Rock Meet Hard Place

You have to feel for the Republicans (unless your a Liberal then the only feeling you have is a seething hatred and nothing else) because they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

UPDATE: Congressional Republicans have passed legislation to repeal Obamacare for the first time.

They know it’s an empty gesture because King Obama would never sign it.

But they have to do it to make the Rebel elements in the party happy.

But a lot of them also figure it’s a stunt to curry favor made by the disingenuous RINOs.

Both are likely true.

The Republicans spent so many years, especially under Jar Jar Boehner, being the Capitulation Weasals that they were no one quite believes them.

I know I don’t, YET. But it’s a good start.

The legislation would also significantly reduce taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, redirecting those dollars to other women’s health clinics and organizations that aren’t languishing under an ethical cloud amid credible allegations of criminality.  (When poll question wording includes the important point that no women’s health funding is actually being cut, a majority of Americans support the move).  A recent undercover journalistic investigation exposed the abortion giant’s grisly practice of harvesting and selling body parts from late-term fetuses.  The videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the profits associated with this endeavor, as well as altering abortion procedures in order to obtain more intact organs — both of which are illegal.  A whistleblower also alleged that aborted children were picked apart and sold without their mother’s consent, another violation of the law.  Separately, Planned Parenthood has come under fire for its active promotion among young people of the notion that an individual’s ‘right’ to sexual pleasure supersedes his or her obligation to inform a partner of an HIV-positive status.  Republicans argue that taxpayers should not subsidize an organization that engages in these horrific abortion-related activities, and that pushes breathtakingly dangerous sexual ethics.

On Obamacare, the GOP says it is keeping its word to voters and fighting on behalf of the majority of Americans who continue to oppose the failing law.  A recent Gallup survey showed that uninsured Americans — who still number in the tens of millions — are most likely to disapprove of the so-called “Affordable” Care Act, largely because they can’t afford it.  The law has broken most of the biggest promises upon which it was sold, is actively harming real people, and is hurting the US economy, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — which has also just concluded that repealing the law would substantially reduce deficits:

    “CBO: ObamaCare repeal bill would reduce deficits by half a trillion dollars over 10 years”
    — Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) January 5, 2016

The New York Times reported this week that many Americans have run the math and determined that paying Obamacare’s individual mandate tax is more affordable than paying through the nose for costly coverage that doesn’t even kick in until after consumers fork over thousands in out-of-pocket costs. Meanwhile, a recent survey finds that more than one-quarter of American households have struggled to pay medical bills over the past 12 months, several years into the full implementation of the “Affordable” Care Act.  Among this group, a majority was insured:

    Kaiser/NYT: 62% of people who can’t afford to pay their medical bills are insured. pic.twitter.com/xVjqwlFjRS
    — Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 5, 2016

For the umpteenth time, coverage does not equal care — and being insured to does not mean your healthcare-related financial hardships disappear.  Indeed, under Obamacare, expensive compulsory coverage may very well exacerbate affordability woes.  Parting thought: Of the many worthy provisions in the soon-to-be-vetoed repeal legislation (exhibit A in the case for electing a Republican president), only one element will actually be the law of the land in 2016.  One of the bright spots of December’s ugly omnibus spending bill was an extension of the 2015 rollback of funding Obamacare bailout-style programs, which were designed to hide the true costs of the law for several years by defraying insurer losses with huge sums of taxpayer money.  This successful push to protect taxpayers and force policy transparency, spearheaded by Marco Rubio, constitutes a rare Obamacare win for conservatives.

But we have to start somewhere. King Obama will not relent on his Agenda one bit. He’s incapable of that.

So we have to force him to defend his Royal Majesty until we get someone that isn’t King Bernie or Queen Hillary.

Then maybe the American People have a chance. Maybe.

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

The Law of Demand

Many people argue that liberals, socialists and progressives do not understand basic economics. I am not totally convinced about that.

Me too. And the fact that they don’t WANT to understand it. Since it’s evil and they wantn to destroy it they don’t want to understand their enemy.

Take the law of demand, for example, one of the fundamental principles of economics. It holds that the lower the cost of something the more people will take or do of it. Conversely, the higher the cost the less people will take or do something. By their actions, liberals fully understand the law of demand. Let’s look at some proof.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales. Hillary Clinton has called for a 25 percent tax on gun sales. In Chicago, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed “violence taxes” on bullets to discourage criminals from buying guns. Let’s ignore the merit of these measures. They do show that gun grabbers acknowledge the law of demand. They want fewer gun sales and thus propose raising the cost of guns.

And it makes them “feel good” to “do something” and taxing something always makes a liberal happy.

NBCBLK contributor Danielle Moodie-Mills said, “We need to stop misgendering people in the media, and there needs to be some type of fine that’s put into place for … media outlets … that decide that they’re just not going to call people by their name.” What Moodie-Mills wants is for us to be obliged, if a man says he’s a woman, to address him as her and, if a woman says she’s a man, to address her as him. The basic point here is that Moodie-Mills acknowledges the fundamental law of demand when she calls for FCC fines for media people who “misgender” folks. By the way, if I claimed to be the king of Siam, I wonder whether she would support my demand that I be addressed as “your majesty.”

That’s reserved for Obama. 🙂

In the Ohio Legislature, Rep. Bill Patmon, a Democrat from Cleveland, introduced a bill to make it illegal to manufacture, sell or display toy guns. The ban would apply to any toy gun that a “reasonable person” could confuse with a real one. A $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail would be imposed for failure to obey the law. That’s more evidence that liberals understand the law of demand. You want less of something? Just raise its cost.

Even San Francisco liberals and environmentalists understand the law of demand. They’ve proposed a ban that over the next four years would phase out the sale of plastic water bottles that hold 21 ounces or less in public places. Violators could face fines of up to $1,000.

Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu once said, “We have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” in order to make Americans give up their “love affair with the automobile.” If gas prices rise high enough, Chu knows that Americans will drive less.

And for a while there when it was over $4 a gallon it was working. Then those damn oil companies found Oil in Bakken region in the Dakotas and the supply got to big overall…curses! foiled again!

Then there’s the EPA and “making energy prices skyrocket” as Obama once said.

There you have it — abundant evidence that liberals, socialists and progressives understand the law of demand. But wait a minute. What about raising the cost of hiring workers through increases in the minimum wage?

Aaron Pacitti, Siena College professor of economics, wrote that raising the minimum wage “would reduce income inequality and poverty while boosting growth, without increasing unemployment.” The leftist Center for Economic and Policy Research has written a paper whose title tells it all: “Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?” The U.S. Department of Labor has a page on its website titled “Minimum Wage Mythbusters” (http://tinyurl.com/lt47co9), which relays a message from liberal economists: “Increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers.”

Just like Global Warming, science in the slavish service of Liberal Ideology.

What the liberals believe — and want us to believe — is that though an increase in the cost of anything will cause people to use less of it, labor is exempt from the law of demand. That’s like accepting the idea that the law of gravity influences the falling behavior of everything except nice people. One would have to be a lunatic to believe either proposition. (Walter E Williams)

Or Global Warming “consensus”. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Sorry

I’m not going to dignify Hillary Clinton mea culpa recently because its so laughably silly.

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Just like this story from our “more secure than ever” border and  don’t you criticize us you border wall demanding racist pigs.

HIDALGO, Texas — A convicted burglar from Mexico with a history of repeated felony convictions and deportations is back in Texas. Arturo Oleague Martinez, 48, was arrested by federal agents last week at the county jail in this border city and taken before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was charged with one count of illegally re-entering the country.

Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby ordered that Oleague Martinez be held without bond for his court hearings.

Oleague Martinez had been last deported in November through Del Rio, Texas, after serving a 42 month prison sentence for being entering the country illegally while having a prior felony conviction, the criminal complaint filed by U.S. Border Patrol agents revealed.

State court records, from the border county of Hidalgo, revealed that in addition to multiple immigration violations since 1985, Oleague Martinez has been convicted on five different charges connected to burglaries of homes and businesses and a separate charge for burglarizing a car.

