It’s a Government Day in the Neighborhood

The government’s problem-reaction-solution strategy to buy votes was summed up best by the late libertarian Harry Browne: “The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, ‘See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.’”
The government deliberately causes problems in order to elicit their desired reaction from the public and then offers their “solutions” that will inevitably earn politicians the undeserved trust of naïve voters. (PO)
The low-information, unenlightened narcissism one and the the highly informed narcissistic ones who aren’t as naive but they do like to be bribed. They expect to be bribed.
After all, buying votes is the Democrat way.
The other is “fairness”….
If any question remained about the Obama White House’s appetite for running everyone’s life from Washington, it should be settled now. This administration even wants to dictate neighborhood makeup.Like your neighborhood? Don’t get used to it. The Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development might decide it wants to dictate changes. HUD is, according to Fox News, considering “a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory.”

The proposed rule, disclosed last month by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at the NAACP’s convention in Florida, has been entered into the Federal Register.

But it can’t become a regulation that carries the weight of law until after a 60-day public comment period. Should it get that far, it could be used to manipulate and manage the makeup of neighborhoods.

We see nothing wrong with diversity among neighbors. Racial, ethnic, religious, educational and economic mixtures can be enriching. People from different backgrounds and experiences can learn from each other and meld together as one.

But humans, not just Americans, often make housing choices that don’t advance the government’s definition of diversity. Is it the government’s job to deny those choices and impose its idea of appropriate diversity?

Affirmatively furthering “fair housing,” as HUD is eager to do, requires government to act with magisterial powers. That’s not the role of the state in a free society. Overseeing neighborhood makeup isn’t a function of a legitimate government, but of an oppressive one.

It makes us nervous to know government might be compiling demographic data from every neighborhood in the country, especially when that information will be used by Washington to, as the rule states, “assess fair housing issues, identify the primary determinants that account for those issues, and set forth fair housing priorities and goals.”

Studies have found that black and white Americans tend to stay within their racial groups when they move to a new neighborhood. But, says one researcher, self-segregation itself “is not necessarily a problem.”

The issue, University of Washington sociologist Kyle Crowder told livescience.com, is a matter of “school quality, crime and access to health care and those sorts of things.”

These are legitimate concerns. But they’re not ones resolved by rules, regulation, bureaucracy, government decree, public housing, welfare programs or a community organizer.

In fact, those are impediments to more Americans having access to the benefits of living in good neighborhoods. All drain rather than boost the economy. Each chokes rather than increases opportunities. Every one of them is an instrument of harm.

There’s nothing Donovan and his department can do to promote access to “good schools, safe streets, jobs, grocery stores” for those in disadvantaged neighborhoods — except get out of the way.

Americans are not children who need teachers to enforce seating arrangements in classrooms.

They’re not helpless creatures in need of a nanny to make sure they behave in a civil fashion.

Neither are they subjects to be ordered about like pawns.

But this administration thinks they are.

When we first wrote about this rule just last month, we pointed out that Donovan had a “scheme to map ‘racist’ suburbs for targeting by diversity cops” and is willing to take on a project that “could degrade the lifestyles of tens of millions of Americans — including hard-working middle-class minorities — who moved to the suburbs to get away from crime and bad schools.”

That may not be tyranny in most people’s understanding of the word. But it sure moves us a step closer to it.

After all, Government knows best and Government is best at enforcing what’s best for you.
It’s Only “Fair”. 🙂
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

The Honor of Battle

Counterterrorism analysts said Monday that the U.S. government’s global response to a threat emanating from Yemen, home to al Qaida’s most active affiliate, was at odds with how dismissive President Barack Obama was in a speech in May, when he said that “not every collection of thugs that labels themselves as al Qaida will pose a credible threat to the United States.”

That was only one of a series of public statements by Obama and his Cabinet members that played down the capabilities of al Qaida-linked groups. For at least the past two years, the administration has sought to reassure Americans that al Qaida is “on the run,” while counterterrorism experts were warning about the semiautonomous affiliates that have wreaked havoc in North Africa, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

“The actions the administration is taking now are deeply inconsistent with the portrait of al Qaida strength the administration has been painting,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a counterterrorism specialist at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington research institute.

