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Archive for March, 2010

DJH: Have you ever heard someone refer to democrats and republicans as “tweedledee and tweedledum?” When they do, they’re claiming that these is no real difference between the two parties. Sometimes that’s certainly true, but fortunately, not always.

One of the big differences between to two parties has to do with the way they think about Raising Taxes and Tax Collections; in this regard, they are generally as far apart as you can get.

Democrats believe that increasing tax rates or adding new taxes will increase tax collections on a dollar for dollar basis. If they need another $300 billion to fund some program, just raise the top income tax by 3% and voila – you get the money and you can call yourself “fiscally responsible.”

Republicans, on the other hand, understand that real world behavior is different. When people decide that a new tax or a tax increase is too high, they find a way to avoid paying it, which usually means that the government ends up with less tax collections. This is also known as the Laffer Curve.

I have been thinking about writing a piece that explains the Laffer Curve in plain English, but quickly realized that was too difficult. So instead, I’ll give you a few stories that will prove the point beyond a shadow of a doubt.

My friend Mark Perry from the University of Michigan sent out a story last night that illustrates the flaw in the Obama/democrat logic that they can raise tax collections by raising tax rates or creating new taxes:

From Cato’s Alan Reynolds in today’s WSJ

“President Barack Obama’s new health-care legislation aims to raise $210 billion over 10 years to pay for the extensive new entitlements. How? By slapping a 3.8% “Medicare tax” on interest and rental income, dividends and capital gains of couples earning more than $250,000, or singles with more than $200,000.

The president also hopes to raise $364 billion over 10 years from the same taxpayers by raising the top two tax rates to 36%-39.6% from 33%-35%, plus another $105 billion by raising the tax on dividends and capital gains to 20% from 15%, and another $500 billion by capping and phasing out exemptions and deductions.

Add it up and the government is counting on squeezing an extra $1.2 trillion over 10 years from a tiny sliver of taxpayers who already pay more than half of all individual taxes.

It won’t work. It never works. Punitive tax rates on high-income individuals do not increase revenue. Successful people are not docile sheep just waiting to be shorn.”

Mark then went on to cite numerous stories from across the nation that back this statement up.

From the Wall Street Journal — Millionaires Go Missing; Maryland’s fleeced taxpayers fight back.

“Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

From the Washington Post

“The number of self-reported million-dollar earners in Maryland has dropped by roughly a third compared with this time last year, renewing debate yesterday about whether the state’s year-old “millionaires’ tax” is driving rich people beyond its borders.”

More from the Wall Street Journal — “Maryland’s Mobile Millionaires: Income tax rates go up, rich taxpayers vanish.”

From past experience, these are just a few of the ways that taxpayers will react to the Obama administration’s tax plans:

• Professionals and companies who currently file under the individual income tax as partnerships, LLCs or Subchapter S corporations would form C-corporations to shelter income, because the corporate tax rate would then be lower with fewer arbitrary limits on deductions for costs of earning income.

• Investors who jumped into dividend-paying stocks after 2003 when the tax rate fell to 15% would dump many of those shares in favor of tax-free municipal bonds if the dividend tax went up to 23.8% as planned.

• Faced with a 23.8% capital gains tax, high-income investors would avoid realizing gains in taxable accounts unless they had offsetting losses.

• Faced with a rapid phase-out of deductions and exemptions for reported income above $250,000, any two-earner family in a high-tax state could keep their income below that pain threshold by increasing 401(k) contributions, switching investments into tax-free bond funds, and avoiding the realization of capital gains.

• Faced with numerous tax penalties on added income in general, many two-earner couples would become one-earner couples, early retirement would become far more popular, executives would substitute perks for taxable paychecks, physicians would play more golf, etc.

From the Baltimore Sun — Top Payers Fade Away; Maryland Was Depending On Taxing Millionaires, But They’re Disappearing.

“A year ago, Maryland became one of the first states in the nation to create a higher tax bracket for millionaires as part of a broader package of maneuvers intended to help balance the state’s finances and make the tax code more progressive.

But as the state comptroller’s office sifts through this year’s returns, it is finding that the number of Marylanders with more than $1 million in taxable income who filed by the end of April has fallen by one-third, to about 2,000. Taxes collected from those returns as of last month have declined by roughly $100 million.”

So keep this in mind every time you hear Obama or some other democrat talk about raising taxes on the rich to cover their runaway deficit spending. It’s never worked and it certainly won’t work this time. By the way, Obama and most of his cronies are fairly well educated in the laws of economics and they know that raising taxes never brings in more tax collections — so why do they insist on doing it?

The economic truth is that there is only one way to cut deficits and that is to cut spending. But 86% of federal spending is mandated by bad laws or contracts that cannot be cut! The time has come to bust those contracts and the first cuts we have to make is to the salaries of government workers, then dump the automatic cost of living adjustments (COLA) in government worker pensions and other entitlements (as well as a few other ideas outlined in my recent eBook Chronic Deficit Spending: The End of Life as We Know It?)

Anyone got a better idea?

Dave


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DJH: I am proud to call myself a fiscal conservative. I used to be an “across the board conservative,” but the fiscal crisis our country now faces has caused me to put my political ideologies aside and simply focus on America’s survival (funny how a national catastrophe helps us focus). Sure, I still have strong opinions about the war on terror, abortion, gay marriage, and illegal aliens, but I have pretty much put all of that on the back burner. You see, it just gets in the way when I try to talk seriously with liberals about the impending financial Armageddon facing the United States and we simply don’t have time to argue.

When it comes to the media, I admit that I am a regular viewer of Special Report with Brett Baier , but after that, I don’t watch a lot on FOX News. I prefer to study the liberal leaning Mainstream Media (CNN, NBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, etc) to better understand how they are reporting our problems to be and what solutions they report as most “promising.”

