Trick or Treat

Let’s make no mistake – the trick is on the American People, and the treats are going to the Politicians…

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Because we have a President who lied to get elected and re-elected…

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Who claims to know nothing about what is going on in his own administration…

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Because he hasn’t been briefed on the situation…

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

And refuses to take the blinders off to address the multiple problems of his Presidency…

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

But let us not forget the ones that really got the kettle going…

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Meanwhile, as the remainder of our innocence is being shredded…

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

The Liar in Chief rides off to his next fundraiser or golf game…

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

When at least one person should be held accountable for this latest fiasco…

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Simply because she didn’t keep a closer eye on these folks…

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

But we are faced with an undying, unaccountable, ever-growing government that wants your money, your life, your soul, and your brains…

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Because of a destructive political agenda that will only serve Government, and not the People…

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

And does this in part by blaming the people who cherish this Country and the ideals that it was founded upon…

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

While trying to bail their respective butts out of the mess that they themselves created…

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

And blow smoke in some uncomfortable places to the low-information voters, telling us everything will be fixed….someday…..somehow…..maybe….

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Happy Halloween, Everyone…because our nightmares have only begun!!

Note:  I will not be posting over the weekend as usual due to work commitments.

The ACA Debacle

Take this into consideration when thinking about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (from The New Yorker):

There are three things to recognize about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and all the criticism of it: First, the Web-site glitches really are a problem. Second, the hearings that Republicans in Congress insist on holding are no way to fix them. Third, when it comes to evaluating the worth of Obamacare we may not remember the Web-site hiccups all that well. What we will remember, and what ultimately matters, is whether, in the next year, the A.C.A. fulfills its promise: to provide affordable health insurance to people who did not have it through an employer, could not afford it on their own, were denied it on the basis of pre-existing conditions, paid more for it than they should have because they were, say, women of child-bearing age, or could no longer get by because their insurance benefits had been capped.

The first thing that irks me right out of the gate is that the company that is in charge of creating the website is Canadian.  Not that there is anything wrong with Canada, but isn’t it a bit hypocritical that the Administration & President is paying huge amounts of lip service about getting Americans back to work, and the company that they employ is from another country.  I also found out that this company was either the only one that was contacted or considered for the contract to build the website.

Designing a website is no piece of cake, especially with the number of incompatible governmental databases and insurance companies (who don’t like having their databases made public to start with).  Herding cats would be easier by comparison – I’ve worked on databases from various companies to compile & correlate test data, and it is an absolute nightmare just with a half-dozen companies & databases.  Now think of ten-times that number, and the problems increase exponentially.

The website also has a couple of other issues as well:

  • The websites were deliberately designed backward, some suspect, to hide for as long as possible how much more people will have to pay for health insurance. There is no fix for sticker shock.
  • Many who filled out application forms likely will learn the hard way that the websites have made them easy marks for identity thieves.

But despite the website meltdown, does the ACA really deliver upon the President’s promises of affordable healthcare insurance, and you can keep your current healthcare insurance?  Pundits such as Michelle Malkin found that that just isn’t the case:

Last week, our family received notice from Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Colorado that we can no longer keep the plan we like because of “changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA).” The letter informed us that “(t)o meet the requirements of the new laws, your current plan can no longer be continued beyond your 2014 renewal date.”

And affordable?  Not according to this:

The problem will be most acute for the 19 million or so people who today purchase individual insurance. As industry expert Robert Laszewski has pointed out, today’s individual market is essentially being replaced by the Obamacare exchanges. Some insurance plans can continue operating into 2014 outside of the exchanges if they are “grandfathered.” But very few insurance plans qualify for grandfathered status under Obamacare because the rules strictly prohibit even the smallest changes in coverage or cost-sharing. Consequently, about 16 million Americans will shortly find out that they can’t keep the plans they have.

