United We Fall

A “Healthcare Workers for Obamacare” sign hangs torn in a parking lot in New York on Oct. 31, 2012.  AP

President Obama repeatedly promised that his signature health law, the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, would reduce insurance premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.

ObamaCare: United Healthcare’s surprise warning that it may scrap participation in federal health care exchanges is more than bad news for consumer choice. It’s a broader sign of an unsustainable system.

The nation’s largest health insurance provider surprised the markets Thursday by saying losses from its 550,000 individual ObamaCare exchange enrollments were sharply cutting its bottom line. That’s notable because ObamaCare exchange participation only forms a small slice of the $105 billion company by market capitalization.

Yet it was enough to make the giant company and all the value it creates throughout its many operations suffer enough to trigger, as IBD market reporter Jed Graham wrote, “a surge of red ink.”

The company forecast $425 million less revenue in the fourth quarter and cut its full-year 2015 earnings-per-share forecast to $6 from $6.25-$6.35.

Not surprisingly, its stock fell 5.6% by the close of trading Thursday, and other health care and hospital companies such as Aetna, Anthem, Tenet, Cigna, Humana and HCA took similar hits.

“We see no data pointing to improvement,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Helmsley said on a conference call. Patients, he explained, were using their plans more than the company had anticipated and, worse still, were dropping coverage when they got well.

Bad as that is for company profits, it’s a predictable outcome given the structure of the law and what it permits.

What Helmsley described was a company caught up in the classic “death spiral” that IBD and reputable economists have been warning about: Insurance policy sales going in the main to the sickest patients who use the most health care services, while the high prices of the larded-up government-mandated packages continue to drive off younger, healthier consumers.

DOH!  It’s not like it was predictable or anything… 🙂

In short, the ObamaCare master plan of having young and healthy consumers subsidize the oldest, sickest patients isn’t working as the White House’s central planners and self-proclaimed experts claimed.

<<chuckle>>

Not that the ideologically rigid Obama and The Democrats will care. They will continue to hammer on it until you give in to government control of who lives and who dies and the Insurance companies go bankrupt leaving only the government left.

That’s Democrat “compassion” for ya… 🙂

What’s striking here is that UnitedHealth is no tiny startup ship with a narrow margin of error riding the big ObamaCare regulatory waves. It’s the biggest of the big, a conglomerate that’s the product of the consolidation of the industry — Anthem and Cigna, UnitedHealth and HCA, HCA and private investors — that was supposed to enable the sector to absorb the blow of higher costs of insuring more customers and still continue to do well.

That’s not happening.

What’s more, UnitedHealth was in the ObamaCare exchanges for only a year, during a window of time when the government was supposed to cushion insurers against losses in the ObamaCare transition. The cushion ends next year, leaving companies on their own.

(Insert “Jaws” theme music here) 🙂

Will smaller health care companies really be able to make a profit in an atmosphere that even UnitedHealth found impossible to sustain a profit in? There’s plenty of reason to wonder, as the markets did Thursday. (IBD)

“We cannot sustain these losses,” CEO Stephen Hemsley said in an investor call Thursday morning. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”

Several nonprofit insurance cooperatives that were supposed to compete for customers on the exchanges have folded. Meanwhile, some big publicly traded insurance companies, including Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana, say they are enrolling fewer people than expected or even losing money.

A recent report by McKinsey & Co. found that the industry lost a total of $2.5 billion, or $163 per customer, in the individual market.

Insurance companies have had trouble attracting healthy customers to the exchanges to purchase their insurance products, many of which have deductibles of thousands of dollars.

The industry’s troubles are reflected in the insurance products being offered on the exchanges during the current enrollment period, reports The Wall Street Journal:

“For these plans, which will take effect in 2016, many insurers have raised premiums in order to cover the medical costs of enrollees, which have run higher than many companies originally projected, fueling this year’s losses. Insurers have also shifted to offering more limited choices of health-care providers”

Still, no other big insurer has signaled its intention to leave the exchanges. (NPR)

YET. But it will come. But don’t worry Obama and The Democrats are from the Government and they are here to help you! 🙂

The average premium for medium-benefit plans offered to 40-year-old non-smokers will rise 10.1% in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

 

The Collective Addict

Illustration by Sean Delonas.

In the city’s funny math, you get only one teacher for the price of two.

The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities — and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom.

It’s a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung — at full pay — to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers.

With Mayor Bloomberg calling for thousands of teacher layoffs to balance the 2012 budget, critics say it’s time to halt the extravagant benefit.

That $9 million would cover the salaries of 198 new teachers at the current annual $45,530 starting pay

The DOE lets 40 experienced teachers collect top pay and fringe benefits, but work just one class period a day.

Under a longstanding contract agreement, the DOE excuses these veterans to work for the UFT — currently 38 as district representatives and two as union vice presidents. The UFT pays them another salary, plus expenses.

