The Left’s Desperate Search for a Russian Connection (#SustainableAmerica)

In spite of the fact that James Comey and other leaders on the left have repeatedly acknowledged there is no evidence of Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S. election, the media continues to grasp on to any thread that could remotely lead back to such a connection. The connections they try to make, if they weren’t so slanderous and libelous, are almost laughable. A recent Harvard study documents that coverage of President Trump is more negative than the previous three presidents, nearly 80 percent. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, given that over 90 percent of the media votes for a liberal ticket.

Why is coverage so persistently negative, almost to a point of obsessive behavior? Why do they gloss over Comey’s documentation of Hillary’s multiple violations of Title 18 of the U.S. Code (the section of the code dealing with criminal actions), yet worry about Trump legitimately sharing known intelligence information with Russians to protect innocent lives? Why do they harp on Trump’s tweets when the DNC chairman, Tom Perez, regularly goes on foul-mouthed rants against Trump? Why do they continually suggest Trump’s election wasn’t legitimate for any number of phony reasons, and trash the U.S. Constitution in the process?

I think the response from the Left reveals some important psychological clues as to what really is going on, and it all revolves around the little-publicized tragedy of the murder of Seth Rich, the young DNC worker, in the summer of 2016. I was rather shocked to hear recent news reports in which Julian Assange, the exiled founder of WikiLeaks, strongly implies that Seth Rich was one of his sources, perhaps his main source, for the DNC e-mails that revealed so much of the Democratic party’s corruption during the primaries, especially the Bernie Sanders shaft. If the DNC found out that Seth was the source, could it be that he had become “a problem”?

Hearing this story brought back memories of the Vince Foster “suicide” during the Clinton presidency. It was widely, and probably not falsely, speculated at the time that Hillary had been having or had had an affair with Vince Foster. And of course, there were also rumors circling at the time that the Clintons had a way of “dealing” with problems in a permanent way. If in fact Seth found himself on the wrong side of the Clintons or the DNC in general, this may explain some of the more schizophrenic behavior of the Left.

The rush to judgment about Trump, then, may in fact be an attempt to get to Trump before the truth about who murdered (or ordered the hit on) Seth Rich comes out. My theory here is that the Left knows who murdered Seth, and they’re deflecting their guilt by going after Trump. Perez’s vile rants may in fact be an expression of his own guilt in the matter. Hillary’s blame game and refusal to acknowledge her own failings is another sign. Maxine Waters’ psychotic talk of impeaching a president who has done nothing impeachable may just be her personality; then again, maybe not. We’ve seen this before. The Left and their media thugs do all they can to vilify the right, and once the damage is done, only then do they acknowledge, in passing, the complicity of the Left in the very crimes those they had destroyed on the Right had been crying foul about. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that, when the Left gets done destroying as many people on the Right as they can, we’ll find out someone prominent on the Left was responsible in some way for the murder of Seth Rich, but just like Hillary and her criminal back-room server, the media will sweep that story under the rug, and those on the Left who are responsible for his murder will ultimately hold positions of power in the near future.

I hope and pray that Robert Mueller will get to the bottom of all this and put the final shovel on the grave of the Left. Trump hasn’t been formally or reasonably implicated in any crime, but because people don’t understand he doesn’t talk like a typical politician, they hate him or are afraid of him. I honestly cannot believe one word the mainstream media says any more. I always have to wonder, “What’s the agenda? What’s the filter?” Godspeed, Mr. Mueller, and may God Bless America!

My opinions are my own.

Scott Stocking

The “Alternate Facts” of the Left (#SustainableAmerica)

I came back to my desk in my three-desk cubicle area to a conversation between my two managers discussing with some disdain Kellyanne Conway’s use of the phrase “alternate facts,” saying that they knew something was wrong with her for using that phrase. I found myself feeling a bit oppressed by that attitude, and I immediately began, in my mind, identifying the “alternate facts” that the Left has been throwing at conservatives, and especially conservative Christians. Although the term may be new in the American vernacular, it has been the practice of the Left for more than 50 years.

