Thursday, October 31, 2013

Next Stop -- Insuring Grocery Bills

It's time to tackle Affordable Grocery Bills.  Yes, let's mandate that all Americans should be required to buy an insurance policy that covers grocery purchases.

To get started, let's decide what people ought to eat.  No more sugar.  No more alcohol.  From now on, everyone should eat brussel sprouts (and whatever some unelected bureaucrat thinks we should eat).

After all, is anything more important than "the right to eat."  Nothing I can think of.  Meanwhile we need to mandate the prices that grocery stores can charge for various food products.  We should get rid of the idea of "fee for product" and move toward "fee for nourishment."  This way we can accomplish the real goal.

Of course, as soon as we announce this ambitious plan, most grocery stores will decide to close their doors to anyone using Affordable Grocery Bill insurance and switch to pay as you go.  The rich will be the only future customers for what we now think of as the corner grocery store.

As for the bulk of humanity, they get insurance, which, by the way, is only valid at a store that is a two day drive from your home.  But, so what.  At least you are insured.

In the future, once we have enacted the Affordable Grocery Bill Act, everyone will have insurance, although it is unlikely many will get much in the way of groceries. If putting up our website costs nearly half a billion dollars, then you can imagine what other administrative costs will run.  Not much left for groceries.

So-Called Moderates Created Obamacare

Mary Landrieu, Mark Warner, Susan Collins, Mark Pryor, Joe Manchin and other so-called moderates provided the votes necessary to force the American public into the Obamacare swamp.  Somehow, these folks call themselves moderates as they transfer almost twenty percent of the American economy into the hands of incompetent, corrupt, unelected bureaucrats.  These are moderates?

Many Americans voted for these folks because the media spends all of its time on gay rights, abortion, gun control and other emotional wedge issues and zero on the issues of fiscal insolvency and the coming collapse of the health care system.  As long as Warner supports gay rights and abortion, he doesn't to have to answer for his overwhelming support of Obamacare and turning a blind eye to NSA overreach, IRS corruption and other failures of the Obama Administration.

That's how we got where we are....the moderates did it to us.  They don't seem moderate to me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Surprise, Surprise...Health Care Costs are Headed Up; Quality Headed Down

The Obama Administration is destroying the American health care system brick by brick.  There is no real surprise here.  Once you decide that free market price rationing is inappropriate, you move on to the idea that unelected, unresponsive government bureaucrats should do the rationing.  That's where we are headed.

Meanwhile, health care providers (doctors, remember them?) are exiting from the system.  Hospitals are shuttering their doors.  Even if you have insurance, it won't really matter.  There won't be any real health care available, except, or course, for the rich and powerful.  Obama will be taken care of.  So will Barney Frank, so will Mark Warner, so will Diane Feinstein.  But, too bad if you are their gardener or cook.  You're screwed.

This is the hypocrisy, the arrogance and the mendacity of the big government crowd.  They lie, they distort, and they don't really care, because none of this effects them personally.  No wonder, this is the right way to go, according to Warren Buffett.  He won't have to suffer the indignities of the new health care regime, that the vast majority of Americans will face.  He is rich and powerful and could care less.

So, the website doesn't work.  That's the least of the problems.  Picture the worst public schools in America.  That's the vision of the hospital that the average American will face.  It will be dangerous, incompetent, and costly.  That's the future of health care for the average American.  But, Buffett, Warner and Feinstein are rich.  So, this is all okay with them, since they won't have to deal with it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New York Times Finally Notices the Obamacare Rollout

The New York Times today has finally surfaced some news coverage on the disastrous rollout of Obamacare.   After having ignored the issue for three weeks, the Times has given the story limited coverage in today's edition.  This is coming after nearly a dozen Democratic Congressman have publicly implored the President to delay the rollout.  Most of these Democrats are up for re-election in 2014.  Those that aren't up for re-election are mostly silent.

Nearly 40 people have managed to sign up for Obamacare in the state of Wisconsin.  That seems be a cause for celebration in the White House.  At that rate, we should reach White House enrollment estimates by sometime in 2176 -- that is, more than 150 years from now. Better late than never, I suppose.

No wonder that the NY Times has finally awoken.  The Times, always desperate to support the most extreme left wing political position that is out there, is now casting about for reasons to blame the Obamacare collapse on anyone but the Administration.  Good luck with that.

This is the most corrupt and inefficient administration in the history of the country.  The Obamacare rollout is predictable and consistent with the pattern of the Obama Administration.  The misstatements, evasions, and shoddy work habits of the Obama Administration are without precedent in America.  

Meanwhile, Obama's golf scores are getting better and White House parties are more entertaining than ever.

