Making Society Better

Allen West: I found a definition of Yin and Yang to be, “In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also, yin-yang or yin yang) describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.” It appears that our 2016 presidential election cycle is early on being defined by that philosophy. The question is, can this media-driven divide be good for the future of our Constitutional Republic?

In 2008 it was all about the “anti-Bush” sentiment in America – heavily fueled by a complicit media. The rallying slogan was “Hope and Change.” Some of us will never forget the statement, “we are the change that we have been waiting for.” Huh?

Pronoun Trouble… 🙂

None of this was challenged, but embraced as a historical moment that truly was the Yang to the existing Yin. Amazingly, there were little to no questions about policy; just the simplistic retort that “I will not be like the current president.” Furthermore, any challenge to the issue of a lack of policy proposals and experience in 2008 was met with the Alinsky tactic of personal demonization by way of being castigated as racist. And so in 2008 America replaced the Yin with the Yang and we had a new Yin – progressive socialism.

In 2012, the new slogan became “Forward,” and that was even as we recognized that so many quantitative assessments evidenced we were not going forward. We were certainly not progressing, and that situation continues to today. There were deceptions of jobs report numbers and we know that the economy was suffering under one of the most anemic recoveries in American history. But what was most telling was that we actually believed that we were safer; that Islamic terrorism was quelled. That was because Osama bin Laden had been double-tapped by U.S. Navy SEALS. However, the reality was far from being such. And so another deception took place when on 9-11-12 four Americans were abandoned to die in Benghazi – a place which had been destabilized by a horrific intervention by the current administration. Yet the new Yin, aided by a dedicated media campaign told us it was just a video.

So in 2012 we kept the current Yin.

Today, the situation is completely reversed. There is a new Yang that has risen due to the failures of the current Yin. The new slogan is “Make America Great Again.” This Yang has tapped into the evident weakness of the current Yin and has garnered a solid support base. Funny, this new Yang is not being embraced by the liberal progressive media, but its incessant assaults have enhanced the popularity of this new Yang in many aspects. And why is this happening? Simple: because the media clearly established and continues to establish itself as the protector of the progressive socialist ideal in 2008 and 2012. They have lost their credibility.

However, I would caution America to carefully assess whether this new Yang presents any viable policy solutions – similar to 2008.

My concern is that we Americans are once again being driven by media news cycles and not focusing on the prevailing issues or the future of America. Instead of basing our decisions about the future leadership of America on individual personalities, we must seek out a vision. Sadly, the social culture in America forces us to pay more attention to personas rather that principles. Now, I will be the first to admit that consideration of policy solutions may seem boring, but a base understanding is essential.

 

We have become more drawn to the person than the ideal. And what is lacking is a representation of the embodiment of that American ideal. Some would say that it does not exist, and God knows there are many who are trying to eradicate it – “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming America.”

What is necessary at this time in the current election cycle is for the American electorate to listen, and not be emotional. How do we restore the free enterprise opportunity society in order to get Americans back to work and productive in their own lanes? How do we develop a strategy to defeat militant Islamic terrorism? What needs to be done to reasonably stem the flow of illegal immigrants into America, secure our sovereign borders, yet also streamline our legal immigration system? How do we repair a healthcare system where individual premiums are rising, the individual mandate tax is increasing, and the level of care is decreasing? How do we advance the idea of parents being in charge of educating their children and being responsible for determining their outcomes – not the government?

The current Yin has done an exceptional job at focusing America on emotional “feeling” oriented issues. The reality is that the American public feels less safe. They know their beloved America, the land of individual economic empowerment, is becoming a breeding ground of collective economic enslavement, wealth transfer to grow the dependency society, a playground for social egalitarianism, and abject weakness.

And so we have the rise of the new Yang, a new slogan, but a lack of defined policy vision. The interconnection of the Yin and Yang of politics in America is that demagoguery has no favorite side. It can appear anywhere and finds a way to feed off the other.

As we close out 2015, enjoy a blessed Hanukkah, have a Merry Christmas, and celebrate a joyous and Happy New Year. May your favorite college football team win its bowl game – unless they are playing mine. But was we enter into a pivotal presidential election season, seek out an American leader, not an American celebrity.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

If you Like your Job…

ObamaCare

Please enjoy the latest installment of the “it’s working” chronicles. Sorry, American workers (via The Hill):

ObamaCare will force a reduction in American work hours the equivalent of 2 million jobs over the next decade, Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper said Monday. The total workforce will shrink by just under 1 percent as a result of changes in worker participation because of the new coverage expansions, mandates and changes in tax rates, according to a 22-page report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). “Some people would choose to work fewer hours; others would leave the labor force entirely or remain unemployed for longer than they otherwise would,” the agency said in its latest analysis of the now five-year-old law.

This assessment largely confirms the bombshell February 2014 analysis from the nonpartisan entity, which also projected that Democrats’ $2 trillion healthcare scheme would slow economic growth and slow job creation.  Take it away, 2011 Nancy Pelosi:

“Four million jobs will be created by the legislation when it is fully in effect.”

In 2010, she said Obamacare would create 400,000 new jobs “almost immediately.”  Last year, the law’s defenders were reduced to arguing that the reduction in worker hours was a positive development, offering Americans more time to spend with their families, and freeing them from “job lock.”  CBO’s findings determined that Obamacare disincentivizes work, shifting the burden of subsidizing health coverage for people who choose to work less or leave the workforce altogether onto the backs of middle class taxpayers.  Democrats’ frantic “liberation from job lock” spin worked out…about as well as one might have expected.  Obamacare’s cheerleaders have been wrong about virtually everything: Their law was not a job creator.  Their law has not bent the national health spending “cost curve” down.  Their law has not even approached lowering rates across the board.  Their law has not made healthcare more affordable.  Their law has not secured access to care.  Their law has not reduced emergency room visits, or decreased uncompensated care. Their law did not guarantee that satisfied consumers could keep their preferred doctors and plans. And their law has not attracted nearly as many enrollees as they expected, largely due to lack of affordability.  Their law has not signed up as many young and healthy consumer as they’d anticipated, raising new fears of an adverse selection spiral.

Gee, How many times have I said that very thing? 🙂

And their law has not become popular post-implementation.  Meanwhile, the string of high-profile failures among Obamacare co-ops is inflicting more chaos onto an already-strained system:

Health care providers could get stuck with unpaid bills in a half dozen states where co-op plans have collapsed. That’s because there’s no financial backstop in those states if the failed nonprofit startups backed by Obamacare loans run out of money before paying off all of their medical claims. That messy scenario is already playing out in New York, where the state’s co-op shut down at the end of November after its financial situation proved direr than originally known. The Greater New York Hospital Association estimates the co-op, Health Republic Insurance of New York, owes its members at least $165 million. And the Medical Society of the State of New York found that of more than 900 doctors surveyed, 64 percent reported being owed money by the co-op plan. For most insurers, a state’s guaranty fund – bankrolled by the industry – will cover unpaid medical claims if they become insolvent. But in some states, like New York, that fund doesn’t support plans that are licensed as health maintenance organizations, which is typically how the co-ops were set up. The other five states where providers could end up with unpaid bills if the failed co-ops run out of money: Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon and Utah…Just over half of the 23 co-ops seeded with $2.4 billion in loans have collapsed, with most set to cease operations at the end of this year. That’s left roughly 600,000 individuals scrambling to find new coverage.

On Capitol Hill this week, Republican lawmakers are demanding answers about how the government spent hundreds of millions of dollars on state-level Obamacare exchanges that ultimately collapsed, and have since been abandoned.  Here’s Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) grilling acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt about whether or not he agrees with the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recently-announced verdict that zero of the remaining state-level exchanges are “fully operational,” after five years and $1.45 billion in IT spending, courtesy of taxpayers:

Senate Republicans used a budget maneuver called reconciliation to vote to repeal vast swaths of Obamacare last week, approving a bill that would gut the law.  Once it passes the House, President Obama is expected to veto the legislation in order to protect his unpopular, harmful law. Hillary Clinton, who invented Obamacare, asserted last week that the law is working.

And The Ministry of Truth assures us that it’s all just a plot by dissidents and Thought Criminals and that they just want poor people to die. 🙂

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA. They fight for it to very last drop of YOUR blood. 🙂

 

The 1%

The Sith Lords of The Left (except when they are Democrats or Socialists like George Soros then they are ok). 🙂

Debunking the Myth of the “1%.” Who’s Really “The Rich?”

Rich bastards! It’s time to spread the wealth around! If you’re part of the 1%, you’re part of the problem!

Or… is it?

Perhaps the greatest economic misconception of the 21st Century is the idea that 1% of the world’s population are greedy jerks who keep the other 99% of the earth living in poor houses made of mud and tears.

Think the top 1% are billionaires? Nope. Millionaires? Nada. Well, they’re at least cracking $750K, right? Wrong again. In fact, YOU are probably far more affulent than you realize. And you disgust me for it. Let’s look at the numbers, American style:

If you make more than $100,000, you’re in the top 20%.

If you make more than $149,000, you’re in the top 10%.

If you make more than $522,000, BINGO, you’re a 1%’er. You’re probably a greedy jerk too, so screw you.

This is just a guess, but even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, chances are, you at least know somebody who does fall into any of the above categories. Which makes you a second-hand 1 percenter. That’s like a second-hand smoker only more vile. You probably don’t even think of those friends as being rich, but they are compared to the rest of the world. And these are the people leftists tell us are causing all the world’s problems, including the diminishing bee population (not really, but maybe one day), who need to do more for the country by paying their “fair share.” Except, that top 1% of earners already pays more in taxes than the bottom 90% (that’d be EVERYONE making less than $149K) COMBINED. Behold, graphs:

who are the wealthy

Oh, and by the way? If you’re under 31 and make over $300,000 – you’re in the top 0.1%. For realzies. Check out this chart from The Atlantic:

wealthy

But let’s take things a step further. If we expand the comparison globally, you become waaaaay wealthier than imagined. Like Scrooge McDuck from Ducktales, swimming in a vault of coin.

The average yearly income on a global scale? $1,225.

Yeah. You’re rich. Bastard. How does it feel to cause global warming? Even if “your” money is sent to you on a bi-weekly basis from the US treasury… you’re rich. And kind of a succubus, but that’s for another article.

If you make more than a whopping $34,000 a year? You are in the top 1% of the world’s wealthy.

Over half of the world’s 1%’ers (those making $34K+), live in the United States.

the wealthy

Maybe you’re not so bad off after all, Mr. college hipster making $15 serving coffee, huh? Maybe life isn’t so bad climbing the corporate ladder for “just” $75K a year, is it? Also, a nutless monkey could do your job. You mad? Please leave room for cream.

Saying the wealthy need to pay more (paging Bernie Sanders), is really saying we all need to pay more.  Because really, you’re rich. If you’re an American, you’re rich. Like, super, ridiculously rich. Period. Also, you have running water, a flushing toilet, probably a phone of some kind, a flat screen, and maybe a Netflix subscription. So please, stop the whining. It’s getting old.

SO, how rich are YOU?

Here’s a fun tool created by Giving What we Can: you punch in your income and household size, they tell you how rich you are compared to the rest of the world. You’ll probably be shocked. And that’s a good thing. Seriously. Go try it. Like, right now, money-bags.

Go ahead, I Dare you! 🙂

Lesson? If you’re living in the USA, you’re a greedy one-percenter and a bastard for it. Screw you with your flushing toilet and your five figure annual income. All this comes down to dollars, common sense, and perspective. The United States is a bastion of wealth, even for the “poor” Americans binge watching Orange is the New Black. Our top income earners aren’t paying their “fair share,” they’re paying YOUR share too. So get the numbers, memorize them, and every time you hear a gender-studies hipster talk to you about the one percent and shares and fairness and the latest iPhone, tell them about the real facts. If they’ll listen. (Steve Crowder)

But we all know that Liberals do not respond maturely to facts. 🙂

And if Democrats didn’t have the Envy Card, The Hate Card they would be just a husk of nothing floating on the winds. 🙂

But I want us to be super careful when we use the language “hard worker,” because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker. I do. But in the context of relative privilege…”- MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry.

And remember in  the FY 2015 the government took in more tax money than anytime in it’s history and still ran a deficit!

elect me d5c6f-democrats6

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Payback is a Bitch

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Obamacare offers subsidies to help pay for health insurance – if you are buying insurance through the federal exchange and your income qualifies. But now the word is out that at least 1 million people are probably getting the wrong subsidy amounts.

The Washington Post has inside sources providing all sorts of juicy details on this problem – but it didn’t take an investigative reporter to predict this was going to happen.

Heritage expert Alyene Senger warned that Obamacare’s subsidies are tied to income – and if your income changes at any point during the year, your subsidy is supposed to change, too. She explained in January:

if a person’s income fluctuates, which happens more frequently than many realize, the subsidy amount will change from month to month. Thus, when it comes time to file taxes in April, the amount of subsidy received over the past year must be reconciled with the final calculation of the total subsidy for which the individual was eligible—based on actual income for the entire tax year.

So if you qualify for more subsidy help than you receive during the year, you’ll get a tax refund. But if you were given more subsidy than your income qualifies you for, you will be required to repay the excess subsidy.

So don’t make too much (or pursue the American Dream of a better life too hard) of else Mama (Government) will become upset with you and have to get out the IRS yardstick and punish you for you sins you greedy little thing. 🙂

Settle for what Mama gives you, and just shut up and be a good little serf.

