Obamacare: Where We Stand, March 31st Edition

Health Overhaul Uninsured

The March 31st deadline for enrolling in Obamacare has come and gone. How fast time flies.

It was only late last year that the March 31st hard deadline was created. Oh, you don’t recall? The March 31 deadline for signing up was created in the end of October. Initially, you needed to have active insurance by March 31st, not just successful ‘enrollment’.  Under the law, to successfully meet the rules of the individual mandate, you needed to enroll by March 1st, in order to have active insurance by the deadline of March 31st.  And furthermore, this new deadline had been held as the final date; until, of course, the Administration allowed another waiver for anyone ‘enrolled’ to complete the enrollment process well into the month of April.

In any case, this is now, technically, the day by which most have pointed to as the first real target date by which the government should be making solid progress in insuring the uninsured, and providing an adequate pool of payers into the insurance exchanges.

What we know, and maybe more importantly, what we don’t know, is critical to understanding the debate that will revolve around health care for the next few months.

So what do we know, for certain?

We know that around 7 million enrollments have gone through the exchanges by the end of March. That is admittedly a relative success in and of itself for the administration, which had such a disastrous start to the enrollment period. In my piece in the end of December, I did believe they would get the exchanges fixed, but I still thought they would be hard pressed to reach the 7 million mark.

The problem now becomes what the definition of enrollments are.  Enrollments are NOT people who have actually successfully been insured.  They ARE people who have successfully chosen an insurance policy on the exchange, and placed it in their ‘shopping cart’ on the website.

I am sure many can already see the problems with this.  First, the system has no way of telling if you are a repeat customer.  I for one have two accounts that have insurance policies in my cart, neither which I ever plan to purchase.  I was simply testing the exchange website.  Am I being counted?  I am unsure, but I do know I am receiving emails regularly to remind me to complete my purchase.

Second, until you complete the payment process, you are not insured.  HHS has clearly stated this on many occasions. Health experts such as Bob Laszweski have stated that in his discussions with insurers, he puts the ‘unpaid policy’ number at somewhere in the range of 15-20%.  My own personal discussions with insurers backs this up; and on March 30th, HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius stated the rate was around 10-20%.  So there is general agreement on this issue.

The rate of people insured really is the crux of the issue for the overall cause of health care reform.  The other metrics are far less important in the long run.  Several surveys, including the Gallup survey, have shown a short-term decreases in the rate of uninsured, but it is uncertain whether this is statistical noise or a true permanent trend. A new RAND corporation survey that was leaked to the LA Times has also shown a trend in decreasing the uninsured.

My own opinion is that the rate of uninsured must be dropping.  The real question is, by how much, and by what method?

Let us remember that initially, the CBO predicted that the vast majority of those purchasing health care insurance on the Obamacare exchanges would be uninsured persons, looking for access to the health insurance.  If this had been the case, then we should see a dramatic decrease in the number of uninsured.

However, it is difficult to believe this is the case. The same RAND study referred to above also shows that only about 1/3 of those on the exchanges were previously uninsured. Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic uses specific state numbers, like the enrollments in Kentucky and New York, to show that the number of uninsured is outpacing CBO predictions.  However, that doesn’t seem to be the case nationwide; I am willing to stipulate there are probably a few states that are doing well, but overall, it appears they will miss their target.   Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner points out the counter case, that is that it appears the exchanges are underperforming when it comes to insuring the previously uninsured.

Even using Cohn’s arguments, even he accepts it is highly unlikely that even a simple majority of those on the exchanges nationwide were uninsured previously.  Thus, the majority of those purchasing on the exchanges were persons who were buying insurance already, but simply were looking for government subsidies so they could get a better deal.

What does this mean in the grand scheme?  It means that the decrease in the rate of uninsured will be less than expected by many.  That doesn’t mean the rate will not decrease; Medicaid enrollments alone should decrease the rate of uninsured by a couple of millon, at least. It just means those actually purchasing insurance on the exchanges, by and large, were not the uninsured at all.