English teacher Tom Dromgoole, for instance, collects top teacher pay, $100,049 a year, from the DOE for his slot at Leadership and Public Service HS in downtown Manhattan. But he is relieved for most of the day to serve as a UFT high school rep. The UFT supplements his salary by $50,461, records show.

Dromgoole is outspoken on state budget cuts, which he blasted at a boisterous protest last March with UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Reached Friday outside his Brooklyn townhouse, Dromgoole brushed past a reporter who asked about his UFT work, saying, “No comment.”

Another veteran teacher said of the lucrative gigs, “It’s a plum because you’re not teaching. Some principals give them little or nothing to do” because the UFT reps are powerful. (NYP)

But don’t worry, it’s “for the children” and as Rep. Dick Durbin said, “a basic human right”. 🙂

Mike Tobin, Fox News: “One thing I think should make clear – the people coming after us from every live shot here, these people hate,” Tobin said. “These are people who don’t respect diverse viewpoints. In fact, they’re so afraid I’ll present a diverse viewpoint, that’s why they try to heckle me and shut down every live shot. They’ve made it clear, that what they want to make it harder for me to do my job. They are proud of that when they disrupt a live shot, when they really trample over the First Amendment rights or the First Amendment’s obligations of a reporter. Now, I am not saying that’s all of the people. Those are the people that come here and heckle and try to disrupt things. I look in their eyes – there is hate in their eyes. They don’t want to hear any kind of viewpoint that is different from their own. That’s why they do what they do.”

Then the protesters attacked him (but he didn’t file any assault charges).

These are the people who allege that they are for “free speech” and “civility”.

Let me reiterate my version of the Liberal First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Any religion,and mocking the free exercise thereof but forgive anything to do with Islam; or abridging the freedom of LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE speech, or of the LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE press; and abridging as much as possible anyone who disagrees with the Liberal Progressives;or the right of the people to peaceably (or not)  to assemble to worship the LIBERAL PROGRESSIVES, any assembly in opposition must therefore be “terrorism” or “racism”, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances against Corporations and to seek “social justice” at all costs; any redress of grievances against a Liberal are automatically not to be taken seriously and must be discounted,discredited,destroyed or ignored.

See this (from Reason TV): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je3UT7ol1JY&feature=player_embedded

At times they state this openly. A Service Employees International Union (SEIU) representative told California legislators that “We helped to get you into office, and we got a good memory. And come November, if you don’t back our program, we’ll help get you out of office.

Institutional collective bargaining was a policy decision made by state and local governments. Labor unions had traditionally opposed collective bargaining in government. During the 1950s, private-sector union membership peaked and began to decline. The union movement then came to see government employees as valuable new dues-paying members. It reversed its stance on government bargaining in the late 1950s. Beginning with New York City in 1958 and Wisconsin in 1959, many state and local governments across the country began to bargain collectively, largely as a result of union pressure.(Heritage.org)

In the early 1990’s: the California Teachers Association reached new heights of thuggishness after a business-backed group began a petition to place a school-choice initiative on the state ballot. In a union-backed effort, teachers shadowed signature gatherers in shopping malls and aggressively dissuaded people from signing up. The tactic led to more than 40 confrontations and protests of harassment by signature gatherers. “They get in between the signer and the petition,” the head of the initiative said. “They scream at people. They threaten people.” CTA’s top official later justified the bullying: some ideas “are so evil that they should never even be presented to the voters,” he said. (City-Journal)

Now, their drug habit (free taxpayer money) is being threatened so they are all up-in-arms to protect their addiction.

Three of Top Five Political Spenders are Government Unions

Government-employee unions now spend more than any other outside group on U.S. elections.

And that’s taxpayer money, remember. Government has no money until it takes it from you. And Unions take money from their mandatory membership, which is also you the taxpayer.

No wonder the liberals are so mad. The drug addicts are facing a forced intervention and massive delirium tremons (DTs).

It’s like trying to sober up a drunk after they’ve been chronically drunk  (on taxpayers money) for 53 years.

They will kick and scream and yell and whine and be in denial. Sounds like the protesters to me.

Some symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or easily excited
  • Emotional volatility, rapid emotional changes
  • Difficulty with thinking clearly
  • Agitation
Illustration by Sean Delonas.
It will take an enormous effort to roll back decades of political and economic gains by government unions. But the status quo is unsustainable. But it will not be without a lot of drug withdrawal screaming and whining.
The only other option is to let the drug addicts drag us all down with them.
Your Choice.

Welcome to The Future

Political Cartoon

The Most Expensive Congress in History: The 111th Congress.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4476944/111th-congress-most-expensive-in-history/?playlist_id=86858

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”

Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.

“Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”- Nancy Pelosi, 2007 inauguration speech.

At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2007, Pelosi’s first day as speaker, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 (8.67 trillion), according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department.  At the close of business on Oct. 22, it stood at $13,667,983,325,978.31 (13.67 trillion), an increase of 4,997,387,083,005.27 (or approximately $5 trillion). (CNS)

WHOOPS!