Let’s start with the classic debate about intelligent design versus evolution. Evolution has never been proven beyond a shadow of doubt and has been called into question by numerous prominent scientists. Yet Christians who believe in the absolute truth of Scripture are told they’re foolish for rejecting this so-called science. They seize the opportunity to discredit the faith of billions across the millennia, who believe a loving God created them and sustains them for a purpose, for a newfangled theory that removes any source of moral absolutes from their worldview. After all, if we’re just descendants of some primordial slime, we don’t have a Creator to answer to, and there’s no solid foundation for a moral code.

To go along with that, there’s the alternate truth about “separation of Church and State.” The Founding Fathers of these United States never intended that religion should have no place in the government or in government-funded institutions. That is so absurd! If that had been the intention, why would Jefferson have evoked the Creator for our “inalienable rights”? The corollary to that is, if the left says there’s no Creator, then what does that do to our inalienable rights? The “wall of separation” Jefferson was talking about refers to a one-way door: government has no business intruding on religion, but that is exactly what happened in the Obama administration! A baker was punished not only for his exercise of religious freedom, but also for the exercise of his rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech.

And let’s follow the “inalienable rights” connection a little farther down the trail. Since the Left denies the Creator, theoretically then, they don’t believe in the inalienable rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. But as we’ve seen, this not just a theory or hypothesis; this is how the Left acts! Political correctness is the embodiment of the Nero Redivivus myth: the government and the minority political correct oligarchy have been telling us for the last 8 years that we have to think and act a certain way, or we’re hatemongers, bigots, homophobes, racists, and a host of other pejoratives. How is that “life” if we’re expected to live like everyone else, and live at a lower standard to boot? How is that “liberty” if we have no freedom to dissent? How can we pursue “happiness” if politically correct culture is solely focused on keeping the minority 1 to 2 percent happy? The Left has come full circle from King George. They seek to impose (by mob rule of late) the religion of secularism on everyone else and persecute any shred of non-Islamic religion. (Because, of course, it’s politically incorrect to say anything bad about Islam, even though one branch of it is decidedly terroristic.)

And need I go into the other “alternate truths” the left has out there?

  • King David was a homosexual, because the Bible makes reference to him using a common middle eastern greeting (still in use today) between two people of a kiss on either cheek. Talk about historical revisionism!
  • Abortion isn’t murder or killing, it’s just a surgical procedure. The fetus in the womb isn’t human and has no rights because it’s not viable outside the womb. Yeah, somebody send those idiots back to Anatomy 101.
  • Gender is a social construct. Oh really, so now you’re rejecting the hard sciences in favor of some wacko sociopolitical agenda?
  • Man is responsible for climate change. Umm, that was going on long before the industrial era. Continental drift and seismic and volcanic activity have had more impact on the Earth’s climate than man will ever have.
  • God is dead. If that’s show, then show me the corpse.

The Right, and conservatives generally, now have a champion against these alternate truths of the Left, and so far, he is proving himself a capable commander-in-chief in that charge. Congress needs to step up and follow his leadership, and judges need to get back to the Constitution and quit promulgating their sociopolitical agenda. Those on the right need to rally behind our champion and pray for his success.

Scott Stocking

My views are my own. Period.

The Left’s Hangover and Withdrawal (#SustainableAmerica)

Eureka! By George, I think I’ve figured it out!

What?! What is it, Scott?!?!

I think I’ve figured out what’s going on with the Left. They’re coming out of an 8-year long drunken revelry. The hangover started early in the morning of November 9 when it became clear that Donald J. Trump had won a constitutional, political and, I would argue, spiritual victory over arguably the most prominent icon of the Left, Hillary Clinton, and the spiritual powers behind her. The symptoms are all there.

