Posts Tagged ‘$2 trillion’

Obama Keeps Attacking Businesses, Yet Keeps Demanding They Create More Jobs While He Attacks Them

May 13, 2011

It’s not all that unlike a drunk husband punching his wife in the face every day while constantly saying she needs to love him more:

Editorial: Dems Blame Business For Own Bad Policies
Posted 07:02 PM ET

Economy: President Obama says he wants businesses to “step up” and hire more. If he’s really sincere about wanting more jobs, he should stop demonizing and punishing American corporations for their success.

‘Companies … (are) making a lot of money,” President Obama told a town hall meeting Thursday, “and now’s the time for them to start betting on American workers and American products.”

But the fact they’re not “betting” more isn’t their fault. It’s Obama’s — and his Democrat allies in Congress. Their tax-and-spend policies have pushed our nation to the brink of financial ruin, creating uncertainty and an unstable investment environment for companies.

The president let his true feelings slip later Thursday, telling a laid-off government worker there’s “nothing more important” than working for the government. He then blamed “huge layoffs” in government for our current job ills. So why do businesses have to “step up”?

There are, as a matter of record, 418,000 more government jobs today than when the recession began, as noted by the National Review’s Jim Geraghty. And face it, government “jobs” are mostly a waste, far below the private sector in productivity.

Even so, Democrats have in recent weeks implied repeatedly that companies are somehow unpatriotic for refusing to invest the $2 trillion in cash on their books.

But what sane company would invest at a time when it’s in the government’s greedy cross hairs? Or when both the White House and Congress repeatedly criticize “millionaires and billionaires,” and threaten to crush small businesses — the engines of job growth — with higher taxes and new regulations?

As Obama spoke about jobs Thursday, oil CEOs were being grilled by Senate Democrats at a hostile hearing. Their crime? They’re making fat profits. Time was, profits were a sign of success. Today, far-left Democrats think “profit” is a dirty word.

For the record, oil companies’ profits are up because oil prices have soared. This isn’t due to “speculators,” but to the White House’s foolish policy of keeping hundreds of millions of barrels of offshore oil off-limits — driving up prices and boosting foreign dependence.

Instead, the White House subsidizes money-losing alternative energy sources, none of which is ready to replace our current energy supply. Prices can only go up.

Then there’s Boeing, one of America’s great companies. It wants to open a $2 billion factory in South Carolina, creating thousands of new jobs. A cause for celebration by the White House? Hardly.

The National Labor Relations Board has charged Boeing with a labor-law violation because South Carolina is one of 22 right-to-work states. If you look at which party gets union donations, you’ll understand why.

Fact is, we’re 7 million jobs short of where we were when the recession began, there are eight unemployed people for every job opening and, despite April’s gain of 244,000, we still aren’t creating new jobs fast enough.

Yet Obama & Co. continue to play games, destroying jobs and blaming others for the economic carnage.

I learned today that the oil companies receive 13% of the tax subsidies for the energy industry.  And produce 67% of all the energy America uses.  All the other energy sources combined – including all the “green” energy sources the left loves so much – receive 87% of the tax subsidies.  Even though they produce only 33% of all the energy America uses.  So Democrats want to drive the producers of two-thirds of our energy out of business and reward the remaining third of our energy with massive tax subsidy boondoggles.

And apparently businesses are supposed to say, “Hey, that’s brilliant!  We need to climb on board THAT kind of brilliant-mobile!!!”

Advertisements

House Democrats Pass Worst Bill Ever To Destroy U.S. Health Care, Economy

November 8, 2009

Congratulations, America.  This is what you’ve “won”:

NOVEMBER 1, 2009

The Worst Bill Ever
Epic new spending and taxes, pricier insurance, rationed care, dishonest accounting: The Pelosi health bill has it all.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly told fellow Democrats that she’s prepared to lose seats in 2010 if that’s what it takes to pass ObamaCare, and little wonder. The health bill she unwrapped last Thursday, which President Obama hailed as a “critical milestone,” may well be the worst piece of post-New Deal legislation ever introduced.

In a rational political world, this 1,990-page runaway train would have been derailed months ago. With spending and debt already at record peacetime levels, the bill creates a new and probably unrepealable middle-class entitlement that is designed to expand over time. Taxes will need to rise precipitously, even as ObamaCare so dramatically expands government control of health care that eventually all medicine will be rationed via politics.