Welcome to the Big Brother News service. Do you wonder if Obama even remembers what he said in May or cares? Do you think the Ministry of Truth remembers or cares.

Doubt it.

Being deeply narcissistic means you just do what you have to, and say what you have to, for the moment to get what you want. Consistency or truth or even conviction are complete strangers to this need.

And there is no more narcissistic than Obama.

On the campaign trail last fall, Obama touted the killing of Osama bin Laden during a covert U.S. raid in 2011 as a sign that, while the U.S. would have to maintain vigilance, “the truth, though, is that al Qaida is much weaker than it was when I came into office.” In his State of the Union address last February, the president called al Qaida “a shadow of its former self” and said the threat posed by its affiliates wouldn’t require large-scale U.S. military deployment.

In July 2011, Obama’s then newly appointed defense secretary, Leon Panetta, said he was “convinced in this capacity that we’re within reach of strategically defeating al Qaida.”

“It’s called politics. They know it’s not true,” said Aaron Zelin, who researches militants for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and blogs about them at Jihadology.net. “The movement has grown over the past two years. The ideology is thriving.” (McClatchy)

The politics of narcissism. The politics of The Ministry of Truth.
The Ministry of Truth is involved with news media, entertainment, the fine arts and educational books. Its purpose is to rewrite history and change the facts to fit Party doctrine for propaganda effect. For example, if Big Brother makes a prediction that turns out to be wrong, the employees of the Ministry of Truth go back and rewrite the prediction so that any prediction Big Brother previously made is accurate. This is the “how” of the Ministry of Truth’s existence. Within the novel Orwell elaborates that the deeper reason for its existence is to maintain the illusion that the Party is absolute. It cannot ever seem to change its mind for that would imply weakness and to maintain power the Party must seem eternally right and strong.
And President Hands-Off Drone Strike strikes again in Yemen. War by Remote Control. That way no soldiers, no bad politics of soldiers. That’s the Obama Way.
So is bribing people to do what he wants (or at least make him look good). Even Terrorists!

Buried inside a lengthy unclassified report released last week by the Pentagon is a description of something called the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program, through which the administration started to pay terrorists to walk off the battlefield.

All Taliban and al-Qaida fighters have to do is sign (a thumb print will suffice for illiterates) an “intent to reintegrate” form vowing to “cease violence (and) live within the laws of Afghanistan,” according to the report, titled “Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan.”

In exchange, they’ll receive monthly payments and even get to keep their weapons if they request them for “personal protection.”

Who vouches for the sincerity of these supposedly reformed terrorists? Local tribal leaders and Islamic clerics, most of whom sympathize with the Taliban and al-Qaida. They sit on a so-called High Peace Council with area warlords, an oxymoronic situation to the hilt.

The administration boasts that “to date, 6,277 fighters have been removed peacefully from the battlefield and enrolled in the program.” But it won’t provide data on how many “reintegrees” have rejoined the jihad against U.S. troops and America. (IBD)

Most I would guess. But that’s a question no one wants the answer to.

So far, Obama’s Taliban amnesty program has cost U.S. taxpayers a whopping $72 million. Total five-year funding for the reintegration program, which includes “community recovery projects,” is $175 million.

Again, the Pentagon has provided no data on the number of enrollees who have returned to the battlefield, so we have no metric to judge the effectiveness of its jihad rehab.

The amount of money the Obama administration is paying the bad guys to stay off the battlefield in its run-up to its announced 2014 retreat is obscene.

This is how Obama plans to declare victory in Afghanistan — through bribery. (IBD)

Why not, he bribes people to vote for him. So why not bribe people to not shoot at us or cause Terror attacks. That’s bound to work just like “Vote for me, The other guys and Asshole” did.
He’s Just that good, right? 🙂
Michael Ramirez Cartoon

 

Galling

Retailers are preparing for a triple whammy as the restoration of the payroll tax, surging gas prices, and stagnant employment and wages take a bite out of consumers’ disposable income, leaving them with less cash to spend on clothing, groceries, and eating out.

But the world is going to end if their is a 3% cut in the increase in spending! OMG! The Sky is Falling! 🙂

As a result, more than three years after the recession officially ended, American consumers might be preparing to downshift again, if only slightly, with low-income consumers hit the hardest. Sensing consumer trepidation, retailers are scrambling to adjust.

