Cut!

Raise the cost of something, and inevitably demand for that thing goes down. It’s a venerable principle in economics.

So five years ago when ObamaCare was being enacted, we and many others warned that its coverage mandates for employers would result in hours being cut back and workers being laid off. We were criticized at the time as Chicken Littles. Now comes a survey of 743 personnel executives by the Society of Human Resource Management, as reported by Robert King of the Washington Examiner, that shows businesses are doing just that. Nearly 14% of firms have cut part-time hours for workers, King wrote, and another 6% plan to do so.

Still worse, 5% of companies have already either cut or plan to cut the total number of workers they have, thanks to ObamaCare.

ObamaCare’s employer mandate requires businesses with 100 or more employees to provide health insurance to 70% of their workers who put in 30 or more hours a week. That goes up to 95% next year.

Meanwhile, small businesses with 50 to 99 workers will start feeling the pinch in 2016, when the mandate hits them, too.

So it’s only logical: Businesses are cutting hours to avoid having to pay for the mandate — a predictable response in the real world, but apparently not in the world of the economists, politicians and planners who concocted ObamaCare’s destructive rules.

As for “bending the cost-curve down,” as President Obama promised repeatedly, forget about it. The survey found that 77% of companies had higher health-care costs this year than last year, and just 6% saw their costs decrease. For those who had costs rise, 24% saw costs go up 16% or more.

If you want to know why this job recovery has been the worst since the Great Depression, you need look no further than these depressing statistics.

In September 2009, President Obama addressed Congress, vowing that his healthcare plan would “slow the growth of healthcare costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” But costs for all three have actually grown.

During the campaign in 2008, Obama repeatedly said that his health reform plan would save the average family $2,500 a year in premiums. But this year, almost half of those surveyed by CBS and the New York Times characterized “the affordability of basic medical care as a hardship.” That’s a quarter more people than said so last year.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, the New York Times, and Avalere Health crunched government numbers and concluded that even premiums for coverage offered on the exchanges would rise between 2 and 5% during 2015.

Meanwhile, a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research determined that premiums in the non-group market in 2014 increased by 24.4% over what they would have cost without Obamacare.

Costs for small businesses have also grown. Last year, the average cost of employer-sponsored health insurance for an individual exceeded $5,700. That’s 23% more than in 2009, the year before Obamacare was signed into law.

One in 10 businesses has laid off workers to cope with growing healthcare costs. And “one-third of small firms say they are purposefully not growing as a result of the Affordable Care Act,” according to a National Small Business Association Survey.

Meanwhile, one in five companies has reduced employee hours to avoid falling afoul of Obamacare’s employer mandate, which requires companies with 100 or more employees who work more than 30 hours a week to provide health insurance this year. Next year, companies with 50 or more workers will be subject to the mandate.

Companies who fail to comply must pay fines of the lesser of $3,000 per employee who receives subsidies in Obamacare’s insurance exchanges or $2,000 for every worker after the first 30.

The cost of Obamacare has also grown dramatically for the government — and thus for taxpayers. In 2009, President Obama claimed that his plan would cost a little more than $900 billion over the next decade. But according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, the law’s net price tag has ballooned to nearly $1.2 trillion.

The law’s ballooning cost is largely the result of its failure to slow overall health spending. Nationwide, health spending grew 5% in 2014, compared to a 3.6% increase the year prior, according to a new report from Altarum Institute. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services forecast spending to grow by 6% a year from 2015 through 2023 — “largely as a result of the continued implementation of the ACA coverage expansions.”

To make matters worse, the health law has also failed to deliver “the best care, not just the most expensive care,” as the President promised in 2009. Under Obamacare, Americans now have fewer healthcare options than before.

The number of insurers selling to individual consumers in the exchanges has dropped by more than 20% compared to the year before Obamacare took effect, according to the Heritage Foundation. Consumers who buy coverage on the exchanges often find that their preferred hospitals are out of network, McKinsey & Co. reports.

Meanwhile, Deloitte surveyed 20,000 doctors and discovered that many are cutting their work hours or leaving the practice of medicine altogether. USA TODAY recently reported that many doctors are limiting their intake of patients who bought coverage on the exchanges; the reimbursement rates offered by their policies are just too low.

“Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful not to take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they’re not going to be in business too long,” said the President of the Medical Society of the State of New York.

For patients, this exodus of doctors translates into less access, longer waits before appointments, and less one-on-one time with the few doctors who will see them. Last year, patients had to wait an average of 18 days for appointments with specialty doctors. This waiting game is “going to get worse and not better,” according to a study from consultancy Merritt Hawkins.

But since it “felt good” and they “had the best of intentions” and it’s all the fault of evil insurance companies the Liberal won’t hold themselves responsible for making things much worse than if they hadn’t meddled in the first place.

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)

The Rise of The Left

 

Medical Costs: President Obama used to talk about “bending the cost curve” as a justification for his health overhaul. But it looks increasingly like ObamaCare is sparking a major health care inflation spiral.

This week three big insurance companies in Massachusetts announced they lost money in the first quarter, thanks to ObamaCare’s new taxes and fees.

Just wait until Burger King and other have to play $15/hr as a minimum wage, the job loss and the companies loss will mount.

But at least the Left will be happy in their “superiority” and their “vision” of a “better” America…

And it will be someone elses fault when it all comes crashing down because they had “good intentions” so it can’t possibly be their fault.

After all, these companies make millions of dollars, they can afford to make a little less to help out “the people” The Leftists would say.

The fact that they don’t fundamentally care about how business works is the scariest part.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts reported a $59.3 million loss after it had to pay $73 million toward financing ObamaCare. Pilgrim Health paid $22.9 million in ObamaCare taxes, leading to a loss of $17.3 million. And the Tufts Health Plan would have broken even if not for ObamaCare.

The main cost imposed on these insurers is ObamaCare’s “health insurance tax,” which is based on a company’s market share. This year, the tax will cost the industry a total of $8 billion, and the burden will go up from there.

“We think of it as a sales tax on health care,” Lora Pellegrini, president of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, told the Boston Globe. “This is going to be passed on in higher premiums.”

And guess what, that will raise your Auto Insurance and your Home Insurance costs too. After all, Liability BODILY INJURY and uninsured BODILY INJURY…

Got that? Higher premiums. And that’s in Massachusetts, which had already imposed ObamaCare-like changes years before and has among the highest premiums in the nation.

And is dumping that exchange because it went bust!

But suggest anything else to a Liberal and they’ll howl about how you want to push grandma over a cliff and kill children.

The fact that THEY are pushing them over doesn’t even occur to them, because they are “doing the right thing” because “they care”.

Meanwhile, a new industry survey suggests that overall employer health costs will climb by 9% this year, and other surveys find small-business premium hikes in the double if not triple digits.

Keep in mind that premium growth was decelerating before ObamaCare — they climbed less than 6% in all but one of the past eight years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In addition, ObamaCare’s massive insurance subsidies are fueling demand, pushing first-quarter health spending up at a rate not seen since 1980.

The administration is aware of this problem. This week it decided to let insurance companies cap the amount they’ll pay toward expensive procedures (while requiring them to pay 100% of low-cost “preventive” treatments). It’s meant to keep premiums down, but turns the concept of insurance completely upside down.

Good luck with that Cancer treatment! But hey, you’ll get free birth control pills! 🙂

In the wake of this, Kaiser CEO Drew Altman predicted that “the conversation will soon shift back to health care costs because they are rising more sharply again.”

No kidding. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of economics knows you can’t turbocharge demand, pile on mandates and taxes, and expect prices to go down.

EXCEPT THE LEFT.

After all, it’s the “right” thing to do. 🙂

Anything else would be “greedy”, “racist” and “discriminatory”!! 🙂

‘Twas the Night Before the Deadline

Because Santa Barack extended the Deadline.

Liberals feel free to ignore the information because it comes from a Thought Police unapproved source. 🙂

But first, a Little Night Before Christmas, Obama Style:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and at the computer, the family still huddled; the season was neutered. The stockings were hung by the chimney, all right, but getting Obamacare would take half the night.

There is nothing Americans like better than gathering together as families, swearing at the computer, as it grinds, slower and slower. The anticipation of finally getting through to the government, to sign up to pay another tax, is so thrilling, we have looked forward to it for nearly four years. In fact, we’ve been trying, with great enthusiasm, to do this since October 1.

During his umpteenth vacation, the president, lounging in Hawaii, interjected himself again into the most blessed Christian – and most-festive secular — holiday, proclaiming as only he can that the population is blessed to have such a tuned-in guy running things. He said, on what has now become the penultimate day to sign up for the new healthcare insurance tax, that we can’t forget about him and just put things off for another day. We have until midnight Christmas Eve to pay his tithe.

Obamacare’s original supporters in the health insurance industry must also be ecstatic. They will have another few hundred thousand application to process by January 1, atop the five million or so that may already be properly signed up – and they’ll have one-seventh less time. (One fifth less, if you think they’ll get Christmas and New Year’s Eve off.)

So, thank you again, Mr. President, for putting yourself front and center, for giving us another opportunity to pay your taxes, for disrupting family and sacred traditions. Enjoy Hawaii and your own super-duper health insurance. We all love you. (WP)

Americans now have until Christmas Eve to choose a health plan under Obamacare, if they want to be covered starting Jan. 1 — thanks to a one-day extension announced Monday .

Completing the enrollment process has been complicated due to technical glitches, ever-changing enrollment options, and shifting regulations, but 34% of MarketWatch readers who participated in a poll last week said they have already picked a plan.

The survey of more than 18,000 readers conducted on our website last week also found that of those who have enrolled in insurance plans or intend to, 55% said they expect their health insurance costs to increase. About 40% expect their costs to decrease and roughly 4% expect their expenses to stay the same.

Mark Grueser, a car salesman in Hibbing, Minn., is among those consumers expecting to save on health spending by moving onto an exchange plan. Grueser picked a platinum plan for him and his wife that will charge slightly more than $800 a month in premiums after subsidies and require a $2,000 deductible. That compares to a plan Grueser had with his previous employer where he paid about the same in premiums but had a $6,000 deductible. “It wasn’t really smooth sailing but it’s done,” says Grueser, 60, adding that the state exchange website froze frequently when he first created an account in late November. “The coverage is better than the coverage i had in the past.”

For Grueser, the health reform law has helped in another way: he felt more comfortable moving to a dealership that doesn’t offer insurance to employees last month partly because he knew he and his wife would soon be able to purchase insurance on the new public marketplaces. Previously, he hesitated to change jobs and lose his workplace insurance because he feared the couple would’ve been locked out of the individual market since his wife had breast cancer 12 years ago.

The Obama administration has granted consumers more time to pick a plan, pushing the deadline back by one day to Tuesday, Dec. 24 for coverage beginning at the start of next year. Among other 11th hour changes announced in recent weeks: last Thursday, government officials said that people whose individual insurance plans were set to be canceled Jan. 1 because they did not meet the minimum coverage requirements set by the Affordable Care Act will be allowed to purchase bare bones catastrophic plans or forego buying insurance altogether. Earlier that week, insurance companies announced they would give consumers until Jan. 10 to pay premiums for coverage starting on Jan. 1.

Some consumers are struggling to keep up with the last-minute rule changes. David Mak, a 31-year-old day trader in Merced, Calif., said he selected a bronze insurance plan from Anthem that comes with a monthly premium of roughly $200 and a $5,000 deductible. Being a healthy person who doesn’t smoke, Mak says he may be a good fit for one the catastrophic plans just extended to people like himself. But those plans aren’t eligible for subsidies, and there is at least one technical issue causing him to stick with the bronze plan: as of Friday his state exchange still hadn’t registered that he was eligible to enroll in a catastrophic plan and he couldn’t get through to the exchange over the phone because of high call volume. (Marketwatch)

“Now Dashel! now, Demogogues! now, Pevish and Schultz!
On, Sebelius! On, Michelle! on, on Matthews and Biden!
To the top of the Hill! to the top of the Castle Wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

And the Cookies you leave out for Santa Obama are fattening and bad for you so we’ll have to fine you and that Milk, well, it was a from a cow that penned up in a cell you nasty little bugger… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 

 

 

The Devil’s Choice

Experts say the move by insurers to limit consumers’ choices and steer them away from hospitals that are considered too expensive, or even “inefficient”, reflects the new competitive landscape in the insurance industry since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law.

It could become another source of political controversy for the Obama administration next year, when the plans take effect. Frustrated consumers could then begin to realise what is not always evident when buying a product as complicated as healthcare insurance: that their new plans do not cover many facilities or doctors “in network”. In other words, the facilities and doctors are not among the list of approved providers in a certain plan.

Under some US health insurance plans, consumers can elect to visit medical facilities that are “out of network”, but they would probably incur high out of pocket costs and may need referrals to prove that such care is medically necessary.