Yet at this point, Democrats have dumped any pretense of genuine bipartisan “reform” and moved into the realm of pure power politics as they race against the unpopularity of their own agenda. The goal is to ram through whatever income-redistribution scheme they can claim to be “universal coverage.” The result will be destructive on every level—for the health-care system, for the country’s fiscal condition, and ultimately for American freedom and prosperity.

The spending surge. The Congressional Budget Office figures the House program will cost $1.055 trillion over a decade, which while far above the $829 billion net cost that Mrs. Pelosi fed to credulous reporters is still a low-ball estimate.  Most of the money goes into government-run “exchanges” where people earning between 150% and 400% of the poverty level—that is, up to about $96,000 for a family of four in 2016—could buy coverage at heavily subsidized rates, tied to income. The government would pay for 93% of insurance costs for a family making $42,000, 72% for another making $78,000, and so forth.

At least at first, these benefits would be offered only to those whose employers don’t provide insurance or work for small businesses with 100 or fewer workers. The taxpayer costs would be far higher if not for this “firewall”—which is sure to cave in when people see the deal their neighbors are getting on “free” health care. Mrs. Pelosi knows this, like everyone else in Washington.

Even so, the House disguises hundreds of billions of dollars in additional costs with budget gimmicks. It “pays for” about six years of program with a decade of revenue, with the heaviest costs concentrated in the second five years. The House also pretends Medicare payments to doctors will be cut by 21.5% next year and deeper after that, “saving” about $250 billion. ObamaCare will be lucky to cost under $2 trillion over 10 years; it will grow more after that.

Expanding Medicaid, gutting private Medicare. All this is particularly reckless given the unfunded liabilities of Medicare—now north of $37 trillion over 75 years. Mrs. Pelosi wants to steal $426 billion from future Medicare spending to “pay for” universal coverage. While Medicare’s price controls on doctors and hospitals are certain to be tightened, the only cut that is a sure thing in practice is gutting Medicare Advantage to the tune of $170 billion. Democrats loathe this program because it gives one of out five seniors private insurance options.

As for Medicaid, the House will expand eligibility to everyone below 150% of the poverty level, meaning that some 15 million new people will be added to the rolls as private insurance gets crowded out at a cost of $425 billion. A decade from now more than a quarter of the population will be on a program originally intended for poor women, children and the disabled.

Even though the House will assume 91% of the “matching rate” for this joint state-federal program—up from today’s 57%—governors would still be forced to take on $34 billion in new burdens when budgets from Albany to Sacramento are in fiscal collapse. Washington’s budget will collapse too, if anything like the House bill passes.

European levels of taxation. All told, the House favors $572 billion in new taxes, mostly by imposing a 5.4-percentage-point “surcharge” on joint filers earning over $1 million, $500,000 for singles. This tax will raise the top marginal rate to 45% in 2011 from 39.6% when the Bush tax cuts expire—not counting state income taxes and the phase-out of certain deductions and exemptions. The burden will mostly fall on the small businesses that have organized as Subchapter S or limited liability corporations, since the truly wealthy won’t have any difficulty sheltering their incomes.

This surtax could hit ever more earners because, like the alternative minimum tax, it isn’t indexed for inflation. Yet it still won’t be nearly enough. Even if Congress had confiscated 100% of the taxable income of people earning over $500,000 in the boom year of 2006, it would have only raised $1.3 trillion. When Democrats end up soaking the middle class, perhaps via the European-style value-added tax that Mrs. Pelosi has endorsed, they’ll claim the deficits that they created made them do it.

Under another new tax, businesses would have to surrender 8% of their payroll to government if they don’t offer insurance or pay at least 72.5% of their workers’ premiums, which eat into wages. Such “play or pay” taxes always become “pay or pay” and will rise over time, with severe consequences for hiring, job creation and ultimately growth
. While the U.S. already has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world, Democrats are on the way to creating a high structural unemployment rate, much as Europe has done by expanding its welfare states.