Drunk with Power

Here’s what happened in the drunken stage. For 8 years, the Leftist powers in the Executive Branch of government systematically began to dismantle all that conservatives, and conservative Christians especially, held dear. The first domino was Obama apologizing for American superiority, then spending so much that the United States’ credit rating took a dive. Another domino was gay unions. Now frankly, what you do in your bedroom is your business, and I don’t think the government should have any say in it one way or the other. But the fallout of that hit hard for a baker and pizza maker who were vilified and ruined for saying they didn’t want to endorse a gay union by providing their services to them.

Then came more progressive social changes. Let’s encourage and enable kids who are confused about their gender by telling them they can go into any bathroom they want. Let’s legitimize a whole new vocabulary on gender that flies in the face of God’s created order: male and female He created them. And the traitorous political moves. The Iran deal, billions in ransom money to Iran, allowing ISIS to rise and thrive while the ignoramus POTUS calls them the “JV team.”

And to top it all off, let’s throw in a Black Lives Matters movement that encourages, demands, and carries out the murder of cops. That’s about as close to anarchy as we could have come.

The spiritual forces behind the Left, along with the Left itself, were getting drunk on all this social and political power they had been wielding. And they thought they had the final nail in coffin ready to go: a liberal female president. That would have been the icing on the cake, the final victory in the battle, the pinnacle of rubbing it in the face of Conservatives.

The Hangover

But in the dead of night on November 8–9, 2016, red lights began popping up all over the country, in places that hadn’t seen red in a long time. Come to think of it, maybe they had been seeing red about the drunken binge on the Left, and it showed up on the election map! Then the Left started seeing red, and the hangover began. They were all crying, and not just tears of sadness. For some, the crying seemed pathological. “How could this happen?” “We were so close!” The Left was beside themselves. Their first move was to bring up the tired, unconstitutional argument that Hillary had won the popular vote, and President-Elect Trump was “not my president.” One look at the election results map, and you understand why we have an electoral college that elects the president state-by-state, not on the aggregate popular vote.

Denial and Delirium Tremens

Hangovers never last too long, but the next stage, denial, isn’t far behind, and it usually runs parallel with the delirium tremens that comes from withdrawal. We’ve seen that their main form of denial has been to blame the Russians for hacking the election. They couldn’t (and still can’t) accept that conservative Americans had had enough of the liberal slime oozing out of Washington. Now someone was going to be in power to “drain the swamp.” He is cleaning out their liquor cabinet and flushing it down the toilet, along with the drugs and other contraband. The women’s march last weekend was the epitome of their withdrawal and a protest against the social and cultural degradation over which they had been presiding. It was a childish, immature response to the results of a legitimate, constitutional, political process, but it’s also their right to behave that way if they want. Just don’t expect any r-e-s-p-e-c-t from me, Trump supporters, or conservative Christians.

Comparison and Analysis

Conservative Christian values were trampled on far worse than anything women think Trump will do to their rights. He’s not that kind of person, no matter how you try to vilify him. So his locker room talk got caught on an open mic. How many women have gone to see male dance strippers and said the same thing, even to the point of putting money in their thongs? And what of Madonna offering blow jobs to men if they vote for Hillary? Is that not equally as offensive to men as what Trump said about women? Do we delegitimize all of womanhood because of that? Do we delegitimize individual women because of that? No. But back to the point: you didn’t see Christians marching in the streets, burning limos, and using foul language about Obama because he trashed our values. That’s because we’re mature enough to realize that our identity and worth doesn’t come from who’s in the Oval Office (and that’s true even with Trump), but from whose we are.

And that’s where our power comes from. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). That promise was activated on November 8, 2016, and implemented on January 20, 2017. I for one am looking forward to a new era of the rule of conservative principles.

Scott Stocking

My opinions are my own, period.

Hollywood Shows Its Ignorance and Irrelevance (#SustainableAmerica)

I don’t often watch the Hollywood award shows. If there’s any group of people that consider themselves more self-important than Democrat politicians, it’s the privileged Hollywood elite. But the family wanted to watch the Golden Globe awards last night, so I suffered through it. Jimmy Fallon made it at least tolerable, and Steve Carell’s & Kristin Wiig’s bit, reminiscent of the Michael Scott character, was probably the best lead-in of all the presenters.

