American Elephants


ObamaCare and the Debt Ceiling Are Not Separate Issues. by The Elephant's Child

“Obama has taken a no-negotiations stance on the debt ceiling debate, sending the true signal to the market that he is willing to default on debt if Republicans do not fund the government in accordance with his wishes,” according to John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress. Obama lost last time on the sequester, and he has been fuming ever since. He is deeply offended by any limitation on his ability to spend.

We are $17 trillion dollars in debt, and Obama wants to take out another credit card so he can pay the current debt and charge some more.

We have had lots of clues, but not paid much attention. Obama announced that he wanted 100 million electric cars on the road by 2015, and everybody shrugged. General Motors told him that the Volt was an experimental car, not ready for prime time, but Obama insisted that they produce them. Daniel Greenfield has reported that General Motors is losing $59,000 on every Chevy Volt. The Obama administration knew back in 2010 that Fisker Automotive was in trouble, but continued to allow them to draw on the half-billion dollar loan, even as Fisker failed to meet key milestones including the launch of the company’s signature $100,000 Karma hybrid had been achieved. A fairly obvious question would be why is our government supporting the production of a $100,000 car? But nobody asked the question.

Obama products from electric cars to charging station manufacturers, battery makers, solar-cell makers, have flooded the bankruptcy courts with business. Wind farms and solar arrays have been promoted and funded and failed to produce anything but vastly more expensive energy. Evidence has been available for several years that government investments in alternative energy were disastrous to those government’s economies, but we seem unaware of that which is proven not to work elsewhere, and insist on doing it ourselves because it will somehow be different because Obama is doing it.

The current administration believes in a command-and-control economy. They believe that a wise government filled with smart people can make better decisions than the free market, which they do not trust, in most cases because they have never been exposed to real profit and loss statements, or the need to please customers. They do not regard this as in any way necessary. Perhaps it isn’t, but it results in a massive healthcare system in which you must enroll by computer.

So when they set about making a massive internet technology website to be used by some percentage of 300 million people, they just signed up with an outfit that had done some work for the Canadian system. No competing bids, No verifying that their claims of expertise were true. Just O.K. The budget is $94 million. When cost overruns and glitches and who knows what had run the bill up to $634 million, nobody said stop! After three years and all sorts of waivers issued, mandates delayed because nothing was ready on time, they rolled it out on the due date, but they didn’t bother to do a test run to verify that it worked, and — it didn’t work.

Am I mixing up two separate issues, the debt ceiling and the ObamaCare rollout? We are facing a $17 trillion debt, and Obama wants another credit card. We simply do not know how much he is going to put on the Affordable Care Act credit card. Since nothing works after a $634 million investment, is it going to take another $634 million to fix it? Despite assurances by Ms. Sibelius, what’s wrong is not just a glitch that can be fixed over a couple of weekends. it’s buried in faulty code and basic design. John McAfee, CEO of the computer security company, predicts that hackers will empty ObamaCare enrollees’ bank accounts. There are no safeguards to protect Americans from scams. Even those enrolling are told that there is no privacy. Your name, address, Social Security number and other intimate information is open to all. Connections to the IRS to verify income and health-insurance status aren’t working, so they are going to operate on an “honor system” basis.  That bodes well for the credit card.

Horror stories about the increase in individuals’ cost for health insurance abound. People are faced with increases in their cost that they cannot afford. HHS just awarded a $380 million contract at the end of September to manage appeals from consumers fighting for benefits that the insurance plans have denied. In September the Minnesota state health-insurance exchange inadvertently disclosed several thousand Social Security numbers before the exchange even opened.

As for medical care, the current ObamaCare software doesn’t even try to let consumers match the health plans on the exchanges with their particular medical needs, or with their providers, at the point of enrollment.



Another of Obama’s Bigger Mistakes by The Elephant's Child

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The Vet’s ‘March on Washington’ should have opened some eyes as to the political error of trying to close down open air monuments. It didn’t. The barriers have been collected from in front of the White House and put right back up, with even tougher wire to fasten them together. Big black eye for the Park Service, but I suppose when your paycheck comes from the government, you must do its bidding.

The management of the Park Service, however, is not particularly friendly to “the people.” People drop stuff, deliberately or casually — candy bar wrappers, pop cans, gum and gum wrappers — and somebody has to pick it up. That probably sours you on the public to a certain extent, although that’s part of the job description.

It’s the bidding of the government and the National Park Service that is the problem. The Obama administration mistakes their authority. They believe that the taxes they collect are not taxpayer money which must be spent carefully and responsibly, but “government money” which they can spend any old way they can get away with. So they have assumed that “federal lands” are government-owned lands with which they can do anything they want. My contention is that the federal lands are owned by the people of the United States, and the federal government and the National Park Service are trustees who are tasked with maintaining and caring for the public lands for the benefit of the people. And don’t get to put up traffic cones to prevent the people from looking at national monuments, nor barriers to keep 90-year-old World War II veterans from visiting their monument — which was largely paid for with private donations anyway.




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