By The People

There are fundamental flaws in how American government operates today,
contrary to the Constitution and the vision of a representative republican form of governance.
I intend doing something about it: by educating and informing others who
are not even aware of the dangers.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Pain of Health Care at Any Cost: the Remedy is Nullification and Then Repeal

Americans are beginning to realize that the Affordable Care Act is not as what it was originally presented. An affordable health care system, which would provide health care to those who required it, it is not. It has developed, as those who assembled it knew it would, into a scheme for a tax revenue stream. Tax the young, who will probably not need or use it and fine anyone who does not sign up for it, while at the same time denying care to older Americans. As has been stated by the person occupying the White House, those older or elderly in need of care should just endure the pain, until the end.

The administration of this system will be carried out by non-medically trained people operating under guide lines that echo the eugenics ideals put forward by Nazi Germany. As Sarah Palin correctly pointed out more than a year ago, 

"Government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

"Oregon rations healthcare to Medicaid recipients. Terminal cancer patients are denied chemotherapy to extend life and now the Oregon rationing board wants to go deeper into the weeds.

From Hope Landsem’s Wall Street Journal blog:

Liberal states often preview health-care central planning before the same regulations go national, which ought to make an Oregon cost-control commission especially scary. On Thursday a state board could change Oregon’s Medicaid program to deny costly care to poor patients who need it most.

Like most such panels, including the Affordable Care Act’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission, or HERC, claims to be merely concerned with what supposedly works and what doesn’t. Their real targets are usually advanced, costly treatments. That’s why HERC, for example, proposed in May that Medicaid should not cover “treatment with intent to prolong survival” for cancer patients who likely have fewer than two years left to live. HERC presents an example to show their reasoning for such a decision: “In no instance can it be justified to spend $100,000 in public resources to increase an individual’s expected survival by three months when hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are without any form of health insurance.”

Let us not forget that Oregon Medicaid happily pays for assisted suicide–and indeed, has offered terminal cancer patients that option while denying life-extending treatment.

Also, Vermont–which legalized assisted suicide recently– as a single payer plan the state can’t pay for. And guess what: Using assisted suicide and rationing are both on the table as means of paying for the program. No question: Centralized control, mixed with culture of death values make for a toxic brew.

As for the eventual push to turn Obamacare into single payer: As I wrote at length, health care rationing is central to the operation of single payer systems. Obamacarians want more!"  by Wesley J. Smith

Just a few of the many statements, such as, "you can keep your own doctor", "it will be less expensive", "health care for the poor and uninsured", have been uncovered to be completely false;  and in fact, nearly 20,000 pages of regulations associated with the Act-Law-Tax have been generated with more to be written and because of the restrictions within the implementation policies fewer doctors, due to fixed compensation  will be graduated, increase the debt, expand the government, raise premiums, kill jobs and force Americans out of the plans they currently have and like.

The cost, according to the Society of Actuaries, Kentucky could be as high as a 34% increase. The actuaries predict States like Wisconsin and Ohio,  an 80% increase. The cost to every American has already increased as depicted on a chart, detailing the rising projected cost of the funded portions of Obama's signature legislation, Obamacare:

"...The latest estimate, as the chart details, is that Obamacare will cost $2.6 trillion dollars in its first real decade. The bill does not fully go into effect until 2014, therefore the estimate begins with that year. 

"President Obama promised a joint session of Congress in 2009 to spend $900 billion over ten years on his health care law: 'Now, add it all up, and the plan that I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.' Adding up all the different spending provisions in the health care law, however, (including closing the Medicare 'donut hole,' implementation costs, and other spending) total gross spending over the FY 2010–19 period is about $1.4 trillion, based on CBO estimates," the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff explains. "And most of the major spending provisions in the law do not even take effect until 2014. Congressional Democrats delayed these provisions in order to show only six years of spending under the plan in the original 10-year budget window (from FY2010-19) used by CBO at the time the law was enacted. Therefore, the original estimate concealed the fact that most of the law’s spending only doesn't even begin until four years into the 10-year window. A Senate Budget Committee analysis (based on CBO estimates and growth rates) finds that that total spending under the law will amount to at least $2.6 trillion over a true 10-year period (from FY2014–23) —not $900 billion, as President Obama originally promised." by Daniel Halper

The unfunded liabilities portions of Obama's signature legislation, Obamacare will be very costly to Americans, as reported by Steve Eggleston, "Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, stated on the Senate floor that not only will ObamaCare cost $2.6 trillion in its first 10 years of full implementation, but that it will add $17 trillion to the nation’s long-term unfunded liabilities.