Retailers, restaurants, and consumer goods companies like Wal-Mart are lowering sales forecasts and adjusting marketing campaigns ahead of expectations that consumers will slash spending, the Wall Street Journal reports.

But Government wants to Spend Even More!

In a survey released Thursday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said some 46 percent of consumers plan to spend less as a result of the payroll tax increase. One-third said they will reduce dining out and one-quarter will spend less on “little luxuries,” like manicures and trips to coffee shops.

“A smaller paycheck due to the fiscal cliff deal early last month, higher gas prices, low consumer confidence and ongoing uncertainty about our nation’s fiscal health is negatively impacting consumers and businesses across the country,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF, said in a statement.

And that’s all the Republican’s Fault! (or Bush’s)… 🙂

Originally enacted in December 2010 to help taxpayers weather the recession and to spur economic activity, the payroll tax cut expired Jan. 1 of this year. The restoration of the tax effectively raised the rate from 4.2 percent in 2012 to 6.2 percent in 2013, shaving 2 percent from consumers’ take-home pay.

Can you say Bait and Switch to bribe the stupid to vote for the Democrats…

That means Americans making $50,000 a year will pay $83 more in taxes each month, almost $1,000 more each year. Those making $75,000 will pay $125 more each month, or $1,500 more each year. As retailers see it, that’s $1,500 less a consumer has to spend on groceries, household goods, and dining out.

Multiply that by 153.6 million people in the labor force and retailers start to panic. According to an estimate by Citigroup, the expiration of the payroll tax cut will move $110 billion out of consumers’ pockets.

So Democrats can spend it on paying off their Apparatchiks, looking like they “care” and blaming it all on “rich” people and Republicans.

And the Republicans don’t do anything about it! Which is also very galling.

For high-end consumers, the payroll tax may not change a thing, and for many middle-income consumers, it will likely result in only a subtle shift. But the impact is most likely to be felt among low-income consumers and the businesses they tend to frequent, like Wal-Mart.

“It’s a big deal,” says Morgan Housley, a macroeconomic analyst with Motley Fool, an online financial education website. “The biggest impact is on lower-income households since the payroll tax is regressive, only applying to the first $113,000 of income. Wealthier households don’t feel the same pinch because the tax doesn’t hit all of their income. Lower-income households also spend a larger share of their income than wealthier consumers.… Low-income families are in one of the toughest spots they’ve been in since 2009.” (CSMonitor)

But remember, ask a liberal about it and they’ll give you the political answer of, “well it’s that same as it was 3 years ago” before the cut so it’s not an increase.

Tell that to their pocketbooks. They play games with you but you can’t hold them accountable for it. Your the Mouse and they are the Cat. So, you’re just a Cat toy…

Oh, and it’s the Republican’s/Bush Fault!! Can’t for get that one.

And Republican just want to throw grandma out on the street to eat trash and dog food!

The dishonesty of it all is so galling.

Speaking of Galling…

Who says intransigence doesn’t pay? After driving Hostess out of business by refusing to negotiate, union bakers have been rewarded by the White House with Trade Adjustment Assistance. It’s all the foreigners’ fault.

Politics: Who says intransigence doesn’t pay? After driving Hostess out of business by refusing to negotiate, the White House has decided to reward the union bakers with Trade Adjustment Assistence, blaming foreigners. What a sweet deal.

Last November, Hostess Brands went into liquidation, throwing 18,500 employees out of their jobs. The baking giant had been through two restructurings, but the company remained unprofitable.

All the same, most workers at the bread and pastry maker, famous for its Twinkies and Ho Hos snack cakes, were willing to tighten their belts until good times returned.

They included hard-line unions, such as the Teamsters, not known for making concessions.

But there was one exception: the AFL-CIO-affiliated Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International (BCTGM).

It refused to deal, taking the entire company, including fellow workers, down with it.

Turns out the union knew exactly what it was doing.

This week, the Labor Department decided to shower Hostess workers with Trade Adjustment Assistance, a multibillion-dollar pork barrel program that was beefed up as a bone to Democrats, who were blocking passage of three free-trade treaties in Congress in 2012.