Now, the Post reports that the government is attempting to keep up with this – except that the part of Obamacare’s computer system that is supposed to match proof of income with people’s Obamacare applications is, well, not built yet.

Since taxpayers are funding the subsidies, it’s important to make sure the correct amounts are going to the correct people, right? Well, that does make the Obama administration “sensitive” these days, the Post says:

Beyond their concerns regarding overpayments, members of the Obama administration are sensitive because they promised congressional Republicans during budget negotiations last year that a thorough income-verification system would be in place.

This setup is a disaster. And it will ensnare a lot of people. Senger pointed to one analysis estimating that nearly 38 percent of families eligible for subsidies also experience “large income increases” at some point during the year – meaning they would have to pay back some or all of their subsidies.

“The issue is symptomatic of many problems that will plague the law in coming years,” Senger said.

Is it any wonder that 60 percent of voters in a recent poll said the debate about Obamacare is not over? And 89 percent said Obamacare will affect their voting decisions this fall.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is right – Obamacare is still not the answer for America’s health care needs. It’s time for Congress to look at patient-centered alternatives that would restore choice to American health care – and stop the unending tales of Obamacare disaster. (Heritage)

But it’s been the Liberal Socialist wet dream for nearly 100 years, they won’t stop until the lat drop of your blood is spilled in hubris to their God.

Hate the VA scandal, welcome to ObamaCare, the VA for the masses. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

So True…It’s like a perpetual PBS Pledge Break….

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

 

 

Winning!

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

President Obama is so obsessed with income inequality that he’ll make yet another speech on it Thursday. But he’ll do nothing about it. After all, the poor are still with us, only there are more of them than ever.

My question would be, was the goal to make every one poor rich or just make every rich person poor thus all “equal” in their poorness?? 🙂

Neither one has worked, yet.

Or was it to just make the poor more numerous and more dependent on Big Brother. That’s working. 🙂

Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama. 

So why do we need unemployment benefits extended even further? Our workforce participation rate has decreased meaning if we had the same amount of individuals in the workforce as in 2009, the US unemployment rate would be closer to 11-12 percent.

The truth is, in spite of the administration’s anti-poverty efforts, poverty has by some measures worsened under President Obama compared to President George W. Bush. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 31.6 percent of Americans were in poverty for at least two months from 2009 to 2011, a 4.5 percentage point increase over the pre-recession period of 2005 to 2007. Of the 37.6 million people who were poor at the beginning of 2009, 26.4 percent remained in poverty throughout the next 34 months.

One of the most disturbing results of this 50 year war was articulated by Robert Rector, a specialist on welfare and poverty at the conservative Heritage Foundation, “When the war on poverty started, about 6 percent of children were born outside of marriage,” he said. “Today that’s 42 percent — catastrophe.”

It was President Johnson’s policy of rewarding women who had children out of wedlock, and kept a father out of the home, with government largesse — it has caused an epidemic of single parent homes in the black community at nearly 72 percent.

After all these years and trillions of dollars, poverty has decreased only two percent, while increased spending on welfare programs has grown into the stratosphere — some return on the “government investment, hm?(WT)

Wednesday marked 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to wage “all-out war on human poverty and unemployment” — a war that’s seen no end, let alone victory, to celebrate.

A record 46.5 million Americans are still counted as poor, and the share of those living in poverty — 15% and rising today vs. 19% and falling in 1964 — is close to what it was when Johnson sounded the trumpet.

More than 47 million Americans are now on food stamps — also a record high and representing roughly a 50% increase since the day Barack Obama was inaugurated after a campaign based on “hope.”

Meanwhile, an all-time high of Americans — nearly 9 million, 20% more than when Obama walked into the White House — are on disability. And not because they’re disabled, but rather because they can’t find jobs in Obama’s economy and have exited the workforce.

It’s not out of the realm to argue that the war on poverty has had an adverse effect.

The poverty rate was in sharp decline when Johnson made his speech. It fell from almost 23% in the late 1950s to 17.3% in 1965, a year after the program was announced and before it could have made any significant impact. Since then, the rate has remained virtually flat — never better than 11%, never worse than 15%.

Many on the political left say poverty is still with us because insufficient funds have been applied. Indeed, that was the reason given by Sargent Shriver, who ran the war as head of Johnson’s Office of Economic Opportunity. Asked why the program was not progressing as expected, Shriver, who believed 1976 should be “the target date for ending poverty in this land,” said the government hadn’t spent enough.

We cringe at what the Democrats would consider enough. Robert Rector who has studied poverty for nearly three decades at the Heritage Foundation, reckons government has already spent $20.7 trillion in taxpayers’ money on 80 means-tested welfare programs in the past 50 years.

Despite the spending — or because of it — the 2013 Index of Government Dependence as measured by Heritage scored America in 2011 at an all-time high of 332, almost 17% higher than when Obama took office two years prior.

During his second term, President Reagan reminded the country that “in the ’60s we waged a war on poverty” but “poverty won.” Almost three decades later, it’s still winning.

And always will. Especially, with Liberals around to make even more poor people!

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
 Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Doing The Math

The number of American workers collecting federal disability payments climbed to yet another record of 8,853,614 in March, up from 8,840,427 in February, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.

But don’t worry, the economy is “improving”. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

The Obama administration wants banks to lower lending standards, and Fannie and Freddie are back in the black. The stage is set for a replay of some very unpleasant history.

Do you miss the thrill you felt when your wealth got vaporized in 2008?

Well, they want to do it again. Because it’s only “fair”….And after all, it was the Banks’ fault! 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Let’s do the math: We have nearly 30 million uninsured people about to get medical coverage under the health care law come January. And we have a projected shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians by 2020. Add to that the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), with 43,000 members who say they can offer basic care if state laws would just let them set up an independent practice without doctor supervision.

And the answer is …

The nurse-practitioners, of course, say it’s a matter of simple addition: New laws are needed to give them more autonomy.

But doctors say it’s a miscalculation to think that patient safety won’t be compromised by not having a doctor overseeing things. Family physicians have more than four times as much education and training, accumulating an average of 21,700 hours, whereas nurse-practitioners receive 5,350 hours, the American Academy of Family Physicians points out.

So you’ll get the clerk instead of the mechanic to fix you up.

But fear not! Obama is here to save you.

Last week, one of the world’s leading consulting firms, Milliman, warned about sticker shock ahead for individuals and families buying health insurance.

How did the White House respond? In its usual Orwellian fashion, it said, “Health care costs are falling, thanks to the reform law.” Falling is correct only if you’re standing on your head.

President Obama repeatedly promised that insurance exchanges would save families up to $2,300 a year.

He couldn’t possibly have believed it. From day one, it was obvious the law would push up premiums.

That’s because it requires insurers to cover services rarely covered in the past, puts sick people in the same risk pool with the healthy and slaps insurers with $100 billion in taxes to pass along to consumers.

Who will be clobbered by high premiums? Everyone buying insurance on the exchanges.

Those are people who customarily buy their own insurance (about 25 million) and people who are currently uninsured but have to get it beginning in 2014, and finally millions of people whose employers will drop coverage in response to the law’s costly requirements. Milliman predicts 67 million people in all by 2017.

These people will have no choice but to buy the one-size-fits-all “essential benefits package.”

That includes treatment for drug addiction, maternity care and dental and vision care for children. Only 2% of plans currently include all these services. When the law compels insurers to cover more, it compels consumers to pay more.

The Ohio Department of Insurance says the requirements will push up premiums 20% to 30%.It cheats the couple not having any more children and the straight-arrows who will never shoot heroin.

The healthy also get whacked. Until now, most states helped people with pre-existing conditions by setting up separate, subsidized risk pools.

Someone in the sickest 5% of the population will use 17 times as much care as a healthy person, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Obama health law pools everyone together and requires the healthy to pay as much as the sick.

This is like asking you to subsidize the premiums of the guy who has 15 speeding tickets and 5 DUIs but is required to have insurance! (they do exist by the way- High risk pools)
See Adverse Selection. 🙂
So what’s the answer…Slick Marketing!! 🙂

Uninsured: The White House recently released details about how it plans to market ObamaCare to the uninsured. What it reveals is that most of them don’t want what the administration is trying to force them to buy.

In a series of slides posted on the Health and Human Services’ website, the administration explains how it plans to market ObamaCare to the uninsured.

Let’s leave aside for a minute the oddity of this effort. Its backers have endlessly touted ObamaCare as a miracle of modern government that will at long last bring insurance within reach of 48 million people who desperately want it. Besides, the law mandates that everyone buy ObamaCare coverage.

So why the need for a big marketing push at all?

Once you look at the marketing slides the HHS has produced, you find the answer.

It turns out that the Democrats and the Obama administration apparently didn’t bother to investigate who these uninsured people actually are before they forced through a $1.8 trillion plan to help them.

What they’ve learned since is that more than half of the 48 million who the government says are uninsured aren’t interested in health insurance, which is why they don’t bother to buy it in the first place.

The administration now admits that vast numbers of the uninsured will be unlikely to respond to ObamaCare’s marketing pitches.

The biggest market segment identified by HHS, in fact, is what it describes as “healthy and young,” who make up 48% of the uninsured population.

They have “a low motivation to enroll” because they are in “excellent to very good health” and so “take health for granted.”

Plus, as the HHS has apparently just discovered, most of them say that cost is the main reason they don’t have coverage.

Then there are the “passive and unengaged,” which make up 15% of the uninsured and also have a “low motivation to enroll” because they “live for today.” They also cite cost as a key factor.

The problem, of course, is that ObamaCare will make insurance vastly more expensive for many of those who fall into these groups by larding on new benefit mandates and placing limits on premium-lowering deductions and co-pays. It will also introduce insurance market rules that force the young and healthy to subsidize premiums for those older and sicker.

State insurance commissioners have been warning the administration about how all this will cause “rate shocks.”

And even ObamaCare’s backers admit that its subsidies won’t compensate for all the new costs these rules will impose, making it even less likely that these groups will sign.

Indeed, the only group likely to rush into ObamaCare’s arms are the 29% who the HHS says are “sick, active and worried” who will have the “highest predicted responsiveness” to mass media ads.

See adverse selection. And Moral Hazard. And you should understand why this whole thing is so doomed….

If only these people sign up, ObamaCare’s premiums will spiral out of control, as the pool of insured gets sicker and more expensive.

And that, in turn, will cause still more of the young and healthy to drop insurance and taxpayer subsidy costs to skyrocket.

Democrats may think that a big, slick marketing campaign can change all this. Our guess is that it will be about as effective as Ford’s was for the Edsel. (IBD)

But you get to pay for it, in perpetuity!! 🙂

Imagine if you and your friends split the tab for coffee every day, and then someone who orders a five-course meal joins the group. Oliver Wyman, management consultants, reported that putting people with pre-existing conditions in the risk pool will push up premiums 40%.

Similarly, Milliman predicts medical claims going up 32% on average and by as much as 62% in California and 80% in Ohio by 2017.

$100 billion in new federal sales taxes on health plans over the next decade will clobber consumers, too. In New York, where premiums will be highest, the taxes will add $900 a year to the cost of a family plan, Oliver Wyman estimates.

The White House dismisses concerns about rising premiums, saying consumers with moderate incomes will get subsidies. That’s like arguing that it’s OK for food prices to double because the needy can get food stamps. Taxpayers foot the bill for subsidies. And consumers ineligible for them get socked with sky-high costs.

Even with subsidies, millions of people coerced to sign up will stop paying premiums. A family with two adults, two kids and a household income of $35,300 will be eligible for an $11,090 subsidy paid directly to the insurer, but they will have to pay at least $118 a month toward the premium.

Families living paycheck to paycheck will default in order to make rent or car payments.

This is the mortgage crisis and the college loan crisis all over again. Another gift from the politicians who think Washington knows best. (IBD)

‘Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.’ –George Washington

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Photo

You’ve Been Warned…

A ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ introduced in Congress last week would require employers to show pay disparity is related to job-performance and prohibit employer retaliation for sharing salary information with coworkers.

Currently, the law allows employers to sue or otherwise punish employees for sharing their salary information and women still make just 77 cents on their male counterpart’s dollar, according to Sen. Mikulski’s office.

So expect massive “workers” lawsuits to force a quota for “fairness” and “equality” if this passes.

In other words, Government will be looking over your shoulder every time you hire a man or a woman and you’d be nice or The Grinch (NOW,etc) will come get you.

This isn’t about Men, you know. They are just evil to begin with. So you better be hiring more Women and minorities than Men, especially White Men.

Racial quotas, sexual quotas, income quotas…Nope, no socialism or authoritarianism here…Government is you friend and you will bow down to us or else!

Mikulski and DeLauro said the Paycheck Fairness Act would also allow women to seek punitive damages for pay discrimination, establish a grant program to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills and require the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities. (This being the same Department that wanted Illegal Aliens to call them if their boss was being mean to them).

Like I said… 🙂

The unemployment rate is at 7.9 percent which is .01% higher than when Obama took office 4 years ago.

So, what does Obama do?

He disbands his “jobs council” that rarely met anyways.

Mission Accomplished.

The new Normal has been achieved and no one is really complaining about it.

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

The welcome materials the federal government directs new immigrants to read — which detail, among other facets of American life, how and where to get government benefits — are in the process of getting a bit of a makeover to increase accessibility for newcomers.