The next issue that will arise is how all of these factors affect premiums for the coming year.  I have talked about the demographics affecting the exchanges; primarily that young people have not signed up at a rate as great as expected initially.  The CBO and HHS had initially predicted that about 39% of those in the exchanges would be composed of those ages 18-35.  The average, across the nation, appears to currently be less than 30%, a number that Kathleen Sebelius now has basically accepted publicly.

This is important because, to subsidize those that are older or in poor health, the insurance pools require more healthy (and generally younger) payors into the system. Without those payors, the general cost of premiums will increase.  Liberals argue that age is a poor metric to calculate whether people are healthy or not.  This is true.  However, do they really believe that the people rushing to buy health insurance are the healthy among us, and not the ill?  There is a selection bias obviously involved here, and it is far more likely that those with poor health are the first to arrive in line for health insurance under Obamacare.

Almost everyone now stipulates that insurance premiums will rise more than the baseline expectations for 2015.  In fact, overall costs are already increasingUSA Today reported that health costs are increasing at the fastest rate in a decade…and that is before these cost pressures arise to affect premiums.

The biggest question left this year regarding Obamacare really is, how much will premiums increase?  If they increase at the same rate as the past 5 years (less than 4% a year on average) that will be a major success for the administration.  However, if they increase at a rate above 6% a year (and there are rumors the rates could increase by double digits), that could be catastrophic for the popularity of the program.

These are the core issues, though many other issues do remain.  Will people continue to be resentful to President Obama and Democrats for lying to them about being able to keep their insurance plans, and being able to keep seeing their same doctor?  Will the changes in their insurance policies make them more or less content?  Will increases in deductibles raise the ire of many Americans, who may or may not have understood those costs when they purchased their health policies?  These and many more questions remain, all of which ultimately will be more significant than the enrollment numbers of March 31st, 2014.

The only advice I can give is, be patient; only time will tell.

 

This was cross posted at Neoavatara

The Band-Aid Presidency

bandaid

 

Last night, in the most classic way imaginable, the Obama administration dumped a 800 lb lump of coal into the stockings of liberal America on the eve of the Christmas holiday.

The Administration announced that any person who had their health insurance cancelled late this year are no longer obligated to legally abide by the individual mandate, the central taxation component of the Affordable Care Act.  Additionally, these same people could satisfy the mandate requirement by purchasing catastrophic insurance alone, which previously was not considered sufficient to satisfy the mandate requirements.

The argument that the administration is making is ironic in so many ways.  They argue that the individual mandate, arguably the most important cog to the workings of Obamacare, is a ‘hardship’ to millions of Americans.  Furthermore, they are arguing that because of this hardship, they will simply delay that part of the law.

Think about the legality for a second:  President Obama is issuing a hardship exemption for something the Supreme Court has defined…as a tax.

Can you imagine the fun a Republican President can have with that power?

Let us also remember that this invalidates virtually every Democrat and liberal argument against a deal to avert October’s congressional shutdown.  Let us not forget that Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee put a proposal on the table to avert the shutdown if the administration simply agreed to a 1 year delay to the individual mandate.  Yesterday, Barack Obama did just that…proving that much of his stance on the shutdown was political theater, nothing more.

In the larger picture, this type of policy change largely defines the entire Obama Presidency. The pattern is as follows:  Obama and liberals propose a policy that, any common sense would tell you, cannot function in the real world. They pass this policy, often distorting the facts to the American public to get their support.  Once passed, they all of a sudden realize the idiocies contained in their plan, and rush to distance themselves from the plan they were recently advocating.  Once the policy becomes active, they realize that reality is more powerful than ideology, and thus, look for any and all ways to get themselves out of the mess they created.   And they use every ‘Band-Aid’ measure possible to cover-up the mess they have created.

The Band-Aids are piling up, and it does not only refer to health care.  Look no further than foreign policy this.  Obama’s Syria ‘Red line’ policy is a perfect example.  Obama talked a good game, but then realize that there was no way to enforce his red-line in the real world.  He quickly ran away from that policy, only to end up with a policy that, ironically, strengthened the power of a man Obama said was ‘evil’, Bashar Assad.

