Falling Down

Not Iraq…:)

Between the Cantor earthquake, the VA scandal (with new allegations cropping up, and bipartisan Congressional action underway), the Bergdahl affair, and the Benghazi select committee, Obamacare’s ongoing flaws and failures have taken a back seat in the political media in recent weeks — even within conservative circles. We’ve been on it, however, covering the CBO’s quiet acknowledgement that it will no longer score the law’s long-term fiscal impact, highlighting the millions of application “discrepancies” that are plaguing “new” “enrollees,” and noting that the law remains as unpopular as ever. Politico now reports that a long-delayed Obamacare feature has been pushed back…again:

The piece of Obamacare meant to help small businesses provide better health insurance options for their workers failed to launch in Year One, and the Obama administration on Tuesday gave the go ahead for 18 states to put part of it on hold once again. The Small Business Health Options Program is Obamacare’s neglected stepchild. As one of two new marketplaces set up by the health care law, SHOP was meant to encourage companies with up to 100 employees to cover their workers and give them a menu of insurance options. The delay leaves the exchange for small employers hobbled in large parts of the country until at least 2016 and creates another element of the law that’s inconsistent from state to state. SHOP has always been in the shadow of the individual exchanges, but unlike HealthCare.gov, which recovered from its fiasco start and signed up 8 million people, the federal SHOP is still nearly moribund. Its website has yet to get off the ground.

 

In the states where small business exchanges will finally open, only one “option” we be available for consumers to “choose.” President Obama repeatedly promised that a centerpiece of his healthcare overhaul would be “choice and competition. He told small businesses owners and employees that SHOP would reduce their rates by 25 percent. His administration estimated earlier this year that roughly two thirds of small businesses will actually face higher premiums. Meanwhile, in spite of their brave-face cheering and “winning streak” declarations from the media, Senate Democrats are still extremely wary of Obamacare’s politics. Here’s what went down in a key Senate committee just yesterday:

The chairwoman of the Senate committee responsible for a spending bill funding implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care law has canceled a vote on the measure after Republicans signaled they would force a series of votes that would be politically painful for some committee Democrats. The move by Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski came after several Democrats expressed reservations about voting on amendments related to so-called Obamacare. The bill’s author, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, had said the Appropriations Committee would debate and approve the measure on Thursday. But the session never was scheduled by Mikulski, whose spokesman says the schedule is “under review.”
And who, exactly, may have “expressed reservations” about being forced to vote on Republican Obamacare-related amendments? Surprise:

Several Appropriations Democrats, including Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska, are at risk of losing re-election bids this fall.
Why would these selfless public servants pass up an opportunity to both fund a law they voted for and help “fix” it, as they claim to support? Weird.

Finally, a news report out of Kentucky highlights the problem of increased ER visits in the era of Obamacare. Increased coverage levels was supposed to reduce this problem, but that outcome has not been borne out by the facts.(Townhall)

Also…

The House of Representatives is set to vote Thursday on a Department of Agriculture spending bill that contains a provision to allow schools to opt out of the Obama administration’s healthy school lunch standards.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) acknowledged that the healthy lunch standards create an additional cost for schools. However, she argued that treating conditions like Type 2 diabetes and hypertension in overweight children cost even more, about $14 billion a year.

“I have been very clear that we want to move forward,” Stabenow said.”We’re not going to roll back what we’re doing.”

Stabenow should realize that whether or not medical treatment is more expensive, the schools aren’t responsible for footing those healthcare costs. They are, however, responsible for paying for this mandatory policy that many children don’t even want to utilize. While the cause is admirable, making such regulations mandatory will not work for every school. Obama needs to realize that a better strategy would be to work on this issue in other non-compulsory ways, rather than to maintain this required regulation that forces schools to play parent even when the policy clearly isn’t working. (Townhall)

But that’s not how Liberals roll. They rule, they dictate and then when it goes to hell they ameliorate and modify because they are morally and ethically superior beings (in their own heads) and they just have to figure out how to get the lesser beings (you and me) to do what they want you to do.

When it all goes pear shaped, they can’t admit they we’re wrong. Bottom Line. They will keep tinkering until you give in.

After all, “They Care”… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Obama Explained

Brilliantly written piece. With, may I say, many ideas and concepts I have said in this blog. 🙂

Wayne Root: Remember when Geraldo opened Al Capone’s vault live on national TV? Well I’m about to solve the mystery of Obama. I’m about to break “the Obama code.” I’m about to tell you everything about the way Obama, and the people around him, really think. I’m about to rip open the true Obama plan to destroy our country. Because I was there when the plan was hatched.

How do I know all this? Because I was Barack Obama’s college classmate at Columbia University, Class of 1983. I was easy to recognize – the lone outspoken conservative in a class of 700 students. I knew I was in trouble when my first political science class at Columbia was “Communism 101″ taught by Professor Trotsky in the Fidel Castro Building, at the corner of Marx Blvd. and Lenin Drive.