Some of the world’s strongest banks have profited from an emergency credit facility set up by the US Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the global financial system, according to a Financial Times analysis of data released by the Fed.

More than half of lending under the Fed’s term auction facility – the largest of its crisis programmes – went to foreign banks. Details of the varied uses to which they put it may add to political criticism of the Fed.

The Taf was set up in December 2007 to provide one-month loans to creditworthy banks as markets dried up for lending longer than overnight. In August 2008, it began offering three-month loans as well.

Rabobank of the Netherlands and Toronto-Dominion of Canada, two of the only banks in the world with triple A credit ratings, used more than $20bn in cumulative Taf loans.

Ed Clark, TD chief executive, said that using Taf was logical even though his bank never had a liquidity problem. “That wasn’t how we made a lot of money. But you make a dollar here, you make a dollar there. What’s the spread you make on a billion dollars?” he said. (FT)

WHOOPS!

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — Leaders of this city met for more than seven hours on a Saturday not long ago, searching for something to cut from a budget that has already been cut, over and over.

“We can make it until March 1 — maybe,” Mr. Cooper said of Hamtramck’s ability to pay its bills. Beyond that? The political leaders of this old working-class city almost surrounded by Detroit are pleading with the state to let them declare bankruptcy, a desperate move the state is not even willing to admit as an option under the current circumstances.

“The state is concerned that if they say yes to one, if that door is opened, they’ll have 30 more cities right behind us,” Mr. Cooper said, as flurries fell outside his City Hall window. “But anything else is just a stop gap. We’re going to continue to pursue bankruptcy until the door is shut, locked, barricaded, bolted.”

You mean the UAW is concerned. The UAW runs the State, or at least in Mafiaoso style they think they do. They have the politicians and media in their pockets and have for more than a generation.

They did when I was growing up in Michigan. Now with the Socialist Wheaties of the modern Liberals behind them I’m sure they are more Tony Soprano than Jimmy Hoffa.

And the last thing the UAW wants is to have their union busted by bankruptcies.

But the inevitable is coming. And THEY DON’T CARE!

Union pensions and benefits, not just the UAW, but Government Public Sector Unions also, and other private Unions have been sucking industry and the taxpayers dry for several generations but the cash cow is out of milk and endanger of dying altogether.

And you know what, THEY DON’T CARE!

Everyone must sacrifice for them. They are holy. They are sacrosanct.

They are untouchable.

So they believe. And since they have been buying Democrats for generations they will be the Pied Piper to all their slave rats.

Because THEY DON’T CARE.

And ultimately, that is the lesson of the last 3 years of Pelosi-Reid and Obama.

They said all the right things to get their hands on your throat and then they throttled you with debt to pass their 90 year old Socialist wet dreams and they are still at it and will be still at it with control of the Senate and the President.

THEY DON’T CARE.

They, and the Unions, are the ultimate in GREED and CORRUPTION.

Prichard, Ala., which stopped paying monthly checks to retired city workers when its pension fund ran out last year, is appealing a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that it did not qualify for Chapter 9 under Alabama law.

And they telegraphed it ahead of time, and no one cared.

A Liberals personal pursuit of everyone else’s money for their own benefit, economically or politically, is all they care about.

It’s all about THEM.

Screw you.

Now that’s your “kind”, “Compassionate” and “caring” Liberals who are always looking out for “the little guy”.

To crush them into slavery and steal everyone else’s wealth and power from themselves.

Officials in Detroit announced this year that they had for years overpaid Hamtramck in a revenue-sharing deal related to a General Motors plant that sits smack on the border of the two cities. The dispute is likely to be resolved, eventually, in court, but meanwhile, Detroit has stopped paying $2 million a year, and Hamtramck is watching a growing gap in its $18 million budget.

Could it be that these “overpayments” were ok until Detroit had to hide it’s own budget woes so they passed it on to another city?

Hmmm….

“Detroit is cutting police, lighting, road repairs and cleaning services affecting as much as 20% of the population,” the Guardian’s Elena Moya noted late Monday, writing about the 60 Minutes piece. “The city, which has been on the skids for almost two decades with the decline of the US auto industry, does not generate enough wealth to maintain services for its 900,000 inhabitants.”

BINGO!

City Manager Bill Cooper said the city of roughly 20,000 people is staring at a $3 million deficit.
California, which faces a $19 billion (some say as high as $26 Billion) budget deficit next year, has a credit rating approaching junk status. It now spends more money on public employee pensions than it does on the state university system, which had to increase its tuition by 32 percent.
“This is the state of affairs in Illinois. Is not pretty,” Illinois state Comptroller Dan Hynes told Kroft.  

Hynes is the state’s paymaster. He currently has about $5 billion in outstanding bills in his office and not enough money in the state’s coffers to pay them. He says they’re six months behind.

