On June 17th I submitted a letter to the editor to The New York Times responding to Gail Collins’ incorrect claim in her June 16th piece that President George W. Bush told America to "go shopping" after 9-11. The New York Times has refused to publish my letter so I hope you’ll take a look and decide for yourself.
I address this issue in more detail in my new book, Courage and Consequence, specifically in chapter 18, page 291.
President Barack Obama enjoyed a 68% approval rating from Americans in the first Gallup Poll job approval rating of his administration. Considering he now sits at 46% and 45% in polls like Gallup and Rasmussen, respectively, what has been the trend in his job approval rating, and in what direction is it going?
There are several websites that provide an aggregate of all major polls conducted on the President’s job approval, and the polling conducted on his handling of issues like health care, foreign policy and the economy.
The following sources have some great summaries of President Obama’s approval rating:
It will make for an interesting study to monitor the trend over the coming months, especially after Americans grow increasingly frustrated over the President’s handling of issues like unemployment and the federal deficit.
On Tax Day, rather than offer an explanation on why the Obama Administration has broken its 2008 campaign pledge not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer took to the White House blog to criticize my Wall Street Journal column, “Why Republicans Are Winning on the Tax Issue.”
Mr. Pfeiffer claimed that under the Obama Administration, federal taxes have been reduced by $173 billion. However, what he neglected to mention was that since January of 2009, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have enacted into law gross tax increases totaling more than $670 billion -- or more than $2,100 for every man, woman and child in the United States. The majority of these tax increases are a result of the new health care law alone. The Republican Ways and Means Committee put together a comprehensive tally of all the tax increases passes since January 2009.
If that wasn't enough to undermine Mr. Pfeiffer's weak response, last week the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a major office within the Department of Health and Human Services, released a report showing that the President's new health care law will not "bend the health care curve" down as President Obama pledged, but cause it to increase.
Considering the $670 billion in tax increases and 1% increase in new health care spending contradict President Obama’s and Democrats’ pledges, let me recommend the next time Mr. Pfeiffer dismiss criticisms as “false,” he make sure the facts and figures are on his side. Because, to paraphrase that venerable Democratic Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Mr. Pfeiffer is entitled to his own opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own selective facts. After all, when it comes to taxes, Mr. Pfeiffer was asking the American people, “who you gonna believe, him or your lying eyes?”
Mr. Obama, when all is said and done, will rank as one of the greatest tax hikers in American history. His aides, rather than defending it, are trying to deny it. Unfortunately for them, they cannot outrun reality.
I was happy to talk about the U.S. Census this week and encourage all Americans to fill out their Census forms. The U.S. Census is not only an important way to ensure fair representation in Congress, it is also a vital part of our history. One of my favorite founders is James Madison, who created this instrument of democracy by writing it into the Constitution as a requirement every 10 years. You will find that the questions in the 2010 Census are almost the same ones Madison wrote into first Census in 1790! If you have not filled out your census form yet, it is not too late. Please fill out the ten easy questions today. For the full video and more information on the 2010 U.S. Census, please visit http://bit.ly/ddOz0e.
Wishing you a very happy holiday and wonderful New Year! Especially grateful for all our service men and women who are spending their holidays away from their families and friends to keep ours safe. They are in our thoughts and prayers! Thank you for your support and encouragement over the past year. See you in 2010!
On December 8th, I went on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss President Obama’s trip to Copenhagen and to respond to critics of the Bush Administration’s green record. As I explained to Bill, many of President Obama’s targets to reduce greenhouse gases and increase renewable energy are on track with policies and goals initially put in place by President Bush. Despite the frequent attacks on the Bush energy record, the facts show that under President Bush’s policies, air pollution decreased, ethanol production quadrupled, wind energy increased by more than 400 percent, and more than $44 billion in federal funds went towards climate change and energy security programs, including more than $22 billion to technology research, development and demonstration.