I’m only half-kidding. My experiences at Columbia were not far off.

Everyone needs to hear my story because what Obama and I learned at Columbia explains EXACTLY what Obama is doing to America today.

The economy in deep decline; the disappearance of jobs; the annihilation of the middle class; the demonization of business owners; the destruction of small business with onerous regulations and taxes; the overwhelming debt and spending of out-of-control government; the millions of Americans losing their health insurance; and the unimaginable increase in dependency through welfare, food stamps, unemployment, disability, and now free  health care.

It’s all easily explained when you hear what Obama and I learned at Columbia.

America’s decline under Obama isn’t due to mistake, ignorance, or incompetence at the hands of a community organizer. It’s a purposeful, brilliant plan hatched at Columbia University to destroy capitalism, American exceptionalism, Judeo-Christian values, and the American Dream.

I never met Obama at Columbia. We were both Political Science majors, both Pre Law. We graduated on the same day. There were perhaps 100 to 150 of us in the Political Science department. And I thought I knew all of them.

As the token big-mouthed conservative patriot, I know they all knew me. But not Obama. I never met him, saw him, or even heard of him. Not one of my friends at Columbia ever met him either. At our 30th class reunion last May, I could not find a single classmate who had ever met him. Strange story, but I digress.

What matters is what Obama learned and experienced at Columbia. My classmates hated America. They spoke with glee about one day  ”taking the system down.” They blamed America for “unfairness, racism, inequality, and lack of social justice.”

Recognize those words?

My classmates proudly called themselves socialists, communists, and Marxists. Even though almost all of them came from wealthy families (or perhaps because of it), they hated the rich and despised business owners. They talked about how the “white power structure” had to be dismantled, business owners bankrupted, and capitalism destroyed. Everything in their minds was based on “social justice.”

Sound like the policies of anyone you recognize in the White House? Does “We have to spread the wealth around” ring a bell? How about “If you own a business, you didn’t build that.”

How about Obama’s hatred of Republicans and refusal to negotiate with Congress? It’s clear he thinks he’s “morally superior” to conservatives. That attitude was born at Columbia too.

In 1981 when a student burst through the doors to our political science class and screamed  “The President has been shot. They’ve assassinated Reagan”… my classmates yelled, hugged, high-fived, and jumped up and down cheering the death of a Republican. Today most of my classmates are either in government with Obama, or controlling the mainstream media. They talk about “moderation and compromise,” but always remember 30 years ago they cheered for the death of a Republican.

But, there’s more. We were all taught a simple, but brilliant plan. My classmates discussed it 24/7. It was their “American Dream.”

By the time the middle class realizes he’s the killer and they’re the prey, they’ll already be dead.

It was called “Cloward-Piven,” after former Columbia professors Richard Cloward and Frances Piven. To bring down America and our capitalist system, they were taught to overwhelm the system with massive spending, entitlements and debt. That would cause the economy to collapse, wipe out the middle class, and bring Americans to their knees, begging government to save them.

It’s the exact plan Obama has been implementing. The centerpiece is Obamacare.

Obamacare isn’t about health care. It’s about bankrupting the middle class and addicting it to government dependency. It’s about redistributing wealth from the middle class and small business to Obama’s voters (the poor and unions). Its goal is to wipe out the last vestiges of middle class America, creating a two-class society: the super rich and the poor (both beholden to Obama).

Obama learned well, it’s working to perfection.

So that explains the plan. But how do you implement it? We were taught that at Columbia too.

A key component of the plan involved fooling the voters by calling yourself “moderate” and a “uniter,” even though you are a radical Marxist. We were taught to never admit what you really believe in. It involved demonizing your opponents, calling them “evil, greedy, extreme, radical, and terrorist.” Look in the mirror and call your opponents the very things you are.

Obama learned well.

The plan taught us to hide your true intensions (in other words- lie, misrepresent, commit fraud). So Obamacare is about “saving the uninsured,” as opposed to income redistribution.

Government regulations are to “protect us from global warming,” as opposed to wiping out small business.

Amnesty for illegal immigrants is about “fairness,” as opposed to creating 12 million new Democratic voters.

High taxes are to “create equality,” as opposed to starving Obama’s political opposition.

Obscene spending is always about “helping widows and orphans,” as opposed to bribing Obama’s voters.

Higher teacher salaries to reward terrible performance are “for the kids,” as opposed to enriching teachers unions so they can funnel hundreds of millions to Democrat politicians.

Bailing out GM was to “save jobs,” as opposed to saving bloated auto union pensions.