“The state’s a deadbeat,” Kroft remarked.  

“Yeah. I mean, the state of Illinois is known as a deadbeat state. This is a reputation that has taken us years to earn and we’ve reached, you know, the heights of, I think, becoming the worst in the country,” Hynes said. (CBS)

The home of our President, Done Proud. 🙂
Unions have a $3 Trillion Dollar appetite and it’s insatiable. And THEY DON’T CARE.
No one is talking about it now, but the big test will come this spring. That’s when $160 billion in federal stimulus money, that has helped states and local governments limp through the great recession, will run out.
You thought TARP was for the “economy”. No, it wasn’t.
It was for the state employee unions and foreign banks.
That’s running out.
Now the wheels of this Cadillac are about to go bald and flat.
Now this is driving a car into a ditch.
And I guarantee you, the Liberals and the Unions DON’T CARE!

Mr. Cooper, the city manager (of Hamtramck), says that everything else that could be cut already has been, while the city goes on spending 60 percent of its total general fund (of an $18 million dollar budget) to pay for its police and firefighting forces — 75 current police officers and firefighters and about 240 former workers and spouses now on pensions. Mr. Cooper said that an entry-level police officer costs the city about $75,000 a year in salary and benefits, and yet repeated efforts to renegotiate contracts have failed.

“They kind of have the Cadillac plan,” Mr. Cooper said, “and we’d kind of like the Chevy.”

Trust me, Unions of all types love Cadillacs.

Growing up in Flint,Mi the one-time home of 7 auto plants and an AC Delco Engine Plant. “Buick City” it was called (there was a billboard proclaiming this 10 miles south of town near Fenton off I-75).

It had a population of 250,000 when I was growing up. Last year it was 125,000 and everyone of those plants had closed years ago.

But growing up my friends and I always said that only 2 kinds of people drove Cadillacs, Pimps and Auto Workers. So no much difference there.

That was the 1970’s. In 40 years it hasn’t gotten any better.

(Found, Mr. Cooper says, posted on the wall of the firefighters’ barracks was his name — crossed out — on a list of former city managers and the word “Next?”)

So let the extortion begin. It’s the only tactic Unions use. Economic and political hardball extortion.

After all, dozens of Unions have been exempted from ObamaCare and their “Cadillac” Health Plans are exempt until 2018.

So it’s not like they care or anything.

“I’m not going to wait for two hours for a cop to show up,” said Shannon Lowell, the co-owner of a coffee shop. “We’ve trimmed every bit of fat. What else are we going to do? Borrow money from our dying grandmother?” (NYT)

Yep. That would also be the grandma who the government is going to pull the plug on because she’s a burden to society according to Medicare and Medicaid Director Dr. Donald Berwick.

Welcome to the Future.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – forever.”— George Orwell

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoon

The Union Did It

The murder weapon has been found.

The culprit: A Government Public Sector Union.

The Victim: California.

The Patsie: Nikky Diaz ( the $23/hr “abused” maid)

The Pimp: Gloria Alred

Of Course, by now, you should have guessed I was speaking of the Nikki Diaz Illegal Alien Maid “October Surprise” that got uber liberal Jerry Brown elected as governor of the most bankrupt (economically and morally) state in the Union.

The scene of the crime: It’s late in the campaign season, you’re guy- the big spending liberal who’ll not cut your extravagant pensions or your extravagant unsustainable raises is losing to a Conservative who will gleefully slit the throat of your golden goose.

A friend has a friend who just happens to be an illegal alien and was a maid for 7 years  of this Conservative, Meg Whitman, that she was fired last year when that was discovered.

So you have a patsie you can gin up. You have a race issue you can gin up. And you play your cards right and you swing the election back in your favor.

Screw everyone else. This is all about ME.

ME ME ME ME ME!!!

MY PRECIOUS! 🙂

Meet the California Nurses Association.

The assassins are revealed to be petty, partisan, and ultimately very narcissistic, greedy public sector union employees who propped up not only Jerry Brown, but Barbara Boxer (against Carly Fiorino).

The sprung the trap. And gleefully so. But no one wanted to mention it DURING the campaign in October. No, that was secret.

Try as anyone might, no one wanted to give away the big fat secret that this was dirty hardball politics at it’s absolute worst.

We just had a frieghtened, script rehearsed Illegal alien maid cry on camera that her former boss was an arsehole, cheated her, and knew she was an illegal alien.

Oh, boo hoo! cry me pathetic…

So there. <<stick tongue out>>

The real story here is the hit job and what it say about “government reform” and the reform of government spending.

The Government sector unions have been milking the golden goose of what they believe is endless money for decades and they will not go quietly for anyone else’s benefit on cutting their lavish over-the-top pensions, raises, and benefits, that are choking the life out of California and many, many other states.

They don’t care. They are probably the worst narcissists of all. And they have a lot of power, especially with Liberals, Progressives, The mainstream media, and Democrats.

