Tag Archives: The One

Is Obama Keynesian?

This is awesome.  There are a lot of angry ignorant people.

More examples of Change ™

President Obama says that assassination program is a state secret.

But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”:  in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.

So The One who said the government running health care won’t lead to the government deciding who will live or die says the government (President) has the power to kill anyone he wants as long as he calls that person a terrorist.  Good thing we got rid of all the failed policies, huh?.

Hat tip:  The Agitator

Buyers Remorse

On Monday, The One held a ‘Town Hall’ meeting.  In an interesting twist, a number of people got in who aren’t exactly happy with him.

Mr. Obama was confronted by people who said, in short, that they had expected more from him. People from Main Street wanted to know if the American dream still lived for them. People from Wall Street complained that he was treating them like a piñata, “whacking us with the stick,” in the words of a former law school classmate of Mr. Obama’s who now runs a hedge fund.

“I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for,” said the first questioner, an African-American woman who identified herself as a chief financial officer, a mother and a military veteran. “I’ve been told that I voted for a man who was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class, and I’m waiting, sir, I’m waiting. I still don’t feel it yet.”

While that’s interesting, those of us with IQs above room temperature knew it would happen, given He is still a politician first and there was never any substance behind the campaigning.  What I think is more telling of the people who support The One is this quote from a recent law school grad.

A 30-year-old law school graduate, Ted Brassfield, told Mr. Obama he had hoped to pursue a career in public service — like the president — but could barely pay the interest on his student loans, let alone think of getting married or starting a family.

“I was really inspired by you and your campaign and the message you brought, and that inspiration is dying away,” Mr. Brassfield said, adding, “What I really want to know is: Is the American dream dead for me?”

What makes this typical?  The message Obama brought was not one of self-reliance, it was one of dependence on government.  It was a message that said (with an appropriate reverb) “I will take care of you”.  Now that hasn’t happened and this fellow thinks the American dream is dead.

The American dream isn’t using force to get other people to pay your student loans or your healthcare bills.  It is that you have the freedom to make and follow your own path, to whatever prosperity lies at the end.  At least, until recently.

Face it.  He’s a politician.  He made a bunch of promises he never had a chance to keep and never intended to keep.  He and the Congress have stopped any recovery by passing laws that create remarkable uncertainty for business owners and investors, because they think the right role of government is the owner/distributor of all property and labor.

And I think there will be some Change in November.

Not Solving the Problem

Please don’t take this the wrong way, as I’m all for reducing the tax burden on small businesses.  But The One is not of a great economic mind, even though everyone seems to think He is all knowing.

The problem most small businesses face is not one of a lack of cash.  The problem also isn’t that a credit crunch is keeping small businesses from growing, as they certainly are able to finance growth through borrowing.  Alas, small businesses, as well as lots of big businesses, are holding (hoarding) cash.

The reason companies are hoarding cash and not growing, which is very odd, has to do with all the other stuff the Administration and this Congress have done.  Companies are not going to grow, and they are not going to hire people, when they have no idea what the costs of those investments (or the tax rate on the returns of those investments) will be.

No one knows what the health care mess is going to cost (other than knowing the answer is ‘more’.)  No one knows what Cap and Trade might do to tax rates.  No one knows if they will start taking the private property of businesses or individuals in addition to taking income.

Put that on top of the uncertainty on the demand side of the equation, where individuals are also hoarding cash instead of buying stuff (in the case of the wealthy, for the same reasons as businesses), and you get a nice little cycle of worry that slows (stops) recovery.

It all traces back to the madness we’ve seen these last 18 months.  And while tax breaks to businesses certainly won’t hurt, I don’t think they will help in this case.  (Which will be fodder for the 2012 elections, as the Left will point to the failure of tax breaks to fix the economy as a reason to raise taxes).

The only way we see things get started again is a sweep in November to remove power from the Democratic party, and the overturn of the health care bill in the courts.  When that happens, tax breaks on investment will be welcome and effective.

Two (2) Things

Thing One:  How do we know it’s ‘wrongly’?

Thing two:  Who cares?  Does it matter?  Don’t we have anything better to worry about?

This made me laugh out loud

The President wants Charlie Rangel to end his career with “dignity”.

President Barack Obama hopes embattled New York congressman Charlie Rangel can end his career with dignity.

“I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well. But these allegations are very troubling,” Obama said on Friday in an interview with CBS News’ Harry Smith.

“He’s somebody who’s at the end of his career. Eighty years old. I’m sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity. And my hope is that it happens.” Obama added.

Mr. President, “dignity” does not mean what you think it means.  Charlie Rangel has never had any dignity, and has made a career in “service” by using the force of the federal government to further his own gain.  At best, he is a clown, something I have never called dignified.