The development is worrying some hospital administrators who see the change as an unintended consequence of the ACA.

“We’re very concerned. [Insurers] know patients that are sick come to places like ours. What this is trying to do is redirect those patients elsewhere, but there is a reason why they come here. These patients need what it is that we are capable of providing,” says Thomas Priselac, president and chief executive officer of Cedars-Sinai Health System in California.

One of the biggest goals of “Obamacare” was to make subsidised healthcare plans that are being sold on the new exchanges as affordable as possible, while also mandating that certain benefits, like maternity care, were covered and that people with pre-existing medical conditions could not be denied access.

Amid these new regulatory restrictions, says Tim Jost, a health policy expert, insurance companies have had to come up with new ways to cut the cost of their products. In this new era, limiting the availability of certain facilities that are seen as too expensive – in part because they may attract the sickest patients or offer the most cutting edge medical care – is seen as the best way to control costs.

As has been pointed out numerous times, we are heading for a two tiered health care system where the rich – and friends of Barack like unions – will have access to the very best doctors and facilities while the rest of us get whatever is left over.

Winners and losers folks. And guess which one the majority of us are? (AT via FT)

“President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Doesn’t that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan?”

Emanuel tried heading toward after-the-fact nuances, but Wallace wouldn’t let go: “It’s a simple yes or no question. Did he say if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?”

“Yes,” Emanuel finally admitted before quickly turning another corner. “But look, if you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that. This is a matter of choice.”

Which Wallace jumped on, soon forcing Emanuel to admit that Americans under Obamacare “are going to have a choice as to whether they want to pay a certain amount for a selective network or pay more for a broader network.”

And that led to the key admission in the following segment of the interview:

“Which will mean your premiums will probably go up,” Wallace noted.

“They get that choice,” Emanuel said. “That’s a choice they always made.”

“Which means your premium may go up over what you were paying so that, in other words — ”

“No one guaranteed you that your premium wouldn’t increase,” Emanuel added. “Premiums have been going up.”

“The president guaranteed me I could keep my doctor,” said Wallace.

And if you want to, you can pay for it,” said Emanuel. (Blaze)

And if you can’t, oh well, you get the leftovers. Government Charity. Be happy. 🙂

But always remember, it wasn’t the Government’s fault! 🙂  Vote For me the other guy’s an asshole!

“Everyone was rich, and no one was poor. At Least no one worth talking about”-Douglas Adams.

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

141014 600 Obamacare Site Fixed cartoons

 

 

The Hippocrite’s Oath

Going on Vacation today.

So this blog may be offline for a bit.

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

‘Substandard” and “cut-rate” is what President Obama calls the health plans that millions of Americans have lost, even though they wanted to keep them.

Backpedaling on his promise that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” Obama is now telling Americans another whopper: The insurance they can get on ObamaCare exchanges is a better deal.

Don’t believe him.

On the exchanges, you may no longer be able to use the doctors and hospitals you prefer. Many exchange plans exclude the top-drawer academic hospitals like Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and New York Presbyterian in New York City.

Instead, the law says exchange plans must cover care at “essential community providers … that serve predominantly low-income, medically underserved individuals.”  (Sec. 1311c(1)C)  That means clinics, public hospitals and hospitals largely serving the Medicaid community.

The law’s authors reasoned that exchange plan customers should be able to shift back and forth between their plans and Medicaid, as their earnings fluctuate, without changing doctors and hospitals.

That’s reasonable, but it’s bad news for consumers who had access to esteemed hospitals and doctors under their old plans and then got pushed into the exchanges.

Medicaid-level care is, sadly, “substandard,” to use the President’s word. A review of the experiences of nearly 900,000 patients undergoing eight different surgical procedures found that Medicaid patients were 50% more likely to die in the hospital after surgery than patients with private coverage.

This review, by researchers at the University of Virginia, is one of several studies proving that Medicaid patients get worse care than patients with private insurance.

But many of the plans being offered on the exchanges are Medicaid with a private label slapped on them. The McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform reports that Medicaid insurers are playing a large role in the exchanges.

Just as many doctors refuse to accept Medicaid, they are also refusing to accept exchange insurance. In California, a Blue Cross plan on the exchange covers 47% fewer doctors than Blue Cross subscribers in California currently get. In New York, only a quarter of physicians have decided to take exchange insurance, because the payments are so low.

Why so low? Because insurers know the low-cost plan will be king in nearly every exchange. All the plans offer the “essential benefit package.” Customers currently have no other way to compare than on price.

That’s despite the law’s promise that exchanges would list each plan’s quality rating and disclose which hospitals and doctors are covered. (Sec. 1311d(4)D) and (Sec. 1311c(1)B).  Why isn’t this information provided, as the law requires?  We can only guess that it’s because ObamaCare administrators don’t want us to see the truth.

Cancer patients whose plans are canceled are getting whacked hardest. They are losing access to the specialized cancer hospitals and oncologists treating them. And they will get meager help, if any, paying for innovative cancer drugs that cost thousands of dollars.

The most troubling provision in ObamaCare’s Section 1311 gives the secretary of health and human services blanket authority to control how doctors and hospitals treat patients. All in the name of improving “quality.” That could mean everything in medicine, such as when your OB/GYN should do a Caesarean.

What that means for you is that if you enroll in an exchange plan, with or without getting a subsidy, your care will be standardized by the federal government with an eye to reducing what you consume and how much it costs.

Your doctor may have to choose between doing what’s right for you and avoiding a penalty. Exchange plans can pay only those doctors who obey whatever regulations the Secretary imposes.

Yet the President claims that people losing their health plans and having to sign up on the exchanges will be getting a better deal. Losing your doctor, shopping blind for a health plan, settling for Medicaid-level care and government controls, all for a premium 41% higher than before and with a deductible that’s doubled? Sounds substandard to me.

Right now, most people getting cancellations bought plans in the individual market. Wait until the other shoe drops in 2014, and millions of people who had on-the-job coverage lose it. The truth about ObamaCare will become so painfully obvious that even the White House lie machine can’t cover it up. (BETSY MCCAUGHEY)
But don’t worry, The Ministry of Truth is here to save you from this so don’t worry, be happy!

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Roots of Success Part 1

In 2008, Barack Obama promised, “We’re going to work with your employer to lower the cost of your premiums by up to $2,500 a year.”

Of course, like everything else he promises, he’s LYING. But the American people are too narcissistic and too stupid to know that. And too programmed to put two-and-two together Now.

But middle-income consumers face an estimated 30% rate increase, on average, in California due to several factors tied to the healthcare law.

Some may elect to go without coverage if they feel prices are too high. Penalties for opting out are very small initially. Defections could cause rates to skyrocket if a diverse mix of people don’t sign up for health insurance.

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

“She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'” Kehaly said

“This is when the actual sticker shock comes into play for people,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “There are winners and losers under the Affordable Care Act.”

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Blue Shield of California sent termination letters to 119,000 customers last month whose plans don’t meet the new federal requirements. About two-thirds of those people will experience a rate increase from switching to a new health plan, according to the company.

HMO giant Kaiser Permanente is canceling coverage for about half of its individual customers, or 160,000 people, and offering to automatically enroll them in the most comparable health plan available.

The 16 million Californians who get health insurance through their employers aren’t affected. Neither are individuals who have “grandfathered” policies bought before March 2010, when the healthcare law was enacted. It’s estimated that about half of policyholders in the individual market have those older plans. (LA Times)

So they won’t see the 1000 lb gorilla in the room and vote for Liberals again. Because, it’s not hurting them, after all.

And if it doesn’t hurt them personally, it’s ok.

All these cancellations were prompted by a requirement from Covered California, the state’s new insurance exchange. The state didn’t want to give insurance companies the opportunity to hold on to the healthiest patients for up to a year, keeping them out of the larger risk pool that will influence future rates.

Forcing good consumers out of their plans and their doctors to make the exchange look better.

Gee, Obama didn’t promise that either. 🙂

Here’s another one:

Forbes: A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)

Misdirection? Never sen that from Obama and his Alinsky-ites before…:)

The answer is that Obamacare wasn’t designed to help healthy people with average incomes get health insurance. It was designed to force those people to pay more for coverage, in order to subsidize insurance for people with incomes near the poverty line, and those with chronic or costly medical conditions.

P.T. Barnum couldn’t have done better.

The middle class that liberals go on about endlessly will pay more for their insurance so the poor can have more.

After all, socialist societies don’t have a middle class, do they… 🙂

Wayne Root: The GOP needs to stop calling ObamaCare a “trainwreck.” That means it’s a mistake, or accident. That means it’s a gigantic flop, or failure. It’s NOT. 

Message to the GOP: This isn’t a game. This isn’t tiddly-winks. This is a serious, purposeful attempt to highjack America and destroy capitalism. 

This is a brilliant, cynical, and purposeful attempt to damage the U.S. economy, kill jobs, and bring down capitalism. 

It’s not a failure, it’s Obama’s grand success. 

It’s not a “trainwreck,” ObamaCare is a suicide attack. He wants to hurt us, to bring us to our knees, to capitulate- so we agree under duress to accept big government.

Obama’s hero and mentor was Saul Alinsky — a radical Marxist intent on destroying capitalism. Alinksky’s stated advice was to call the other guy “a terrorist” to hide your own intentions. 

To scream that the other guy is “ruining America,” while you are the one actually plotting the destruction of America. To claim again and again…in every sentence of every speech…that you are “saving the middle class,” while you are busy wiping out the middle class.

The GOP is so stupid they can’t see it. There are no mistakes here. This is a planned purposeful attack.

I said that years ago, myself.

The real sign that this is a purposeful attack upon capitalism is how many Obama administration members and Democratic Congressmen are openly calling Tea Party Republicans and anyone who wants to stop ObamaCare “terrorists.” 

There’s the clue. Even the clueless GOP should be able to see that.

But they are too busy agreeing with them.

And the people are too programmed by “Vote for me the other guy’s an asshole”

The asshole being the person who disagrees with the Alinsky Liberal!

Here’s to the successful launch of ObamaNation.

To be continued tomorrow.

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Let’s Review

Health Care: The administration has amended or delayed ObamaCare 19 times. Unions are screaming about the harm it will cause. The exchanges are in disarray. Yet it’s Republicans who are out of touch for wanting to stop it?

After all, the solution to many Democrats is Single Payer, even MORE government intervention.

Recently, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., accused the GOP of having “a fetish about trying to kill ObamaCare.” Guess he has a point. After all, just look at some of the terrible things Republicans have been saying about it in recent weeks:

• It will “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

• It will “end up forcing millions out of multi-employer plans.”

• It “creates unstoppable incentives for employers to reduce weekly hours for workers.”

• Its “perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios.”

• “In its rush to achieve its passage, many of the act’s provisions were not fully conceived.”

• And, repealing ObamaCare would “protect our employers, our industry and our most important asset: our members and their families.”

Oh, wait! It wasn’t Republicans saying those things. Every one of those complaints was lodged by top union officials who, despite backing the law, now see its dark side.

Democrats such as Van Hollen also conveniently overlook the fact that Obama has already signed 14 bills into law that changed or killed parts of ObamaCare and delayed another five key pieces that proved unworkable, according to a new Congressional Research Service report.

The CRS also found that the administration missed half of the deadlines set in the law. And an inspector general report found it well behind schedule ensuring the ObamaCare data hub is secure.

Then there’s the fact that, just weeks before the exchanges are supposed to open, “not a single state appears to be completely ready.” That’s what Leavitt Partners’ W. Brett Graham told a congressional panel this week, adding that many states have “only recently begun to test their systems” to verify eligibility and subsidy requests.

So, let’s review.

We have a law that unions say will seriously harm middle-class families, that’s already required multiple fixes and delays, that relies on exchanges that won’t be ready, and that poses serious privacy risks.

Seems to us the real question that needs asking isn’t why the GOP is so obsessed with stopping ObamaCare, but why Democrats are so determined to let this disaster roll down the tracks.

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!!! They aren’t going to be denied now!

If you think the Obama health law is only for the uninsured and you won’t be affected, you’re in for a surprise next time you go to the doctor. Be prepared for questions unrelated to why you are seeking medical help — questions that you don’t want to answer.

Whether you’re at the dermatologist or the cardiologist, you’ll likely be asked: “Are you sexually active? If so, with one partner, multiple partners or same-sex partners?”

Doctors are being turned into government agents, pressured financially to ask questions they consider inappropriate and unnecessary, and to violate their Hippocratic Oath to keep patients’ records confidential.

Going to the doctor can be embarrassing. But for your own good, you confide things to a doctor you wouldn’t tell anyone else. What is happening here is different.

“This is nasty business,” says Dr. Adam Budzikowski, a New York cardiologist, who called the sex question “insensitive, stupid, and very intrusive.” He could not think of an occasion when a cardiologist would need such information.