And they’ll use it to keep what’s theirs. Regardless of the cost.

They’ll be the people you see in the movies who has just found a golden treasure and are stuffing it in bags and down his trousers (or hers in the Nurse’s case) and when the tomb starts collapsing and the quicksand is rushing in and they have to choose between the treasure and their life and/or the lives of others, they will sacrifice every single person before anything else, and ultimately the treasure wins.

MY PRECIOUS!

That’s what we are up against in trying to reform government spending.

There are a lot of treasure troves and golden gooses that the public sector employees will guard with YOUR life and will destroy anyone who gets near their treasure.

Think a horde of Gollums from “Lord of the Rings” all reciting in unison “MY PRECIOUS!”.

And not only do these Gollums vote, but they have campaign war chests and dirty tricks squads and liberal media outlets.

They are Gollum on steriods. And they are addicted to their own One Ring. And  your death, economically or morally, is insignificant to them.

They don’t care. They are the ultimate addicts.

That is the challenge ahead.

But if we don’t meet it and we don’t defeat it, all is lost.

Cook their Geese (or at least seriously roast), or our Goose is cooked.

Period. End of story.

 

 

The Opium Den

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Ship of State 🙂

“You’ll have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” -Soon-to-be Ex-Speaker Pelosi.

Sounds a bit like the “Let’s make a Deal” and the Zonk was crammed down your throat because it was the right thing to do! 😦

If you want to know why Washington can’t control entitlement spending, there’s no better example than the regular ritual surrounding Medicare payments to physicians.

It has been going on for more than a decade, and it follows a consistent script. Congress faces a deadline to adjust Medicare reimbursements to a sustainable growth rate (SGR) established in a 1997 law. But Congress has never trimmed payments to anything near the levels demanded by the SGR formula, and it’s too late to play catch-up.

The looming cut is alarmingly large — so large that there’s no way it can stick. The American Medical Association then makes a fuss, raises the specter of doctors fleeing Medicare en masse, scares the seniors and forces Congress to come up with a short-term patch that holds the line on pay for a year or so and maybe even raises it a bit.

So the can gets kicked down the road, and Medicare keeps eating up a larger share of gross domestic product.

More than 60% of yearly spending is devoted to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and Defense apart from war expenditures. Budgetary discipline is impossible without a no-holds-barred discussion of demography, increased longevity and the national-security perils of unsustainable national debt.(IBD)

And then there’s Social Security, which the government’s main dependency weapon. But also they can’t privatize it because they stole the money decades ago but will never admit it.

Then there are the public sector government unions and their out of control, over the top salaries and lavish Rolls Royce pensions and benefits.

Yet, in California alone, nearly 10,000 retirees will get pension checks totaling at least $100,000 this year (that’s a Billion dollars a year folks in just 1 state! and these people typically can retire in their 50’s so could collect 30-40 BILLION dollars over time!)

And California just re-elected,after 30 years out of office, a massive Liberal, Jerry Brown.

Joshua Rauh, associate professor of finance at at Northwestern University, estimates that 20 states will run out of pension money by 2025.

The pension doomsday clocks in Illinois and New Jersey will strike even sooner, in 2018, he said. (MSNBC)

Social Security and Medicare are also headed for doomsday in the next generation.

In New Jersey, for example, the state is obligated to pay pensions out of the general fund when the pension fund runs dry. In 2018, the state will owe $14 billion in pension payouts, or one-third of the state’s annual tax receipts. To put that in perspective, to plug a budget hole like that this year, the state would have to cut all education spending. That bears repeating: It would have to eliminate spending on every elementary school, high school and college from its budget.

Another common pension abuse is “double-dipping” – a practice in which employees retire and start collecting their pension, then are rehired to perform their old job at their old salary. It’s a common practice for government workers around the country, despite many rules forbidding it.  Workers often argue that they have earned their pension and their right to retire, and if they decide to work during retirement, they’re entitled.  But the logic there is deeply flawed, said Dean.

“Pensions were designed to make sure government workers were allowed to grow old with dignity, not to make them rich,” he said.

And the poster child for that is Phoenix’s own Chief of Police (with help from his good buddy Mayor Phil “flash” Gordon) Jack “The Hack” Harris.

He retired as chief in 2007 and began collecting a $90,000 pension. Two weeks later, he was hired for essentially the same job, retitled “public safety manager,” and granted a salary of $193,000.

And Mayor Phil is a Pro-Illegal, “soak the rich” progressive Liberal!

Liberals love to dip into other people’s pockets and manipulate the system for their own advantage and then blame it on greedy “rich” people and conservatives/republicans.

Well, I guess I wouldn’t be poor either if I had a $90,000 pension and a $193,000 job all at taxpayer expense!!

But undoubtedly I’d be a racist! 🙂

A 30-year government worker with a final salary of $80,000 could expect an annual pension of roughly $55,000, or about $4,600 per month for life, under the current scheme. (And could easily be in their 50’s)

To earn that kind of guaranteed monthly income, a 401(k) saver would need $1 million in their retirement account, assuming $100,000 in savings can generate $400 in monthly income.

