Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Got Jobs?

To paraphrase a well known quote: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” Two of my friends are out of work and it seems to be a long term deal. Both are highly qualified and experienced. I have personally lost a great night job I held for years and have not been called in to work since August, 2008. How are you and your acquaintances doing these days?

Opportunity in America starts with a job. Without one, there is no security, no earnings or savings, and no satisfaction and self-esteem of contributing to ones future or society. Official unemployment stands at 9.5% and if those who are under employed are added in, it becomes over 17%. Here is a short clip about how onerous regulations hurt the economy. It only touches on a couple of the several items mentioned below:

Do we want our jobs back? – YES! OK, just how can this goal be accomplished?

Business creates new jobs when it expands. Most large firms are sitting on their cash because they are uncertain of the future. In fact – several big companies that have announced expansion plans have been savaged by the stock market recently instead of rewarded. Investors are not confident that growing business is a smart move at this time.

Small business is fighting the combined headwinds of low demand, burgeoning new regulations, and great difficulty obtaining financing. This sector of the economy which traditionally creates the most jobs is stalled.

The Obama Administration has passed or is pushing legislation that has emasculated businesses large and small, putting great fear into owners and investors and hampering economic recovery. If we want our jobs back, these monstrous legislative overreaches must be rolled back. Here they are:

$867 Billion Stimulus: This program borrows nearly a Trillion Dollars from China and others against the future earnings of all Americans. It was promised as a method to initiate “shovel ready” infrastructure work. Instead most has been spent on the state level preserving government jobs.

Health Care: This massive takeover of 1/6 of the entire economy has created unintended consequences of huge proportions. It threatens to crush small businesses’ health plans and drive workers into the government system. The true long term costs to both business and individuals cannot be accurately calculated, and the implied costs were buried deep in the overall effort to pass the Bill.

Financial regulation: The Dodd / Frank legislation supposedly regulates financial practices while ignoring completely the malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed so greatly to the 2008 meltdown. Draconian rules and regulations will trickle down to the smallest mom & pop business and stifle initiative and productivity with reams of reporting requirements, paperwork, and red tape.

Cap & Trade legislation: Currently passed in the House and stalled in the Senate, whispers have it that a lame duck session of congress after the November election may pass it in the Senate anyway. This myopic and hysterical “solution” to a problem that has not been proven as fact would saddle business with huge energy cost increases. It would drive literally millions of American jobs overseas in a pen stroke.

Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all lowered taxes in the face of a recession. All three saw a spurt in economic growth and jobs as a result. The Obama Administration intends to raise taxes at the end of 2010 by allowing the current cuts to expire. Raising taxes punishes investment, expansion, success, and hiring. This scheme is a recipe for prolonging the worst recession in 75 years.

The Obama Administration has caused more damage to the US economy in 18 months than Jimmy Carter managed in 4 years. The only way to have a prayer of turning things around for the better is to change Congress this year so opponents can block funding and implementation of some of the more destructive aspects of the Obama agenda.

For you, your friends, your neighbors, and your children: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIMES.

Then and Now

Huey Long rose to power in the grinding years of the Great Depression on promises of wealth redistribution. He firmly believed that the economic pie was finite, and that the “haves” of the day only got that way by taking from the “have-nots.” His motto was “Every Man a King”, and he spread his mantra far and wide garnering enthusiastic support from those suffering truly hard times with no end in sight. Long had a rather direct outlook on how to overcome his political adversaries. “I used to try to get things done by saying “please.”  Now…I dynamite ’em out of my path.”

Barack Obama rose from obscurity to the highest office in the land with similar methods. He has great charisma and an outlook similar to Long’s. He also believes that wealth earned or possessed by those of means was somehow stolen from the more deserving poor. The destitution of certain sectors of society is in Obama’s view; not the result of their own actions or lack thereof, but instead the fault of those better off.

President Obama seems to enjoy the role of demagogue; railing against bankers, doctors, insurance companies, financial executives, and even a Cambridge cop who arrested one of his pals. He is pushing for yet higher taxes on “the rich” while doubling the Food Stamp program, increasing domestic discretionary spending by 25%, and borrowing almost $3 Trillion to fund his policies.

