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Katie Johnson

Celebrities Mock Obamacare at CMAs


Posted by Katie Johnson on Friday, November 8th, 2013, 2:28 PM PERMALINK


Obamacare, still touted as the Obama Administration's crowning achievement, has become a laughing stock, even among celebrities.

 

Wednesday's 47th Annual Country Music Association awards honored today's country music's hottest stars and paid tribute to classic country musicians who popularized the genre. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, the CMA co-hosts for the evening, also paid tribute to a very special government program: Obamacare.

 

You know your government program is a flop when even popular musicians are mocking it.  Highlighting the Obamacare website debacle, Brad and Carrie sang a parody of George Straight's "Amarillo By Morning" turning it into, "Obamacare By Morning."  Met with uproarious cheers from the audience, the pair joked about the website glitches and the reported six people nationwide who were able to sign up for the federal healthcare exchange the first day it opened.

 

 

Online, country fans were largely entertained and amused at the parody. Music award and entertainment award shows in recent times have become more political, with Michelle Obama announcing awards at the Oscars and celebrities time and time again making blatant political endorsements and criticisms.

This year's CMA awards was no different, with popular public opinion being that Obamacare is largely a joke. However, the real debilitating effects of Obamacare, such as thousands of Americans being dumped from their current healthcare plans and the rising costs of healthcare premiums are no laughing matter.

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Oregon Rolls Out Tax-Per-Mile Program


Posted by Katie Johnson on Friday, October 25th, 2013, 3:27 PM PERMALINK


The Oregon Transportation Department is preparing to enroll 5,000 volunteer drivers into a new test program starting in 2015.  According to the law, passed by the Democratic state legislature earlier this year, residents will pay 1.5 cents per mile instead of paying 30 cents per gallon at the pump. The initial volunteers are piloting the law, which will expand shortly after a brief test run.

 

Americans for Tax Reform has already taken a stance in opposition to a similar tax-per-mile plan, which was a likely model for this law.  The new tax also imposes a higher cost on those with fuel-efficient vehicles, who would pay less at the pump but more per mile. 

Other individuals are concerned about the tax-per-mile law's effects on privacy.  The devices used for recording the number of miles driven are likely to include the use of smartphones or GPS-tracking devices, which have potential to track the exact location of Oregonians as they travel throughout the state. 

While the Oregon Department of Transportation looks towards an opportunity to increase their revenue in order to cover road and transportation maintenance, many fear the adverse effects that may lead to additional costs and privacy-infringement. 

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WI Poised to Pass $100-Million Property Tax Cut


Posted by Katie Johnson on Thursday, October 17th, 2013, 3:53 PM PERMALINK


While the federal government has officially “re-opened” to face its own fiscal issues, Wisconsin, under Governor Scott Walker’s leadership, has been “Open for Business” for some time, addressing budgetary needs and continuing to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle.

Today the Wisconsin State Assembly is expected to pass a $100-million property tax cut, which will reduce the average homeowner’s property taxes by $13 this year and $20 next year.

The bill has encountered wide support from both Republicans and Democrats; passing the Wisconsin State Senate with a bipartisan vote of 28-5. The proposal also includes an estimated increase of $100 million in funds to school districts across the state over the next two years 

The tax cut proposal was announced last week.  Walker noted, “The taxpayers of the state helped us create the surplus, it’s only right that we draw down their property taxes.”

These recent reforms show that Scott Walker is serious about positive economic reforms in Wisconsin, further highlighting the leadership Republican governors are showing in the states, a stark contrast to leadership in Washington.

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Heartbreaking: Enroll in Obamacare by Valentine's Day or Expect Fines


Posted by Katie Johnson on Monday, October 14th, 2013, 9:39 AM PERMALINK


Instead of taking your significant other out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, the federal government wants you to purchase compulsory government-run health insurance for them: how romantic.

This past week the Obama administration announced that the new deadline to purchase health insurance under Obamacare has been moved.  The deadlinepreviously January 1, 2014, was later moved to March 31, 2014. Now the Obama administration has once again changed the date, this time to February 15, 2014, just after Valentine’s Day, so coverage can go into effect by March 1.