While it’s not impossible to grow a 401(k) to those lofty levels, it is rare.  In fact, 50 percent of Americans who have 401(k) accounts have less than $35,000 in them. Contrast that with our 30-year government workers who can all expect predictable pension checks.

So expect a furious battle as state governments attempt to reign in pension costs. (MSNBC)

And you get the Unions “outraged” and etc and that’s why they support the liberals in the Democrat party, because they will just keep paying them out and blaming someone else (“The rich”) for it.

We are on pace to soon owe 100% of our annual gross domestic product in national debt, while compiling the largest annual peacetime deficits in our history.

And what will happen when the pain comes?

Lots of crying and nashing of teeth and blaming “the rich”. But mostly, it will be the new NIMBY Principle. Not in my Back pocket You!

“Someone else” has to pay for my sins. Not Me. “Them”.

Sorry, but it’s YOU. Me. and that Grand Piano of neglected debt, avarice, and delusion staring down at you!

That’s the REAL TRUTH.

You aren’t required to like it.

It just is.

Deal with it.

The Free Ride is over. It’s time to roll up your selves, feel the pain, and get it done.

But first you have to De-tox the patient. And these DT’s are going to be a near stoke.

But as anyone who has ever kicked an addiction knows, you have to want to change first. And there in lies the real problem.

The patient knows he’s very sick, possibly morbidly so, but when the doctor prescribes the cure the patient is going to wail like a banshee and kick and scream and throw a tantrum.

Think I overstate, just wait and see.

And the Liberal Media and The Democrats will play the head drug pusher tempting you back into the opium den.

Think I overstate, just wait and see.

I think not.

And look at it this way: In terms of our collective health and national security, a budget surplus is probably worth more than an expanded federal health care entitlement, another Social Security cost-of-living increase or a new aircraft carrier.

But no pain, no gain!

So do you want another hit of Opium??

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

A Dead Plan Walking

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Remember the “Debt Commission” that early on was rumored to be just an excuse for the VAT tax to be proposed? And still might…

Then November 2, 2010 rolled around and the Democrats were handed their heads on a platter.

So now the Debt Commission is proposing a whole bunch of ACTUAL Cuts.

Which means it’s a dead plan walking.

I will admit to having no faith in Washington elites. They can talk a good game, but in the end they will vote to save their own ass before the country, the future, or your kids.

[Deficit]
But many of these, like the Social Security is in 2050. THAT’S 40 years from now. The first people effected by it would 25 now.
If you can’t plan for 4 extra years 40 years out, you must be a Liberal!
Speaking of the Left:

“The chairmen of the Deficit Commission just told working Americans to ‘Drop Dead,’” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, referring to proposed changes in how Social Security is administered. “Some people are saying this is plan is just a ‘starting point.’ Let me be clear, it is not.”

Mind you, Mr Trumpka heads a union were many, many of his members can retire in their 50s with outrageously extravagant pensions that are bankrupting states all over the nation. But don’t mention that to him, you’ll just make him mad. 🙂

House Speaker (soon-to-be Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, called the proposal “simply unacceptable.”

Self-Admitted Socialist  Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blasted, “It is reprehensible to ask working people, including many who do physically-demanding labor, to work until they are 69 years of age. It also is totally impractical. As they compete for jobs with 25-year-olds, many older workers will go unemployed and have virtually no income. Frankly, there will not be too much demand within the construction industry for 69-year-old bricklayers.”

A non-starter. A gift to the rich.

The giant flushing sound you heard Wednesday on Capitol Hill was the reaction of Congressional Democrats to the initial recommendations of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission.

And so the Left is going to fight any spending cuts, and any repeals of their Utopian vision of a European America.

They will be the “obstructionists” that they have railed agasinst for the last number of years. And proudly so.

Isn’t politics grand. 🙂

Which is why it will never happen.

It has to happen.

But it won’t.

The Political elite don’t have the guts.

I’m hoping I’m wrong about the Republicans.

But the American people are the co-dependent drug addicts in this equation.

Because, who is more like to vote, the 25 year old who will actually be hit by the plan or the over 50 person who’s going to get it very soon or already addicted to it?

Forgetaboutit.

Sure they turned out to toss the Democrats (at least most of them, Jerry Brown and Harry Reid aside) on their asses. But when it’s their ass on the line and their ox is being goured, forgetaboutit.

The new NIBY principle. From Not in My Backyard to Not in my Backpocket.

It will be cut “Them” not “Me”. With the Democrats getting holier-than-thou about “the poor” and “the rich” even more so than the last few years. And all for political calculations.

The evil republicans who want to cut off grandma and force her eat dog food, etc.

Just for political advantage. Nothing else.

I hope I’m wrong. But I’m a cynic, after all.