President Obama sincerely believes that bigger government, more regulation, and massive deficit spending will cure all ills. His cabinet members and assorted “czars” with similar views encourage him to frantically push huge legislative acts toward law as fast as possible knowing their window will close with the loss of Congress in 2011. If he is successful at enacting Cap & Trade, Financial Reform, and Immigration Reform on top of Health Care, our national economy will be choking on the myriad unintended consequences of thousands of pages of new laws and regulations. An exponential expansion of debt and entitlement promises that will destroy our future accompanies these grandiose visions of European style “social justice”.

Here are 3 short clips where President Obama states his true intentions prior to the election. Americans should have paid a bit more attention then:

Governor Long and President Obama share important similarities. Both had admirable charisma when campaigning, and promised: “If you vote for me I will give you free stuff”. Both skillfully wielded the weapon of demonizing their chosen targets – the “rich”, the business world, and, and their political opponents. Lastly, they share a compelling need to exercise total power over their opponents. Ramming Health Care through Congress with procedural legerdemain against the will of nearly 60% of the American people comes pretty close to “dynamite them out of my path.”

Now have a quick peek at the dirty baggage the Obama Administration has empowered. If this does not shock the beejesus out of any sane American – nothing will:

Freakonomics Idea

Obamacare will cause people to take better care of themselves, which will lead to a healthier America according to Stephen Dubner, the co-author of Super Freakonomics. Obamacare will ultimately benefit the populace because people are basically animals. When the environment around them changes, people change to meet the new circumstances.

Most Americans have health insurance. The people who earn insurance by virtue of having a job or paying premiums themselves are rewarded with small co-pays for doctor visits and often, low deductibles for major treatments. These folks or their employer pay a certain amount each year to an insurance company. In return, the person gets what seems to be “free” health care in the finest medical institutions in the world.

Knowing that unlimited care is always available, it is very easy to softly abuse oneself with alcohol, tobacco, drugs, overeating, lack of exercise, and any number of bad habits that lead to ill health. This brings to mind the old joke about having to weigh at least 300 pounds to trigger the Wal-Mart automatic door. Those shoppers subconsciously realize that if they fold a knee joint, develop diabetes, or cough up a lung, all they have to do is show up and be cured. What motivation do they have to take good care of themselves – none!

Patience please – the real door-trigger folks show up in the second half!

Enter Obamacare: About 30 million new participants will now be insured by fiat – many at taxpayer expense. They will also act like medical treatment is free and just a phone call away. More medical services will be used nationwide. This aspect will strain the capacity of our present system. Meanwhile the devil’s brew of government domination over private insurance will try to control costs by increasing paperwork and paying doctors less to perform more procedures. Two studies ** have shown that doctors under such pressure will begin to retire early or switch to other careers. More patients with more ailments visiting fewer doctors will lead to shortages and waits. Whether dictated by government or by necessity, the result will be rationing of care of some sort.

Here is where the behavioral adjustment will come in. Rational people will realize that medical care – free or not – is not what it used to be. Waiting periods for treatments will lengthen. Replacement physicians will be imported from abroad on H1-B visas and certified after minimal American internships. The quality of care and hospital conditions will in all likelihood deteriorate, leading to eventual government takeovers. The result will be that many Americans will want to avoid serious medical treatment at all costs knowing it could lead to a potentially less than perfect outcome. The idea of trusting oneself to a hospital run by the Postal Workers Union will cause many to do everything in their power to avoid such a necessity.

Wal-Mart shoppers will bypass the supersize doughnuts and purchase salads instead. Gym business will increase along with exercise equipment sales. Health food securities will soar while fast food stocks tank. Jogging shoes will fly off the shelves. Alcohol sales will suffer, and smoking will decline. Sports on the big screen will become touch football games in the great outdoors. Nutri-System and Jenny Craig will triple in size and sales.

The journey to a healthier America may have begun. It won’t happen the way our President envisioned.

**
http://www.themedicusfirm.com/pages/medicus-media-survey-reveals-impact-health-reform

The Medicus Firm is a respected physician search and retainment company with offices in Dallas and Atlanta.

Investor’s Business Daily conducted a similar poll in August, 2009 with 1376 responses and came to almost identical conclusions. The report was panned in the press at the time. The Medicus poll confirms the IBD results.

McKenna

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna represents the majority of American people who understand that a society supported by burgeoning entitlements is unsustainable. Our Constitution was written to protect us from the Government – not to allow it to control our private, personal decisions. His joining with 13 other State Attorneys General to challenge the constitutionality of  ObamaCare is much appreciated.

