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Obamacare off to a rocky start in 2016

by Philip Klein     •     Washington Examiner

obamacare-obama-government-inefficientAs most of the political world has been focusing on the presidential race, Obamacare has gotten off to a rocky start in 2016. This could be a major drag on Democrats come November.

On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that fewer than 13 million individuals signed up for Obamacare plans for 2016. Though the administration is trying to argue that this 12.7 million number beat expectations, nobody is buying it.

HHS officials set an artificially low target of 10 million signups for the year – essentially flat from 2015 – so they would have something to beat.

“While exchange enrollment will meet the Administration’s modest 10 million person goal, it does appear that growth in this market has slowed,” Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president of healthcare advisory firm Avalere said in a statement. [Read more...]

A recession worse than 2008 is coming

by Michael Pento     •     CNBC

2852.EconomicRecessionThe S&P 500 has begun 2016 with its worst performance ever. This has prompted Wall Street apologists to come out in full force and try to explain why the chaos in global currencies and equities will not be a repeat of 2008. Nor do they want investors to believe this environment is commensurate with the dot-com bubble bursting. They claim the current turmoil in China is not even comparable to the 1997 Asian debt crisis.

Indeed, the unscrupulous individuals that dominate financial institutions and governments seldom predict a down-tick on Wall Street, so don’t expect them to warn of the impending global recession and market mayhem.

But a recession has occurred in the U.S. about every five years, on average, since the end of WWII; and it has been seven years since the last one — we are overdue.
Most importantly, the average market drop during the peak to trough of the last 6 recessions has been 37 percent. That would take the S&P 500 down to 1,300; if this next recession were to be just of the average variety. [Read more...]

The Obama recovery that wasn’t

Families are no longer fooled by ‘hope and change’ happy talk

By Stephen Moore     •     Washington Times

Photo by: Seth Wenig In this July 9, 2015 file photo, a Wall Street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange in New York. U.S. stocks moved lower on the last day of the year as the market headed for a sluggish end to 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The stock market closed down for 2015 reversing one of the few positive accomplishments under the Barack Obama presidency. This has been a pretty prosperous time for the top two percent. For most Americans though — not so much.

A new report from Sentier Research based on Census data finds that median household income of $56,700 at the end of 2015 stood exactly where it was adjusted for inflation at the end of 2007.

That’s eight years of virtually zero income gain. And President Obama and his Washington political pundits wonder why voters are in such a cranky mood.

Last week the Joint Economic Committee of Congress issued a report on the Obama recovery loaded with even more dismal news. On almost every measure examined, the 2009-15 recovery since the recovery ended in June of 2009 has been the meekest in more than 50 years. [Read more...]

Obamacare Is Now on Life Support

By Edward Morrissey     •     The Fiscal Times

Democrats gained the political muscle to push the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through Congress on three basic arguments.

First, they argued that the United States had too many uninsured people, with estimates ranging from 30 million to 45 million.

Second, the rise in costs for health care outstripped inflation, and the market required an intervention that would bend the cost curve downward.

Third, Democrats claimed that insurance companies made too much profit and shorted most consumers on care, while those with generous health plans – so-called “Cadillac plans” – drove up utilization rates and costs for everyone else. [Read more...]

A new taxpayer bailout to cover up ObamaCare’s failure?

by Betsy McCaughey     •     New York Post

Obamacare fraudHow dare the Obama administration bail out insurance companies with our money in order to hide ObamaCare’s failures. Thursday, just hours after giant insurer UnitedHealthcare said it’s losing money selling ObamaCare plans and will likely exit the health exchanges next year, the Obama administration quietly promised to bail out insurers for their losses — using your money.

Nearly all insurers are bleeding red ink trying to sell the unworkable plans. Without a bailout, more insurers will abandon ObamaCare, pushing it closer to its demise. A bailout would benefit insurers and the Democratic Party, which is desperate to cover up the health law’s failure. Ironically Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders) bad-mouth bank bailouts but are all for insurance-company bailouts. Truth is, it’s a ripoff for taxpayers, who shouldn’t have to pay for this sleazy coverup. [Read more...]

ObamaCare’s predictable collapse

by Rick Manning     •     The Hill

Obamacare NeedleEveryone knew that it was just a matter of time, but no one expected it to fail this fast. Yet, that is exactly what is happening, as bad news story after bad news story about the state of ObamaCare arrives on a seemingly weekly basis.

ObamaCare co-ops were supposed to provide lower cost health insurance alternatives because they weren’t driven by the profit motive. Now, just a couple of years after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, 12 out of 23 co-ops have failed, costing taxpayers $1.2 billion in defaulted loan repayments. The failure rate even outstrips the Labor Department’s 2011 projections of 36 percent, and as The Carpenters used to sing, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” [Read more...]

$20 trillion man: National debt nearly doubles during Obama presidency

By Dave Boyer     •     The Washington Times

When President Obama signs into law the new two-year budget deal Monday, his action will bring into sharper focus a part of his legacy that he doesn’t like to talk about: He is the $20 trillion man.

Mr. Obama’s spending agreement with Congress will suspend the nation’s debt limit and allow the Treasury to borrow another $1.5 trillion or so by the end of his presidency in 2017. Added to the current total national debt of more than $18.15 trillion, the red ink will likely be crowding the $20 trillion mark right around the time Mr. Obama leaves the White House.

 

When Mr. Obama took over in January 2009, the total national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. That means the debt will have very nearly doubled during his eight years in office, and there is much more debt ahead with the abandonment of “sequestration” spending caps enacted in 2011. [Read more...]