Amateur Hour Continues

In making the case for citizens subjects of the US to fork over more money in unemployment benefits, President Obama decided to bring out an actual real live unemployed person (no touching, please) for a little dog and pony show.

One teensy little problem.  She’s unemployed because she was convicted of prescription drug fraud.

CBS19’s Jessica Jaglois has learned that Macko was found guilty of prescription drug fraud in March 2009, one month before Macko lost her job at ACAC. She served a one year probationary sentence.

Macko joined two other unemployed people and President Obama at the podium for a speech designed to encourage lawmakers to extend jobless benefits.

Now I may be jumping the gun, as the reporter was unable to confirm from the employer that she was indeed fired because of the conviction.

ACAC owner Phil Wendel was unable to tell CBS19 if Macko was terminated because of the conviction. There’s also no indication from the court file that Macko lost her job because of the court case, or that she has received unemployment benefits improperly.

CBS19 contacted Leslie Macko about the conviction, and she declined to comment until she speaks with her attorney. We have also reached out to the White House to see if they know the full story behind the woman they chose to stand next to President Obama, but have not received comment from them either.

But I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t need to check with a lawyer if she weren’t.  Maybe I’m wrong.  It still doesn’t excuse the remarkable lack of attention to detail of this Administration; it remains amateur hour.

While there may well be people who are out of work and need help to get by, it remains true that extending or increasing unemployment benefits artificially increases the unemployment rate by raising the reserve wage (the amount of money someone will accept to go to work rather than sit home).  The solution is not using force to take my money and give it to people Congress think need it; the solution is for good people to freely help their neighbors.  Believe it or not, even mean old heartless libertarians help their neighbors.  Further, unemployment is a state and local issue, providing unemployment benefits doesn’t fall within the powers granted Congress in the Constitution.  Like that matters.

Harder than it looks

The One is going to learn being President and running for re-election is much more difficult when you have an actual record.

The Cato Institute puts together a nice summary of all His positions on ObamaCare

First, The One said there will be no individual mandate.

Then, The One signed a law with an individual mandate.

Then, The One said an individual mandate is not a tax.

Then, when faced with a Constitutional challenge to a law very few people want (or understand), The One’s administration says the individual mandate is a tax, because that makes the law Constitutional.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so scary.

This simply can not be possible

In the US, with our substandard health care, long waits, and incredible expense, cancer death rates are dropping.  Oh, and that’s with better detection and people living longer, both things that should make this look worse, not better.

Of course, on the same day, the news was released that The One will appoint Dr. Donald Berwick to run Medicare.  As a recess appointment (something Candidate Obama wouldn’t have done) to avoid scrutiny of his record, which some might find a touch troubling.

Please don’t put your faith in market forces,” he said (italics in original).  “It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can. I find little evidence that market forces relying on consumers choosing among an array of products, with competitors fighting it out, leads to the healthcare system you want and need. In the US, competition is a major reason for our duplicative, supply driven, fragmented care system.”

Berwick argued that purposely provided an inadequate supply of health-care—as Britain’s health-care system does—is superior to allowing the market to provide an excess.

“In America, the best predictor of cost is supply; the more we make, the more we use—hospi­tal beds, consultancy services, procedures, diagnostic tests,” Dr. Berwick wrote.  “… Here, you choose a harder path. You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too lit­tle of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.”

Because everyone knows that mean old free market with its excessive healthcare availability can’t possibly be as good as one with planned shortages.

In case it didn’t catch your eye the first time, this is the mantra of state run, centrally planned healthcare:

You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too lit­tle of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.

Good luck with that.  I’m gonna buy it on my own.

Wow, here’s a shocker

The health care reform bill will raise costs.  I mean, who would have predicted that?

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15% of hospitals into the red and “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors.

The mixed verdict for Obama’s signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts.

In particular, the warnings about Medicare could become a major political liability for Democratic lawmakers in the midterm elections. Seniors are more likely to vote than younger people and polls show they are already deeply skeptical of the law.

Of course, we should wait, as this information has not been blessed by The One.

The report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary carried a disclaimer saying it does not represent the official position of the Obama administration. White House officials have repeatedly complained that such analyses have been too pessimistic and lowball the law’s potential to achieve savings.

That mean old math making people pessimistic.

In addition to flagging the cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and other providers as potentially unsustainable, it projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular program. Enrollment would plummet by about 50%, as the plans reduce extra benefits that they currently offer. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.

In another flashing yellow light, the report warned that a new voluntary long-term care insurance program created under the law faces “a very serious risk” of insolvency.

I guess we’ll just need another bill to fix this one.  I trust them, don’t you?

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