Court records show that the man has spent most of the last 30 years in prison both federal and state facilities.

According to court records, Oleague Martinez entered the U.S. in August 17, through the border city of Laredo. As Breitbart Texas has reported in the past, Laredo doesn’t have a border fence and the border enforcement in that area is sorely lacking.

Laredo is the same border city where Mexican drug traffickers shot down a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter, forcing the federal agency to begin using Blackhawk helicopters which are able to withstand small arms fire, Breitbart Texas reported.

That border city just north of the border from Nuevo Laredo, the stronghold of the hyper-violent Los Zetas criminal organization, who according to various law enforcement sources consulted By Breitbart Texas control with an iron grip the human smuggling and the drug trafficking.

So long before #6?

Or am I just being my “racist” little self… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

More Reasons to Repeal ObamaCare

Forecasts: ObamaCare advocates tout a new Congressional Budget Office report saying that ObamaCare’s repeal would boost the deficit. But read the actual report. It tells a far different, more disturbing tale about this law.

The report found that repealing ObamaCare lock, stock and barrel would boost the deficit by $353 billion. That was enough for news outlets like CNN to report that repeal would “blow out the deficit.”

Actually, given that the CBO expects deficits to total $7.2 trillion over those same years, the increase is more like a rounding error than a blowout.

But what the CBO’s latest analysis does is provide three more reasons ObamaCare is a bad deal for the American public.

• It’s bad for the economy. President Obama sold ObamaCare as a major boost to the economy. But the CBO says ObamaCare is hurting the economy and that its repeal would boost the nation’s GDP by 0.7% from 2021 to 2025. Based on the CBO’s own GDP forecasts, that translates into $886 billion. When you account for these economic effects, ObamaCare’s impact on the deficit shrinks to just $137 billion.

• It relies on phony accounting. The only way the CBO can claim that ObamaCare would reduce the deficit by any amount is by assuming — as it must — that the roughly $800 billion in Medicare provider cuts all take effect. But that’s a fantasy. The Medicare Board of Trustees says these payment cuts aren’t realistic over the long term. And Obama just signed a law repealing Congress’ last attempt to impose deep cuts to doctors.

• Past forecasts have been wildly wrong. Back in 2011, the CBO said ObamaCare would cut the 2016-21 deficit a total of $109 billion. Now it says it will boost deficits by $109 billion over those same years, once you factor in the harm ObamaCare will do to the economy.

To its credit, the CBO admits its latest forecast should be taken with heaping grains of salt. “All of the resulting estimates,” it notes right upfront, “are subject to substantial uncertainty.”

Yes, the CBO says that repealing ObamaCare would increase the number of uninsured. But as we’ve pointed out here many times, there are other, far better ways to boost insurance coverage that won’t balloon deficits, wreck Medicare and destroy the economy.

Getting rid of ObamaCare is just the first step. (IBD)

A commenter put it well:

Insurance is a transfer and spreading of risk. The “essential” contracts permitted and required under PPACA provide for payments for services and goods related to administratively determined (presumed) “needs” rather than risks.
This conflation, which began under the several states issuing “mandates” of specific provisions has shifted the functions from spreading risks to spreading costs.

This is one method of “redistribution.” Instead of taking income from one person and transferring it directly (less bureaucratic overheads) to another, this process uses the income of one to pay the costs of others -plus the bureaucratic expenses of the cost re-assignments.

That’s really what these kinds of programs are about. Sometimes it is done by regulations (as is the case of PPACA), often by taxation (and its exemptions).

Ultimately, “All oxen are gored.”

Now that’s “equality”. 🙂

Flights of Liberal Fancy

More grateful Welfare Democrats imported by Obama…

A new State Department and Department of Homeland Security program seeks to stop the surge of immigrant children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador at the southern border by giving their U.S.-based parents the option to apply to have their kids picked up and put on a plane, without paying a penny.

The parents are eligible as long as they have some sort of legal status. As first reported in The Daily Caller, this would include permanent residents and even illegal immigrants given a work permit and deportation reprieve under President Obama’s recent executive actions, though much of that is on hold due to a pending court case. Of them, those with children under 21 and living in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras reportedly could apply.

That’s right—they’ll be getting a one-way flight into the U.S. courtesy of American taxpayers. Moreover, under this program they will be considered “refugees,” which gives them access to government benefits such as living expenses, medical care, food stamps, and more.

So far, the State Department has not provided a cost for the plane tickets, or the benefits that follow upon their arrival in America. Asked Friday about the issue, spokeswoman Marie Harf said: “The price tag? I don’t know.” (don’t care either)

The Agenda is The Agenda.

“I think many Americans are going to be surprised to learn that illegal aliens here in the United States are getting the Obama administration to go and get their children and fetch them,” Tom Fitton, president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, told Fox News. “And all at our expense.”

Potentially millions of current and former illegal immigrants now have the opportunity to fly their children to the U.S. with taxpayer dollars.

Once they arrive, they will be eligible for benefits including a free education, healthcare and food stamps.

The State Department and Department of Homeland Security will administer the program, which is a response to the flood of Central American children making dangerous journeys to illegally cross the U.S. southern border.

Any permanent resident, parolee or illegal immigrant granted or in the process of being granted a work permit under President Barack Obama’s recent executive order or his deferred action policy, who has children under 21 living in Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador can apply for the program.

If their application is approved, the child will be granted a special refugee status and flown into the U.S. where they will receive “resettlement assistance” and be eligible for taxpayer benefits. If the child has children under 21 they can come too, as well as a parent of the child who is married to the applicant.

 

Some of the benefits they will receive are a free education, medical care, living expenses and food stamps.

 

Immigration and State Department officials explained how the program will work on an invite-only teleconference call Tuesday that was not open to the press and was mostly attended by groups known to advocate for illegal immigrants, reported Judicial Watch.

A State Department official said the “family reunification” program will be entirely funded by taxpayers, but claimed to have no clue how much the program will cost.

The only cost to the applicants is a DNA test to assure the child is theirs, but they will be reimbursed if the result of the test validates their claim. A U.S. medical official will interview the child or spouse, who will then undergo a medical examination and “cultural orientation” before entering the U.S.

While the children flooding the border are officially referred to as Unaccompanied Alien Children, these immigrants will be officially referred to as Central American Minors.

“The Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program provides certain qualified minors in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States,” a government page explaining the program states.

The U.S. has already sent staff to the region and began accepting applications in December.

If applicants don’t qualify for refugee status, they can be considered for parole status, in which case they would have to pay for medical clearance and the flight into the U.S.

The State Department assured those on the conference call that applicants won’t need to document a credible fear to qualify for the program because “we want to make sure this program is open to as many people as possible.”

Come on in, it all “free”. Here’s a Driver’s License and a voter Registration card and just remember on election day who gave them to you and don’t mind, just hate,  the racists who opposed you being here.

$50,000 Boondoggle-Surprise!

It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday.

The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization’s new ten-year budget outlook. 

The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.

The numbers are daunting: It will take $1.993 trillion, a number that looks like $1,993,000,000,000, to provide insurance subsidies to poor and middle-class Americans, and to pay for a massive expansion of Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) costs.

Offsetting that massive outlay will be $643 billion in new taxes, penalties and fees related to the Obamacare law.

That revenue includes quickly escalating penalties – or ‘taxes,’ as the U.S. Supreme Court described them – on people who resist Washington’s command to buy medical insurance.

It also includes income from a controversial medical device tax, which some Republicans predict will be eliminated in the next two years.

If they’re right, Obamacare’s per-person cost would be even higher.

President Barack Obama pledged to members of Congress in 2009, as his signature insurance overhaul law was being hotly debated, that ‘the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.’

He lied. Gee, what a shock that is!!

It would be a significant discount if the White House could return to that number today.

In that same speech, Obama claimed that there were ‘more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.’

$900 billion spent on those people would equate to no more than $30,000 each – less than two-thirds of what the CBO now says the program will cost when the dust settles. 

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, a group of members from both houses of Congress, prepared Monday’s report on the overall direction of the federal budget.

