Free Markets, Free People
When I read articles like this they infuriate me.
Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.
The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.
Why? Because there doesn’t seem to be any ability to relate their problem with the problems they’ve imposed on business through their ramming through this horrific legislation we call “ObamaCare”. Even with the effects beginning to be understood, like that above, they don’t get it:
Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat in leadership when the law passed, said he thinks the problem will be resolved.
“If not, I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’” Larson told POLITICO. “They are federal employees.”
But apparently it is “fair” to the employees of business who, in some cases, will see 100% plus increases in their premiums. It only becomes a problem when it effects who? Why, ‘federal employees’, of course. You know, our so-called “public servants”. And then, apparently, only that subset of federal employees that work for Congress. They seem oblivious to the fact that the same thing is happening in thousands of places and effecting multi-thousands of businesses. Freakin’ clueless.
Even as mad as this made me, I got a chuckle out of this:
If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues — like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform.
Talk about silver linings to storm clouds.
I wondered, when Barack Obama was re-elected, how bad you had to be to be fired. Apparently worse than Obama, if that’s possible.
Now, with the confirmation of Chuck Hagel – another politician who has never run a large or complex organization and who was abysmal in his confirmation hearings – I have to wonder how bad you have to be NOT to be hired.
Apparently, worse than Chuck Hagel, if that’s possible:
Republicans siding with Democrats, the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Chuck Hagel as President Obama’s secretary of defense, a nomination that drew strong opposition within the Republican former senator’s own party, with some troubled by past statements on Israel and Iran.
GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Mike Johanns, (Nebr.) and Richard Shelby (Ala.) supported Hagel in the 58-41 vote. No Democrats opposed him.
Again, let down by the GOP (the ‘good old boy club’ just couldn’t say no to a former member).
Anyone seeing a pattern here?
When you hear all this nonsense coming out of DC about “spending cuts”, “savings”, sequestration or just about anything to do with budget, deficit or debt, who’s fault it is, etc. – even while they plan to kick it down the road, again – take it with a grain of … pie.
If it weren’t for the old ladies of the GOP, you might get some answers to some very compelling and yet unanswered questions as well as force this administration to be transparant.
But then there’s McCain and the continued capitulation of the GOP:
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that the White House’s response to his and other Republican senators’ questions on the September attack in Benghazi, Libya was satisfactory. The senior Arizona senator said he is now ready to find a way to end the filibuster that is holding up the confirmation vote for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, CNN reported.
“I think it was an adequate response, yes,” McCain said. “We are working on and having negotiations now trying to smooth this thing out and get it done.”
Yes, that’s right, nothing to see here, move along now, move along.
The Great and Powerful John McCain (I will celebrate when this yahoo shuffles off to retirement) has decided that Beghazi is over and we must, must have an incompetent buffoon for Sec. of Defense.
Parodies that write themselves come in the guise of our politicians.
Why we’re in the mess we’re in: Because we have idiots in leadership postions and we leave them there
We’re governed by half-wits who’ll say anything to shift the blame or misdirect the public if they think it helps their party and fool us:
Pelosi rebuffed GOP calls for the sequester replacement to focus exclusively on targeting more spending cuts and entitlement reforms.
“It is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address,” she told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday.
How in the world does this jaybird think we got into the “budget deficit problem?”
Back in 1984, a columnist named Charlie Reese wrote a piece which pretty much cuts away the artifice that those we allow to “govern” us have woven:
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
Whatever the problem (and despite Pelosi, it is a spending problem) they are the cause. “They” being Congress. It is “they” who have gotten us into this mess, so when one of them say things like this, just consider the source:
Pelosi added that the deficit and debt are at “immoral levels” and “must be reduced.”
Reese gets to the nut of it all (btw, this is an updated version where someone has put events happening now vs. those in 1984 – the irony is, nothing has changed):
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
We should. But we won’t. And … well, we’ll continue to get what we richly deserve for not doing our job.
By the likes of Krugman and the Democrats, here’s a little more proof:
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday quietly raised the 10-year cost of ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies offered via the health law’s exchanges by $233 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office review of its latest spending forecast.
The CBO’s new baseline estimate shows that ObamaCare subsidies offered through the insurance exchanges — which are supposed to be up and running by next January — will total more than $1 trillion through 2022, up from $814 billion over those same years in its budget forecast made a year ago. That’s an increase of nearly 29%.
29% and they’re not even off the ground yet. Anyone have any doubt whatsoever that this is likely a lowball estimate at this point? Are we aware of the trend we always see when “costs” are discussed by governments and political parties?
Note too that they play games with the CBO (which is limited to forecasting 10 years out and also hasn’t been very accurate about much of anything – see debt forecasts over the last decade).
The politicians mostly fabricate whatever they think is palatable to the gullible public, sell them with the CBO’s false data and then, when it is found out that it was all bollocks, they say, ‘oh well, too late now, it’s the law”.
Well here’s my feeling about that. If the “law” doesn’t live up to their hype – if it ends up being massively more than they claimed (you know like 29%) then there’s a fairly simple rule that should be followed.
It – the law – should be automatically repealed.
As we launch ourselves further into an era of “collective action” as Obama called it in his 2nd Inaugural address, we can be sure that reality won’t stop the left from remaining true believers in its ultimate power and good and demanding it be forced on us all. But what does that really mean?
Let’s hark back to Mancur Olson’s critique of collective action for a moment and point out a little ground truth about it, shall we?
Olson’s critique of collective action is complicated, and it is made less accessible by an ungainly prose style. But the gist is that large numbers of people do not naturally band together to secure common interests. In fact, the larger the group, the less likely it is to act in a truly collective manner.
As Olson explained, the interests that unite large groups are necessarily of the lowest-common-denominator variety. Therefore the concrete benefits of collective action to any individual are usually small compared with the costs — in time, effort and money — of participation. “Free-riding” is a constant threat — as the difficulties of collecting union dues illustrates.
By contrast, small groups are good at collective action. It costs less to organize a few people around a narrow, but intensely felt, shared concern. For each member, the potential benefits of joint action are more likely to outweigh the costs, whether or not success comes at the larger society’s expense.
Now, to me, that’s common sense. The bigger the group the more unlikely it will find common ground than a smaller group. So urging a nation of 300 million to a common effort or collective action? Yeah, not going to happen – at least in the areas Obama is likely to want to make such an effort.
That’s not to say that collective action won’t happen. It happens everyday in DC as Charles Lane points out:
Hence, the housing lobby, the farm lobby and all the special-interest groups that swarm Congress. Hence, too, the conspicuous absence of an effective lobby on behalf of all taxpayers or, for that matter, all poor people.
If there is any “collective action” that will take place in DC, besides those noted, it will be among the politicians who band together (and break apart) depending on what they’re after this week or next. Their constituency? Not that big of a concern to most. Those that reside inside the beltway are more likely on their radar than those who voted to put them in office.
So when Obama called on Americans to once again act “as one nation, and one people,” he was, at best, stating an aspiration.
No he’s not – he’s mouthing platitudes to calm the masses, put the opposition on the defensive and set himself up to get his way. And this is how that will work:
Olson’s assessment of reality, both historical and contemporary, is less lofty but more accurate: “There will be no countries that attain symmetrical organization of all groups with a common interest and thereby attain optimal outcomes through comprehensive bargaining.”
Nope. It will be the group/party that is able to appeal the best to the masses and thereby garner more of a veneer of support for their agenda than can the other party/group, whether or not the ultimate goal of the action is good for the country or the majority or not. Whether it really benefits the country as a whole usually has little bearing on the effort. And the minority? Well, they’re simply left hanging in the wind.
Their call for “collective action” is a cover, a means of draping the usual politics in high sounding rhetoric. The reality of the situation is that what he calls “collective action” is simply a new code phrase for continued class warfare and redistribution of income. The purpose of proposing “collective action” is to enable him and his cronies to label anyone who opposes them and their actions as divisive, unpatriotic and just about any other name they can think of necessary to demonize and dismiss them.
Meanwhile, the “collective” dismantling of this once great country will continue apace.
I hate to say “I told you so”, but it isn’t just the rich who will be paying increased taxes. And what should be clear to anyone with the I Q of a turnip, is that this will cost people their jobs.
The compromise called for taxes to rise to 39.6% from 35% on personal income above $400,000. In a 2011 study, the Treasury Department found that raising taxes on incomes over $500,000 would affect roughly 750,000 small businesses organized as S-Corps, partnerships and other small entities.
Of course, you remember the Democrats claiming that this wouldn’t affect small businesses. Well, that was a flat out lie. But then we live in an era of lies which, if there political apparently, we’re willing to overlook. While most of us are. I just had to be one of those who isn’t. Not that Democrats are the only political liars, but they seem to be the most prolific and the most blatant. Especially when it comes to budget, deficit, and financial matters. They are the quintessential “snake oil” salesman.
And they have sold us are huge bottle of snake oil.
Couple these tax increases with the Obamacare taxes that kicked in on the 1st, and you have two reasons for 750,000 small businesses not to hire. And you can bet none of them will go over 50 employees, and some may even reduce staff to get under that number.
These are your “rich”. They happen to be the “rich” would generate jobs, or what have, if they hadn’t been hit by two new taxes this year.
Your government at work.
Because we’re served by the worst political class ever:
President Obama’slead negotiator in the “fiscal cliff” talks said the administration is “absolutely” willing to allow the package of deep automatic spending cuts and across-the-board tax hikes to take effect Jan. 1, unless Republicans drop their opposition to higher income tax rates on the wealthy.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in an interview with CNBC that both sides are “making a little bit of progress” toward a deal to avert the “cliff” but remain stuck on Obama’s desired rate increase for the top U.S. income-earners.
“There’s no prospect for an agreement that doesn’t involve those rates going up on the top two percent of the wealthiest,” Geithner said.
Apparently there is no way to raise the desired revenue, at least according to Obama/Geithner, that “doesn’t involve those rates going up on the top 2%”. No way.
Oh, wait …
What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes — tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.
Say, wasn’t that President Obama in July of 2011 at a press conference? Why yes it was. So there is a way, but he and apparently his “negotiator” refuse to pursue it (btw, no I”m not fooled by the illusion that this isn’t just as much a tax hike as what they’re proposing)? It that what is happening?
Why yes, yes it is. So there is another way to do this, apparently. Unless our President was telling a tall one about what he’d be willing to do in July? Yeah, I know, perish the thought. Lie to us? Unthinkable.
Instead according to Turbo Tax Timmy, they’d “absolutely” take us over the cliff, because, you know, raising taxes on the “rich” is now the only acceptable position. You and your life? You’re a mere pawn for these poppinjays. They’re fine with playing with your life and livelihood to score a political win. They have no problem holding your life and property ransom and using your future to force their desired resolution. But if we go over the cliff, screw you.
Meanwhile, in the House, Speaker Boehner continues to look for a comfortable place to lie down and surrender.
In the Senate the GOP actually tried to bring the President’s proposal to a vote and Majority Leader Reid denied it. Because it was, per Reid, a “stunt”.
This is all a “stunt”. A miserable stunt perpetrated by a miserable group of people who have no concept of leadership or service to their country but are long on ego and party.
It is the price of always voting for the “lesser of two evils”.
Here is a good example of what is wrong with politics today – this time from the right:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) on Saturday defended his decision to break with conservative activist Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, telling constituents he would not be “dictated to by anybody in Washington.”
“I think that you sent me to Washington to think for myself. And I want to vote the way you want me to vote,” Chambliss said to a group of local constituents at a Cobb County Republican party event, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I don’t want to be dictated to by anybody in Washington, as to how I’m going to vote on anything.”
You see, Chambliss doesn’t seem to get the basic point: he made a pledge. HE made a pledge. Not someone else – him. He didn’t have his arm twisted behind his back when he made the pledge. He did so voluntarily. The dirty little secret, however, is he didn’t make the pledge out of principle, he made the pledge because it was politically helpful and expedient to do so at the time.
Now he wants to back out of his pledge. It is no longer expedient or helpful politically. He, like our President, is trying to blame the predicament he finds himself in – i.e. breaking a voluntary pledge – on someone else. It’s their fault he’s in this predicament. And by gosh he won’t “be dictated to by anybody”.
Well he hasn’t been dictated to by anyone. Again, he voluntarily took a pledge back when it was politically helpful and popular to do so. Now he wants to bail on it. I don’t know about you, but when I pledge something, I give my unbreakable word I’ll do what I pledge to do. I don’t enter into them lightly. And I do everything in my power to live up to the pledge.
It’s about honor.
But apparently that’s a concept that is passe in today’s political world.
Go ahead Mr. Chambliss. Break your pledge. But remember what happened when a certain president bailed on his no new taxes pledge?
I can only hope I’ll be part of the lesson teaching when your time for re-election comes. Then, by Georgia, you’ll be “dictated too” by the people of this state. And you’ll be looking for new work.