By Guy Benson
Americans for Tax Reform catches the Obama administration’s latest addition to the newspeak lexicon:
In “Four Tax Facts about the Health Care Law for Individuals” the agency writes: Your 2014 tax return will ask if you had insurance coverage or qualified for an exemption. If not, you may owe a shared responsibility payment when you file in 2015. In “The Individual Shared Responsibility Payment- An Overview” the agency warns Americans they must prove they were covered each and every month of the year: For any month in 2014 that you or any of your dependents don’t maintain coverage and don’t qualify for an exemption, you will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment with your 2014 tax return filed in 2015.Nope, it’s a tax — which, you’ll recall, is the only way this boondoggle squeaked past constitutional scrutiny. It’s a tax that overwhelmingly impacts the middle class. And it’s a tax that’s highly unpopular.
By Elizabeth Kreft
Make sure you’re on good terms with your roommate or spouse — the Supreme Court now says just one occupant of a home can give consent to searches without a warrant, even if an individual has previously objected.
The nation’s highest court ruled 6-3 in favor of law enforcement Tuesday in Fernandez v. California, which stemmed from a 2009 arrest and search in connection with a robbery in Los Angeles. Simply put, a girlfriend gave law enforcement access to her apartment after her boyfriend initially refused the search. But after the man was arrested and police returned to the apartment, the woman consented.
The decision gives authorities more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant, even when there is no emergency.
...Writing in dissent of Tuesday’s decision was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who accused the majority of weakening the Fourth Amendment and granting the police too much latitude, according to Reason.com:
“Instead of adhering to the warrant requirement,” Ginsburg wrote, “today’s decision tells the police they may dodge it, nevermind ample time to secure the approval of a neutral magistrate.”
By Erik Wasson
Senate Democrats will not write a budget for the next fiscal year.
One year after writing and passing the first Senate Democratic budget resolution in four years, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said her conference will not make an effort in the 2014 midterm election year.
In a statement, Murray said there was no reason to do a fiscal 2015 budget after the two-year deal struck in December with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
That deal set budget ceilings for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. The 2015 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.
“Fiscal Year 2015 is settled, the Appropriations Committees are already working with their bipartisan spending levels, and now we should work together to build on our two-year bipartisan budget, not create more uncertainty for families and businesses by immediately relitigating it,” Murray said.
....“Senate Democrats are required by law to produce a budget,” Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Friday. “Our nation is in enormous financial distress, and workers and families are suffering. Senate Democrats have produced only one budget in the last five years. This Senate and, more importantly, the American public, deserve to see a detailed ten-year financial plan to contain our dangerously rising debt and revitalize our dismal economy.”
A senior Democratic aide said the GOP is not interested in debating the long-term solution to budget deficits and just wants to play politics.
By Amy Payne
Do the hot topics in Washington reflect your concerns about the country?
Lately, the President has been advocating amnesty and a minimum wage hike. He had a rare private meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday to discuss these and other issues.
Here’s the problem with these priorities: Very few Americans say they’re concerned about immigration—and a minimum wage hike would cause destruction in the area they are concerned about: jobs.
Jobs and the economy are Americans’ top concerns, according to Gallup’s February poll. A combined 43 percent of respondents cited unemployment, jobs, or the economy as the “most important problem facing this country today.”
Immigration was cited by only 6 percent—and fewer Democrats said immigration was the most important problem (3 percent compared to 6 percent of Republicans).
Earlier this month, Boehner acknowledged “widespread doubt” about trusting the Obama Administration to enforce immigration laws. Before working with the President and his allies, it’s important to be honest about the risk of Obama acting without Congress.
And guess what comes next on the list of Americans’ concerns? Dissatisfaction with government—poor leadership, corruption, and abuse of power.
Congress and the President need to work on the major task of freeing the economy to create jobs. And the President needs to stop pretending that no one has ever brought him any different ideas.
Heritage Action for America recently hosted a policy summit just to let lawmakers present their newest ideas for reforming Washington and getting America back on track. Heritage President Jim DeMint said he wanted to spread the word that there are Members of Congress who have been able to envision a different America—an America:
where problems are solved, not subsidized; one where citizens are entrusted with the care of their own families and communities; one colored by opportunities as diverse as the millions of lives in this great nation.