Monday, May 31, 2010

The Teleprompter Votes "Present"

They passed the Obama/Pelosi health care bill. Now just as Madam Speaker promised, we are discovering what is in it and what the impact will be.

"Since passage, reports have revealed that ObamaCare would cost over $1 trillion by any standard, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), not “merely” $940 billion as previously reported (while its total costs in its real first decade, 2014 to 2023, would continue to be well over $2 trillion); that ObamaCare has prompted major corporations to discussdropping their employer-provided health-care plans; that businesses would have to file 1099s not only for every person to whom they pay $600 in wages but for every vendor with whom they do $600 in business, thereby imposing a paperwork nightmare and incentivizing companies to avoid doing business with a myriad of small firms rather than a handful of big ones; that ObamaCare would create 159 new federal agencies, offices, or programs; that the Obama administration’s Medicare Chief Actuary says ObamaCare would raise U.S. health costs by $311 billion in relation to current law and would shift about 14 million people off of employer-provided insurance — and some of them onto Medicaid; that ObamaCare’s would discourage employment, as — for example — hiring a 25th worker would cost a business $5,600 in addition to wages and benefits; that ObamaCare would impose a severe marriage penalty, offering additional subsidies as high as $10,425 a year if couples merely avoid marriage; that a lone provision in ObamaCare, which would penalize employers if their employees spend more than 9.5 percent of their household income on insurance premiums, would cut the net income of businesses like White Castle by more than half; that even though ObamaCare was supposed to get people out of emergency rooms and into doctors’ offices, those who build emergency rooms say the effect will be just the opposite and that they are gearing up for increased business; that doctors shortages are looming and would be accentuated by ObamaCare, both because more people would seek care (otherwise, what would the $2 trillion be buying?) and because fewer people would likely enter a demanding profession that would now promise greater restrictions and lower pay; and that President Obama’s nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid under ObamaCare is an open advocate of the British National Health Services’ NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and its methods of rationing care."
"...according to the CBO, in ObamaCare’s real first dozen years (2014 to 2025), it would funnel $1 trillion from American taxpayers, through Washington, to private insurers — in exchange for insurers’ largely giving up their autonomy to the government. Thus, ObamaCare would further entrench insurers’ position as an inefficient middle-man — that’s a key reason why insurers largely supported the overhaul — while simultaneously entrenching an even more problematic and inflexible middle-man in the form of the federal government." As recent event bare out, I don't believe that our county has has such unprepared, unqualified, and out of touch leadership. Vice President Joe Biden recent comments that by spending the $787 BILLION stimulus money on jobs that cost hundreds of thousands dollars each., the administration has learned "new ideas on how to spend government money wisely". Most Americans mange to learn how to balance their finances and investment without going through a $787 BILLION trial run.

Hillary Clinton revealed her keen depth of world economics with her recent comments citing Brazil as a model of how to tax your way out of a recession. The Wall Street Journal responded:

"Mrs. Clinton goes on to say that "my view is that you have to get many countries to increase their public revenue collections." It seems what she wants is a sort of transnational cartel, in which governments agree to burden the "wealthy" with high taxes that they cannot escape by moving their businesses or residences elsewhere. Which, come to think of it, would be much worse than a mere domestic tax hike, which could be undone with simple legislation.

Looking to Brazil for a model is also nuts. Let's go to the CIA World Factbook for some relevant comparisons between Brazil and America (figures are from 2009, except as noted):

The U.S. does better on all these measures except 2009 unemployment--and a year earlier, the U.S. rate (5.8%) was considerably better than Brazil's (7.9%). The average American is more than 4.5 times as productive as the average Brazilian, and a Brazilian is more than twice as likely to be impoverished by Brazilian standards than an American is to be impoverished by U.S. standards.

Brazil's GDP actually shrank last year, by 0.2%, though it grew 5.1% in 2008 and 6.1% in 2007. For America, the figures were a 2.4% decline in 2009, 0.4% growth in 2008 and 2.1% growth in 2007. But developed countries seldom grow at 5% or 6% a year; developing ones experience such growth because their economies are smaller to begin with. Even if Brazil is "growing like crazy," for America to emulate it would be nuts."

Perhaps the frighting aspect of the current administration is they remain in the "Unconscious Incompetence" stage of management.

Unconscious Incompetence - neither understands nor knows how to do something, nor recognizes the deficit, nor has a desire to address it.

Case in point, the recent meeting with Republican members of Congress:

"He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," Sen.Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told reporters. "He's pretty thin-skinned."

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said he addressed Obama, "trying to demand overdue action" on the giant oil spill damaging Gulf coast states. He said got "no specific response" except Obama's pledge to have an authoritative WhiteHouse official call him within hours.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Obama's 2008 presidential opponent, said he pressed the president on immigration issues. McCain said he told Obama "we need to secure the border first" before taking other steps. "The president didn't agree," he said.

McCain said he defended his state's pending immigration law, which Obama says could lead to discrimination. It directs police, when questioning people about possible law violations, to ask about their immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" they're in the country illegally.

At the luncheon, McCain said, "I pointed out that members of his administration who have not read the law have mischaracterized the law—a very egregious act on their part."

The President doesn't get it, but he continues believing that he is on the right path. He says what he believes people want to hear, but his actions continue (or inaction as the case of the gulf oil crisis) don't match his words. But the President claims spends every waking minute focused on America's concerns. After his meeting with Republicans, he flew to California for his second fundraiser for Barbra Boxer, and today he is returning from his Memorial Day cookout in Chicago to host the Paul McCartney concert at the White House.

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