They estimated that ‘the net costs of the coverage provisions of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] will rise sharply as the effects of the act phase in from 2015 through 2017.’

Those costs will ‘rise steadily through 2022′ before leveling off for three years, the groups’ economists determined. But even at that point, the Obamacare program will cost the governemnt ‘about $145 billion’ each year.

That number doesn’t include the insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs paid by Americans – only the government’s role in implementing the law and paying for its guarantees.

And the law will still leave ‘between 29 million and 31 million’ nonelderly Americans without medical insurance, says the CBO.

See, the scam worked. They got socialized medicine and it do anyone any good but it made THEM feel good and they got to control your life! What could be better? 🙂

(Mission Impossible TV Theme): “Good morning Mr. Gruber.  Your mission, should you decide/choose to accept it is to lie your ass off about ObamaCare’s costs and to make sure the CBO gives us a favorable rating no matter what… As always, should you or any of your team be caught or have their lies revealed; the Ministry of Truth will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self destruct in 5/10 seconds. Good luck Jonathan.”

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel


Red Ink

It may not be the sexiest topic or the one that gets your venom flowing, but what more important in the long run?  $17.865 Trillion (that a a $Billion since yesterday’s blog-check it). It’s irresponsible. Period. We overspent less this year Yippee!! 😦

Red Ink: The White House is crowing that the deficit fell sharply this year. But in fact, there’s little to celebrate. The decline wasn’t a result of sound fiscal policy, and it won’t last.

This week, the Treasury Dept. reported that the total deficit for fiscal 2014, which ended Sept. 30, was $483 billion. Budget director Jacob Lew seized on the news to declare, “Not since World War II, more than 60 years ago, has there been faster and more sustained deficit reduction.”

Of course, time was that a nearly half trillion dollar deficit was the sign of abject failure, not success.

In mid-2008, then Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad said, “If we gave Olympic medals for fiscal irresponsibility, President Bush would take the gold, the silver and the bronze.” That was after the administration said that deficits would hit $482 billion.

Given that Obama’s deficits topped $1 trillion for four years straight, anything less looks good by comparison.

But a closer look at the numbers reveals that this meager good deficit news is not particularly good.

First, the decline came almost entirely from rising corporate and personal income taxes. That’s just a sign that the economy has been growing — albeit painfully slowly. And as people return to work, they start paying taxes again. This growth rate in revenues won’t continue.

And while spending climbed by less than 2% in 2014, that’s misleading as well. A big chunk of the slowdown came from a $25.6 billion drop in unemployment insurance costs, in part because Congress didn’t extend long-term jobless benefits. That’s not likely to be repeated.

It’s true that there has been spending restraint in so-called discretionary programs, largely because Republicans control the House.

Entitlement programs are another matter. Medicaid spending climbed an eye-popping 13% last year as ObamaCare expanded eligibility. Medicare spending went up 2.5%, which seems low but is almost twice the rate of overall federal outlays. Social Security spending climbed 4.4%. Interest on the debt climbed 3.3%.

On top of that, ObamaCare added $13 billion in new subsidies to the ledger.

All of which is why the Congressional Budget Office projects that, starting in 2016, annual deficits will start to march upward, as entitlement growth starts to outstrip even historically high tax revenues.

By the decade’s end, the CBO projects, deficits will once again be in the trillion-dollar range, while debt held by the public will have climbed to 77.2% of GDP.

And this assumes that ObamaCare costs don’t climb faster than expected, and its taxes come in as planned.

That’s not likely, given that several ObamaCare taxes — most notably a tax on devices — are coming in below expectations, while costs are higher than planned.

A Senate Budget Committee analysis released this week finds that ObamaCare’s net costs are running $300 billion ahead of what the CBO had forecast back in 2010, when it claimed that the law would cut the deficit in its first 10 years. Instead, the committee report says, it will likely add $131 billion in red ink by 2019.

The CBO’s projections also assume that interest rates won’t spike, which would send already massive interest payments spiraling up, or that the economy won’t hit another brick wall.

The administration says that the latest deficit news marks “a return to fiscal normalcy.” If deficits as far as the eye can see and massive debt are what they consider normal, we’re in big trouble. (IBD)

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Minimum Wage

Americans of all political stripes would like to see wage growth, especially among the lowest wage-earners. The difference of opinion, of course, is how to make that happen.

Liberals in Congress are pushing for an increase in the federally-mandated minimum wage. But increasing the minimum wage is not the solution to slow wage growth. In fact, wage regulations ultimately harm workers by reducing the number of jobs available. A better solution to our nation’s wage woes is economic growth.

Public polling suggests the majority of Americans support a minimum wage increase. That’s understandable, given our nation’s frustratingly slow “recovery” from the recession of 2007-2009, and the desire to reduce poverty.

While support for minimum wage might come from a good intention, it is misguided. If it seems too easy to reduce poverty simply by promulgating wage regulations, it probably is. Like Newton’s Third Law of Motion, actions in economic policy have reactions as well. Raising the cost of labor does not come without a tradeoff.

Raising the minimum wage will reduce the number of minimum wage (low-skill) jobs available. Basic arithmetic tells us this. If a company can afford to employ 3 workers at $7.00 per hour, the same company will be able to employ only 2 workers (technically 2.1 workers) at $10.00 per hour without increasing labor costs.

Liberal economists have attempted to blur the effect of minimum wage on employment, and sometimes minimum wage studies are flawed or inconclusive. But a comprehensive survey of minimum wage studies shows that among papers with “the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment effects.”

A recent projection from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms this. The CBO projected that the proposed minimum wage increase up to $10.10 per hour would “reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers.”

Limiting the number of minimum-wage (that is, entry-level) jobs available is not helpful to low-skilled workers who could be priced out of the labor market with a higher price floor.

As Rachel Currie highlights in this policy brief, a minimum wage increase may not even target the working poor that we all intend to help. Economists Joseph Sabia and Richard Burkhauser found that 63 percent of workers who would experience a raise due to a minimum wage increase came from households were they were second or third earners contributing to household incomes more than double the federal poverty line.

If we can’t help the working poor through a federal mandate, then what is a better solution to slow wage growth?

The real reason wage growth has stagnated is that today’s labor market is simply an employer’s market. Where there is slow GDP growth and high unemployment, there is slow wage growth. More workers are seeking jobs than there are job openings. This means employers don’t have to compete for workers as fiercely as workers are competing for jobs, and this robs workers of their bargaining power for wages.

That’s why conservatives suggest that the real solution to slow wage growth is job creation. If the economy created more jobs, then employers would have greater demand for workers. With higher demand, prices increase. In other words, if workers had more job opportunities, employers would have to value (pay) workers more to attract and keep them.

How do we make job creation happen? A job is created when a firm recognizes that adding another worker would allow for greater profit. For example, a store might decide to hire another shift of workers to stay open longer because longer store hours allow for more sales, and the revenues from these sales are more than enough to pay for the additional labor (and other costs, like electricity to keep the lights on).

To facilitate this process, our public policies should focus on making job creation easier for firms. This means reducing tax and regulatory burdens, providing easier access to capital, and encouraging investment.

While this growth-focused approach may be less obvious to most Americans than a simple change in wage laws, it is the only approach that will result in real, sustained wage growth to the benefit of all workers, and especially those who are currently struggling. No one wants minimum wage workers to live in poverty or to face stagnant economic opportunities, but raising the mandated wage is not the solution. (IWF)

Inequality of Truth

Class Warfare: In a popular book about a dreary subject, a French economist says inequality in the United States has reached “spectacular” levels. But the only thing spectacular is his version of the truth.

But as I have said before, Liberals really don’t respond, except childishly, to facts and real truths.

Thomas Piketty admits that he wrote his book to make the case for higher taxes on wealth and incomes of the rich. That should be a tip-off this isn’t a scholar’s dispassionate look at inequality, but an ideological argument.

Just like Global Cooling…Warming…Change…Disruption is not about the weather.