It’s always about lying to coverup the Marxist agenda of destroying the middle class, redistributing wealth, and putting big government in control of our every move. Why the lies? We were taught at Columbia that “It’s for the greater good” and “We know what’s best for those people” and ”The ends justify the means.”

Obama learned well.

But the key to it all is to “boil the frog slowly.” We learned at Columbia to set the fire low, so the frog wouldn’t complain. By the time he realized what was happening, he’d be cooked.

That’s why every Obama speech starts and ends with “I’m here to save the middle class,” while his actions are annihilating them. He’s boiling the frog slowly. By the time the middle class realizes he’s the killer, and they’re the prey, they’ll already be dead.

The root (excuse the pun) of every Obama policy, everything Obama does, and everything happening to the U.S. economy, all started at Columbia. The entire Obama agenda to overwhelm the system, wipe out the middle class, bankrupt small business, and destroy capitalism, was hatched at Columbia. Obama may not have attended class, but he learned well.

He should have received the Karl Marx Award for “Student Most Likely to Destroy America.”

And a Nobel Prize for Peace! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

139748 600 Cheap date cartoons

The Underclass

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The most recent evidence comes from a Gallup survey of small businesses, commissioned by the Littler Mendelson consulting firm. Gallup found that more than four in 10 companies have frozen hiring because of Obama-Care, and almost one in five have cut workers to minimize the cost of the law.

Another 38% said they’d “pulled back on their plans to grow their business.”

Meanwhile, just 9% thought ObamaCare would be good for their business.

Littler Mendelson’s Steven Friedman called the findings “pretty startling.”

Evidence Stacking Up

This is hardly the first or only sign of ObamaCare’s harmful side effects on the job market.

A January survey by human resources consulting firm Adecco that half of small businesses said they planned to cut jobs, not hire new workers, or shift to more part-timers because of the law.

In March, the Federal Reserve reported that businesses were citing ObamaCare costs “as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”

Earlier this year, Gallup found a sharp uptick in part-time work, with part-timers accounting for almost 21% of the labor force, up from 19% three years ago.

IBD’s Jed Graham reported in May that retailers had cut average weekly hours for nonsupervisory workers by 2%, the sharpest such decline in more than three decades.

Graham also reported on the explosion in temp jobs, noting that “in the past four months, the temp industry has added 99,000 jobs, a spurt that has outpaced the gains in every other sector, except the restaurant industry.”

Companies are starting to tell in quarterly earnings reports how they will be cutting hours or shifting to part-time help to avoid taking a massive Obama-Care hit to their bottom lines.

And last week, IBD reported that local governments across the country have been cutting part-time hours to 29 or fewer a week so they can avoid ObamaCare as much as possible.

Full-Time Problem

What’s driving all this jobs trauma is the ObamaCare mandate that every company with 50 or more full-time workers provide those workers “affordable” health benefits, or face fines that can add up to millions of dollars. The IRS decided in a ruling earlier this year that for the purposes of ObamaCare, a 30-hour workweek would be considered full time.

The situation has gotten bad enough that even Democrats who voted for the law are starting to worry about the mandate’s ill effects on jobs.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., has even teamed up with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on a bill that would define “full time” as 40 hours a week. Donnelly told the Washington Post that without that change, ObamaCare will “be a negative for our families.”

Who’s Ignorant?

ObamaCare backers claim that all this talk from small firms about cutting jobs comes from the fact that too many are ignorant of the law. “We need to do more educating about the law,” said Rhett Buttle of the Small Business Majority.

Organizing for Action (The Obama Campaign group) is launching a seven-figure ad campaign promoting Obamacare, as the administration works to convince more Americans to sign up for health care under the president’s signature law.

“Better coverage and lower costs, that’s what Obamacare means for them,” adds the narrator of the latest ad.

What universe of delusion do they live– It’s called Progressive Liberalism. It’s a mental disorder. It prevents reality from seeping in to their wish fulfillment.  The universe works the way they want it and if it doesn’t it’s not because they are delusional it’s because you’re mean, cruel and stupid and you want to deny their “enlightened” brilliance.

You’re the problem, not them!!

But the ones who’ve shown their ignorance are those Democrats who thought the federal government could sharply boost the cost of employment without having a negative effect on jobs.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius even claimed that the employer mandate would provide small businesses an incentive to hire. “What I hear from folks is they see this as a huge step forward,” she said.

If Democrats really want to take a huge step forward on jobs, a good place to start would be repealing ObamaCare entirely. (IBD)

But since this was the Holy Grail of Government control and expansion that will never happen and it will never be their fault either.

“Proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing” (Douglas Adams) and Democrats have total faith in themselves so it must be someone elses fault when their schemes crash and burn.

There is no chance they could be wrong. There view of the universe just doesn’t spin that way.