Meanwhile, a tax equal to 2.5% of adjusted gross income will also be imposed on some 18 million people who CBO expects still won’t buy insurance in 2019. Democrats could make this penalty even higher, but that is politically unacceptable, or they could make the subsidies even higher, but that would expose the (already ludicrous) illusion that ObamaCare will reduce the deficit.

The insurance takeover. A new “health choices commissioner” will decide what counts as “essential benefits,” which all insurers will have to offer as first-dollar coverage. Private insurers will also be told how much they are allowed to charge even as they will have to offer coverage at virtually the same price to anyone who applies, regardless of health status or medical history.

The cost of insurance, naturally, will skyrocket. The insurer WellPoint estimates based on its own market data that some premiums in the individual market will triple under these new burdens. The same is likely to prove true for the employer-sponsored plans that provide private coverage to about 177 million people today. Over time, the new mandates will apply to all contracts, including for the large businesses currently given a safe harbor from bureaucratic tampering under a 1974 law called Erisa.

The political incentive will always be for government to expand benefits and reduce cost-sharing, trampling any chance of giving individuals financial incentives to economize on care. Essentially, all insurers will become government contractors, in the business of fulfilling political demands: There will be no such thing as “private” health insurance.
***

All of this is intentional, even if it isn’t explicitly acknowledged. The overriding liberal ambition is to finish the work began decades ago as the Great Society of converting health care into a government responsibility. Mr. Obama’s own Medicare actuaries estimate that the federal share of U.S. health dollars will quickly climb beyond 60% from 46% today. One reason Mrs. Pelosi has fought so ferociously against her own Blue Dog colleagues to include at least a scaled-back “public option” entitlement program is so that the architecture is in place for future Congresses to expand this share even further.

As Congress’s balance sheet drowns in trillions of dollars in new obligations, the political system will have no choice but to start making cost-minded decisions about which treatments patients are allowed to receive. Democrats can’t regulate their way out of the reality that we live in a world of finite resources and infinite wants. Once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, medical rationing is inevitable—especially for the innovative high-cost technologies and drugs that are the future of medicine.

Mr. Obama rode into office on a wave of “change,” but we doubt most voters realized that the change Democrats had in mind was making health care even more expensive and rigid than the status quo. Critics will say we are exaggerating, but we believe it is no stretch to say that Mrs. Pelosi’s handiwork ranks with the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act as among the worst bills Congress has ever seriously contemplated.

In 2008, America voted for national suicide, whether they understood it or not.  While it is increasingly obvious that Americans are rethinking their suicide pact with the Democrat Party, and beginning to change their minds, Democrats are nevertheless racing ahead to finish the job of destroying the country while they still can.

Think Cloward-Piven.  The Democrats believe that they are creating a “win we win, lose we win” stratagem.  If by some increasingly unlikely miracle our massive unprecedented debt-financed spending doesn’t cause the entire economic structure to implode, Democrats will be in a position to claim credit for their “success.”  If, far more likely, the economy self-destructs under the weight of the mind-boggling debts and economic hamstringing foisted upon us by the liberal agenda, Democrats are counting upon the fact that hungry, desperate, panicking people will turn to massive government structures to feed them and help them from the very problems that massive government structures caused in the first place.

“… So We’re Going To Let You Die.” Vote Deathocrat, Vote Death Panels

October 17, 2009

Verum Serum sets up the hypocrisy of the Democrats:

Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor under Clinton and more recently an Obama economic adviser, has been all over the media lately shilling for ObamaCare. The public option is no more dangerous than a box of puppies according to this professionally produced video featuring Reich. (I won’t embed it but it’s worth a quick watch.) The real injustice, according to Reich, is that political operatives like us are trying to “confuse and scare” people about change.

So perhaps he can explain for us his comments in the video below. Reich is speaking at a Colloquium on Political Science at UC Berkeley on Sept. 26, 2007. No other set-up is necessary – watch:

Listen to the words of Robert Reich:

[Youtube link]

Here’s a transcript of the most relevant remarks of Robert “Third” Reich:

I’ll actually give you a speech made up entirely, almost on the spur of the moment, of what a candidate for president would say if that candidate did not care about becoming president. In other words, this is what the truth is and a candidate will never say, but what a candidate should say if we were in the kind of democracy where citizens were honored in terms of their practice of citizenship and they were educated in terms of what the issues were and they could separate myth from reality in terms of what candidates would tell them:

“Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I’m so glad to see you and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. And that’s true and what I’m going to do is that I am going try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people but that means you,  particularly you young people, particularly you young healthy people…you’re going to have to pay more.