Before I continue, I do have to explain the concept of “present value”. Except for the $2.6 trillion 10-year value, the list of figures Sen. Sessions gives are in that concept. It is one of a few common measures of long-term finances, specifically one designed to measure what is required today to avoid (excepting earned interest, which in this case appears to be assumed to be roughly 3.25%) any future draw on financing over, in the case of the federal government’s usage of the term, the next 75 years. Usually when it is invoked by the federal government, the value of legislated, but unfunded, claims on general-fund revenue, such as those contained in the Hospital Insurance “Trust Fund” and legislated mandates to fully-fund Medicare Parts B and D regardless of whether their dedicated funding sources are sufficient, are not included in that calculation. However, the Medicare Trustees include that, as well as the $2.5 trillion in Social Security “Trust Funds”, in their unfunded liability calculations from the “budget perspective”, and on the health-care side, so did Sen. Sessions.

President Obama told the American people that his health law would cost $900 billion over ten years and that it would not add ‘one dime’ to the debt.

But we have shown the cost for ten years of implementation is actually $2.6 trillion—almost three times as much. In addition, the offsets used to reduce the law’s official cost were enormous and phony, as I have discussed before, and will detail at another time. The more we learn about the bill, the more we discover that it’s even more un-affordable than was suspected.

So, over a period of about three months, our staff worked to estimate the new unfunded liability imposed by the health law. This is not the total cost of the bill, but the unfunded, mandatory coverage obligations incurred by the 
United States government on behalf of the United States people over a period of time. An unfunded obligation is basically the amount of money we have to spend on a mandatory expense that does not have a funding source—money we don’t have but that we are committed to spend. It is this kind of long-term, unfunded obligation that has placed this nation’s financial situation at such great risk. It is what has called witness after witness before the Budget Committee, where I serve as Ranking Member, to tell us that we are on an unsustainable path. That means money we will either have to print, borrow, or tax to meet the obligations we have incurred as a people as a result of the passage of this bill. For instance, Social Security has an unfunded liability of $7 trillion over the next 75 years. That’s an enormous sum. It’s double the entire amount of the United States budget today.

My staff used the models that are used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and worked diligently to come up with a figure. That figure—based on the administration’s own optimistic assumptions and claims about the cost of the law—is an incredible $17 trillion. That is more than twice the unfunded liability of Social Security.

When you include the new health law with our existing obligations like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—we now have $99.4 trillion in total unfunded obligations over 75 years….

Let me briefly explain some of what now comprises this additional $17 trillion in unfunded obligations.

$12 trillion is for the health care law’s premium subsidy program. You see, the law created new regulations that drive up the price of insurance for millions of Americans. The writers of the law knew it would inflate the cost of insurance premiums, so to cover that cost they had to include new government subsidies so people could pay for their more expensive insurance.

On Medicaid, this new health care law has added another $5 trillion in unfunded liabilities. This is on top of the substantial unfunded obligations that the federal and state governments have already had to take on in order to support Medicaid, and they have vigorously protested to us, warning of these deep, additional expenditure requirements that are falling on the states.

Obviously, we cannot “pre-fund” those future liabilities as they are far greater than our ability to pay now, Indeed, as we are discovering with the Social Security and Medicare Hospital Insurance “Trust Funds”, even the fiction of “pre-funding” through the “Trust Funds” is being blown up as the federal government is and will be forced to come up with far more than the current face value of said “Funds”.

There is a second measure of future liabilities discussed by both the Medicare Trustees and Social Security Trustees, what percentage of cumulative GDP over the next 75 years is required to cover the shortfall. That is useful for estimating what it would take to fund an unfunded liability in the future. The Social Security Trustees put the “present value” of the cumulative GDP between 2011 and 2085 at $873.7 trillion. Dividing the $17 trillion (present value) in unfunded liabilities into that $873.7 trillion (again present value) means that implementing ObamaCare will cost us an additional 1.94% of the entire economy over the next 73 years and some months.