If you want to go further back, the Obama stimulus often had many of these characteristics as well. They passed statutes for ‘shovel-ready’ projects, and later realized there was no such thing.  They then pumped out the money, regardless of effect, to lackluster consequences.

Think of the fallacy of this latest Band-Aid on Obamacare.  The administration is arguing that they have imposed a hardship on at least 5 million Americans who lost their health insurance because of Obamacare.  So, to help these people, they are going to exempt them from the individual mandate.  However, these same people argued during the shutdown that any delay of the individual mandate would be catastrophic to the functionality of the entire ACA system.

Furthermore, the hardship claim is dubious.  Is Obama actually saying that it is more a hardship for people to lose their insurance and have to purchase it on his own exchange, than the hardship of forcing the previously uninsured to dig deep in their pocketbooks to purchase that very same insurance on the exchanges?  He is saying the previously uninsured have no burden of hardship as well?

Another liberal fallacy also dies: the argument that these were ‘substandard’ insurance policies.  Obama has now stated it is o.k. for people to move to catastrophic insurance, when the majority of this cohort had comprehensive insurance prior to Obamacare coming into effect.  In other words, Obamacare diminished  the quality of health insurance plans in America, and Obama is not legitimizing that change.

Each of the policy changes are chinks in the armor of Obamacare; that armor is now thin and rusting. This is a virtual universal delay of the individual mandate for 2014, no matter how liberals spin it.  They will never politically be able to argue that those that lost their insurance because of Obamacare bear more hardship than the uninsured do, and thus, they will be forced to exempt all Americans.  Ted Cruz wins the policy debate.

Even worse, this fixes nothing long-term.  This is a classic Obama ‘Band-Aid’.  Sure, it theoretically stops millions of people from being required to pay approximately $95 in tax penalty this April. But the real issue is not the tax, but the health care exchange.  By exempting all of these people, the administration makes the entire insurance system much less financially stable.

Insurers who were already dubious of the administration’s competence on this are now outright furious at being lied to, time and again.  They fear this will further push the risk portfolios of their insurance plans to the extreme, and thus, will increase their costs. That further increases cost pressures on health insurance premiums across the board, increasing costs for everyone. The Obamacare upward bending of the cost curve continues.

The ‘Band-Aids’ are all for show.  Ultimately, the problem is that the law itself was inherently broken.  These temporary measures actually fix nothing in the system. They are a political attempt at cover.  But nobody can protect Democrats from the onslaught of public anger that is going to arise when they realize what the ACA does, when the Band-Aids finally come off.

Obamacare Rollout: What We Know, 1 Month Later

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So, as November 1st arrives, we were supposed to get a good feel if the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was going as planned, trajectory of insurance purchasers, relative cost comparions, etc.

We really have none of the above.

The website debacle has basically brought the entire process to a standstill.  People either were unable to purchase insurance, or were so turned off that they didn’t bother.

So what we don’t know, and the data lacking therein, far outnumbers the things that we demonstrably do know.

So, to get past the political spin, what data is there? What, if any, conclusions (partial or otherwise) can we make?  What do we know, for certain?

1.  The Website has issues; major issues. 

The website problem is not a simple fix.  Testimony this week on Capitol Hill clearly demonstrated that.  The officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as contractors paid to build the web platform, didn’t agree on much, but they did agree on that.

A repeated promise was made in hearings however:  that the website would be operational by November 30th.  That is a dubious promise.  If the problems that exist in the website are as reported, it is not simply fixing a few lines of code that will make everything all right. There are major isuses, not only with the code but the basic structure of the system, the transfer of data from the web platform to-and-from major databases, and communication with the insurers themselves.

It will take a Herculean effort to truly make the system operational by the end of November.

Furthermore, the tech surge that President Obama largely seems to be rhetoric, as the majority of those chosen to run the new effort are long term Beltway insiders.  If anything should give you pause, that should.