You doubt it? Read on…

If you have to keep it a secret, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

I guess you have to pass it to find out what’s in it. Maybe… 🙂

But the California legislature and the new Covered California health insurance exchange are conspiring to keep secret how they will dole out more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer dollars to contractors. The lion’s share of the money is going for what the exchange budget terms “outreach.”

In truth, the money is going to build Democratic Party enrollment.

The Obama administration granted a whopping $910 million to California to set up its insurance exchange. That money is not for bandages, surgery, nurses and doctors to care for the sick. Nor is it for insurance plans, though $910 million could buy generous coverage for at least 113,000 people!

Shockingly, the $910 million is slated for bureaucracy, including rich compensation packages for exchange employees ($360,000 a year for the executive director) and contracts for computer equipment, public relations and “outreach.”

Outreach is the largest expenditure and where the real monkey business occurs.

Amazingly, California legislators passed a law that the exchange could keep secret for a year who received the contracts and indefinitely how much they were paid. California’s open-records laws would otherwise prohibit such secrecy.

Last week, Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and four other Republican senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee called for an investigation of California’s concealing information on contracts awarded using federal taxpayer money.

What is known so far suggests that California politicians are exploiting health reform to enroll millions of the uninsured in the Democratic Party and fill the coffers of left-wing interest groups with taxpayer money.

Here are the facts to back up that cynical picture:

California lawmakers passed a law (Senate Bill 35) requiring that voter registration be part of the health insurance exchange.

Last month, Covered California announced $37 million in grants to 48 organizations to build public awareness about the opening of the health exchange on Oct. 1.

Of the 48 organizations that got grants, only a handful are health-care related. The California NAACP received $600,000 to do door-to-door canvassing and presentations at community organizations.

Service Employees International Union, which says its mission is “economic justice,” received two grants totaling $2 million to make phone calls, robo-calls and go door to door.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO got $1 million for door-to-door, one-on-one education and social networking. It describes its role as “engaging in both organizing and political campaigns, electing pro-union and pro-worker candidates.”

Community Health Councils, a California organization with a long history of political activism against fracking, for-profit hospitals, state budget cuts and oil exploration, got $1 million to conduct presentations at community and neighborhood meetings and one-to-one sessions.

These organizations, closely allied with the Democratic Party, are being funded by your tax dollars to conduct “outreach,” meaning the kind of phone banking and door-to-door canvassing that activists do to turn out the vote. They will turn out the uninsured to enroll on the exchanges and in the Democratic Party.

The $37 million awarded last month is only the first installment of California’s $190.4 million to be spent on contracts for “outreach” through December 2014.

In addition to outreach, California’s actual enrollment process is also outsourced to employees of community organizations, unions and health clinics. These enrollment “assisters” will be paid $58 for each enrollee they sign up. An additional $49 million is budgeted to pay them the first year, but in future years, assisters will be paid out of the premiums collected by the exchange.

The template is repeated in every state. The Obama health law creates a permanent stream of funding for unions and community activists by outsourcing insurance enrollment to them.

Assisters will also guide the uninsured to sign up for whatever non-health social services they may be eligible for, including welfare, food stamps and housing assistance, according to the manual prepared by the Community Health Councils for California’s implementation.

Anyone who remembers the days of James Curley, Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall gets the picture. If you were poor or a newcomer to this country, you went to the local ward boss and got whatever you needed in exchange for your vote.

The difference is that back then, politics was local. Now the Obama health law is institutionalizing this corrupt style of politics across the country. Whether you live in California or New York, local community activists and unions will be recruiting people to enroll in ObamaCare and sign up to be part of the permanent, beholden Democratic voting majority.

Add in the Illegal Aliens (“New Democrats”) and  Gee, you have a permanent underclass of dependence that will vote for you regardless of what you do to them or anyone else. What could possibly be better than that!
That’ll show the world how great they are.
And I have never said anything like that before….:)
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

 Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Not Helpful

My first job paid $4.35/ hr. I was a “detailer” for Avis Rental Cars. That’s a fancy word for Window Washer.

That’s what I did all day.

After 18 months of that I decided to go back to College and get a degree.Which I did.

Then after college, got my first job in a Call Center. At 5.35/hr. But then I started moving up.

You don’t move up from a Window Washer. And at least one guy I worked with at that job wasn’t looking to move up from it.

It was slow. It was hard. It wasn’t glamorous or profitable. But eventually I made enough to buy this house. But it was hardly overnight. And I’m hardly set for life. I still have to perform or else.

You wanna know what the punch line to this is?

Adjusted for inflation that $4.35/hr would now be $8.82 because of inflation caused by the government and other entities.

So Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to be effectively the same as that was all those years ago.

So it’s about the politics of “caring” not about the actual problem – inflation. Especially inflation from devaluing the currency because of all the spending and borrowing.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The unemployment rate for teens is at 23%, and the rate for unskilled workers is at 12%. Why does President Obama propose raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and indexing it for inflation, as he stated in his State of the Union Address?