The WelcometoUSA.gov website, which bills itself as “the U.S. Government’s official web portal for new immigrants,” maintained by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will soon feature information about President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation, USCIS spokesman Chris Bentley told The Daily Caller

Not that they are worried about Legal Immigration all that much, But gotta show the drug benefits to the new addicts so they’ll vote for Democrats.

******************.

In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

I’m sure everyone can afford that and that rate will never go up. 🙂

And if you smoke, add $5,000. More restrictions (for your own good) to come…

And absolutely no “Pathway” death Panels… 🙂

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

Now, that’s Freedom at it’s core. 🙂

The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a “penalty” (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a “tax”) of $2,400 in 2016.

For those wondering how clear the IRS’s clarifications of this new “penalty” rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:

“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.

“(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.

“(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 – $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

“(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).” (CNS)

UNIONS

The following is hilarious since Unions were the #1 beneficiaries of ObamaCare Waivers…

Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.

Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

To offset that, the nation’s largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.

In early talks, the Obama administration dismissed the idea of applying the subsidies to people in union-sponsored plans, according to officials from the trade group, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, that represents these insurance plans.

As financial reality sets in, and rather than figure out a way to pay for the bill they helped pass, unions are trying to see if Washington will bail them out.

Poor Babies. Slept with the Devil, campaign for him, Now they found he is a Devil and he stabbed them in the back and now they want him to kiss their butts!

They are his favourite Pets.

Typical Union.

“A handful of unions say they already have examined whether it makes sense to shift workers off their current plans and onto private coverage subsidized by the government. But dropping insurance altogether would undermine a central point of joining a union, labor leaders say,” the report adds.

No, really, union heads are acting like no one warned them that costs would go up.

“We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable,” said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer for the Teamsters.

“I heard him say, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’” said John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, the insurance plan for 260,000 union workers. “If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law.”

D’OH!

Why? Why? Why didn’t anyone tell these leaders about the costs associated with “Obamacare”?

“It seems someone finally noticed that mandating benefits and imposing regulations has a tendency to … increase costs,” Doug Bandow writes for the American Spectator. “Increases which workers are stuck paying. Who would have imagined such a result?  It’s not like anyone warned them, right?”

🙂

We are from the Government and we are here to Help you…..

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Origins

Americans must be wondering how much more of this “recovery” they can afford. New figures from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, compiled by Sentier Research , show that the typical American household’s real (inflation-adjusted) income has actually dropped 5.7 percent during the Obama “recovery.”

Yet it gets worse. Amazingly, incomes have dropped even more during the “recovery” than they did during the recession. In fact, they’ve dropped more than twice as much as they did during the recession.

Using constant 2012 dollars (to adjust for inflation), the median annual income of American households was $53,718 as of June 2009, the last month of the recession. Now, after 38 months of this “recovery,” it has fallen to $50,678 — a drop of $3,040 per household. (KFYI)

But he the guy in charge of this will give you free stuff and will make sure he sticks it to “rich” people!!! The other guy is just a gaffe-laden asshole. 🙂

And besides we all know it’s Bush’s Fault, after all… 🙂

The newest viral video is of a woman who says she will vote for Obama because she got a free cell phone from him. Now that’s the kind of intellectual voter response we need as a country! 🙂

The program is called Lifeline, established in 1984, originally created to subsidize landline phone service for low income Americans, funded by government-collected telecommunication fees, paid by consumers.

In 2008, the program was expanded to support cell phones which quickly escalated the cost of the program. In 2008 the program cost $772 million, but by 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.

A 2011 audit found that 269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers. Several websites have been created to promote “free” government cell phones, including the”The Obama Cell Phone” website at Obamaphone.net.

After all, a Cell phone must be a Human Right and if you deny it to people you must be a racist!. 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

What a mean, evil racist! 🙂

But it’s Obama re-election time, so no one in the FCC is going to do anything about it. Don’t want to upset the peasants.

2016 Update

Two weeks ago, Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary “2016: Obama’s America” passed Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” for second place on the all-time box-office money list for political documentaries. It now has a box office gross of more than $32 million. But if you’re an independent or a liberal who’s unplugged from conservative websites and talk radio, you’d never know.
You didn’t see D’Souza on CBS or NBC (although he showed up on ABC’s “Nightline” in late night). There were no cover stories in Time or Newsweek. The film opened on just one screen in Houston when it premiered on July 13, and then spread to 10, and eventually to 1,000 theaters in August, and 2,000 theaters in September. A cultural sensation, yes — but somehow not newsworthy.
Al Gore, naturally, had every advantage of a beloved liberal almost-president. When it hit theaters in May of 2006, Time magazine wrote, “The movie got raves at the Sundance Film Festival … In Los Angeles theaters, the trailers have been getting ovations.” On NBC, Katie Couric sat down in the outdoors with Gore and told him that in the movie, “you’re funny, vulnerable, disarming, self-effacing.” On CBS, anchor Harry Smith gushed, “The box office receipts would indicate that it’s an action movie — you did better per screening than almost anything that’s come out this week.”
Even after Gore’s slideshow lecture/film eventually sputtered out at the Cineplex, several more rounds of fawning followed: an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize, and in between the gushing lines came the idea that Gore might (or should) run again for president. The “Goracle” gush was so heavy that Time collected it all together. He was “Al Gore — the improbably charismatic, Academy Award-winning, Nobel Prize-nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command.”
And yet, D’Souza’s film was the Little Engine That Could — the film that could surpass Gore at the box office. He didn’t need MSNBC to put him on, although in August, he slammed them as cowardly: “You could watch that channel and not even know we have a film out — unless you saw a commercial that we’re running for our film. You look at Lawrence O’Donnell, you look at Rachel Maddow, you look at Chris Matthews. I mean, look at those cowards! … I would love to cross swords with those guys, but I think they’re all hiding under the desk.”
Whatever media elite notice D’Souza received began trickling in once it made the top ten of the weekend box-office hits in late August … and it wasn’t positive at all.
A Washington Post critic scoffed on August 24: “It is doomed to win precious few converts. It’s a textbook example of preaching to the choir. It has the air of a ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ sequel, pandering to the franchise’s hardcore fans, while boring everyone else.”
And “An Inconvenient Truth” was different?
On August 29, ABC’s David Wright told D’Souza his film was “disingenuous” in suggesting Obama wanted to downsize America’s power and influence, and complained “D’Souza spins out the conspiracy theory” of America in dramatic economic and geopolitical collapse by 2016. The screen read “Conspirator-in-Chief.”
NPR weekend anchor Guy Raz took a few rhetorical swings at D’Souza in a September 1 interview. “Dinesh D’Souza, if you wanted to criticize or attack President Obama, why bend the truth? Why not just offer a policy critique rather than conjecture, and in many cases in this film, conspiracy?”
But what dominated Al Gore’s documentary if not a gloomy conjecture about the destruction of the planet through global warming? Wasn’t Gore a “Conspirator-in-Chief” that some people deny the “truth” of impending planetary doom for nefarious political ends? Gore’s film ridiculously claimed a 20-foot rise in sea level that would flood Manhattan.
The media weren’t negative about that conjecture. ABC’s story on Gore’s movie was summed up with the words “The Comeback Kid? Al Gore Takes On The World.”
Reporter Claire Shipman hailed “Gore’s personal journey toward environmental evangelism.” On NPR, anchor Robert Siegel hailed the film’s success, and began with a “quibble” and moved on: “Our science correspondent had only a couple of quibbles on claims about the melting snows of Kilimanjaro or the increasing power of hurricanes.” Gore quickly shot that down as unworthy. And The Washington Post reviewer (Desson Thomson) raved: “We’re pressure-cooking the planet to death — and Al Gore has the flow charts to prove it. We know what you’re thinking, but as this surprisingly absorbing film shows, Gore’s lectures are anything but dull.”
D’Souza’s movie was comparable to an over-the-top horror movie. Al Gore has proven we’re all about to bake and/or drown, and all that can be said about that spooky spectacle is it is “surprisingly absorbing.” Their arrogance knows no bounds. (Brent Bozell)

That’s very true.

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Are You Better off?

All weekend, Democratic party leaders kept fumbling their answer to a simple question: Are we better off than we were four years ago? There’s a good reason for that: We’re not.

It wasn’t until Monday that the campaign was able to figure out how to answer the question, with Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, saying, “Absolutely.”

Obama’s argument is simple: The economy was headed for a second Great Depression when he took office — hemorrhaging GDP and jobs. His stimulus, the auto bailouts and so on, prevented that, and the economy has since been slowly digging out of the massive ditch into which President Bush drove it. Thus, Obama says, he deserves an “incomplete” grade.

It’s quite a stretch that Obama stopped another depression. The recession ended just five months into his first term, before most of his policies had a chance to take effect. It’s an even bigger stretch to say that people’s lives have been improving during the 3-year-old Obama “recovery,” which started in June 2009.

By most measures the country isn’t making slow progress; it’s falling further behind. Some examples:

The number of Americans whom the U.S. Department of Labor counted as “not in the civilian labor force” in August hit a record high of 88,921,000.

The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks.

The department counts a person as in “the civilian labor force” if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks. (KFYI)

The jobless rate fell from 8.3 percent as 368,000 Americans left the labor force. So nearly 4 times as many people gave up as got a job and since main unemployment figure only counts people looking it dropped.

Now that’s perverse. And a Lie I’m sure the Democrats will abuse.

The unemployment rate, derived from a separate Labor Department survey of households, has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch in monthly records going back to 1948. (bloomberg)

And who had been President just then, FDR. Who is Obama’s new cypher icon- FDR. Coincidence? 🙂

• Median incomes: These have fallen 7.3% since Obama took office, which translates into an average of $4,000. Since the so-called recovery started, median incomes continued to fall, dropping $2,544, or 4.8%.

• Long-term unemployed: More than three years into Obama’s recovery, 811,000 more still fall into this category than when the recession ended.

• Poverty: The poverty rate climbed to 15.1% in 2010, up from 14.3% in 2009, and economists think it may have hit 15.7% last year, highest since the 1960s.

• Food stamps: There are 11.8 million more people on food stamps since Obama’s recovery started. 46.7 million total, a record.

• Disability: More than 1 million workers have been added to Social Security’s disability program in the last three years.

• Gas prices: A gallon of gas cost $1.89 when Obama was sworn in. By June 2009, the price was $2.70. Today, it’s $3.84.

• Misery Index: When Obama took office, the combination of unemployment and inflation stood at 7.83. Today it’s 9.71.

• Union membership: Even unions are worse off under Obama, with membership dropping half a million between 2009 and 2011.

• Debt: Everyone is far worse off if you just look at the national debt. It has climbed more than $5 trillion under Obama, crossing $16 trillion for the first time on Tuesday and driving the U.S. credit rating down. (IBD)

US manufacturing shrank at the fastest clip in more than three years, according a study released on Tuesday.

ZeroThe number of times the president mentioned the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“the stimulus”) in his primetime acceptance address on Thursday night.  These are his signature legislative accomplishments, yet he decided they didn’t merit any attention. (Guy Benson)

Ironically, the only people better off under Obama are corporate chieftains, who’ve seen corporate profits climb more than 50% under Obama’s “recovery,” and investors, who’ve benefited from a near-doubling in the Dow industrials from its March 2009 lows. (IBD)

FORWARD! 4 More Years!
Or else you will be going back to the past!
This is a future (just ignore the past, except for the one we say the Republicans are responsible for) worth crowing about? Why??
Also consider this that was going on going outside the Convention Center in Charlotte:

Consider the dozens of pink-shirted Planned Parent representatives. As the crowds stroll by, they yell out “Get your ‘Protect yourself from Romney and Ryan condom,'” as they hand out pink condom packages with a single condom appropriately dyed blue.

Abortion is also a big topic with convention goers, especially those who supported Sandra Fluke, the former college student whose congressional testimony supporting government backing of contraception was hit by conservative talker Rush Limbaugh.

Aspen, Colorado delegate Blanca O’Leary, for example, sported a “Sluts Vote,” button, a reference to the word Limbaugh used to describe Fluke.

“slut” was the evilest word in the English Language when Sandra Fluke was in front of Congress. Now they want to call themselves “sluts”. But I bet if you did, you’d get the same reaction as before. Funny how that works. 🙂
So are you better off?
Only if you’re a delusional Liberal who’s been told (and believes) how evil the past 10 years – excluding Obama completely- was OR a corporate board room type (who are supposed to be evil anyhow).
So the answer is, OF COURSE NOT!
But the Ministry of Truth and The Democrats will run on FEAR and LIES to confuse you.
PT Barnum never had it this slick.
But just know it’s not better.
But while everyone was picking apart these and other flaws in Obama’s speech, they overlooked the most frightening line of all. That was when Obama promised that he’d pursue “the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”

That promise might have made liberal hearts swoon. But as Amity Shlaes explained in her outstanding history of the era — “The Forgotten Man” — it was precisely FDR’s “bold, persistent experimentation” that was largely to blame for the length, depth and severity of the Great Depression.

Convinced that the government had to do something, FDR tinkered and experimented, she said, figuring that if he didn’t “get it right the first time … maybe he’d get it right the second time.” But the very arbitrariness of FDR’s actions, she found, made it impossible for businesses to make plans. And so, as FDR’s bold experiments increased, business activity decreased and markets froze.

“From the point of view of a business,” Shlaes said in a 2009 interview, “it is annihilating to hear Washington uncertain, and that itself retards recovery because you really don’t know what to expect.”

