Welcome to the Red State Town Hall!

Ken Brown & Premo Mondone

Ken Brown & Premo Mondone

Welcome to the home of  the Red State Town Hall Internet Radio Program. The show is hosted by Premo Mondone (r) and his Co-Host, Ken Brown (l).

The Red State Town Hall is Conservative Talk Radio at it’s very best with a mixture of Red State common sense and Southern humor.

The show is broadcast Sunday’s @11:00pm Eastern on the Red State Talk Radio Network (see broadcast schedule for additional days and times).

You can also listen to our show by downloading one of our podcasts, which are available at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Podomatic.

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IRS warns of possible shutdown – Rachael Bade – POLITICO

It couldn't happen to a nice bunch of folks.

It couldn’t happen to a nice bunch of folks.

The IRS is considering its own temporary shutdown due to recent budget cuts enacted by Congress, its chief said Thursday.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said furloughs — forced unpaid days off for employees as part of an IRS closure — is one idea reluctantly being tossed about to save money, though they are hoping they will not have to go there.

“People call it furloughs; I view it as: Are we going to have to shut the place down? And at this point, that will be the last thing we do, … but there is no way we can say right now that that wont happen,” Koskinen told reporters at a Thursday press conference on the upcoming tax season. “Again, I would stress that would be the last option.”

He said a shutdown would mean the IRS would “close the agency for a day, two days, whatever days it would take to close the gap that we can’t otherwise close in a reasonable way.”

The agency estimates each closed day would save $29 million.

The news comes a day after Koskinen in an email warned IRS employees that overtime would be suspended and a hiring freeze enacted. He also said more tough news would likely follow as IRS leadership negotiates with the National Treasury Employees Union, particularly because personnel costs comprise about 75 percent of the IRS costs.

In the recent budget deal, Congress cut the IRS budget by $346 million to $10.9 billion — $1.5 billion less than the administration asked for. The IRS’ budget has been reduced about $1 billion since 2010.

Read complete article via IRS warns of possible shutdown – Rachael Bade – POLITICO.

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Sorry, No Show Tonight!

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Even though Ken and I recorded a show tonight (long story), due to a “hiccup” in our recording software, about 2/3 of it was lost.

So, there won’t be a show tonight, but we’ll be back again next Sunday night with a new show.

Premo Mondone
Host of The Red State Town Hall Program

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Cromnibus delenda est: shutdowns are awesome when Democrats threaten them | Human Events

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

In case you had something better to do last night than follow the most disgusting new holiday tradition in America, the annual “cromnibus” spending drama – a passion play of Big Government irresponsibility in which Congress waits until the absolute last possible minute to do their jobs, then screams “By Odin’s beard, the government is about to RUN OUT OF MONEY AND DIE!!!!  We have to spend a trillion dollars RIGHT THIS INSTANT!” – the cromnibus bill managed to drag itself out of the House of Representatives, bleeding cash from a multitude of rider wounds, and is now heaving its corpulent body towards the Senate, where some Democrats have decided they do not like it very much.

After we finish this pathetic spectacle and pump that trillion dollars into Big Government’s veins, the unhappy Dems can commiserate with such dismayed Republicans as Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), who says the House Republican leadership straight-up lied to him to get his support for a test vote that might have killed the cromnibus bill.  Stutzman says the cromnibus was supposed to survive the test vote, but then get pulled at the last minute and replaced with a far more sensible short-term bill that wouldn’t give the abject losers of the 2014 election control over the national purse until fall 2015.  Instead, the cromnibus passed the House 219-206.  Bazinga!

Republican “leaders” gave Barack Obama the sun, moon, stars, and amnesty, but that still wasn’t good enough for the Democrats who have decided to exploit the obvious weakness of GOP leaders and demand more.  The GOP leadership, meanwhile, decided to dig in its heels on a banking de-regulation measure that would chip away at the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.  Dodd-Frank is awful, and the regulation in question is a finicky bit of business that costs the private sector quite a bit of money, without really providing the sort of financial-meltdown protection it was supposed to, as explained by the Wall Street Journal:

Read the complete article via Cromnibus delenda est: shutdowns are awesome when Democrats threaten them | Human Events.