Even so, Piketty has garnered much attention for his 685-page tome, “Capital in the 21st Century,” filled with statistics, data and obscure arguments all pointing to the need to tax success at a much higher rate. As you might imagine, there are big problems with this.

The Financial Times of London went through the evidence offered by Piketty with a fine-tooth comb and found it lacking, to say the least. In some cases, for example, it looks like he made up data. In others, data seem to have been selected based on whether they bolstered his case or not. The numbers look cooked.

Over cooked no doubt. After all, if it doesn’t agree with my premise it can’t true, now can it? 🙂  After all, a liberal is never wrong. A Liberal is superior. And a liberal ALWAYS has the best of intentions so questioning their motives is not allowed.

“There are transcription errors from the original sources and incorrect formulas,” the FT noticed. “It also appears that some of the data are cherry-picked or constructed without an original source.”

But the bigger problem is that just looking at the actual data on U.S. inequality — using what is called the Gini ratio, a measure of how incomes are dispersed across society — you can see Piketty’s thesis is wrong.

As the chart above shows, contrary to claims by left-leaning economists such as Piketty, individual inequality hasn’t changed at all since 1960. But there has been an increase in household inequality.

Why? As economist Don Boudreaux and the website Political Calculations have noted, the changing composition and size of households are the reason.

Households have shrunk markedly. Since 1960, the average size has plunged from more than 3.4 persons to about 2.55, Census data show. One-person households have nearly quintupled since 1960 and today make up nearly 30% of all households.

When charted, the household Gini ratio looks as if there is growing inequality. But in fact it shows that households are smaller, with fewer earners.

Our point is that using tendentious data to bolster a case for taking even more private-sector output for government use is dishonest at best.

But it’s what Liberals do best.

There is no inequality crisis, and Americans would be wise to ignore the Pied Pipers of inequality who divide us by whipping up envy and greed.

For their own greed, by the way.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has revealed that they can not predict the long-term budgetary effects of Obamacare.

Because President Fiat has made so many non-Congressional executive orders,delays, and waivers.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

CBO in CBO Out

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday said that the Affordable Care Act will contribute to the equivalent of 2 million workers out of the labor market by 2017,” reports Yahoo’s Business Insider, “as employees work fewer hours or decide to drop out of the labor force entirely.”

2010: Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the health summit: “It’s about jobs. In it’s life, it [the health bill] will create 4 million jobs — 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”

“CBO projections during the health care reform debate seemed to significantly underestimate the negative impact of Obamacare,” says Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, “and because of those projections, supporters were able to jam it through by one vote. Everybody knows about that vote. And now the American people have to pick up the tab on the CBO’s errors….Was this political? Were the books cooked? CBO needs to take responsibility for the differences between their projections and the most recent updates.”

The crux of the issue is that Americans will have to work fewer hours to keep their healthcare and welfare benefits. By the reckoning of the CBO it’s the equivalent of losing 2.3 million jobs or more. Democrats are celebrating the reduction, noting that it will give workers more free time.

Because that’s what unhappy people need: more free time.

With due respect to Harry Reid, Barack Obama, the CBO and other great priests of the Do-Nothing State, providing more leisure time for people to pursue hobbies like, oh, protesting Broadway Joe’s fur coat, occupying houses they didn’t pay for, or erecting a monument to Satan in Oklahoma City, might not be the best way to find our way out of the crisis of confidence that these priests have put us in. (John Ransom)

Idle hands, as they say, are the Devil’s playground.

And the Devil is in the details, all 2,700 pages of it. 🙂

Sen Roberts (R-KS) Asks if CBO “Cooked the Books” in Original 2009 Obamacare Score.

Actually it fall under the GIGO principal of computers, Garbage In, Garbage Out. You give the CBO figures that suit your political agenda and your fantasies and they spit it out.

Give them REAL data, and they’ll crush you like the political bug you are.

Simple.

They got what they wanted, so What Difference Does it Make? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 

 

 

Lie By Sword

Live by the sword, die by the sword, the Bible tells us. In Washington, it’s slightly different: Live by the CBO, die by the CBO.

The congressional number-crunchers, perhaps the capital’s closest thing to a neutral referee, came out with a new report Tuesday, and it wasn’t pretty for Obamacare. The CBO predicted the law would have a “substantially larger” impact on the labor market than it had previously expected: The law would reduce the workforce in 2021 by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers, well more than the 800,000 originally anticipated. This will inevitably be a drag on economic growth, as more people decide government handouts are more attractive than working more and paying higher taxes.

This is grim news for the White House and for Democrats on the ballot in November. This independent arbiter, long embraced by the White House, has validated a core complaint of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) critics: that it will discourage work and become an ungainly entitlement. (WP)

But with this administration, and Democrats in general, it’s Lie by The Sword, Then just keep on lying until it has to be the truth because all you’ve got left is the lie.

Meanwhile, Gene Sperling, Obama’s top economic-policy adviser, walked to the White House lawn and told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he rejected the finding. “When you have two parents and they’re both working full time to provide health care and they don’t feel they’re there to do homework with their kids and this allows one of [them] to work a little less because they have health care, that’s not costing jobs,” Sperling argued.

I’m sure that sounded convincing and just downright “awwww…” in his head. But, seriously, dude, that was pathetic. But if your job is to lie and to lie as convincingly and with as much conviction as possible you can’t beat an “economic policy advisor” for BS and doublespeak.

In general, the CBO explained, phasing out subsidies to buy health insurance when income rises “effectively raises people’s marginal tax rates . . . thus discouraging work.” (WP)

WHOOPS! 🙂

Lowest labor participation rate in 35 years…

Highest Disability and Food Stamps ever.

Gee, never saw that coming… 🙂

Jason Furman, head of the Council of Economic Advisers, who argued that the Affordable Care Act couldn’t possibly be a job killer because 8.1 million jobs had been created since it became law. This is true — but irrelevant to the CBO finding.

(That would be similar to millions of jobs created while the labor participation rate goes down and the number of people who have quit looking is in the millions)

Furman attempted to dispute the report (“I haven’t accepted the number”) without disparaging the authors (“We cite CBO all the time”). Delicately, he said the report “is subject to misinterpretation, doesn’t take into account every factor, and there’s uncertainty and debate around it.”

But there’s only so much White House officials could do. Obamacare has been undermined by the very entity they had used to validate it.

So it’s time to keep on lying and obfuscating and just generally BSing you’re way past it.

Lie By The Sword, Kill others with it first! 🙂

And then play the “moral” car that Homo Superior Liberalis would.

Witness, super liberal EJ Dionne:

The truth about this controversy is that there is a broad debate in our country over how much government should do to correct for market outcomes that leave so many Americans without enough income, opportunity or access to the essentials of modern life, notably health insurance.

Supporters of Obamacare, including those who wish it had gone even further, believe that social justice requires government to give significant assistance to those who find themselves on the wrong end of an economic system that is producing an increasingly unequal society. (WP)

Hits all the emotional, “moral” liberal notes doesn’t it.

Their vision is so superior to yours that you can’t see it through the “noise” of people protesting it’s “Benefits”. (Fringe with Benefits?) 🙂

A Liberal commentor: “Obamacare will work just fine. As any other major program serving Americans, such as SS, Medicare, etc, it will require some fine tuning during implementation.”

Sucking up the kool-aid. Yeah, they are all going bankrupt, ya mindless twonk!

Homo Superior Liberalis is not capable of being wrong, in their own heads, so the fact that the very people, The CBO, that they used as a cudgel for their ObamaCare baby has now spit up puke dinner all over their face they will barely notice.

After all, they are the morally and intellectually superior lifeform, and you’re not!

SNAP!

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

The Frying Pan

It turns out that expansion of Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans increases rather than decreases visits to hospital emergency rooms.

According to just-released results of a new study published in the journal Science based on 10,000 low-income residents in Oregon newly covered by Medicaid, emergency room visits were 40 percent higher than those with no insurance at all.

It was supposed to be the opposite. Supposedly, a big driver of our high expenditures in health care has been due to those without insurance going to emergency rooms.