Politically Correct “obstructionism” and being a Party Apparatchik pays! $$$$

TAA is a lavish program doled out by the Labor Department for laid-off workers who’ve lost their jobs due to “global trade.”

Aka, Apparatchik pay offs.

It provides worker retraining due to the supposed evils of free trade — plus moving expenses, baby-sitting expenses and as much as two years of unemployment pay. If a worker ends up making less than his union salary afterward, Uncle Sam spots the worker for 50% of the supposed lost wages in a “free” subsidy.

What’s more, “virtually anybody can qualify,” said TAA certifying officer Elliott Kushner in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

As long as you’re an Apparatchik.

Kushner was the one who signed off on shoveling the pork to Hostess. (IBD)

So Liberal “obstructionism” that brings down a whole Business is rewarded.

It pays to be a Union “obstructionist” and make everyone lose their job.

Just because they are Apparatchiks of the Party!

So be of The Body, or be screwed.

Do what we say when we say it or else!

In Hostess’ case, labor costs were almost certainly a factor. The Labor Department says the average wage for bakers nationally is $11 an hour.

The unionized Hostess bakers were pulling in as much as twice that amount, which, together with pensions, was what made the company uncompetitive.

Imports weren’t the problem.

But it’s so much easier to blame foreigners, even if no significant foreign goods can be found.

This shows how something like the TAA can turn into a perverse incentive, encouraging all workers to make no concessions in tough times, even if it means saving their company.

The BCTGM union’s intransigence was directly responsible for the liquidation of Hostess Brands.

Yet the same union is being rewarded with premium unemployment packages that encourage its members to go on the dole — and to blame foreigners for it.

Undoubtedly, more examples of this perverse incentive will take down more companies, an unintended consequence of a boondoggle that sounds good on paper.

It’s not good. It’s a reward for those who refuse to negotiate, and a sop to the manipulative unions that are most adept at gaming the system.

This doesn’t create value. It’s corruption. (IBD)

But since it’s Liberal Union Corruption, that’s ok. 🙂
Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

 Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 

Teachable Moment

More words of wisdom and encouragement in these dark times from our Dear Leader: “We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge,” President Obama said at a fundraiser in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Strauss (the chief engineer of the Golden Gate) spent more than a decade drumming up support in Northern California. The bridge faced opposition, including litigation, from many sources. The Department of War was concerned that the bridge would interfere with ship traffic; the navy feared that a ship collision or sabotage to the bridge could block the entrance to one of its main harbors. Unions demanded guarantees that local workers would be favored for construction jobs. Southern Pacific Railroad, one of the most powerful business interests in California, opposed the bridge as competition to its ferry fleet and filed a lawsuit against the project, leading to a mass boycott of the ferry service.

Sound vaguely familiar… 🙂

Finance

The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District, authorized by an act of the California Legislature, was incorporated in 1928 as the official entity to design, construct, and finance the Golden Gate Bridge. However, after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the District was unable to raise the construction funds, so it lobbied for a $30 million bond measure (in 2011 that would be $530 Billion). The bonds were approved in November 1930, by votes in the counties affected by the bridge. The construction budget at the time of approval was $27 million. However, the District was unable to sell the bonds until 1932, when Amadeo Giannini, the founder of San Francisco–based Bank of America, agreed on behalf of his bank to buy the entire issue in order to help the local economy.

Oh no! Not an evil rich banker!!! 🙂

Now that’s a Teachable moment. Bet our Dear Leader doesn’t even slightly care.

You are incompetent and can’t do anything without him or his big government machine.

In keeping with his new campaign theme of “we can’t wait,” President Obama today will roll out a plan to put more money in the pockets of some of the nation’s 36 million student loan recipients.

He has to bribe them into voting for him this time around. Bribe them with taxpayer money that is. Of course, it’s easy for him to do it since the government took over the loan process back in 2009.

But Obama is now seeking to use that new power to obtain a taxpayer-financed stimulus that Congress won’t approve. The idea is to cap student loan repayment rates at 10 percent of a debtor’s income that goes above the poverty line, and then limiting the life of a loan to 20 years.

