Gallup: Americans Turn on Government-guaranteed Health Care

A new Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans think it is not the federal government’s responsibility to ensure all citizens have health care coverage. This is the first time Gallup trends have shown a majority of Americans holding this opinion since 2000, according to Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones.

From 2000 until around the time President Barack Obama was elected, polls showed an easy majority of Americans supported government-ensured health care. In most years during that time frame, more than 60 percent of Americans thought the government should make sure everyone had health care.

“The shift away from the view that the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all began shortly after President Barack Obama’s election and has continued the past several years during the discussions and ultimate passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010,” Jones wrote, adding that 48 percent of Americans support Obamacare while 45 percent oppose it.

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McConnell ‘Burst Into Laughter’ as Geithner Outlined Obama’s Plan

photo credit: gage skidmore

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says he “burst into laughter” Thursday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined the administration proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. He wasn’t trying to embarrass Geithner, McConnell says, only responding candidly to his one-sided plan, explicit on tax increases, vague on spending cuts.

Geithner’s visit to his office left McConnell discouraged about reaching a “balanced” deal on tax hikes and spending reductions designed to prevent a shock to the economy in January. “Nothing good is happening” in the negotiations, McConnell says, because of Obama’s insistence on tax rate hikes for the wealthy but unwillingness to embrace serious spending cuts.

Geithner suggested $1.6 trillion in tax increases, McConnell says, but showed “minimal or no interest” in spending cuts. When congressional leaders went to the White House three days after the election, Obama talked of possible curbs on the explosive growth of food stamps and Social Security disability payments. But since Geithner didn’t mention them, those reductions appear to be off the table now, McConnell says.

Obama is pushing to raise the tax rates on couples earning more than $250,000 and individuals earning more than $200,000. But those wouldn’t produce revenues anywhere near $1.6 trillion over a decade.

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CATO: $100 Billion of Corporate Welfare in the Federal Budget

Rising federal spending and huge deficits are pushing the nation toward a financial and economic crisis. Policymakers should find and eliminate wasteful, damaging, and unneeded programs in the federal budget. One good way to save money would be to cut subsidies to businesses. Corporate welfare in the federal budget costs taxpayers almost $100 billion a year.

Policymakers claim that business subsidies are needed to fix alleged market failures or to help American companies better compete in the global economy. However, corporate welfare often subsidizes failing and mismanaged businesses and induces firms to spend more time on lobbying rather than on making better products. Instead of correcting market failures, federal subsidies misallocate resources and introduce government failures into the marketplace.

While corporate welfare may be popular with policymakers who want to aid home-state businesses, it undermines the broader economy and transfers wealth from average taxpaying households to favored firms. Corporate welfare also creates strong ties between politicians and business leaders, and these ties are often the source of corruption scandals in Washington. Americans are sick and tired of “crony capitalism,” and the way to solve the problem is to eliminate business subsidy programs.

Corporate welfare doesn’t aid economic growth and it is an affront to America’s constitutional principles of limited government and equality under the law. Policymakers should therefore scour the budget for business subsidies to eliminate. Budget experts and policymakers may differ on exactly which programs represent unjustified corporate welfare, but this study provides a menu of about $100 billion in programs to terminate.

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eBay Yanks Beck’s ‘Obama in Pee Pee’ Art Project Meant to Raise Money for Charity (+video)

The popular online auction site eBay has yanked a piece of artwork done by Glenn Beck citing its belief that the project featured an Obama figurine floating in actual urine (it was not, however).

On Tuesday evening, Glenn Beck featured an Obama bobble head doll in a jar of yellow liquid, catalyzed by Michael D’Anouto’s painting titled, “Truth,” which features a crucified Obama and also parodies the controversial “artwork” dubbed “Piss Christ” that defaced a crucifix in a glass of urine.

Beck’s piece was meant to underscore the importance of adhering to the First Amendment and highlight the hypocrisy of those who adhere to it only when it suits them. Often, members of the Left will rail against the disparaging of figures they hold dear, but do not hold themselves to the same standard when disparaging figures others hold dear.

Beck was auctioning the jar, complete with the Obama doll, on the auction site, with all the proceeds set to go to Beck’s Mercury One charity. At the last entry its bid was up to $11,300. On Wednesday morning, however, eBay removed the auction page.

Listen to Beck’s radio team discuss:

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Lawsuit: CIA Killed Its Own Operative When He Got Cold Feet Over Mind Control Programs

A new lawsuit has dredged up a 60-year-old Cold War mystery surrounding the death of an Army bioweapons researcher who was given LSD by the CIA.

The government says Frank Olson jumped to his death in 1959 after he was given the hallucinatory drug as part of a top-secret CIA mind control program codenamed MK-ULTRA.

Dr Olson’s sons now claim they have evidence that he did not commit suicide, but was instead pushed out of a 13th story New York City highrise window by CIA operatives who feared he was getting cold feet about the intelligence agency’s tactics.