The Biggest Wealth Transfer of Them All

The federal entitlement programs -- social security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps -- and the state and local public pension programs have something in common.  Those who benefit aren't paying for the benefits.

The payers are mostly Americans who aren't born yet.

The folks that support the expansion of these programs claim it is fair and moral to expand these programs.  Is it fair to make unborn generations, who will not get these benefits, pay for the current generation?

This is the largest wealth transfer in the history of the world. The only reason it is possible is that the current generation of Americans is the most selfish in history.  Unlike the "greatest generation" that Tom Brokaw spoke of in his famous book about World War II veterans, this generation believes that everyone should sacrifice but themselves.

Why is it fair to raise taxes on future generations to support the current generation?  That is the proposed solution to public pension plans and to federal entitlements.  That's why Obama says that higher taxes must be part of any fiscal solution.

Soak future generations so that we can live high today.  That is the theme song of the Obama Administration.

Current taxpayers want to preserve all of their entitlements even though it impoverishes their children and grand children.  And these are people that claim a higher moral ground?

The selfishness of the current generation of Americans is amazing.

With zero personal savings, the current generation is willing to borrow and borrow and spend and spend and pass the debt on to their grandchildren.  They should be ashamed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Economy Weakens

Watch out below.  The US economy is slowing and Europe remains mired in the longest economic downturn in modern history.  If debt was a problem four years ago, the situation is far, far worse today.  Meanwhile, GDP has gone nowhere -- in the US and in Europe.  This means that debt as a percentage of GDP has skyrocketed in the western world and there is no prospect for this skyrocketing to slow in the future.  In fact, it is a virtual certainty that debt will outpace economic growth for generations to come.

Not a pretty picture.

Meanwhile, the US economy is slipping.  Part of this is the continued hammering of the financial sector by the Obama Administration.  Extorting fines for trading errors, which no one thought to be a crime until Eric Holder came along, is taking a huge toll on the financial sector.  It's not just the dollars that Wall Street is shelling out to Holder, the atmosphere in Wall Street is different.  Wall Street is looking inward and hunkering down, hoping to outlast the most anti-business Administration in the history of the country.

Employment gains are negligible and that won't change either -- in the US or Europe.  Why hire someone if you the add-on government costs are more than you pay the new employees and where firing people is a crime in Europe and is increasingly a crime (or a shakedown event) in the US.  This hiring avoidance is especially severe among the those without Ivy educations.  That's why those with Ivy educations don't really care.  They will be okay in the new economy.

The US economy is now poised to protect the rich and the powerful and the connected.  As the Wall Street Journal today notes, some of the most prosperous public companies in the US -- the solar companies -- are creating instant billionaires -- in businesses that will never be able to run at a profit.  But, government subsidies bilked from unsuspecting taxpayers are providing the loot that makes this scam work.

It is now all about connections, not about energy, hard work and imagination.  The liberal dream is coming true.  The mighty American economic engine is shutting down and the wealth of the powerful and the mighty and politically connected is protected.  As for the Americans looking to improve their economic situation, they are out of luck.  The health care rollout is a great example of how the Obama Administration views the average American.  The Obama folks could care less.  They party on while Americans are losing their health insurance and facing massive cost increases for a new Obama system which delivers far, far less in actual health care.

This is a pretty pessimistic outlook, but it is hard to see what turns this around.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Not Newsworthy -- The US Health Care Collapse

The New York Times, the Washington Post and other left wing extremist newspapers have decided that the failures of the enrollment process of the Obamacare rollout are not newsworthy.  They are running exactly zero articles on a system that even its's supporters have described as a "failed" process (Ezra Klein).

That almost twenty percent of the US economy is in crisis is no longer of interest to the Times and the Post.  After having cheerleaded for Obamacare, which the American public has been consistently opposed to, now these newspapers refuse to report the failure of the exchange websites that virtually guarantee the failure of Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Kathryn Sebelius, the secretary of HHS, the government bureaucrat in charge of the website rollout, refuses to meet with Congressional committees to even discuss the failure of the rollout.

Tens of millions of Americans are finding themselves losing their health insurance, unable to enroll in the Obama exchanges, and left in limbo having no idea what their health insurance status is going to be in the new year.  The fear that the average America is now feeling about their future health care is of no interest to the Obama Administration and not newsworthy to the extreme left-wing American press.

Thankfully, there are still sources in the news media that believe the public has a right to know about the twenty percent of the American economy that now is ruled by unelected and incompetent bureaucrats.  The Wall Street Journal and the Fox News outlets have been reporting the dramatic and incompetent collapse of the website signup process for Obamacare.  They are also reporting the numerous misstatements of fact that seem the cornerstone of the Obama Administration.  Telling the truth is simply not part of their lexicon.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and President Obama should be ashamed.  The average American should be terrified.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Tea Party Has It Right

Agreeing to end the shutdown and extend the debt limit is a big mistake.  Taking Obamacare off the table is a big mistake.