Take this example: If Suzy Creamcheese gets into George Washington University and borrows from the government the requisite $212,000 to obtain an undergraduate degree, her repayment schedule will be based on what she earns. If Suzy opts to heed the president’s call for public service (and not be an evil “rich” person like him), and takes a job as a city social worker earning $25,000, her payments would be limited to $1,411 a year after the $10,890 of poverty-level income is subtracted from her total exposure.

Twenty years at that rate would have taxpayers recoup only $28,220 of their $212,000 loan to Suzy.

Sounds like time for Whattsamatta U. instead 🙂
More sound economics and personal responsibility from our Dear Leader.  I guess the “rich” will have to be taxed even more to make up for the losses.
As in the housing bubble, cheap credit on easy terms increases the amount of money chasing the product (in this case a diploma) allowing schools to increase prices (everyone should go to Ivy League schools even if you can’t afford it- sounds familiar somehow? :)). This inflation makes it harder for middle-class families to afford paying their own tuitions, driving them into the government financing program, which, you guessed it, drives up costs further still.

And is controlled by: The Federal Government!! 🙂
The best part for Obama is that he can obligate the Treasury without Congressional approval thanks to the passage of what he described as a cost-saving measure in 2009. (FOX)

TA-DA!

Krauthammer: “It’s entirely incoherent,” Charles Krauthammer said of Obama’s plan to pay down student loans. “I’m not sure if those savings are real, where are they? What he spoke about today was tweaking the student loan program, which he now controls. In a way, it’s rather astonishing. The numbers were run by an economics correspondent today in The Atlantic magazine. And It turns out what he is offering the students is between $4.50 and $7.70 a month of relief.”

Now these are students that he addressed today and spoke about their carrying an average of $25,000 in loans. So what he’s saying is ‘I’m going to save you, I’m going to give you a quarter of a part of it back a month. This is keeping with all of the promises he has been making in the last campaign tour in which he promised relief to homeowners in a program which has already failed. And now he is doing it on student loans. If his audience had known how minuscule is the benefit, he would have been laughed out of that auditorium.

If at first you don’t succeed, do it exactly the same again! and fail, fail again!
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok
Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Blind Man’s Bluff

Well, the Republicans, and some Democrats called the President and the Far Left’s bluff yesterday, voting down the Raise the Taxes on the rich so their base of the loonie left get that message.

But, of course that wouldn’t be the message. Most Democrats said that showed them siding with “millionaires and billionaires” over the middle class. (NYT)

And that was the symbolic gesture they wanted, to toss some red meat to their psychotic base before they allow themselves to be bribed into going along with something else.

Call it the sugar pill before the medicine.

Now, though, comes the bribery. What will it cost us taxpayers to buy off the Democrats and their class warfare this time. It certainly will not go away. It’s all they really have anymore.

“I feel like I am in the twilight zone,” said Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri. “It’s depressing to me that we have gotten to this level of posturing, that they are saying if you do not give people a tax break on their second million, that nobody gets one.”

The Democrats posturing, excluded, of course. 🙂

And let’s not forget the paternal contempt of the Left:

Sen. Schumer, pressing for his proposal (to make the cap $1 million), said: “It’s not that we want to punish wealthy people. We want to praise them. But they’re doing fine, and they’re not going to spend the money and stimulate the economy.”

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him 🙂 It surely wasn’t the other way around. 🙂

Right now there is little goodwill on the left toward the president. Liberals are up in arms amid talk of compromise on extending the George W. Bush tax cuts for all Americans, rather than allowing rates to rise for the wealthiest. They see Obama today as weak, vacillating and lacking either convictions or the gumption to fight for the principles they believe got him elected. They want a fighter in the White House who will put the Republicans in their place.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), an unabashed liberal, was quoted last week as saying that if Obama caves on tax cuts, “he’s going to have a lot of swimming upstream” to do. Liberal blogger Jane Hamsher accused Obama of “cynical charades” in his discussions about a compromise on tax cuts and unemployment insurance. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called Obama’s freeze on federal workers’ pay “transparently cynical.”

But other Democrats see dangers in a strategy of confrontation and argue that an alternative approach can win back the independent Democrats lost last month.

