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Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’

Human Nature Explains it All

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

As you know, we have Barry for another four years.  A majority of the voting majority did something I didn’t expect: they combined their general dislike for Mitt Romney with their genuine liking of Obama, and on these bases alone, decided to completely ignore the last four years.  This selective amnesia is especially pertinent with respect to the economy.  We know it was terrible before the election, and not surprisingly, it remains terrible today.  Now that we have the election behind us, we can scan the landscape and evaluate the aftermath.

70.4 million Americans were enrolled in Medicaid for fiscal year 2011.  That’s about 20% of the total population, or 1 out of 5 people.  That’s an incredible number when you consider Medicaid exists only for the poor.  Obamacare, which becomes fully dysfunctional in 2014, will add even more people to the roll because it expands the po0l of people who qualify.  The left will argue these figures support its call for more government.  I’m here to tell you that more people on Medicaid is bad, and the only way to get people off of it is to improve the economy, and get them working again.  So far, the response to Barry’s re-election by the private sector has not been good, although it has been expected.

Obama’s environmental regulations are certainly having an effect on the coal industry, which should surprise no one, since Barry himself said four years ago that his goal was to make coal-created energy so expensive that no one would/could use it.  Well, elections have consequences:

EAST CARBON, Carbon County — A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.

The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.

Other segments of the economy are also cutting workers.  More consequences:

OWATONNA, Minn. – Some unwelcome economic news hit Owatonna Thursday with word that Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna, a move that will cost the community about 100 jobs.

Caterpillar Inc. notified employees Thursday it is closing the plant and consolidating operations within its forestry business. Production will end at the Owatonna facility by March 1, 2013. Caterpillar is offering employees at Owatonna a severance package and will work with appropriate agencies on finding those workers new opportunities.

And still more consequences:

GREENSBORO, N.C. — TE Connectivity will close its Greensboro plant by the end of next year, resulting in 620 layoffs.

Glenn Beck has a list of job losses announced since America rolled the dice on four more years of Barry here.  A second list, which includes the companies planning layoffs specifically because of Obamacare is found here.

Maybe all of this is just coincidence.  I suppose it’s possible.  On the other hand, maybe we actually are just a nation of takers.  For example, Illinois, a state that has currently $28 billion in general-obligation debt, with an additional $84 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, just decided to not only re-elect the Dems who set off the debt bomb, but actually increased the size of the Democratic majority in the legislature so that it is now veto-proof, thanks largely to re-districting.  And then there’s California, with its own $617 billion in unfunded liabilities.  Instead of cutting spending, Californians decided to raise taxes on high wage earners.  It seems many are satisfied with the status quo.

All of this seems very confusing to some people.  How could anyone re-elect Obama?  Look at the economy.  Look at the unemployed.  Look at the number of people who are on food stamps.  It’s like pinch-hitting a guy who bats .078 against lefties in the bottom of the ninth against the other team’s closer…who’s a southpaw.  You can make a pretty good guess about the result based upon prior occurrences.

The thing is, it’s not confusing if you understand human nature (re-electing Obama, not the baseball analogy).  Obama’s an affable guy who gives good speeches.  People also trust him for reasons I have yet to comprehend.  But people are also lazy.  And if someone is given the opportunity to not work, while still being able to live a satisfactory life, that person is probably not going to work.  We’re making it too easy for people to not work.  It’s one thing to not have a job.  It’s another thing to not have one for years.  It’s another thing entirely to not even be looking for one.  And there are jobs out there…I see help wanted signs all over the place.  They’re for cashier positions and the like, but they’re jobs all the same.  We shouldn’t be paying people to sit at home when they could be working, but we are.

Government assistance is beneficial right up until the point that it isn’t.  Large segments of the population don’t recognize the dividing line, and as a result, re-elected a guy who doesn’t think such a line exists.  Companies can’t create jobs when the government is openly attacking their ability to thrive.  People won’t work if they don’t have to.  These two facts will hamstring any recovery over the next four years if our government continues to institute policies like those of the last four.  A closing quote from a guy at a Chicago job fair (who unquestionably voted for Barry):

Rodney Booker said, ‘I stood in line for four hours. They better give me a Wal-Mart gift card, or something.’

Sobering, isn’t it?

Obamacaremageddon: The English Language Wins, We Lose, and It Is a Tax Increase

June 28, 2012 3 comments

Well, the Court agreed with me that you can’t regulate inactivity.  That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but this is the Supreme Court after all.  Yep, the Obamacare ruling came down by the Supremes today, and everyone is either super-excited, forlorn, or unsure.  You can put me somewhere between forlorn and unsure.  The ruling stinks because it maintains legislation that will join Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as a giant blackhole of entitlement suck that we literally can’t pay for.  It will also result in rising premiums and less care, while having no impact on rising healthcare costs.  And “conservative” justice John Roberts joined the lefty minority to bring the law home.  All of those things are bad.