Obama and his advisors seem to believe that if the minimum wage were raised and then indexed, all workers would retain their jobs. But this is not the case.

Between 2007 and 2009, the federal hourly minimum wage rose to $7.25 in three steps from the $5.15 rate that had prevailed for a decade. If the wage were raised to $9 and then indexed for inflation, it would rise every year.

It sounds compassionate to alleviate poverty by mandating that employers raise wages, but employers often replace low-skill workers with machines. Think self-checkout machines in supermarkets, or computerized call centers.

Or, try a thought experiment — would you have your job if the minimum wage were $50 an hour? Probably not.

At its current level, the minimum wage disproportionately affects teens and low-skill workers, many of whom qualify only for entry-level slots.

University of California (Irvine) economists David Neumark and J.M. Ian Salas, together with Federal Reserve Board economist William Wascher, have written extensively on the effects of the minimum wage on employment. In a National Bureau of Economic Research paper published in January, they conclude that “minimum wages pose a tradeoff of higher wages for some against job losses for others.”

They specifically mention that a higher minimum wage results in more unemployment for teens and low-skill workers.

Why is it that some studies, such as those by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan Krueger, have found that increases in the minimum wage do not affect employment in the restaurant industry?

Two reasons, according to Neumark and his coauthors. First, many restaurant workers are paid above minimum wage. Second, a higher minimum wage can encourage employers to substitute more-skilled employees for less-skilled employees, so that total unemployment in that industry does not decline substantially.

Minimum wage workers are overwhelmingly young and work part-time. See the Labor Department’s Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers.

Two-thirds of minimum wage earners worked part-time in 2011, the latest year available. Only 3% of hourly wage earners earn minimum wage or less.

Workers under the age of 25 made up about half of the 3.8 million workers who earned at or below the minimum wage in 2011. Employed teenagers are seven times more likely to be among the minimum wage earners than workers older than 25.

Another 11 million workers earned between $7.26 and $8.99. Some will be in danger of losing their jobs if the minimum wage is increased.

In his State of the Union Address, Obama said that a full-time minimum-wage worker makes $14,500 a year. That’s 1.3 million workers, in a labor force of 156 million, about eight-tenths of 1%. But this understates actual income, because it does not include transfer payments.

As Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute has shown, the Earned Income Tax Credit adds to the minimum wage. Read Michael Saltsman.

Then you also add in your Obama Phone, Your Obama Internet….

In addition to the EITC, the value of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly food stamps, has risen over the past 20 years, increasing the resources of low-income workers. (See chart.)

In 1992, the hourly minimum wage was $4.25. For a family with one parent and two children, the value of the earned income tax credit was 69 cents, and the value of food stamps was just over a dollar, for total income of $5.96 an hour. (Other possible benefits include housing and Medicaid, depending on the state.)

Fast forward to 2012. The minimum wage was $7.25 an hour. For the same family, the EITC rose to $2.62, and the food stamps program added $1.67, for a total of $11.54. Assuming 2,000 hours of work annually, and including the EITC, the family makes not $14,500, but $19,736. This family also qualified for food stamps, bringing the total family income to $23,072.

Unlike increases in the minimum wage, these government transfers do not discourage employers from hiring.

The minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, plus the mandatory employer’s share of social security, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation taxes, brings the hourly employer cost to $8, even without benefits. Raising the hourly minimum wage to $9 will bring the cost to employers to about $10.

And in 2014, employers with more than 49 workers who do not offer the right kind of health insurance will have to pay a penalty of $2,000 per worker per year, further increasing costs and discouraging hiring. Many are already cutting back or reducing workers’ hours, because no penalty is owed on those working less than 30 hours weekly.

Unemployment rates for teens and low-skill workers rose faster than others in the recession. The adult unemployment rate stood at 7.3% in January 2012. That’s over 3 percentage points higher than the 3.8% rate in December 2007, five years earlier, at the start of the recession. But the January 2012 unemployment rate for teens was about 6 percentage points higher than December 2007, at 23%.

Employers now only employ workers who can produce $8 an hour or more of goods or services. Under Obama’s proposal, they would employ only those who could produce $10 an hour, an amount that would rise every year. The government can mandate steadily rising minimum wages, but not steadily rising teen skills and productivity.

As minimum wages rise, employers change technologies or hire more skilled workers.

Forbidding employment of those whose skills aren’t worth $10 an hour prevents workers getting their foot on the bottom of the career ladder. Obama is essentially proposing to take away the right to work for low-skill workers.

Most American employers have to pay more than minimum wage just to attract and hold the workers they need. Almost 140 million workers now earn above minimum wage, not because of federal or state law, but because that is the only way that firms can attract and keep employees with skills.