But when Meryl Streep got up to accept her lifetime achievement award, or whatever it was, you just knew what was coming. In a room full of elite, embarrassingly wealthy admirers, she had the gall to say the privileged Hollywood elite were among the most despised classes of Americans, along with the press and (Democratic) politicians. I’m not sure why they’re surprised about that. The left has been fostering hatred against the business rich for decades. Now they’re finally getting a taste of their own medicine.

The Over- and Underregulated

But I think I’ve figured out why the silver-spoon rich on the left are so mad about the business rich being rich, and President-Elect Trump knows first hand why. And he made that a central part of his campaign: overregulation. Let’s take a look, generally, at what Trump and other small and large business owners have to do to get rich. Trump is a real estate mogul. When Trump builds a skyscraper or casino, or when a local contractor builds a house, they have hundreds of regulations and specific building codes for which they have to spend thousands of dollars to follow, and inspections galore along the way to boot. Some of these regulations are ridiculous and overly burdensome to the business man, big or small. It would seem their primary purpose is to eat into the profits of the business and put money in the coffers of the government, as if the outlandish taxation on businesses wasn’t enough. Yet the business rich still find a way to make a profit, in spite of government’s efforts to keep them from doing so.

These regulations pervade almost every industry and affect hundreds of professions. Farmers and others who make their living off the land and sea have to abide by hundreds of environmental regulations. Some fishing boat operators now have to pay for Federal inspectors to be on board their privately owned fishing vessels every time they go out to sea! Talk about government overreach! Truckers have regulations about how much they can drive, weight limits of loads, and various nuances on licensing their vehicles. Bankers have hundreds of regulations. Medical professionals who want to help the poor and the elderly have a pile of regulations almost as prolific as the IRS tax code.

But if you look at the latest complete edition of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), guess who doesn’t have any regulations to live by in their profession? That’s right, actors and actresses, journalists (their employers, however, have dozens of FCC regulations to abide by for their broadcasts), and politicians. The latter exempted themselves from Obamacare, for crying out loud! Actors and journalists have been writing blank checks for themselves for years, expecting to get a pass because of “freedom of press” and “freedom of speech.” But let a pastor preach a sermon that gives the biblical perspective on adultery, homosexuality, or gambling, and Oh, the Intolerance! Let a baker who doesn’t want to endorse a homosexual wedding refuse to bake a cake, and Oh, the Discrimination! The Hatred! And the Press and the Left vilify and financially ruin the baker or the pastor or their clientele while they rake in their opulent salaries and live their privileged lives.

Actor Birthers?

As if that part of her rant wasn’t enough, she then moved into a list of foreign-born Hollywood types and made some ridiculous comment about why the Right wasn’t asking those folks for their birth certificates while hounding Obama for his. Hello, Meryl, anyone home? Actors and other Hollywood types don’t have constitutionally imposed age and birthplace restrictions like POTUS does. How is it Streep doesn’t know that? Oh, wait, I’m guessing she does, she just thinks the Trump voters are too stupid to figure out her rant is completely irrelevant, off-topic, and downright deceptive.

If Streep and the rest of Hollywood want to know why the average, frustrated American voted for Trump and despises the Hollywood elite, they need to look no farther than themselves. They have no restrictions on what they say or do and rake in the big bucks, while hard-working business professionals have to navigate the minefield of regulations imposed by the politicians and political correctness imposed by the press to build their wealth.

HHS Can’t Control Improper Payments (#SustainableAmerica)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its annual Agency Financial Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 this week. No surprise that improper payments continue to haunt the agency, which is responsible for over half of all improper payments in the government at large. According to this latest report, HHS reported $96.9 billion (yes, billion, with a B), of which Medicare (Parts A through D) and Medicaid are responsible for all but $1B of that.