Eric and Nils Olson, of Frederick, Maryland, are seeking unspecified compensatory damages in the lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday.

Their lawyer, Scott D Gilbert, said the brothers also want to see a broad range of documents related to Dr Olson’s death and other matters that they say the CIA has withheld from them since the death.

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‘You Also Have to Give Back’: Retiring Minn. Man Gives Away Business to His Employees

After spending nearly 46 years building and running his successful Lueken’s Village Foods chain of grocery stores, Joe Lueken, 70, announced earlier this month that he is giving away his business to his nearly 400 employees.

“My employees are largely responsible for any success I’ve had, and they deserve to get some of the benefits of that,” said Lueken. “You can’t always take. You also have to give back.”

Yup, he’s literally giving away his three stores (two in Bemidji, Minn., and a third in Wahpeton, N.D.) to his staff.

“[H]e and his family will start transferring ownership of the three-store chain on January 1 to an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program), in which each employee will own stock. The number of shares will be based on their salary and years of service,” ABC News reports.

When Lueken, the son of a baker, was asked why he chose to give away his business rather than sell it, he answered by saying it “was the right thing to do.”

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For New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, it’s God, family and Yahoo

photo credit: adam tinworth

“The baby’s been easy!” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer told an invite-only crowd at a Fortune “Most Powerful Women” event on Tuesday evening in Palo Alto, Calif.

“The baby’s been way easier than everyone made it out to be. I think I’ve been really lucky that way but I had a very easy, healthy pregnancy. He’s been easy. So those have been the two really terrific surprises: the kid has been easier and the job has been fun!” Mayer said, referring to her son, Macallister. The crowd chuckled along with her.

It turns out the former Google executive, known for her planning skills and extensive use of spreadsheets to make major life decisions (and determine the perfect cupcake recipe), can still be surprised when it comes to both motherhood and corporate leadership.

“I think that there’s two surprising things,” Mayer told the audience, comprised mostly of women, “I knew that the job would be hard and I knew that the baby would be fun. And the thing that surprised me, and really puzzlingly so, is that the job is really fun! Yahoo is a really fun place to work.”

In a television exclusive, TODAY aired excerpts of the interview this morning, which may be her last public interview for some time.

See video below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Michigan Governor Open to Dissolving City Of Detroit

LANSING – It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports some state Republicans are talking about giving the city the option to vote itself into bankruptcy. And mid-Michigan Senator Rick Jones said all options should be considered — including dissolving the city.

“If we have to, that is one idea we have to look at. We really have to look at everything that is on the table,” Jones said. “Again, if this goes to federal bankruptcy, every employee down there will suffer, the city will suffer and the vultures will come in and take the jewels of Detroit and they will be gone.”

Local consultant Tom Watkins has proposed this in the past, but the idea has never played well among Detroiters.

In a live interview on WWJ Newsradio 950 Wednesday morning, Gov. Rick Snyder said he wouldn’t count anything out.

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U.S. Bans BP From New Government Contracts After Oil Spill Deal

(Reuters) The U.S. government banned BP Plc on Wednesday from new federal contracts over its “lack of business integrity” in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, possibly imperiling the company’s role as a top U.S. offshore oil and gas producer and the No. 1 military fuel supplier.

The suspension, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, comes on the heels of BP’s November 15 agreement with the U.S. government to plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The British energy giant agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties, including a record $1.256 billion criminal fine.

BP and its affiliates are barred from new federal contracts until they demonstrate they can meet federal business standards, the EPA said. The suspension is “standard practice” and BP’s existing U.S. government contracts are not affected, it said.

The EPA acted hours before a government auction of offshore tracts in the Gulf of Mexico, a region where BP is the largest investor and lease-holder of deep-water tracts and hopes for further growth. BP is also the top fuel supplier to the U.S. military, the largest single buyer of oil in the world.

Suspension of contracts could give the government leverage to pressure BP to settle federal and state civil litigation that could top $20 billion if a court finds BP was grossly negligent in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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AIDS Activists Arrested After Protesting Speaker Boehner’s Office in the Nude

Three women AIDS activists saying they wanted to highlight the ‘naked truth’ about potential spending cuts in HIV programs were arrested Tuesday after taking their clothes off in the lobby of House Speaker John Boehner’s office.

The trio had the words ‘AIDS cuts kill’ painted on their bodies and had linked arms with four men who also disrobed as part of the protest.

The protest came as health officials revealed that AIDS is spreading to a new generation of young men who are having risky sex and ignoring the painful lessons learned during initial outbreak of the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 1 in 5 new HIV infections occur in a tiny segment of the population – young men who are gay or bisexual.

The government on Tuesday released new numbers that spotlight how the spread of the AIDS virus is heavily concentrated in young males who have sex with other males.

Read more from this story HERE.