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Obamacare: Medicaid and Primary Doctor ‘Access Shock,’ Tax Season Chaos – Guy Benson

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The Obamacare losing streak continues apace, starting with another Associated Press story on why the law’s ‘access shock’ consequences are getting worse:

Primary care doctors caring for low-income patients will face steep fee cuts next year as a temporary program in President Barack Obama’s health care law expires. That could squeeze access just when millions of new patients are gaining Medicaid coverage. A study Wednesday from the nonpartisan Urban Institute estimated fee reductions will average about 40 percent nationwide. But they could reach 50 percent or more for primary care doctors in California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois — big states that have all expanded Medicaid under the health law. Meager pay for doctors has been a persistent problem for Medicaid, the safety-net health insurance program. Low-income people unable to find a family doctor instead flock to hospital emergency rooms, where treatment is more expensive and not usually focused on prevention.

That’s right, say it with me: Medicaid expansion does not reduce uncompensated care. So how will these reimbursement cuts impact doctors and patients? Surprise:

Doctors probably won’t dump their current Medicaid patients, but they’ll take a hard look at accepting new ones, said Dr. Robert Wergin, a practitioner in rural Milford, Neb., and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “You are going to be paid less, so you are going to have to look at your practice and find ways to eke it out,” Wergin said.

The Obama administration surveys this landscape and doggedly clings to its goal of expanding the failing program even further. Because they’re all about “what works,” or whatever:

Medicaid covers more than 60 million people, making the federal-state program even larger than Medicare. The health care law has added about 9 million people to the Medicaid rolls, as 27 states have taken advantage of an option that extends coverage to many low-income adults. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell says expanding Medicaid in the remaining 23 states is one of her top priorities. But the fee cut could make that an even harder sell, since it may reinforce a perception that the federal government creates expensive new benefits only to pass the bill to states.

Read complete article via Obamacare: Medicaid and Primary Doctor ‘Access Shock,’ Tax Season Chaos – Guy Benson.

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Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won’t be part of new Senate | WashingtonExaminer.com

The last to fall...

The last to fall…

On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into this year’s midterm elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in next month. After Democratic losses on Nov. 4 and Saturday’s defeat of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the number has risen to 30. In other words, half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare will not be part of the new Senate.

To be sure, it isn’t fair to attribute all of the turnover in the chamber to Obamacare. In some cases — such as John Kerry leaving his seat to become secretary of state, or Robert Byrd passing away — Obamacare clearly had nothing to do with the departures. Additionally, some outgoing pro-Obamacare votes were replaced by new Democratic senators (although that tended to be the case in heavily Democratic states).

That having been said, many senators who voted for Obamacare lost re-election battles in which they were hit hard for their support for the law and other Democrats were forced to retire because they had no hope of getting re-elected given their support for the law. A total of 16 Senators who voted for Obamacare either failed to win reelection or declined to run for reelection and had their seats turned over to Republicans.

The following is an updated breakdown of senators who voted for Obamacare and will not be part of the next Senate.

Lost and replaced by a Republican:

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.

Arlen Specter, D-Penn.

Read complete article via Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won’t be part of new Senate | WashingtonExaminer.com.

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Jeff Sessions: Obama Is Giving Cash Benefits to Illegal Immigrants | National Review Online

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) seized on a White House admission that beneficiaries of President Obama’s immigration orders will receive tax credits, a sign that the orders amount to more than an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

“This is yet one more illustration of the enormous cost inflicted by the President’s illegal action,” Sessions told National Review Online in a statement. “He has now launched a new $100 million facility and staffing operation to provide illegal immigrants with the exact benefits rejected by Congress – including work permits, Social Security and Medicare. These credits will cost American taxpayers billions every year and represent an enormous cash transfer from American workers to lower-wage illegal workers. These tax credits are not refunds, but a direct cash payment from the Treasury to illegal immigrants – at a time when the Treasury is running huge deficits.”