Medicare Improper Payments

For the third year in a row, Medicare has toyed with a $60B improper payment rate, yet this little fact gets completely ignored when the media and politicians talk about the Medicare Trust Fund going bankrupt by 2030. When are politicians going to wake up and smell the coffee, for crying out loud! It’s time to do something about this, and as I’ve said before, I think President-Elect Trump is the right person for the job. I trust that he will apply his incredible business acumen to programs in this kind of trouble and get them turned around so they can continue to provide needed healthcare for seniors, put an immediate stop to the bleeding, and put a stop the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.

Medicaid Improper Payments

Similarly, Medicaid is on a three-year rocket trajectory with its improper payments. Since the Affordable Care Act’s “encouragement” to States to expand Medicaid kicked in in 2014, Medicaid improper payments have more than doubled. In 2013, Medicaid improper payments reached a low of $14.4B, but in 2014, they jumped to $17.5B, then to $29.1B in 2015. For FY 2016, Medicaid’s improper payments jumped another $7.2B to $36.3B. Again, how can we expect any program to survive with this kind of bleeding?

The Problem

To be fair, both Medicare and Medicaid improper payments came in a little under what was projected, but not much. And the fact they are more than all other agencies combined continues to be disturbing. The main problem, as I see it, is the “pay and chase” policy of both programs. Providers submit claims, which should be run through some basic automated edits to validate, then Medicare or Medicaid pays the provider. But the process doesn’t end there. Medicare turns a number of claims over to review contractors for more detailed review, at which point a number of claims get rejected, and providers have to refund the payments for those claims. Add to that the number of claims that result in a determination of fraud, of which only a fraction is recovered even after trials and settlements.

Both Medicare and Medicaid have spent a lot of time and money creating, updating, and in some cases simplifying (shocking, I know) regulations, but none of that has made any difference, and only seems to exacerbate the problem. Why? Because it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the thousands of pages of regulations and rules that come out each year! In some cases, providers are used to doing things one way, then some obscure change in a regulation makes that way wrong now. As soon as they do it the wrong way and still get a payment for it, that becomes an improper payment, and Medicare can then come after them for repayment! Thank you for your service, provider!

A Solution

Drastic problems call for drastic measures. I think one possible solution would be to put a moratorium on any new regulations except for those that have to do with annual payment rates. All of those policy analysts should be turned loose on prepayment review of claims so we can catch more potential improper payments BEFORE they’re made. Doesn’t that make sense? Of course it does, too much sense for an establishment politician!

In order to sustain America, one area we need to address is the incredible wasteful spending perpetuated by the Washington establishment and business as usual. I hope you share my concern that we need to try something completely different, and that difference will be President-Elect Trump.

Scott Stocking

My views are my own.

 

A Primer on Government Rule Making

Before talking about the need for limited government as a constitutional ideal for ensuring the Republic’s sustainability, it’s important to see where we’re at now and how we got here.

A Comparison with Ancient History

Being a religious scholar, I can easily draw a comparison to the Jewish faith and practice. God laid out the fundamental laws in the Ten Commandments, and the Scriptures after that lay out “case law” to clarify the correct judgments, punishments, and restitutions when the fundamental laws are violated. With respect to jurisprudence, then, this can be compared to our vast collection of court cases that establish “precedence” for similar situations that follow.

With respect to the legislative aspect, we have very little “codified” law in the Scriptures. What the Jews did was build a “hedge” around the law called The Mishnah, codified in the late first or early second century AD. This was a record of the debate among leading Rabbinical scholars of that era, informed by years of written and oral tradition, of what actions should or should not be considered violations of the Ten Commandments generally, and of the Torah specifically.

Modern Law and Rulemaking

This codification can be compared to our modern law and rulemaking process. It is not enough to pass a law. America has a somewhat convoluted process of implementing that law, so much so that “the people” are taken out of the equation.

Many in my generation remember “I’m Just a Bill,” the Schoolhouse Rock song. It’s a fairly accurate, albeit oversimplified summary of the process of introducing and passing legislation. But as I hinted above, that is only the tip of the iceberg for the legislative process. If you’ve ever read the text of a law, you will have seen that there is much language about editing, adding to, or deleting certain sections of the U.S. Code, the official codification of U.S. law.