If and when they are able to look at their options on or the state-built websites, many of these consumers will quickly become unhappy. The Obama administration keeps arguing that the premiums in the exchanges are below what was expected, based on hypothetical estimates produced by the Congressional Budget Office four years ago. But that’s not the relevant comparison. Consumers want to know how much more they are going to pay for insurance under Obamacare in 2014 than what the pre-Obamacare market offers them today.

The Heritage Foundation has carefully looked at this question, and the results are dismaying. The average family of four will see a premium increase in the exchanges of 10 to 30 percent. For young Americans, the premium hikes are much worse, in the range of 50 to 100 percent or more for 27-year-olds, including 71 percent in Nebraska and 170 percent in Georgia. And these premiums are for plans with, in most cases, very high deductibles, ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 for the so-called silver plans and $4,000 or more for bronze plans.

The ACA doesn’t pass the smell test by any stretch of the imagination.  And I take some pleasure is saying “I told you so!” to the twits that were trying to blow sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns around to make everything look rosy.  No, this is a nightmare that the People of the United States did not want from the get-go, but the Democrats had to push through while they had the trifecta majority in Congress and the White House.  After all, during a townhall with then Senator Arlan Spector and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibilius, a woman stood up and stated,

“I look at this health care plan and I see nothing that is about health or about care. What I see is a bureaucratic nightmare, Senator. Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can’t even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy? No sir, no!”

So when do you think this is going to get fixed?  Think of Hell freezing over, but then again…

Time to trash this turkey and bury it deep.

Deal? What Deal?

Once again, our elected non-representational representatives decided to politically save themselves over the interests of the American People.  And exactly how did they do that?  Take this cartoon from Michael Ramirez:

Instead of making the hard decisions to reduce spending and pass a viable budget, our Congresscritters made the decision not to limit their spending to something sustainable, but instead gave themselves a blank check for the next 90 days.

Please note that I am disgusted with both Houses of Congress and the Political Parties that comprise them as well as the President.

This is déjà vu all over again.  I’ve noted this in previous posts (here and here) that our political “leaders” (and I use that term sarcastically) are totally clueless in the realm of finance and fiscal responsibility.  Indeed, they seem ignorant in their understanding and adherence to their Constitutional responsibilities to the United States (like passing a budget of which they have not done in around five years).  But then again, the American People don’t seem to be too keen on what their responsibilities are as Citizens of this country, so we get what we elect.

What we, the People, now have are self-serving bumblers who are more concerned about political power than serving the People.  There are exceptions, but they are being touted as rabble rousers and anarchists by the “established politicians.” 

Excuse me, but aren’t the “established politicians” the ones that have gotten the country in the mess it’s in?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka, ObamaCare) is the perfect example of the insanity that the politicians have foisted upon the American People that is a disaster from it’s inception.  Let’s just see some of the disasters and problems:

  • A broken website that does not allow near the number of people to enroll that need to in order to avoid penalties.  Roughly 4 months to sign up potentially 300,000,000 people is not viable with the website working like it is now  (And by the way, that malfunctioning website was built with almost $500,000,000 of taxpayer money.)
  • The penalty for not having an approved healthcare plan is either $95 or 1 percent of your income, whichever is higher.  You do the math on your own income.
  • Businesses cutting back the number of hours their part-time employees can work to avoid the business penalties.  Definitely hurts the people that the law was targeted to help in the first place
  • Reduction of benefits from established health insurance plans with higher costs.
  • Finding out that if you like your health plan, you probably won’t be able to keep or afford it.
  • Multiple exemptions and loopholes for the politically connected (including Congress) which are in direct violation of the Act.
  • Delaying the employer contribution mandate (also in violation), but enforcing the taxpayer contribution.
  • The laws are so complicated that “navigators” with minimal training and almost no background checks are needed to help people with figuring out how the laws affect them (and said navigators have access to your personal information).
  • There are few checks against fraud.
  • And the list goes on…

Personally, I believe that ObamaCare should go the way of Prohibition

Just like Prohibition, ObamaCare promised from its onset to change the world: It would provide universal health-insurance coverage at a lower cost without any reduction in coverage choices or quality care, and all of it easily accessed through a government website.