Present US national debt combined with the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is approximately $117 TRILLION – BEFORE adding the monstrous health care program. Over the years the federal government has piled up promises to pay that amount with no visible means of support to do so.

Just for comparative purposes, that much money would make 336 STACKS of $100 bills each of which would reach the International Space Station from the earth’s surface. A baby born today owes about $381,107 with its first breath as does every other living American. Democrats like to borrow from future generations or dragoon money from those who earn it and give it to those who don’t. Republicans often do the same in support of earmarks, subsidies, and anything they think will buy a few votes. Who will be holding the debt sack when the music stops and China quits funding our shortfalls? Hint: Many of them are not born yet.

The supporters of Health Care Reform insisted the program was deficit neutral. However if one were to take a sensible look at the broken promises of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs over time, a reasonable person could only expect the same future cost explosion with health care. The duplicity of double counting Medicare “savings” and separating out the $209 Billion “Doc Fix” are obvious to all who wish to see. Larding the bill with bribes and payoffs like the “Cornhusker Kickback” and “Louisiana Purchase” to assure passage stinks to high heaven.

My beloved little Goddaughter will be paying for this myopic foolishness long after we who squandered her future are gone. Our elected officials are present time oriented and refuse to consider history or contemplate the future. They exist in the here and now; caring only about what makes them feel good in the moment and what it takes to cling to office. Playing Robin Hood with other peoples’ money provides instant gratification along with votes. They care not a whit about the damage their inane spending and massive borrowing will eventually lead to.

Folks who choose to believe in this massive “entitlement” nonsense and support it are welcome to do so. However, please remember that the proverbial road to Hades is paved with good intentions. The European Union is desperately dealing with a half dozen member states that are drowning in debt largely caused by excessive entitlement spending. Present US programs are growing exponentially at the same time the number of workers paying in is shrinking relative to the recipient burden. Now we are told that 30 million more people can be insured basically at taxpayers’ expense and it will not increase the deficit? Perhaps the Tooth fairy may step in to assist.

Foolish and Dangerous

President Obama has just informed an Indonesian interviewer that the massive health care entitlement, which will add trillions more to our deficit over time is: “the most important domestic agenda” in America. American unemployment is nearly 10%. Our national debt is at $13 Trillion and over $3 Trillion is being added in 2009 and 2010. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are basically bankrupt. President Obama has just added yet one more monstrous entitlement to those we already cannot sustain.

The Health Care debate consumed over a year of the administration’s and Congress’ time. The Senate Bill and the House Reconciliation Bill will soon be signed into law. So far 13 State Attorneys General are suing the Federal Government to prevent the mandates included in the Bill from taking effect in their states. These actions will gum up the court system and embroil the legislation in protracted legal battles for months or years.

This massive misallocation of legislative resources is keeping the government and the economy at near paralysis. The American people are spending inordinate amounts of time and money fighting this law. Businesses are frozen in fear of higher taxes and penalties included in the Bill. For instance, Caterpillar just charged $100 Million against earnings for the additional costs on them alone. Investors are deeply concerned about threatened higher taxes on capital gains, rental, and dividend income. Without confident investors, jobs do not get created.

There is only one type of person who could seriously believe that health care in this fragile economy is the most important legislative goal. That person must have absolutely no business experience or understanding of basic economic principles. I give you “Exhibit 1” – President Obama. His experience is as a professor, lawyer, community organizer, and legislator. He has never met a payroll, exercised executive responsibilities, nor faced the challenges and demands of a businessman or investor. His sincere but erroneous belief is that wealth must be forcibly taken from those who produce it and given to those who do not. He obviously slept through any economics classes he was forced to take, or Paul Krugman was the instructor. When you say: “Adam Smith”, Obama thinks of that squishy liberal Congressman from Washington State – not the man who wrote Wealth of Nations.

As the economy continues its unstable drift into an unknown future, Obama and his gang of czars and sycophants continue to tax, spend, and borrow in their futile and dangerous quest for wealth redistribution instead of wealth creation. These actions bleed ambition from the entrepreneurial and creative risk takers while breeding dependency into additional sectors of the population.

Bill Clinton was travelling a similar path until 1994. The American people awoke and peacefully rebelled. A sea change in Congress forced him into a saner direction. Barack Obama needs a similar wake-up call. He shall receive it this coming November.

