Saturday, March 20, 2010

Owens Gives Away His Vote to Pelosi & Betrays the People of NY-23

Today, the race for NY-23 just lost another candidate, incumbent Congressman Bill Owens, who told Nancy Pelsoi she could have his vote for Bigger Government this morning. Owens made his decision before he even finished reading the bill. You can read Owens' justification here. When you read it you almost have to wonder whether Owens' staff could write it with a straight face. At least now we really know how liberal Owens is, and now we know he is more liberal than his Democratic colleague, Michael Arcuri, who said he is voting no tomorrow.

I must admit that there was never actually any doubt in my mind about where Owens stood on this issue, but some people thought he would at least listen to his constituents and realize that a large majority of people are against this plan. But Owens chose a partisan path and people are continuing to ask themselves, "Where are the jobs and how will our state survive?" With his decision today, Owens basically just told every person who called him, visited him, wrote him or met with his staff to go bug off. So tomorrow Owens is voting to spend your tax dollars on the bribes we wrote about earlier this week: the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, the Gator-Aid and the Husky Hospital. But what did Owens get for NY-23? He got a commitment from Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama for some extra campaign cash and union assistance this coming November.

Saying, "the math is sound on this bill," Owens continues to claim that this bill will lower premiums and that Medicare beneficiaries will see their coverage improve. Both of these statements are patently false though. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office makes it clear that this bill requires 10 years of tax increases and 10 years of Medicare cuts to pay for just 6 years of benefits. The American people don't want this bill and they realize that 10 years of payments are not worth just 6 years of benefits. They know there is a better way -- a bipartisan way. You can ask the Democratic Whip of the United States Senate who spoke very clearly on these issues: Medicare cuts and premium increases. Senator Durbin confirms that the Medicare program will be cut. In the second video clip, he also confirms that your premiums will rise.

After you see a fellow Democrat expose Bill Owens on these issues ask yourself if this Big Government take-over is the right thing for our health care system, our children and our grandchildren. Do we want to bankrupt the Medicare program and tax our middle class to pay for a government take-over of our health care system? Ask yourself if you want to continue down this path of reckless spending and higher taxes. We should shelve this bill and start fresh. We can do that just as soon as we shelve Bill Owens and put someone else in his office to do the job of the people. Remember this weekend this coming November.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Facts About ObamaCare That Will Scare You

Special deals, higher premiums, massive taxes, unfair mandates, soaring deficits, lack of transparency, deal-making, job-killer... Those are just some of the terms that have been used to describe this massive government takeover in the health care industry over the past few weeks. The fact remains, the bill before the House this weekend is not good for NY-23.

This health care bill over the next decade will tax the American public for 10 years, but we will only see 6 years of benefits. That's like buying a car and paying it off over four years and then getting your car. Who does that? And who wants the government to run our health care system that way? Several Democrats in Congress have even admitted that when this bill passes health care premiums will rise. Ask any private practice doctor how they feel about government intrusion into our health care system, and they will tell you that it just doesn't work. Most health care patients agree that they want their doctor to make their decisions about health care, not a politician in Congress or a Big Government bureaucrat.

On top of that, this bill includes a ton of special deals for other states and districts, but New York as a whole gets left out in the cold. Congressman Bill Owens' Democrat colleague, Michael Arcuri, in NY-24 is voting against the bill because he said small businesses would be negatively affected and that economic and job growth would suffer immensely. The ObamaCare bill, according the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office assumes that 8 million employees will lose their insurance coverage. That assumption is derived from the thought that employers will save money by taking a government penalty or fee to drop their employer sponsored health insurance. The Wall Street Journal also believes this bill will be a job killer and a tax-hiker. Once employees are forced off their employers plan, everyday Americans will be pushed in a plan that rations care to save costs for the government. The New York Times admitted that much in this piece this week.

As things stand today, Medicaid repayments are currently assessed against certain applicants. But what is worse is that under this new plan, Medicaid and Medicare will place tax leins against capital gains from sales of assets like homes, snowmobiles, ATVs, cars, land, jewelry and other physical property. One implication of the House passing the Senate health care bill is that thousands of property owners in upstate and central New York will be forced onto the expanded Medicaid. People with low-to-mid income levels who may own hereditary property, 2nd cars, collections, ATV's and other properties will likely wind up having those things taken away from them.

That is an outrage because many people in Northern New York rely on earned income credit tax credits every spring to get their houses painted, pay for the car repairs and other credits. However, with the changes in the taxation status of the health benefits from their employers, many low-to-mid income families in NY-23 may very well find themselves move out of their tax brackets, resulting in a lot of people getting tagged for more taxes to the fed.