But the U.S. Code does not offer much in the way of specifics to implement and enforce the law. That’s where rulemaking comes in. Since I work in the area of Medicare policy and education, let me take an example from that.

Section 3022 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) authorizes the “Medicare Shared Savings Program.” This is one of the better aspects of Obamacare in my opinion, because it offers incentives for providers and provider groups to work together to reduce costs in Medicare. If you go to the place where that section of the law is, you will see that the law adds a section to the end of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (the Title that governs Medicare) and, in the margin note, you will see the corresponding section in the U.S. Code is (Title) 42 USC 1395jjj. The same language will appear in both places once the edits are applied.

Notice the first line of the added section: “the Secretary shall establish.” This line authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to take the steps necessary to create the new Shared Savings Program. This usually means the Secretary will charge, in this case, the director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to direct their employees to come up with the nuts and bolts of the plan. The law itself lays out several parameters that they must abide by, but the specifics are left up to those who are going to draft the official “regulations” (= rules) for the program and implement them in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), including the size of the incentive payments.

CMS prepares a “proposed final rule” that is then published in the Federal Register, and they invite the public to comment on the proposed rule for two or three months. The proposed final rule is not just the text of the regulations they want to add; it contains a lengthy narrative justifying why they wrote it the way they did and how it may intersect with other aspects of Medicare. Once the comment period is closed, CMS then processes the comments, decides whether any are significant enough to modify the proposed regulations, then publishes a final rule implementing the law in the 42 CFR sec. 425. In this case, the rule was amended in 2015, and then, in the midst of a 1400-page final rule (in manuscript form) on the Physician’s Fee Schedule (released 11/15/2016 in the Federal Register), there were a few pages that described more changes to the Shared Savings Program. In this case, unless you went looking for these changes, most people would have never known they were in there! It’s like finding a needle in a haystack sometimes just to keep up to date.

This final rule summarizes the comments CMS received and their responses to the comments, which more often than not take the tone of “Thank you for your comment; we hear you, but we’re going to do it our way for now.” In a few cases, strong professional groups are able to lobby for certain changes, especially if they propose their own language instead of merely being critical of CMS’ proposed language.

So imagine multiplying this over the thousands of government agencies in the dozens of Departments the United States government operates, and you begin to get a sense of the polylithic bureaucracy that is Washington, D.C. At some point, we need to ask ourselves as a country if all this effort is worth it. This is how government gets their fingers into every aspect of our lives, and it’s nearly impossible to get away from it. I think our founding fathers are turning over in their graves with all these rules and regulations; and they certainly don’t like it that States, through these processes, have gradually been forfeiting their rights to Federal structure.

I do not believe America can sustain itself with an ever-burgeoning bureaucracy (= a government that gets bigger and more intrusive each passing day). I believe this is why President-Elect Trump was so successful with his message. It’s time to simplify things again; give the States and the people more freedom to live their lives, not more regulations from a nanny government that has a false sense of its own self-importance and a false presumption that they know what’s best for us.

Scott Stocking

My views are my own.

The Republic and the Electoral College

“And to the Republic, for which it stands…” (Pledge of Allegiance).

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4.

The Meaning of Republic

The republican form of government in America operates with the people electing at the State level their representatives (senators, House members, and presidential electors) to represent them in Washington at the Federal level. The emphasis here is that the function of electing a president is not a Federal process, but a State process, just like for Senators and Representatives. That is why presidential candidates must petition to be placed on the ballot in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia, and not make just one petition at the Federal level to be placed on all ballots in every State and D.C.

Who Empowers Whom?

This is where the Electoral College comes in to play. The founding fathers never envisioned a president elected by popular vote alone. Why? There are numerous reasons. First, we are the United States of America. The Constitution is what the original States agreed upon to invest power in a Federal government structure. Hear me here: the population at large gives power to their respective States; the States give power to the Federal government. The Electoral College is the means by which the States elect the president to represent them.