Talking Back

A man whom I respect, but agree with on almost nothing sent the following email over the transom this morning. It was so idiotic, that a response was in order. Below is the text of the original message and my answer to him:

Here’s what my friend wrote:

“Anyone who supported a $3 trillion intervention so that Iraqis could experience the joys of democracy, but now claims that “we can’t afford” health care reform, is not allowed to participate in meaningful policy debate for at least the next four years.”

Here is my response to him:

I sincerely respect you for your service, but your hysterical and whacked out view of this situation is troubling.

First off, your “$3 trillion” figure is well over 400% of the actual cost which is $714,640,000,000. That is MUCH LESS than $3 trillion. You should check these facts out before just sending stuff from your friend along as fact.

Second, our national debt combined with the total unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is approximately $117 TRILLION * BEFORE adding the monstrous health care entitlement program. I know it makes liberals feel good to dragoon money from those who earn it and give it to those who don’t, but who is going to end up holding the debt sack when the music stops and China quits funding our shortfalls?

My beloved Goddaughter will be paying all her life for this criminal foolishness long after we who squandered her future are gone. Unfortunately liberals are present time oriented and cannot consider history or contemplate the future. They are stuck in the here and now and only care about what makes them feel good in the moment. Playing Robin Hood with other peoples’ money gives them a Chris Mathews type tickle up their leg. They are incapable of considering the long term damage their asinine misallocation of productive resources will eventually lead to.

You can believe in this nonsense and support it all you want, but my job is to fight it to my last breath.

Now please do the honorable thing and forward this response along to all those you sent the original message to. You are welcome to include my name, email and phone number. Don’t forget to send it along to your friend Mr. XXXX.

All the Best,

Old Iron Jarhead

* Just for concept purposes, that is 336 STACKS of $100 bills that would reach the International Space Station from the earth’s surface.

Obama plays Major Kong

Why does the Health Care vote remind us so much of Dr. Strangelove? Consider the parallels:

Pilot Obama leads his crew into the sky with the specific intent to pass a Health Care Bill that will insure all 46,000,000 Americans and illegal immigrants with a generous public option which amounts to an eventual complete government takeover. His primary target is a single payer system as in Britain and Canada.  Picture these crewmen as your Senators and Congressmen:

On the way, Obama’s bomber is damaged by a missile, loses some engines and begins hemorrhaging fuel. This is the Senate Bill passed on Christmas Eve that stripped the public option and added the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback and other deals. The Senate Bill becomes the secondary target.

About this time, the commanders, AKA the American people, begin an effort to recall the bomber to base. The mission has been scrubbed. This is equivalent to the rising nationwide anger against the Bill, the dropping poll numbers, Tea Party demonstrations, and the elections in New Jersey and Virginia. Obama’s radio is out and he cannot hear or intentionally ignores their multiple attempts to reach him and his crew. He continues toward the secondary target.

The fuel loss becomes dire; there is no possibility of a return to safety after the target is hit. This is the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Obama is determined to reach his goal even as his crew shows serious signs of doubts and anxiety. The shaky members of the House have to be treated to several individual and group courage-enhancing meetings. They are threatened and bribed to stay the course despite constituent anger and plummeting poll numbers. Each one gets 20 pieces of silver to assuage their concerns and bring back to their districts:

Over the target, the bomb bay doors refuse to open. Against all odds and against polls showing 55% to 35% disapproval, Obama heroically forces the doors to open. Ignoring the massive evidence that the mission is impossible, he assaults the legislative wiring and finally manages to find success on the secondary target. Unfortunately, he and his crew are sacrificed in the process.

A bit of history: From 1994 through 2006, the Republicans in Congress managed to abandon their principles and soil their reputation with voters, leading to a sound rejection by the American people. They successfully completed their self immolation in 2008 with the election of a Democrat President and large Democratic majorities in House and Senate.

In approximately 1/10th of that time, the Obama Administration has done the same to the Democratic Party. Congress’ approval ratings are in the mid-teens. Obama’s have fallen to 45%, only held that high because the American people generally like him and want him to succeed. In the meantime, he continues to shoot himself in the foot by pushing legislation distrusted and disliked by the vast majority of voters.

The final episode – 21 MAR 10 – Obama signs a last minute Executive Order buying the votes of Bart Stupak and his group, securing the Bill of passage in the House.

Nancy, Harry, Steny, we shall be turning you out of office soon. As we say in the Marine Corps: “Pack your seabags!”

* If you enjoyed this satirical view as much as I enjoyed composing it, please pass it along.

Thanks,

Old Iron Jarhead