Instead of more money for youth employment, why not expand the federal minimum wage exception for teens? Under federal law, employers are allowed to pay teens $4.25 an hour for 90 consecutive calendar days, or until their 20th birthday, at which point the wage has to revert to $7.25 an hour.

The law is not simple. Employers have to show that teen workers don’t displace others. If the state minimum laws don’t specifically include the teen exception, then teens have to be paid the regular minimum — and the large states, such as California and New York, don’t mention teens. Ninety calendar days might cover a summer job, but if teens want to continue the job during the school year, employers have to pay them the standard wage.

Youth unemployment is a serious social problem in some European countries, such as France (27%), Spain (55%), and Italy (37%). These governments have taken every possible step to discourage the young from working short of criminalizing work: wages are regulated to be high, and it is costly to hire a new worker and even more costly to let one go. In these countries, young people have a much harder time getting started up the career ladder than their American counterparts.

America does not want to go down this road. Working at an early age teaches useful skills, transferable to future jobs, such as getting to work on time, staying the whole day, and putting up with unpleasant colleagues.

Increasing the hourly minimum wage to $9 and indexing it for inflation is bad news for teens and low-skill workers who deserve a better opportunity, and it is bad news for America where we cannot afford to further cripple our economy. (Market Watch)

But because he “cares” he will make your boss fire you because he can’t afford you any longer and that is your Boss’s fault because he’s just a greedy capitalist pig.

But at least now you have 2 years+ of unemployment, Food Stamps, you could move back in with your parents, Your Obama Phone and Internet so Life is good… 🙂

Rich Detour 590 LI 2

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Purple People Eater

Pro golfer Phil Mickelson has gotten a lot of flak for his recent comments about threatening to make “drastic changes” in his life due to state and federal tax increases. Never mind that he later backed off, saying he should have kept his thoughts to himself and apologized to those he “upset or insulted.”

He was cowed into being Politically Correct.

Mickelson was telling the truth. If there’s anything that should upset or insult Americans, it’s just how much of their money the government takes. Mickelson estimates that more than 60% of his earnings are snatched in federal and state taxes (he lives in California). Should a private citizen, no matter how successful, really owe the government more than half of what he or she makes? Intuitively, this cannot make sense to anyone who believes in the principles of hard work and personal responsibility.

Which a Liberal does not. Blame someone else first and always. You do hard work and the rich guy gets all the rewards, the bastard!

But Mickelson’s comments reveal something far more profound. He was talking about an increasingly complex tax code (nearly 74,000 pages!) that also reserves special punishment for small businesses, working families and even the little guys. The rich, like Mickelson, can hire high-priced lawyers and accountants to compute their taxes and take advantage of loopholes. Or, they can pick up and move. The middle class is not quite so fortunate; most cannot simply pick up and move to a better economic climate.

And that’s the rich people’s fault. So hate them. 🙂

A high income-tax state like California is not just driving away successful men and women like Mickelson, but driving businesses out, too. This ultimately results in even less tax revenue, which sinks California’s economy even more.

So they have to raises taxes even more.

The wealthy were already paying a significant portion of California state income tax.  Based on 2010 tax figures, those earning over $250,000 per year were accounting for 62 percent of state income tax revenue.  Those earning over $450,000 were paying 46 percent of state income tax. (TaxLawhome)

The Top 10% pay consistently from 66-70% of all Income Taxes. But it’s “unfair”.

But it’s not fair! They have to pay more! Scream the Left and their class warfare rhetoric.

Get the peasant to revolt. Gin up this class hatred.

“If you have excessive regulations and excessive tax, that’s just not where you want to be,” said Peter Farrell, president of ResMed a medical-device maker in San Diego that employs 600 workers and is considering moving its offices out of state. “California is unfriendly. It’s become an unfriendly business environment.”

One possibility is Texas, where the personal income-tax rate is zero, compared to 13.3 percent for top California earners.(end time news)

Farrell said November’s election results, including the passage of tax increases, made California less hospitable for ResMed.

“The whole place is very Democratic, very union-friendly and tax-unfriendly,” Farrell said. “And we just see the costs going up, and the benefits going down. We see more regulation and more taxes, and more of an anti-business kind of environment.”

Another San Diego-based company, Fallbrook Technologies, a maker of variable speed transmissions, recently announced it is leaving for Texas.

Nevada tax accountant George Ashley said he’s received more than 100 inquiries from higher-earning Californians about the possible tax advantages and feasibility of relocating to a state with lower taxes.

California has played the role of piñata for years among national business leaders because of its anti-business reputation. Chief Executive magazine has put Texas on top as the most business-friendly state and California at or near the bottom for eight consecutive years. (UTSD)

Now back to Fran…

Massive state government spending leads to higher taxes. More taxes lead to less government revenue because overtaxed businesses and higher income individuals depart for more business-friendly states. This vicious cycle hurts average citizens and the most vulnerable alike.