The date change is also necessary to ensure that the IRS can process all paperwork by April 15.

While online enrollment for Obamacare is now open, numbers of those actually registering and receiving health insurance are devastatingly low, due to an incredible amount of glitches in the Obamacare website.The website, which cost taxpayers $93 million to build, is only one of many problems which remain to be seen as the rocky implementation of the federally mandated healthcare law continues.

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Scott Walker Says "No" to Shutdown in Wisconsin


Posted by Katie Johnson on Friday, October 4th, 2013, 12:13 PM PERMALINK


While national parks around the country are closing due to the government shutdown, one state is defying orders: Wisconsin.  Much like the veterans at the WWII Memorial, Wisconsin is refusing to comply with federal instructions to close down public parks.

Several Wisconsin parks, including Devil’s Lake, Kettle Moraine, and Horicon Marsh, were ordered to close by the National Park Service; however, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) refused, choosing instead to keep the parks open and runnning.  Many of these parks are largely funded by state rather than federal funds.

The DNR also reopened a public boat launch on the Mississippi River this past Wednesday. The launch had been closed early this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service due to the government shutdown and the launch residing on federal property, but the DNR removed the barricades anyway, citing its legal authority from an agreement made decades ago with the federal government.

Governor Scott Walker endorsed the DNR’s actions to keep parks open and blamed both Republicans and Democrats in Congress for the government shutdown, stating that politicians in Washington should run the country more like Wisconsin, a state which had recently balanced its budget under Walker’s leadership, turning the state’s deficit of $3.6 billion into a surplus

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6 Reasons Why 60% of All Americans Now Think Government Has Too Much Power


Posted by Katie Johnson on Friday, September 27th, 2013, 6:02 PM PERMALINK


According to a recent Gallup study, 60% of all Americans believe the federal government has too much power.  The percentage of Republicans who believe this is typically high, but recently the number of all Americans, Independents and Democrats included, dissatisfied with the federal government has grown to unprecedented levels.


Here are some recent examples of the large overreach of the federal government: 

 

1. They’ve Been Spying on Us!

We’ve recently seen an incredible abuse of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, leading to the National Security Administration collecting hordes of data from the average American’s phone records. 

Americans can no longer trust their government to respect their privacy and government acting as “Big Brother” from 1984 no longer sounds like a fiction story.

2. The IRS is Judging You

Yet another government agency under scrutiny for abusing its powers: the IRS.  This past summer, Americans learned the IRS was specifically targeting conservative organizations, requesting personal information on employees, donor information, and other private data, as well as delaying tax exempt status grants.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the IRS also can’t even keep track of your money: $67 million in a slush fund for Obamacare just mysteriously “went missing.”

3. They Want to Tax our Internet Too?

Congress is currently considering a bill, The Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow state governments to collect sales tax on purchases you make online.  This legislation would hurt individuals and small businesses, discourage competition, and further infringe on consumer privacy.

This is yet another instance of the federal government working to impose additional taxes and regulations upon the American people and the internet.

4. Government Drones Galore! 

While previous administrations have been criticized for torturing terrorists, this administration resolves the issue by using drones to obliterate its enemies, including innocent bystanders who may be American citizens.

While Americans are generally enthusiasts of new technology and innovation, many fear the implications of the federal government’s liberal use of drone technology.  The threat of the government using drones against Americans has particularly driven interest and in part, sparked Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster in defense of American civil liberties.

5. Excessive EPA Regulations

Whether driving up costs for businesses and individuals by increasing regulations on greenhouse gases, coal, and stormwater, or killing jobs by fighting new energy opportunities like hydraulic fracturing, the Environmental Protection Agency has clearly overstepped its bounds.  The role of the EPA has gone from merely protecting the environment to attempting to sterilize it, hurting the millions of Americans in the process.  

6. Federal Government Healthcare Takeover


The federal government will now force businesses to purchase health insurance for full-time employees.  Sound fair? It’s not.  Not even implemented yet, already Obamacare increasing health premium costs by as much as 99%, causing businesses to cut hours for millions of workers to part-time , and infringing upon religious liberties.

Oh, and the president lied: Obamacare raises some taxes.  Or, many taxes, to be sure.

Way to go, federal government.

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