2.  Medicaid enrollees are far outnumbering purchasers of insurers. 

This may be the most worrisome part of what has happened over the last month, even more than the website issues.  Fundamentally, the entire premise of the ACA rests on the balance of having new people buy insurance on the markets, to partially ‘subsidize’ those millions being added to the Medicaid rolls.

As a Washington Post article today noted, on many of these exchanges, Medicaid enrolles are ounumbering purchasers 9:1. That is a death knell for the system if it continues.  As the CBO reported from the beginning, we need closer to a 1:1 ratio (the CBO says the ratio of Medicaid enrollees:insurance purchasers should be approximately 9.1:7.9, to be precise) to maintain fiscal sustainability.

However, we simply don’t know if this is a short term blip or a long term trend.  This could all be a result of the poor website functionality, which then had a ripple effect in the marketplace.  Or it could honestly be that purchasers don’t like what they see, and may choose option B, the Obamacare tax penalty…which would be fiscally disastrous for the system.  That would be the leading edge toward the ‘death spiral’ that the Administration and insurance industry fears so much.

3.  The Administration has come catch up to do to make their enrollment targets for 2014. 

To maintain the system, they need a minimal number of paying customers in the Exchanges, as described above.  The number the CBO has stated is approximately 7 million by the target date (which, after the White House pushed it back, is now the end of March).

They had expected to sign up about 500,000 people by the end of October.  That number will be missed by a large margin.  Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius refused to release the numbers, but most estimates state that the number of policies actually sold will be far less than 100,000

That number is not going to significantly improve in the month of November, because the website is still largely nonfuctional. Then comes the busy month of December, with the intrusion of the holidays.

My guess (and it is only a guess) is that they may not meet their goal for October 31 of 500k purchasers even as of January 1, 2014.

If that holds true, or even if they do better than expected and get up to 1 million person mark, that means that they will have to sign up 6 million persons in three months time.  That is a huge hill to climb.

4.  Liberals blaming Republicans for this mess don’t really have many facts backing up the claim.

Liberals to this day are blaming the ‘intransigence of Republicans’ for the failures in the system.  However, this has been simply disproven:  go to a number of states that have Democrat Governors and legislatures, that have been implementing Obamacare from the beginning, and see if they are doing better.

For the most part, they are not.  Take Oregon, who as of earlier this week, had not had any purchasers of insurance through their exchanges, though they have had tens of thousands of enrollees in Medicaid.  California, New York and others are not much better.

This is largely not a political problem at this point, but a problem of managerial competence or lack thereof.

5.  We have anecdotal evidence of people paying more for insurance after losing their insurance.

This is ONLY anecdotal evidence at this point; and that makes it very hard to really analyze.

Definitely millions of people are losing their current insurance because of the ACA and associated retgulations that are term limiting those insurance plans.  Democrats can blame the insurers, but that is a lie:  the full responsibilty of that process lies with the ACA.  The vast majority of these plans would still exist today if not for the ACA; it is as simple as that.

As for increased health care premiums, we won’t know for a long time if that is a systemic problem, or an isolated one.  Democrats claim those cases are the exception, Republicans claim they are the rule.  The truth is neither side has enough data to make such absolute claims.  And that data will take a long time in coming.  It may take months, but more likely years to know if the ACA is bending the cost curve up, down, or has no effect.  I have my suspicions, but there are only that:  suspicions.

6.  Conservatives should not rejoice; the plan can still be saved.

I know, this is a shocking statement coming from me, considering I have been so pessimistic about the system as a whole.  But the truth is, if there were competent managers in charge of this, this rollout could have gone much better.

The website debacle has a snowball effect, to be sure. We don’t know how many people, but certainly hundreds of thousands of people if not more would have gone on to the exchanges and, most likely with the help of subsidies, purchased insurance if they were allowed to.

Incompetence prevented that.

Where the rubber meets the road is getting people who will not receive a significant subsidy to purchase on the exchanges.  Now, this is really the hard part for Democrats.  So far, from what little I have seen, the insurance plans on the exchanges are more expensive and provide less financial coverage than many plans that were available prior to the ACA.