If Obama wants to conduct experiments, he should get a job as a high school science teacher, and not use the entire nation as guinea pigs, particularly when we already know how his tests will turn out.(IBD)

4 Years from now Obama will be wanting you to go for his successor who will tell you the road is still “long” and still “hard” and they just need more time.
Time to Destroy you utterly.
Now that’s “fair” 🙂

NOVEMBER IS COMING!

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Mythbusting

For decades, “fairness” has been liberal Democrats’ outcry against demands for lower taxes. The rich, President Obama endlessly contends, don’t pay “their fair share.”

Well, as usual, it’s less than honest. Gee what a shocker…

A new study from the Tax Foundation found the number of those filing tax returns who pay no income taxes now numbers over 58 million, amounting to a staggering 41% of all tax returns. Compare that with 1990, when only about 21% of tax returns were found to have no tax liability.

What’s more, the median income of these nonpayers has increased by 40% in just nine years. “The threshold at which a typical married couple with two children will likely be a nonpayer is now $47,000,” the Tax Foundation found.

The primary reason? Big government’s tentacles, in the form of cash payments via the soaring expansion of refundable tax credits. “In 1990, the combined value of these credits was roughly $20 billion after adjusting for inflation,” the study notes. By 2000, it was $46.5 billion.

“A decade later,” however, “the combined budgetary cost of both the basic and refundable tax credits reached a remarkable $224 billion in 2010.”

As the foundation’s Scott Hodge cautions, “These credits not only have a major budgetary cost — both in terms of the lost revenue and the outlay cost for the refundable portion — they undermine the financial stability of the government by narrowing the tax base, and disconnect people from the basic cost of government.”

A tax-cut-oriented simplification of the IRS code — so urgently needed today — will soon be politically impossible because of so many millions off the income-tax rolls, an increasing number of them middle-class.

People who aren’t paying taxes, yet who are enjoying government dependency in various areas of their lives, aren’t going to give the time of day to politicians who seek to cut taxes. (IBD)

Tax cuts as bad for the economy or bad for the “poor and the middle class”. They are “unfair”. That mantra is already here.

The Government taking less of your money is now a bad thing.

Orwell would be proud.

Fascinating…:)

An affiliate of NBC speaking heresy:

The presidential election has given us two myths about the rich. First, that their incomes, and income inequality, are at all-time highs. Second, that the wealthy pay less in taxes than ever, and lower taxes than the rest of us.

A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, however, suggests that both may be false. (http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43373)

Let’s consider income first. Between 2007 and 2009, after-tax earnings by Americans in the top one percent for income fell 37 percent. On a pre-tax basis they fell 36 percent in the same period.

That may sound like a minor haircut for One Percenters compared to people who lost their jobs. But when you take into account federal transfers, assistance and taxes paid, the incomes of the bottom 20 percent grew by 3 percent, while it fell a modest 2 percent for the middle 20 percent.

In other words, the incomes of the top one percent fell 18 times more than the incomes for the middle class at the start of the recession.

Change in after-income tax (2007-2009)

The result of this big drop at the top was that their share of the country’s total income also fell. In 2007, the top one percent earned 16.7 percent of all after-tax income. In 2009, that portion fell to 11.5 percent.

Inequality, in other words, fell during those years.  We are now in an age of High-Beta Wealth, where the incomes of the One Percent have become far more manic and prone to wild drops than the rest of the country.

And taxes paid? Despite the oft-repeated fact that tax rates for the wealthy are at an all-time low (which is true), it’s also true that the actual amount paid in taxes by the wealthy is higher than before the recession.

Share of Income

The One Percent paid an average effective tax rate of 28.9 percent on their income — far more than any other group, and more than twice the average effective rate of the middle class, who paid 11 percent on average.

So the rich lost more income and paid more of their money in taxes than the rest of the population.

This is not an argument against taxing the wealthy. And the incomes and tax rates of the wealthy may have jumped back since 2009, with the rebound in financial markets.

But when politicians and pundits talk about the rich just getting richer and paying less taxes, they need to pay closer attention to the actual numbers.

Average Federal Tax Rates, 1979 to 2009

Top 10 Places to find a 1%er:

10. Seattle

9. Boston

8. Atlanta

7. Dallas

6. Houston

5. Washington D.C.

4. Chicago

3. San Francisco

2. Los Angeles

1. New York City

(source CNBC)

Notice anything about the the Top 5?

Government and Liberals. Hmmm…

What a coincidence!! 🙂

But the Left will ignore it and you. They don’t care…

NOVEMBER IS COMING

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 

Money & Politics

Happy Cost of Government Day!

Candidate Obama 2008:

I always believed that welfare had to be changed. I was much more concerned ten years ago when President Clinton initially signed the bill that this could have disastrous results …

It worked better than I think a lot of people anticipated. And one of the things that I am absolutely convinced of is that we have to have work as a centerpiece of any social policy. Not only because, ultimately people who work are going to get more income. But the intrinsic dignity of work, uh, the sense of purpose.

… We were made for work … and the sense that you are part of a community, because you’re making a contribution.

President Obama 2012 pandering for re-election because of his lousy economy: Ah, forget it!

The Department and Health and Human Services announced the agency will issue waivers for the federal work requirement of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — considered a central facet of welfare reform in 1996 — Thursday.

The “Information Memorandum” states that the agency will be issuing waivers for TANF’s work participation requirements for parents and caretakers as a way to find new approaches to better employment outcomes.

Just sit on your ass. Collect your check and watch The View.
Oh, and VOTE FOR ME! because the other guy won’t be as nice. He’s the Devil incarnate , you know (a rich white guy!). 🙂
And also, F*ck you Bill! (Clinton who passed the Welfare form with Democrat support in 1996).

According to Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, the memorandum is proof of the Obama administration’s continued disrespect for the rule of law.

“President Obama just tore up a basic foundation of the welfare contract,” Jordan said in a statement. “In exchange for taxpayer-funded TANF payments, the law calls on able-bodied adults to work, look for work, take classes, or undergo drug and alcohol counseling. It’s the tough love that gives people motivation to help themselves…Today’s action is also a blatant violation of the law. After immigration, education, marriage, and religious conscience protections, we can now add welfare reform to the list of laws President Obama refuses to follow.” (DC)

He just don’t feel like it, right now. He has only 1 priority in his life right now and this is getting in the way.
It’s good to be The King.
Speaking of Money:
The Internal Revenue Service’s total revenue went down from 2007 to 2009, while the tax rate for the top earners went up, increasing from 19.4 percent to 21 percent. Meanwhile, McBride said, the tax rates for the bottom two quintiles’ — -5.8 percent of income in 2007 and -9.3 percent in 2009 — means the  IRS actually paid them.

The top 20 percent of earners — the top quintile — bore 67.9 percent of the federal tax burden in 2009. The middle quintile paid 9.4 percent, while the lowest paid .03 percent of the federal tax burden.

So the Rich got poorer and the poor got refunds. The rich paid more taxes and the poor paid less (50% pay no income taxes at all!)
Now that’s “fair”!! 🙂

In the chart <below>, we’re measuring the strength of all the post World War II recession recoveries as measured from the very bottom of payroll jobs lost. The last time we featured it, the recovery from the 2007 recession was just barely the worst ever.

And today, it is definitively the worst recession jobs recovery ever.

Worst. Recession. Jobs. Recovery. Ever.

But that’s Bush’s Fault!  🙂

Nothing produces a greater sense of the futility of facts than seeing someone in the mass media repeating some notion that has been refuted innumerable times over the years.

On July 9, on CNN’s program The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, commentator Gloria Borger discussed President Obama’s plan to continue the temporary extension of the tax rates established under the Bush administration — except for the top brackets, where Obama wanted the tax rates raised.

Ms. Borger said, “If you’re going to lower the tax rates, where are you going to get the money from?”

First of all, nobody is talking about lowering the tax rates. They are talking about whether or not to continue the existing tax rates, which are set to expire after a temporary extension. And Obama is talking about raising the tax rate on higher-income earners.

But when Ms. Borger asked “where are you going to get the money from” if you don’t raise tax rates, she was assuming an automatic correlation between tax rates and tax revenues, which is demonstrably false.

As far back as the 1920s, a huge cut in the highest income-tax rate — from 73 percent to 24 percent — led to a huge increase in the amount of tax revenue collected by the federal government. Why? Because investors took their money out of tax shelters, where they were earning very modest rates of return, and put it into the productive economy, where they could earn higher rates of return, now that those returns were not so heavily taxed.

This was the very reason why tax rates were cut in the first place — to get more revenue for the federal government. The same was true, decades later, during the John F. Kennedy administration. Similar reasons led to tax-rate cuts during the Ronald Reagan administration and the George W. Bush administration.

All of these presidents — Democrat and Republican alike — made the same argument for tax-rate reductions that had been made in the 1920s, and the results were similar as well. Yet the invincible lie continues to this day that those who oppose high tax rates on high incomes are doing so because they want to reduce the taxes paid by high-income earners, in hopes that their increased prosperity will “trickle down” to others.

In reality, high-income earners paid not only a larger total amount of taxes after the tax-rate cuts of the 1920s, but also a higher share of all the income taxes collected. It is a matter of record that anyone can verify by looking at with official government statistics.

This result was not peculiar to the 1920s. In 2006, the New York Times reported: “An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.”

Expectations are in the eye of the beholder. Tax-cut proponents expected precisely the result from the Bush tax cuts that so surprised the New York Times. So did tax-cut proponents in the John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan administrations.

If this concept has not yet trickled down to the New York Times or CNN’s Gloria Borger, that is a commentary on the media commentators.

Ms. Borger may simply not know any better, but Barack Obama cannot use that excuse. When he was a candidate for president back in 2008, Charles Gibson of ABC News confronted him with the fact that there was no automatic correlation between the raising and lowering of tax rates and whether tax revenues moved up or down.

Obama admitted that. But he said that he was for raising tax rates on higher-income earners anyway, in the name of “fairness.” How higher tax rates that the government does not actually collect make any sense, whether from a fairness perspective or as a way of paying the government’s bills, is another question. The point here is that Obama knew then that tax rates and tax revenues do not automatically move in the same direction.

In other words, he is lying when he talks as if tax rates and tax revenues move together. Ms. Borger and others in the media may or may not know that. So they are not necessarily lying. But they are failing to inform their audiences about the facts — and that allows Obama’s lies to stand.

NOVEMBER IS COMING

Doleling Out the Jobs

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Democrats are spinning away that adding 80,000 Jobs last much is “going in the right direction”. And we’ve “created private sector job growth” every month, yada yada…Just at a snails pace. And the snails are winning.

And that’s Congress’s fault. 🙂

Not the over regulation and overtaxing and a Democrat Senate that hasn’t passed it’s own budget in 3 1/2 years and refusing to even debate anything the “obstructionist” Republicans pass.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects 1,781,000 students at the bachelor’s degree level will graduate as the college Class of 2012.

Joblessness among new entrants to the workforce is 300,000 higher than three years ago.

And That’s on top of the Millions still out of work, some for years at a time.

Unemployment topped 8% for the 41st month in a row.

And even though the current unemployment rate of 8.2% is officially below the level three years ago, that’s because millions have given up looking for work and so aren’t counted as unemployed. If you adjust for that change, today’s unemployment rate would be 10.9%.

This is already the longest jobs recession since the Great Depression at 53 months. Payrolls aren’t on track to reach the old highs until June 2015, assuming the sluggish economic expansion lasts that long. (IBD)

So does it sound like a celebration to you?

Only if you a liberal. Only if you’re trying desperately to sell sand to man dying of thirst in a desert.

But that’s Bush’s Fault too. 🙂

To explain away the ongoing jobs debacle, <Chief Economic Advisor Alan> Krueger claims “there are no quick fixes to the problems we face that were more than a decade in the making.” Translation: Cut your griping and be thankful Obama has been able to do so well, given the terrible hand he was dealt.

It’s all Bush’s Fault! 🙂

According to American Enterprise Institute researcher (and former IBD staffer) James Pethokoukis, it will take 219,000 net new jobs each month to bring the unemployment rate below 8% by Nov. 6’s Election Day. 

VP Joe Biden: Romney, he said, believes “somehow that those so-called job creators will make everything OK for the rest of us.”

And that’s a bad thing. After all, Romney to the left is a mustache twirling Monopoly board/cartoon Millionaire villain tying grandma to the railroad tracks as the steam train is bearing down her!

Government central planning and doling out of union jobs and more government sector union jobs is the way to go! Federal jobs (ex post office) are up 10.7%.

Establishments less than a year old, including those belonging to the same firm, totaled 556,553 in 2010, according to the latest Commerce Department data. That’s down 26% from the peak of 747,278 in 2006. Meanwhile, the number of employees at startups has plunged, with a greater share of new firms with no employees — one-man shops. Very small startups are less likely to invest or to grow, a bad sign for future hiring. (IBD)

New York Times: It is increasingly apparent what the economy will look like when President Obama faces voters in November: pretty much what it looks like today.

So that’s the “right direction” and everything is “fine”. 🙂

Then There’s:

More workers joined the federal government’s disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation’s jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.

The economy created just 80,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But that same month, 85,000 workers left the workforce entirely to enroll in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, according to the Social Security Administration.

The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama’s recovery. While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits.

In other words, the number of new disability enrollees has climbed 19% faster than the number of jobs created during the sluggish recovery. (Even after accounting for people who left the disability program because they died or aged into retirement, disability ranks have climbed more than 1.1 million in the past three years.)