So get more of these folks covered with government health insurance, they stop going to the emergency room, and we all save money. Right? Wrong.

According to this study, increased ER visits as result of expanded Medicaid coverage increased spending by $120 per covered individual.

Several factors could be at work here.

One is that it has been widely reported that physicians in private practice avoid Medicaid patients because of low reimbursement rates. So being covered by Medicaid does not necessarily increase the chances of getting personal care in a private office.

Another factor is appreciation that behavior is driven by cultural experience. Anyone who understands the culture of low-income America knows that these are not communities where health care is associated with private physician visits. It is associated with emergency rooms and hospitals.

It may well be that as more lower-income individuals get under the Medicaid umbrella, they simply feel even more comfortable doing what they always have done — going to the emergency room.

If the results of this study provide a reliable snapshot of reality, we now face another huge and costly error in the assumptions that built and brought us Obamacare.

I guess we had to pass it to find out what was in it! 🙂  SURPRISE!!!

Those who created this law decided on a “fix” for the uninsured who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but who are too costly to subsidize for private insurance purchased through exchanges. The brilliant decision was to expand qualifications for Medicaid up to those earning 138 percent above the poverty line.

In order to bribe states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover these individuals, the federal government (translation: us taxpayers) will cover 100 percent of the costs of expansion for three years, and then 90 percent thereafter.

Twenty-five states plus the District of Columbia have agreed to take the bribe.

So far, providing “free” government health care through Medicaid has been attracting far more new enrollees than individuals signing up on the exchanges. Estimates show there are almost 2 million new enrollees through the exchanges and about 4 million new enrollees into Medicaid.

The Congressional Budget Office projects the number of enrollees in Medicaid to reach 91 million by 2023. And CBO projects annual growth in expenditures on Medicaid to be 8 percent per year, or more than double the expected growth rate of the American economy.

The bottom line is Medicaid is becoming a back door to get an increasingly large percentage of the American population on a single-payer government health care system and an increasingly large percentage of the American population on welfare.

TA DA!  Gee, that was unexpected. Since it was the goal all along… 🙂

Given the results of this new study, in all likelihood, the cost of all this in dollars is grossly underestimated.

And given my experience studying welfare for 25 plus years, both initially as a recipient of it, and then as a critic of it, the human costs of all this are also grossly underestimated.

Less government would open the door to creative ways to deliver more and better health care geared to the needs of different individuals. Vouchers for low-income earners solves the problem for these folks to buy insurance.

Yes, but ever heard of a Liberal in favor or less government?

Ever heard of  government cuts that are real cuts?

Once you give the drug addicts the extra high, they want to keep it!

But if what we want is bigger government and more Americans addicted to it, with growing waste, deficits and debt, we’re on the right track. (Washington Examiner)

The Obama Master Plan is working. Congrats, Comrade Citizen.

And when the economy can’t handle it and the whole thing needs a bailout or go bust, Government will be right there to save you.

From the Frying Pan into the Fires of Hell.

But you’ll like it there, they have a government program to help with the searing heat and the eternal flames of damnation…It’s called EVEN MORE GOVERNMENT!!! 🙂

 

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

 

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

 

Some Things

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”-Guess who 🙂

Obama on Obamacare: “We did raise taxes on some things.”

“Some things” means uninsured families, med devices,flex accounts, small businesses, people with high medical bills and even charitable hospitals.

During his Tuesday remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama admitted that his health care law raises taxes:  “So what we did — it’s paid for by a combination of things. We did raise taxes on some things.”

Health insurance under Obamacare will cost individuals at least $2,988 a year on average, a price that Republican opponents may target as out-of-reach for many Americans who don’t qualify for U.S. subsidies.

While the $249 monthly payment is intended to be discounted through tax credits, less than half of people now buying insurance on their own may get that help. The release of the data by the Obama administration comes just six days before the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges open for enrollment, and a day after Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, took the floor of the U.S. Senate to oppose the law.

The law’s long-term success “will depend on the changes that are made over the next couple of years to address the affordability issue,” said Brian Wright, an insurance analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. in New York. “If you have modifications that can help address those issues, then it will ultimately be successful. If not, then it’s an open question.”

So we’ll have to implement it in order to know what to fix…. 🙂

“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect. Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin agrees. “There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.”

Get ready for 24/7/365 Lies, Damned Lies and (False, Misleading and self-serving) Statistics from The White House, Democrats and The Ministry of Truth.

If you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth. 🙂

ALSO: The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released today. 

The “Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund” (HIRIF) was tucked into Obamacare in order to give the IRS money to enforce the tax provisions of the healthcare law.  The fund, totaling some $1 billion of taxpayer money, was used to roll out enforcement mechanisms for the approximately 50 tax provisions of Obamacare. 

According to the report:  “Specifically, the IRS did not account for or attempt to quantify approximately $67 million [from the slush fund] of indirect ACA costs incurred for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2012.”

The report also found several other abuses of taxpayer funds, including:

Travel abuse:  The report states, “Specifically, we identified 38 IRS employees in two judgmentally selected business units whose travel was charged to the HIRIF in FY 2012, but no portion of their salary and related benefits was charged to the HIRIF.” In short, the IRS was not making sure that employee travel reimbursements had anything to do with the purpose of the fund. This is not the first time that IRS employee travel has created a scandal for the agency.

1,272 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents: The report estimates that total slush fund spending cost taxpayers the equivalent of 1,272 new full time IRS agents.

The IRS requested an additional 859 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents for Fiscal Year 2013: According to the report, “The IRS informed us that it requested $360 million and 859 FTEs for FY 2013 to continue implementation of the ACA. However, the IRS did not receive this requested amount for FY 2013.”

To add insult to injury, the IRS has told the Inspector General that it will comply with the recommendations made in the report; unfortunately, the slush fund has been fully spent, making that promise meaningless. (ATA)

Now, you want to trsut them with your Health Care records, Your Health and your Money. Why??

“Some things” is an understatement. Below is just a partial list of Obamacare’s new or higher taxes on Americans:

Starting in tax year 2013:

Oh, and Congress exempted themselves…

Obamacare High Medical Bills Tax: Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI.  Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income.

According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. Almost all are middle class. The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 – $400 per year. To learn more about this tax, click here. 

Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Tax:  The 30 – 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face a new Obamacare cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap.) Now, a parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces will find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars. 

Needless to say, this tax will especially impact middle class families.

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  Nationwide there are several million families with special needs children and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.

Obamacare Super Saver Surtax: A new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This tax hike results in the following top tax rates on investment income:

  Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2013+ 23.8% 23.8% 43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.

Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Increase:

  First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee
All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee
Pre-Obamacare 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Starting in tax year 2014:

Obamacare Individual Mandate Non-Compliance Tax:  Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services — must pay an income surtax to the IRS. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that six million American families will be liable for the tax, and as pointed out by the Associated Press:  “Most would be in the middle class.”

In addition, 100 percent of Americans filing a tax return (140 million filers) will be forced to submit paperwork to the IRS showing they either had “qualifying” health insurance for every month of the tax year or they obtained an exemption to the mandate.

Americans liable for the surtax will pay according to the following schedule:

  1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1% AGI/$95 1% AGI/$190 1% AGI/$285
2015 2% AGI/$325 2% AGI/$650 2% AGI/$975
2016 + 2.5% AGI/$695 2.5% AGI/$1390 2.5% AGI/$2085

(Delayed by Obama to 2015) Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax:  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2,000 for all full-time employees.  This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3,000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

Obamacare Tax on Health Insurers:  Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  The tax phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.

Starting in tax year 2018:

Obamacare Tax on Union Member and Early Retiree Health Insurance Plans:  Obamacare imposes

a new 40 percent excise tax on high cost or “Cadillac” health insurance plans, effective in 2018. This tax increase will most directly affect union families and early retirees, who are likely to be covered by such plans. This Obamacare tax will be levied on insurance policies whose premiums exceed $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family.  Middle class union members tend to be covered by such plans in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed. (ATR)

Now that’s “fair”. 🙂

trust-me-i-know-what-i-m-doing-2

The Cost Curve

‘When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either,’ he said. ‘They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse. It is not working.’– Sen Ted Cruz.