Flashback: Obama Says Adding $4 Trillion to National Debt ‘Unpatriotic’

This article was published on March 20, 2012.

By Matt Cover     •     CNSNews.com

Although the national debt under President Barack Obama has increased $4 trillion since he took office in 2009, as a presidential candidate in 2008 Obama criticized then-President George W. Bush for adding $4 trillion to the national debt, saying it was “unpatriotic” and also “irresponsible” to saddle future generations with such a large national debt.

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child,” Obama said on July 3, 2008, at a campaign event in Fargo, N.D.

“That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic,” said candidate Obama.

Economists Disagree With Fed Claim That U.S. Nearing ‘Full Employment’

Say jobs, economy not recovering as quickly as unemployment rate might suggest

by Ali Meyer     •     Washington Free Beacon

joblessWhile the Federal Reserve claims that the United States is making progress towards its goal of maximum employment, some economists and policy experts disagree, citing poor labor participation rates and anemic wage growth to suggest that the economy is not recovering as quickly as the unemployment rate might suggest.

Fifty-six percent of economists polled by the Wall Street Journal, said that the United States would meet the Fed’s goal of “full employment” by 2016. In July, the Federal Open Market Committee said that there had been “cumulative progress” made toward this goal.

The Fed has maintained that it will not raise interest rates until the labor force reaches maximum employment and inflation hits 2 percent. [Read more...]

Largest health insurer on Colorado exchange collapses

80,000 or so Coloradans will need to find a new insurer for 2016.

by Associated Press     •     KRDO.com

Cancelled Cancellation ObamaCareColorado’s biggest nonprofit health insurer is closing, forcing 80,000 or so Coloradans to find a new insurer for 2016.

Colorado HealthOP announced Friday that the state Division of Insurance has de-certified it as an eligible insurance company. That’s because the cooperative relied on federal support, and federal authorities announced last month they wouldn’t be able to pay most of what they owed in a program designed to help health insurance co-ops get established. [Read more...]

Jobs Report: Disappointment Is Routine With This Administration

by Investor’s Business Daily

joblessFriday’s jobs report has us feeling like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”: waking up morning after morning to the radio blaring Sonny and Cher’s “I’ve Got You Babe.”

We’ve lived through this over and over during the Obama presidency. Every time we see a hopeful sign that the economy’s shifting into a higher gear (a bullish 3.9% GDP growth in the second quarter, for example, after a near-recessionary 0.6% in the first), hiring slips back again into its slow-growth ditch.

No wonder voters are seething with anger. [Read more...]

Of Course They’re Fed Up

The left blames economic woes on everything except its hero president.

by Stephen Moore     •     Weekly Standard

Two weekends ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City held its annual monetary conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The left flew in hundreds of protesters donning green T-shirts that demanded “Higher Wages for America” and chanting, “We’re Fed Up.” The crowd was an assortment of college kids on their summer break, disgruntled middle-aged teachers, senior citizens, and blue-collar union members. Think Occupy Wall Street.

I attended the Jackson Hole conference and chatted with protesters who came in from places as distant as New York and North Carolina and California. What was their beef? Two black men who appeared to be in their seventies explained the agenda: “We demand higher wages.” “We want an increase in the minimum wage.” “The Fed is intentionally holding down pay.” “Corrupt corporations have all the power.” “Unions need to be returned to power.” A social worker from Kansas City almost sobbingly told me of the plight of the poor who she cares for in her job, of the “women and minorities [who] are being left behind,” as she made an abstract plea for “social justice.” [Read more...]

Look Who’s Bashing Obama’s Economy Now

Investor’s Business Daily

obamanomics2016: Presidential candidates, both announced and prospective, used Labor Day to fire off some pretty harsh criticisms of President Obama’s economy. That’s not news. What is news is who was doing the firing.

Just listen to some of the heated rhetoric about the results that seven long years of Obamanomics have produced:

“I am hot. I am mad, I am angry.”

“There is something profoundly wrong when … the average American is working longer hours for lower wages and we have shamefully the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth.” [Read more...]

Why Does U.S. Economic Performance Continue To Decline?

by Francis Menton     •     Manhattan Contrarian

Poor Economic Growth ObamaThe government’s latest GDP numbers, through Q2 2015, are now out, and they include some revisions to Q1, as well as other revisions for the period 2012 – 2014. Lenore Hawkins analyzes the numbers at Elle’s Economy, in an article titled “GDP Numbers Keep Getting Worse.” One consequence of the revisions is that Q1 2015 went from a slight decline to a slight increase. But the other revisions to earlier years, particularly 2012 – 2014, had the effect of lowering previously-reported GDP substantially:

In the 138 years from 1870 to 2008, the US economy expanded by about an average of 3% a year. After the revisions to GDP data from 2012-2014, we see that the U.S. economy since the financial crisis has been growing an average of 2.0% a year versus the earlier 2.3%. . . . Most importantly, 2010-2014 was weaker in every quarter except the second and 2015 so far has been the worst yet!

So why doesn’t the U.S. economy just get going like it always did in the past — even as recently as the decade of the 1990s and from 2001 – 2008? Could there be something different about the Obama regime? [Read more...]

The Obama economy has SERIOUS problems

by Heather Long     •     CNN

High on the Republican presidential candidates’ list of talking points is the Obama economy. Specifically, bashing it.

They have some grist to work with.

Even though the economy is way ahead of where it was four years ago, Americans aren’t happy. Half of the country flat out disapproves of how the president is handling the economy, according to recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll.

Even more alarming is the return of pessimism. Take a look at Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index. It’s measured weekly, and the first August reading is negative — the lowest since last October. The jitters are back. [Read more...]