But there are some potential goodies in there too (hence the lengthly dissent of the libs on what should have been considered a victory).  First, the individual mandate failed under the Commerce Clause.  Why is this important?  Because it shows Congress can’t regulate whatever the hell it wants by simply arguing it involves “interstate commerce.”  It also proves that I was right about it being an unprecedented overreach by Congress by trying to include inactivity in something that can be regulated.  And I like being right.  Yes, I know, it still passed constitutional muster under Congress’s taxing authority.   That’s true.  And the benefit to that is it gives the Republicans a HUGE talking point with an election coming up.

Remember this?

Uh, no George, it’s not a tax increase.  I’m serious.  George, don’t you know who I am?  Seriously, it’s NOT A TAX.

Oh, wait, sorry.  It is, ah, a tax.  And it’s going to be frickin’ HUGE.  And you know who it’s going to disproportionately impact?  That’s right. The middle class.  Why?  Because high-rollers like me already have health insurance, and while it’s only going to get more expensive under this lovely bill, I can probably still afford it.  But what about the middle class?  They either need to pay the increasing premiums, or get penalized taxed.  So the Prez is a big liar and the voters he needs are going to be most impacted by his lie.

What’s another positive?  Well, maybe it will keep me from having to hear about all the “politicians in robes” from the left, since the Chief Justice  decided to play for the other team on what is probably the biggest decision the Roberts Court will ever make.  You know what you never see?  One of the four libs switching sides.  Just kidding.  We’ll all be hearing about Citizens United in about 10 minutes.

So what have we learned?  We learned that the Commerce Clause doesn’t allow for the regulation of inactivity…which those of us who took English class in high school already knew.  We learned that the Supreme Court will identify something as a tax, even if the law’s proponent specifically argues that it’s a penalty.  We learned that the Chief Justice is more worried about how his court is perceived by the media than he is about actually making good decisions.  And finally, we learned that the President is a huge liar, who rammed through the largest tax increase in history while telling everyone it wasn’t a tax increase.

Why None of this Debt Ceiling Stuff Matters. Vol. II: This Time With Graphs

August 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Well Congress did it…they passed the debt ceiling bill.  Hooray!  Hooray!  We’ve avoided certain DOOM.  So, it’s all over now right?  Well, sorta.  I mean, the debt ceiling crap is over (for now), but we did just pass a bill that allows the treasury to borrow another $2.4 trillion!  From a conservative’s perspective, the deal seems better than contracting syphilis, but not by much.  But still you ask how could averting DOOM not matter?  DOOM is, after all, bad.  This is why:

So what does this fancy graph mean?  It means that, by 2049, every penny of tax revenue will get eaten by the entitlement programs.  And even if we raise revenue by taxing the filthy rich, it might get us a few more years.  And absolutely nothing is being done about it…and I don’t really anticipate anything being done about it until we simply run out of money and the programs all go bust.

I know, you’ve been told that stuff like Social Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit.  “Never contributed a nickel” is what libs like to say.  They point to the FICA on your paystub and say “see, it’s earmarked for Social Security.”  Here’s the problem: there is no special little fund where the FICA goes…it goes into the same pot as all the other taxes, and Social Security (and Medicare, and Medicaid) get paid out of that pot.  So, instead of your FICA going to a bucket somewhere so that it can pay you upon retirement, it’s actually going straight to your dad (freeloader).  Anywhere else, this sort of “take from Peter to pay Paul” relationship would be illegal…it’s called a Ponzi scheme (see Bernie Madoff).

Here’s the point: we’re never going to get rid of our debt without significantly changing the entitlements…and no one will touch “granny’s income” until there literally is no income.  Without doing something about entitlements, we eventually get this…

…debt we literally can’t pay for and we get DOOM for real.  Don’t believe me?  See Greece.  Don’t worry though.  Your Congressman who doesn’t want to hurt granny will be dead by then.  And you’ll be eating cats.   But not those big fat cats like Garfield.  I’m talking the small, bony cats you see in those ASPCA commercials.  Yes.  The ones with all the lesions.

Oh, and you think I’m kidding.  Remember Moody’s from Vol. I?  Well, even with the debt ceiling increase, they’re still considering downgrading us.  Why?  Because of the fancy graphs upstairs.  So, hooray for compromise!  Hooray for cooperation!  Hooray for taking over my t.v. for several days and ultimately doing nothing that will matter in the long run.

