Obsession

Lost Balloonist
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her
altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,
“Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon,
approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be a Republican.
“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct.
But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost.
Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be an Obama-Democrat.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where the hell you are — or where the
hell you are going. You’ve risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of
hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem.
You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it’s my fault.” 🙂  — Thanks to one of the readers of this blog for this gem.

P R I C E L E S S !

****************

According to a new study and commentary, the reformed Medicare program under Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=316121> amounts to little more than a grand Ponzi scheme to benefit seniors, costing young Americans – who voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008 – more than $100,000 apiece over and above benefits received in their lifetimes.

John Goodman, president and founder of the National Center for Policy Analysis <http://www.ncpa.org/>, breaks down the numbers in a blog post <http://healthblog.ncpa.org/is-medicare-a-good-deal/> summarizing a study on the effects <http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/st333.pdf> of the recently passed reform act, often called “Obamacare.”

Goodman explains that even if Medicare avoids the bankruptcy many pundits are predicting, a typical 25-year-old will pay in premiums, payroll taxes and income taxes supporting Medicare an extra $111,000 over and above the cost of benefits he or she would receive from the program. Typical 85-year-olds, however, can expect to receive $55,000 in insurance benefits <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=316121> over and above what they pay into the system

“A typical 85-year-old is going to get back $2.69 in benefits for every dollar paid into the system in the form of premiums and taxes – a good deal by any measure.

People turning 65 today don’t do nearly as well – they get back $1.25 for every dollar they pay in.

The average worker under age 50 loses under the system – with a 45-year-old getting back only 95 cents on the dollar.

That’s better than the deal 25-year-olds get, however; they can expect to get back 75 cents for every dollar they contribute.

Gee, no one saw that coming…. 🙂

You might recognize the White House talking points some Democrats have borrowed in the debt ceiling negotiations: taxes need to be raised on “millionaires and billionaires” and “oil companies raking in billions in profits.”

And often that means repealing the Bush-era tax cuts. But is that an obsession?

On Monday’s “The Laura Ingraham Show,” CNBC host Larry Kudlow observed that it might be. However, he warned that his crystal ball is telling the outlook isn’t so good.

“You know, we had a bad release this morning, very bad – consumer spending and incomes,” Kudlow said. “Real consumer spending has actually now fallen for the second straight month. And after taxes and after inflation, what’s called ‘real disposable income’ — is falling. What you got here is another 2-percent quarter coming up. This whole first half looks like 2-percent growth, GDP – which is pretty poor, 4 percent inflation, 9.1 percent unemployment. I mean, it really is a dismal picture and Washington policies are not helping.”

Kudlow explained the answer isn’t higher taxes in a weak economy and even those that tout Keynesian economics would agree with that. But he also said high inflation looms.

“I mean look, do I read this right – the Democrats in all the debt negotiations want to raise taxes in this kind of economy,” Kudlow said. “What am I missing here? I don’t care whether you’re a Keynesian or a supply-sider, or whatever. You don’t want to be raising taxes when the economy is completely sputtering and the inflation rate is picking up by the way, thanks to [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke. So it’s not a good picture.”

The best solution “The Kudlow Report” host said was a plan with spending cuts and changing tax rates. But he reiterated a point he had made on his Saturday radio show, which he question the Democratic Party’s seeming obsession over ending the Bush tax cuts.

“I mean, why not – a nice simple plan, significant spending cuts to deal with the debt problem,” Kudlow said. “And then at the same time, slash the business tax rate to 15 percent, with no deductions and stop all of this rhetoric about ending the Bush tax cuts, particularly for the small business owners and the most successful earners. I have never seen — the Democratic Party has an obsession over the Bush tax cuts. It’s like, whatever the problem is they repeal the tax cuts. It’s like they need a 12-step program to deal with their obsession and anger over the Bush tax cuts. So why not just lower spending, lower taxing coming out of these debt talks? That would provide some confidence and some incentives. That would help.” (DC)

Obsession:  It’s not just for Calvin Klein (now that’s and old reference! 🙂 )

ob·ses·sion:  the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.

I think I would rather have Brooke Shields jeans… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

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