When one extends that math to the rest of the liabilities, which if one applies the broader “budget perspective” to the remainder is over $102 trillion in present value, nearly 11.7% of the entire GDP will be going to cover the unfunded obligations of the welfare state. As Sen. Sessions said, that is not the entire cost, but just the portion that won’t be covered by the revenues already dedicated to them. Considering the historical post-World War II average federal revenues are roughly 18-19% of GDP, I’ll let you guess as to whether tax increases could possibly cover this unfunded spending.

To put that in another perspective, the Social Security Trustees estimate that the nominal (not adjusted for inflation) cumulative GDP will be $9.603 quadrillion dollars, or if you prefer, $9,603 trillion. 11.7% of that, the unfunded liability discussed above, is $1.124 quadrillion (or $1,124 trillion). That, if the mother of all tax increases is not imposed, will be a part of the public debt. By comparison, the nominal value of GDP in 2085 will be only $435 trillion. Even before any of the other deficit spending, or the current debt, is considered, that means publicly-held debt would be 258% of GDP by 2085 exclusively because of the unfunded liabilities."

The IRS has been assigned and authorized to directly debt bank accounts in order to satisfy fines. 

The correct method for legal remedy when dealing with this unconstitutional and unlawful seizure of private information and assets (please see the article entitled, Power Grab by Dictator of National Care) is to nullify the Federal law by way of proper resolution through state assemblies. Many States have already done just that.

The Tenth Amendment explicitly states that those powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the States, unless the Constitution forbids such authority. if the person occupying the White House and Congress yell about Supreme Court rulings, it will not matter if the States hold void the law by nullification.

Forcing Americans to purchase anything they do not want under the penalty of fine is extortion. Depriving Americans of their freedom to choose is a basic attack on personal liberty. The Bill of Rights has been under attack by this administration, in particular, and if the person in the White House has his way, as outlined in his NDRP, which can be read in the article Busy Bees Make Shiny New Hive a blatant grab of liberties by the government. In the article Power Grab by Dictator of National Healthcaresome of the issues that are now making spotty media coverage, had been covered by Fix America, and as more and more people, including those who supported the act from the beginning, oppose it, it is clear the Act-Law-Tax is more costly than originally thought. Even prominent Democrats in Congress are beginning to call for suspension of ACA even before it is implemented.

Many people have and will continue to argue the authority given to government by way of the 'necessary and proper' and 'for the general welfare' clauses. There is no provision within either or both of these clauses that justify or permit the usurpation of individual and sovereign rights by any governmental authority. 

API photo

With the reasoning and logic displayed in the statement, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it” Nancy Pelosi violated the constitutional responsibility that "Congress must exercise vigorous debate." Vigorous debate should be the first part of passing a bill, while listening to the citizens of the country. When you use faulty logic, what you obtain is a 2,700-page law and 10 times that in new regulations, which only makes things worse.

I have only one question for the Esteemed Fix America Readers. Are We to endure the pain of Health Care at any cost, but not for all Citizens?  Why not allow Citizens to join the health care system for congressional members? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fixing Government: Grand Jury Presentments

UPDATED:  7/10/2016

What recourse do the people of America have when every branch of government, and the bureaus, departments and agencies we have entrusted with maintaining law and order under the the US Constitution are filled with incompetent and negligent elected and appointed officials to such an extent that many should be considered criminals, who have no regard for the rule of law?

Obama has stated on several occasions how he will bypass Congress by Executive Order (and has done just that on many occasions), to accomplish his social Utopian policies and goals. Just as Congress passed the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act in 1913, so to did they pass the unconstitutional Affordable Care Act, never having read or vigorously debated it, which was then signed into law by the President. It even survived a Supreme Court challenge, after Justice Roberts changed a few words and then declared the act a tax; even though, a first year law student can see how blatantly unconstitutional the act is, as was covered in Power Grab by Dictator of National Healthcare.  

There is much less about healthcare in this Act-Law-Tax and much more to do about taking your freedom of choice and depriving citizens of their rights and money.