So far it has been nothing short of a disaster.

The bottom line is that Congress cannot continue to rack up bottomless debt upon the American People – the end will come sooner or later.  The reduction of the United States credit rating is only an indication that things are getting worse, not better.

Raising taxes isn’t the solution, and neither is raising debt ceilings to further burden future generations of Americans.  Curbing governmental spending on BS entitlements, government bureaucracy, failed social experiments, and foreign aid to unfriendly countries is.

If our elected leaders refuse to lead this country down a fiscally responsible path, then it is up to the American People to replace them with people who will lead this country back to where it needs to be – strong, debt-free, and solvent.

Washington’s Two-Step

This past week, I’ve been reading various news articles concerning the antics of the various Congressional leaders and the President, and I’ve come to the conclusion (again!) that these clowns have absolutely no respect for the Constitution and the American People that they claim to represent.  It really doesn’t matter what media outlet I read, the message is always the same with some minor variations as long as I remember the following:

News stories, which are like fruit punch, carry 70% propaganda to 30% juice, are always eager to explain to their readers that it is the other sides fault for __________ (fill in the blank with your topic of choice).

Our government is extremely dysfunctional with the current crop of politicians.  One side accuses the other for not compromising, and yet refuses to talk about said compromise.  The other side accuses the other of being terrorists and suicide bombers.  At the center of this kerfuffle is the one subject that is of vital importance to the economic viability of this country:  The Budget.

At front & center of the debate(?) is the continued funding of the unpopular, over-regulated, and trouble-ridden Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka, ObamaCare, and the Debt Limit, aka, how much money can Congress borrow & put our country into further debt.

Will you folks kindly cut the crap and do the jobs that you were elected to do?  Enough with the political theater that no one wants to watch.  It also reminds me again of the following cliché which is becoming more and more true every day:

Politicians, like babies, need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons.

I often wonder how in the wide, wide world of political sports did we ever get to the point of where the political class feels that they should rule over all of us, especially since we elected them in the first place.  I believe it’s fairly simple – using an ideology that promises a chicken in every pot without telling the farmer that he has to supply the chickens.  Take the following excerpts from Daniel Greenfield’s blog “Sultan Knish”:

Ideologies can be roughly divided into the moral and the economic. Moral ideologies seek to guide people in their individual behavior as they seek resources. Economic ideologies are concerned with collective control over how resources are gained and employed. Revolutionary movements are often linked with economic ideologies because resource redistribution is a primary motivator for political upheavals.

The left is both a revolutionary movement and an economic ideology, using the pretext of inequities to seize power in order to engage in economic redistribution. However the modern left’s actual agenda goes well beyond only seizing and redistributing material goods and financial holdings. Its goal is to completely control all human interactions in every form through political, cultural, social and economic tools.

Anyone who is allowed to control competition in order to make resource redistribution “fairer” will eventually openly engage in resource redistribution, unless there is a compelling system of oversight governing his behavior. Since most such systems are either bureaucratic or become so, and since bureaucracies are undemocratic and will expand to the limits of the resources available to them, they are wholly and completely corruptible. Those who redistribute a resource are bound to become corrupted by that resource. The more valuable the resource, the more pervasive the corruption. Because corruption emanates from sources of power. Those who control power become corrupted by it. And those whose power comes from resource redistribution, are corrupted by that very resource.

Think about the above when considering the ObamaCare legislation.  Somewhere & sometime, someone has to pay for the services, someone has to be giving up something for someone else, and big government is there to administer & decide who gets what through a massive redistribution scheme.  This is something that the Washington Democrats are dancing around big time, and the Washington Republicans (at least the responsible ones) are trying limit or eliminate. 