But ObamaCare won't just tax individuals and employers if they don't comply with these heavy mandates. New reports are showing that the IRS will begin taxing everyday products to continue to pay for the health overhaul. Medical devices, prescription drugs and other health benefits and services will be considered fair-play for new taxes by the federal government. These are just some of the facts that ordinary Americans didn't want to hear. Just wait until we finally find out everything else in the 2,400+ page bill that surely stands to bankrupt the federal government. A vote for health care is a vote for higher taxes, fewer benefits, higher premiums and bigger deficits.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Bill Owens More Liberal Than Michael Arcuri?

Congressman Michael Arcuri of NY-24 is a sophomore Democratic House member who represents the district just south of NY-23. Today Arcuri went public that he is against Big Government ObamaCare. Just like Owens, Arcuri was a yes vote last year. You can see Arcuri's reasons here. Arcuri says, "I have talked to small business owners from Herkimer to Geneva who desperately needs health care reform but, uniformly, they tell me this new proposal will hurt them and their employees across the board. I've listened to my constituents and have heard their concerns clearly."

This puts incredible pressure on Bill Owens, who is still undecided on how he will vote. NY-23 and NY-24 are similar districts demographically and politically. The people of NY-24 don't want a government take-over of health care just like the people of NY-23 don't want it. And now the public is learning about the sweetheart deals in this bill that benefit other states. The Senate health care bill that the House is preparing to vote for on Sunday contains the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, the Gator-Aid and the Husky Hospital. On top of that it cuts Medicare for seniors by more than half a trillion dollars, uses the taxing-power of the federal government to pay for other people's abortions and adds new mandates and taxes on individuals and small businesses. New Yorkers are already saddled with huge debts and we are sick of the lack of transparency in government.

Here is a brief analysis of the avalanche of sleazy deals that is killing this bill:

The Cornhusker Kickback: A Nebraska Senator got a special deal where no one in his state would ever have to pay Medicaid taxes ever again. In exchange for a critical Senate vote, Nebraska's Medicaid costs would be paid for by the other 49 states. That is included in the 2,400+ page Senate bill all the House members will be voting on.

The Louisiana Purchase: A Louisiana Senator got $300+ million for new medical projects in exchange for her vote to pass the Senate bill. That $300+ million would come from taxpayers in the other 49 states.

The Gator-Aid: Somehow Florida, the Gator state, was able to keep the Medicare Advantage program for its almost 1 million seniors. No other state in the union would keep the Medicare Advantage benefits many seniors across the country rely upon. If this bill passes the House on Sunday, seniors in NY-23 will lose their Medicare Advantage benefits, but Florida seniors will keep theirs.

The Husky Hospital: The Senate bill has $100 million allocated for a new hospital in Connecticut, paid for by taxpayers across the country. Why doesn't NY-23 get its own new hospital?

On top of those hand-outs, Obama and Pelosi are sweetening the deal for other members of Congress to get this thing passed at the 11th hour. Human Events reported on these goodies today: "Rep. Bart Godron (D-Tenn.) who announced his retirement from Congress has been promised the job of NASA administrator in exchange for his vote, and Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), another retiring Democrat, has been promised an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to NATO in exchange for his vote." Ask Owens what he got for NY-23, besides the bill for the taxpayers and some campaign contributions from Obama and company. Ask him if he is going to vote for the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, the Gator-Aid and the Husky Hospital for Connecticut.

Why would someone elected to represent our interests vote for our tax dollars to go to special deals in other states? Does Bill Owens really expect the voters of NY-23 to forgive him if he votes to make us pay federal taxes that go to benefit other states, but not our own? Right now the whip count stands at 205-202 in favor of the good guys. Owens is still undecided and to pass the Big Government take-over Obama needs 216 votes.

Watch the 90-second video below, which describes the whole process with some humor, and ask yourself why Bill Owens is more liberal than the Democrats south of NY-23. So much for hope and change. The only change NY-23 should be looking for is Owens to change his vote on health care. Our freshman congressman, Bill Owens, should follow his neighbor Michael Arcuri's lead on this big issue.

Bill Owens' Silence Will be Broken Soon

You just can't pin some people down for whatever reason. Congressman Bill Owens is considered a major swing vote on the huge health care bill that will result in a government take-over of almost 1/5th of the American economy, and he won't say where he stands. If you are wondering why Owens hasn't made a decision yet we might have an answer for you - politics.

A campaign organized by national Republicans called Code Red that is tallying the votes says our congressman is going to vote yes, but there is no public record anywhere that shows Owens as a committed yes vote for Obamacare, yet. The real reason why Owens doesn't have a public statement on Obamacare: he doesn't want to go on record either way, he thinks he can keep all sides happy.