In the short run, ending this current conflict will make the media and the Democrats (and Warren Buffett and other rich folks) happy.  But the net effect of ending the standoff is to punt 20 percent of the US economy (health care) into the hands of a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy and virtually guarantee the bankruptcy of the US within a dozen years.

This could easily have been the last opportunity to save the country's fiscal situation and stop Obamacare.  It failed. That was always the most likely outcome.  That doesn't mean it was wrong to fight the fight. 

There is no other way to stop the coming fiscal collapse of the US other than trying to throw a monkey wrench into the locomotive that is driving us over the cliff.  Simply being "responsible" is the way of ultimate catastrophe.

The American culture has changed in the past two generations.  It is now a culture of dependency, inspired and encouraged by politicians, the media and academia.  The current culture is perfectly happy to spend the savings of generations that have not yet been born and to save nothing for their own retirement and health care needs.  This is the most selfish generation in the history of the country.

Simply getting along and letting this continue is the way of disaster.  That, unfortunately, is where we are headed.

Those who have tried to derail Obamacare and derail the ever-higher spiraling US debt load are not wrong.  They are right.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to Guarantee a Huge Future US Default

The media has been arguing that a default now would be catastrophic.  But defaulting now, when our debtload is smaller than it will be any date in the future is far, far better than waiting a dozen years and defaulting when our debtload is twice as high and tens of millions of Americans will be expecting social security and medicare payments that they will not receive.

The idea that averting a government shutdown and/or default now is a good thing is ridiculous.  This is the same dumb idea that carried the day with the Greek bailout four years ago.  Now Greece is in much, much worse shape and probably faces a political nightmare ahead as the neo-Nazi and communist parties strengthen and the center left and center right parties disappear.  A similar fate awaits the modern Republican and Democratic parties.  Neither party is willing to face the realities of the US government debt debacle.

Only the much-maligned tea party has it right.  If you don't face the situation now, it may not matter what you do in two or three years.  Who wins future elections may not even matter.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Who Cares What the Indians Think?

That seems to be the theme from the President and from one of his harshest critics, Charles Krauthammer.  Both of these esteemed experts on political correctness think the Washington Redskins should be renamed.  What about the Washington "Native Americans"  -- that has a good ring to it!

The evidence is overwhelming that what few Indians care one way or another about this issue, would prefer to leave the Redskin name alone, just as they prefer the Florida State Seminole name to some other politically correct mascot.

It's interesting that folks that aren't in the maligned demographic seem to think that their views matter more than the views of the maligned demographic.  This is what happens when government and media folks think they should run everything and dictate all matters of life in everyday America.

Republicans Fold Once More

History is repeating itself.  Republicans are surrendering on sequestration and gaining no ground on entitlements.  Those who worry about looming bankruptcy of the United States have no where to go.  Both Democrats and Republicans are joining hands to drive the country over the cliff.

Ironically, after the Gingrich shutdown during the Clinton years, Republicans gained seats in the House the following year.  The public actually backed them, even though polls at the time said what pollsters wanted the polls to say. 

If Republicans had stood their ground in the current Shutdown crisis, their chances for the White House in 2016 and for control of the Senate would have been greatly improved.  But, having surrendered one more time when there was no need to do so, will simply lead to further gains for Democrats.  It's difficult to see why anyone should vote for anyone who supports the Shutdown compromise between the Senate and the White House.

The tea party Republicans should stand their ground and try to get the House to reject the Senate compromise.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Obamacare Debut is Just The Beginning

As expected, the Obamacare rollout is a complete disaster.  No surprise here.  It involves significantly higher premiums, much higher deductibles and many more restrictions on where your health care dollars can go.

As time goes by, American health care will degenerate to third world status.  None of this should come as any surprise for folks that are used to the public schools and the post office.   Government is not the answer if you want something of quality that is affordable.  Only the free market can deliver that.

What the government does is provide a shoddy product at an extremely high price.  Obamacare is certainly in that tradition.  The real losers will be the very people that are supposed to be the winners -- the poor, the middle class, minorities....The rich need have no fear.  That's why they broadly support big government.  It doesn't hurt them.

Because Obamacare touches virtually every American, some good may come of this.  Americans may learn what Russians and Chinese already know -- government cannot efficiently provide services.  Perhaps, then, the average American will wake up to the unfolding disaster of the growing government control of every facet of American life.