One only needs to look at a county-by-county election results map to understand why the Electoral College is so important for ensuring balanced and fair representation for the political districts in our Republic. Geographically speaking, Clinton only won about 20% (a generous estimate) of the physical area of the country by county, and mostly in the large population centers. The implication here is that, were we to elect president strictly on popular vote, this would in all practicality invest the power of the vote in those large population centers, and presidential candidates would not have to worry about campaigning in less populous States or regions.

An Indirect Process

Electing a president then, is really an indirect process when it comes to the popular vote. The popular vote for president only has meaning at the State level. Since it is the States who granted power to the Federal government in the first place, the States, in the Constitution, reserved for themselves the right to elect the president, based on how the people of their respective States voted. If we were to abandon the Electoral College, we would essentially strip the States, as political entities, of their right to determine who rules them. This would create huge legal questions, about whether the Federal government, then, would have any right to impose laws and regulations on the States.

Limited Power

Our founding fathers were indeed wise. They understood that the Federal government needed to be limited in power, otherwise they would become no better than the kings or tyrants the colonists were trying to escape. Unfortunately, States have slowly undermined their authority by ceding more and more of their constitutionally enumerated powers to the Federal level, and few have had the power to say “enough is enough.” At least until this past week, when we elected Donald Trump as president.

The sustainability of America depends on restoring and enacting the principles of limited government. This means returning powers to the State that the Constitution does not give to the Federal government. If we continue to grow the size of the Federal government, it can only lead to a tyranny of powerful, and the people will lose their voice altogether.

Scott Stocking

My views are my own.

Sustainable America

Can Medicare survive if it continues to bleed over $40 billion (yes, billion) per year in improper payments, and over $150 billion since 2012?

Is the demise of Medicaid not far behind with over $29 billion in improper payments in fiscal year 2015, more than double what they were in 2013, the year BEFORE Medicaid expansion kicked in? (paymentaccuracy.gov)

Will our treasured Constitution survive if people who fail to understand the historical and political significance of the Electoral College turn to violence in the streets to protest?

Will our freedoms survive if we continue to give legitimacy to those who disrespect the very symbol of our freedom or who penalize those who try to live out their deepest religious and ethical beliefs?

Will America survive if we continue to allow undocumented, unvetted aliens into our country in the name of compassion, without discerning if any are wolves in sheep’s clothing?

My primary hope is in God as a Christ follower, and that will be the case regardless of who wins any election. But I find some immediate hope for America in the election of Donald Trump as President, and some satisfaction in the subsequent repudiation of the Clinton-Obama agenda that has sought to overturn Christian morality, trample on constitutional principles, and downgrade American supremacy.

In the coming weeks, I want to lay bare some of the very real issues we face as a nation as we transition to the Trump presidency. I’m especially interested to see how he handles “the art of the deal” as he confronts the gross misspending in some of our most important programs.

Who am I?

My name is Scott Stocking. For the last 6 years, I have worked for a government contractor that does important work in the area of Medicare and Medicaid integrity, including claims reviewing and auditing and provider education. My job title is Healthcare Program Subject Matter Expert (SME). Although our work is very important and results in significant recovery and prevention of improper payments, I have come to realize in the past year that it’s just not enough to keep up with the never-ending stream of laws and regulations that pour forth from the pens of those who are hired for the very purpose of creating and amending those laws and regulations.

I will NOT be speaking for my company in this blog, even though my company’s Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG) is to make healthcare a sustainable resource. My views are my own here. My primary goal is to educate my readers about how Washington works, why its policies and programs don’t work, and what a business mogul like President-elect Trump can do to Make America Great Again (#MAGA). But it is not enough just to make America great again; those of us who supported President-elect Trump want to continue to convince Americans that conservative principles will ensure a Sustainable America for generations to come.

I am excited to share my views and see the discussion that develops as a result of this blog. Peace and prosperity to all.