Meanwhile…

The number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more a year has soared tenfold in the past five years and doubled since President Obama took office, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

The fast-growing pay of federal employees has captured the attention of fiscally conservative Republicans who won control of the U.S. House of Representatives in last week’s elections. Already, some lawmakers are planning to use the lame-duck session that starts Monday to challenge the president’s plan to give a 1.4% across-the-board pay raise to 2.1 million federal workers.

Government-wide raises. Top-paid staff have increased in every department and agency. The Defense Department had nine civilians earning $170,000 or more in 2005, 214 when Obama took office and 994 in June.

•Long-time workers thrive. The biggest pay hikes have gone to employees who have been with the government for 15 to 24 years. Since 2005, average salaries for this group climbed 25% compared with a 9% inflation rate.

•Physicians rewarded. Medical doctors at veterans hospitals, prisons and elsewhere earn an average of $179,500, up from $111,000 in 2005.

Federal workers earning $150,000 or more make up 3.9% of the workforce, up from 0.4% in 2005.

Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have increased 3% annually above inflation compared with 0.8% for private workers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Members of Congress earn $174,000, up from $141,300 in 2000, an increase below the rate of inflation.

That’s insulting to ordinary Americans, who are struggling mightily every week to pay the mortgage and health care and college costs, only to see their increasingly scarce tax dollars go straight into the pockets of public workers. That shouldn’t be happening in hard times – not whether those public sector employees work on health care, education, agriculture, homeland security or defense. Shared sacrifice must be more than an empty slogan. (The  Very Liberal NY Daily News)
I learned a hard lesson earlier in this decade: The Truth is truth and you don’t have to like it. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter if  you like it, it’s still the truth.
And the truth is that the way thinks have been done for the last several generations is now unsustainable.Period.
Deal with it.
The truth doesn’t care if you like it or not.
The often-comedic co-chairman Alan Simpson sheepishly exited the meeting, telling reporters, “We’re entering the witness protection program,” referring to his fellow co-chairman and proposal author Erskine Bowles.
But some members cautioned against snap judgments. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a member of the panel, said, “The greatest national security threat facing America today is our national debt and a Congress that has avoided tough choices for decades. The discussion draft describes some of the tough choices facing Congress and the nation,” and warned, “I would encourage taxpayers to view with great suspicion the beltway, interest group culture that often prefers demagoguery over honest debate. In the real world, no family facing tough economic times has the luxury of treating portions of their budget as sacrosanct. Neither should Congress.”(FOX)
But Washington D.C. is not in touch with reality. And the American people want to stop the spending, just not their spending.
Sigh…
Political Cartoon by Chip Bok
Political Cartoon by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoon by Robert Ariail

Narcissism 101

You have to see this: Ray Stevens “Come to The USA” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgOHOHKBEqE

******

USATODAY:

Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

Those records reflect a long-term trend accelerated by the recession and the federal stimulus program to counteract the downturn. The result is a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.

The trend is not sustainable, says University of Michigan economist Donald Grimes. Reason: The federal government depends on private wages to generate income taxes to pay for its ever-more-expensive programs. Government-generated income is taxed at lower rates or not at all, he says. “This is really important,” Grimes says.

The recession has erased 8 million private jobs. Even before the downturn, private wages were eroding because of the substitution of health and pension benefits for taxable salaries.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that individuals received income from all sources — wages, investments, food stamps, etc. — at a $12.2 trillion annual rate in the first quarter.

Key shifts in income this year:

• Private wages. A record-low 41.9% of the nation’s personal income came from private wages and salaries in the first quarter, down from 44.6% when the recession began in December 2007.

Government benefits. Individuals got 17.9% of their income from government programs in the first quarter, up from 14.2% when the recession started. Programs for the elderly, the poor and the unemployed all grew in cost and importance. An additional 9.8% of personal income was paid as wages to government employees.

The shift in income shows that the federal government’s stimulus efforts have been effective, says Paul Van de Water, an economist at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“It’s the system working as it should,” Van de Water says. Government is stimulating growth and helping people in need, he says. As the economy recovers, private wages will rebound, he says.

Economist Veronique de Rugy of the free-market Mercatus Center at George Mason University says the riots in Greece over cutting benefits to close a huge budget deficit are a warning about unsustainable income programs.

Economist David Henderson of the conservative Hoover Institution says a shift from private wages to government benefits saps the economy of dynamism. “People are paid for being rather than for producing,” he says.

So the majority of people’s wages and earnings come from the government.

47% of the people don’t even pay taxes (according to the IRS).

And governments don’t produce anything.

Governments have no money except what they take from you.

And now a majority of the American people are on the government dole.

So do you think they will vote to kiss their own butts or worry about their “grand children”??

Narcissism is a 21st Century epidemic.

What do you think? 😦

Obama’s “laser beam focus” on jobs has produced what exactly?

Nothing.

The better question is, was it supposed to create anything, but smoke?