The incentives in the private sector are missing in government.  Instead bureaucrats with little or no incentive to provide a quality product make all of the decisions.  The result is corruption and inefficiency.  We need look no further than to the modern day IRS to see what happens when government is in charge.  They pick their friends and go after their enemies.

Absent any direction from Congress, the Justice Department, the SEC, the EPA, the Education Department make their own laws.

More and more, America is a lawless land with a growing bureacracy in charge.  Obamacare is a poster child for this trend.  There are no rules for the ruler, only for the ruled.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

An Agreement is Not Good News

As the US continues down the path to almost certain bankruptcy, the stock market had its best one-day rally in a long time -- up over 300 points in the Dow, a whopping 2.2 percent increase in a single session.

What was the news?  Was it something that could avert the bankruptcy that lies ahead in little more than a decade?  Nope.  The news is that the Dems and Reps are likely to come to an agreement that guarantees more spending and more debt.  Is that really good news?

That the government won't default now -- as a matter of choice -- is scant consolation for the fact that agreements like the one in the works are virtually a guarantee of a default within a generation.  No Congressional vote can stave off the default that awaits us in a dozen years or so.

Is Greece (or Spain or Italy) better off today because the EU and the IMF provided the funding for them to expand their debt and continue spending money they don't have?

Boehner put it best: "This is not some game."  Right he is.   Either the growing debt crisis is faced or it is ignored.  An agreement simply ignores the problem.  Sadly, Boehner may not have the stomach to stand up for fiscal sanity. 

It is worth remembering that the stock market reached an all time high just a mere ten months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers which triggered the financial collapse of 2008.  The stock market has a poor record of anticipating disaster.  The 1929 collapse followed the peak levels of 1929, peaks reached just as the underlying economy was sliding into oblivion.

If history is any guide, the stock market's surge this year may be a prelude to disaster.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Shutdown Now; Shutdown Later

Today, all it takes to end the government shutdown in the US is a vote by Congress.  Within 15 years, it won't be so easy.

In 15 years, a vote by Congress will be largely irrelevant.  There won't be enough money to pay our bills, no matter what Congress does.

It will be at that point, that the government will inform the oldest Americans that the safety net that was promised is no longer there.  Having convinced these folks when they were younger they did not need to save and provide for their old age, the government will announce (surprise, surprise) that old folks should fend for themselves.

The politicians, who are creating this coming nightmare, will be comfortably relaxing in their wealth and old age and will blame all of this on "rich people" and "greedy Wall Streeters."

But the reality is that no level of government is setting aside the requisite resources to fund the future obligations embedded in social security, medicare, medicaid and public pension plans all over the US.  It is easy to promise things to folks in the future and to hope that unborn children will be happy to pay for all of this.  But, at the end of the day, the numbers don't add up.

One virtue of the current shutdown is that it focuses attention on the real problem -- a shutdown in 15 years that no amount of negotiating can avoid.  This doesn't worry the President and his allies because disaster is not going to occur on their watch and they are good at shifting blame.  But, for the country, the current shutdown is nothing compared to what is on the unavoidable horizon.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

John Harwood Fesses Up

John Harwood, supposedly a reporter by trade, held an exclusive interview with President Obama yesterday.  Harwood works for CNBC.  Today on CNBC he provided his listeners with a typical example of his (and NBC's objectivity) in reporting the news.  He argued that Republicans were 'psychopaths' and that President Obama was perfectly reasonable and was 'asking for nothing.'

It's good to see that Harwood is willing to openly admit that he has no objectivity in reporting the news from the White House.  It is something we have always suspected.

Even Becky and Joe recoiled from Harwood's summary of the issues and pointed out to Harwood that he was lacking in objectivity. 

No one should rely on this kind of news reporting, if the truth is what they are seeking.  John Harwood is little more than a spokesman for the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This Aint Nothing

"This Aint Nothing" goes the great country and western song of a few years back.  I was thinking about that song as the deadline passed for Congress to reach a budget deal.  What happens 15 years from now?  No vote can save us then.  Medicare will be out of money and social security will be bleeding as well.  Then what?  That's the real budget crisis.

In a country choking on unaffordable entitlements, the Obama Adminstration has crammed down one more unfunded entitlement on a wary public.  This simply makes the clock tick faster toward America's impending insolvency.

The US is on track to go broke.  Whatever happens now is irrelevant unless it tackles the entitlements.  Putting this off, even for a year or two, makes it almost impossible to fix and guarantees the country's eventual insolvency.

So, why not fight now?  Shut down the government.  That's better than business as usual, which simply guarantees an eventual shutdown that no Congressional vote can then alter.

If the Republicans cave, then they deserve to be defeated in 2014.