From the payroll tax hike surprise that most workers found in their first paycheck of 2013 to Medicare tax increases to raising top tax rates to nearly 40%, Washington has made life more difficult for most Americans. When companies raise prices to pass the cost of the corporate income tax — now the highest in the developed world — on to consumers, these “hidden taxes” hit fixed-income families the hardest.

I have never seen it quite so bad for job creators. Today, many are being punished for just doing business. Confiscatory taxes. Suffocating regulations. Stifling energy costs. There is only one way to create the jobs we need: we must put our fiscal house in order. Our nation must lower tax rates to be more competitive and to incentivize businesses to invest and job creators to grow their businesses. Pro-growth policies will lead to more businesses and more jobs; these jobs will create more taxpayers and government revenue.

After the unfair treatment Mickelson received from partisans and the press, we won’t likely hear from him again soon on economic policy. That’s unfortunate, because his frank talk on taxation is the kind of discussion America needs.

Fran Tarkenton is founder and CEO of OneMoreCustomer.com, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, and member of the Job Creators Alliance.

Dr. Benjamin Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast (via Townhall.com)

CARSON:  Well, some people say, they say, “Well, that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made ten.” Where does it say you have to hurt the guy?  He just put a billion dollars in the pot! You know, we don’t need to hurt him.  It’s that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands.  That money needs to be back here, building our infrastructure and creating jobs.

And there’s more:

CARSON: Here’s my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born ’til the time you die.  When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you’re 85 years old and you got six diseases, you’re not trying to spend up everything. You’re happy to pass it on and there’s nobody talking about death panels.

Number one.  And also, for the people who were indigent who don’t have any money we can make contributions to their HSA each month because we already have this huge pot of money. Instead of sending it to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs.  Now they have some control over their own health care.

What’s most effective about Dr. Carson’s remarks is that they make the case for free enterprise medicine — based not on economics, or efficiency — but based on morality.  Kudos to him for that — hope the GOP was taking note.

And the fact that Obamacare targets HSAs to be eliminated by lowering their benefits and increasing their costs is particularly telling.

We are From the Government and We know what’s good for you better than you do. 🙂

 

Gloom, Despair & Agony on Me

Lincoln Comp 590 cdn

The number of Americans not in the labor force grew by 169,000 in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report.

BLS labels people who are unemployed and no longer looking for work as “not in the labor force,” including people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply given up looking for work. There were 89 million of them last month.

The number of people not in the labor force had declined in December to 88.8 million from 88.9 million in November.

The nation’s unemployment rate increased a tenth of a point in January, rising to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, a level the Labor Department described as “essentially unchanged.”

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.3 million, was little changed in January and has been at this level since Sept. 2012.

So disband the Jobs Council. “Mission Accomplished”, The New “normal” has been achieved.

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

Sixty-one percent of U.S. small business owners said they were “worried about the potential cost of healthcare” and 56 percent said they were “worried about new government regulations,” according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup small business index released on Jan. 31, which also showed that 30 percent of small business owners are not hiring and fear going out of business within a year.

“At the bottom of the list, but still at a surprisingly high level, 30% of owners say they are not hiring because they are worried they may no longer be in business in 12 months,” according to Gallup’s index summary. “This is up from 24% who had the same worry in January 2012.”

Well, they are just too greedy and want too much profit (might say the left). Psah, you’re overstating the problems. Besides, if we can just get rid of the Republicans Utopia would reign. 🙂

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

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is leaving office with a slap at critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. She told The Associated Press that critics of the administration’s handling of the attack don’t live in an “evidence-based world” and their refusal to “accept the facts” is unfortunate and regrettable for the political system.

Translation: F*ck you! F*ck you at the Drive-Thru!

The facts are what I say they are and if you won’t accept them then that’s your problem now go f* yourself!

Now that’s leadership, integrity and “transparency” 🙂

Yet another “vast right wing conspiracy”

Oh, and a Film lie cover story  that no one wants to even acknowledge was a bold faced lie or massive incompetence OR BOTH .

Mistakes were made, get over it.

Now Just imagine anyone but a Liberal (and Liberal Media) in charge?

“What difference does it make”? 🙂

8 Embassies attacked in 4 years. 1 Ambassador Dead.

Now that’s record to be proud of!

So, Now it’s John “f-ing” Kerry’s turn. The man who voted for the 87 Million before he voted against it!

We’ve all been Swift Boated…

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

 

 

 

 

Food For the Sowell Chapter III

With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.

While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle.

If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.”

One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life’s savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. The Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s had thousands of printing presses turning out vast amounts of money, which the government could then spend to pay for whatever it wanted to pay for.

Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time.