Liberals may be disillusioned, but they still voted for Democrats in the midterms. Independents defected in significant numbers. Many are worried about the president’s policies, and many think he has failed to fulfill his promise to reduce partisanship and change the way Washington works. They want results and expect cooperation between the parties.

What is the right strategy for Obama to regain the political initiative and put his presidency back on track? Should he hold firm, push a liberal agenda and provoke fights with the Republicans, as Truman did? That would reenergize his liberal base and sharpen his profile with the public.

Or should he be a conciliator, as Clinton tried to be, cooperating when possible with congressional Republicans but resisting when he believes they have gone too far right? That might show the Republicans as obstructionists and bring independents back to his side heading toward 2012. (Washington Post)

Well, this independent won’t be back if he plays cynical political games. But at least the left now sees the weakness that we all saw more than 2 years ago.

Only they see it for their own ideology, not reality. As usual.

Political Cartoon by Steve Kelley

Do you want Fries with your McBribe?

Political Cartoon by Lisa Benson

I doubt the Ministry of Truth will be too happy to report this story.

Remember during the Health Care Debate this was ll about the poor, low wage person who had no health insurance and that the evil company they worked for had to be forced by the employer mandate to be “fair”??

“It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance to those who don’t. And it will lower the cost of health care for our families, our businesses, and our government”-President Barack Obama

Remember the threats from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius to insurers to not blame ObamaCare for Rate increases?

Sept 30th, Wall Street Journal: McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

Last week, a senior McDonald’s official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain’s insurer won’t meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.

McDonald’s and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims.

Democrats who drafted the health law wanted the requirement to prevent insurers from spending too much on executive salaries, marketing and other costs that they said don’t directly help patients. (Feel good economics :))

McDonald’s move is the latest indication of possible unintended consequences from the health overhaul. Dozens of companies have taken charges against earnings—totaling more than $1 billion—over a tax change in prescription-drug benefits for retirees.

So the evil corporate exploiter of low income people had insurance for it’s workers but said they were thinking of dropping it because ObamaCare was going to be too expensive.

The Obama Administration immediately jumped on it : The White House pushed back hard with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Jessica Santillo claiming: “This story is wrong. The new law provides significant flexibility to maintain coverage for workers.”

Then was a rumor of a back room deal. The Obama Administration denied it.

Well, guess what…

The federal government has granted 30 companies and organizations one-year waivers to exempt them from one of the newly-implemented health care reforms.

Guess who’s one of them?  McDonalds. Gee, that only took a week!! 🙂

And it’s a one Year waiver, guess what next year is– Obama’s Re-Election campaign.

Anyone see more waivers and extension coming?? 🙂

I guess that was “fair”. Some workers are now more “fair” than others. 🙂

And after all, it was such a great plan to begin with. 🙂

Waiver list: http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/regulations/patient/appapps.html

The biggest single waiver, for 351,000 people, was for the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund, a New York union providing coverage for city teachers.

Gee, I thought they were Obama’s Apparatchiks. I guess they didn’t get their bailout money (or maybe they did but turned it around and feed the Democrats Re-election campaigns instead) :).

So Obama is kissing up to his Union apparatchiks AGAIN!

At least one was a Health Insurance Company: CIGNA.

The irony I’m sure is lost on the Ministry of Truth.

So how many more waivers are to come? Leaving guess who, to hold the bag?

YOU!!

Rejoice. That’s your Hope & Change for you. Aren’t you happy? 🙂

But what’s funnier is all that nashing of teeth and all that rhethoric for nearly two years about non-one losing coverages…

Without the waivers, companies would have had to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013, and unlimited coverage in 2014.

“The big political issue here is the president promised no one would lose the coverage they’ve got,” Robert Laszewski, chief executive officer of consulting company Health Policy and Strategy Associates, said by telephone. “Here we are a month before the election, and these companies represent 1 million people who would lose the coverage they’ve got.”(Bloomberg)

And the Spin:

“The waivers are about insuring people and protecting the coverage they have until there are better options available to them in 2014,” White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said today.

Meaning, we’ll cover we’ll exempt you from ObamaCare until 2014 when you’ll drop them anyhow and then the taxpayers will have to pay for them anyhow through the government run health care. Isn’t that peachy! 🙂

The bulk of the new health care reforms will go into effect in 2014. At that point, some large employers that drop coverage for their workers will be subject to a fee. Consumers will also have the option of using new state-based health care exchanges to access the individual health care market.