Scandal after scandal has hit this nation since 2008 and yet the privately owned major media ignores the atrocities and instead focuses on any trivial event to distract and deflect any interest in the important issues facing this nation. The owned major media needs to focus on the boy, as his handlers groomed him to be, who would be King.

Now, the issue at hand is what We the People can do to correct many of these problems.

The answer lies within the Constitution. Contained within the Fifth Article of Amendment is the method by which the People have the right and the ability to bring charges against a criminal within the government. Any government official at any level within government can be brought up on charges by the People through a convened Grand Jury.

"With government corruption and treasonous acts running rampant, particularly with regard to President Obama and his administration, many have asked what ordinary American citizens can do to legally mete out justice. Short of violent revolution, there is only one strong legal mechanism that can be invoked. That is the so-called "citizens grand jury," by which Americans themselves can enforce the law. This is our only recourse to hold the president and his accomplices truly accountable for their actions. Over the years, impeachment has not worked, nor has any other means to address crimes at the presidential and other high levels of government.

In this regard, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution establishes that "no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury." A proper understanding of the effect of this requirement begins with the common law, since, as Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand stated in In re Kittle, "we took the [grand jury] as we found it in our English inheritance, and he best serves the Constitution who most faithfully follows its historical significance."

The grand jury dates back at least to 1166, under the Norman kings of England. These earliest grand juries were convened to provide answers from local representatives concerning royal property rights, but developed into a body of 12 men who presented indictments at the request of either private individuals or the king's prosecutor. (Susan W Brenner & Gregor G. Lockhart, "Federal Grand Jury: A Guide to Law and Practice," 4 [1996]). The Magna Carta granted individuals the right to stand before a grand jury to be charged of their crimes. (Id)

By 1681, an important characteristic of the grand jury had developed: the rule of secrecy. This characteristic set up the grand jury as a bulwark against government abuse. Grand juries were designed to exclude all outside persons, including the government's prosecutors, ensuring that all phases of an investigation (not just deliberation) remained secret. Thus, English grand juries functioned to prevent prosecutorial abuses by blocking the king's attempts to prosecute.

This tradition was continued and expanded by colonial grand juries. In America, the grand jury originally began as a defense against the monarchy and was arguably even more independent than the English grand jury of the 1600s. American grand juries initiated prosecutions against corrupt agents of the government, often in response to complaints from individuals. For example, a Massachusetts grand jury refused to indict the organizers of the Stamp Act rebellion. (See Roger Roots, "If It's Not A Runaway, It's Not A Real Grand Jury," 33 Creighton L. Rev. 821, 832). Four years later, another Massachusetts grand jury indicted some British soldiers located within the city boundaries for alleged crimes against the colonists, but refused to treat certain colonialists who had been charged by the British authorities for inciting desertion in a like manner. Similarly, a Philadelphia grand jury condemned the use of the tea tax to compensate British officials, encouraged a rejection of all British goods and called for organization with other colonies to demand redress of grievances.

By the dawn of the 20th century, the powerful role of the grand jury had come to be established law. In 1902, a Minneapolis grand jury, acting on its own initiative, hired private detectives and collected enough evidence to indict the mayor and force the police chief to resign.

In Frisbie v. United States, Supreme Court Justice David Brewer declared that "in this country it is for the grand jury to investigate any alleged crime, no matter how or by whom suggested to them, and after determining that the evidence is sufficient to justify putting the suspected party on trial, to direct the preparation of the formal charge or indictment." [157 U.S. 160 (1895)]

Again, in Hale v. Henkel, Supreme Court Justice Henry Brown stated that "we deem it entirely clear that under the practice in this country, at least, the examination of witnesses need not be preceded by a presentment or indictment formally drawn up, but that the grand jury may proceed, either upon their own knowledge or upon the examination of witnesses, to inquire for themselves whether a crime cognizable by the court has been committed." [201 U.S. 43 (1906)]

More recently, in United States v. Williams, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia held, writing for the majority of the court, that "[t]he grand jury's functional independence from the Judicial Branch is evident both in the scope of its power to investigate criminal wrongdoing and in the manner in which that power is exercised. 'Unlike [a] court, whose jurisdiction is predicated upon a specific case or controversy, the grand jury "can investigate merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even because it wants assurance that it is not."'" [504 U.S. 36, 48 (1992) (quoting United States v. R. Enterprises, Inc., 498 U.S. 292, 297 (1991)]