Here are some related fact sheets, articles and reports on the subject:
White House FACT SHEET: “Diversifying Our Energy Supply and Confronting Climate Change,” http://bit.ly/5jF714
“Everything You Know About the Bush Environmental Record is Wrong,” Gregg Easterbrook, Brookings Working Paper, April 1, 2002, http://bit.ly/5ib387
“Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Drop 0.1% in Developed World,” Alex Morales, Bloomberg News, November 17, 2008, http://bit.ly/58DYBt
“Myths & Facts About the Real Bush Record,” Ed Gillespie, Realclearpolitics.com, December 22, 2008, http://bit.ly/5Q2rBG
"Courage and Consequence" will be published on March 9, 2010. For those of you interested in giving my book as a Christmas gift, I'm offering a free autographed bookplate to anyone who sends a self-addressed stamped envelope to my office: Karl Rove & Company, P.O. Box 25564, Washington, DC 20027.
On November 24, I brought out the whiteboard on Fox’s “Happening Now” to explain how the Democrats’ proposed health care reform bills would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. As promised, I’ve posted the links to the reports, studies and statements from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and other independent groups from where I got my information. If you’re interested in learning more about this issue, read the reports, take a look at the numbers, and decide for yourself!
Congressional Budget Office:
“Those projected premium amounts include the effect of the fees that would be imposed under the proposal on manufacturers and importers of brand name drugs and medical devices, on health insurance providers, and on clinical laboratories. Those fees would increase costs for affected firms, which would be passed on to purchasers and ultimately would raise insurance fees by a corresponding amount.”—CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, “CBO’s Analysis of Premiums Under The Chairman’s Mark of the America’s Healthy Future Act,” CBO Blog, September 23 2009, http://bit.ly/8cqM94
“The gross cost of the coverage expansions, consisting of exchange subsidies, the net costs of expanded eligibility for Medicaid, and tax credits for employers: Those provisions have an estimated cost of $180 billion in 2019, and that cost is growing at about 8 percent per year toward the end of the 10-year budget window.”—CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf Letter to Senator Baucus, October 7, 2009, page 10, http://bit.ly/5r9vP
The CBO released data showing that premiums for a family’s health insurance plan will increase 28 percent under the Reid bill—from $11,000 to $14,100 per family. That is a $3,100 increase per family. The CBO explains that for the second-lowest benefit plan, called “silver,” premiums would be $5,200 for singles and $14,100 for families in 2016, when the policy is fully phased in. CBO also provides a table with the premiums people would pay in the exchange at different income levels, given the premium tax credits. The report shows that even after spending $2.5 trillion, the Reid bill still could leave middle class families with major health care costs. CBO writes that, “A family of four with income of about $54,000 (also 225 percent of the FPL in 2016) could expect to pay about 17% of its income for premiums and cost sharing for the reference plan.”—CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf Letter to Senator Reid, November 20, 2009, http://bit.ly/5bae94
Hay Group, “Impact Of Proposed Senate Finance Committee Health Care Reform Bill On the Nongroup Market,” October 5, 2009, http://bit.ly/5hULMO
PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Potential Impact of Health Reform on the Cost of Private Health Insurance Coverage,” October 11, 2009, http://bit.ly/4wN9cO
Wellpoint, “Health Care Reform Premium Impact in Ohio,” 2009, http://bit.ly/7UyLT1
Oliver Wyman, “Insurance Reforms Must Include A Strong Individual Mandate And Other Key Provisions To Ensure Affordability,” October 14, 2009, http://bit.ly/8LdIIv
While discussing the health care debate with Governor Howard Dean at the Penn State Distinguished Speaker Series, I made the point that the public option will undoubtedly have the same results as Medicare, which denies reimbursement claims at almost twice the rate of private insurers. Governor Dean insinuated that I was a liar and accused me of “making up” this fact and continued to argue that government-run insurance was the only way to improve our health care system.
At the debate, I promised to continue the discussion and back up my position in today's Wall Street Journal column. I've done so and have provided citations so you can make an informed decision about who had their facts straight and who didn’t. In the op-ed I also analyze the perils of the Pelosi Public Option and how Tuesday’s elections should be an ominous sign for Democrats who continue to support it.
In an effort to stick to the facts, I've posted the source of my claim, American Medical Association’s "2008 National Health Insurer Report Card." I would direct your attention to Metric 12 on page five, which breaks down the “percentages of claim lines denied.” As you will find, Medicare denied the highest number of claims, or 6.85% of total claims filed in 2008, while private insurers in the group denied almost half the amount, or an average of 3.89% of total claims filed.