP in 2007 and has averaged 39 percent of GDP during the past 40 years.[56]

The CBO reported in September 2011: “The nation cannot continue to sustain the spending programs and policies of the past with the tax revenues it has been accustomed to paying. Citizens will either have to pay more for their government, accept less in government services and benefits, or both.”[57]

Risks and debates

Risks due to increasing entitlement spending, according to GAO’s projections of future trends

CBO risk factors

The CBO reported several types of risk factors related to rising debt levels in a July 2010 publication:

  • A growing portion of savings would go towards purchases of government debt, rather than investments in productive capital goods such as factories and computers, leading to lower output and incomes than would otherwise occur;
  • If higher marginal tax rates were used to pay rising interest costs, savings would be reduced and work would be discouraged;
  • Rising interest costs would force reductions in government programs;
  • Restrictions to the ability of policymakers to use fiscal policy to respond to economic challenges; and
  • An increased risk of a sudden fiscal crisis, in which investors demand higher interest rates.[58]

Concerns over Chinese holdings of U.S. debt

Many American and other economic analysts have expressed concerns on account of the People’s Republic of China’s “extensive” holdings of United States government debt,[59][60] as part of their reserves.

The National Defense Authorization Act of the fiscal year 2012 included a provision requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a “national security risk assessment of U.S. federal debt held by China.” The Department issued its report in July 2012, stating that “attempting to use U.S. Treasury securities as a coercive tool would have limited effect and likely would do more harm to China than to the United States. As the threat is not credible and the effect would be limited even if carried out, it does not offer China deterrence options, whether in the diplomatic, military, or economic realms, and this would remain true both in peacetime and in scenarios of crisis or war.”[61]

The 112th United States Congress introduced legislation whose aim was the assessment of the implications of China’s ownership of U.S. debt.[61] The 2013 Report claimed that “[a] potentially serious short-term problem would emerge if China decided to suddenly reduce their liquid U.S. financial assets significantly” [emphasis in the original text], noting, also, that Federal Reserve System Chairman Ben Bernanke had, in 2007, stated that “because foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities represent only a small part of total U.S. credit market debt outstanding, U.S. credit markets should be able to absorb without great difficulty any shift of foreign allocations.”[61]

A significant number of economists and analysts dismiss any and all concerns over foreign holdings of United States government debt denominated in U.S. dollars, including China’s holdings.[62][63][64][65]

Sustainability

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States is on a “fiscally unsustainable” path because of projected future increases in Medicare and Social Security spending.[18]

Risks to economic growth

Debt levels may affect economic growth rates. In 2010, economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart reported that among the 20 developed countries studied, average annual GDP growth was 3–4% when debt was relatively moderate or low (i.e. under 60% of GDP), but it dips to just 1.6% when debt was high (i.e., above 90% of GDP).[66] In April 2013, the conclusions of Rogoff and Reinhart’s study came into question when a coding error in their original paper was discovered by Herndon, Ash and Pollin of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.[67][68] Herndon, Ash and Pollin found that after correcting for errors and unorthodox methods used, there was no evidence that debt above a specific threshold reduces growth.[69] Reinhart and Rogoff maintain that after correcting for errors, a negative relationship between high debt and growth remains.[70] However, other economists, including Paul Krugman, have argued that it is low growth which causes national debt to increase, rather than the other way around.[71][72][73]

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated in April 2010 that “Neither experience nor economic theory clearly indicates the threshold at which government debt begins to endanger prosperity and economic stability. But given the significant costs and risks associated with a rapidly rising federal debt, our nation should soon put in place a credible plan for reducing deficits to sustainable levels over time.”[74]

Interest and debt service costs

Components of interest on the debt

Despite rising debt levels, interest costs have remained at approximately 2008 levels (around $450 billion in total) due to lower than long-term interest rates paid on government debt in recent years.[75] However, interest rates may return to higher historical levels.[76]

The cost of servicing the U.S. national debt can be measured in various ways. The CBO analyzes net interest as a percentage of GDP, with a higher percentage indicating a higher interest payment burden. During 2015, this was 1.3% GDP, close to the record low 1.2% of the 1966–1968 era. The average from 1966 to 2015 was 2.0% of GDP.[77] However, the CBO estimated in 2016 that the interest amounts and % GDP will increase significantly over the following decade as both interest rates and debt levels rise: “Interest payments on that debt represent a large and rapidly growing expense of the federal government. CBO’s baseline shows net interest payments more than tripling under current law, climbing from $231 billion in 2014, or 1.3 percent of GDP, to $799 billion in 2024, or 3.0 percent of GDP—the highest ratio since 1996.”[78]

Definition of public debt

Economists also debate the definition of public debt. Krugman argued in May 2010 that the debt held by the public is the right measure to use, while Reinhart has testified to the President’s Fiscal Reform Commission that gross debt is the appropriate measure.[71] The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) cited research by several economists supporting the use of the lower debt held by the public figure as a more accurate measure of the debt burden, disagreeing with these Commission members.