Read complete article via Jeff Sessions: Obama Is Giving Cash Benefits to Illegal Immigrants | National Review Online.

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Obama Kills Tax Cut Because It Didn’t Help Illegals | The Daily Caller

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President Barack Obama quietly killed a draft tax-cut because the GOP leadership wouldn’t agree to his demand that valuable tax breaks be given to millions of illegal immigrants, according to a Politico article about the secret negotiations.

Just before Thanksgiving, “the deal fell apart just as it seemed to be coming together… [because] Republicans worried undocumented immigrants targeted by [Obama’s Nov. 21 amnesty] would begin claiming the credits,” Politico reported.

The GOP leadership’s reluctance to award tax-breaks to illegals suggests top leaders may use the required December budget bill to deny funds to operate Obama’s promised amnesty. So far, GOP leaders have not said if they will block the amnesty funds — despite growing GOP grassroots pressure — partly because Democrats are threatening to block the complete budget if the amnesty is blocked.

The now-dead tax bill, dubbed the “tax extenders package,” is a grab-bag of tax breaks that are usually passed late in every congressional session. If the bill is not passed, businesses and voters will both face tax increases.

This year’s draft bill was expanded to include more tax-breaks for businesses, and was reputedly valued at more than $400 billion over 10 years.

Politico’s report said Democratic senators initially offered to approve the GOP’s demand for business-boosting tax cuts if the GOP agreed to extend the popular Earned Income Tax Credit for poor Americans.

But GOP leaders stepped back from the deal because they recognized that Obama planned to award the EITC money to illegals covered by his Nov. 21 executive order.

Senate leaders — such as Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer — then agreed to trade the business-tax breaks for tax breaks that would boost revenues for state and local governments.

But other Democratic senators denounced the deal, and also refused to reform the EITC system to exclude Obama’s illegals.

According to the IRS, two parents with three or more children would receive up to $6,143 in 2014 if they earn less than $46,997. Parents who earn less than the income threshold would get $3,305 if they have one child, and $5,460 if they have two children.

Most illegal immigrant households have very low income, and pay little in taxes. For example, in 2011, roughly 22 percent of immigrant households — both legal and illegal — were classified as living in poverty. In contrast, only 13 percent of American households were in poverty.

Also, the EITC program is already poorly monitored and may be subject to large amounts of fraud, according to critics.

Read complete article via Obama Kills Tax Cut Because It Didn’t Help Illegals | The Daily Caller.

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How low can it go? Oil, gas prices in freefall as OPEC reels from US fracking | Fox News

crudeoil_prices

Drivers paying less at the pump due to free-falling oil prices can thank the U.S. energy boom for generating shale oil – and weakening OPEC’s ability to keep the cost of a gallon of gas high.

In just a matter of months, the price of a barrel of oil has dropped from more than $100 to about $70, and gas is now cheaper than it has been in years. But a recent report conducted for the American Petroleum Institute claimed oil would cost twice as much as it does now if it weren’t for America’s fracking boom, which wrings oil and natural gas out of shale miles underground.

But the next question could be whether the fracking industry can survive the low prices it brought.

“The shale boom is on a par with the dot-com boom,” Russian oil baron Leonid Fedun of OAO Lukoil told Bloomberg. “The strong players will remain, the weak ones will vanish.”

OPEC, the cartel of oil-producing nations that has historically been able to calibrate the price of oil – and ultimately gasoline – by increasing or decreasing supply, announced Thursday that it won’t fight the price skid by cutting production this time. That likely means prices will continue to fall, and the more costly production technique of fracking could become cost-prohibitive, say experts.

Drivers have benefited in recent months from the falling prices, the API study found.

“This reduction in petroleum product prices have saved U.S. consumers an estimated $63 to $248 billion in 2013 and estimated cumulative savings of between $165 and $624 billion from 2008 to 2013,” stated the report.

Read complete article via How low can it go? Oil, gas prices in freefall as OPEC reels from US fracking | Fox News.

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