“Thank you.  And by the way, we’re going to have to, if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive…so we’re going to let you die.”

Pay more, old people die.  Check, and check.  Sounds like exactly what any big government fascist would want.

“Third” Reich isn’t the only one pointing out this actually quite obvious central tenet of the Democrats’ health plan.  Obama has appointed at least two other “experts” to advise him on medical issues.  Here’s White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, whom Obama appointed as OMB health policy adviser in addition to being picked to serve on the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuatedThe Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

“Attenuated” means, “to make thin; to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value.”  Attenuated care would be reduced or lessened care.  Dare I say it, in this context it clearly means, “rationed care.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel included a chart with his work (available here), which shows how he wants to allocate medical resources under a government plan:

When you’re very young, or when you start reaching your 50s and 60s, you start receiving less and less priority.

Then there’s Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar, who wrote in the Columbia Law Review in January 2004:

“I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar explains:

“If a program would prevent fifty deaths of people who are twenty, should it be treated the same way as a program that would prevent fifty deaths of people who are seventy? Other things being equal, a program that protects young people seems far better than one that protects old people, because it delivers greater benefits.”

There’s a great deal more about Obama’s own advisers’ plans here.

Which very much jives with what Obama himself told a woman concerning her mother:

“At least we can let doctors know — and your mom know — that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.”

We can sum it up quite nicely with the words of Obama’s former senior economic adviser: “So we’re going to let you die.”

Sarah Palin just cut right to the chase back when she wrote:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

And for all the hell that the servants of hell have unleashed on her for her comment, she was 100% correct.

The entire plan is evil:

Health-Care_Democrats-plan-Charted

And, yeah, there really are things that can very legitimately be called “death panels.”  Take “The Death Book for Veterans” – which George Bush banned and Barack Obama demanded be reinstated – that required veterans to consider life and death from a bleak perspective and consider euthanasia to avoid being a burden.  My article on that discovered some dishonest federal government shenanigans when that story was exposed as the VA sought to cover up the role of the Hemlock Society.

We’re seeing the genesis of a genuine holocaust beginning to emerge.  The Democrats’ plan will force health insurers to cover everyone regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition, regardless of whether they honestly represented themselves when they obtained their insurance, and regardless of whether they can even pay for their coverage.  And the system the Democrats are creating completely depends on young, healthy people who have historically not bought medical coverage.  You can’t add massively to the costs of providing care if you don’t have at least an equally massive inflow of dollars coming in.  If young people who have never bought medical coverage before don’t buy coverage in huge numbers, we will very quickly face critical shortages, and massive rationing of care – particularly to the elderly who have less value under the Democrats’ plan – will ensue.

And I don’t mean just pay the “individual mandate” fines – which have been watered down significantly to make the Democrats’ plan more palatable – because they don’t create enough revenue.  I mean if they don’t purchase health care in huge numbers, we will see serious shortages, rationing, and death by medical neglect.

Harry Reid made a staggering admission while trying to prevent Democrat-special-interest anathema tort reform.  He said:

HARRY REID: “He talked about CBO saying that there would be $54 billion saved each year if we put caps on medical malpractice and put some restrictions — tort reform — $54 billion. Sounds like a lot of money, doesnt it, Mr. President? The answer is yes. But remember, were talking about $2 trillion, $54 billion compared to $2 trillion. You can do the math. We can all do the math. Its a very small percent.”

[Youtube]

The Democrats’ health plan will be FAR more costly than any estimates yet offered.  The government ALWAYS underestimates its cost for its programs.  Medicare cost nine times more than was estimated, for example.

And let me point out that figures such as Robert Reich, Ezekiel Emanuel, and Cass Sunstein are proponents of the Democrats’ system and believe it will go well – AND THEY ARE STILL TELLING US THAT A CENTRAL PART OF THE SYSTEM WILL BE TO ALLOW ELDERLY PEOPLE TO DIE.

Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson “warned” Americans that “Republicans want you to die quickly” during a floor speech in the House of Representatives.  But he is a liar.  It is not Republicans who are literally out talking about letting people die, but Democrats.