Doctors and hospitals that don’t comply with the federal government’s electronic health records requirements forgo incentive payments now and face financial penalties from Medicare and Medicaid starting in 2015. The Department of Health and Human Services has already paid out over $12.7 billion in incentives to doctors and hospitals.

Dr. Richard Amerling, a nephrologist and Albert Einstein Medical College associate professor of medicine, explains that medical record should be “a story created by you and your doctor solely for your treatment and benefit.” But the administration’s electronic record requirements are turning it “into an interrogation, and the data will not be confidential.”

Lack of confidentiality is what concerned the New York Civil Liberties Union in a 2012 report. Electronic medical records have enormous benefits, but with one click of a mouse every piece of information in a patient’s record, including social history, is transmitted, disclosing too much.

The social history questions also include whether you’ve ever used drugs, including intravenous drugs. As the NYCLU cautioned, revealing a patient’s past drug problem, even if it was a decade ago, risks stigma.

On the other end of the political spectrum is the Goldwater Institute, a free-market think tank. It argues that by requiring everyone to have health insurance and then imposing penalties on insurers, doctors, hospitals who don’t use the one-click electronic system, you are violating Americans’ medical privacy.

Protests from these privacy advocates are largely ignored. On Jan. 17, HHS announced that if patients want to keep something out of their electronic record, they should pay cash. That’s impractical for most people.

In 2010, when Congress was drafting ObamaCare, the National Rifle Association demanded a protection that became Section 2716 of the final law. It bars the federal government from compelling doctors and hospitals to ask you if you own a firearm. That’s the only question they can’t be told to ask you.

Where are the women’s rights groups that went to the barricades in the 1980s and 1990s to prevent the federal government from accessing a woman’s health records? Hypocritically, they are silent now.

Patients need to defend their privacy by refusing to answer the intrusive “social history” questions. If you need to confide something relating to your treatment, ask your doctor about keeping two sets of books so that your secrets stay in the office. Doctors take their oath seriously and won’t be offended.

Are such precautions paranoid? Hardly. We’re only starting to see the data collection ambitions of the executive branch.

On Sept. 6, the New York Times reported that Edward Snowden’s revelations show that the National Security Agency has “broadly compromised the guarantees that Internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, on line bank and medical records, would be undecipherable to criminals or governments.”

Be cautious about sharing your medical secrets with Uncle Sam. (IBD)

He wants to know everything about you…and so do the hackers.

And drink more water, Mama Government, Michelle Obama Said so…

“I really care about your health like I care about my kids’ health,” she told the crowd. “That’s why I’ve devoted so much of my energy into making sure that your generation is as healthy as you can be.  We’ve been talking about how you got to move and keep active and eat right.

“But as we were thinking about this, we were thinking, what is the one thing that we can have you guys do that ensures good health? And it’s really pretty simple. It’s drink more water. Just drink up. Because truly — as I’ve said before — water is the first and best energy drink.” (IBD)

Law & Order: D.C.

The administration is building a detective squad that will target consumers and companies that don’t follow ObamaCare’s rules. The game of “good cop, bad cop” has arrived in American health care.

They are the “good cop” and you are the perp. They are also the “bad cop” and you’re the victim. 🙂

It was bad enough to know that an Internal Revenue Service that targets the political opponents of the Obama administration between partying on the taxpayer dime would be in charge of monitoring compliance with ObamaCare’s individual mandate via our tax returns.

Now, the Daily Mail, which lodged a Freedom of Information Act with Health and Human Services, reports that the agency has hired a bevy of criminal investigators as we continue to learn what is in the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act.

Post-Obamacare law hiring at the Department of Health and Human Services included 86 ‘criminal investigators,’ but just two ‘consumer safety’ officers

  • On the day President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, HHS received authority to make 1,814 new hires
  • The authorization included positions for 50 criminal investigators. The agency increased that number to 86
  • The agency was also authorized to hire  261 ‘consumer safety officers.’ Only two such employees were hired (Daily Mail)

Never did we imagine that buying insurance and going to the doctor or providing coverage to employees would come under the full-time purview of federal criminal investigators.

On the day in 2010 that President Obama signed the bill into law, HHS got authority from the Office of Personnel Management to make as many as 1,814 new hires under an emergency “Direct Hiring Authority” order.

The agency was authorized to hire 50 criminal investigators to ensure compliance with mandatory provisions and regulations. But as is typical with an administration with no respect for the Constitution and the law, HHS unilaterally upped that number to 86.

Of course these investigators won’t be digging into the Obama administration’s lack of compliance with its own law. A president doesn’t have the legal authority to decide what parts of the law he wants to obey; the Constitution does not grant him that authority.

But that’s exactly what Obama is doing with Obama-Care.

As noted in Forbes, first there was the delay of ObamaCare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate.

After that there was the announcement, buried in the Federal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the “honor system” instead.

Now comes word that another costly provision of the health law — its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs — will be postponed for one more year.

According to the Congressional Research Service, as of November 2011, the administration had missed as many as a third of Affordable Care Act’s deadlines specified by law. Adhering to the law, apparently, is of no concern to an administration that hires criminal investigators to make sure we accede to it.

Interestingly, HHS was authorized to hire 261 “consumer safety officers,” presumably to protect us from getting ripped off or being ill-served. So far, to indicate where HHS’ priorities are, it has hired only two. Can we say that HHS seems to be more interested in our acquiescence than our safety or health?

As the IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups shows, the ambition for absolute power has corrupted this administration absolutely. A White House that routinely disobeys the laws, including its own, cannot be entrusted, either through the IRS or HHS, to not further trample our rights under ObamaCare.

“The Obama administration continues to assert near unilateral power when it comes to ObamaCare,” said Dan Holler, communications director for Heritage Action for America, a conservative lobby group that opposes implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“This blatant disregard for the rule of law raises serious questions as to how these new criminal investigators will behave, what guidelines they will follow and who will provide much-needed oversight.”

Criminal investigators to enforce ObamaCare? Do we have to be Mirandized? Now put down that tongue depressor, and back away slowly.

http://archive.opm.gov/oca/10tables/pdf/gs.pdf

GOING UP!

The average employer-provided family health insurance premiums have climbed $2,976 since 2009, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week. They’re up $3,671 compared with the year before President Obama took office. That’s despite Obama’s repeated promises that the health care reform law he championed would cut premiums by $2,500 in his first term.

And while annual premium increases have moderated over the past two years, that’s due to trends in the insurance market largely unrelated to ObamaCare, and trends the law could actually reverse.

The Kaiser survey found that the average family premium this year is $16,351, up 4% over last year, and up 22% since 2009. After adjusting for inflation, premiums climbed an average 3.2% a year in Obama’s first term, higher than the 2.7% average during President Bush’s last four years in office.

During his first campaign for president, Obama repeatedly claimed that his health reform plan would, as he said at a Virginia rally in 2008 “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.”

Nevertheless, the White House has been touting recent signs of health cost moderation as evidence that ObamaCare is “already working to reduce costs.”

Officials cite the fact that national spending on health care climbed just 3.9% in 2011, the same as the previous two years, and the slowest increase since the 1960s.

But the trends driving the slowdown in health spending have little to do with the Affordable Care Act.

The sluggish economy played a big role. “The failure of the economy to bounce back as quickly as it has after past recessions has prolonged this dampening effect on health spending,” noted Joseph Antos, a health care expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

Also important has been a broader shift that has been underway for years toward higher-deductible plans. These plans provide consumers with a stronger incentive to economize on health spending.

The Kaiser survey found, for example, that 78% of workers now face at least some deductible, up from 59% in 2008. And nearly a third has a deductible of at least $2,000, up from 12% in 2008.

In addition, the private insurance market has seen an explosion in Health Savings Account-type plans — an idea long championed by conservative Republicans — which combine high deductibles with a tax-free savings account that consumers can roll over if they don’t spend it all in one year.

Kaiser found that one in five workers are now enrolled in an HSA-type plan, up from 8% in 2008.

A separate survey by America’s Health Insurance Plans finds that more than 15 million people are now enrolled in HSA plans, up 15% from last year andmore than double the number in 2008.

Drew Altman, the Kaiser foundation’s president, on a conference call with reporters called it “part of a quiet revolution in health insurance from more comprehensive to less comprehensive.”

But it’s clearly a revolution that can help control health costs. A Rand Corporation study last year — titled “Skin in the Game” — found that families in HSA-type plans spent 21% less, on average, in the first year after they switched from a traditional plan. The study found that annual health costs would fall $57 billion if half of workers signed up with an HSA.

Unfortunately, ObamaCare will likely shift the market in the opposite direction, toward less out-of-pocket spending, greater reliance on insurance to cover small health coasts, and higher premiums. ObamaCare, for example, already requires that preventive care be provided at no direct cost to the patient. It also puts strict limits on deductibles and out-of-pocket spending.  (IBD)

Which will drive up the costs significantly. More of those perverse (and may not so unintendedly) perverse incentives to suck at tit of Government.

 

Doesn’t this all make you feel so much better? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy


136355 600 LOCAL FL Marco Rubio Immigration Reform Shame cartoons


 

 

More Skunk Spray

As Democrats grow increasingly worried that ObamaCare will explode on the launch pad just as midterm elections get going, the Obama administration seeks to pin blame on Republicans. Good luck with that.

Well, let’s think about that for a moment.

The Ministry of Truth is there to lie repeatedly with great gusto to ignorant masses 24/7/365.

Tell a Lie often enough and it can become truth, especially with low and no info voters.

After all, they bought the “Vote For Me the other guys an asshole” Campaign Strategy that Obama had last campaign season.

And he’s still in Campaign mode and still raising money.

It won’t be easy since it was and is his singularly most proud moment. But that just makes the lies more challenging.

Earlier this week, Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she didn’t realize how complicated getting ObamaCare off the ground would be.

So you just blame the Republicans for “obstructing” the process as usual. That at least has worked on the moron peasant crowd before.

Sebelius complained that “no one fully anticipated” the difficulties involved in implementing ObamaCare, or how confusing it would be with the public.

Hey, the 2,700 pages of crap that no one in the Congress or The Administration actually read wasn’t a clue!

She wasn’t talking about the massive and impossible task of imposing central planning on one-sixth of the nation’s economy.

Because that was the goal all along and they wanted that. They want to control everyone and everything eventually.

Instead, she was trying to find a way to blame Republicans for ObamaCare’s failures when the inevitable problems start emerging.

And since the Republicans want to get rid of it, lets blame them for the problems and say they created them by trying to “piece meal” UNDO it or there obstruction is “causing” the problems.

Just like doing it to begin with “piece meal” was bad, according to the Left. Which is what the Republicans wanted, if anything.

Then you blame the Republicans “friends”, the industry, rich people, etc… and you have your class warfare element and your next “throw grandma/poor off the cliff” ad.

Rather than say “let’s get on board, let’s make this work,” recalcitrant Republicans have forced her to engage in “state-by-state political battles,” Sebelius said at a Harvard School of Public Health forum. “The politics has been relentless.”

So the war is the Republican’s fault. If they had just let them do it all without a fight there wouldn’t be these problems!

Of course, there would be, probably even worse than these, but that’s not how this game is played.

So let’s see if we get this. Democrats shoved an unpopular, expensive, ill-conceived and poorly written law down the country’s throat with no Republican support, and without bothering to see whether states would want to take on the thankless and costly task of helping the feds implement it.

Yes. So it MUST Be their fault! 🙂

It sure as hell can’t be the Democrats fault. There intentions and ambitions were pure as the driven snow. They are the Angels of Mercy and Compassion…Besides, they can lie about the votes and the support. Hell, that was 4 years ago, the low or no information moron won’t remember it and if we lie about the History well enough…

And now that many of these states are rebelling, it’s the Republicans’ fault?

Of Course it is. Any time you rebel against the yoke of your Morally and Politically Superior Masters on The Left it’s your Fault! 🙂

Sebelius’ fellow Democrat, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, had a more accurate take on the problem the administration faces: the law is “probably the most complicated piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress” and “if it isn’t done right the first time, it will just simply get worse.”

Or it could just be worse to begin with… 🙂

Rockefeller, like a growing number of Democrats, realizes that ObamaCare is shaping up to be a political disaster for the party next November.

So we have to start the Campaign Now to blame someone else for it!

The influential Cook Political Report noted earlier this month that almost all of the Democratic insiders they talked to “voiced concern about the potential for the issue to hurt Democrats in 2014.”

And just what could explain these concerns?

Maybe it’s because even Sebelius now admits that ObamaCare will force insurance claims up 32%.

Gee, that’s a bit of a ways from lowering your premiums by thousands of dollars.

Or possibly it’s because, despite endless assurances that the insurance exchanges would be ready on time, the administration had to delay for a year a key feature meant to give small business a choice of health plans.