Last night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finally began to provide some data on how Americans will fare on Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchanges. HHS’ press release is full of happy talk about how premiums will be “lower than originally expected.” But the reality is starkly different.

Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.

http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2013/what-will-obamacare-cost-you-map.html

“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin agrees. “There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.”

So the spin is full swing and if the sun rise in the west because the earth is spinning now in the opposite direction you’ll know why.

It’s Propaganda 24/7/365. The Premiums are low, they have always been low and always will be low. Anyone who disagrees will be shut down, investigate, harassed and destroyed.

There is nothing to see here.

HHS-27-yo-men HHS-27-yo-women

40-year-olds, surprisingly, will face a similar picture. The cheapest exchange plan for the average enrollee, compared to what a 40-year-old would pay today, will cost an average of 99 percent more for men, and 62 percent for women.

For this cohort, men fared worst in North Carolina, with rate increases of 305 percent. (They are a “red State” so who gives a rat’s asses-certainly not Democrats!)Women got hammered in Nebraska, where rates will increase by a national high of 237 percent. Again, Colorado and New Hampshire fared best, with 17 percent and 5-8 percent declines, respectively.

Remember that here, we aren’t conducting an exact comparison. Instead we’re comparing the lowest-cost bronze plan offered to the average participant in the exchanges, to the cheapest plan offered to 40-year-olds today. This approach artificially flatters Obamacare, because the median age of an exchange participant is, in most states, below the age of 40.

All of the analyses I’ve discussed thus far involve changes in the underlying cost of health insurance for people who buy it for themselves. Many progressives object to this comparison, because it doesn’t take into account the impact of Obamacare’s subsidies on the net cost of insurance for low-income Americans.

I’ve long argued that it’s irresponsible to ignore the change in underlying premiums, because subsidies only protect some people. Middle-class Americans face the double-whammy of higher insurance premiums, and higher taxes to pay for other people’s subsidies. However, it is important to understand how subsidies will impact the decisions by Americans as to whether or not to participate in the exchanges.

Remember that nearly two-thirds of the uninsured are under the age of 40. And that young and healthy people are essential to Obamacare; unless these individuals are willing to pay more for health insurance to subsidize everyone else, the exchanges will not serve the goal of providing coverage to the uninsured.

And remember, “subsidies” mean Government artificially suppressing the price with TAXPAYER money. THAT’S YOU!!! 🙂

And once you are truly addicted to it, they can remove the subsidies and then you’re really screwed but your too addicted to complain by then.

Hook you first. Then tell you that “the other guy” wants to take away your drugs!! So vote for me to continue letting you shoot up even if it will kill you. What do I care, if you vote for me life is good.

The bottom line: Obamacare makes insurance less affordable

For months, we’ve heard about how Obamacare’s trillions in health care subsidies were going to save America from rate shock. It’s not true. If you shop for coverage on your own, you’re likely to see your rates go up, even after accounting for the impact of pre-existing conditions, even after accounting for the impact of subsidies.

The Obama administration knows this, which is why its 15-page report makes no mention of premiums for insurance available on today’s market. Silence, they say, speaks louder than words. HHS’ silence on the difference between Obamacare’s insurance premiums and those available today tell you everything you need to know. Rates are going higher. And if you’re healthy, or you’re young, the Obama administration expects you to do your duty and pay up. (Forbes)

It’s only “fair” and “we are in this together” after all…

 

 

Doublespeak

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.

What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program. –Edward Herman

President Obama suggests raising the debt ceiling won’t add a penny to a U.S. debt already spiraling out of control. What planet does he live on?

In a speech to the Business Roundtable this week covered by CNSnews.com, Obama added this gem to the budget debate: “Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy.”

prof·li·gate (pr f l -g t, -g t ). adj. 1. Given over to dissipation; dissolute. 2. Recklessly wasteful; wildly extravagant.

Use a $2 word when you want to hide what you’re lying about.

Orwell’s description of political speech is extremely similar to the contemporary definition of doublespeak; In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness… the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, …like profligacy. 🙂

What? This kind of gibberish is a big reason voters have so little faith in their public officials these days.

But still vote for them anyhow. Either out of Party loyalty, agenda,ignorance or lack of interest.

Suffice it to say that if the debt ceiling has been raised “over a hundred times” and each time the debt went higher, one would have to conclude there’s a very high — indeed, perfect — correlation between a higher debt ceiling and higher debt.

Yet, Obama goes on to say how tough a vote it will be because “the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt.”

It does mean that, but this politics, where lying is an art form and a necessity.

Again, the president must think he’s talking only to the low-information voters who returned him to office. He’s the one who’s running up the debt, both in relative and absolute terms. This is fact, not opinion.

But HE is only talking to the low-information moron. And the media that feeds them info is right there with him feeding the bovine fecal matter to them by the shovel full.

After all, anyone who disagrees with must be a “racist”, or a “partisan” and they must lying anyhow to protect their own agenda. The second one being particularly comical, but that’s doublespeak for you because of it’s correlate, Doublethink-The ability to hold contradictory ideas and believe both are true.

Obama and the Democrats aren’t the Partisans, it’s the Republicans and the “Anti-Obama crowd” who are. 🙂

Striking a tone of disgust, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ridicules the GOP as obsessed with its loathing of President Obama and hell-bent on hurting him politically, regardless the cost.

But the other way around is not possible. And the Democrats didn’t do the same thing to George W Bush now did they… 🙂

When Obama assumed the presidency in 2009, total U.S. debt, after subtracting what the government owes to itself, stood at 52% of GDP. That, economists say, is elevated but manageable. Today it’s 73% of GDP, a dangerous level.

And according to new data from the Congressional Budget Committee, based on the added spending the president has put into place — from misbegotten health reform to failed stimulus to uncontrolled entitlements — the debt-to-GDP ratio will hit 100% by 2038. The CBO rightly calls this “unsustainable.”

Yeah, but reports like that make the low information vote tune you out and watch X-Factor…

As for claiming that raising the debt ceiling doesn’t “promote profligacy,” please. Runaway spending is the source of our budget problem. The nonpartisan CBO’s own estimates say spending will rise from a 40-year average of about 20% of GDP to 26% by 2038 — a 30% jump in government’s share of U.S. output.

So why is Obama saying things that are patently false? With a showdown looming later this month over raising the debt ceiling, he hopes to shut down the government and blame the GOP for it. That would weaken the GOP before next year’s elections, while letting Obama continue his spending spree — a win-win.

Republicans would be wise to call Obama on his fiscal blackmail and hold out for a deal that slows spending, reforms taxes, cuts entitlement outlays in the future and defunds ObamaCare (one of the main drivers of future spending growth, according to the CBO).

But I doubt “Jar Jar” Boehner has the balls for that.

The last five years have been the most fiscally irresponsible in this nation’s history, a period that will have Americans decades from now scratching their heads.

Already it’s costing investments, jobs and economic growth. Unless we act now to reverse the madness, our children and grandchildren will be justified in asking: How could we have stood by and let things get so bad? (IBD)

“Vote for Me, The other guy’s an Asshole” 🙂

Simple, but elegant.

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

 

Surprise Surprise!

In September 2009, President Obama promised the country that “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.”

And if you thought he was being truthful, you really are a naive.

But it turns out Obama did sign such a plan — in fact, ObamaCare could add upwards of 180 billion dimes to the deficit in its first 10 years, an IBD analysis of various official budget reports found.

And when the Medicare cuts that were double counted as both cost and savings don’t happen for political reasons then it will skyrocket even more.

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s initial forecast made in March 2010, ObamaCare was supposed to cut the deficit a total of $124 billion in its first decade. Democrats seized on this to show Obama had lived up to his promise.

Almost as soon as Obama signed the law, however, his administration started making changes that added costs and cut revenues. The most recent was the one-year delay in the employer mandate.

The result is instead of a $124 billion deficit cut from 2010 to 2019, ObamaCare will likely add about $18 billion in red ink over those same years. And that assumes nothing else changes in the years ahead.