A commentator at National Review quotes John Fund from the Wall Street Journal who wrote, "Rounding up the votes for health care has also proven difficult. House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn told McClatchy Newspapers that final consideration of the bill may not occur until Easter (April 4) or later. He is dealing with dozens of members who refuse to commit to a firm position in hopes their silence will force the leadership to pull the bill and move on to other issues. 'Just say nothing,' is how one Democratic staffer explained the strategy being taken by many members. 'Maybe it will just go away, and we can avoid a tough vote this close to the election.'"

Initially, the deadline for passage was March 18th. Now it looks like we might see a vote on Sunday or early next week. How is that for courage? It makes you wonder why Bill Owens voted for health care last year. Could it be that the Obama administration offered him a quid pro quo? Promise to vote for health care and we will raise you some money and campaign in NY-23. Promise to vote for health care and we will get you Dede Scozzafava's endorsement by offering her a cozy job in the administration or in the state government when Cuomo becomes Governor.

Bill Owens has gone radio silent on the biggest domestic issue in a generation. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal summed it up nicely here. The writer, Fred Barnes, believes, "America will be in a constant health-care war if ObamaCare is enacted. Passage wouldn't end the health-care debate. Rather, it would perpetuate ObamaCare as the dominant issue for decades to come, reshape politics, create an annual funding crisis in Congress, and generate a spate of angry lawsuits. Yet few in Washington seem aware of what lies ahead." You can run, but you can't do it well with flip-flops.

For those who don't think the health care debate is a big issue have been missing the forest for the trees. The people of NY-23 know that you can't put deodorant on cow manure and call it dirt, and they also know that you can't be silent on this critical issue forever. Holding out and waiting to commit on health care, and potentially coming out to be the deciding vote on either side of this very public debate, may only end up adding greater insult to a great, great injury.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bill Owens Wearing Flip-Flops in March???

Congressman Bill Owens just found his name on a list he really does not want to be on. An AP article linked on the Drudge Report lists Owens as a top-tier, vulnerable target among a group of candidates which grassroots activists think they can flip from a yes to a no vote on health care reform. The news confirms the poll on this week showing over 70% of people against the bill. What Owens now knows is that the people, by wide margins, don't want this government take-over of health care. A group of Tea-Party activists even stood outside of his campaign office in Watertown with homemade signs to make the point loud and clear.

For Owens, you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't. The problem is Owens put himself in this moldy political sandwich because he broke his own campaign promise and voted for health care the day after he was sworn into office. He has made himself a national symbol of the Democrats 2,400+ page health care reform package. In fairness, Owens owed his first vote for health care reform to Pelosi, Obama and company because the administration campaigned hard for him last fall.

Unfortunately for Owens, the unions and the Obama machine are threatening to withhold a campaign visit and political money to any Democrat who refuses to vote in favor of socialized medicine. The unions and some liberal interest groups are even threatening to push a challenger into races if incumbents like Owens vote against the Senate version of the health care bill this week. The Working Family's Party would certainly have to withdraw their support of Owens.

The best Owens can hope for is to try and convince the House leadership to shelve this health care bill so he doesn't have to go on record again. That's a long shot, and despite the pressure from the left we are predicting that it won't be long until you see Congressman Bill Owens wearing flip-flops around NY-23 in late March. On a positive note at least the newest member of Congress will be trying his first pair of sandals on in DC and not Plattsburgh.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

While Leaving NY-23 Race Will Barclay Beats Up on Political Cynicism

Assemblyman Will Barclay got out of the race for NY-23 tonight. The main theme that Barclay leaves us with is that he did not want to skirt his "duty" to the New York State Assembly which is currently in disarray. In an e-mail message sent out to supporters tonight Barclay took a hard shot at what he describes as the cynicism of politics.

Barclay eloquently wrote, "I fully expect and resign myself to accepting that my citing duty as the reason for my decision will be dismissed by some, perhaps by many, with cynical comments. So be it... It was, I freely admit, very tempting to excuse myself from the ever worsening woes of Albany." That kind of open and honest dialogue is what voters are longing for in today's politics. It was a theme the former candidate could have utilized earlier on in his bid to gain traction for the Republican nomination.

For sure Barclay's decision to leave the race for NY-23 is a bit of an indication of how hard it is to compete against a populist, conservative Republican juggernaut in Doug Hoffman and a self-financing Banker-Lawyer from Manhattan in Matt Doheny. Regardless, Barclay may still have a very bright future in politics and What's Up NY-23 wants to wish Mr. Barclay the best in his effort to represent the people of the 124th Assembly district in Albany.