A rising demagogue coined the phrase “starving billionaires,” because even a billion Deutschmarks was not enough to feed your family. That demagogue was Adolf Hitler, and the public’s loss of faith in their irresponsible government may well have contributed toward his Nazi movement’s growth.

Most inflation does not reach that level, but the government can quietly steal a lot of your wealth with much lower rates of inflation. For example a $100 bill at the end of the 20th century would buy less than a $20 bill would buy in 1960.

If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value.

Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply. Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest.

That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both.

It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it.

No wonder the Federal Reserve uses fancy words like “quantitative easing,” instead of saying in plain English that they are essentially just printing more money.

The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits– food stamps, housing subsidies and the like– if their income goes up.

Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent– far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.

Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.

AMEN!

Vote for me, the other guy’s an asshole! 🙂

Vote Me, I will grab “free” stuff for you from evil rich bastards! 🙂

John Stossel: Politicians claim they make our lives better by passing laws. But laws rarely improve life. They go wrong. Unintended consequences are inevitable.

I wonder how unintended they are, really…But that’s me I’m much more cynical. 🙂

Most voters don’t pay enough attention to notice. They read headlines. They watch the Rose Garden signing ceremonies and hear the pundits declare that progress was made. Bipartisanship! Something got done. We assume a problem was solved.

Intuition tells us that government is in the problem-solving business, and so the more laws passed, the better off we are. The possibility that fewer laws could leave us better off is hard to grasp. Kids visiting Washington don’t ask their congressmen, “What laws did you repeal?” It’s always, “What did you pass?”

And so they pass and pass — a thousand pages of proposed new rules each week — and for every rule, there’s an unintended consequence, or several.

It’s one reason America has been unusually slow to recover from the Great Recession. After previous recessions, employers quickly resumed hiring. Not this time. The unemployment rate is still near 8 percent. It only fell last month because people stopped looking for jobs.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute understands what’s happening.

“Add up all the regulations and red tape, all the government spending, all the tax increases we’re about to get — you can understand why entrepreneurs think: “Maybe I don’t want to hire people. … I want to keep my company small. I don’t want to give health insurance, because then I’m stuck with all the Obamacare mandates.” We can see our future in Europe — unless we change. Ann Jolis, who covers European labor issues for The Wall Street Journal, watches how government-imposed work rules sabotage economies.

“The minimum guaranteed annual vacation in Europe is 20 days paid vacation a year. … In France, it starts at 25 guaranteed days off. … This summer, the European Court of Justice … gave workers the right to a vacation do-over. … You spend the last eight days of your vacation laid up with a sprained ankle … eight days automatically go into your sick leave. … You get a vacation do-over.”

It’s only “fair”, right? 🙂

Such benefits appeal to workers, who don’t realize that the goodies come out of their wages. The unemployed don’t realize that such rules deter employers from hiring them in the first place.

And the media sure as hell isn’t going to tell them. Those Evil Capitalist bastards!

In Italy, some work rules kick in once a company has more than 10 employees, so companies have an incentive not to hire an 11th employee. Businesses stay small. People stay unemployed.

“European workers have the right … to gainful unemployment,” says Jolis.

Both European central planners and liberal politicians in America are clueless about what really helps workers: a free economy.

Because they want everything to be “fair” which ends up being very authoritarian. The very opposite of free.

Funny how that worked out… 🙂

The record is clear. Central planners failed, in the Soviet Union, in Cuba, at the U.S. Postal Service and in America’s public schools, and now they stifle growth in Europe and America. Central planning stops innovation.

Yet for all that failure, whenever another crisis (real or imagined) hits, the natural instinct is to say, “Politicians must do something.”

In my town, unions and civil rights groups demand a higher minimum wage. That sounds good to people. Everyone will get a raise!

The problem is in what is not seen. I can interview the guy who got a raise. I can’t interview workers who are never offered jobs because the minimum wage or high union pay scales “protected” those jobs out of existence.

The benefit of government (SET ITAL) leaving us alone (END ITAL) is rarely intuitive.

Because companies just want to make a buck, it’s logical to assume that only government rules assure workers’ safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety standards for factories, and OSHA officials proudly point out that workplace deaths have dropped since it opened its doors.

Thank goodness for government, right? Well, not so fast. Go back a few years before OSHA, and we find that workplace deaths were dropping just as fast.

Workers are safer today because we are richer, and richer societies care more about safety. Even greedy employers take safety precautions if only because it’s expensive to replace workers who are hurt!

Government is like the person who gets in front of a parade and pretends to lead it.

In a free society, things get better on their own — if government will only allow it.

And this government most certainly won’t. But that’s what the American people wanted, so let them lie down in that bed of mediocrity and socialist utopias.

Maybe all the bed bugs will finally shock them, but I doubt it.

Unenlightened Narcissism has a way of blind the stupid to reality and that is surely the main focus these days.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez