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Posts tagged ‘BarackObama’

If 2013 Was Hard on Obamacare, Just Wait for 2014: Lanhee Chen.


At his end-of-the-year news conference, President Barack Obama called the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act his single biggest mistake of 2013. That’s putting it mildly. Supporters of Obamacare can’t wait to put this year behind them: From dropped insurance coverage for millions of Americans to the delay of the law’s employer mandate and the problems with HealthCare.gov, 2013 has been nothing short of a disaster.

There are two things that are important to recognize about Obamacare’s difficulties this year. First, people shouldn’t have been surprised that the law was so hard to implement and spawned so much bad press — in fact, it was designed so that the law’s more politically unpopular provisions would take effect only after the 2012 elections.

Second, as bad as 2013 has been for Obamacare, the year ahead doesn’t look much better. In fact, 2014 has the potential to be even worse — for the law, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats.

The drafters of Obamacare recognized that many elements of the law would be unpopular, while other provisions — allowing people up to the age of 25 to remain on their parents’ plans, ending co-payments for preventive care or closing the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage — would be immensely popular with the voting public. These provisions all took effect shortly after the law was signed in 2010.

So, what was left for 2013 and beyond, after Obama had been re-elected president, were a series of provisions that Democrats knew would cause more political and policy trouble. Millions of Americans in the individual market being dropped from their existing plans is directly related to Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement, which mandates coverage across 10 categories and goes into effect in 2014. And the one-year delay in the effective date of the employer mandate, which now starts in 2015, was an attempt to delay some of the law’s negative labor market effects — cuts in wages, hours and employment — until after the midterm elections in November 2014.

Now that 2013 is drawing to a close, we see why Obamacare’s drafters did what they did. Obama’s approval ratings are at or near all-time lows, but that matters little to a White House that already won four more years. And while Republicans in Washington and in state capitals across the U.S. have successfully directed the public’s attention toward Obamacare’s woes, their failure to win the White House or a Senate majority in 2012 means that outright repeal of the law remains a pipe dream for now.

Unfortunately for Obamacare’s supporters, the story doesn’t end there. Nor do the political ramifications for Democrats. It may be that 2014 is an even rougher year for the ACA than 2013 was, and I think that will be the crucial reason Republicans regain control of the Senate in the midterm elections. Here’s why.

First, some of Obamacare’s least popular provisions go into effect in 2014. This includes a new $60 billion tax on health insurers, which will be levied relative to premiums collected and directly passed on to consumers. And, of course, Obamacare’s requirement that individuals secure health insurance coverage (or pay a tax penalty) kicks in during the coming year as well.

Second, millions of Americans who buy their coverage on the individual market or get it through small employers will be shocked by just how much their premiums go up in 2014. The young and healthy will be especially susceptible to this rate shock, and this in turn will further drive them away from purchasing coverage in future years. Given skyrocketing premiums, the economic incentives for many of these “young invincibles” are aligned against buying coverage in the coming years. But these are also the people that the ACA most needs to be enrolled through its health insurance exchanges to offset the comparatively higher risk and costs associated with insuring the sick and old. These dynamics may lead to even higher premiums in the coming years.

Third, not only will millions of Americans on the individual and small group markets who like their plans be unable to keep them in 2014, but many will experience what it’s like to be unable to continue seeing the doctors they know and trust. As health insurers face pressure to keep costs down while providing the richer package of benefits that Obamacare mandates, many are limiting their networks of doctors and other health-care providers. A cancer survivor’s opinion article in the Wall Street Journal illustrated the horrible situation that Obamacare will place some Americans in: Being forced to choose between doctors that have been critical to their care or, in some cases, not having access to any of their existing health- care providers.

Finally, Obamacare’s Medicare cuts will continue to hurt senior citizens. For the 14 million people enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program, the ACA’s $200 billion in cuts over the next 10 years will accelerate in 2014 and have tangible impacts on beneficiaries. Insurers predict that seniors in Medicare Advantage plans will see higher premiums, increased cost-sharing for primary and specialist visits, and limits on the doctors they can see. Although the ACA is not solely responsible for the headwinds the Medicare Advantage program faces, it will (and should) shoulder most of the blame.

While President Obama might hope he can put all of Obamacare’s woes behind him when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, the reality is that the worst is only just beginning. Democrats in Congress and around the country will be the ones forced to deal with the collateral damage created by the president’s misguided effort to remake the American health care system.

Lanhee Chen is a Bloomberg View columnist and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He was the policy director of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Obamacare Train Wreck Could Derail US Recovery.


The U.S. economy is gaining strength, but the Obamacare train wreck, festering problems in far away China and uncertain leadership at the Federal Reserve could derail the recovery.

No small courage will be required for good sense to finally restore American prosperity.

Here are three things that could derails a full economic recovery.

Obamacare

President Barack Obama is imposing the Affordable Care Act on a justifiably unwilling citizenry. The botched rollout is laying bare the absolute incompetence of the Washington bureaucracy, but that is not the worst of it.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

Many young Americans have decided that Obamacare health insurance is too expensive for their needs, and insurers face financial ruin paying claims to a less healthy population of policyholders than anticipated. They will charge higher rates in 2015 and may require a bailout.

Don’t count on Republicans winning the Senate and putting Obamacare out of its misery — the electorate may prove too cynical.

In the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election, voters, angry about Obamacare, blamed Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Yet, he managed a narrow victory by promising free health care to 300,000 citizens by expanding Medicaid.

Lest jobs creation and growth be handicapped by an excessively expensive and bureaucratic health care system, “makers” may simply have to tell the “takers” enough is enough, march on Washington and demand radical changes.

Don’t productive Americans deserve a civil rights movement too?

China’s Banking Mess

China’s economic miracle may prove a bigger fraud than the American pre-crisis prosperity built on shabby lending and consumer spending on steroids.

Many Chinese businesses that stock Wall-Mart with unimaginably inexpensive gadgets were built on loans they can’t repay. Similarly, banks have financed provincial governments to build cities occupied by displaced farmers that have no jobs.

Beijing has raised interest rates to gradually deflate bubbles in stock and land prices, but now borrowers cannot pay those rates and banks and private lenders could face ruin.

A financial crisis won’t end the rise of China, but it would expose a great fraud: the superiority of state-directed capitalism over western democracy and free markets.

No one would be more disappointed than the collectivists at National Public Broadcasting and other liberal media, who celebrate each Chinese achievement with the enthusiasm the French cheered General Washington’s victories over the British.

The simultaneous debunking of the ACA and Chinese miracle offer conservatives the opportunity to refocus the debate in America from the shortcomings of free markets and private enterprise to helping those thrive and contribute to middle class prosperity as they did in the 1980s and 1990s.

Federal Reserve

During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve balked at bailing out GM. The Fed could have bought the automaker’s bad debt, just as it took bad mortgages off banks’ books. Ben Bernanke pronounced assisting GM would be “industrial policy” and limited the Fed to extraordinary measures to stabilize banks and credit markets.

Obama used TARP—the Treasury fund established by President Bush and Congress—to rescue both GM and American International Group, an insurance company.

The next financial crisis well could be defined by the coincident plights of health insurance companies under Obamacare, and the sagging fortunes of American companies who invested in China’s “recession proof” economy.

New Fed Chairman Janet Yellen is well known for her very liberal political views, which not so incidentally color her economics. In a crisis, she could see the limits of Fed policy discretion very differently than Bernanke.

Using the Fed’s money printing machinery to bail out health insurance companies and Obamacare could put America on a path to inflation and corruption similar to Latin American nations during the 1970s and 80s.

It would be up to Republicans in the Senate to shut down the chamber if necessary to force hearings and compel Chairman Yellen to defend the dollar, not debase the currency.

Standing up to the failures of liberalism, when it counts, has never been politically easy—and Republicans like Speaker Boehner and Congressman Ryan are rightly the targets of Tea Party criticism.

All along, at crisis moments like these, they have capitulated. Now standing strong for America is even more difficult, but if not now then when?

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

White House Year in Review: ‘Yes We Can’ Ignore the Scandals.


Image: White House Year in Review: 'Yes We Can' Ignore the Scandals

By Cynthia Fagen

It’s the White House spin on “Yes We Can.”

The White House’s yearly wrap-up appears to have ignored persistent media reports of the Obamacare fallout, the NSA spying scandal and the president’s plummeting popularity polls, preferring instead to spin a sunnier version of President Barack Obama’s political accomplishments while offering lighter feature fare.

“In 2013, our economy grew, and our deficit shrunk. For the first time in almost two decades, we said that we’re producing more oil at home than we buy from the rest of the world,” the White House cooed in its website introduction.

“We honored our heroes. We bounced back from national tragedies and natural disasters. We strengthened our relationships with allies around the world and took action to promote the American dream at home. Take a look at our 2013 year in review.”

While this was the president’s worst year in office, you likely couldn’t tell from this round-up. Alongside a July video of Obama pushing for immigration reform was the Kids State Dinner. A photo of the president with a Photoshopped hairdo from the black-tie White House Correspondent’s Dinner highlights the month of April, and the president and Michelle Obama are seen watching a 3-D movie at the first-ever White House Student Film Festival in November. That comes one item after Obama touts how the deficit had been cut in half under his watch at the end of his October moments.

It could make you want to hug a puppy. That came in August, when the Obamas‘ new dog Sunny was introduced.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Blackburn: White House in ‘Full Panic Mode’ Over Obamacare.


Image: Blackburn: White House in 'Full Panic Mode' Over Obamacare

By Melanie Batley

Republican lawmakers are blasting the Obama administration’s decision to exempt large numbers of people from having to buy insurance under Obamacare — a last-ditch attempt to help the millions of people who received insurance cancellation notices because of the new healthcare law.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed the changes in a letter to six Democratic senators Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reports. She said the government would permit those who could not find affordable new coverage to quality for a “hardship exemption” to avoid a penalty next year for not having insurance.

ObamaCareYou Can Win With The Facts 

“This is a common-sense clarification of the law,” said Joanne Peters, a Health and Human Services spokeswoman, Fox News reports.

The administration also downplayed the change, saying the it is expected to affect fewer than 500,000 people.

Democrats have praised the announcement, but Republicans say it’s one more example of a healthcare program that is unworkable.

“We asked Secretary Sebelius point blank what would be the next holiday surprise, and she was silent. Yet, here we are with another major policy shift,” said Tennessee GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fox reports. “The sad reality is that when the law takes effect come Jan. 1, more Americans will be without coverage under Obamacare than one year ago.”

“Less than two weeks from going live, the White House seems to be in full panic mode. Rather than more White House delays, waivers, and exemptions, the administration should provide all Americans relief from its failed law,” she added.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called it a “slap in the face” to those already enrolled in Obamacare.

“Holding a fire sale of cheap insurance is not a responsible fix for a broken program. This is a slap in the face to the thousands of Americans who have already purchased expensive insurance through the Obamacare exchanges,” he said.

The insurance industry also reacted negatively to the news, saying the decision to allow people to sign up for “catastrophic” coverage plans would cause tremendous “instability.”

“This latest rule change could cause significant instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” Karen Ignagni, head of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group, told the Journal.

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Senate Confirmation of Yellen Delayed.


Image: Senate Confirmation of Yellen Delayed

By Melanie Batley

A final vote in the Senate expected this week to confirm Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve has been postponed until early January as part of a deal with Republicans to secure the confirmations of three other presidential nominees.

The decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was an attempt to break a stalemate between the parties which reached fever pitch after Democrats changed the filibuster rules to ram through appointments that had been stalled for months, according to Bloomberg. Republicans have since been digging in their heels by dragging out debate on each appointment.

“I think the solution to this is not to throw daggers at each other but to sit down and talk this through,” Indiana GOP Sen. Dan Coats said on the Senate floor shortly after the agreement was announced, according to The Washington Post.

Senators will vote to end formal debate on Yellen’s nomination Friday, take a two-week holiday break, then return Jan. 6 for the final vote, Bloomberg reports.

In exchange, votes to confirm three other presidential nominees are set for Friday, including John Koskinen as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Alejandro Mayorkas as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Brian Davis to be a federal judge in Florida.

Under the new filibuster rules, Yellen needs the support of a simple majority of the Senate’s 100 members to become the 15th chairman and first woman to head the central bank in its 100-year history. If confirmed, she will replace Ben Bernanke whose term expires on Jan. 31.

“We need her expertise at the helm of the Fed as our nation continues to recover from the great recession, completes Wall Street reform rule-makings and continues to enhance the stability of our financial sector,” Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, said in a floor speech, according to Bloomberg.

Yellen said at her Nov. 14 confirmation hearing that she will maintain current policies until “strong recovery” allows the bank to scale back monetary accommodation.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Lindsey Graham Votes ‘No’, Conservative Groups Blast ‘Rip-Off’ Budget Bill.


Image: Lindsey Graham Votes 'No', Conservative Groups Blast 'Rip-Off' Budget Bill

By Todd Beamon

Capitol Hill Republicans and conservative groups blasted the two-year budget proposal approved by the Senate on Wednesday, charging that it would slash military retiree benefits and eliminate spending reductions targeted through sequestration.

“President Obama, above everyone else, has the responsibility as commander in chief to take care of those who honorably serve our nation in uniform,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who voted against the bill. “He should not sign this severely flawed legislation into law.

“Instead, he should show leadership and send Congress back to work to fix this problem,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said the legislation “exemplifies what is wrong with Washington. Nothing is getting fixed. No important reforms are being addressed.

“The people get little in return except more debt, more taxes, and no change to the Obamacare disaster,” Cruz added.

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, said the vote “replaces bipartisan spending limits with gimmicks and empty promises.

“The American people were promised reasonable spending cuts, but are now forced to accept billions more in immediate government spending based on the shaky promise that members of Congress won’t once again go back on their word a decade from now.”

On a 64-36 vote, the Senate passed the spending bill, announced last week by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, who heads the House Budget Committee.

Nine Republicans — including Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, among others — voted with 53 Democrats and two independents to support the budget deal, which sets spending levels for next year and 2015.

The bill will be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Besides Graham and Cruz, among other Republicans voting against the deal were Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

In addition, the Senate’s top three Republicans — Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference — all voted against the bill.

The House of Representatives passed the legislation last week on a 332-94 vote. Sixty-two Republicans and 32 Democrats broke ranks to oppose the spending plan.

The deal averts a government shutdown on Jan. 15, cuts the budget deficit by $23 billion and restores $63 billion in planned sequester cuts.

The increases would be offset by other spending reductions and increased fees elsewhere in the budget totaling about $85 billion over a decade, leaving enough for a largely symbolic cut of more than $20 billion in the nation’s $17 trillion debt.

Tea party and conservative groups have attacked the proposed bill since it was announced, saying it would bust the spending limits set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Those sequestration cuts took effect in March — and the Pentagon was targeted for the $63 billion in reductions over the next two years.

House Speaker John Boehner, who supported the bill, attacked the groups for their opposition to the spending plan.

“This budget may be a deal for Democrats and progressive Republicans, but it’s a rip-off for citizens,” FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said on Wednesday. “Congress is once again raising taxes and spending now, for reductions promised later that will never materialize.

“This kind of deal is what happens when your party leadership’s fighting slogan is ‘next time,’ rather than ‘stand up.'”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was widely slammed for blocking Republican efforts to amend the bill to stop the military retiree cuts.

Majority Leader Reid rushed through this closed-door deal without a single amendment,” Sessions, the ranking Republican on the budget committee who was not part of the talks on the deal, said on the Senate floor. “His conference blocked my amendment, for instance, to replace pension cuts for wounded warriors with the closure of a tax welfare loophole.

“We are left with a tax-and-spend plan that also removes a procedural tool to prevent Democrats from exceeding spending limits and raising taxes again in the future.”

“The Senate majority voted to allow Sen. Reid to ignore all Republican amendments,” Cruz said. “Over and over, this is the roughshod style of leadership that characterizes this Senate and underscores why Washington badly needs to listen to the people.”

Graham noted while the budget agreement included cuts to retirement benefits for current and future military retirees, all current civilian federal employees were protected from a scheduled increase in contributions to the Federal Employees Retirement System.

Under the budget plan approved, the increase would only apply to new federal employees hired after Jan. 1.

The Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday that the budget deal would also cut retirement benefits of service members who retired for medical reasons, including combat injuries.

“If budgets and legislation reflect our nation’s priorities, what would it say about us if we pass a bill that turns to our veterans and says: ‘Thank you for deploying to war and enduring the hardships of military life, but we are going to need you to sacrifice again and give back $72,000 of the retirement you have earned?’ ” Graham asked.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obamacare’s Broken Promises, Obama’s Broken Second Term.


Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama has lost credibility as a leader and effective executive with most Americans.

A good CEO must work within the strengths and limitations of his organization — then execute effectively to deliver on the promises he makes.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Enter the president’s signature program:

  • If you can’t buy health insurance, the ACA will make it easy to obtain.
  • If you like the insurance you have, the ACA will let you keep it.
  • If you like your doctor, the ACA will let you keep him.
  • If you already have good insurance, the ACA will make it cheaper.

The ACA website, Healthcare.gov, even with many efforts at improvement, is simply not easy to use or adequately effective.

As of Nov. 30, 365,000 Americans signed up for insurance via that website and the other exchanges set up by the states. This is well short of the administration’s target and makes it unlikely that 7 million will sign up by March 31, as expected by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Many who have failed to participate are young and healthy — those whose participation is needed to make the insurance policies offered viable.