By 2014, insurers will be completely barred from limiting annual benefits. The new regulations are being phased in until then: companies without waivers will have to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, $1.25 million in coverage in 2012, and $2 million in 2013.

“HHS is to committed strengthening employer-based coverage for employees and retirees, while building a bridge to a new competitive marketplace in 2014,” HHS spokesperson Jessica Santillo said.

The waiver granted to the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund will have the biggest impact in terms of numbers, applying to 351,000 enrollees of the Fund’s supplemental insurance plan. McDonald’s insurance carrier, BCS Insurance, received a waiver to cover 115,000 enrollees.

Gibbs said today that the White House does not perceive the need to grant the waivers as a flaw of the new health care reforms.

“This is about implementing a bill correctly,” he said, to ensure that “as reform ramps up, we protect consumers and don’t put them at the mercy of health insurance companies.”

Gee, I thought that was what ObamaCare was supposed to do right out of the gate, not in 2014. 🙂

Oh, that’s right, you don’t want the young, poor, future socialist voters to get mad at you right now. Not to mention your Union apparatchiks.

So what if it’s a bribe. So what if it’s no longer “universal” and for “everyone”.

So now that  the “fair” playing field and “everyone” is covered is out the window.

You will be stuck with the check.

Doesn’t that just make you want to vote for the Democrats! 🙂

Political Cartoon by Chuck Asay

Sleep Tight. Don’t let the IRS bite. 🙂

Incestuous Narcissism Part 2

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. -Old Chinese Proverb.

And these days not only do people get fish, they demand that you catch it for them and/or “the rich” give them their fish because it’s only “fair”.

And if that fish isn’t good enough for them they will throw it back until they get a bigger, better fish that THEY like!

Unemployment insurance prior to the Age of Obama was for 26 weeks. 6 months and was only meant to help you out in between jobs. Not be de-facto welfare.

Or a stimulus, if you remember what Speaker Pelosi said in July 2010:

“Let me say that unemployment insurance… is one of the biggest stimuluses (sic) to our economy. Economists will tell you, this money is spent quickly. It injects demand into the economy, and it’s job creating. It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”

So unemployment is good for everyone! So nearly 10% unemployment is great!

Aren’t you happy? Don’t you have lots of Hope!? 🙂

Now it stretch to 2 YEARS or more. Because Democrats have made finding a job so hard they have to cover their own buts by bribing people.

They call it “compassion”. I call it a bribe. Democrats are very good at paternalistic bribes.

The government pays you not to work. You in turn don’t bother looking. And if you aren’t looking you aren’t one of the statistics on Unemployment numbers because you aren’t looking.

Thus, the government can keep it artificially lower than it already is. Which is very high indeed.

So the Unemployment rate is just another political game to be manipulated.

Meanwhile, you have people just sitting around eating Doritos and hanging out doing nothing and getting paid for it!

And the government doesn’t make it easy to get off the dole either. Whether on purpose or not.

In the first year of unemployment, the size of the benefit check is based on your old salary. You can go right back on unemployment after a temp job, and nothing changes. But federal law requires states to recalculate benefits for the second year. If you worked a few days or a few months, the second year’s checks will be based on that lower earnings total. (Hartford Courant)

So you’re on unemployment, you get a temp job, your benefits get cut. So the obvious answer is to not take the temp job, right?

The government makes you want to stay.

But now Ms. Hanson rues the day she took that work. Why? The Connecticut Department of Labor used her negligible earnings in her part-time job as the new baseline for Hanson’s unemployment benefits. She went from receiving $483 a week to getting nothing.

“Afterwards, unofficially, they said I shouldn’t have taken the job,” Hanson says. (CSM)

Incentives to stay unemployed. Incestuous you might ask? At least I would.

Employers and economists point to several explanations. Extending jobless benefits to 99 weeks gives the unemployed less incentive to search out new work. Millions of homeowners are unable to move for a job because the real-estate collapse leaves them owing more on their homes than they are worth.