Please come to your senses and start denouncing the Deathocrats’ Death Panel bill.

Obama Lowballs His Budget By $2 TRILLION, And You Trust Him On Health Care?

August 25, 2009

Hats off to the Gateway Pundit for punditry.  Following the Obama remark about people getting wee-weed up, GP pointed out that “It looks like Dear Leader was a wee bit off” with his budget.  To the tune of $2 trillion.  Which, clearly, really is something to get wee-weed up about.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will raise its 10-year budget deficit projection to approximately $9 trillion from $7.108 trillion in a report next week, a senior administration official told Reuters on Friday.

The higher deficit figure, based on updated economic data, brings the White House budget office into line with outside estimates and gives further fuel to President Barack Obama’s opponents, who say his spending plans are too expensive in light of budget shortfalls.

The White House took heat for sticking with its $7.108 trillion forecast earlier this year after the Congressional Budget Office forecast that deficits between 2010 and 2019 would total $9.1 trillion.

“The new forecasts are based on new data that reflect how severe the economic downturn was in the late fall of last year and the winter of this year,” said the administration official, who is familiar with the budget mid-session review that is slated to be released next week.

Well, at least they didn’t say, “Because of George Bush…” or “Due to the evilness of the Republicans’…”  So maybe they’re growing in maturity to match their skyrocketing deficits over at the White House.

Barack Obama is going to quadruple George Bush’s highest deficit ever – and that is if his other incredibly rosy projections (which continue chugging merrily along like a magic-powered choo-choo train) pan out.  Obama has demagogued and demonized Bush at every turn, but he can’t blame the boogeyman for his deficits.

It is simply a fact: Obama’s first-year deficit, the largest in history, is over four times bigger than George Bush’s last deficit of 2008, which HAD been the largest in history until Obama blew that record away as though it had never existed.  An American Thinker article demonstrates the massive cognitive dissonance of Democrats; they want to demonize Bush for his government spending even as they defend Obama’s FAR more massive government spending.  The Washington Examiner’s Byron York headline says it all: “Obama’s trillions dwarf Bush’s ‘dangerous spending.'”

Barack Obama underestimated his own spending deficit by $2 trillion; nearly 29% off in just six months.  That aint exactly good budgeting.  Rather, it is unprecedented BAD budgeting.  Obama had all kinds of bogus assumptions, fuzzy math, and rosy scenarios.  And the new $9-plus trillion figure doesn’t take into account all the other stuff that Obama is intending to do, such as spend well over a trillion more on his government health care takeover.

It’s frankly even worse than your very worst fears: Barack Obama’s 2009 deficit exceeds all 8 years of Bush red ink.

Let me put it this way: I have believed that Barack Obama would be the downfall of this country from the day I heard his reverend for 23 years shout, “No, no, no! Not God bless America — God damn America!!!” while Barack Obama’s fellow congregants leaped to their feet and cheered wildly.  I thought he would be a complete and unmitigated disaster – and I never dreamed he would do this much damage this quickly.

Speaking of terrible budget nightmares, Obama’s somehow transforming his “half” of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Plan into $23.7 Trillion isn’t exactly great budgeting either.  Did somebody say we were supposed to stop spending after we got to $350 billion?  Oops.

Giving Obama’s liberals control of health care will be rather like giving Stalin’s Red Army control of Berlin; it just aint going to end well.

The CBO also has revised its figures from just five months ago upward by $2.7 trillion, pointing out that its earlier number didn’t include legislation since passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress.  The math is a mess; we literally cannot keep up with the frenzied pace of our own spending.

So when Democrats and liberals talk about the projected costs of health care, just realize that neither they, or the CBO – which at least usually TRIES to be accurate in its projections – have any credibility whatsoever.

Bob Franken hits it right on the money: The $9 trillion is the central figure in the health care debate.  You can watch the debt clock spiral up moment by terrifying moment for hours.

In another issue, Democrats have been mocking the word “death panel,” but…

… The whole damn SYSTEM is one great big giant death panel.  As well as being a gigantically expensive one.

If Democrats get control of health care, they will explode it with massive bureaucracy, they will have no choice but to ration health care, and people will die.