Which it will.

Costly Delays

When the administration announced the employer mandate delay, it said its decision resulted from business complaints about complex reporting requirements.

What it didn’t say is it would cost as much as $10 billion in lost revenues, which is how much the CBO expected in fines from companies that didn’t provide health benefits to workers that first year.

In addition, experts believe the delay will push more people into the subsidized exchanges, which could add as much as $5.3 billion in taxpayer costs, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has also been putting off steep cuts to the Medicare Advantage program, which were supposed to help cover ObamaCare costs.

Medicare Advantage lets seniors choose from an array of private health plans, with premiums largely paid by Medicare. About 28% have enrolled in one of these plans.

Obama has been critical of Medicare Advantage, saying it provided “unwarranted subsidies” that “pad their profits but don’t improve the care of seniors.” And ObamaCare planned to squeeze $136 billion out of it between 2010 and 2019.

But just as these cuts were set to bite, the administration started handing out $8.35 billion in “quality improvement” bonuses to Advantage companies, under the guise of a “demonstration project.”

The bonuses eliminated most of the scheduled cuts in 2012, according to the Government Accountability Office, which also challenged the claim that it was a legitimate demonstration project. That led to charges that Obama was just postponing the cuts to avoid upsetting seniors in an election year.

Just like now. 🙂

He wants to escape any of the blame for this monster and for it to be “his legacy” and for it not to effect HIM while in office, after that then it will be someone elses fault! And they just suck it up…

Earlier this year, his administration again reversed course on Medicare Advantage cuts, turning a planned 2.3% reduction in payments for 2014 into a 3.3% increase. Regulators claimed the payment boost resulted from a new methodology, but the change came after a flurry of protests from industry and lawmakers.

CLASS Dismissed

And in October 2011, Obama jettisoned an ObamaCare program, called CLASS, that was supposed to provide subsidized long-term care insurance for seniors.

Because CLASS collected premiums for years before paying any benefits, it appeared to cut ObamaCare’s costs by $72 billion in the first 10 years.

But the program was so badly designed it would have gone bankrupt soon after that, and so the administration dumped it.

Just like they want to dump the medical devices tax.

That decision, however, vaporized more than half of ObamaCare’s promised deficit cuts.

After accounting for all these changes, along with overall changes in the CBO’s cost projections, the law is now on track to add to the federal deficit in the first 10 years, albeit by a relatively small amount.

Supporters argue that even with these changes ObamaCare is still cutting deficits because it’s lowering health spending and improving efficiency, and these savings will grow over time as deeper Medicare cuts and bigger tax bills kick in.

But a January report from the Government Accountability Office found that claims of long-term ObamaCare deficit cuts are based on dubious cost-saving assumptions that several independent agencies “expressed concerns about.”

After factoring those out, the GAO found ObamaCare will add $6.2 trillion to deficits over the next 75 years.

Gee, no one saw that coming…
Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy
Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Seduction of Need

First off: another Imperial Minute:

“Well everyone has to follow the law, but we made determinations that were in the interest of successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” Carney said. “We are flexible, because that’s the right thing to do and to be.
It’s good to be the King. Because we can follow the law when we want to and when we don’t because it the “right thing to do” for us at the time.
So if conservatives refuse to enforce liberal laws, then that shows flexibility?
Maybe they will “evolve”? 🙂  Stay Tuned…
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
***********

The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of full-time private sector workers in the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 97,180,000 full-time private sector workers in 2012.

The population of the U.S. is 316.2 million people, meaning nearly a third of Americans receive food aid from the government.

Of the 101 million receiving food benefits, a record 47 million Americans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The USDA describes SNAP as the “largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.”

But don’t worry, everything is getting better… 🙂 Really, it is… 🙂

So what if Food Assistance is now the largest “employer” in the US.
So what if the official unemployment rate has been over 7.5% for longer than any time on record.
You just have to give Obamanomics more time!
So what if there are 15 Different Government Food Assistance Programs.
It’s sure than when Bush was around, just ask any Liberal… 🙂

A “potential for overlap” exists with the many food programs offered by the USDA, allowing participants to have more than their daily food needs subsidized completely by the federal government.

According to a July 3 audit by the Inspector General, the USDA’s Food Nutrition Service (FNS) “may be duplicating its efforts by providing participants total benefits in excess of 100 percent of daily nutritional needs when households and/or individuals participate in more than one FNS program simultaneously.”

Food assistance programs are designed to be a “safety net,” the IG said.

“With the growing rate of food insecurity among U.S. households and significant pressures on the Federal budget, it is important to understand how food assistance programs complement one another as a safety net, and how services from these 15 individual programs may be inefficient, due to overlap and duplication,” the audit said. (CNS)

And if you get all the food you need (not want) and all the economic assistance you need (but not want) do you WANT to get a job (probably part-time because of ObamaCare) and loose the easy gravy train.

Why would you bother?
Then who are you going to vote for? The hard ass who says get off your lazy ass or the one who says I can get you even more sloth??
The Seduction continues.
Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
 Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

The Bridge to Nowhere

Four+years and $825 billion later, the results are clear. Instead of producing an economic recovery, the stimulus produced only broken promises and massive debt. The stimulus failed—and by the president’s own standards at that.

But they’ll never admit to it. And besides it’s the Republican’s fault for “obstructing” the process anyhow. 🙂

Ironic and Prophetic, unintentionally??

In the Obama era, the unemployment rate peaked at 10.0 percent in October 2010. It did not dip below 9 percent until October 2011, when it hit 8.9 percent.  From August to September 2012, it dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent—the first time during Obama’s tenure it went under 8 percent.

Since then, the lowest it has gone has been 7.5 percent—the rate it hit in April. But after April, it ticked back up to 7.6 percent in May and stayed at 7.6 percent in June.

Prior to Obama’s presidency, the longest stretch of national unemployment at 7.5 percent or higher, as reported by the BLS, was 32 months from September 1981 through April 1984. From August 1981 to September 1981, unemployment climbed from 7.4 percent to 7.6 percent. It then stayed above 7.5 percent until April 1984, when it was at 7.7 percent. In May 1984, it dropped to 7.4 percent.

On January 10, 2009, Christina Romer, who was President-elect Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, and Jared Bernstein, who was Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, published a report predicting that if Obama’s proposed stimulus plan were enacted the unemployment rate would not top 8 percent.

In a February 2013 report on the impact of Obama’s stimulus law—the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—the Congressional Budget Office said that it estimated the law would have the net effect of increasing federal budget deficits by $830 billion between 2009 and 2019.

CBO also estimated that the stimulus had the impact in the last quarter of 2012 of lowering “the unemployment rate by between 0.1 percentage points and 0.4 percentage points.”

A Trillion dollars for nothing. Gee, no one saw that coming… 🙂

The report showed that despite the dire warnings from federal bureaucrats, politicians and K Street lobbyists, the jobs market didn’t fall apart because Republicans forced the government to spend less than it planned.

And of course, like anything else D.C.-related, the Democrat policies have it exactly backwards.

While it’s true that job growth was robust, it came from the growth of PART-TIME jobs, which are the only kind available. On a net basis, the economy lost 326,000 fulltime jobs.

Obamacare changes the definition of full time employment to 30 hour a week from 32 hours and requires companies over a certain size to purchase health benefits for all fulltime employees. As a result, companies are doing what we all knew they would: They are cutting full time employment and replacing it with part-time help.

And ObamaCare’s mandates and fine kick in at 30 hours. True, he put it off until after the election so it doesn’t get worse than it is, but an employer looks down the road and what he sees is that the bridge over the chasm is missing…

The report, however, also provides clear evidence that the the nation is splitting into two; only 47% of Americans have a full-time job and those who don’t are finding it increasingly out of reach. 

Of the 144 million Americans employed last month, only 116 million were working full-time. Friday’s report showed that 58.7% of the civilian adult population of 245 million was working last month. Only 47% of Americans, however, had a full-time job.

So now you have 53% who have a vested interest in the welfare state. Gee, the Democrats aren’t pandering to them are they?

