The time between President Obama's claims and the retraction of those claims has shrunk to a new low:
Less than 24 hours after Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner questioned the veracity of President Obama’s persistent claim that, under his health care proposals, “if you like your insurance package you can keep it”, the White House has begun to walk the President’s claim back. Turns out he didn’t really mean it.
According to the Associated Press, “White House officials suggest the president’s rhetoric shouldn’t be taken literally: What Obama really means is that government isn’t about to barge in and force people to change insurance.”
How’s that for change you can believe in?
Lyndon Johnson said, with regard to the Viet Nam war, once he lost Walter Chonkite, he'd lost America. Well, what's it say when the current president has already lost Newsweek?
The refusal, approved by White House counsel Greg Craig's office, is the latest in a series of cases in which Obama officials have opted against public disclosure. Since Obama pledged on his first day in office to usher in a "new era" of openness, "nothing has changed," says David -Sobel, a lawyer who litigates FOIA cases. "For a president who said he was going to bring unprecedented transparency to government, you would certainly expect more than the recycling of old Bush secrecy policies.By the way, while we're all gossiping about what the Obama family ordered at the ice cream there are other things to be paying attention to:
"It would be a grave mistake for the U.S. to think it can remain unhurt if it ignites the fuse of war on the Korean peninsula," the country's main Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary. The U.S., which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, has said it has no such intentions.Meanwhile government out west is doing what government does:
The Labor Department reported yesterday that Oregon's unemployment rate soared to 12.4% in May, the nation's second highest after Michigan's 14.1%. What to do? If you're the geniuses in the state legislature in Salem, you naturally raise taxes.
Last week the legislature approved a $2 billion tax hike on personal income and small businesses that haven't already left the state. The highest tax rate on income above $500,000 would climb to 11% -- up from an already high 9%. Oregon will soon boast the second highest income tax rate in the nation, moving ahead of California (10.55%), and only slightly behind New York City (12.6%). Corporations will pay a 7.9% tax on gross receipts, up from 6.6%.
But that isn't the worst of it. Another revenue raiser will tax hospitals and private health insurance premiums. That's a good way to encourage private employers to drop their health coverage for workers.
In Oregon, as in so many states this year, lawmakers had to choose between reducing the growth of spending and raising taxes. No contest. So government spending will climb by about $2 billion, or almost 4%, which is on top of a 21% increase in the 2007-08 biennium budget. The sliver of good news is that taxpayer groups like Americans for Prosperity of Oregon are promising to put these taxes before the voters in a referendum this year or next. Since Salem's politicians seem intent on following California's, maybe Oregon's voters will do the same and just say no.