When new insurance policies take effect next year, many Americans who successfully navigated the federal website will find they have signed up for nothing at all. Critical information about policyholders, dependents, incomes and the like has not been effectively transmitted to insurance companies for about one in 10 applicants. And the software needed to pay insurance companies federal subsidies promised for low- and moderate-income Americans is not yet completed.

Insurance companies won’t have enough cash to pay claims. Doctors will be scrambling to collect money directly from patients, who may not have the ability to pay, and to keep their practices solvent.

Right out of the box, the ACA declared many individual and group insurance policies to be inadequate and illegal. After a public uproar, the president declared those could be reinstated for one year, but many state insurance commissioners balked at this unworkable reversal of policy. Insurance companies simply can’t recreate the risk pools of customers that made those policies viable.

Once out, the jelly could not be put back into the jar.

Across the full range of policies sold directly to individuals and provided to groups through employers, insurance companies are eliminating doctors and hospitals from networks to meet arbitrary Obamacare mandates. Americans are scrambling to find new physicians, who are often overwhelmed and sometimes cannot provide essential services some patients need.

Policies now canceled paid millions of dollars in critical services, including cancer treatments by highly specialized clinics. Now they are being replaced by new contracts that don’t pay for those life-saving treatments, yet are cluttered with unneeded benefits, such as pediatric vision services for childless couples in their 50s.

Sadly, some Americans face death when old policies lapse and can no longer pay for the care they need.

Overall, premium costs are skyrocketing, not because old coverage was inadequate or new coverage is better, but because the ACA created markets that are less competitive than they were before.

The ACA sought to create new, more effective markets in over 3,000 cities and counties across America. This is proving an unworkable promise in a healthcare sector as large as the entire economy of France.

In many locales, owing to uncertainty about size and age characteristics of the new pools of customers to be served, the number of insurance companies participating has declined. Competitive pressures on insurers to negotiate favorable rates with hospitals and other facilities are greatly diminished.

These insurers are often quoting much higher rates, wholly frustrating the purpose of “bending the curve,” as the president euphemistically refers to the ACA’s efforts to halt the upward trajectory of healthcare costs.

The ACA is a bureaucratic nightmare and a bad trick played on most Americans
Now the president lacks the trust and credibility to pursue important second-term initiatives like immigration reform.

The president has only his hubris to blame.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

US Repatriates Algerian Gitmo Prisoners Who Fear Going Home.


The United States has repatriated two Algerians held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than a decade, the Pentagon said on Thursday, in what the men’s attorneys described as an involuntary transfer that ignored their pleas to go elsewhere.

Djamel Ameziane and Bensayah Belkecem did not want to go back to Algeria because they fear being persecuted there, their attorneys said.

“Hopefully this won’t be a case of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire,'” Zeke Johnson, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security & Human Rights Program, said in a statement.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented Ameziane, said the repatriation to Algeria violated international law. Rob Kirsch, an attorney for Belkecem, described the transfer as involuntary.

“The U.S. has compounded one injustice against him with another. He deserved better from the United States,” CCR attorney Wells Dixon in a statement.

The transfers reduced Guantanamo’s prisoner population to 162 detainees, part of a slow-moving effort by President Barack

Obama’s government to close the detention facility.

Obama promised to shut it down during his 2008 presidential campaign, citing its damage to the U.S. reputation around the world. But he has been unable to do so in his nearly five years in office, in part because of resistance from Congress.

Prior to the latest transfers, the United States has repatriated 14 detainees to Algeria, seven under President Obama and seven under George W. Bush’s administration, a Pentagon spokesman said.

“We have received no credible or substantiated information to suggest that any of these former detainees have been targeted by extremists operating in Algeria,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale said.

Breasseale also said the United States had coordinated with Algeria’s government to ensure the transfers took place with “appropriate security and humane treatment assurances.”

The concerns extend beyond targeting by extremists.

Kirsch said the U.S. decision would keep Belkecem from seeing his family. Belkecem’s wife and daughters, who live in Bosnia, will not move to Algeria.

“His wife will not take their daughters to Algeria, out of concern for her daughters. The U.S. knew this would deprive (Belkecem) of his family,” Kirsch said.

The Guantanamo prison camp was established during Bush’s presidency to house foreign terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States.