The job market itself also has changed. During the crisis, companies slashed millions of middle-skill, middle-wage jobs. That has created a glut of people who can’t qualify for highly skilled jobs but have a hard time adjusting to low-pay, unskilled work…

Many of the applicants he (Mark Sperry of Catepillar) saw at job fairs, he says, were just going through the motions so they could collect their unemployment checks. Some workers agree that unemployment benefits make them less likely to take whatever job comes along, particularly when those jobs don’t pay much. Michael Hatchell, a 52-year-old mechanic in Lumberton, N.C., says he turned down more than a dozen offers during the 59 weeks he was unemployed, because they didn’t pay more than the $450 a week he was collecting in benefits.

It is particularly troubling at a time when 4.3% of the labor force has been out of work for more than six months—a level much higher than after any other recession since 1948. (WSJ)

So what are you to do if Unemployment pays better than the job?

Just game the system.

And the system shall provide.

The disconnect between workers and jobs could constrain the economy for some time. It makes it hard for even small firms, which as a group typically account for an outsize share of job growth in a rebound. (WSJ)

So if you have 99 weeks of unemployment, you go out “looking” for a job but not really, then when it gets to about 95 weeks you get serious about it. But that’s nearly 2 years later!

There was a Swedish study that when they cut the benefit time, the amount of time people kept “looking” decreased in proportion.

Alan Krueger, the current Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and a highly respected labor economist has said in his academic writing exactly that: unemployment insurance causes the unemployed to stay unemployed longer.

In his academic studies Dr. Krueger wrote that “more generous unemployment insurance (UI) benefits have been found to be associated with longer spells of unemployment,” and further finds that “the job finding rate jumps up around the time benefits are exhausted. Most importantly, we find that job search intensity is inversely related to UI benefit generosity for those who are eligible for UI.” In other words, a senior Obama administration official finds that less generous UI benefits cause the unemployed to search harder for new work.

Lawrence Summers, Director of the White House’s National Economic Council has said the same:

“government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work. Each unemployed person has a ‘reservation wage’—the minimum wage he or she insists on getting before accepting a job. Unemployment insurance and other social assistance programs increase [the] reservation wage, causing an unemployed person to remain unemployed longer.”

“Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker’s incentive to quickly find a new job.”-Liberal Economist Paul Krugman’s Macroeconomics textbook.

The Same Paul Krugman  recently described Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) statement that unemployment insurance causes individuals to stay out of work longer “a bizarre point of view.”(Heritage.org)

More specifically, In the NY Times:  In Mr. Kyl’s view, then, what we really need to worry about right now — with more than five unemployed workers for every job opening, and long-term unemployment at its highest level since the Great Depression — is whether we’re reducing the incentive of the unemployed to find jobs. To me, that’s a bizarre point of view — but then, I don’t live in Mr. Kyl’s universe.

So, like everything with Liberals, it’s all politics.

We, The Democrats, who have the patent on “compassion” will kiss your behind and let you sit on your ass for 2 years. As long as those evil Republicans don’t come in and demand you have some self-respect that is. 🙂

Even if they do, the Democrats will trot out their “grandma eating dog food” “they want to cut you off” “they’re heartless” “mean” “Cruel” class warfare hoaries anyhow.

Or as Mr. Krugman put it, “How can the parties agree on policy when they have utterly different visions of how the economy works, when one party feels for the unemployed, while the other weeps over affluent victims of the “death tax”?

Democrats feel your pain (good,sense they are the cause of most of it!). And Republicans are heartless, greedy and obsessed with the kiss up to “the rich”.

Meanwhile, you sit on your behind for up to 2 years eating Doritos and watching Judge Judy.

Who are you going to vote for, the pimp or Mom who says get you lazy ass off the couch? 🙂

Unemployment has become a political weapon and a tool, akin to welfare.

You don’t work, we pay you. You vote for us, we keep paying you.

Regardless of the economic and social cost.

Unemployment insurance exists for good reason, and no-one has suggested abolishing it. However, the good that it does also comes with a cost in delaying the return of the unemployed to work. Economists from right to left and in the Obama administration agree about this. Wishing it were not so does not make it true. Congress should consider both the costs and benefits of extended UI benefits when weighing how many years of benefits to provide unemployed workers. (Heritage).

But what we have now is incest at it’s best.