Or because neither Sebelius nor the states have provided evidence they can get the rest of the exchanges ready by Oct. 1, when ObamaCare’s open enrollment begins.

Or that a key provision, The High Risk Pool (pre-existing conditions) portion is already bankrupt NOW and will need a “bailout” by the time this all kicks off. 🙂

Or perhaps Democrats’ fears stem from state insurance commissioners warning of a rate shock once ObamaCare’s “community rating” rules and benefit mandates start. Or from rising evidence the law is hurting job growth as small businesses try to avoid its costs.

Townhall: The $1.3 trillion U.S. health-care system overhaul is getting more expensive and will initially accomplish less than intended. Costs for a network of health-insurance exchanges, a core part of the Affordable Care Act, have swelled to $4.4 billion for fiscal 2012 and 2013 combined, and will reach $5.7 billion in 2014, according to the budget President Barack Obama yesterday sent to Congress. That spending would be more than double initial projections, even though less than half the 50 U.S. states are participating. The unanticipated spending is a consequence of an ambitious timetable dictated by Congress and a complex new way of offering people medical coverage, say analysts, lobbyists and administration officials. Combine that with a majority of Republican governors declining to cooperate with a Democratic president and U.S. regulators are left grasping to get the 2010 health law up and running by a Jan. 1, 2014, deadline. For the areas that money can’t solve, the Obama administration is opting for delay. It temporarily backed off some provisions of the law, including restrictions on coverage for executives and a promise to offer small businesses greater choices of health plans. 

And there are still the 1,700 Waivers they gave their friends.
Costing more, and doing less.  What a deal. (sounds like a typical liberal idea) Remember, the federal government simply assumed that every state would set up its own exchange — despite strong public opposition to the law, and high associated costs coupled with heavy-handed federal mandates with scant flexibility.

Oh course they did. They are the Morally Superior Left. Everyone loves them because they are so vastly superior to you morons that you’ll just roll over and do whatever they want you to do.

Why would anyone question that?

And if you fight them, then they have to be the Parent who blames the other one for wanting to be so mean because they are so perfect it can’t possibly be their fault.

None of this, mind you, has anything to do with Republicans. And if the GOP were smart, it’d be focused on making sure that, come next November, the public knows that, too. (IBD)

Yeah, but I’m not convinced they are that smart. They don’t have a great track record of it lately. Especially with “Jar Jar” Boehner at the helm.

Conservatives must resist the temptation to bury their heads in the sand for possible short term political advantage.  That’s what liberals are for!

Which means come 2014 we won’t smell success against Obamacare, just more Skunk spray.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

Less is More

Hilariously disingenuous Quote of 2013 so far, Our Dear Leader:

“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” Obama said from atop the Capitol steps overlooking the National Mall.

Remind of the Tucson “Civility” Speech a year ago:

“But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -– at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do -– it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

Too Bad he doesn’t mean a word of it and his minions will not heed these word for even a microsecond and he knows that. This stuff is for the consumption of the stupid, ill-informed, I-don’t-wanna-know voter and for the Liberal media for fawn over.

In short, it’s for the stupid and uniformed “peasant” masses and your King is just giving a lofty speech of  Sound and Fury signifying nothing!

And The Ministry of Truth is doing it’s job and be a sycophant and fawn all over his gloriousness.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” the president said.

But the threat posed by his over-the-top spending. Let’s not be to be too hasty. Let’s go slow. Let’s do next to nothing.

It’s not on the Agenda so it really doesn’t matter.

He said America must not rest until “all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.”

Santa Claus is coming to town and the distractions are looking good for him.

We are from the Government and we are here to help you… 🙂

Officially, some 23 million people don’t have regular work. While official unemployment has dipped below 8%, the real unemployment rate — the one that counts discouraged workers and those who’d like full-time jobs but can’t find one — is 14.4%. (Which is actually higher than 4 years ago!!)

Yes, we know, this is a tired litany. And yet, have we become as a people so inured to Obama’s failure that we no longer take note of it?

After all, if you complain about it your just a hateful, divisive, ne’er-do-well who just wants everything to fail. You have no hope. Obama is your only hope!

FEAR IS HOPE!

Worse, do we just do nothing, letting Obama’s ruinous Keynesian experiments take their course?

The Liberal Media will bash into the ground worse than The Incredible Hulk jumping up and down on your carcass if you don’t play along.

During Obama’s first weeks in office in early 2009, hopes were high. At the time, he promised that, if Congress passed his $830 billion stimulus right away, by December of 2012 unemployment would be 5.2%.

Well, guess what: it’s 7.8%. (and that’s what it was 4 years ago at this time!)

That’s failure enough. But it’s far worse than even that. Today, we are still 4 million jobs below the pre-recession peak of employment. Just 460,000 jobs total have been created during Obama’s tenure.

But the Liberal will tell you it’s millions because of their fuzzy, dishonest partisan Math “skills”. But how do you create millions of jobs but still have the same unemployment rate (U3) but a higher U6??

They won’t answer that. You’re not supposed to ask that.

At the current rate of 151,000 new jobs a month with about 120,000 new entrants into the workforce each month, it would take, oh, until about 2024 just to get back to the our pre-recession peak in employment.

Today, the average time spent unemployed by those who lose jobs is 39.7 weeks — near its highest since the Great Depression. Some 4.8 million Americans are long-term unemployed, a national disgrace. Meanwhile, unemployment rates for youths and minorities are stuck at double-digit levels.

Beneath all these depressing statistics is a hard fact: The Obama economy has horribly underperformed.

But you’ll never here that from the Ministry of Truth or Obama’s Minions. They have done an ‘outstanding’ job against the odds considering how much evil they have had to fight because of George W. Bush! And those evil “obstructionist” Republicans who just want to kiss the rich and kill the poor. And let’s not even talk about the violent domestic terrorists, The Tea Party!! Pure abominations they all are.

Just have to give them more time. GWB’s evil is ever present and ever-growing to them.

The long-term GDP growth average for the U.S. is about 2.5% annually. Under Obama, growth has averaged about 1.6%. All told, therefore, our our GDP today is 9% less, or $1.4 trillion less, than it should be. That’s what the Obama economy has cost you.

And the service on the debt now is $1.4 Trillion a year. That’s one hell of a minimum credit card payment!

Obama has spent four years not passing budgets, running up trillion-dollar deficits, piling on $6 trillion in debt, spending $800 billion on phony “stimulus,” while hitting businesses large and small with an estimated $518 billion in new regulations.

And that doesn’t include the coming hit from new taxes contained in the fiscal cliff deal and ObamaCare that will start hitting entrepreneurs and small businesses this year. In short, don’t expect boom times. (IBD)

Expect Less. He’ll meet your expectations and everyone will be happy.
Now that’s an America every one can get behind.
Sounds Great. Less Results!
Don’t look to the Sky, Look at your Feet!
Strive for Less and you’ll succeed!!
Now that’s America 2013! Be Loud and Proud! 🙂
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

It was Bush’s Fault! Damn Republicans…

Facing the Future

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Every time you use your credit card, the store pays up to 3 percent of your total purchase to the credit card company. It’s called a “swipe fee” and now some fed-up retailers are getting ready to pass this cost on to you, in the form of a surcharge.

And this includes your Debit Card with the Visa or MasterCard logo.

While others want to reward you for paying with cash.

Paper or plastic? It’s a simple choice, but it’s about to get a lot more complicated, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported.

“You’re going to start to see retailers really weighing what they’re going to charge consumers for using a credit card,” said Kelli Grant of Smart Money magazine.

That’s right, major retailers — from supermarkets to drug stores — may soon be charging you more if you choose to pay for an item with a credit card, instead of paying with cash.

“An extra 2 to 3 percent,” Grant said.

It’s all because Visa-MasterCard and several major banks settled a long running lawsuit alleging they conspired to fix “swipe fees.”

As part of the settlement, retailers are now allowed to charge customers a surcharge if they pay with plastic.

“It’s going to be, for consumers, an interesting dance of convenience versus cash,” Grant said.

Grant, a consumer expert, said up until now most business owners rolled the cost of processing a credit card into the prices customers pay. But for businesses that sell small-ticket items and are hit hard by 3 percent swipe fees, it may make more sense to ask for the surcharge.

“To actually discourage people from paying credit when they think ideally you should be paying cash,” Grant said.

Conversely, retailers may also start offering discounts to those paying with cash, a practice that’s not completely foreign and seems to be growing with small business owners.

“If you want to pay by cash, we’ll be more than happy to give you a cash discount for not using a credit card,” said Tony Dicesare of Auto Body Service in New Jersey.

It’s becoming such a popular practice there’s even a website that tracks businesses that offer “discounts with cash” by zip code.

“If I can get an incentive to do so, I have no problem doing that,” one consumer told Smith.

Overall, people Smith spoke with have mixed feelings on the cash-versus-credit options.

“Merchants are going to do what the merchants are going to do and people are either going to pay it or not,” one person said.

But consumer experts said it’s a great way to help your bottom line.

“Not only are you able to stick within your budget but you might actually save a little bit of money, too,” Grant said.

If you’re buying an expensive item, experts said it’s better to pay with a credit card so you’re protected should the product be defective or not as advertised.

These changes won’t happen overnight. Computer systems, price tags and employees will all have to be updated by stores who choose to offer two different prices for cash and credit.

DNC: ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK

Mathews Pierson, director of politics at CBS Local Media, said negative attack ads work better than presenting someone’s success.

“Everyone complains about negative campaigning, but we keep doing it for one really simple reason: it works,” Pierson told CBSDC. “The same voter who tells you he doesn’t want to see anymore of it will then tell you something bad about Mitt Romney that he certainly didn’t learn doing his own research. “

Pierson explained that constantly using attack ads on the DNC’s front page will help to “rev up activists.”

“Driving Romney’s negatives is working to engage activists and generate press coverage to keep pressing until it doesn’t,” Pierson said. “Also, while most of the public is tuned-out and hitting the beach, if every time they tune in they hear the negative Romney narrative it can solidify their opinion of him before they truly start paying attention to the race this fall.”

And it will only get worse with 100 days to go.

OBAMACARE

In the Inland Empire, an economically depressed region in Southern California, President Obama’s health care lawis expected to extend insurance coverage to more than 300,000 people by 2014. But coverage will not necessarily translate into care: Local health experts doubt there will be enough doctors to meet the area’s needs. There are not enough now.

And what happens when demand goes up and supply doesn’t?? And then even, many doctors won’t take you on ObamaCare. So that make this even more fun.

The New York Times

 

Other places around the country, including the Mississippi Delta, Detroit and suburban Phoenix, face similar problems. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000.

Health experts, including many who support the law, say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. It typically takes a decade to train a doctor.

“We have a shortage of every kind of doctor, except for plastic surgeons and dermatologists,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, the dean of the new medical school at the University of California, Riverside, founded in part to address the region’s doctor shortage. “We’ll have a 5,000-physician shortage in 10 years, no matter what anybody does.”

Experts describe a doctor shortage as an “invisible problem.” Patients still get care, but the process is often slow and difficult. In Riverside, it has left residents driving long distances to doctors, languishing on waiting lists, overusing emergency rooms and even forgoing care.

“It results in delayed care and higher levels of acuity,” said Dustin Corcoran, the chief executive of the California Medical Association, which represents 35,000 physicians. People “access the health care system through the emergency department, rather than establishing a relationship with a primary care physician who might keep them from getting sicker.”

In the Inland Empire, encompassing the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, the shortage of doctors is already severe. The population of Riverside County swelled 42 percent in the 2000s, gaining more than 644,000 people. It has continued to grow despite the collapse of one of the country’s biggest property bubbles and a jobless rate of 11.8 percent in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area.

But the growth in the number of physicians has lagged, in no small part because the area has trouble attracting doctors, who might make more money and prefer living in nearby Orange County or Los Angeles.

A government council has recommended that a given region have 60 to 80 primary care doctors per 100,000 residents, and 85 to 105 specialists. The Inland Empire has about 40 primary care doctors and 70 specialists per 100,000 residents — the worst shortage in California, in both cases.

Moreover, across the country, fewer than half of primary care clinicians were accepting new Medicaid patients as of 2008, making it hard for the poor to find care even when they are eligible for Medicaid. The expansion of Medicaid accounts for more than one-third of the overall growth in coverage in President Obama’s health care law.

Providers say they are bracing for the surge of the newly insured into an already strained system.

Temetry Lindsey, the chief executive of Inland Behavioral & Health Services, which provides medical care to about 12,000 area residents, many of them low income, said she was speeding patient-processing systems, packing doctors’ schedules tighter and seeking to hire more physicians.

“We know we are going to be overrun at some point,” Ms. Lindsey said, estimating that the clinics would see new demand from 10,000 to 25,000 residents by 2014. She added that hiring new doctors had proved a struggle, in part because of the “stigma” of working in this part of California.

Across the country, a factor increasing demand, along with expansion of coverage in the law and simple population growth, is the aging of the baby boom generation. Medicare officials predict that enrollment will surge to 73.2 million in 2025, up 44 percent from 50.7 million this year.

“Older Americans require significantly more health care,” said Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, the president of the Association of American Medical Colleges. “Older individuals are more likely to have multiple chronic conditions, requiring more intensive, coordinated care.”

The pool of doctors has not kept pace, and will not, health experts said. Medical school enrollment is increasing, but not as fast as the population. The number of training positions for medical school graduates is lagging. Younger doctors are on average working fewer hours than their predecessors. And about a third of the country’s doctors are 55 or older, and nearing retirement.

Physician compensation is also an issue. The proportion of medical students choosing to enter primary care has declined in the past 15 years, as average earnings for primary care doctors and specialists, like orthopedic surgeons and radiologists, have diverged. A study by the Medical Group Management Association found that in 2010, primary care doctors made about $200,000 a year. Specialists often made twice as much.

The Obama administration has sought to ease the shortage. The health care law increases Medicaid’s primary care payment rates in 2013 and 2014. It also includes money to train new primary care doctors, reward them for working in underserved communities and strengthen community health centers.

But the provisions within the law are expected to increase the number of primary care doctors by perhaps 3,000 in the coming decade. Communities around the country need about 45,000.

Many health experts in California said that while they welcomed the expansion of coverage, they expected that the state simply would not be ready for the new demand. “It’s going to be necessary to use the resources that we have smarter” in light of the doctor shortages, said Dr. Mark D. Smith, who heads the California HealthCare Foundation, a nonprofit group.

Dr. Smith said building more walk-in clinics, allowing nurses to provide more care and encouraging doctors to work in teams would all be part of the answer. Mr. Corcoran of the California Medical Association also said the state would need to stop cutting Medicaid payment rates; instead, it needed to increase them to make seeing those patients economically feasible for doctors.

More doctors might be part of the answer as well. The U.C. Riverside medical school is hoping to enroll its first students in August 2013, and is planning a number of policies to encourage its graduates to stay in the area and practice primary care.

But Dr. Olds said changing how doctors provided care would be more important than minting new doctors. “I’m only adding 22 new students to this equation,” he said. “That’s not enough to put a dent in a 5,000-doctor shortage.” (NYT)

Low supply and high demand= High prices. Higher Prices= lessm likely your boss will keep your health insurance.

So then you go into the IRS enforced government system that get overloaded and the price goes up.

Suddenly, they need to cut costs, so guess what happens when the government controls life and death… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

I’m Shocked!…NOT!

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

This year, Americans have to work until July 15 to pay for the burden of government, more than six months.

In a new report,  Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has calculated that Americans will spend a total of 197 days toiling to pay for the cost of government.

“Cost of Government Day is the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels,” reads the report.

The report, Cost of Government Day, shows that Americans will work 88 days to pay for federal spending; 40 days for state and local spending; and 69 days for total regulatory costs.

“From a different perspective, the cost of government makes up 54.0 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP),” reads the report. “What’s more, the largest tax hike in the nation’s history is scheduled to take place at the end of 2012 unless Congress acts to protect taxpayers. If this tax increase is allowed to hit, COGD [Cost of Government Day] could permanently be pushed back into August and beyond.”(CNS)

And the liberals want even MORE government and EVEN MORE SPENDING!

Aren’t you excited!!! 🙂

******

The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee released the following chart yesterday, detailing the rising projected cost of President Obama’s signature legislation, Obamacare:

via The Weekly Standard

Senate Budget Committee Republicans

The latest estimate, as the chart details, is that Obamacare will cost $2.6 trillion dollars in its first real decade. The bill does not fully go into effect until 2014, therefore the estimate begins with that year.

“President Obama promised a joint session of Congress in 2009 to spend $900 billion over ten years on his health care law: ‘Now, add it all up, and the plan that I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.’ Adding up all the different spending provisions in the health care law, however, (including closing the Medicare ‘donut hole,’ implementation costs, and other spending) total gross spending over the FY 2010–19 period is about $1.4 trillion, based on CBO estimates,” the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff explains. “And most of the major spending provisions in the law do not even take effect until 2014. Congressional Democrats delayed these provisions in order to show only six years of spending under the plan in the original 10-year budget window (from FY2010-19) used by CBO at the time the law was enacted. Therefore, the original estimate concealed the fact that most of the law’s spending only doesn’t even begin until four years into the 10-year window. A Senate Budget Committee analysis (based on CBO estimates and growth rates) finds that that total spending under the law will amount to at least $2.6 trillion over a true 10-year period (from FY2014–23) — not $900 billion, as President Obama originally promised.”

The chart is being released now to coincide with the House vote later today to repeal Obamacare.

As the chart notes, “Estimates of the gross outlays under the President’s health care law in nominal dollars using CBO estimates of major coverage provisions, as well as Senate Budget Committee Republican projections based on CBO estimates of the remaining costs.” (Weekly Standard)

******

Justice Roberts’s Image-Over-Substance Decision on The Obamacare Tax:

Negative opinions of the Supreme Court jumped in the wake of its ruling on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released on Thursday that shows the percentage who have an unfavorable opinion of the Court is higher than at any point since Pew began tracking it in 1985.

Democrats have a slightly-improved view of the Court: 64 percent view it favorably, compared to 52 percent in April. But the Court’s standing among Republicans has plummeted, accounting for the overall decline.

So I guess he got what HE wanted, but we got the shaft!

Gee, why am I not surprised…

TELL ME A STORY…

“When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well,” the president said, “the mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”

Mr. Obama acknowledged the dissonance between others’ perception of his strength as an expert orator, and his own.

“It’s funny – when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?” he said. “And in my first two years, I think the notion was, ‘Well, he’s been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where’s the story that tells us where he’s going?’ And I think that was a legitimate criticism.”

Pressed by Rose about what he felt he needed to explain better to the American people, the president corrected that he wanted to do more “explaining, but also inspiring.”

“Because hope is still there,” Mrs. Obama added.

Gosh you guys, wouldn’t we all be better off if Obama told us more about the “story” of the presidency? Isn’t that why the unemployment rate is stuck at 8.2%, or why so many have lost their homes and their jobs, because the president hasn’t talked about himself enough? Astoundingly, appallingly arrogant.

I suppose this also means he doesn’t consider the Fast and Furious scandal — nor the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and two Americans — a mistake. He doesn’t consider the growth of the deficit, and his lack of a real plan to address it, a mistake. He certainly doesn’t consider the irreparable damage he’s done to American political discourse — attempting to shame the Supreme Court into ruling his way, or falsely attributing Gabby Giffords’ tragic shooting to Republican rhetoric — a mistake. Heck, for him, those are all just part of the job, when you’re a serial campaigner and an incapable leader.

As if Americans needed another reason to throw him out of office this November, he’s just given it to us. Unless, of course, you want to have perpetual “inspiration” and no job.

I think I’ve had enough Liberal Fairy Tale Economics to last several life times, Mr President.

I’d take a rich, white robot with a plan over an orator with an over-the-top ego any day. 🙂

NOVEMBER IS COMING!

Bad Advice

Michael Ramirez Cartoon 

White House senior adviser David Plouffe said on Sunday Republicans want “huge tax cuts for the wealthy, more war, more debt.” 

“They want to return us back to the same policies that caused the recession — huge tax cuts for the wealthy, more war, more debt. And independent economists last week just said the Romney congressional agenda would cause us harm in the short term economically and slow down the recovery. So that’s the wrong direction,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

And it’s own mid-june. Imagine what the hype ,the lies, distortions,and rhetoric is going to be in 4 months! 🙂

Video from 1994 has surfaced of David Axelrod, President Obama’s chief campaign strategist, calling former President George H.W. Bush “out of touch” for “tastelessly” playing golf while trying to convince voters that the economy is improving.

“Bush tastelessly did it, often from the ninth hole, and from the cigar boat and other places,” Axelrod said.

Added the adviser: “The impression you got was that he was out of touch.”

President Obama rolled out of his Kenwood, Chicago home Sunday morning and headed to out to play his 100th round of golf since becoming president.
Obama has already played golf eight times this year. He actually is a little off his normal pace – perhaps campaigning is intruding on golf. The president golfed 28 times in 2009, 30 times in 2010, and an incredible 34 times in 2011.
But he’s the “First Black President” so I must be a racist for pointing out that Bush never played this many rounds and actually quit playing because of the criticism. 🙂
After all, he wants what he wants when he wants it.

This was 1987 folks. Gee, I guess only Liberals want to yell at Presidents  but you’re never supposed to do it to them.

Gee, that trend of Don’t Do as I do, Do as I say and I can do it but you can’t isn’t the accepted norm with Liberals.

Well, time to stop drinking that Big Gulp  and “Let’s Move” and do a “little weed” just like the President did when he was younger and now all the 60’s hippies want to you to do it now too.

Cigarettes Vs. Marijuana

The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, found that 9 percent of teens (nearly 1.5 million) smoked marijuana heavily (at least 20 times) in the past month. Overall, past-month heavy marijuana use is up 80 percent among U.S. teens since 2008.

Past-month use is up 42 percent (up from 19 percent in 2008 to 27 percent in 2011, which translates to about 4 million teens).

Past-year use is up 26 percent (up from 31 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2011, which translates to about 6 million teens).

Lifetime use is up 21 percent (up from 39 percent in 2008 to 47 percent in 2011, which translates to nearly 8 million teens). (MarketWatch)

And many can drive! Doesn’t that just make you feel better about Big Gulps! 🙂

Smoking rates have declined with 22 percent of teens reporting smoking cigarettes in the past month — down 19 percent from 27 percent last year.

Could that be because the dangers of smoking have been hammered for 2 decades?

So education on the dangers of smoking have worked. And so has the education on the harmlessness of pot has too. And that’s the fault of the War on Drugs.

Ah, doublethink…

Although the U.S. arrests 750,000 people every year for nothing more than possessing a small amount of marijuana, teens consistently report that marijuana is easier to obtain than alcohol. (Huffington Post)

So stop smoking cigarettes because they are bad for you, toke some weed instead! 🙂

Like for for sure, dude!

Stoners Rights!

And gee, what is one of the major things smuggled by the drug runner across the US’s “more secure than ever” Southern Border…marijuana. 🙂

So in order to solve the problem we don’t less people using it, we just need more government control of it! Sigh…

UNION GRAFT

In speech after speech, President Obama credits himself for saving the Detroit auto industry. Turns out that what Obama really did was spend $23 billion in taxpayer money to pay off his union friends.

Even if you think the bailout was needed, the ultimate taxpayer cost was far higher than it should have been, according to a new report by Zywicki and James Sherk, published by the Heritage Foundation.

Worse, the entire $23 billion price tag — an estimate from Obama’s own Treasury Dept. — went to subsidize the Democrat-friendly UAW, the authors found.

Among the union giveaways:

• $21 billion more for the UAW retiree benefit trust fund than it would have received had it been treated like other unsecured creditors.

• Another $1 billion to restore pensions for UAW retirees at GM’s defunct Delphi subsidiary.

• And the UAW didn’t have to make wage concessions that a normal bankruptcy proceeding would have required. Cost to taxpayers: $4 billion.

“Had the administration required the UAW to accept standard bankruptcy concessions,” they concluded, “the government could have executed the bailout at no net cost to taxpayers.”

Obama’s former car czar, Ron Bloom, wasn’t kidding when he said of the bailout: “I did this all for the unions.” (IBD)

ILLEGALS

In his most brazen act of pandering to date, President Obama has dangled de facto amnesty to 800,000 illegal immigrants in a shameless bid to win Latino votes. This is pure banana-republic electoral politics.

After all, with no Voter ID required (because Holder and Company will shut you done if you do) but you have amnesty and a “work permit” why not vote for Obama and the Democrats. 🙂

There’s zero doubt Obama’s Friday order to hand work permits to hundreds of thousands of illegals who claim they were brought here as children is merely an embattled and unpopular president’s bid to gain an electoral edge.

Politics trump all other factors that a responsible president would consider, such as the wisdom of dumping nearly a million new job seekers onto the market to compete for jobs with America’s 26 million unemployed at a time of sky-high unemployment.

First, Democratic strategists have stated repeatedly that Obama, whose popularity is below 50% in polls, must win the Latino vote at all costs, particularly in swing states. Obama’s move panders to them.

Second, it closely follows the Dream Act prescription, favored by the open-borders lobby, the one group he must please to secure the votes. The Act stalled in Congress for lack of votes amid high public opposition.

It also comes as a flip-flop. Obama has told his supporters in the past that he couldn’t take such a brazen step, knowing that its legality and clear usurpation of congressional authority would be questioned.

And it was — by GOP Senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Marco Rubio of Florida. Apparently, now that Obama’s re-election is on the line, anything goes.

But it’s the time frame that really gives the game away: The relief from deportation orders will be meted out in two-year increments, timed precisely with each election cycle. That way, Democrats can tell the Latino lobby to either mobilize the vote for them — or the amnesty goodies end.

This is no different from banana-republic politicos buying votes for bags of beans. Obama’s gambit is in fact straight from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who, facing a tight recall referendum in 2004, handed citizenship to 2 million illegal immigrants in Venezuela to secure votes, and with Jimmy Carter’s help, won.

It’s also been done in that other banana-republic, California, where in 2003, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis offered drivers licenses to millions of illegals to secure Latino votes for his own recall referendum. It maddened California’s voters and Davis was booted.

Obama is betting that America’s voters will behave more like Venezuelans than Californians, but the tragic thing is that he’s harming the interests of the country.

Illegals with criminal pasts that can be punished with less than a year in the slammer will be fully eligible.

What’s more, our system of law will be corrupted, as officials assure the work permits are handed out on a “case-by-case basis,” an ideal setup for bribes and kickbacks. Rubio warns the move will encourage more illegal immigration — and discourage legal migrants.

The losers here are the American people, who have a leader who seems more interested in short-term political gain than actual governance — and who seems oblivious to the disruption this new amnesty policy will cause as the rule of law is undermined.

November can’t come soon enough. (IBD)

Especially, with advice like this.

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

 

The Cost

Reform: Remember when Nancy Pelosi promised that Americans would fall in love with ObamaCare once it was the law of the land? Turns out barely half of Democrats now like it.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has tracked public support for ObamaCare since the law was passed. It’s never been very popular, but now support has hit a new low of 34% due in part to erosion in Obama’s own party. The month ObamaCare passed, more than three of four Democrats approved of it. Now, just over half do, and only one in five has a “very favorable” view. Even worse, just 27% of Democrats think the law will make them and their families better off.

But how can this be, loyalists ask, when ObamaCare is already helping people? Just ask any “adult child” on his parents’ health plan, or all those small businesses benefiting from the insurance premium tax credit?

But as each month brings new Obama-Care failures, fewer Democrats seem to be buying such baloney.

Thanks to “reform,” for example, insurance premiums shot up 9.5% this year, reversing a decade-long trend toward lower annual increases. Just a few days ago, the White House was forced to abandon the law’s long-term care insurance provision because it was financially unworkable. And it’s had to pass out more than 1,500 waivers to prevent millions from losing coverage. The temporary “high risk” pools meant to help those with pre-existing conditions are a bust.

And we haven’t even mentioned the pernicious and wildly unpopular centerpiece of ObamaCare — the mandate that everyone buy insurance or else. This is scheduled to start in 26 months, unless the Supreme Court finds it unconstitutional.

Every Republican presidential candidate has called for repealing this mess before it can do any more damage. Repeal will never happen, though, as long as Obama sits in the White House. And should the GOP fail to win the next election, by 2017 it will be all but impossible to unscramble the ObamaCare egg.

Fortunately, the more the public understands the stakes involved, the more likely Obama will be safely back in Chicago in 2013, while a Republican president happily flushes ObamaCare down the drain.

When President Obama announced changes to rules on repaying college student loans, he said his goal was to ease the financial burden of getting a degree.

“We’ve made it a priority to make college more affordable, reduce your student loan debt,” he told students in Denver, unveiling his plans to make it easier for college graduates to get out from under their debt obligations.

But if the history of college financial aid (and other government attempts to protect consumers from costs) is any guide, Obama’s plan will likely backfire.

Over the past three decades, financial aid has rocketed up 438% after inflation, says the College Board. That’s largely due to huge hikes in more than a dozen federal grant and loan programs.

“By providing aid and subsidized loans, the government is trying to protect students, but the effect is perverse,” said Jane Shaw, president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, N.C. “They increase demand and enable colleges to hike tuitions virtually without restraint.”

An increase in the average student loan of $1 was associated with net tuition that’s 93 cents higher at public schools and 55 cents higher at private schools, according to Andrew Gillen of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

A 2007 study by University of Oregon economists concluded that colleges “tend to absorb most federal student aid by increasing their tuition revenue,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

That doesn’t necessarily mean students are getting a better education. From 1993 to 2007, per-student spending on administration climbed twice as fast as spending on instruction, a Goldwater Institute study found.

The same phenomenon has occurred in health care, where government for decades has worked to shield consumers from direct costs, fueling health care cost inflation by encouraging demand and giving doctors and hospitals greater license to raise prices.

Today, the government pays directly for over 44% of care, according to data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

And federal tax policy encourages generous employer-provided insurance by deducting premium costs from taxable income, a $100 billion-plus annual subsidy, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The 2,156 state benefit mandates further insulate consumers from the direct costs.

Consumers now pay just 12% of the nation’s health care tab out of pocket vs. nearly half in 1960, fueling much of the nation’s health care inflationary spiral.

“Providers aren’t competing for business based on price,” said John Goodman, president of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. “And if they’re not competing on price, they have no reason to lower cost.”

And education and health care fixes almost always add to these existing subsidies, providing still more inflationary fuel.

ObamaCare will further cut out-of-pocket spending by expanding insurance coverage and requiring more generous benefits.

When it comes to college education, the last three presidents all passed huge increases in aid,with each boasting that theirs was the biggest investment in college “since the G.I. Bill.”

Shaw said, “Government will keep doing what it’s doing until there’s a broad understanding by the public of the adverse effects produced by these attempts to shield consumers from costs.”(IBD)

So keep ripping the band-aid off slowly and it will hurt longer. But at least, that way the Democrats can mile the blame someone else for it longer. Now that’s a up-side! 🙂

While speaking at Virginia Democratic Senate Caucus fundraiser today, former President Bill Clinton claimed that no successful country on earth operates on the notion that government is the problem. He then listed a variety of things that the government “provides” for the people, including affordable healthcare, economic opportunity, education opportunity and “getting to the future.”

Considering test scores have decreased significantly since the Department of Education was founded, healthcare premiums have skyrocketed with the passing of ObamaCare and the economy isn’t growing because of smothering government regulation, I’d say Clinton is a bit off the  mark on this one. (Katie Pavlich).

Now say it with me y’all: IT”S THE REPUBLICAN’s FAULT! IT’s THE “RICH”‘s Fault! IT’s THE TEA PARTY’s FAULT!

Ta Da! Problem solved! 🙂

http://www.mrctv.org/videos/businesswoman-closes-shop-after-threats-occupy-san-diego-moochers

Oh, and that Blizzard, in the Northeast–Global Warming! 🙂

Enjoy.

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

No Groping either!

 

It’s All Politics Folks!

The Obama campaign sent out an email today asking supporters to urge Congress to at least vote on the president’s jobs bill almost immediately after Democratic majority leader Harry Reid blocked a vote on the bill in the Senate.

On the Senate floor today, Republican leader Mitch McConnell asked for unanimous consent to proceed on voting on the bill. Reid, who has struggled to find enough votes for the bill in the Democratic caucus, objected to the motion and killed the opportunity for a vote. 

About ten minutes later, Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, emailed this message to supporters:

President Obama is in Dallas today urging Americans who support the American Jobs Act to demand that Congress pass it already.

Though it’s been nearly a month since he laid out this plan, House Republicans haven’t acted to pass it. And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out there actually bragging that they won’t even put the jobs package up for a vote — ever.

It’s not clear which part of the bill they now object to: building roads, hiring teachers, getting veterans back to work. They’re willing to block the American Jobs Act — and they think you won’t do anything about it.

But here’s something you can do: Find Republican members of Congress on Twitter, call them out, and demand they pass this bill.

So will the Obama campaign be asking its supporters to “call out” Harry Reid and “demand” he and Senate Democrats pass the bill?

So they want the bill passed now, they just don’t want the bill passed NOW!. Hilarious!

It just proves that the bill was not designed to be passed by Congress but to blame the Republicans for NOT passing it. A purely partisan political maneuver rather than an actual plan.

Fascinating. And very typical of the Left and Obama. Cheap political points and childish “gotcha” moments over anything that’s actually serious.

The legislative gambit will not bar a Senate vote on the bill later this month, but it blunts a Democratic effort to maneuver the GOP into accepting sole responsibility for blocking the package that includes provisions that are popular with voters.

McConnell noted that Obama has asked Congress for an immediate vote on the measure at least 12 separate times.

“I want to disabuse [Obama] of the notion that we are somehow unwilling to vote” on the bill, McConnell said.

Reid objected to McConnell’s request. He used a procedural tactic to block amendments to the bill. “To tack this on to the China currency manipulation legislation is nothing more than a political stunt,” he said. (Weekly Standard)

So was the “pass the bill” crap. But that was their stunt and wasn’t a stunt because they were doing it. 🙂

But it’s nice to see the Republicans doing something other than rolling over and “compromising”.

Oh, and by the way–Eric Holder was warned about Fast & Furious over a year ago. Just thought you’d like to know that “justice” and truth is alive and well in the Obama Administration. 🙂

New documents obtained by news organizations show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

Internal Justice Department documents show that at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing Fast and Furious.

In Fast and Furious, ATF agents allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to cross the border and fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

It’s called letting guns “walk,” and it remained secret to the public until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered last December. Two guns from Fast and Furious were found at the scene, and ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on the operation.

Ever since, the Justice Department has publicly tried to distance itself. But the new documents leave no doubt that high level Justice officials knew guns were being “walked.”

Oh, and President Obama knew about Solyndra’s potential financial problems BEFORE he even endorsed them but did it anyways for politics and his agenda.

New e-mails released Monday show the White House was warned about Solyndra’s potential problems even before President Obama visited the company’s Fremont, Calif., headquarters and used it as a backdrop for his push for renewable energy investment and green jobs.

“A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” Steve Westly, managing partner of Westly Group, wrote in an e-mail to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on May 24, 2010, a day before the president’s well publicized trip to Solyndra. “[T]here is an increasing concern about the company because their auditors, Coopers and Lybrand, have issued a ‘going concern’ letter … Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term.”

“I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press,” Westly wrote. “If it’s too late to change/postpone the meeting, the president should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy, etc.”

“DOE … has one loan guarantee to monitor and they seem completely oblivious to this issue,” one OMB analyst said to another in an April 2, 2010, email.

“What’s terrifying is that after looking at some of the ones that came next, this one [Solyndra] started to look better,” another OMB e-mail exchange said of Solyndra. “Bad days are coming.” (National Journal)

President Barack Obama’s “green jobs” initiatives suffered another major blow late Monday, as the nonprofit National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, announced a plan to lay off roughly 10 percent of its staff through a voluntary buy-out plan.

According to the Denver Post, the lab plans to eliminate between 100 and 150 of its 1,350 jobs. The Obama administration supported the NREL in 2009 with roughly $200 million in stimulus grants. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu visited Golden in May 2009 to promote the NREL as a beneficiary of those funds. (DC)

Amy Oliver of Colorado’s conservative Independence Institute said one way to look at these potential “green jobs” shortcomings is that the NREL is exaggerating its claims. Oliver told The Daily Caller that the government-funded lab has seen a surge in government funding in recent years.

“Their funding for 2008 was $328 million,” Oliver said in a phone interview. “In 2010 it was $536.5 million. They’ve had a 64 percent increase in their funding during the Obama administration.”

And it’s doing so well! Lots of money down a rat hole and more people get laid off. The perfect Obama plan. 🙂

Candidate Obama pledged in 2008 that he would add 5 million green jobs to the economy, but Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C. now say the White House has stretched what it defines as a “green job” in order to pad its numbers.

At one recent House oversight committee hearing, Republicans prodded Obama’s Labor secretary Hilda Solis to explain why a bus driver who happens to drive a vehicle powered by “green” or “renewable” energy is classified by Obama administration officials as holding a “green job.” Solis struggled with the answer, instead arguing with Florida GOP Rep. Connie Mack, who asked her the question.

Oliver told TheDC that ordinary jobs with peripheral connections to  “renewable energy” are frequently misclassified as “green jobs” in Colorado. With Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter in charge, a strong environmental lobby using local, state and federal government to protect its interests, and news media unwilling to push for answers, Oliver said progressive causes have abused taxpayer dollars at institutions like NREL for years.

The Agenda is The Agenda and reality be damned!
And we have a new class of “saved or created”  ‘green’ Jobs to fudge up the number and puff up the Administration.
Gee, that’s never happened before!!! 🙂
And if you think they don’t want to cover up their skeletons:

In an obvious effort to protect President Barack Obama, a group of congressional Democrats has introduced legislation to create an official process that will allow the commander-in-chief to keep presidential records secret after he leaves office.

Ironically, Obama revoked <http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ExecutiveOrderPresidentialRecords> a similar George W. Bush order in one of his first official acts as president.

That’s far more important than Obama’s “jobs Bill”. 🙂
Isn’t politics, especially on the left, fun. 🙂

The political left has turned obesity among low-income individuals into an argument that low-income people cannot afford nutritious food, and so have to resort to burgers and fries, pizzas and the like, which are more fattening and less healthful. But this attempt to salvage something from the “hunger in America” hoax collapses like a house of cards when you stop and think about it.

Burgers, pizzas and the like cost more than food that you can buy at a store and cook yourself. If you can afford junk food, you can certainly afford healthier food. An article in the New York Times of September 25th by Mark Bittman showed that you can cook a meal for four at half the cost of a meal from a burger restaurant. So far, so good. But then Mr. Bittman says that the problem is “to get people to see cooking as a joy.” For this, he says, “we need action both cultural and political.” In other words, the nanny state to the rescue!

It’s very true that the boxed meals are more expensive than doing it yourself. Fast Food and convenience foods are more expensive in the long run. But making your own food is more time consuming and requires more labor and some skill. Now, does that sound like something a Liberal wants to do when they can just mandate that the government force everyone else to do it for them? 🙂

An arrogant elite’s condescension toward the people — treating them as children who have to be jollied along — is one of the poisonous problems of our time. It is at the heart of the nanny state and the promotion of a debilitating dependency that wins votes for politicians while weakening a society.

Those who see social problems as requiring high-minded people like themselves to come down from their Olympian heights to impose their superior wisdom on the rest of us, down in the valley, are behind such things as the hunger hoax, which is part of the larger poverty hoax.

We have now reached the point where the great majority of the people living below the official poverty level have such things as air-conditioning, microwave ovens, either videocassette recorders or DVD players, and own either a car or a truck.

Why are such people called “poor”? Because they meet the arbitrary criteria established by Washington bureaucrats. Depending on what criteria are used, you can have as much official poverty as you want, regardless of whether it bears any relationship to reality.

Those who believe in an expansive, nanny state government need a large number of people in “poverty” to justify their programs. They also need a large number of people dependent on government to provide the votes needed to keep the big nanny state going.

Politicians, welfare state bureaucrats and others have incentives to create or perpetuate hoaxes, whether about poverty in general or hunger in particular. The high cost to taxpayers is exceeded by the even higher cost of lost opportunities for fulfillment in their lives by those who succumb to the lure of a stagnant life of dependency. (thomas sowell)

But it’s “fair” that the not-poor pay for the poor. That the rich be taken down to benefit the rest of us, right? 🙂

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs)–Karl Marx

And it’s not “fair” that others get more than me. So what if they work harder, longer and are smarter than me. That’s just not “fair”.

It’s all THEIR fault! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Political Cartoons by Bob GorrellPolitical Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
And he’s black! Now that will REALLY annoy the Left! 🙂


The Role of Government

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Obama Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett: “We have to give people a livelihood so they can provide for their families,” Jarrett says in the video. “We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life, a footing, and that’s what government is supposed to do.”

But that’s not socialism or government trying to run your life for you. Nope. Nothing to see here…

Contrast that with Sen. Marco Rubio during a recent speech at the Reagan Presidential Library:

These are proper roles of government — within the framework of creating an environment where economic security and prosperity is possible.  And on the compassion side of the ledger, which is also important to Americans — and it’s important that we remind ourselves of that — I don’t really like labels in politics, but I will gladly accept the label of conservatism. Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about empowering people to catch up, to give them the tools at their disposal that make it possible for them to access all the hope, all the promise, all the opportunity that America offers. And our programs to help them should reflect that.

Now, yes, there are people that cannot help themselves. And those folks we will always help. We are too rich and prosperous a nation to leave them to fend for themselves. But all the others that can work should be given the means of empowering themselves to enter the marketplace and the workforce. And our programs and our policies should reflect that. We do need a safety net, but it cannot be a way of life. It must be there to help those who have fallen, to stand up and try again.
Amen.  Even if you’re a bleeding heart type who’s inclined to agree with Jarrett that the feds ought to take a more proactive role in directly aiding the poor through wealth redistribution, I’d point out that Big Government has done a really lousy job at achieving that goal through the years.  The Democrats’ Great Society and its “war on poverty” has been a wildly costly and tragically ineffective proposition.  More recently, President Obama promised that his 2009 “stimulus” program would “lift two million Americans from poverty.”  Hundreds of billions of dollars later, 2.9 million more Americans have fallen into poverty.  Which is to say nothing of the gutwrenching economic desolation that has afflicted so many of human history’s socialistic dystopias. 

Big, overbearing, meddling government isn’t merely philosophically wrongheaded, it just doesn’t work.  That’s why conservatives are exempliying true compassion when they work to limit the size, scope, and influence of a Leviathan that consumes greedily, but has little to show for it. (Guy Benson)

Speaking of overbearing…

The Obama administration is escalating its crackdown on tough immigration laws, with lawyers reviewing four new state statutes to determine whether the federal government will take the extraordinary step of challenging the measures in court.

Justice Department lawyers have sued Arizona and Alabama, where a federal judge on Wednesday allowed key parts of that state’s immigration law to take effect but blocked other provisions. Federal lawyers are talking to Utah officials about a third possible lawsuit and are considering legal challenges in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina, according to court documents and government officials. (WP)

This would be the same Justice department that refused to prosecute the Black Panther Case, and is trying desperately to cover up the forceable walking of guns into Mexico under “Fast & Furious” amongst many other problems.

But states wanting to crack down on illegal immigration where this government refuses to go, well…That’s just evil. 🙂

He <Obama> told a roundtable of Latino reporters Wednesday that Arizona’s immigration law created “a great danger that naturalized citizens, individuals with Latino surnames, potentially could be vulnerable to questioning. The laws could be potentially abused in ways that were not fair to Latino citizens.”

The same old tired parroted argument that is, of course, utterly false and has been proven to be so. But since when did truth ever stop a liberal from using fear and intimidation? NEVER.

“We can’t have a patchwork of 50 states with 50 different immigration laws.”

We must have only 1 law. Ours. And if we chose to ignore it well too F*cking bad for you you can’t do anything about it! We are all powerful and what we say goes. Period. End of story.

Isn’t Democratic government grand? 🙂

PASS THE BILL

“Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job? Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools? Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?”–President Obama

He’s going to drive the price of straw through the roof if he keeps this up? The army of straw men he’ll have by election time will rival the Chinese Military.
So if you’re against his bill not only are you racist, but heartless, mean, cruel and just want to kick people in the nuts repeatedly!
Emotions must trump logic because logic tells you he’s full of bovine fecal matter!
“Well, this isn’t about giving me a win, and it’s not about [Republicans],” Obama said.

Pinocchio’s nose just grew so long it hit the other side of the universe!
“This isn’t just about what I think is right.”
Yes it is.
Your Ego would have it no other way.
Liberal Economist God Paul Krugman: The truth is that we’re in this mess because we had too little regulation, not too much.
Dozens of infrastructure projects could qualify for expedited treatment under a White House plan to create jobs by cutting through regulatory red tape that critics say is holding up important initiatives.
But I thought we needed MORE regulations? 🙂

President Barack Obama last month ordered Interior, Agriculture, Housing, Transportation and Commerce Department officials to identify by Friday up to three big projects each that could merit faster environmental approvals and other permits. Funding must already be arranged or identified.

Obama is facing a tough re-election fight next year in the face of a stubborn 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Infrastructure projects, which can help state and local economies, are a key part of his job creation strategy.

Administration officials would not discuss proposals while they were under review, but transportation and construction groups say there are at minimum 50 projects in the permit process that could qualify for faster treatment.

Most are winding their way through a federal, state and local maze that often takes several years and can last between 15 and 20 years for the biggest proposals.

“It’s just the whole process itself. The way we build things in this country ensures that it will take decades,” said Mark Policinski, executive director and chief executive of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

But I thought we needed MORE Regulations. 🙂

“We are very interested in any relief the president and his agencies can give us on the red tape that usually ties our projects up for years,” John Horsely, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told Reuters. “I’ve characterized the process we’ve been going through as one step forward, two steps back.”

But I thought we needed MORE Regulations. 🙂

We Need to Spend More. Regulate More. And it is the role of government to make sure everyone is “lifted up” and provided for.
Thanks comrades, but no thanks.
OBAMACARE
Guy Benson

ABC Newsman Jake Tapper surveys the national landscape and is startled by the observation that several of President Obama’s famous healthcare promises don’t quite seem to be coming to fruition.  (You don’t say).  He confronts White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle with the evidence, and oh my does she spin.  Even I’m dizzy:

A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation underlines that many of the promises surrounding President Obama’s health care legislation remain unfulfilled, though the White House argues that change is coming.  Workers at the Flora Venture flower shop in Newmarket, NH, remember when presidential candidate named Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., promised that their health care costs would go down if they elected him and his health care plan was enacted.  On May 3, 2008, the president told voters that he had “a health care plan that would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums.”  Last year workers at the flower shop saw their insurance premiums shoot up 41 percent.

The Kaiser Family Foundation shows family premiums topped $15,000 a year for the first time in 2011, increasing a whopping 9% this year, three times more than the increase the year before. The study says that up to 2% of that increase is because of the health care law’s provisions (me: and that’s just the beginning), such as allowing families to add grown children up to 26 years old to their policies.

What does Nancy-Ann have to say for herself?

DeParle insists families will see that savings — by 2019.  “Many of the changes in the Affordable Care Act are starting this year, and in succeeding years,” DeParle told ABC News, “and by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”  DeParle said that the “big increases that occurred last year were probably driven by insurance plans overestimating what the impact would be and maybe trying to take some profits upfront before some of the changes in the Affordable Care Act occur.

In other words, everything will be turning up roses eight years from now — you’ve gotta trust us.  Plus, these know-nothing insurance companies are “probably” overestimating the impact of the law.  I mean, what do they know?   I wonder if Kathleen Sebelius is scribbling furiously in her “zero tolerance” notebook.  Tapper continues:

The Kaiser study also indicates employers are switching plans and shifting costs onto employees. Half of workers in smaller firms now face “deductibles of at least $1,000, including 28 percent facing deductibles of $2,000 or more,” according to the study.  Doesn’t that fly in the face of the president’s promise that “if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan”? ABC News asked DeParle.

Perfectly legitimate question.  Back to you, White House flack:

She said no — the president wasn’t saying the legislation would guarantee that everyone can keep his or her preferred plan, just that the legislation wouldn’t force anyone to change. “What the president promised is that under health care reform, that he would make it more possible for people to have choices in these (health insurance) exchanges,” DeParle said. “And that’s going to be what will help businesses bring costs down. Right now, they’re just struggling. That’s one reason why they’re shifting costs to employees.”

Unbelievable.  President Obama didn’t really mean you could keep your plan if you like it, we’re now told; he just meant the law would help provide more choices in the government-approved exchanges.  I’m sorry, but I’m quite certain that’s not what he said at all.  Unfortunately for the White House, there’s this thing nowadays called “the internet,” on which people can research topics such as, “what exactly did President Obama say about me being able to keep my plan?”  Well, well, well.  Look at what the search engine turned up:

“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.

Contrast that unambiguous, definitive pledge with DeParle’s historical revisionism and hedging.  You know, I’m beginning to suspect Joe Wilson’s sentiment — albeit disrespectful and inappropriate for the venue — was absolutely, positively on the money.

So remember how this blog started: “We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life, a footing, and that’s what government is supposed to do.”

Now don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers


Dark Days

Forty-two years ago yesterday, Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ascended from the surface of the moon and rendezvoused with Michael Collins in the command module Columbia for their trip home from mankind’s maiden voyage to the moon. All three men are now in their 80s, and no human being has been on the moon since each of them was 42 — and now even the space shuttle has had its last liftoff.

Americans, however, do not seem to be content with this state of demise. A new CNN poll reminded Americans that, for the foreseeable future, “all manned U.S. space flights will take place in spacecraft that are owned by other countries” and then asked whether “the end of the space shuttle program” would be “good” or “bad” for the U.S.” By a margin of almost 3 to 1 (50 to 16 percent), Americans answered that it would be “bad.”

Moreover, by a margin of slightly more than 3 to 1 (75 to 23 percent), Americans think that we “should,” rather than “should not,” “develop a replacement spacecraft that will be capable of sending U.S. astronauts into space and returning them to Earth.” And by a margin of 28 points (64 to 36 percent), Americans think that it’s at least “fairly important” for us “to be ahead of Russia and other countries in space exploration.”

It’s interesting that President Obama effectively nixed the Constellation program — the program to take us back to the moon and eventually on to Mars — which would have cost about $10 billion a year, because we allegedly couldn’t afford it.  But he has felt no apparent hesitation in pushing a $787 billion “stimulus” that (even according to his own economists’ estimate) has stimulated job-growth at a rate of $278,000 per job, a health care overhaul that would cost more than $2 trillion in its real first decade (2014 to 2023), and now a $2.4 trillion debt ceiling extension — which is roughly the same amount of money, even in inflation-adjusted dollars, that we borrowed to fight World War II.

Put otherwise, Constellation would have cost about 4/10ths of 1 percent as much annually as a debt ceiling extension that’s designed to get Obama through his reelection bid next year — or $1 for every $240. Perhaps the eventual Republican nominee will see fit to set our national horizons a little higher — and restart this program that Obama has left for dead.  (Jeffrey Anderson)

Oh, and don’t forget if you don’t raise $1 Trillion Dollars in taxes we won’t have enough to pay for Social Security and Medicare (even if we take in enough every month to pay it!)

But that’s not a scare tactic, remember that. 🙂

July 21 (Bloomberg) — Democrats reacted angrily to reports that the White House is cutting a deal with House Republicans to boost the U.S. debt ceiling and reduce deficits by about $3 trillion over 10 years without immediate revenue increases.

President Barack Obama’s team has told congressional leaders it is pursuing such a deal, according to two officials familiar with the talks, as the White House and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio denied one was at hand.

The officials, who described outlines of the plan on condition of anonymity, said the leaders were told it would cut spending while calling for a future tax overhaul that could raise $1 trillion in additional revenue.

“The president always talked about balance, that there had to be some fairness in this, that this can’t be all cuts,” Reid told reporters at the Capitol. “There has to be a balance, there has to be some revenue with the cuts. My caucus agrees with that. I hope the president sticks with that. I’m confident he will.”

“revenue” = $$ Tax Increases by the way. (Orwellian translation).

The Democrats are even cowardly about what they really want, to Tax & Spend!!

In Congress, both Republicans and Democrats,  remind me of Wimpy, a character in the old Popeye the Sailor Man cartoons. Wimpy liked hamburgers and he frequently said,

I’ll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.

However, with Wimpy, the payment on Tuesday never comes.  With Congress, spending cuts never come.

So don’t hold your breath…

But at we have the Chinese & the Russians to fall back on for Manned Space Flight!! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 


The Excuse List

During an online “discussion” regarding Libya specifically, a fellow conservative asked how can the Liberals justify this that were talking about and clear out the blue I came up with this list.

This list applies to most, if not all, Liberal responses to most anything.

So with a few tweaks here it is.

You’ve heard of a Bucket List. Well this a bucket of a different kind for a different purpose… <<hint hint nudge nudge say no more…>>

I’m sure It will fall under:
a) children will starve
b) grandma will be eating dog food otherwise
c) well “the richest 1%/2%”….
d) class warfare
e) Threats, Intimidation and Union Mafia mouthing off
f) Whine and cry like a 2 year old
g) But Mommy, so-so non-Liberal did it first…
h) But It was done for the best of intentions…
i) You’re just heartless
j) you’re a rac*st!
k) wingnuts!
l) It was the Tea party’s Fault
m) it was Bush’s Fault
n) It was Halliburton’s/Corporate America’s Fault
o) Orwellian Doublespeak
p) So what?
q) Don’t do as I do, Do as I say!!
r) Damn that Fox News!
s) You’re just Lying!
t) It does not!
u) Well, I have this Liberal report from Media Matters/Huffington Post/Mainstream Media/Liberally Biased Poll that says…
v) They already have a hive-mind Talking Point
w) well, it runs out/starts in 2014 so why do you care?
x) it’s “fair”
y) It feels good….
z) zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

But rest assured…

a) it is never their fault

b) they are always the victim

c) They will fight the very drop of YOUR blood to be right every time.

That about covers it. 🙂

So on that note: Inflation.

It’s real it’s out there. And it’s not “corporate america’s” fault that Raw food commodity indexes, for example, have hit all-time highs. And the broader CRB Commodity Index, including food, energy and industrial commodities, has run up 32% the past 12 months.

It’s really government that causes inflation with actions such as:

• The $2 trillion in money created by the Fed under “quantitative easing” since 2008, an unprecedented shot of liquidity pumped straight into the economy.

• The $5.5 trillion in new debt added by our government in just three years — nearly a 60% rise.

• The Environmental Protection Agency’s move to regulate all stationary producers of carbon dioxide, which has led businesses to put off large investments.

• The surge in regulation at all levels of government, which has added to small-business uncertainty and reduced hiring.

• The record 29% jump in federal spending in President Obama’s first three years, which has crowded out private spending and business investment.

• Spending on TARP and “stimulus,” which could total nearly $2 trillion when all is said and done.

The list goes on. The point is, don’t blame companies like Wal-Mart (CEO of Wal-Mart’s U.S. arm last week he told consumers to get ready for a burst of “serious” inflation) , a proven price cutter, when inflation hits home.

Blame the federal government, which seems dead set on repeating the same errors it made in the stagflationary 1970s. (IBD)

And the Democrats want to whine about cutting 20 billion from 1.5 Trillion dollar deficit this year alone.

And the Republicans want to “compromise”.

I say, screw them both. After all, they are screwing us all in the end.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

I Love Irony!

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

A delicious irony was uncovered in regards to Unions and our Union Orginizer-in-Chief…<<drum roll>> UNION COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IS ILLEGAL FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES! and better yet this was PASSED BY JIMMY CARTER AND THE DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED CONGRESS 33 Years ago!!

Now that’s comedy. Black Comedy. 🙂

When candidate Obama was campaigning in South Carolina in 2007, he said he was proud to wear the “union label” and that if workers were denied rights to organize or collectively bargain when he was elected, “I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I’ll will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America.”

But as the protests over collective bargaining rights drag out in Wisconsin, President Obama has yet to join the demonstrators outside the Capitol building in Madison, and it appears his administration is trying not to get involved in the fight.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett says what’s happening in Wisconsin is not a national fight. “Let’s not turn what’s really a Wisconsin issue into a Washington issue,” Jarrett told Fox News in an interview Tuesday. (FOX)

Which is why when this started President Obama called it “an assault on unions”. 🙂 but then he figured out he might be opening a can of worms that may turn on him.  And certainly goes against his new “centrist” image. So he decided he didn’t want to get involved (at least not directly, better to have his apparatchiks and minions do it for him quietly).

Why, because the CEO of the Federal Employees and Their Union is a massive Hypocrite.

Yes, I know, a Liberal who’s a Hypocrite. Amazing! 🙂

WSJ: The union horde is spreading, from Madison to Indianapolis to a state capital near you. And yet the Democratic and union bigwigs engineering the outrage haven’t directed their angry multitudes at what is arguably the most “hostile workplace” in the nation: Washington, D.C.

It will no doubt surprise you to learn that President Obama, the great patron of the working man, also happens to be the great CEO of one of the least union-friendly shop floors in the nation.

This is, after all, the president who has berated Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees, calling the very idea an “assault on unions.” This is also the president who has sicced his political arm, Organizing for America, on Madison, allowing the group to fill buses and plan rallies. Ah, but it’s easy to throw rocks when you live in a stone (White) house.

Fact: President Obama is the boss of a civil work force that numbers up to two million (excluding postal workers and uniformed military). Fact: Those federal workers cannot bargain for wages or benefits. Fact: Washington, D.C. is, in the purest sense, a “right to work zone.” Federal employees are not compelled to join a union, nor to pay union dues. Fact: Neither Mr. Obama, nor the prior Democratic majority, ever acted to give their union chums a better federal deal.
Scott Walker, eat your heart out.
For this enormous flexibility in managing his work force, Mr. Obama can thank his own party. In 1978, Democratic President Jimmy Carter, backed by a Democratic Congress, passed the Civil Service Reform Act. (The Civil Service Reform Act (P.L. 95-454, 92 Stat. 111), the first comprehensive civil service law since 1883, fulfilled the campaign promise of President Jimmy Carter to reform the federal civil service. Along with Reorganization Plan Number 2, it abolished the Civil Service Commission and created three new agencies to implement these reforms: the United States Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Of particular concern were the problems of employees with poor job performance and the protection of federal employees who “blew the whistle” on government misconduct and fraud.-enotes.com) Washington had already established its General Schedule (GS) classification and pay system for workers. The 1978 bill went further, focused as it was on worker accountability and performance. It severely proscribed the issues over which employees could bargain, as well as prohibited compulsory union support.

Democrats weren’t then (and aren’t now) about to let their federal employees dictate pay. The GS system, as well as the president and Congress, sees to that. Nor were they about to let workers touch health-care or retirement plans. Unions are instead limited to bargaining over personnel employment practices such as whether employees are allowed to wear beards, or whether the government must pay to clean uniforms. These demands matter, though they are hardly the sort to break the federal bank.
Which is precisely the point. Washington politicians may not know much, but they know power—in particular, the art of keeping it. Even Carter Democrats understood the difference between being in electoral debt to the unions, and being outright owned by them. And as Gov. Walker will attest, allowing unions to collectively bargain over pay and benefits is allowing them the keys to the statehouse.

Innocent Americans assume that unions use collective bargaining solely to obtain better pay and benefits. Not exactly. The real game is to insist that the dough runs through the union—giving it power over the state.

In Wisconsin, for instance, the teachers union doesn’t just bargain for more health dollars. It also bargains to require that local school districts buy health insurance for their teachers through the union-affiliated health-insurance plan, called WEA Trust. That requirement gives the union (not the state) ultimate say over health benefits. It also costs the state at least $68 million more annually than it would if schools could buy the state-employee health plan—money that goes to a union outfit.

Since Washington pols aren’t about to let unions run their town, the result is a weird bifurcation. On the state level, union campaign dollars are primarily contingent upon Democrats agreeing to allow public-employee unions to milk taxpayers dry. On the federal level, union dollars are primarily contingent upon Democrats agreeing to pervert federal laws and institutions so that private-sector unions get special privileges over employers and nonunion companies—consider project-labor agreements, Davis-Bacon and card check.

All of this helps explain why Mr. Obama has gone quiet on Wisconsin, and why Organizing for America is scurrying to hide its involvement. The president’s initial instinct was to jump into the state, a 2012 battleground area where he might build points with his liberal base.

The White House has since sensed danger. As the world is painfully aware, Mr. Obama is under no obligation to balance his budget. So to whack Gov. Walker for his efforts to do so might strike some Americans as irresponsible, especially as the president is working to convince them that he really does care about deficits.

The other risk: The spotlight turns back to D.C. If the president is so worried about Wisconsin’s “assault,” why has he never taken up federal bargaining rights? If the Badger State’s current system is the gold standard, why has he not replicated it? If it is so important that all parties “sit at the table”—as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recently lectured Wisconsin—how dare Mr. Obama unilaterally declare a federal pay freeze? (Honestly, the union-busting gall!) 🙂

The debate over public-union giveaways has only started. That debate would benefit were Mr. Obama to explain how it is that Wisconsin is wrong to ask for the same budget flexibility that he enjoys as president. If he’s unable to do that, perhaps the debate ought to be over.

AMEN!

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

FDR: In a little-known letter he wrote to the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees in 1937, Roosevelt reasoned:

“… Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations … The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for … officials … to bind the employer … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives …

“Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people … This obligation is paramount … A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent … to prevent or obstruct … Government … Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government … is unthinkable and intolerable.”

But FDR had no inkling of what the end game would be. In 1958, New York City Mayor Robert Wagner signed an executive order allowing civil workers to unionize. It was an obvious appeal to union voters. A Wagner aide suggested that city workers would be a large enough constituency to guarantee his re-election.

This opened up the floodgates around the country as other Democratic legislators followed Wagner’s lead. In 1959, Wisconsin became the first state to enact public employee collective bargaining laws. President John F. Kennedy then followed with an executive order granting federal employees the right to bargain collectively. As journalist Roger Lowenstein wrote in his recent book detailing the explosion of government pension debt, “Membership in public unions rose exponentially.”

The incestuous relationship began. But to this day 88% of the American People are not in a Union. Don’t have the Unions fat-cat, nearly-free Health care or can retire in their 40s with massive pensions that will cost the taxpayers Millions.

But the spoiled brats in the Unions will continue to kick and scream and yell, “MINE!” like some 5 year old with their favourite toy — Taxpayers $$$.

“I didn’t like cap and trade, I didn’t like Obamacare, I didn’t like the stimulus…but I didn’t walk out.” -Sen Paul Ryan (R-WI)

But the irony that Democrats did worse to Federal Employees than what Governor Walker, Governor Daniels and Governor Kasich want to do to their Unions is quite frankly hilarious.

But don’t tell the Liberals or the Ministry of Truth in the Media. They will just shout you down you evil Lying Nazi Dictator!!! 🙂

And thus concludes our lesson in “civility” and “adult conversations”. 🙂

Also see: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29975