And the disability ranks will continue to swell. In just the last month, almost 275,000 put in applications for disability benefits. Experts say that more people try to get on disability when jobs are scarce, and changes to eligibility rules enacted back in 1984 have made it far easier to qualify.

In addition, while hiring has been very weak during the recovery, the number of people who have dropped out of the labor force entirely has exploded by 7.3 million since June 2009, an IBD analysis of BLS data show. Some aged into retirement, but most either signed up for disability, stayed in school, moved back in with parents, or just quit looking for a job.

As a result, the “labor force participation rate” — the number of people who have jobs or are actively looking for one compared with the entire working-age population — is now 63.8%, down from 65.7% in June 2009. This participation rate is at the lowest levels in 30 years. In previous recoveries, the participation rate has almost always risen, not fallen.

Other indicators show that the three-year-old economic recovery isn’t producing jobs in adequate numbers:

The unemployment rate has been above 8% for 41 consecutive months. In the previous 60 years, the jobless topped 8% in a total of only 39 months.

The number of people with jobs is still nearly 5 million below its pre-recession peak.

The number of long-term unemployed — those out of work 27 weeks or more — is still 5.4 million — almost 1 million higher than when the recovery began, and almost twice the level it ever reached prior to Obama’s recovery.

The median length of unemployment is 19.8 weeks. Throughout Obama’s recovery, it has averaged 20.6 weeks. Prior to Obama, that number had had never exceeded 10.5 weeks.

So, say it with me because you can here screaming in your LEFT ear, “But that’s Bush’s Fault!” , he left us a ‘mess’ ad nauseum.

The poor recovery has also driven people to sign up for food stamps in record numbers. From June 2009 to April 2012, food stamp enrollment surged 11.3 million, or 32%, according to the Department of Agriculture.

In addition, the soft jobs market has driven median household incomes down more after the recession ended than during the recession itself, according to Sentier Research, which tracks monthly household income.

After adjusting for inflation, median annual household income tumbled 5.3% from June 2009 to May 2012. In contrast, median incomes dropped 2.6% during the 18-month recession, Sentier found.

“The recession was bad enough,” said Sentier’s Gordon Green, “but what’s extraordinary is the even larger decline during this so-called economic recovery.”

It shows, Green said, “how much ground we have to make up just to get back to where we were.” (IBD)

But the Private sector is “doing fine”.

More people on the government dole, less people working a whole new crop of unemployed college grads…

Now that’s “moving in the right direction” Mr. President!

NOVEMBER IS COMING!

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Got it?

The economy is “fine” and all we need to do is more stimulus spending. The Democrats plan is working.

Just how bad have the last three years been for some Americans? A Fed survey has some brutal data today showing that both median family income and net worth dropped dramatically over the last three years.

The median family net worth dropped a staggering 40% to $77,300 in 2010 from $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said in its Survey of Consumer Finances which is released every three years. The median family income dropped as well from $49,600 in 2007 to $45,800, or a 7.7% drop.

Middle-class families faced the brunt of the declines with those in the 60th to 80th percentile of income seeing a 40.4% drop in net worth from $215,700 to $128,600. Families with a net income in the the 20th to 39.9th percentile of income saw a 35.4% drop in net worth from $39,600 to $25,600.(Forbes)

Damn those “obstructionist” Republicans  and evil rich corporate pigs!

Not only were Americans still facing significant debts, but they were making less money. Median income fell nearly 8 percent.

We just need more taxes and more spending and everything will be “fine”….eventually.

“The share of families with any type of debt decreased 2.1 percentage points to 74.9 percent over the 2007–10 period , reversing an increase that had taken place since 2001.” In particular, the share of a family’s outstanding credit card balances decreased 0.6% over the three-year period.

Meanwhile The Obama Administration has Spent $6 Trillion Dollars in ADDITIONAL DEBT. And they want to SPEND EVEN MORE!

Gee, I wonder who get’s it?  (and who SHOULD get it in November!) 🙂

But in truth, the president doubled down, explaining again his argument that the only real problem that the private sector really has is the decline in government hiring as federal stimulus funds have dried up. (FOX)

The Unemployment rate for Government employees is 4.2%. It’s been over 8% since February 2009 otherwise. But it’s “fine” and we just need to spend even more!

Compare that to private-sector industries such as construction (14.2 percent unemployment), leisure and hospitality services (9.7 percent), agriculture (9.5 percent), professional and business services (8.5 percent) and wholesale and retail trade (8.1 percent). As Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute points out, the public-sector unemployment rate “is the lowest of any industry or class of worker, even including the growing energy industry.” If the rest of Americans enjoyed the same unemployment rate as government workers, Obama would be cruising to reelection. (townhall)

“I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I can’t pay a tax,” said Susan Beehler, one in a group of North Dakotans who have pressed for an amendment to the state’s Constitution to end the property tax. They argue that the tax is unpredictable, inconsistent, counter to the concept of property ownership and needless in a state that, thanks in part to wildly successful oil drilling, finds itself in the rare circumstance of carrying budget reserves.

“When,” Ms. Beehler asked, “did we come to believe that government should get rich and we should get poor?”(NYT)

In a Word: “fair”. 🙂

Still, even if the measure here fails on Tuesday, the notion is picking up steam in some Republican circles in other states, including North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania.

“No tax should have the power to leave you homeless,” said Jim Cox, a state representative in Pennsylvania who has proposed legislation to eliminate the school property tax in the state where, he said, such taxes have led to residents’ losing homes to sheriff’s sales, entering into reverse mortgages or simply moving away.

Do you think some people are ahead of the self-interested bureaucrats and Tax-and-spend Liberals?

Yes.

Are they right?

Maybe.

But shaking up the liberal status quo is always a good thing. But be prepared for the rattlers and cobras that you turn over when peeking under those rocks. They will be VERY MAD.

But, if all else fails the Nobel Peace Prize Winner will just step up the Drone attacks on his “kill list” and make himself look like a bad ass. 🙂

But there is a Bright Side:

Union workers in the Sharpsville Area School District cafeteria were the victors in a dispute with the school over what they could, and could not eat.

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed the grievance in 2011, according to the settlement which was approved by a unanimous vote of the school board May 21.

The board’s solicitor Bob Tesone approved the release of a copy of the three-page resolution this week following an earlier request by The Herald.

The grievance was based on the allegation that the school district “violated established past practice” in charging cafeteria workers for food or drinks that couldn’t be sold or consumed by students. These items would include food or drinks with expired dates or foods that had been reheated, none of which can be served to students according to safe food regulations.

But according to the settlement, cafeteria employees indeed can eat and drink those expired or reheated items – at their own risk. And they don’t have to pay for them. (Sharon,PA Herald)

Now ask yourself why this was litigation worth to begin with??

But at least this Union has won an important victory for the people to eat expired food that the taxpayers paid for and now they get to scarf as much of it as possible without paying for it!
Onward to Wisconsin! 🙂
Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a “cascade” of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the “private sector is doing fine.” (Washington Post)
But at least Union workers can eat expired food!!
“It’s not as bad as the Great Depression.  There’s a winning slogan…but it’s incredibly awful.”–Uber Liberal Paul Krugman.
Jared Bernstein, a former Obama economic adviser, said the president’s gaffe won’t do lasting damage “because that’s not the way he sees it.”
Well, that make me feel better. that’s settled.
Blame high private sector unemployment on Republicans.  This second point is particularly rich, considering that Democrats already had their bite at the “shovel ready jobs” apple, and failed spectacularly.  The president was even reduced to chuckling at his multibillion dollar miscalculation. Oops!  Democrats didn’t need any Republican support to pass the stimulus.  They could have fashioned whatever bloated monstrosity they wanted, and they did.  When voters elected Republicans in a landslide in 2010 to rein in the spending carnival, the GOP slammed the breaks on Obama’s unpaid-for son-of-stimulus known as the “American Jobs Act.”  The White House would have us believe that this “obstructionism” is what has prevented a guns-blazing recovery.  Does Carney not recall that this legislative panacea was also repeatedly blocked and stalled by Senate Democrats?  And is he unaware that the GOP has passed a decent chunk of The One’s jobs agenda?  Of course not, but he’s got nothing else to say. It’s that simple.
Obama promised that his $825 Billion boondoggle would increase household incomes by $3,000 on average.  Median income has since dropped to 15-year lows, and American families’ net wealth has plunged even further.  But blame Bush.  Yes, the downward trend started under Bush (the cause of the 2008 meltdown is a subject for another day), but Obama promised to fix things.  He has not. (Guy Benson)
But that’s not his fault!
And all we need to do is raise taxes, screw the rich and corporations, and Spend even more more and Utopia awaits!!
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
Michael Ramirez Cartoon

How Goes the War?

The grand plan of Obama is working.

High Gas Prices, low employment and a stagnant economy riddled with inflation is making people use less fossil fuels.

Traffic congestion dropped 30% last year from 2010 in the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, driven largely by higher gas prices and a spotty economic recovery, according to a new study by a Washington-state firm that tracks traffic flows.

But they better off than they were 4 years ago. OF COURSE NOT.

But the Solyndra-Loving, fossil fuel hating Liberals I bet are all over the moon excited.

It’s not like they care WHY the numbers have dropped. Because they don’t.

******

A group of disgruntled stay-at-home moms is fighting back against a 2009 law that limits credit card access to people with proof of income.

The group says the Credit CARD Act of 2009 sets women back half a century, according to an online petition at change.org.

2009? When the Democrats had a majority in both houses. Hmm…

I guess Stay-At-Home Moms along with “never having held a job their lives” and since they don’t “understand” economics after all they just don’t need credit cards. Let that be the Man of The House’s Job! 🙂

Intending to limit irresponsible lending, the law requires credit card applicants to provide proof of income in order to qualify. Stay-at-home moms, with no income, do not qualify for approval, unless their husbands co-sign for the card, which has the group of angered moms fighting back.

“It is 2012, and because I’m a stay at home mom, I can’t get my own credit card,” the petition reads. “My husband has to give me permission to get my own line of credit. This is demeaning and flat out unfair.”

So would this be the Democrats “War on Women”?? 🙂
Bet the Minsitry of Truth will be all over this 24/7/365! 🙂
Or do you have to be a “rich” woman with her own money (like Teresa Hines Kerry) or one that can afford the $38,500 per plate at an Obama Fundraiser?
The group is also asking their members to send a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, claiming “the new rules send a message that stay-at-home parents are not as credit-worthy as young adults still in school without their own income.”
This was the board set up in Dodd-Frank that was going to save us all from the unscrupulous, evil, greedy, bankers and mortgage companies that forced people to take loans they could afford to pay back and then they traded them around as derivatives until they crashed.
Imagine what they can do with Health Care! 🙂

Obama: “As you begin the next stage in your journey, you will encounter greed and selfishness; ignorance and cruelty. …  (and that’s just from Democrats and Unions) You will meet people who try to build themselves up by tearing others down (Liberals); who believe looking after others is only for suckers,” (that’s the governments job after all) he said.

“My deepest hope for all of you … [is that] you can serve as a reminder that we’re not meant to walk this road alone (Government is right at every step to “help” you); that we’re not expected to face down adversity by ourselves,” (You have the government largess to fall back on) he told his audience. “We’re stronger together than we are on our own.”

Yes, Comrade, it Takes a Village!!!
Maybe they need government issued Credit Cards? 🙂
Oh, that’s right, that happened during Katrina and their was massive fraud! 🙂

But don’t worry, he gets a pass on anything he says.

Pelosi: “We know we have to balance the budget.  (1,1,30 Days since the Senate passed a budget at all- so we believe you Nancy!) We have to establish our priorities and make the cuts accordingly (The Military and every other “right wing” program we can get our hands on). We have to have revenue on the table (Screw the rich!) and we have to invest in growth (Spend even more!) because the creation of jobs (and the unemployment over 8% for 3 1/4 years and millions and millions deserting the workforce all together has certainly shown they way) is what will bring revenue to the Treasury (But not like taxing the rich will) and continue our economic recovery which is important to the American people,” (what recovery? where in your liberal fantasies?) Pelosi said Thursday at the Capitol.

“So to toss this into the mix right now, saying we have to have cuts that exceed even the lifting of the extent to which we lift the debt ceiling is really immature, irresponsible, let’s get serious.” (DC)

Who cares if we are spending 50% more than we  take in. All we have to do is tax the rich into oblivion and  submission and then cut the military to two tricycles and a pop-gun and everything will be rosy and wonderful!

It’s the Republicans fault, after all, that we haven’t passed a budget in well over 3 1/4 years and voted down Obama’s budget 2 years running…

Thomas Sowell: The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run. The current outbreaks of riots in Europe show what happens when the truth catches up with both the politicians and the people in the long run.Among the biggest lies of the welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic is the notion that the government can supply the people with things they want but cannot afford. Since the government gets its resources from the people, if the people as a whole cannot afford something, neither can the government.There is, of course, the perennial fallacy that the government can simply raise taxes on “the rich” and use that additional revenue to pay for things that most people cannot afford. What is amazing is the implicit assumption that “the rich” are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away. History shows otherwise.

After the Constitution of the United States was amended to permit a federal income tax, in 1916, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of $300,000 a year or more fell from well over a thousand to fewer than three hundred by 1921.

Were the rich all getting poorer? Not at all. They were investing huge sums of money in tax-exempt securities. The amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities was larger than the federal budget, and nearly half as large as the national debt.

This was not unique to the United States or to that era. After the British government raised their income tax on the top income earners in 2010, they discovered that they collected less tax revenue than before. Other countries have had similar experiences. Apparently the rich are not all fools, after all.

In today’s globalized world economy, the rich can simply invest their money in countries where tax rates are lower.

So, if you cannot rely on “the rich” to pick up the slack, what can you rely on? Lies.

Nothing is easier for a politician than promising government benefits that cannot be delivered. Pensions such as Social Security are perfect for this role. The promises that are made are for money to be paid many years from now — and somebody else will be in power then, left with the job of figuring out what to say and do when the money runs out and the riots start.

There are all sorts of ways of postponing the day of reckoning. The government can refuse to pay what it costs to get things done. Cutting what doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients is one obvious example.

That of course leads some doctors to refuse to take on new Medicare patients. But this process takes time to really make its full impact felt — and elections are held in the short run. This is another growing problem that can be left for someone else to try to cope with in future years.

Increasing amounts of paperwork for doctors in welfare states with government-run medical care, and reduced payments to those doctors, in order to stave off the day of bankruptcy, mean that the medical profession is likely to attract fewer of the brightest young people who have other occupations available to them — paying more money and having fewer hassles. But this too is a long-run problem — and elections are still held in the short run.

Eventually, all these long-run problems can catch up with the wonderful-sounding lies that are the lifeblood of welfare state politics. But there can be a lot of elections between now and eventually — and those who are good at political lies can win a lot of those elections.

As the day of reckoning approaches, there are a number of ways of seeming to overcome the crisis. If the government is running out of money, it can print more money. That does not make the country any richer, but it quietly transfers part of the value of existing money from people’s savings and income to the government, whose newly printed money is worth just as much as the money that people worked for and saved.

Printing more money means inflation — and inflation is a quiet lie, by which a government can keep its promises on paper, but with money worth much less than when the promises were made.

Is it so surprising voters with unrealistic hopes elect politicians who lie about being able to fulfill those hopes?

Not Really. And with nearly half the country not paying any income taxes and record levels of food stamps and 99 weeks of unemployment payments will they vote to cut their own throats or yours first?

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

The Seinfeld Revolution

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The “revolution” about nothing.

The pot at the end of the socialist rainbow was Fool’s Gold.

Reality just isn’t “fair”. Like fer sure…

On the “unofficial, defacto online resource for the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests,” there is a proposed list of 13 demands, including immediate debt forgiveness for all, free college education, elimination of free trade, a $20 an hour minimum wage, guaranteed “living wage” regardless of income, open borders, $1 trillion government spending on infrastructure, $1 trillion government spending on ecological restoration, a racial and gender equal rights amendment and easier unionization voting procedures.

“These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy,” “LloydJHart,” the drafter of the online demands, asserts. “LyoydJHart” lists his hometown as Vineyard Haven, a Massachusetts town on the island of Martha’s Vineyard — a favorite summer vacation spot for the president.

The demands listed by “LyodJHart” are more specific than the general dictate of these protests. As one Internet forum poster, “GandhiKingMindsetResist,” put it, “The one demand in New York is: ‘Shut Down Wall St.’ Why are we shutting down Wall St.? ‘Because Wall St. is hurting Americans, hurting citizens of the world and ruining our environment.”

Business Insider has reported on what an n+1 magazine writer discovered during his foray into the protests: That outside of the aforementioned demands, the protesters also want full employment, negative income tax (in which the government actually pays people below a certain income bracket), repeal of the Citizen’s United campaign funding Supreme Court ruling, universal health care centers, a Tobin tax (short-term tax on currency conversions), reinstatement of Glass-Steagall banking regulation, paid sick leave and pay-as-you-go military intervention.

The “Occupy Wall Street” protests and former White House “green jobs czar” Van Jones (an admitted communist) are the beginning of an “American Fall,” according to Rep. John Larson, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

In Tuesday evening remarks before a group of visiting activists and journalists from Egypt and Tunisia, Larson said the United States has drawn inspiration from revolutions in those countries and, as a result, is experiencing its own “Arab Spring, if you will.”

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller following his speech, Larson said left-wing activists with “the right morals” are pushing America’s democracy to “evolve.”
The protesters’ political demands have been far too widely varied to represent much agreement, but the group’s website claims: “The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.”
“They’re standing up and saying the things they feel deep inside that are working unjustly and unfairly against them,” concluded Larson, “and everybody ought to take heed, that it’s not only an ‘Arab Spring,’ but there is an ‘American Fall’ as well.”

The little socialist were raised by Liberal educators to believe everything should be “fair” and when reality (and Liberal keynesian economics) hit them in the face they were mad and like children who don’t get the toy they want right now! they lash out and cry and whine that life just in’t fair and it should be!
I have said for quite a while now that this notion of “fair” is the inception point for the liberal mindset. If it isn’t “fair” in their minds then it’s evil and must be destroyed or control completely and utterly.
So you have the liberal need to control everyone and everything, so as to make it “fair”.
But these skulls full of liberal mush just hit the brick wall of reality and they want the wall to break because it’s just not “fair”.
Screw working hard to succeed, let those who have succeed pay THEM!! That’s “fair”

The gold at the end of the socialist rainbow turns out to be Fool’s Gold and they aren’t intellectually capable of understanding this and so they get frustrated and like a baby they cry and whine about it.

Oh,and then there’s a diversity problem.
The tea party is condemned by the left as just “angry white people” but it appears by photographic evidence so are the “occupiers”. 🙂

Though a few representatives of minority groups have appeared among the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in New York City, photos and videos of the left-wing mini-throngs indicate they suffer from a serious lack of diversity. And the protesters themselves told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that they are conscious of the issue, if not the inconsistency it demonstrates.

A 40-photo Washington Post slideshow showing hundreds of angry protesters in New York and other cities includes no more than 15 clearly identifiable minority protesters, and just six African-Americans. The rest of the protesters shown are white, and most are male.
In 26 photos from San Francisco and Chicago gatherings posted on OccupyTogether.org, only one person from a minority group is clearly visible, and it’s unclear whether he is a protester or a bystander.

Minority groups are similarly underrepresented in photos and videos posted on OccupyWallSt.org, the self-described “unofficial de facto online resource for the ongoing protests happening on Wall Street.”

Even the “unofficial” organizers of the protest events admit this is — or at least appears to be — problematic.

“That’s an interesting question, and it comes up often,” OccupyWallSt.org’s Patrick Bruner said in an email to TheDC. “Unfortunately, we have a very high turnover rate, and nobody as of yet has come up with official diversity related statistics for us. From observation, I can tell you that we’re not all white, and that we also have a huge LGBT [Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender] population.”

“We’re working on reaching out to minority groups as well,” Bruner adds. “Thanks for the food for thought, I’m sorry I don’t have more exact information for you right now.”

I love liberal guilt. I hope they tear themselves apart trying to be “fair” to minorities while condeming the Tea Party as a bunch of angry racist white people.
The irony, hypocrisy and ludicrous double standards will be completely lost on the cognitively dissodent Left.
“When Occupy Wall Street activists call themselves the ‘99 percent,’ it turns out they mean 99 percent non-diverse (by their own politically correct measurements),” Meichelle Malkin said in an email.
And now the Government Unions and Democratic party Apparatchiks are “orginizing” these lost sheeple.

“It’s as pale out there at Camp Alinsky as MSNBC’s prime-time lineup or the New York Times editorial board.  Not counting the cameos by Jesse Jackson and Cornel West, that is.”

“The liberal media will only engage in racial bean-counting of protest crowds when it serves their political ends: Namely, painting the Right as homogenous and non-inclusive,” Malkin said. “We heard endless derision about the tea party’s lack of skin-color diversity from Hollywood and the national press. But not a peep about the Abercrombie & Fitch-meets-Apple central casting mob swamping lower Manhattan.”

Gainor added that mainstream media representatives “only see what they want to see.” He said reporters scoured tea party rallies for evidence of racism, while failing to notice how “white” the left-wing crowds are.

Exactly.

Leftist Rally
“What do we want?”
“We want an end to capitalism”
“When do we want it?”
“Now!”
“What do we want instead?”
“We don’t know, but we want it now!”
And can you can you give me a job, free health care, car, food, entertainment and pension for life…

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need–Karl Marx
🙂

Ann Coulter: They say they want Obama re-elected, but claim to hate “Wall Street.” You know, the same Wall Street that gave its largest campaign donation in history to Obama, who, in turn, bailed out the banks and made Goldman Sachs the fourth branch of government. (and many Obama appointees come from Goldman Sachs)

This would be like opposing fattening, processed foods, but cheering Michael Moore — which the protesters also did this week.

But to me, the most striking difference between the tea partiers and the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd — besides the smell of patchouli — is how liberal protesters must claim their every gathering is historic and heroic.

They chant: “The world is watching!” “This is how democracy looks!” “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!”

At the risk of acknowledging that I am, in fact, “watching,” this is most definitely not how democracy looks.

Sally Kohn, a self-identified “community organizer,” praised the Wall Street loiterers on CNN’s website, comparing the protest to the Boston Tea Party, which she claimed, “helped spark the American Revolution,” adding, “and yes, that protest ultimately turned very violent.”

First of all, the Boston Tea Party was nothing like tattooed, body–pierced, sunken-chested 19-year-olds getting in fights with the police for fun. Paul Revere’s nighttime raid was intended exclusively to protest a new British tea tax. (The Wall Street protesters would be more likely to fight for a new tax than against one.)

Revere made sure to replace a broken lock on one of the ships and severely punished a participant who stole some of the tea for his private use. Samuel Adams defended the raid by saying that all other methods of recourse — say, voting — were unavailable.

Our revolution — the only revolution that led to greater freedom since at least 1688 — was not the act of a mob.

As specific and limited as it was, however, even the Boston Tea Party was too mob-like to spark anything other than retaliatory British measures. Indeed, it set back the cause of American independence by dispiriting both American and British supporters, such as Edmund Burke.

George Washington disapproved of the destruction of the tea. Benjamin Franklin demanded that the India Tea Co. be reimbursed for it. Considered an embarrassment by many of our founding fathers, the Boston Tea Party was not celebrated for another 50 years.

It would be three long years after the Boston Tea Party when our founding fathers engaged in their truly revolutionary act: The signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In that document, our Christian forebears set forth in blindingly clear terms their complaints with British rule, their earlier attempts at resolution, and an appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world for independence from the crown.

The rebel armies defending that declaration were not a disorganized mob, chanting slogans for the press and defacing public property.

Even the Minutemen, whose first scuffle with the British began the war, were a real army with ranks, subordination, coordination, drills and supplies. There is not a single mention in the historical record of Minutemen playing hacky-sack, burning candles assembled in “peace and love,” or sitting in drum circles.

A British lieutenant-general who fought the Minutemen observed, “Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob will find himself very much mistaken.”

By contrast, the directionless losers protesting “Wall Street” — Obama’s largest donor group — pose for the cameras while uttering random liberal cliches lacking any reason or coherence.

But since everything liberals do must be heroic, the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd insists on comparing themselves to this nation’s heroes.

One told Fox News’ Bill Schulz: “I was born to be here, right now, the founding fathers have been passing down the torch to this generation to make our country great again.”

The Canadian environmental group behind Occupy Wall Street, Adbusters, has compared the Wall Street “revolutionaries” to America’s founding fathers. (Incidentally, those who opposed the American Revolution fled after the war to … Canada.)

The — again — Canadians exulted, “You sense they’re drafting a new Declaration of Independence.”

I suppose you only “sense” it because they’re doing nothing of the sort. They say they want Mao as the president — as one told Schulz — and the abolition of “capitalism.”

The modern tea partiers never went around narcissistically comparing themselves to Gen. George Washington. And yet they are the ones who have engaged in the kind of political activity Washington fought for.

The Tea Party name is meant in fun, inspired by an amusing rant from CNBC’s Rick Santelli in February 2009, when he called for another Tea Party in response to Obama’s plan to bail-out irresponsible mortgagers.

The tea partiers didn’t arrogantly claim to be drafting a new Declaration of Independence. They’re perfectly happy with the original.

Tea partiers didn’t block traffic, sleep on sidewalks, wear ski masks, fight with the police or urinate in public. They read the Constitution, made serious policy arguments, and petitioned the government against Obama’s unconstitutional big government policies, especially the stimulus bill and Obamacare.

Then they picked up their own trash and quietly went home. Apparently, a lot of them had to be at work in the morning.

In the two years following the movement’s inception, the Tea Party played a major role in turning Teddy Kennedy’s seat over to a Republican, making the sainted Chris Christie governor of New Jersey, and winning a gargantuan, historic Republican landslide in the 2010 elections. They are probably going to succeed in throwing out a president in next year’s election.

That’s what democracy looks like.

DEPENDENCY

Going along with that, and that 47% of all american paid no income taxes at all.

Nearly half, 48.5%, of the population lived in a household that received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2010, according to Census data. Those numbers have risen since the middle of the recession when 44.4% lived households receiving benefits in the third quarter of 2008.

The share of people relying on government benefits has reached a historic high, in large part from the deep recession and meager recovery, but also because of the expansion of government programs over the years.

Some 34.2% of Americans lived in a household that received benefits such as food stamps, subsidized housing, cash welfare or Medicaid (the federal-state health care program for the poor).

Another 14.5% lived in homes where someone was on Medicare (the health care program for the elderly). Nearly 16% lived in households receiving Social Security.

So the number of people dependent on government (aka someone else) increases and the number of tax payers (the people paying for this mess) decreases. Meaning the ones left holding the bag are paying even more.

But don’t worry, it the “rich” people’s fault. And corporations are evil. Capitalism must be destroyed for people to be free.

From Whom the Bell Tolls…

OBAMACARE

Bantering with the audience at a fundraiser in St. Louis yesterday, President Barack Obama bragged about a new regulation, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has denounced as an “unprecedented attack on religious liberty.”

“Darn right!” an audience member at the fundraiser shouted as Obama described the regulation.

Darn tooting!Obama said back.

The proposed regulation, designed to implement part of Obamacare, will require all private health plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives–including those that cause abortions—without charging any fees or co-pay. These regulations were drawn to implement a provision in Obama’s health-care law that calls for all health-care plans to cover “preventive services.”

Combined with Obamacare’s mandate that all individuals must buy health insurance, the “preventive services” regulation would require all American Catholics to buy health care plans that pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortions–all of which violate Catholic moral teaching.

A “religious exemption” in the regulation is so narrowly drawn that it does not include any lay Catholics, or any Catholic hospitals, charitable organizations, or colleges or universities. Thus, many major Catholic institutions in the United States would be forced to choose between dropping health insurance coverage for their employees and students or violating the moral teachings of their own church.

In comments on the regulation submitted to HHS last month, the Catholic bishops called for the regulation to be “rescinded in its entirety” and described the proposal as “government coercion of religious people.”

“Indeed, such nationwide government coercion of religious people and groups to sell, broker, or purchase ‘services’ to which they have a moral or religious objection represents an unprecedented attack on religious liberty,” the bishops said.

At a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis last night, Obama touted the “preventive services” regulation to an appreciative audience.

“And, yes, we passed health care reform because no one in America should go bankrupt because somebody in their family gets sick,” said Obama, according to the official White House transcript of his remarks.

“Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage for no good reason,” said Obama. “They won’t be able to deny your coverage because of preexisting conditions.  Think about what that means for families all across America.  Think about what it means for women.” 

At that point, an audience member shouted: “Birth control.”

“Absolutely. You’re stealing my line,” said Obama.

“Breast cancer, cervical cancer, are no longer preexisting conditions,” Obama continued. “No longer can insurance companies discriminate against women just because you guys are the ones who have to give birth.”

At this point, a member of a laughing audience shouted out: “Darn right!”

“Darn tooting,” Obama answered back—to laughter. “They have to cover things like mammograms and contraception as preventive care, no more out-of-pocket costs.”

Last week, the Catholic bishops distributed an insert for placement in church bulletins all across the country. It called on Catholics to contact HHS to object to the regulation. On their website the bishops are now asking Catholic to write Congress to urge members to support legislation that would overturn the regulation. (CNS)

Your only religion should be to Government. And the President is the Pope. And the Church of Ever More Spending and Control can’t possibly be wrong now can it, Citizen…. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler


Skin in the Game

Today, a record number of Americans—52 million, or 36 percent of all filers—have no direct connection with the basic cost of government because they pay no income taxes. If we add this group to the people who have some income but don’t file a tax return, the ranks of American households outside the income tax system rise to 48 percent.

It gets worse, just keep reading. And remember the liberal mantra that evil Rich people don’t pay any taxes!

Tax Expenditures and Progressivity

There is a common belief that because so many tax expenditures benefit upper-income taxpayers, the “rich” are not paying their fair share of taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, because of the expansion of tax benefits aimed at low- and middle-income households, the OECD finds that the U.S. has the most progressive income tax system of any industrialized country. What that means is that the top 10 percent of U.S. taxpayers pay a larger share of the income tax burden than do the wealthiest decile in any other industrialized country, including traditionally “high-tax” countries such as France, Italy, and Sweden.

Meanwhile, because of the generosity of such preferences as the EITC and child credit, low-income Americans have the lowest income tax burden of any OECD nation. Indeed, the study reports that while most countries rely more on cash transfers than taxes to redistribute income, the U.S. stands out as “achieving greater redistribution through the tax system than through cash transfers.”

The share of the income tax burden borne by America’s wealthiest taxpayers has been growing steadily for more than two decades. Figure 4 compares the share of income taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers to the share paid by the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers.

The chart shows that, as of 2008, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 38 percent of all income taxes, while the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers paid just 30 percent of the income tax burden. By any measure, this is the sign of a very progressive tax system.

Indeed, many of these 52 million tax filers now look to the IRS as a source of income thanks to the more than $100 billion in refundable tax credits paid to people who have no income tax liability.

As a result of removing millions of people from the bottom of the tax rolls, we have dramatically reduced the number of people with “skin in the game.” Indeed, the top 1 percent of taxpayers now pays a greater share of the income tax burden than the bottom 90 percent combined.

Sadly, individuals are not the only taxpayers looking to the IRS as a source of income. The proliferation of tax credits aimed at promoting technologies such as renewable energy and fuel-efficient products has addicted many companies and industries to IRS handouts. In a recent case, one-third of the profits of a major appliance company were attributable to energy production credits.

Ironically, but perhaps not surprisingly, the sectors suffering the biggest financial crises today—health care, housing, and state and local governments—all receive the most subsidies through the tax code.  The cure for what ails these industries is to be weaned off the tax code, not given more subsidies through such things as the First Time Homebuyer’s Credit, Premium Assistance credits, or more tax-free bonds.

Washington can actually do more for the American people by doing less. The solution lies in fundamental tax reform. Indeed, as the plan authored by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson (co-chairmen of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform), demonstrated, Americans could enjoy much lower tax rates, and the government could raise the same amount of revenue if most—if not all—tax expenditures were eliminated.

That said, the primary goal of fundamental tax reform should not be raising more money for government. The primary goal should be improving the nation’s long-term economic growth and lifting living standards.

Economists at the OECD have determined that high corporate and personal income tax rates are the most harmful taxes for long-term economic growth. Unfortunately, the U.S. has one of the highest corporate income taxes among industrialized nations and one of the most progressive personal income tax systems.

Cutting these rates while broadening the tax base would greatly improve the nation’s prospects for long-term GDP growth. The benefits of higher economic growth will accrue to taxpayers and Uncle Sam alike.

To be sure, many people improperly view the forgone revenue from tax expenditures as “the government’s money.” By this view, what the tax code allows taxpayers to keep through tax preferences has thus been “spent” in the same manner as a government program.

But there is a very real moral and functional difference between the government taking $1,000 from a taxpayer and giving it to the Department of Energy for switch grass research, and a tax preference which allows that taxpayer to keep $1,000 of his own money because he purchased new windows for his home. The tax credit may be poor tax policy, but the transaction is clearly one that the taxpayer chose of his own accord. The government did not actively take his money and give it to Home Depot for the new windows.

One of the dominant issues in any discussion of tax expenditures is who benefits from them. Because the value of a tax deduction depends upon the taxpayer’s marginal tax rate, many of the largest and best known tax preferences, such as the mortgage interest deduction, do tend to benefit upper-income taxpayers. However, over the past 20 years or so, lawmakers have increasingly turned to using tax credits to benefit low- and middle-income taxpayers. This has had the unintended consequence of removing millions of taxpayers from the tax rolls altogether.

Most tax credits can only reduce the amount a taxpayer owes to zero, but the EITC and the child tax credit are also refundable, meaning that taxpayers are eligible to receive a check even if they have paid no income tax during the year. Those tax returns have become, in effect, a claim form for a subsidy delivered through the tax system in much the same way that a traditional government program sends out a welfare check or a farm support check.

In 2008, according to the most recent IRS data available, 25 million tax filers received $51.6 billion in EITC benefits. Of this amount, $50.5 billion was refundable in excess of their income tax liability. Also in 2008, some 25.3 million filers received $30.7 billion in child tax credit benefits, with more than 18 million of these filers getting $20.5 billion in refundable checks. Many families are eligible for both the EITC and the child credit. These are not refunds of overpaid tax; they are payments to people who have already gotten back everything that was withheld from their paychecks during the year.

In an important 2009 study, in order to gain a better understanding of the overall amount of redistribution that occurs through both tax and spending policies, Tax Foundation economists measured how much families at various income levels paid in taxes versus how much they received in spending benefits.  The results of this analysis show that federal tax and spending policies are very heavily tilted to the poor and middle-class, even before considering the Obama administration’s major policy initiatives such as health care reform. For 2010, the Tax Foundation report found that the bottom 60 percent of American families received more in government spending than they paid in taxes.

Not surprisingly, as Figure 5 shows, government spent $10.44 on the lowest-income families for every dollar they paid in taxes. Remarkably, families in the middle-income group received $1.15 for every dollar they paid in taxes.

By contrast, the top 40 percent of families paid more in taxes as a group than they received in government spending benefits. The highest-income families received 43 cents in government spending for every dollar they pay in taxes, even though they are assumed in this study to disproportionately benefit from public goods such as national defense.

Overall, federal tax and spending policies combined to redistribute more than $824 billion from the top 40 percent of families to the bottom 60 percent of families in 2010. In other words, the entire federal fiscal system is very progressive and redistributive.

But you’ll never hear that from your anti-rich, anti-corporate Class Warfare liberal.

Why?

Because that like asking Al Sharpton to not be a Race Baiter. It’s what they do. It’s at the core of what they do.

That’s the game.

And that’s their skin in that game. Without it, they have no skin.

And speaking of snakes and skin: Rep. Anthony “The Weiner” Weiner who once boasted that ObamaCare and he were “one” now wants waivers from ObamaCare for New York City because he wants to run for Mayor some day soon.

That’s his skin in the game.

New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner toasted the one-year anniversary of Obamacare this week — and accidentally spilled his champagne glass all over the disastrous, one-size-fits-all mandate. Ostensibly one of the federal health care law’s staunchest defenders, Weiner exposed its ultimate folly by pushing for a special cost-saving regulatory exemption for New York City.

If it’s good for the city Weiner wants to be mayor of, why not for each and every individual American and American business that wants to be free of Obamacare’s shackles?

Weiner joins a bevy of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s” loudest cheerleaders — unions, foundations and left-leaning corporations — in clamoring for more waivers for favors. (The list of federal waiver recipients now tops 1,000, covering more than 2.6 million workers.) And he follows a gaggle of health care takeover-promoting Democrats maneuvering on Capitol Hill for get-out-of-Obamacare loopholes.

At a speech before the George Soros-supported Center for American Progress, as reported by Politico.com, Weiner revealed that he’s “in the process now of trying to see if we can take (President Barack Obama) up on” a favor waiver and is “taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.” Echoing all the Republican critics of Obamacare who objected to top-down rules that override local variations in health care expenditures, Weiner explained: “I’m just looking internally to whether the city can save money and have more control over its own destiny.”

More local control over taxpayers’ destiny, eh? Give that man a “Hands Off My Health Care” sign, a Gadsden flag and a tea party membership card ASAP!

I kid, of course. The ultimate agenda of many waiver-seekers is to create a wormhole path to even more radical restructuring of the health system. Weiner has brazenly called for a single-payer “public option” to replace Obamacare should it be repealed. Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has also crusaded for more Kabuki “flexibility” in the law through a bipartisan state waiver proposal.

But as The Heritage Foundation noted, the plan “simply changes a date on an existing ‘state innovation’ provision of Obamacare from 2017 to 2014 — still well after the federal Obamacare infrastructure has been cemented in place.” And it is essentially “a back-door vehicle for progressive states to enact the ‘public option’ and speed up the establishment of a single-payer system for health care.” White House health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter further reinforced in a conference call to liberal advocates that the bill would help states implement single-payer health care plans, such as those tested in Connecticut and Vermont.

Weiner argues that the waiver process dispels “this notion that the government is shoving the bill down people’s throats.” But only the politically connected, deep-pocketed, lawyered-up and Beltway-savvy can apply. And the White House refuses to shed more light on its decision-making process. Obama’s selective favor waivers simply underscore the notion that unaccountable regulatory bureaucrats are presiding over government by the cronies, for the cronies and of the cronies.

Real control over our destinies means flexibility and choice for all. Repeal is the ultimate democratic waiver. (Michelle Malkin)

But more likely, we’ll be skinned as game!! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Michael RamirezPolitical Cartoons by Glenn Foden

God Bless All US Tiny Tims

Now don’t call it ObamaCare and don’t cut it: http://www.breitbart.tv/liberal-pundit-acts-offended-by-term-obamacare/

Now That’s worth a Ho-Ho Ho! 🙂

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

Merry Christmas D.C.:

‘Washington, D.C.’s workers enjoy the highest salaries of any U.S. city, with a median household income of $85,198,” CNNMoney reported recently. It’s even higher for the federal worker segment of the city, with an average wage last year for federal civilian workers of $81,258 per person.

It’s good to be the King or his minions.

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

Not even Ebenezer Scrooge had the stomach to fire people during the holidays.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, plans to move full speed ahead with new regulations on January 2 that will likely cost many Americans their jobs before the New Year’s Eve party hats have even been put away.

In a nutshell, the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule will treat emissions from renewable biomass energy the same as emissions from the use of fossil fuels, despite the fact that both policymakers and scientists have long considered biomass emissions to be carbon-neutral due to the life cycle of the forests from which biomass is produced.

