Posts Tagged ‘inefficient’

Obama News Conference: We Need A Government Program To Save Us From Government Programs

July 23, 2009

President Obama’s July 22nd presidential news conference amounted to largely incomprehensible answers from softball press questions.

Obama began by congratulating himself for pulling “our economy out of the brink” with his massive stimulus legislation.  He conveniently omitted the fact that the Obama administration – after Obama himself repeatedly fearmongering the economy by repeatedly comparing it to the Great Depression – claimed that unemployment would not rise above 8% if his stimulus passed.  He was so incredibly wrong it is absolutely unreal: it is now around 10%, and respected Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney is on the record predicting 13% or higher unemployment.

Obama also conveniently omitted the fact that he has delayed releasing his midsummer budget update because the figures are so bleak it would kill his trillion-five health care bill he’s so desperate to pitch:

WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday it was delaying the release of the annual midsummer US budget update, but refuted charges it was trying to put distance between its own optimistic predictions and the sour state of today’s economy. […]

The delayed midsummer update is expected to reveal the executive branch’s financial outlook for the United States clouded by rising unemployment and growth figures less favorable than earlier in the year. […]

An administration official speaking on condition of anonymity said the figures had rattled the government…

Maybe it’s just me, but I would say it’s WAAAAAAAYY too soon for your self-administered back-patting session, Mr. Obama.  It’s a shame you don’t give a fig about church (although at least you’re not still going to that “God damn America” church), because you seriously should be in one every single morning on your knees praying about your economy.

Several other things leaped out of a few key paragraphs from Obama’s opening statement that need to be pointed out and laughed at:

“And health-insurance reform is central to that effort.

This is not just about the 47 million Americans who don’t have any health insurance at all. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage, if they become too sick or lose their job or change their job.

It’s about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage, because it became too expensive. It’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.

So let me be clear. If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket.”

Let’s start with Obama’s “47 million Americans” claim.  It’s false.  Unless you agree with the statement, “Illegal immigrants are as American as you and me.”  The fact of the matter is that Barack Obama is expecting the American taxpayer to shoulder the costs for at least 12 million illegal immigrants as part of that “47 million Americans.” The Census Bureau lists 10.2 million of the 47 million Obama demands we insure under the description, “NOT A CITIZEN.” And realize that 10 million is the lowest estimate of our illegals; the figure could actually be as high as 22 million.  And Barack Obama wants you to pay to cover every single one of them.

If you think that Obama can cover all these people AND lower your cost, please contact me: because I’ve got all kinds of land and bridges to sell you, and I promise to give you a great deal.

Obama then says “Its about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage.” Which is truly amazing, considering the fact that small businesses are screaming bloody murder that it will be Barack Obama’s OWN health care plan that will force them to lay off employees or cut back on their health coverage.

The Obamacare agenda will – and this is an easily documentable fact as the Wall Street Journal has already exposed – kick employees out of their health care plans and stick them in government plans.

It’s like I slap you and your family repeatedly across the face, and then proclaim, “It’s about families being slapped in the face.”

Then Obama provides us with my favorite line: “It’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.”

This one is HI-Larious.  Because Medicare and Medicaid are both government programs.  And Obama in effect is saying, “We need government health care to save us from the massive crisis created by government health care.”  Or, “If we don’t have another government health plan, the cost of our other government health plans will bankrupt us.”

Medicare has a total unfunded liability of $61.6 TRILLION.  And Obama thinks we need another government health care plan to save us from the first one?  It’s like learning that the Italian mob has put a contract out on your life, and then figuring the best way out of your crisis is to get the Mexican mafia to put a contract out on your life, too.  What will happen, of course, is that you’ll end up dead twice as fast.

Obama has repeatedly assured us that we desperately need his health care agenda in order to lower the cost of our health care.  He is in fact completely wrong.  The Congressional Budget Office has gone on the record to tell us that the exact opposite is true:

CBO Director Doug Elmendorf: No, Mr. Chairman. In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.

Obama repeatedly bloviated about “waste” and his government plan lowering cost due to the increased efficiencies of large-scale government planning.   Obama talked about the need “to eliminate waste and inefficiency in Medicare.” Note to the sane:  AGAIN , MEDICARE IS A FREAKING GOVERNMENT PROGRAM!!!  IT’S THE GOVERNMENT WASTING THE MONEY!!!

Wise man say, “If man rape you, do not let him back in your house.”

If Obama believes that government can become a paradigm of efficiency, he has his challenge before him: rather than socialize 1/5th of the economy under a government program, perhaps instead he could focus on actually making the government programs we already have more efficient.  Just sayin’.

It makes sense as a hypothetical matter to argue that the government in the abstract, with its vast size and enormous purchasing power, can save money by lowering unit costs.  But in actuality, it just doesn’t happen – EVER – because the government is inherently inefficient.  Governments are NEVER as efficient as private businesses.

We’ve got a marvelous example that just came out the other day, with the government spending money on pork – literally.

When it was discovered that the federal government was spending millions on pork, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak said:

The references to “2 pound frozen ham sliced” are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 million to buy “2 pounds of ham” are wrong. In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound. In terms of the dairy purchase referenced, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) purchased 837,936 pounds of mozzarella cheese and 4,039,200 pounds of processed cheese.

But sliced ham costs $.79 per pound at Food Lion.  And that isn’t even taking advantage of bulk sales, much less the kind of huge discount you’d expect with a federal government-sized “bulk sale.”

So your hard-at-work tax dollars spent easily twice as much as they needed to.

President Obama tells us that we need to control health care costs.  And, well duh, who would possibly argue with that?  And yet he sets up a rhetorical straw man in which anyone who wants to control costs has to support his cost-increasing socialized agenda.  Wrong.  If we would just do something that Barack Obama – who is owned body and soul by the trial lawyers – fundamentally opposes, we could massively lower the cost of health care immediately.  Two words: tort reform.

Another measure that would immediately lower our health care burden: stop covering illegal immigrants.  Just stop.  We clearly don’t have enough resources for our own citizens, so why should we cover everyone else’s citizens?  We need to systematically remove the incentives that lure illegals across our borders, and let them consume their own nations’ social support resources.  St. Paul said, “The man who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an infidel.”  Let’s stop being infidels and start providing for our own.

And, yes, reform our system to cut out waste and fraud.  And start with the government programs that are CREATING most of that waste and fraud.

If we do just these three things, the rest of the problem will be a WHOLE lot smaller, and a WHOLE lot easier to solve.

Democrats are assuring us that a massive transfer of liberty and property inherent in government medicine will increase our care and simultaneously reduce our cost.  But what will certainly happen – based on the history of virtually every single government program we have ever had – is reduce our care and increase our cost.

Obama is trying to tell the American people that they desperately need a government program to save them from a runaway government program.  But what we truly need right now is for someone to save us from Obama.

Taxes & Stupid: When Less of One Means More of the Other

April 16, 2008

Gallup conducted a survey between 6-9 April, asking, “Are Americans paying Their fair share in federal taxes, paying too much or pay to little?” Here are the results, with the figure on the right representing “too little”:

Middle-income People  4% (pay too little)
Lower-income people 13%
Upper-income people 63%
Corporations               73%

Okay. So that’s what a survey of 1,021 adults thought (with a margin of error at +/- 3%, blah, blah, blah).

Democrats ubiquitiously claim that “It’s time for wealthy Americans and corporations to pay their fair share!” And – judging by this poll, anyway – it appears that they have won the case in the minds of most Americans.

The only problem is that these people are completely wrong.

According to the Congressional Budget Office figures (Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates: 1979-2005, released December 2007) on “Individual Income Taxes”:

The top         1% Pays 38.8%
The top       20% Pays 86.3%
The top       40% Pays 99.5%
The bottom 60% Pays 0.6%

The actual facts are just the opposite from what we are routinely told, aren’t they?  Let me put it in capital letters so you can see it better: THE WEALTHIEST 40% OF AMERICANS PAY 99.5% OF THE INCOME TAXES!!! And they’re not paying their fair share?  The Democrats and the media have won the case in the culture by misrepresenting the truth.