So the Democrats have a vested interest in it NOT getting better.

Class envy. Class warfare. Hate the Rich.

20 Million illegals who will make it even worse.

Welcome to the Visigoth Sloth.

Who needs a Civil War when you can invade the rot that’s already there.

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The Rise of Big Brother

With reports that the Senate Immigration Bill will be passed without being read and that numerous “stimulus” pork bills have been added on to it for votes you know what’s coming next.

Bend over, the giant flange of government is going to give you yet another massive enema up your back side. And if you object, too f*cking bad because they are going to do it for THEIR political expediency and not for you.

On Andrea Tantaros radio show last week, conservative columnist and author Pat Buchanan warned of an unintended consequence of the immigration reform bill, a bill which doesn’t place a high priority on assimilation.

According to Tantaros, her previous guest, former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, said that the immigration legislation funnels money to so-called community organizing groups like La Raza with the idea of teaching immigrants “American history, the Constitution and civic participation.” That leaves open the possibility of activist groups teaching with a partisan slant — and impedes assimilation. (DC)

And La Raza is a “moderate” group in the same way the SS was in Germany.
The extremist, very racist, anti-white group is well known to anyone who pays attention. But to the Politically Correct crowd there just another advocacy group. And The Politically Correct love a good “community organizer”. 🙂
After all, it was Homeland Security and Labor  that set up the Civil Rights Hotline to rat out bosses who were “abusing” illegals (not arresting the bosses for hiring them you notice).

“This has the potential of becoming the next major civil rights movement,” Schumer told Crowley. “I could envision in the late summer or early fall if Boehner tries to bottle the bill up or put something in without a path to citizenship … I could see a million people on the Mall in Washington.”

So how exactly do you have “Civil Rights” for people who came here and are here illegally to begin with?

Because THE AGENDA is THE AGENDA.

Bob Schieffer, SeeBS News: Do you think Republicans get it on immigration? Because people like Lindsey Graham are saying if you don’t do something, reaching out to Hispanics, you — it might not — you might not need to run anybody for president next time, because with the demographics changing in this country, it’s going to be impossible to elect a Republican president if you don’t get substantial Hispanic support.

Senator Sessions gamely pointed out that a new Congressional Budget Office study has found that the Gang of Eight bill would probably reduce illegal immigration by only 25 percent. “And CBO concludes that the legal immigration will be dramatically increased and we’ll have — in addition to that, we’re going to have lower wages and higher unemployment according to the CBO analysis of this bill,” Sessions said. “Why would any member of Congress want to vote for a bill at a time of high unemployment, falling wages, to bring in a huge surge of new labor that can only hurt the poorest among us the most?”

For Votes, Senator, for Votes.

Senator Schumer said, Boehner will have to bring the legislation to a vote even if a majority of Republicans are against it. Enough Democrats and Republicans, he said, will vote for approval.

We’ll just continuously call him a racist until he relents.  Because we all know “Jar Jar” Boehner has a principled backbone. 🙂

Then we’ll have all the power we need to make any opposition to us meaningless.

BIG BROTHER will truly arrive. And anyone who dares to speak out against him will be summarily punished as a thought criminal.

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY (the Progressive Liberal Majority)

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH  (any non-liberal thought will be crushed and only Progressive Liberalism taught).

WAR IS PEACE (the war against the Anti-American “right wing” and the pull back to no involvement in the world).

After all, groups like La Raza will “moderate” their views when they have complete control over you, you white misogynistic, homophobic, politically in correct non-liberal racist!

And anyone who is an “uncle tom” to the cause will be dealt with as well.

Hegemony in Thought is Paramount.

Don’t give them even the opportunity to think of disagreeing with the Collective.

“To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free…to a time when truth exists, and what is done cannot be undone…From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink–greetings!” – George Orwell, 1984

 

 

May Day +1

The Following has not been approved by The Ministry of Truth…

UPDATE The Left is already moving to discredit Toensing and other lawyers working to expose the Benghazi cover-up.  These attorneys have publicly alleged that their clients were bullied and intimidated into silence over the last seven months.

FYI: You might remember Victoria Toensing. She;s the one who wrote the Covert Agent Statutes that were alleged to have been violated in the Valerie Plaime case.

🙂
UPDATE II
Wow.  White House Spokesman downplayed a Benghazi question today, sniffing that the attack “happened a long time ago:” (townhall)

The Following has been approved by The Ministry of Truth:

So erase all traces of  “Benghazi” from your mind so as to not cause a Thought Crime. We Now we rejoin our Big Brother Broadcast already in progress…

“For the 85% to 90% of Americans who already have health insurance … they don’t have to worry about anything else.”

Really? The Congressional Budget Office expects 7 million workers — and possibly as many as 20 million — will lose their employer coverage because of ObamaCare. That’s plenty to worry about.

Obama’s own health care number crunchers say ObamaCare will force national health spending up 7.4% in 2014, and add billions in costs over the next decade. The Congressional Budget Office says it will add massively to federal health spending. (IBD)

Everything’s Fine. Nothing to see here…Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

Employer spending on benefits rose at the slowest pace on record in the first quarter, as companies began bracing for higher health costs with next year’s launch of ObamaCare.

Total benefits, such as insurance and pension contributions, rose just 0.1% vs. the end of last year, the smallest gain in Labor Department data going back to 2001. By comparison, payroll employment grew by a half-million, or 0.4%, in Q1. So benefits-per-worker declined.

Total employee benefits provided outside of government jobs declined outright.

The 2010 health law is expected to have its biggest impact on modest-wage service-sector industries, where coverage that meets ObamaCare requirements is less common. Not surprisingly, the abrupt change toward stingier employee benefits was even more evident here.

Total benefits in service occupations shrank 0.3% in Q1, the first decline in data going back to 2002.

Given that service-sector benefit costs rose throughout the past decade, even in much-weaker economic conditions than now, the evidence points to ObamaCare as the culprit.

Total benefits provided by private-sector employers also shrank 0.3%, though the government noted missing data for white-collar office and sales jobs, which made the reading less reliable.

Over the last year, relatively paltry service-sector wage growth of 1.5% has outpaced the 1.4% increase in benefits, reversing a long-standing trend.

Slower health-cost growth may be a contributing factor but wouldn’t explain outright declines in per-person benefits.

A possible explanation for the sudden shift could be that a smaller share of workers are being provided health care and other benefits due to part-time status — less than 30 hours per week under ObamaCare.

Under ObamaCare regulations issued in January, the fines employers face in 2014 for failing to provide minimum-required coverage will be based on employment levels starting this July.

In the past six months or so, a parade of service-sector companies has said they’re mulling changes to worker hours and health benefits to reduce the cost of complying with ObamaCare.

For example, Krispy Kreme (KKD) said in an SEC filing that it has 1,300 workers without coverage who may be entitled to it under ObamaCare at a potential cost of up to $5 million — before actions it might take “to reduce the number of employees subject to the new requirements.”

Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI), which operates 251 restaurants in four states, said it is “reviewing our strategy for employing part-time vs. full-time employees” in managing compliance costs.

Fewer firms have been upfront in saying they’ll actually reduce full-time employment, which isn’t surprising given a backlash faced by Darden Restaurants (DRI) last year for acknowledging such a plan.

But in recent weeks, movie theater operator Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) said it would cut hours for nonsalaried employees and AAA Parking said it would move half of full-time employees to part-time, both citing efforts to lower the costs of complying with ObamaCare.

Thus, the decline in per-person employee benefits doesn’t appear to reflect a lower cost of benefits so much as a coming shift in the burden of benefits to the government.

Most part-time workers are likely to qualify for ObamaCare subsidies, which are available to those who earn up to 400% of the poverty level.

ObamaCare exempts firms with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees from providing health care coverage. Firms with at least 50 workers face fines based on the number of employees who receive ObamaCare subsidies, which are only available to people who lack affordable coverage from an employer.

But those fines — up to $3,000 per ObamaCare subsidized worker — won’t apply for part-time workers. (IBD)

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell