Who’s Going To Pay For It?

OK, now all of you folks out there (especially the Obama supporters) stop and think for a little bit on the following:

  • A multi-billion dollar “stimulus” bill was passed and signed that was full of waste and earmarks.
  • Multiple banking and finance institutions were bailed out with billions from the government treasury.
  • Two car companies were also given loans, declared bankruptcy, and were not only able to write the loans off but got more money to see them through the bankruptcy and reorganization.
  • A global warming climate change bill was just passed in the House this past week with carbon cap & trade as its centerpiece.
  • The President is pushing for a universal healthcare coverage policy for anyone that wants it.
  • We are constantly bombarded with information that Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare are going to go broke in the near future.

Now who do you think is going to pay for all of the above? 

From ABC’s commentator George Stephanopoulos:

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said the president won’t rule out a health care reform bill that includes a middle-class tax hike.

"The president had said in the past that he  doesn’t believe taxing health care benefits at any level is necessarily the best way to go here.  He still believes that," Axelrod told me on This Week, "But there are a number of formulations and we’ll wait and see.  The important thing at this point is to keep the process moving, to keep people at the table, to the keep the discussions going. We’ve gotten a long way down the road and we want to finish that journey."

I pressed Axelrod on whether Obama will draw a line in the sand and veto any bill that funds health care reform with tax hikes for people making under $250,000 a year — despite a pledge Barack Obama made during the 2008 presidential campaign not to raise taxes on the poor and middle-class.

"One of the problems we’ve had in this town is that people draw lines in the sand and they stop talking
to each other.  And you don’t get anything done.  That’s not the way the president approaches us.  He is very cognizant of protecting people — middle class people, hard-working people who are trying to get along in a very difficult economy.  And he will continue to represent them in these talks," Axelrod said.

"But they’re also dealing with punishing health care costs, and that’s something that we have to deal with."

This should be a clue for the clueless.  For those who don’t want to think because it hurts their brains, then here’s the answer:  You are!!

What people don’t seem to realize is that every time Congress passes laws and the President signs them, there is usually some cost attached to them.  If it is a spending bill, then the funds are drawn from the Treasury.  The funds from the Treasury are collected by taxes, and you pay the taxes either directly or indirectly.  It won’t matter where you are in the social ladder, you will pay one way or another.

And you thought that the TEA Parties were ladies socials instead of “taxed enough already” protests.

Just thought you would like to know…

HR2454 Post Coverage

I was surfing through the news channels this morning and saw something that really states what the media considers important.  Hint:  It’s not our government.

Just about all the media outlets, including Fox News, were going on and on about the demise of Michael Jackson, and very little on last night’s narrow passage of HR2454.  For every 5 minutes spent on HR2454, there were at least 20 minutes spent on the troubled entertainer.

What also p****d me off was the revelation by the mainstream media that this bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, would cost the average American household an additional $1500 per year in energy related costs.  They also stated that this is a tax paid by the energy companies, and that the costs would be passed on to the customer.

WTH!?!?!

Where the h**l was the media in reporting this information before the vote?  If anything, these facts were totally ignored.  Perhaps they were afraid that the bill would be defeated in the House, but could be passed in the Senate without problems.

Bastards…  We’ll see about that…

Since this has slipped out before reaching the Senate floor, it now has a chance of being defeated providing the American people tell their Senators “enough is enough.”  I sure don’t have an extra $125 a month to spend, and this sure would kill the economy since that money would not be spent on manufactured goods.

Just remember, the media isn’t working for us any more than the politicians are.  If the love-fest with ABC earlier this week didn’t prove it to you, this should.

Cap & Trade Is A New Tax – Period!!

Update at the Bottom:

Here’s a quote you had better remember:

“…cap and trade is a tax, and it’s a great big one.” – Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)

Listening to the radio on the way to the store yesterday morning, I caught the tail-end of an interview with Representative Dingell.  It was brought up that if today’s vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR2454) was passed by the House & Senate and signed by the President, we could expect our fuel prices go up 77¢ a gallon, and our energy costs rise 30%.  This is all in a 1,200 page document that purports to “create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.”

Hang on to your wallets…

Just reading the summary has this language:

Requires the President to use statutory authorities to set motor vehicle emissions standards.

Safe Climate Act – Amends the CAA (Clean Air Act) to require the Administrator to promulgate regulations to: (1) cap and reduce GHG emissions, annually, so that GHG emissions from capped sources are reduced to 97% of 2005 levels by 2012, 83% by 2020, 58% by 2030, and 17% by 2050; and (2) establish a federal GHG registry.

Phases in prohibitions against covered entities (including electricity sources, fuel producers and importers, industrial gas producers and importers, geological sequestration sites, industrial stationary sources, industrial fossil fuel-fired combustion devices, natural gas local distribution companies, nitrogen trifluoride sources, algae-based fuels, and fugitive emissions) exceeding allowable emission levels. Requires covered entities to demonstrate compliance through: (1) holding emission allowances (including international emission or compensatory allowances) at least as great as attributable emissions (as specified); or (2) using offset credits. Sets forth penalties for noncompliance.

Provides for trading, banking and borrowing, auctioning, selling, exchanging, transferring, holding, or retiring emission allowances.

And so on.  But where are the taxes?  Well, you won’t pay them directly – the companies that you buy your gasoline, electricity, and others from will pay the taxes for you, but you will reimburse them.  Remember, companies and corporations do not pay taxes and penalties because they pass these costs on to the consumer of their products.  And that will be a big hit to consumers.  The Wall Street Journal states:

The hit to GDP is the real threat in this bill. The whole point of cap and trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas so that Americans will use less. These higher prices will show up not just in electricity bills or at the gas station but in every manufactured good, from food to cars. Consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in fewer jobs created or higher unemployment. Some companies will instead move their operations overseas, with the same result.

And the Orange County Register:

Most carbon emissions result from the use of hydrocarbon energy sources (mostly petroleum-based). Since 85 percent of U.S. energy comes from hydrocarbons, almost all use of energy would become more expensive due to the necessity to buy permission to emit a constantly declining amount of carbon dioxide every year. Thus the system would be a hidden tax on energy that would cost every American, including the middle class and lower-income people that President Barack Obama promised he would never tax.

What’s the real reason for this bill?  We are told that it would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that Americans emit to reduce the effect of Global Warming Climate Change.  The Orange County Register continues:

The kicker, of course, is that, assuming carbon dioxide emissions caused by human beings cause global warming – still more theory than fact – the highly respected Institute for Energy Research has estimated that the controls in this bill would reduce the global temperature by one-half of 1 degree Fahrenheit. Not very impressive.

Considering that China is building a coal-fired power plant every week, anything that we legislate and otherwise enact will be a drop in the bucket.  China and India refuse to cut their emissions because that would inhibit their economic growth.  Why are we so willing to cut our economic throats?  From Human Events.com:

Waxman-Markey is fundamentally anti-economic growth in nature. If you don’t yet grasp the significance of national economic growth, just look around at the recession we and the rest of the world are now enduring. Waxman-Markey would be a permanent clampdown on economic growth. The bill does this by making energy, the life blood of our economy, much more expensive and scarce.

Waxman-Markey will add $9 trillion in costs to the production of energy between 2012 and 2050 — that works out to almost $800 per American per year for the next 38 years. Those are just the direct costs imposed by the bill’s cap-and-trade regime. These costs will ripple throughout the American economy — everyone uses energy — making all goods and services more expensive.

Waxman-Markey necessarily supersizes government and increases its intrusiveness. In addition to expanded authorities and budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and other existing federal behemoths, the bill creates a whole new bureaucracy of government agencies and boards that will dictate who can use how much energy. There’s the Offsets Integrity Advisory Board, Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Panel, National Climate Service, and the Centers for Energy and Environmental Knowledge and Outreach to name a few.

Answer:  Bigger government.  More power to the politicians.  Money to the carbon traders.  All at the expense of the consumer.  And it won’t help the environment one damn bit.

However, the models also predict unambiguously that the atmosphere is warming faster than the surface of the earth; but all the available observational data unambiguously shows the opposite! – David Douglass, American Physicist

Global Warming Climate Change is based on a theory, one that is build on assumptions and horrendously complex computer models that cannot possibly predict all of the “what ifs.”  All we need to have is the sun belch out more than the average number of solar flares or a major volcanic eruption, and any model is absolutely rendered invalid.  Remember, Global Warming Climate Change is a consensus of scientific experts (who have a consensus of other scientific experts opposing the findings), which is absolutely opposite of the Scientific Method.  For those of you who slept through science class, the scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses (theories).  And the results of the testing must be repeatable for the hypotheses to be valid (i.e., a scientific fact).

And the validity of consensus?

Indeed, scientific truth by consensus has had a uniformly bad history. – David Douglass, American Physicist

Now should we have fuel efficient cars and be able to conserve energy?  Yes, we should, but not by government mandate with power-hungry politicians at the helm, and certainly not by a fear that the Earth will melt due to a questionable theory as put forth by the media.  Those things will come in time, the question is when.

Update:

From the Wall Street Journal comes this article:

In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country’s new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country’s weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak “frankly” of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming “the worst scientific scandal in history.” Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.” A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists’ open letter.)

The collapse of the “consensus” has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

So now we have the scientific community making statements that the sky is not falling, and that the draconian measures proposed by the politicians are more destructive of the economies of countries than Global Warming Climate Change could ever be.

I only hope and pray that the politicians get some common sense soon…

The Answer Is …

… not 42, at least where the United States is concerned.

It’s Government, at least according to the Obama Administration and the wacky Liberals.  I think the cartoon semi-shamelessly “borrowed” from Indigo Red and IBD Editorials says it all:

Obama school

What Healthcare Crisis?

Tonight, ABC will broadcast from the White House “the plan” for resolving the healthcare crisis.  What crisis?  I was totally unaware that people were dropping dead in their tracks in a plague-like manner on our city streets.  But lets look at some of the facts.

The first point that is always made is that there are 46 million people in the United States that do not have health insurance.  But do the facts actually support these numbers?  From a February 2007 article at Renew America:

Number 1 — Roughly 20 percent of the uninsured in this country are not citizens. Ergo, 36 million Americans lack insurance. Immigrants without insurance are a serious problem. But that is an immigration issue, not a health insurance matter.

Number 2 — Only about half the uninsured Americans at any given time are without insurance 5 months later. In our mobile society, 84 percent of the uninsured are without coverage for less than 24 months.  Or as Gratzer puts it: "The executive who leaves his corner office at Citigroup to look for greener pastures may soon join the ranks of the uninsured…If the gentleman lands a vice presidency at a rival bank, we would consider that a success story. Yet, statistically speaking, he became apart of the group of "uninsured Americans."

Number 3 — The uninsured are not a relatively homogeneous group — poor. The single mom with three children is not uninsured — she has Medicaid — as do her children and their neighbors.

Number 4 — Many Americans are uninsured by choice. Some of these are eligible for Medicaid, but choose not to sign up.

Number 5 (bottom line) — "A full 93 percent of Americans either are insured or could afford insurance."

So the remaining 7% is a crisis?  No, not really, unless you are one of the 7% and are ill.  And it is those people that need the help without the political grandstanding and rhetoric.

To cover those remaining 7% with insurance, President Obama via the Kennedy Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee is now wanting to create a government-run health insurance entity, a single-payer if you will, to compete with the existing health insurance companies to “keep the insurance companies honest.”

OK, so let me get this straight – Government is going to keep government honest while making sure everyone else is to.  If you can say this five times and keep a straight face, then you should try your hand at acting or politics…  As Wes Vernon stated:

Or more to point, how do we know that making the government both a "competitor" and the ultimate regulator is not a surefire way (if not a deliberate scheme) to put the government in the ultimate driver’s seat — running the entire health care system?

Some of Obama’s fellow liberals have openly said that’s what they intend. At least they’re honest. Others in his camp wink and tell the socialist ideologues to cool it — that they will get what they want. Just give them time to lull the booboise into thinking a government plan is not the Trojan horse to knock private sector insurers out of business so that we can have a "single-payer" system. They want to run America’s 1300 health insurance companies out of business. If you watched Glenn Beck on Fox News the other night, you saw clips of them saying exactly that.

"Single payer" sounds so nice and warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it? How about "single-regulator?", "single dictator?", "single judge" as to whose life is worth saving?, or "single decider" — not as to whether health care will be rationed, but how to apply it without arousing the anger of the great unwashed until it’s a done deal?

So we have a big problem that rears its head before we can even enter the metaphoric room for a national conversation on the issue of health care reform: The president of the United States is not leveling with us. He is not a stupid man. He knows very well that when you create a government-entity to "compete" with private insurers, it takes no brain surgery to conclude that as long as government is both player and referee, the government is in a heads-I-win/tails-you-lose situation. End result: a government health care monopoly.

Costs and care are big sticking points with any government-run program.  After all, look at the shining examples of Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and one wonders why we would let the government control anything as important as our health choices.  In fact, given the track record of our own government and the track records of health care systems in Canada & Europe, why would anyone think that this would end up being anything but a disaster?  Because Obama says so?  Horseradish!

The cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would be $1 Trillion over the next decade and would cover approximately one-third of the so called 46-million.  There are other estimates that estimate the costs at $1.5 Trillion, although the CBO warned that health care costs are extremely hard to accurately estimate.  This is on top of the stimulus bill already passed earlier this year.

Do I need to reiterate the horror stories from patients in Canada, England, and other European countries with government-run healthcare systems?  These are examples that we need to understand as to why government-run healthcare is not going to help alleviate “the crisis,” no matter what good intentions there are nor how much money is thrown at the “problem.”

But I also know that our current system is not perfect.  There are horror stories here too, and they are being used as reasons for reforming healthcare in this country.  And I know of some people reading this blog have been affected adversely by this system.  So instead of scrapping the current system and burdening the taxpayer more with another bureaucracy to support, let’s try to make things a bit easier.

One of the plans that shows some promise calls for a credit or voucher system.  The proposal is called the “Patient’s Choice Act,” and is summarized by The Wall Street Journal:

Four Republicans in Congress — Sens. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) and Richard Burr (North Carolina) and Reps. Paul Ryan (Wisconsin) and Devin Nunes (California) — will today introduce a bill that moves away from federal centralization. Aptly called the Patients’ Choice Act, it provides a path to universal coverage by redirecting current subsidies for health insurance to individuals. It also provides a new safety net that guarantees access to insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.

The nexus of their plan is redirecting the $300 billion annual tax subsidy for employment-based health insurance to individuals in the form of refundable, advanceable tax credits. Families would get $5,700 a year and individuals $2,300 to buy insurance and invest in Health Savings Accounts.

Low-income Americans would get a supplemental debit card of up to $5,000 to help them purchase insurance and pay out-of-pocket costs. They would have an incentive to spend wisely since up to one-fourth of any unspent money in the accounts could be rolled over to the next year. The combination of the refundable tax credit and debit card gives lower-income Americans a way out of the Medicaid ghetto so they can have the dignity of private insurance.

Perhaps this is a better proposal, one that works with the current system without tearing it down.  And it seems to be less of a burden to the taxpayer.

I would much rather help people who really need it than create another mind-numbing bloated bureaucracy with a matching voice menu spouting the line “Please stay on the line – Your call is important to us.”  If some people have their way, there would only be one place to go, and that would be government.  And that, my friends, that is an extremely scary thought.