No.

SEIU, Service Workers International Union,  the largest Government Union of Government employees.

The same people who have been used as thugs and intimidators before by the LEFT.

On May 16, Washington, D.C., police escorted 14 busloads full of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members at least part of the way to storm the Chevy Chase, Md., home of Bank of America’s deputy legal counsel, Greg Baer.

Some 500 protestors affiliated with SEIU and their allies in the community organizing group National Political Action (NPA) trampled his lawn, blocked his doorway to his home and screamed “greed.” Legally, it was burglary, trespassing and, possibly, assault.

But Maryland cops didn’t enforce the law. And Baer had to brave the insult-hurling mob alone to rescue his 14-year old son who, home alone, had locked himself in the bathroom in fear.

SEIU spokesman Stephen Lerner response was chilling: “People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing,”

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Aggressive, personalized protests have been a fact of life in the world of unions and community organizers influenced by the radical philosophy of Saul Alinsky.

But they’re now growing in frequency as SEIU officials top the White House visitors’ list and union influence grows.

It started in earnest last year, when SEIU thugs gave a “beat down” to a black trinket seller at a tea party protest — with no consequences.

It also was seen when the SEIU teamed up with its community-organizing ally Acorn to set up bus harassment tours of AIG executives’ homes during last year’s insurance bailout.

In recent weeks in New York and Washington, SEIU and NPA protestors invaded and shut down banks, frightening customers.

What’s important here is that these mobs act with near impunity and lash out at critics like Easton. What Stern calls “the persuasion of power” is identical to the violent means of maintaining political order in Cuba and Venezuela.

It’s going full blast in the U.S. now as the party in power loses popularity. That’s a bad sign that democracy itself is under attack. (IBD)

So the government has less money coming in, because private wages pay taxes with their own money, unlike a government person.

Less than half of the people in this country pay taxes at all.

The Government unions, which make a majority of Union membership in this country, are used as Alinsky-inspired thugs.

The Private sector is demonized and intimidated.

The American People who objected are “racists”, “terrorists”,”teabaggers”,”nazis”, “heartless”,”cruel”,”mean” et al.

Oh, and Congressmen want to bail out the Unions, yet again!

That’s what the Stimulus last year was all about.

But now the Unions’ unsustainable pensions (you know the ones where you can retire at 50 and make more money in retirement than you did working!) are failing so the Democrats have to bail them out, with our money.

From that dwindling pot of non-government incestuous money.

Meanwhile, 8 Million jobs evaporated under Obama.

Medicare is bankrupt.

Social Security is bankrupt.

But yet, Democrats pass the largest entitlement in a generation, The Health Care bill.

Fascinating…

But The Unions get stronger and stronger.

Union are very zealously Democrats.

Funny That. 😦

A Democratic senator (Sen. Bob Casey D-PA,reportedly) is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds.  If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.

The bill, which would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers, is being introduced by Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), who says it will save jobs and help people.

As FOX Business Network’s Gerri Willis reported Monday, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these funds were doing well.

Although right now taxpayers could possibly be on the hook for $165 billion, the liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.

It’s hard to say at the moment what the chances are that the bill will pass. A hearing is scheduled Thursday, which will give the public a sense of where political leaders sit on the topic, said Willis.

Just last week President Obama said there would be no more bailouts.

So that’s why we also have a bailout for the National Education Association- The Teacher’s Union:

Yet another example of public sector employee union smash and grab, at a time when private sector workers are desperate for jobs:

The Obama administration on Thursday threw its support behind a $23 billion measure intended to avert large-scale teacher layoffs, urging Congress to include the effort in a spending bill lawmakers are drafting to fund wartime costs and other urgent needs.

“We are gravely concerned that ongoing state and local budget challenges are threatening hundreds of thousands of teacher jobs for the upcoming school year,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Duncan added: “These budget cuts would also undermine the groundbreaking reform efforts under way in states and districts all across the country.”

What’s particularly galling about this is that a huge chunk of the stimulus is already devoted to education funding. In particular, the $53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, included $39.5 billion for local school districts to prevent teacher layoffs and program cuts. Further, it’s notortiously difficult to fire incompetent teachers, thanks to union strictures. Los Angeles Unified School District spent $3.5 million just to fire seven bad teachers out of over 33,000 on the payroll. And we’re supposed to prop them up?

And there’s talk about eliminating Summer School in many places!

And in the UK, they are some schools to provide 3 meals a day!

But we have to give the NEA a bailout!

So no more bailouts, unless it’s a Union, because they are big Democrats.

So we will bail out Unions, But demonize private business as “greedy”

No wonder Liberals are always going on about Illegal Aliens who pay taxes, because they themselves don’t! 😦

Liberals complain about “greedy” corporations, but they themselves are very “greedy” with everyone else’s money. 😦

The world is truly upside down and bass ackwards.

And the Liberals want it that way.

We are from the Government and we are here to help you. 😦