When the Bush tax cuts took effect, it threw a lot of people (in that 60% group) off the tax roles entirely, and created a new lower tax rate (people who’d been paying 15% rate paid a 10% rate, etc).  It is a flat out lie to say that the rich benefitted unfairly from the Bush tax cuts.

Corporations pay a 35% federal tax rate.  Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain wants to reduce that to 25%. Why?  Because he’s trying to make the U.S. more competitive, that’s why! The world average corporate income tax rate for industrial democracies is 24%. The 35% rate – which is the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world – makes the U.S. less competitive.  You want to know why jobs are going overseas?  There’s one of the big reasons.  Some of the others are the demands of American labor unions, environmental regulations, the lack of protection from frivilous lawsuits, etc.  But those issues are for another day.

Now, the rare few Democrats who aren’t entirely stupid point to the payroll taxes as evidence that the rich – in spite of what you’ve read above – don’t pay their fair share.  People who earn over $1 million pay 18% of the total federal tax bill; those between $200,000 and $1,000,000 pay 23%; and those between $100,000-$200,000 pay 25% of the total tax. But payroll taxes – which hit middle income people the hardest – are those taxes that pay into Social Security and Medicare.  But in point of fact, the wealthy are virtually banned from these programs (if they use their own retirements funds, they don’t qualify for Social Security and Medicare) – and they certainly don’t get more “benefit” than anyone else in these programs).

Conservatives have frequently talked about lowering payroll taxes – which DO effect the middle class’ bottom line – and who screams about it?  Democrats!  Why?  Because they claim (rightly) that it would hurt Social Security and Medicare.  So they complain about taxes that they have repeatedly refuse to allow Republicans to lower?  That’s nice.

Here’s another issue: the United States currently has a 67,000 plus page tax code!  Does that sound like the pathway to efficiency to anyone?  We have an incredibly non-competitive and inefficient economy because of this idiocy. Democrats have done to our economy what the EPA did to our car engines in the mid-1970s.

What we need to do is to return to the 1986 Bill Bradley – Ronald Reagan Commission compromise that lowered tax rates but removed loopholes. But Democrats in the 22 years that have followed have encouraged unwise behavior by adding tax loopholes (for pet projects such as efficient cars, community colleges, ethanol, etc.). Obviously, Republicans have fed from this trough as well, but let’s not be dumb as to who keeps this mindset going.

We need to return to the Bradley-Reagan mindset to eliminate these breaks and return to a competitive and efficient economy. Every time the government hands out another loophole, they are deliberately encouraging an embrace of an inefficiency.  It’s a way of saying that we (the government bureaucracy) want to turn something that people would not rationally do into a tax break loophole so they will do what they would not do otherwise. That’s not the path to a healthy economy.  It’s the guaranteed path to a dysfunctional, schizophrenic economy.

Democrats and the media outlets rail at the wealthy, and blame “tax breaks that benefit the rich” for virtually every ill facing society.  But stop and ask yourself, “Who gave me my job?” Was it a poor guy, or was it a rich guy? Unless you are working on straight commission for one of those guys on the city street corner who wash car windows at traffic signals, you probably got your job from a rich guy.  Now, as long as that rich guy is making a sufficient profit, you have your job.  But what happens if he isn’t making a profit anymore?  What happens if you decide to vote for people who will raise his taxes, increase his costs and expenses, and lower his profits?  Congratulations: you lose your job.

This demagoguery has got to stop.  The wealthy create jobs by investing in markets that supply funds, by starting businesses themselves, and by managing their assets wisely.  The Democrats – who routinely divide people into groups according to race, gender, and sexual orientation – want to play their Ace card and divide people into economic classes as well.  Realize that’s already been tried by Karl Marx, and it didn’t turn out too well.  John Edwards’ and other Democrats’ talk of “two Americas” is little more than a recasting of the Communists’ tired bourgeoise vs. proletariat class-hatred.

It’s time Americans wised up, stopped playing self-defeating games of class warfare, and got together on tuning up the U.S. economy to perform – for everybody – the way that it is capable of performing.