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.

A Little Chart About Spending and Taxes and Budgets. by The Elephant's Child

Tax Hike In Perspective

Barack Obama has no intention of giving up on spending. He wants to hike taxes more. As long as he is spending, and handing out benefits to the people, they will not desert him. His view of the presidency is a constant campaign. He has never stopped campaigning and started governing.

“He will lay out tax-hike demands, give no quarter on spending, not waver and, as the deadline approaches, use his bully pulpit and the media to cow the GOP into the sort of wrangling that led to this week’s defeat.” That’s Kim Strassel in today’s Wall Street Journal.

The tweet posted below demonstrates such a mindless ignorance of the world, humanity and history, that it is hard to grasp. Once we have defaulted on our debts and no one has jobs, who will feed him?

All these boring numbers, complicated graphs, confusing talk about debt and spending and defaulting and unemployment rates — that are just too unpleasant to think about —  all have consequences.

The Democrats are unconcerned with the level of spending. They are unconcerned with the level of debt. The United States Senate has, in defiance of the law, refused to pass a budget for over 1,000 days. Why?

The president is not just unconcerned with the level of spending, he has made it quite clear that he has no intention whatsoever of cutting back. He has been warned about the debt. He has been warned about  the risk of default. He has been warned by the first decline in our national credit rating in history and notified by the credit rating agencies that we must pay attention or there will be further decline. These are not just printed words on paper, they bear real consequences.

We were warned early on, that Obama did not have the experience or the necessary skill-set for the office to which he aspired. That has proven to be true. The recession, which was not the worst since the Great Depression, ended, officially, in June of 2009. There should have been a brisk recovery. Instead we got the worst recovery since the Great Depression, as a direct result of this president’s policies.

The U.S. in in the midst of an energy revolution. We have abundant oil and gas that would fuel an economic boom, in despite of the efforts of the president to shut down as much discovery and production as possible.  The technology that is changing the world is mostly American. “The nation’s farms export more produce than ever before at record prices. Americans eat the safest and cheapest food on the planet.”

The president talks openly of income redistribution and the inequality between the rich and the poor, as if it is his job to eliminate inequality. Yet after four years in office we have an all-time record 46.2 million people in America living in poverty. We have an all-time record of the highest  youth unemployment in history rising to 17.5% unemployed. 47,710,324 individuals are receiving food stamps. And the number of Americans no longer in the labor force has risen to 88,921,000.

However his campaign donors have been abundantly rewarded with millions.

Apparently no one has noticed that the warm, caring speeches and remarks by the president all have expiration dates — all too quickly reached.

Obama Said He Didn’t Get Beyond 7th Grade Math. by The Elephant's Child

A report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently revealed that the United States now spends more on means-tested welfare than any other item in the federal budget — including Social Security, Medicare or national defense. Including state contributions to the roughly 80 federal poverty programs, the total amount spent in 2011 was approximately $1 trillion.  Federal spending on such programs was up 32 percent since 2008.

If you believe that giving a good chunk of your income to the government because they will use it to do good and help the poor is a good thing, you might need to rethink that.

Last year the government spent over $60,000 to support welfare programs for each household that is in poverty. The calculations come from the Census, the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Research Service. That dollar figure is almost three times the amount the average household in poverty lives on each year.

So, if I am doing the math correctly, and $60,000 divided by 3 is $20,000, then it costs the government $40,000 to distribute $20,000 to the poor to keep them poor. So they could just mail a check for $50,000, which is approximately the median national household income, to each poor family, and thus eliminate poverty completely.

Then they would still have $10,000 per household left over to pay for stamps, envelopes and the checks, which would leave a fair amount left over to return to the taxpayers, or have a big blowout convention in Las Vegas.

That’s a fair demonstration of why Republicans oppose big government.

Can We Cut Government Waste and Overspending? by The Elephant's Child
October 21, 2012, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Progressivism, Statism | Tags: , ,

The Obama campaign has tried valiantly tried to arouse the nation’s young mothers of toddlers and small children to fury with accusations that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to kill off Big Bird. Well, no they don’t. They want to deprive PBS of the small amount of government funding that was granted back when there were three TV channels and one Public Broadcasting Station, and it was thought that Public broadcasting needed protection from the rapacious advertising industry.

PBS is flush with cash, well-funded, and hasn’t needed government funding for years, nor has Sesame Street. Licensing uses of Sesame Street characters is a huge and profitable business.

President Obama asserted on national T.V. at Hofstra University that women “rely on ” Planned Parenthood for mammograms, a nice defense of Planned Parenthood, but unfortunately Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms anywhere.  Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, but its supporters refuse to admit that they don’t supply mammograms.

So a pro-life group called Live Action organized a “Call Planned Parenthood to Schedule Your Imaginary Mammogram Day.” Over 2,000 people claimed they were participating on the organization’s Facebook page.

Well, my goodness. So all that “women’s health care” is just about abortion and contraceptives? But they don’t need the government support either. It just goes to show you how very difficult it is to get liberals to agree to cutting any government expenditures.

Fifty federally funded job training programs are officially certified to fail to work, and impossible to get rid of. Same kind of thing exists in most departments. Inspectors General expose these things, and the results get filed, or so it seems. It may be a case of eternal life, or will we come up with the necessary real determination to cut back the size and reach of government?

How come it’s always Progressives who cling desperately to the way things have always been done, and reject any change for a more prosperous future?

Just Stop! No More Spending, None! Please, Just Stop. by The Elephant's Child
August 28, 2009, 3:55 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy | Tags: , ,

Americans are angry.  They don’t like the uncontrolled, useless spending coming out of Washington.  Stimulus funds going to residents of federal prisons, to rebuild bridges that have no traffic, to build bicycle paths and fund pornographic theater, are not designed to make people feel better when unemployment is growing towards 10 percent.

That’s the national average.  In many places it is far higher, and the job outlook is dismal.  That is dismal, except in Washington D.C., where employment has never been better.

Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, caused a bit of a stir earlier this week when he relayed the latest wage data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The new data show that average federal compensation is now ore than double the average in the private sector.

In 2008, the average wage for 1.9 million federal civilian workers was $79,197, which compared to an average $49,935 for the nation’s 108 million private sector workers.  The federal advantage is even more pronounced when worker benefits are included.  In 2008, federal worker compensation averaged a remarkable $119,982, which was more than double the private sector average of $59,909.


For those who wanted to argue elites and essential and highly educated, he responded with further clarification. If you are one of the folks who are struggling along on a pay-cut and just grateful that you still have a job, I’m  sure that it is comforting to know that the federal workers are an elite workforce with highly educated people.  That’s why they’re making such a mess of the spending.

What was it that W.F. Buckley used to say about how he’d rather have the first 500 names in the phone book than the faculty of Harvard…?

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