Yesterday morning when I checked the headline stories on Real Clear Politics, I was instantly drawn to the first two stories. Both were from the liberal press and both had the word disaster in their titles (“Can Obama avert a fiscal catastrophe?” from the Washington Post and “Planting the Seeds of Disaster” from Newsweek).

The Washington Post piece did a good job detailing how serious the fiscal threat is in America with lines like:

“It would take something like 220 health-care bills of deficit reduction, because the true savings from health care are more like $44 billion, once you subtract $70 billion in premiums that people will pay for long-term-care insurance and $29 billion they will pay into the Social Security trust fund, all of which will have to be paid out later. But either way, it’s a frightening picture.”

Of course the author — Fred Hiatt, is taking “as fact” Obama’s claim that the Health Care Bill will reduce the deficit. As I reported last week, that is a $562 billion lie, which means things are actually worse.

But, Hiatt tosses out a solution that is so lame, it’s almost laughable:

“What will it take? The government will have to spend less and tax more. The Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire this year, as the law was written. The gasoline tax should be higher. Retirement ages need to be gradually pushed back. People who don’t need as much help shouldn’t receive full Medicare benefits.”

Yes, the government needs to spend less – a lot less, but taxing more is not an option that will help close the deficit. We now have a situation where the top 1% of all tax payers pay more than the bottom 95% (who Obama has promised not to tax), 40% of America pays no income tax, and our corporate tax rate is the 2nd highest on Earth. You may not believe in The Laffer Curve, but you can’t deny the fact that since Pelosi and Obama started raising taxes, the actual amount of revenue collected has plummeted.  Further tax increases will only drive more businesses and investments out of the country and with them, tax revenues that could reduce the deficit. History is crystal clear on this point — taxes must be cut immediately to increase tax collections.

Okay, let’s move on to the Newsweek story — Planting the Seeds of Disaster. This piece comes from a widely respected economist Robert Samuelson. I think Samuelson really hits the nail on the head when it comes to describing the mess we’re in, how we got here, and where we’re heading!

Robert Samuelson

“When historians recount the momentous events of recent weeks, they will note a curious coincidence. On March 15, Moody’s Investors Service — the bond rating agency — published a paper warning that the exploding U.S. government debt could cause a downgrade of Treasury bonds. Just six days later, the House of Representatives passed President Obama’s health care legislation costing $900 billion or so over a decade and worsening an already-bleak budget outlook.

Should the United States someday suffer a budget crisis, it will be hard not to conclude that Obama and his allies sowed the seeds, because they ignored conspicuous warnings. A further irony will not escape historians. For two years, Obama and members of Congress have angrily blamed the shortsightedness and selfishness of bankers and rating agencies for causing the recent financial crisis. The president and his supporters, the historians will note, were equally shortsighted and self-centered — though their quest was for political glory, not financial gain.

Let’s be clear. A “budget crisis” is not some minor accounting exercise. It’s a wrenching political, social and economic upheaval. Large deficits and rising debt — the accumulation of past deficits — spook investors, leading to higher interest rates on government loans. The higher rates expand the budget deficit and further unnerve investors. To reverse this calamitous cycle, the government has to cut spending deeply or raise taxes sharply. Lower spending and higher taxes in turn depress the economy and lead to higher unemployment. Not pretty.

Greece is now experiencing such a crisis. Until recently, conventional wisdom held that only developing countries — managed ineptly — were candidates for true budget crises. No more. Most wealthy societies with aging populations, including the United States, face big gaps between their spending promises and their tax bases. No one in Congress could be unaware of this.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Tough stuff? You bet, but that’s the mess we’re in. 53% of America voted for the guy said he’d give them everything they wanted and then use his unlimited powers to make someone else pick up the tab. Now we’ve discovered that the someone else he was talking about is our children, grandchildren, and all of the unemployed private sector workers who would rather have a job than extended unemployment benefits or Obamacare.

The good news? If  the Washington Post and Newsweek are reporting that we’re on the eve of destruction, then there’s hope that those 53% who voted for change now realize what that really meant — and that means hope could be making a come back!

Dave

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DJH: Last summer I had a long discussion with a good friend (Alan) about the recent lack of decorum in the United States. He thought it started with everyone picking on Obama over the economy.  I told him it started long before that. Then last night, an old high school friend (Jan) raised the same question. As I think about it, I’m sure others feel the same way, so why not take a stab at answering this great question?

The Good Old Days

We had heated political debates during Watergate and Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, but in both cases. A fair number of decent minded republicans joined the democrats to impeach Nixon. Although the democrats did stand by their man Clinton during the impeachment trial, the country moved on. Sure, nutjobs screamed like fools over Viet Nam, Watergate, and Monica, but I think decorum was maintained by our leaders and the Mainstream Media

In the late 90’s a republican in California did call Clinton a “draft dodger, dope smoking, womanizer” on the house floor, but he was censored and then defeated in the next election demonstrating that his constituency still respected “the office.”

It is a matter of fact that President Bush (41) was nothing short of a true statesman when it came to the Clintons. He honored their service during his years in the White House and even invited Bill to help raise money with his father after Katrina.

It all began with “Miserable Failure”

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Dick Gephart starting calling the sitting president Bush a “Miserable Failure “for his economic policies during all of his campaign speeches. The term caught on and soon all of the democrat candidates started doing the same. Then a group of left wing programmers at google wrote a routine that delivered George Bush’s biography to any search for the term “miserable failure.” And, with all those geniuses at google, it still took them 3 years  (2007) to undo it. In case you didn’t know it, Eric Schmidt, CEO of google is a major player in the democrat party.

There were two problems with the whole Miserable Failure thing. First, it was crude and disrespectful to call a sitting president ugly names – even during political campaign. Second, it wasn’t true. Bush did an incredible job turning the economy around after 9/11. He restored GDP growth, got unemployment back under 4% and shrunk the deficit every year after 9/11. However, to this day, the democrats keep pushing the big lie that his administration was a fiscal failure – the facts simply aren’t there. By the way, if anyone thinks they can prove otherwise, please email me at davidjameshorne@aol.com and I’ll publish your case (along with my rebuttal). Don’t get me wrong, Bush did spend way too much money as President, but he paid for most of it through pro-growth economic policies.

Swiftboating and Dan Rather

The 2004 campaign had plenty more in the “lack of decorum” department than just the miserable failure thing. We had the Swift Boat Veterans against John Kerry, which seems to have turned out to be fairly true, but hardly dignified. Then we had the fake Bush draft board letters that Dan Rather tried to pass off as real. Unlike the swifties, these charges turned out to be false and it cost Rather his job.

Bush Lied – People Died

After Bush won the 2004 Presidency and added seats in Congress, I think the democrats got a little desperate and cranked up the rhetoric. The left and the Main Stream Media convinced the majority of Americans that Bush created the story of WMD’s in Iraq. Although we never found them, it is a matter of UN historical fact that they were there in the 1990’s before Saddam threw the UN inspectors out. There is also a very credible book out called Saddam’s Secrets , written by one of Saddam’s top generals, that details how Saddam smuggled his WMD’s out of Iraq and into Syria while congress debated the war resolution. On top of that, every major intelligence organization on earth agreed they were there. Bill Clinton and the majority of democrats in congress also stated on numerous times that the weapons were there. Saddam had even used WMD’s on the Kurds!

Yet the left and the Main Stream Media kept repeating the bumper sticker  mantra Bush Lied – People Died and eventually the majority of Americans started to believe it. This was the first time that “the truth” lost out in America. I think this open denial of the truth in the name of political advantage started the lack of decorum we face today. For people like me, who follow the facts, this was really a sad turn of events.

Tina Fey is not Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is a polarizing figure, but she is not a dope or an incompetent. The fact is, in 2006, she was the most fiscally successful governor in America and the most popular (80% approval). Saturday Night Live got a lot of mileage out of dopey lookalike Tina Fey, but then a very sick thing happened. The left and the Mainstream Media started convincing people that Sarah Palin actually said the dumb things that Tina Fey said on SNL. Soon, marginally informed independents and democrats all started to believe that Sarah Palin was a dope.

One of the most enlightening videos I’ve ever seen was a piece done after the election called “How Obama Got Elected”

Again, as someone who cherishes the truth and follows the facts, stuff like this infuriates me.

Barrack Hussein Obama

This brings us to the current days of discord. While the roots of today’s lack of decorum go back several years, I have to place today’s fever pitch at the feet of the president. He has never stopped campaigning. To this day, he inaccurately blames Bush for the recession that won’t end (yes, Bush had a role, but there are no independent economists who believe that Bush’s role was anywhere near that of Barney Frank or Chris Dodd. )

Then we get to Health Care. In the beginning people supported what Obama wanted to do, but over the summer of 2009, as they learned more, they turned against it in growing numbers. Despite this fact, the president pressed on. Then in an act analogous to ‘screaming NO at the top of their lungs,” the ultra liberal state of Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to become the 41st vote against Obamacare.

Yet the president and the democrat congress bent and twisted every rule in the book to get this bill into law. But that’s not bad enough. Then they lied about the true cost. They claim it will reduce the deficit when even the very liberal New York Times says it will add $562 billion to the deficit.

America on the Verge of Collapse

All of the above is enough to get traditional Americans who believe in the truth and follow the facts worked into a frenzy and I didn’t even mention illegal immigration, a stimulus plan that does absolutely nothing for private sector workers, or taxpayer funded trials for the 9/11 terrorists.

But I don’t think any of this is enough to cause the daily rancor we’re witnessing in 2010 America. What’s really stoking the fire for people like me (who study history and economics) is just how close we are to financial Armageddon in the United States. And we know that Obama and the democrat congress are making things worse, not better (for more on this problem click here to read my new eBook Chronic Deficit Spending: The End of Life as We Know it?) Today, two liberal members of the Mainstream Media — The Washington Post and Newsweek both published stories about America’s pending fiscal disaster (more on that tomorrow).

So, that’s my take on “why we can’t all just get along.” Nothing like this has ever happened in our country before.

Oh yeah, I think it will get worse before it gets better.

Dave

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DJH: Last week I was sitting around with a group of retired private sector workers talking about Obamacare. One of them – a self professed bleeding heart liberal, proclaimed that he supported Obamacare because of his heart not his brain.

“We need to help all those poor people who have no health care” he said.

To which I replied: “You’ve fallen for another Obama lie. The poor already had free healthcare through Medicaid. This bill didn’t give them anything new, but the working poor would rather have a job than Obamacare. And this bill will drive unemployment rates through the roof. In fact, the way Obama is systematically killing jobs in the private sector borders on satanic!”

And with that I crossed a line, I compared Obama to Satan, or at least pointed out that I think what’s happening these days is plain evil (and since evil comes from Satan, what the heck). Before you conclude that I’ve lost my mind and gone off the deep end, hear me out. I ask you to take a minute and go beyond Obama’s glowing rhetoric about “how good it’s going to be” and take closer look at the facts that have emerged since the Sunday night passage of Obamacare.

Millions of Private Sector Jobs Placed at Risk

On Monday, I wrote about how the passage of Obamacare would mean the demise of millions of private sector jobs. At the time, I was looking at the longer term effect of Obama’s health care takeover on careers in America. Specifically, the hikes in income taxes on small businesses and payroll taxes. Little did I know that there would be an immediate impact on big corporations that would be even more severe.

3500 Companies Face Immediate Job Killing Tax Hikes

Beginning Wednesday, word started leaking out from many of the country’s top employers that certain healthcare related tax deductions had been eliminated by Obamacare. By Thursday, the numbers reached staggering levels:

AT&T — $1 billion

John Deere — $150 million

Caterpillar — $100 million

3M — $90 million

Verizon — $46.6 million

AK Steel — $31 million

Valero – $15 million

And, the list goes on. In fact, 3500 private sector corporations discovered this week that Obamacare would immediately increase their cost of doing business by billions of dollars.

As I have told you over and over again, the primary objective of any corporation is to make a profit. That means that when an out-of-control government imposes billions in new costs, they must respond to protect their profits and their shareholders. So what will they do? I’m not sure, but if we look to the past, it’s safe to assume that it will not be good for jobs in America. I predict more lay-offs, more jobs going overseas to countries with lower costs of doing business, wage and benefit cuts — you know the drill.

Student Loan Takeover Kills Private Sector Jobs

In the 11th hour, the dems decided to take over the student loan industry in yet another sleazy backroom deal to make Obamacare look like it was “deficit neutral.” Unfortunately, an ugly side effect of this socialist move will be the elimination of tens of thousands of private sector jobs and the creation of another bloated federal government bureaucracy to replace them.

Here are a few excerpts from a piece in this week’s  New York Times.

“The Democratic majority decided, well look, while we’re at it, let’s have another Washington takeover,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and a former federal education secretary. “Let’s take over the federal student loan program.”

And, according to the Commercial Bankers Association:

“More than 30,000 people are currently involved in helping students via the FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan) program. These experts understand students’ loan obligations and how to get students the help they need when facing difficultly in repaying their loans. Firing them and hiring untrained government workers to replace them, as the President proposes, would be a huge setback for educational opportunity.”

Losing the student loan origination business will cost Sallie Mae dearly; officials estimate they will need to lose 2,500 of 8,600 employees and consolidate 25 locations into five to seven.

US News and World Report Calls Obamacare a Mammoth Job Killer

Earlier in the month, Ron Bonjean did the heavy lifting to detail exactly where the Obamacare private sector job losses would fall in the US News and World Report story called Obama Healthcare Reform Bill is a Mammoth Job Killer

Bonjean predicts as many as 698,000 jobs will be lost as a result of this bill – here is his breakdown.

Sector ESI Jobs
Other services 48 -7,946 -46,564
Totals -119,194 -698,0
% Low High
Agriculture, mining and construction
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 20 -923 -5,441
Mining 68 -939 -5,478
Construction 37 -7,374 -43,316
Manufacturing 65 -18,022 -105,229
Trade
Wholesale trade 57 -8,149 -47,663
Retail trade 39 -14,364 -84,339
Transportation and communication
Transportation and warehousing 55 -6,290 -36,806
Utilities 80 -906 -5,271
Services
Information 63 -4,510 -26,342
Financial Activities 66 -13,236 -77,269
Professional and business services 44 -22,606 -132,596
Educational services 61 -5,493 -32,102
Leisure and hospitality 25 -8,436 -49,682

Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that Obamacare will be a terminal disease for private sector jobs in America? And while that’s bad, it’s barely satanic and I did say that the impact of Obamacare on the private sector bordered on the satanic, right? Okay, here’s where the satanic part comes in.

Greed and Deceit is Just Plain Evil

I believe Obamacare borders on the satanic because of the unmitigated greed and deceit it represents. I covered the deceit side earlier this week in my story “Obama’s Historic Day – a $562 Billion Lie“, so I won’t repeat it here. But let’s look at the greed side of the equation.

Obamacare Means Massive Government Hiring We Can’t Afford

One of the big stories last week was that fact that the IRS would have to hire 16,500 more agents needed to spy on Americans to make sure they comply with Obamacare. Of course, adding to the $562 billion lie is the fact that the funding for these agents was not included as a cost in the bill.

Click here to read more.

But the real story about massive government hiring has yet to be reported. Within the bowels of Obamacare’s 2700+ pages lies the creation  of 111 new government bureaucracies, which will be staffed by the dems and their cronies.

The House Republican Conference has compiled a list of these 111 new boards, bureaucracies, commissions, and programs created in H.R. 3962, Speaker Pelosi’s government takeover of health care, Take a quick glance at this list and just imagine how many government jobs will be created to staff these bureaucracies; jobs that will include fat pensions and heath care for life. All of which will be paid by grandchildren.

1.     Retiree Reserve Trust Fund (Section 111(d), p. 61)

2.     Grant program for wellness programs to small employers (Section 112, p. 62)

3.     Grant program for State health access programs (Section 114, p. 72)

4.     Program of administrative simplification (Section 115, p. 76)

5.     Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 223, p. 111)

6.     Health Choices Administration (Section 241, p. 131)

7.     Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 244, p. 138)

8.     Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 155)

9.     Program for technical assistance to employees of small businesses buying Exchange coverage (Section 305(h), p. 191)

10.   Mechanism for insurance risk pooling to be established by Health Choices Commissioner (Section 306(b), p. 194)

11.   Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund (Section 307, p. 195)

12.   State-based Health Insurance Exchanges (Section 308, p. 197)

13.   Grant program for health insurance cooperatives (Section 310, p. 206)

14.   “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321, p. 211)

15.   Ombudsman for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321(d), p. 213)

16.   Account for receipts and disbursements for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 322(b), p. 215)

17.   Telehealth Advisory Committee (Section 1191 (b), p. 589)

18.   Demonstration program providing reimbursement for “culturally and linguistically appropriate services” (Section 1222, p. 617)

19.   Demonstration program for shared decision making using patient decision aids (Section 1236, p. 648)

20.   Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicare (Section 1301, p. 653)

21.   Independent patient-centered medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302, p. 672)

22.   Community-based medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302(d), p. 681)

23.   Independence at home demonstration program (Section 1312, p. 718)

24.   Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Section 1401(a), p. 734)

25.   Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission (Section 1401(a), p. 738)

26.   Patient ombudsman for comparative effectiveness research (Section 1401(a), p. 753)

27.   Quality assurance and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1412(b)(1), p. 784)

28.   Quality assurance and performance improvement program for nursing facilities (Section 1412 (b)(2), p. 786)

29.   Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1413(a)(3), p. 796)

30.   Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 1413(b)(3), p. 804)

31.   National independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 1422, p. 859)

32.   Demonstration program for approved teaching health centers with respect to Medicare GME (Section 1502(d), p. 933)

33.   Pilot program to develop anti-fraud compliance systems for Medicare providers (Section 1635, p. 978)

34.   Special Inspector General for the Health Insurance Exchange (Section 1647, p. 1000)

35.   Medical home pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1722, p. 1058)

36.   Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1730A, p. 1073)

37.   Nursing facility supplemental payment program (Section 1745, p. 1106)

38.   Demonstration program for Medicaid coverage to stabilize emergency medical conditions in institutions for mental diseases (Section 1787, p. 1149)

39.   Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund (Section 1802, p. 1162)

40.   “Identifiable office or program” within CMS to “provide for improved coordination between Medicare and Medicaid in the case of dual eligibles” (Section 1905, p. 1191)

41.   Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 1907, p. 1198)

42.   Public Health Investment Fund (Section 2002, p. 1214)

43.   Scholarships for service in health professional needs areas (Section 2211, p. 1224)

44.   Program for training medical residents in community-based settings (Section 2214, p. 1236)

45.   Grant program for training in dentistry programs (Section 2215, p. 1240)

46.   Public Health Workforce Corps (Section 2231, p. 1253)

47.   Public health workforce scholarship program (Section 2231, p. 1254)

48.   Public health workforce loan forgiveness program (Section 2231, p. 1258)

49.   Grant program for innovations in interdisciplinary care (Section 2252, p. 1272)

50.   Advisory Committee on Health Workforce Evaluation and Assessment (Section 2261, p. 1275)

51.   Prevention and Wellness Trust (Section 2301, p. 1286)

52.   Clinical Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1295)

53.   Community Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1301)

54.   Grant program for community prevention and wellness research (Section 2301, p. 1305)

55.   Grant program for research and demonstration projects related to wellness incentives (Section 2301, p. 1305)

56.   Grant program for community prevention and wellness services (Section 2301, p. 1308)

57.   Grant program for public health infrastructure (Section 2301, p. 1313)

58.   Center for Quality Improvement (Section 2401, p. 1322)

59.   Assistant Secretary for Health Information (Section 2402, p. 1330)

60.   Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 1352)

61.   Grant program for nurse-managed health centers (Section 2512, p. 1361)

62.   Grants for labor-management programs for nursing training (Section 2521, p. 1372)

63.   Grant program for interdisciplinary mental and behavioral health training (Section 2522, p. 1382)

64.   “No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza” demonstration grant program (Section 2524, p. 1391)

65.   Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398)

66.   Grant program for interdisciplinary training, education, and services for individuals with autism (Section 2527(a), p. 1402)

67.   University centers for excellence in developmental disabilities education (Section 2527(b), p. 1410)

68.   Grant program to implement medication therapy management services (Section 2528, p. 1412)

69.   Grant program to promote positive health behaviors in underserved communities (Section 2530, p. 1422)

70.   Grant program for State alternative medical liability laws (Section 2531, p. 1431)

71.   Grant program to develop infant mortality programs (Section 2532, p. 1433)

72.   Grant program to prepare secondary school students for careers in health professions (Section 2533, p. 1437)

73.   Grant program for community-based collaborative care (Section 2534, p. 1440)

74.   Grant program for community-based overweight and obesity prevention (Section 2535, p. 1457)

75.   Grant program for reducing the student-to-school nurse ratio in primary and secondary schools (Section 2536, p. 1462)

76.   Demonstration project of grants to medical-legal partnerships (Section 2537, p. 1464)

77.   Center for Emergency Care under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (Section 2552, p. 1478)

78.   Council for Emergency Care (Section 2552, p 1479)

79.   Grant program to support demonstration programs that design and implement regionalized emergency care systems (Section 2553, p. 1480)

80.   Grant program to assist veterans who wish to become emergency medical technicians upon discharge (Section 2554, p. 1487)

81.   Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 2562, p. 1494)

82.   National Medical Device Registry (Section 2571, p. 1501)

83.   CLASS Independence Fund (Section 2581, p. 1597)

84.   CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 2581, p. 1598)

85.   CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 2581, p. 1602)

86.   Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1610)

87.   National Women’s Health Information Center (Section 2588, p. 1611)

88.   Centers for Disease Control Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1614)

89.   Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Research (Section 2588, p. 1617)

90.   Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1618)

91.   Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1621)

92.   Personal Care Attendant Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 2589(a)(2), p. 1624)

93.   Grant program for national health workforce online training (Section 2591, p. 1629)

94.   Grant program to disseminate best practices on implementing health workforce investment programs (Section 2591, p. 1632)

95.   Demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (Section 3101, p. 1717)

96.   Demonstration program for substance abuse counselor educational curricula (Section 3101, p. 1719)

97.   Program of Indian community education on mental illness (Section 3101, p. 1722)

98.   Intergovernmental Task Force on Indian environmental and nuclear hazards (Section 3101, p. 1754)

99.   Office of Indian Men’s Health (Section 3101, p. 1765)

100.Indian Health facilities appropriation advisory board (Section 3101, p. 1774)

101.Indian Health facilities needs assessment workgroup (Section 3101, p. 1775)

102.Indian Health Service tribal facilities joint venture demonstration projects (Section 3101, p. 1809)

103.Urban youth treatment center demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1873)

104.Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for diabetes prevention (Section 3101, p. 1874)

105.Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for health IT adoption (Section 3101, p. 1877)

106.Mental health technician training program (Section 3101, p. 1898)

107.Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1909)

108.Program for treatment of child sexual abuse victims and perpetrators (Section 3101, p. 1925)

109.Program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (Section 3101, p. 1927)

110.Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1966)

111.Committee for the Establishment of the Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1968)

Of course all of these jobs will be filled by SEIU Union members. SEIU was one of the biggest contributors to Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign. And, no one has spent more time with President Obama than Andy Stern, president of SEIU.

Obama Pays Back SEIU (again)

On Thursday the Washington Times published an in depth piece exposing Obamacare as a big payback to SEIU for funding his election campaign; they said:

“Nonunion workers and private companies could be forced into absorbing the financial liabilities of underfunded union pension plans, thanks to pending health care mandates and an executive order that could be finalized this year, policy analysts and trade group representatives have concluded.”

To me, this is straight up government corruption at a massive scale. The president and his party have sold out private sector workers to pay back the special interest group that funds their political campaigns.

So you tell me, is Obamacare a Terminal Disease for the Private Sector Economy in America?  And, does the greed and deceit that’s going on behind scenes border on the satanic?

I have my opinion – what’s yours?

Dave

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DJH: I admit that I watched a lot of ESPN and The Food Channel today. It’s not that I can’t stand to watch the dems win. In fact I watched all of the November 2008 election results thoroughly. I just can’t come to grips with a President who lies directly to the American people with such ease. If he can lie about something this big and important, how can we trust him to tell us the truth about the private sector economy, terrorism, or dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat?

Let’s face it, as a nation, we are in very deep do-do and it has nothing to do with health insurance.

  • We have private sector unemployment nearing the levels of the great depression (the true number is 17% not 9.7%). Massive tax increases on private sector businesses will make this worse and keep it there for a long time.
  • Virtually every federal, state, and local government  body in America is financially insolvent due to trillions of dollars in unfunded union worker pensions or entitlement programs like Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Last month the nation’s monthly deficit set an all time record deficit of $220.9 billion, which is plenty scary on it’s own, but the way we got there scares the living daylights out of me. Obama spent $328.4 billion and only collected $107.5 billion in taxes and fees! This is fiscally unconscionable and puts the safety of our country in grave risk. By the way, this deficit was 14% higher than February of 2009 — Obama’s first full month in office.

But today I starting watching Obama make history but then hit the clicker and went to Rachel Ray when he said:

So for all those folks out there who are talking about being fiscal hawks and didn’t do much when they were in power — let’s just remind them that according to the Congressional Budget Office, this represents over a trillion dollars of deficit reduction that is being done in a smart way.

– Barrack Obama March 23, 2010

And that’s the big lie that stole our careers!

As a conservative author, I believe that I must point to liberal or independent news services as my source of facts if I ever hope to change the opinions of my readers on left. That’s why it’s so important to point out that the very liberal New York Times is my source of fact for calling the 44th President of the United States a BOLD FACED LIAR!

Here are a few tidbits from today’s NYT piece titled — The Real Arithmetic of Health Care Reform.

“…If you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games and rework the calculus, a wholly different picture emerges: The health care reform legislation would raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $562 billion.

Gimmick No. 1 is the way the bill front-loads revenues and backloads spending. That is, the taxes and fees it calls for are set to begin immediately, but its new subsidies would be deferred so that the first 10 years of revenue would be used to pay for only 6 years of spending.

Even worse, some costs are left out entirely. To operate the new programs over the first 10 years, future Congresses would need to vote for $114 billion in additional annual spending. But this so-called discretionary spending is excluded from the Congressional Budget Office’s tabulation.

Consider, too, the fate of the $70 billion in premiums expected to be raised in the first 10 years for the legislation’s new long-term health care insurance program. This money is counted as deficit reduction, but the benefits it is intended to finance are assumed not to materialize in the first 10 years, so they appear nowhere in the cost of the legislation.

Another vivid example of how the legislation manipulates revenues is the provision to have corporations deposit $8 billion in higher estimated tax payments in 2014, thereby meeting fiscal targets for the first five years. But since the corporations’ actual taxes would be unchanged, the money would need to be refunded the next year. The net effect is simply to shift dollars from 2015 to 2014.

In addition to this accounting sleight of hand, the legislation would blithely rob Peter to pay Paul. For example, it would use $53 billion in anticipated higher Social Security taxes to offset health care spending. Social Security revenues are expected to rise as employers shift from paying for health insurance to paying higher wages. But if workers have higher wages, they will also qualify for increased Social Security benefits when they retire. So the extra money raised from payroll taxes is already spoken for. (Indeed, it is unlikely to be enough to keep Social Security solvent.) It cannot be used for lowering the deficit.

A government takeover of all federally financed student loans — which obviously has nothing to do with health care — is rolled into the bill because it is expected to generate $19 billion in deficit reduction.

Finally, in perhaps the most amazing bit of unrealistic accounting, the legislation proposes to trim $463 billion from Medicare spending and use it to finance insurance subsidies. But Medicare is already bleeding red ink, and the health care bill has no reforms that would enable the program to operate more cheaply in the future. Instead, Congress is likely to continue to regularly override scheduled cuts in payments to Medicare doctors and other providers.

Removing the unrealistic annual Medicare savings ($463 billion) and the stolen annual revenues from Social Security and long-term care insurance ($123 billion), and adding in the annual spending that so far is not accounted for ($114 billion) quickly generates additional deficits of $562 billion in the first 10 years. And the nation would be on the hook for two more entitlement programs rapidly expanding as far as the eye can see.

The bottom line is that Congress would spend a lot more; steal funds from education, Social Security and long-term care to cover the gap; and promise that future Congresses will make up for it by taxing more and spending less.”

I fear another sleepness night!

Dave

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DJH: As I was working on a new story that will detail how the roll out of Obamacare will fuel even more partisan bickering in the United States, I came across this 20-year old paper written by Canadian physician William E. Goodman titled CANADIAN MEDICARE: A ROAD TO SERFDOM.

Obama -- The Road to Serfdom?

Dr. Goodman presented an excellent historical recap of how Canada went from a free market healthcare system to today’s socialist system. He also did a great job of detailing the true motivation behind the liberal obsession with big government and their never-ending intrusion into our private lives.

Look at this:

“… Government planning on a major scale inevitably leads to a totalitarian approach to statehood. No matter whether the government believes itself to be socialist, corporatist, social democratic, communist, or fascist, the tendency is the same. Such a state must usurp the citizen’s basic right to make his own decisions about where he will live, what sort of work he will do, what wages he will earn, what sort of food and clothing and medical care he may buy, and so on. To this end, the state must insist on total powers of compulsion.

This compulsion may take two forms. In the relatively benevolent state, the citizen either does as he’s told by the government, or his ability to earn a living is threatened by that government’s monopolistic financial controls. To quote the late German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, “He who controls the purse has the power.” In the malevolent state, exemplified by Germany and Russia in this century, the dissident individual is simply imprisoned, tortured, hanged, or shot. In other words, depending on its degree of malevolence, the state imposes its will either by financial strictures or by physical force. The protesting citizen may die by starvation or by execution, but professionally and financially if not physically, die he will.

The Stalinist constitution of 1935 stated: “Who does not work does not eat.” Today’s version in centrally planned, presumably democratic nations is, as Hayek noted (quoting Trotsky), “Who does not obey does not eat.” This is strikingly illustrated by the Swiss government’s recent shameful, repressive treatment of our friend Dr. Ernest Truffer. His Swiss colleague, Dr. Alphonse Crespo, reported that “the penalty for persistent public challenge of institutional misdeeds is economic liquidation.”

Government Funds, Government Control

In Britain in the 1940s, in Canada in the 1950s and 1960s, and now in the USA, it has been claimed by national health insurance enthusiasts that the payment of medical bills by the state should not and would not affect the freedom of physicians and patients or the quality of medical care. A 1950 report on Lord Beveridge’s cradle-to-grave welfare plan, which led to Britain’s National Health Service, said: “The necessary government controls will not be allowed to interfere with the personal freedom of patients or the professional freedom of doctors; or the confidential relationship between the two.”

Politicians have repeatedly said that they weren’t interested in controlling health care, only in making public safety-net funding arrangements. But common sense alone should have persuaded people of the inevitability of the US court ruling, “what the state funds it has a right to regulate.” Experience has demonstrated only too well the truth of the German proverb, “Whose bread I eat, his song I must sing.” In Canada, people are beginning to realize that in the long run their apparently free ride at the taxpayer’s expense inevitably ends in survival only at the pleasure of the wielders of power.”

Swiss medical philosopher Dr. Ernest Truffer pointed out how welfare-state politicians work to convince their citizens that “the bureaucratization of the medical profession-whereby medicine becomes an instrument of the state-is an essential, indispensable condition for achieving a Utopian `right to health,’ which politicians of collectivist bent have promised the electorate.” What politicians don’t know or won’t tell the citizenry is the price tag for this takeover of medicine.

Truffer continues: “The real danger of this collectivist state medicine [is that] the patient becomes a tool in the hands of the holders of power, and is dispossessed of the protection afforded by Hippocratic principles. This amounts to a rejection of the medical ethic-which is to care for the patient according to the latter’s specific [medical] requirements-in favor of a veterinary ethic, which consists in caring for the sick animal not in accordance with its specific needs, but according to the requirements and dictates of its master and owner, the person responsible for meeting any costs incurred.”

In other words, if the doctor takes the Queen’s shilling, he must do the Queen’s bidding. Translated into American English, this means that if a physician takes government handouts or subsidies or even third-party payments, he will eventually have to obey the politicians’ dictates on medical as well as other matters, regardless of his own medical opinion or crises of conscience. Again, he will have become a medical serf, and his patient will have become a medical mendicant, required to beg for medical crumbs dispensed at their discretion by his masters, the politicians and bureaucrats.

The only protection for the patient, Truffer states, is for the patient himself, not a third-party or government, to remain the employer of the doctor.

This protection has now been abolished by law in Canada. The government is now effectively the sole employer of and payer to health professionals and institutions. Canadians can escape this totally restrictive monopoly only by crossing the border into the USA, at their own expense. This government monopoly puts doctors as well as patients who can’t afford the US alternative into the unhappy position of either obeying their political masters, or doing without income or without medical care.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Obamacare frightens me to death for three reasons:

1. Once enacted, no American entitlement program has ever been repealed.

2. Every American entitlement program has eventually become financially insolvent (bankrupt if you will).

3. These insolvencies take decades to emerge and by the time this happens,  the original free market systems they replaced are gone forever. All that’s left is an underfunded government program that serves up vastly inferior service to the masses and taxes the people who once supplied a superior service to death.

Obama was swept into office in November of 2008 by young people and liberal idealists who either lacked the lessons of history of chose to ignore them. The irony of this is the way it virtually fulfills the words spoken by the first communist leader Vladimir Lenin a century ago:

Vladimir Lenin

“Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

I think 55% of America know that is exactly what is happening to us this week and feel powerless to stop it.

Dave

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DJH: Now that the house has passed Obamacare, it seems reasonable to ask the question: “what does this do to my career.” President Obama assures us that it will create jobs, but will it really? I think not, in fact, I think it virtually guarantees that the current recession will end up becoming another great depression.

A cursory review of industries that project economic stress as a result of the passage of Obamacare indicates that millions of private sector jobs will either be lost or placed at grave risk by this massive new government program.

1. Four Years of Taxes with No “Benefits” — 2.5 Million More Jobs Lost: In order to pass off the big lie that Obamacare will reduce the deficit; the program is structured to fool the American people into thinking the numbers “look good” for the first 10 years (which is the measurement period that gets “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office — CBO). But, the dems used a dirty little trick of raising taxes for ten years, but only providing benefits for the last 6 years of that period (beginning in 2014). These taxes, which will further compound the cost of doing business for virtually all businesses in America, will reduce job creation and very likely lead to more lay-offs.

By the way, I put parenthesis around the word “benefits,” because I don’t agree with the President when he says that his healthcare plan will ultimately help businesses in America – ever. But, for the next 4 years, there is simply nothing coming out of this legislation except increased taxes on businesses. And everyone agrees that raising taxes during a recession will hurt the economy.

The net effect will be $400 billion increase in taxes on the private sector between now and 2014, which will translate into the loss of 2.5 million more jobs per year.

Keep in mind, that the dems are also repealing the Bush tax cuts this year, which actually means a huge tax increase and the Obamacare taxes will be tacked on top of that!

2. Killing the Health Insurance Industry in America  — 2.3 Million Jobs at Risk: Don’t fool yourself; the first item on the Obamacare agenda is to drive all of the insurance companies out of business. Community Organizer and Senator Obama has been recorded numerous time stating that the “ultimate goal” of the dem healthcare reform is to create a single-payer government healthcare system. By definition, this means NO MORE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES AND NO MORE HEALTH INSURANCE JOBS.

Under Obamacare, the government will force insurance companies to offer coverage to high risk customers at the same rates charged healthy customers. In addition, it will limit an insurance company’s ability to raise rates or the amount paid out in lifetime benefits. The net of all of this is to virtually guarantee that the health care business in America will no longer be profitable. Today, Insurance companies make a below average profit of about 3%, so they will not be able to absorb these massive new costs. What happens next? Most likely, massive lay-offs as companies get out of the health insurance business.
Consider that the insurance industry is one of the last places in America where someone can work is comfortable white collar office job without a college education and Obamacare will quickly and decisively kill these jobs. There are 2.3 million Americans working in the insurance industry and every one of them will be forced into a career crisis thanks to Obamacare.

3. Fatally Wounding 2 Major Manufacturing Sectors in America — 600,000 Jobs at Risk: With America’s auto industry decimated by greedy union contracts, and high tech manufacturing jobs lost overseas due to our high corporate tax rate, the list of industries with good manufacturing jobs in America is getting pretty slim. Two of the better industries that remain are pharmaceuticals and medical devices, each employing about 300,000 private sector workers.

Now, imagine working in one of these great American industries as Obamacare becomes the “law of the land.” Suddenly, the return on investment for new development projects becomes a big unknown. Executives will no longer be able to rely on “the market,” to establish fair prices for risky R&D projects, but rather the President’s Secretary of HHS will set the prices. Unable to predict returns, these companies will cut way back on new product development and ultimately new product manufacturing.

4. Killing High Quality Careers in Healthcare – 14 Million Jobs at Risk : When I was a kid, the ultimate career plan for anyone was to become a doctor. It took a decade of college, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition, tens of thousands more to set up a practice, but in the end, it was probably the only great career that could thrive in virtually any town or city in America.

Obamacare means the death of this great career option for young Americans. Doctors will be forced to provide care for government set fees, which virtually eliminate potential profits for doctor’s practices.

My home state – Massachusetts has been suffering under a universal health care system very similar to Obamacare for the past 5 years. Two years ago, my wife became suddenly ill and I was unable to find a doctor to treat her using normal means – they were all refusing to accept new patients. I did some research and found this story in the New York Times that scared me to death. It was a story about a once very successful doctor who was now working like a dog for $110,000 a year and accepting no new patients and she is one of the lucky ones.

Here are a few excerpts:

“In rural Massachusetts, where reimbursement rates are relatively low, some physicians are earning as little as $70,000 after 20 years of practice.

Dr. Atkinson, 45, said she paid herself a salary of $110,000 last year. Her insurance reimbursements often do not cover her costs, she said.

“I calculated that every time I have a Medicare patient, it’s like handing them a $20 bill when they leave,” she said. “I never went into medicine to get rich, but I never expected to feel as disrespected as I feel. Where is the incentive for a practice like ours?”

Now if this is what’s happening to doctors, imagine the career impact on nurses, technicians, and specialists.

As you watch all of the TV coverage of this “historical event” unfold over the coming weeks, keep in mind, that providing FREE HEATH INSURANCE for 30 million people costs a lot of money and someone is going to have to pick up the tab.

From where I sit, that tab will cost the United States the loss of millions of more jobs in the private sector and reduce the quality of millions more. That’s a price we simply can’t afford to pay.

Dave

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