Even the Feds admit Obamacare will increase costs.

September 10, 2010 1 comment

That thud you hear is yet another obamacare fantasy falling to earth.  This time it comes with fancy charts, courtesy of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, via the Wall Street Journal:

 

What’s fun about about this thud is that it directly refutes the primary justification for Obamacare: to cut the rising costs of medical care.  Not only does it not cut costs, it’s projected to increase them!  And it isn’t just those with private insurance that it affects either.  As you can see, everyone’s costs will go up.  The only exception is medicare, and that’s only because the feds are going to under-reimburse doctors for their services (which sounds like a great way to secure quality care).  And keep in mind, this isn’t a Wall Street Journal study; it’s a federal government study. 

The dems are right about one thing: Obamacare will certainly go down in history. 

It’s our money dill-hole.

September 7, 2010 3 comments

 

Is this surprising?

Remember Peter Orszag?  You know…the director of the Obama White House Office of Management and Budget that skipped town after realizing that he was about as useful in fixing the economy as my six year old daughter?  Well, he’s now one of the New York Times‘ esteemed Contributing Columnists.  In his first Op-Ed, he argues that Congress should extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two years, and then dump them all permanently.  In doing so, he presents the liberal position that has been thrown about for so long that it’s simply met with a shrug.  In short: at some point, we need to raise taxes because the government needs to buy stuff…because, as we all know, buying stuff is fun; especially when it’s someone else’s money.  I continue to find this logic absurd and worthy of endless ridicule.

I have to give Orszag credit on one issue that the “progressives” fail to acknowledge: ending the Bush tax cuts for anyone, even those evil rich people who have stolen all of their money from the rest of us without creating any jobs (that’s sarcasm for those of you who are new to this blog) would actually hurt an already crappy economy.  It’s his next points that cause me great consternation.

Many conservatives are even worse: they’d make the tax cuts permanent for the likes of Warren Buffett, even though he’d prefer they didn’t. Making all the tax cuts permanent would expand the deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next decade.

Ah Warren Buffett…how I disdain you.  You of statements like (and I’m paraphasing here), “it’s not fair that my secretary pays more in taxes than I do.”  Look Warren, I know you like to look at the man in the mirror every morning and wax poetic about how gracious that person is, but you’re the one drinking fifty year old scotch out of a golden goblet.  In other words, if your secretary is paying more taxes then you, then stop paying your lawyers and accountants to find ways to shelter your money…or stop paying your secretary so much.   Plus, if you really want to pay more in taxes, feel free to write the IRS a check…I’m certain it won’t be sent back.

But I digress.  My point is this: the only way tax cuts could increase the deficit is if the government DOESN’T CUT ITS OWN SPENDING.  See, the government isn’t entitled to whatever amount of revenue it wants so that it can do rad stuff like give grants to scientists to prove cats hate showering with naked people or to prove global warming exists by cherry picking climate stats.

Orczag continues,

Let’s look at the facts. The projected deficit for 2015 is 4 percent to 5 percent of G.D.P., depending on whose assumptions you use. A sustainable level is more like 3 percent or lower. So we need deficit reduction of 1 percent to 2 percent of G.D.P., or about $200 billion to $400 billion a year by 2015. These figures are uncertain, but they’re the best we have (and they may well turn out to be too optimistic).

These are only “facts” if you’re Nostradamus.  In other words, you need to know what the budget will be in 2015.  Since there is no budget for 2015, you’re simply assuming it will be more or less the same as it is now.  Why not assume that the government will decrease its spending in 2015? 

The federal government, and those employed by it, decided long ago that they were entitled to whatever amount of taxes they decided were appropriate and that they found to be politically palatable.  It began with FDR and his New Deal and Social Security and continued largely unabated through Johnson’s Great Society.  Each time the American people were told the government needs more money for the betterment of society; except society never asked for it.  So now we have Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid…and Obamacare.  Liberal entitlement programs forced down America’s collective throat that amount to little more than theft.

Orszag asserts that Social Security needs reform…no kidding.  Will it get the reform it needs?  Well, being that the reform it needs is to, at the very least, allow Americans the opportunity to opt out of it and invest their money themselves, it’s  not likely.  How about Medicare and Medicaid?  Orszag asserts that Obamacare has resulted in substantial savings to both programs.  Considering the net effect of Obamacare will be to increase government spending, simply moving money from column A to column B and calling it savings seems a bit dubious, yes?

Simply put, our government has marched us slowly towards more and more taxes in the name of social progress.  Now we’re told we can’t “afford” to keep more of our own money.  Well, to that I say: I’m pretty sure we can.  Plus, Warren’s willing to pay more.

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