Some 15 detainees are waging a hunger strike and lawmakers have blasted the prison’s cost, about $2.7 million per prisoner per year, compared with $70,000 per inmate at maximum-security federal prisons. (Additional reporting by Jane Sutton in Miami; Editing by Bill Trott)

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Michael Youssef Calls on President Obama to Repent.


President Obama
President Obama

We reap what we sow. That’s a biblical concept, but other religions have similar sayings. Hindus believe in Karma—“Do good and you’ll get good; do bad and you’ll get bad.” Even atheists say, “What goes around comes around.”

However, sowing and reaping in Judeo-Christian teaching is very different. It does acknowledge the natural fact of God’s creation—namely, that if you plant cotton, you won’t get wheat. But the Bible not only affirms that agricultural principle, it goes a step further—a step that is unknown to all other religious and human endeavors.

If you sow misery, you will reap misery. But God is bigger than that simple equation. After sowing, if you repent and turn to the Lord, and if you ask forgiveness from others, then God will show mercy. Not only will He forgive, but He will help correct the misery that has been sown.

Which brings me to the Obama administration.

For five years, the administration has functioned under an unbridled desire to fundamentally transform America—transform it from a good and decent country with a penchant for rewarding hard work and integrity into a nation that rewards sloth and dependence on Uncle Sam.

In its endeavor to transform us, it has shaded the truth—it has stomped on facts and sown lies. And there is no more blatant manifestation of that than Obamacare.

As a boy, I grew up in a Christian home but surrounded by an Egyptian culture that rationalized the act of lying. However, my parents drummed into me the dangers of not telling the truth.

Like most lads, I lied out of fear, thinking I could get away with it and avoid the consequences of the truth. But if I heard my parents say it once, I heard them say it a thousand times: “Always remember that lying has legs. It can run fast, and sooner or later it will catch up to you.”

So here we are, six years after a litany of campaign promises and three years after passing a bill we needed to pass to find out what was in it. Here we are now, seeing the cookie crumble.

Good folks stood in the House and the Senate, pointing to the dire consequences of what Joe Biden described as “a big f– deal.” But to no avail.

Now we are witnessing millions of hardworking Americans suffering through the cancellations of their good health insurance policies. Their pain is indisputable.

Punishing the hardworking is more than just sowing misery, however; it is wickedness. That is the essence of Obamacare.

Now President Obama is not only reaping his lowest approval ratings ever, but even the reliably Obama-fawning media is turning on the object of its affection.

There is a way out for Mr. Obama, however. I plead with him to accept the advice of this immigrant who loved the pre-Obama America:

Publicly show God, the nation, and the world that you are truly sorry. First show your repentance to God, who sees the secrets of the heart. Then go to the people who voted for you and ultimately to the whole nation and world.

And remember back in our recent history to another president who claimed to be a Christian and yet refused to publicly repent and tell the truth. Remember President Nixon and what happened to him.

But ultimately remember this: God is merciful. And He will have mercy on you, the administration and those in Congress who supported you. Indeed, He will have mercy upon America, which is desperately in need of it.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Michael YoussefPh.D., is the founder and president of Leading the Way With Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and on-the-ground ministry teams. Youssef was born in Egypt.

Rep. Cole: Congress Must Avoid Government Shutdown.


Image: Rep. Cole: Congress Must Avoid Government Shutdown

By Amy Woods

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole said Sunday that Congress will focus on passing a budget and place immigration reform on hold when it reconvenes.

“I think the most important thing right now is to make sure we don’t have a government shutdown, to make sure we deal with the debt ceiling,” Cole said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I don’t think [a government shutdown is] likely, but, look, we’ve stumbled into one before that I didn’t think was wise and didn’t think should occur.”

On the issue of the Affordable Care Act, Cole predicted doom for President Barack Obama’s remaining term and legacy.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the first impression here was terrible, and I think it’s going to be an unfolding disaster for the president,” Cole said.

While the White House unveiled an improved and functioning Healthcare.gov website Saturday, the rollout of Obamacare remains rocky.

“The individual market is pretty tiny compared to what’s yet to come,” Cole said, regarding the enrollment of Americans as they join the exchanges. “I think as that unfolds, this thing is going to be an unmitigated political disaster for the president.”

Reacting to Pope Francis’ recent white paper about capitalism and growing economic inequality in the United States, the Republican seemed to side with the pontiff.

“I think this is a very hopeful message in terms of what our obligations are as individuals,” Cole said. “I don’t see this as an attack on the existing system, but I see it as a very useful corrective and a call for us to be better people.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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