(Global warming Update: Early Sunday, winter storm warnings stretched from Georgia through New England.

The white Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia, S.C., had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887. Atlanta had just over an inch of snow—the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since the 1880s.)

This new rule and regulatory uncertainty could spell the end of the biomass energy industry by removing the carbon-neutral status of biomass and, consequently, the biggest incentive to continue investing in it. Recent estimates have shown that biomass generated from forest byproducts could supply as much as 15 percent of the nation’s renewable energy by 2021, yet this will likely never be realized if biomass producers are forced to comply with arbitrary, unfair and unnecessary regulations like those in the Tailoring Rule.

Unfortunately, the Tailoring Rule won’t just disincentivize the use of renewable biomass energy. It will also have widespread effects on our energy options, as well as jobs and the economy.

Forisk Consulting recently released a new study on the economic impact of the Tailoring Rule, which found that the regulations on biomass will result in the loss of over 134 renewable energy projects, up to 26,000 jobs, and $18 billion in capital investment. According to the study’s authors, 23 biomass energy projects have already been placed in limbo due to regulatory uncertainty. In Wisconsin, for example, Xcel Energy Inc. halted plans for a biomass energy plant that would have brought over 100 jobs to Ashland, Wisc., as well as a needed source of domestic power for the entire area. Xcel Energy cited the expected cost increases and regulatory uncertainty as reasons for canceling plans for the plant—and they are likely to be one of many energy companies doing the same.

The negative economic impact will be especially felt in Appalachia and rural parts of the South, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northeast, where biomass energy shows great promise as a source for domestic clean energy and innovative new jobs.

In addition to harming domestic renewable energy development and the economy, the EPA commits a crime that Mr. Scrooge would never commit: wasting money. In President Obama’s “stimulus” program alone, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy have collectively spent more than $100 million of taxpayer money to promote biomass power production.

The new study by Forisk Consulting only further confirms what bipartisan governors, U.S. Senators, and U.S. Representatives, state and local lawmakers, scientists, and forestry industry insiders have been saying all along—that the Tailoring Rule will hurt energy development, jobs, and the economy at a time when we need all three to be thriving.

Even Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN), the outgoing Chair of the House Agriculture, said before the election, “[The EPA is] screwing things up. They’re raising costs for people, they’re raising the price of food, and I don’t think they’re accomplishing anything.”

The intransigent EPA isn’t yet listening to the bipartisan, nationwide outcry against the Tailoring Rule. Perhaps they will finally begin to pay attention to this latest round of hard facts about the impact of their regulations before it’s too late. (Timothy Lee is the director of legal and public affairs at the Center for Individual Freedom, a free-market and constitutional advocacy organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.)

So another lump of coal for your fire when you’re electricity is too expensive for you to have anymore  and you have no job because the carbon biomass was too much to afford.

Oh, that’s right, coal is politically incorrect! Silly me.

God Bless us Everyone! 🙂

And finally, some TSA “humor”:

From TSA (note the last bullet point):

Photobucket

Does wearing this count as an inappropriate joke? (Katie Pavlich)

Photobucket

Merry After-Christmas Sales you evil capitalist pigs! 🙂

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

It’s Good to be the King!

Political Cartoon

The Washington area’s affluence and education levels make it the wealthiest and most educated region in the nation, according to census data released Tuesday that reflect five years of relative prosperity compared with the rest of the country. (Washington Post)

Bureau of Labor Statistics: State and local government employers spent an average of $26.25 per hour worked for employee wages and salaries in September 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Wages and salaries accounted for 65.5 percent of compensation costs while benefits averaged $13.85 per hour worked and accounted for the remaining 34.5 percent.

That’s $40.10 per hour for government employees. It’s good to be the kings minions.

Health benefit employer costs in September 2010 were $4.65 per hour worked for state and local government and $2.10 in private industry.  Defined benefit retirement plan costs for state and local government employers were $2.94 per hour worked, significantly higher than 44 cents for private industry employers.

Their health care costs are twice that of the private sector and retirement plans (aka the fat Union pensions most likely) are nearly 7 Times higher than the private sector.

No wonder they want bailouts and ObamaCare, we the little people’s costs have to be controlled so that we can afford to pay the King’s minions their due tribute.

Among state and local government employees, average hourly compensation costs were higher for management, professional, and related occupations ($48.73) than for service occupations ($30.17) and sales and office occupations ($27.87).

No wonder they want everyone else to pay for them and why so many states are going bankrupt.

And why so many unions are viciously protective of their Golden Goose Parachutes.

Now this is GREED. Real, honest to God, GREED.

And guess what, they are mostly DEMOCRATS!

Fascinating isn’t. 😦

So when the boo-hoo acts and whining and crying and nashing of teeth continues and government spending is cut (hopefully)  just remember who’s been the dragon hoarding all the Gold.

Your Government.

And especially, the Government Unions and Government employees which are almost exclusively, Democrats.

So is this the reason for the Class Warfare?

To pay for their lavish greed they have to wage war on Private Industry and YOU.

You get the privilege of paying for their Golden Goose.

And if you don’t want to, well, you’re just a nasty, evil scrooge-like greedy capitalist pig. You want to screw poor people!

Meanwhile, they are counting their $40.01 per hour.

So who’s the victim in this war. Certainly not the Warriors. 🙂

And the War Dead, well, you’re just a bunch of dumb, ignorant, hacks who want the Greed-addicted drug addicts to spend less on themselves.

How Dare you!

It’s good to be the King!

But sire, the peasants are revolting!

Yes, they stink on ice! 🙂

(with thanks to Mel Brooks)

DREAM ACT Update

UCLA Professor Kent Wong (director of UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education) said: “We will win the dream act soon — very soon,” he exclaimed. “When that day comes, we will celebrate with millions and millions of people of people across this country who are standing with you tonight. Who stand for justice, who stand for democracy and equal opportunities for all.”

“When that day happens, the young people of the DREAM Act movement, will go on to accomplish and do great things with your lives,” he said. “You will go on to become lawyers, teachers, doctors and members of the US congress to replace those old white men… You are the hope and future of this country. You are hope and future of your generation.”

So there you have it, the DREAM Act is to  “replace” white people (with Hispanic Democrats mind you).

But that’s not racist, because a radical leftist said it, mind you. 🙂

Just like, cutting government spending will hurt the poor.

Orwell would be proud of you, my leftist sons.

 

 

2011

People can change the volume, the location and the composition of their income, and they can do so in response to changes in government policies.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the nine states without an income tax are growing far faster and attracting more people than are the nine states with the highest income tax rates. People and businesses change the location of income based on incentives.

John Fund of WSJ’s Political Diary breaks down Tuesday’s most interesting primary contests. Also, WSJ Columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady translates the latest economic signals from Washington.

Likewise, who is gobsmacked when they are told that the two wealthiest Americans—Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—hold the bulk of their wealth in the nontaxed form of unrealized capital gains? The composition of wealth also responds to incentives. And it’s also simple enough for most people to understand that if the government taxes people who work and pays people not to work, fewer people will work. Incentives matter.

People can also change the timing of when they earn and receive their income in response to government policies. According to a 2004 U.S. Treasury report, “high income taxpayers accelerated the receipt of wages and year-end bonuses from 1993 to 1992—over $15 billion—in order to avoid the effects of the anticipated increase in the top rate from 31% to 39.6%. At the end of 1993, taxpayers shifted wages and bonuses yet again to avoid the increase in Medicare taxes that went into effect beginning 1994.”

Just remember what happened to auto sales when the cash for clunkers program ended. Or how about new housing sales when the $8,000 tax credit ended? It isn’t rocket surgery, as the Ivy League professor said.

On or about Jan. 1, 2011, federal, state and local tax rates are scheduled to rise quite sharply. President George W. Bush’s tax cuts expire on that date, meaning that the highest federal personal income tax rate will go 39.6% from 35%, the highest federal dividend tax rate pops up to 39.6% from 15%, the capital gains tax rate to 20% from 15%, and the estate tax rate to 55% from zero. Lots and lots of other changes will also occur as a result of the sunset provision in the Bush tax cuts.

Tax rates have been and will be raised on income earned from off-shore investments. Payroll taxes are already scheduled to rise in 2013 and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will be digging deeper and deeper into middle-income taxpayers. And there’s always the celebrated tax increase on Cadillac health care plans. State and local tax rates are also going up in 2011 as they did in 2010. Tax rate increases next year are everywhere.

[laffer]

Now, if people know tax rates will be higher next year than they are this year, what will those people do this year? They will shift production and income out of next year into this year to the extent possible. As a result, income this year has already been inflated above where it otherwise should be and next year, 2011, income will be lower than it otherwise should be.

Also, the prospect of rising prices, higher interest rates and more regulations next year will further entice demand and supply to be shifted from 2011 into 2010. In my view, this shift of income and demand is a major reason that the economy in 2010 has appeared as strong as it has. When we pass the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 2011, my best guess is that the train goes off the tracks and we get our worst nightmare of a severe “double dip” recession.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan—with bipartisan support—began the first phase in a series of tax cuts passed under the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), whereby the bulk of the tax cuts didn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 1983. Reagan’s delayed tax cuts were the mirror image of President Barack Obama’s delayed tax rate increases. For 1981 and 1982 people deferred so much economic activity that real GDP was basically flat (i.e., no growth), and the unemployment rate rose to well over 10%.

But at the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 1983 the economy took off like a rocket, with average real growth reaching 7.5% in 1983 and 5.5% in 1984. It has always amazed me how tax cuts don’t work until they take effect. Mr. Obama’s experience with deferred tax rate increases will be the reverse. The economy will collapse in 2011.

Consider corporate profits as a share of GDP. Today, corporate profits as a share of GDP are way too high given the state of the U.S. economy. These high profits reflect the shift in income into 2010 from 2011. These profits will tumble in 2011, preceded most likely by the stock market.

In 2010, without any prepayment penalties, people can cash in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Keough deferred income accounts and 401(k) deferred income accounts. After paying their taxes, these deferred income accounts can be rolled into Roth IRAs that provide after-tax income to their owners into the future. Given what’s going to happen to tax rates, this conversion seems like a no-brainer.

The result will be a crash in tax receipts once the surge is past. If you thought deficits and unemployment have been bad lately, you ain’t seen nothing yet. (Mr. Arthur Laffer is the chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author of “Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status” (Threshold, 2010).)
And there’s the “reduction” in the Deficit from The Government takeover of health care and those associated taxes.

Then the proposals for Cap & Trade that will tax your energy.

Fifty three of the Senate’s 59 Democrats gave unelected, overpaid bureaucrats at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a green light yesterday to do pretty much whatever they choose in their quixotic crusade against global warming. All 41 Republicans and six brave Democrats voted for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s resolution nullifying the EPA’s recent usurpation of authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate the U.S. economy to combat greenhouse gases. Thankfully, this craven surrender of congressional authority isn’t the last word on the issue, assuming that the November elections produce a Senate with enough backbone to reassert the legislature’s rightful power.

In the meantime, it’s vital to understand how bureaucracies function. Whatever else they may do, leading bureaucrats always do two things, regardless of which party controls the White House or Congress: They limit choices available to the rest of us by imposing regulations that increase government power and thus justify expanding their budgets and staffs; and they protect themselves and their turf by suppressing internal dissent, often at any costs.

As an example of the latter, consider career EPA scientist Alan Carlin. Last year, Carlin went through all the proper channels in submitting a study to the EPA’s top leadership in which he raised serious questions about the credibility of scientific reports used to justify the agency’s decision to regulate greenhouse gases. Carlin’s study became public thanks to the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Carlin’s reward was to be publicly pilloried by President Obama’s EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson. His work was suppressed within the agency, and he was threatened with additional retaliation if he continued voicing his views. Rather than endure this bureaucratic muzzling, Carlin retired.

Similarly, EPA lawyers Allan Zabel and Laurie Williams — a married couple living in San Francisco who between them have four decades of experience at the agency — became so concerned last year about the EPA’s support of cap-and-trade legislation that they created a YouTube video titled “The Huge Mistake” to explain their case. They made it clear that the video represented only their personal opinions, but the EPA still ordered them to change the video’s content or face severe punishment.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., predicts that a suffocating new round of EPA regulations will soon descend upon the “one-fifth of our restaurants, one-fourth of our schools, two-thirds of our hospitals and doctor’s offices, 10 percent of our churches, thousands of farms and millions of small businesses” that emit greenhouse gases. Considering how the EPA grandees mistreat their underlings, we wonder how the agency will respond to the soon-to-be-swelling ranks of critics on the outside.(Washington Examiner)

Then there’s the bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare.

But don’t worry, you can be safe and secure and get the warm fuzzies…

BECAUSE IT’S ALL GEORGE W. BUSH’s FAULT! 🙂

So have your Two Minute Hate (A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp-George Orwell) and go out and work 3 jobs just to put food on the table and a roof over your head.

The Guardian reported on June 2 that the UN was supporting a switch to a radical anti-meat agenda. “A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today,” wrote the paper.

Here’s how the group Vegan Action describes this extreme vegetarianism. “While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals

The UN report is all about the environmental impact of “consumption and production,” or pretty much what humans do – eat and make stuff. It warns: “A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

So evil carnivores everywhere beware, the Politically Correct are gunning for you too!

Best rest assured, the government will be here to save you! 🙂

We see it as a entrepreneurial bill – a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”-Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Doesn’t that just make you feel so much better! 🙂