Now understand that we are not only talking merely about economic redistribution, but about political power as well. That power is in the Federal Government’s bureaucracy. However, the bureaucracy that is now in place is so big, so entrenched, it takes a map & compass to navigate the labyrinth that is otherwise impossible to traverse.  As such, the bureaucracy can then become an almost unaccountable weapon with unlimited resources to crush political opposition in the hands of powerful politicians.  Think of the IRS targeting conservative groups and people (including Dr. Ben Carson after his National Prayer Breakfast speech), the NSA conducting domestic spying (which is out of its jurisdiction), and this abuse, real or potential, becomes rapidly apparent.

As an added thought, during the 2008 campaign, then candidate Senator Barack Obama campaigned with the slogans of “Hope” and “Change”.  He also, in an unguarded moment with “Joe the Plumber”, stated his vision for the redistribution of wealth from the hard-working successful people to the not so successful.  The voters, sucked in by this supposedly gifted orator, didn’t listen closely to the message that he gave on multiple occasions and elected him.  It now appears that the reality is that he and his Democrat cronies would affect the “change” and then “hope” that everything would work out, and they are not afraid to use the “big stick” of a big, unaccountable government to further their political agenda to try and make it work.  Thus is the hubris of our Democrat Party of progressives (aka, Liberals & Lefties).

So the country’s situation is this:  Mounting governmental debt with the Democrats insisting upon increasing without consequence; another large, bloated, unwieldy program that Congress had absolutely no authority to pass (the idea that ObamaCare is legal because it’s classified as a tax should cause everyone concern);  a sluggish job market that is uncertain with the future of government interference; more and more people dropping out of the job market because they cannot find a job & going on either Welfare or early retirement; and a government that is more interested in controlling the citizenry through multiple avenues of intimidation, misinformation, and subsidies (aka, “free stuff”) than it is to abide by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the laws of the land.

Now I’ve hit the Democrats pretty hard in the above, but I will state that the Republicans have not been innocent in any of the above.  They have also expanded government beyond its stated Constitutional limits (think Patriot Act, for instance), and have been complicit in many “compromises” that have expanded government programs that exacerbate the country’s debt problem and infringing upon the law-abiding citizen’s rights.  By no means are the Republicans looking out for the American People.

To back-up the above statement, I offer the fact that the “old-Guard” Republicans resistance to the ideas and statements of Tea-Party representatives, who are bucking the “business as usual” atmosphere and leadership because they believe that the country is headed down the wrong path.  Everyone knows this, but are unwilling to do anything about it because it puts in jeopardy their political careers with their respective political party.  This last is where I have issues with our current political leaders –  not taking a stand to do the right thing for the country and its citizens, but to go along to further their political careers.

Thus is the hubris of the political elite.  And they have reason to believe that they are smarter than we are.  Take the following statements from Bill O’Reilly:

Amid all the madness over Obamacare and the government shutdown comes a fascinating poll about “we the people.” For years, the Gallup organization has asked the following question: Do you trust the American people to make good judgments about political issues?

Eight years ago, 78 percent of those polled said they had trust in the folks. This year that number plummeted to just 61 percent.

And it is the fault of the American people that our politicians continue to let us down. Let’s be honest: Many of us simply don’t pay attention to our country. We are too caught up in our own situations to be bothered with public policy.

Talk-radio hosts call them “low information voters”: Americans who don’t know much about history, current events or anything else and who often vote on pure emotion. If they like somebody, he or she gets the chad. And Barack Obama is a very likeable guy.

We live in a complicated, dangerous age. Democrats have seized on the economic collapse and a bad war (Iraq) that happened on President George W. Bush’s watch. They have convinced the majority of voters to embrace a new America — one that gives the federal government extraordinary power, one that runs up a record amount of debt in pursuit of social justice and “income equality.”

As the Gallup poll suggests, we are beginning to blame each other for the confusing state of this country. And, indeed, it is collectively our fault. We should be electing problem solvers, not charismatic ideologues who can whip people into a frenzy.

So the result is this:

And this:

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Because we have this:

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

And this:

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Reinforced by this:

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Who states that We the People are this:

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

While We the People are not doing this:

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

So now we are becoming this:

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Be strong, my friends – it’s going to be an extremely bumpy ride.