Speaking of the origins of the grand jury, Scalia also found that "the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the branches described in the first three Articles. It is a constitutional fixture in its own right. In fact the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the government and the people. Although the grand jury normally operates, of course, in the courthouse and under judicial auspices, its institutional relationship with the Judicial Branch has been, so to speak, at arm's length. Judges' direct involvement in the functioning of the grand jury has generally been confined to the constitutive one of calling the grand jurors together and administering their oaths of office." [ Id. at 47]

Although the customary practice for summoning a federal grand jury is by a court (see Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, or FRCP), such action is mandatory "when the public interest so requires." Regardless, the FRCP does not preclude citizens from exercising their own rights to impanel grand juries under the Constitution. [See, i.e. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), establishing the doctrine of judicial review.] Thus, it is clear that citizens themselves can impanel a grand jury, and if a true bill of indictment results, the courts are technically required to commence proceedings and the executive branch to enforce the court's edicts. However, if the courts refuse and the executive branch does not carry out its duties by, for instance, arresting the criminally accused, Americans do have a right to make "citizens arrests," hold trials and legally mete out punishment in their own right. Indeed, this is what occurred in the western part of the United States, in particular, during our early years as a nation — before there was a developed federal court system and executive branch.

Given the increasingly corrupt and treasonous actions of our public officials, which have nearly destroyed our republic, and the almost complete breakdown of the justice system as run by the government, the time has come for we Americans to rise up and use the God-given rights left to us by our founders. We can do this by using citizen-impanelled and administered grand juries to hold presidents like Obama and others at the highest levels of government accountable for the crimes that have driven our nation to the brink of extinction.", by Larry Klayman.

The post How To Bring Back Real Grand Juries explains this in some detail. There is Supreme Court precedence to validate the authority of We the People.  In that article it references Larry Klayman who was interviewed to see if there was any merit to this claim of Grand Jury presentments by ordinary people. It was assumed that a Grand Jury could only be convened on the order of a prosecutor or court order. But Mark, the author of the post at The Daily Paul, quotes the explanation of Mr. Klayman:

"We the people have been providentially provided means of legal recourse to address the criminal conduct of persons themselves entrusted to dispense justice," Klayman told WND.

He said in the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Williams, in 1992, "Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, confirmed that the American grand jury is neither part of the judicial, executive nor legislative branches of government, but instead belongs to the people. It is in effect a fourth branch of government 'governed' and administered to directly by and on behalf of the American people, and its authority emanates from the Bill of Rights."

Klayman said the Founding Fathers wanted the grand jury to not be part of the judicial branch, and they wanted a path citizens could follow to seek redress of their grievances without having to ask permission of the state, as the state will nearly always seek to protect its own establishment interests.

"Thus, citizens – ordinary Americans – have the unbridled right to impanel their own grand juries and present 'True Bills,' which are indeed indictments, to a court, which is then required to commence a criminal proceeding upon which the accused has full constitutional right to present a defense and seek to prove her innocence," Klayman said.

"Importantly, even the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which allow federal prosecutors to present indictments after a grand jury has issued them, does not preclude citizens from so doing."

Grand Juries are pivotal to keeping corrupt government in check. They are the ones that charge corrupt public servants with crimes.

Klayman quoted from the Williams decision: "Rooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history … the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the ... branches described in the first three Articles. It 'is a constitutional fixture in its own right.' … In fact, the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional Government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the Government and the people."

"In this way, the 'Rule of Law,' not violence, may seek to preserve the Republic, and to avoid armed revolt among the people as occurred in 1776," Klayman said.

The 1992 case brings important tools to the American People, both local and federal grand juries under the Bill of Rights, are needed to investigate the crimes being carried out by government! 

The questions for my fellow Americans is this:

When will people realize that Grand Jury presentments are the tools of Last Defense and begin convening? Who will charges be drawn against?

Reference Manuals for Citizens Grand Juries:

Citizens Grand Jury ManuaL for the Court

Citizens Grand Jurors' Handbook

Common Law Restoration