Democrats will counter that these plans provide ‘more’ coverage.  There is some truth to that, but much of that coverage is not really beneficial to the majority of consumers.  Furthermore, remember that the primary demographic that they must convince to open their pocketbooks and purchase insurance, instead of paying the penalty, is the young, healthy American.  How many of these people are thinking about ‘better’ coverage when they don’t use the coverage they have today?  Are they going to be willing to pay $100-$200 more a month for something they don’t use?

We simply don’t know the answer to that.

Overall, it has clearly been a rough month for supporters of Obamacare, as nothing seemingly has gone right in their rollout.  Can the system be saved? Yes, but it will take not only a Herculean task on the IT side, but a lot of selling by President Obama and the White House, along with a lot of luck, to convince people to do what is not in their short term interest (i.e. purchasing more expensive health insurance) while promising dubious long term benefits.

On the Government Shutdown vs the Supreme Court

So in the fury of the Government Shutdown, the left has become apoplectic about the “Affordable Care Act”.  You’ll more likely recognize it as “Obamacare”. They consider it to be Constitutionally tested by the Supreme Court, therefore it’s the “law of the land”.

This logic is fundamentally unsound, let’s debunk it.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii

1) The Constitution does not grant “kingly” powers to the Supreme Court.  Their job is to rule on the law brought before them, and to clear up controversies between states.

2) Nowhere in article III of the Constitution or in the Federalist papers, Thomas Jefferson’s letters, etc do you see that the Supreme Court was supposed to be the “final say”.  Jefferson in fact believed their power should be limited even further, than the Constitution did already.

3) We know for a fact the left doesn’t actually believe their own words. Let’s go through their history of fighting against the Constitution itself :

3.A) The Progressive Income tax was tried several times before the amendment was brought up and each time it was found unconstitutional.  Did that stop the Progressives from trying to trash the Constitution and implement their marxist utopian tax?  NOPE.  They kept fighting and eventually (and illegally) amended the Constitution to add the Progressive Income tax.

3.B) The recent rulings declaring corporations have free speech and that every citizen has a right to defend themselves with a firearm.  Has the left stopped fighting against Corporate speech?  Have they stopped fighting for gun control?  HELL NO.  They never give up on those things, even though, in their own words, “The Supreme Court is the law of the land.”

4) The Supreme Court only ruled on one part of the law, the individual mandate.  But as this site states;

Feel free to examine the entire text of Article III to assure yourself that no power of Judicial Review is granted by the Constitution.

“Well,” you might say, “someone has to review laws for constitutionality. Why not the Supreme Court?” Some possible answers:

  • First and foremost, it is not a power granted to the Supreme Court by the Constitution. When the Supreme Court exercises Judicial Review, it is acting unconstitutionally.
  • It is a huge conflict of interest. The Federal Government is judging the constitutionality of its own laws. It is a classic case of “the fox guarding the hen house.”
  • The Constitution’s “checks and balances” were designed to prevent any one branch of government (legislative, executive or judicial) from becoming too powerful and running roughshod over the other branches. There is no such system of checks and balances to protect the states and the people when multiple branches of government, acting in concert, erode and destroy the rights and powers of the states and the people.
  • Even if the Supreme Court could be counted on to keep the Executive and Legislative branches from violating the Constitution, who is watching the Supreme Court and will prevent the Judicial branch from acting unconstitutionally? Unless you believe that the Supreme Court is infallible (and, demonstrably, it is not), then allowing the Supreme Court to be the sole arbiter of Constitutionality issues is obviously flawed.
  • Justices are appointed, not elected and may only be removed for bad behavior (which has happened in the distant past but these days, appointment to the Supreme Court is like a lifetime appointment). If the court upholds unconstitutional laws, there is no recourse available. We the People cannot simply vote them out to correct the situation. Thomas Jefferson wrote, in 1823:”At the establishment of our constitution, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the individual mandate was ruled constitutional by the Government.  They are exercising an authority that doesn’t belong to them.  It certainly was never meant to be the *final* verdict on constitutionality.  As http://constitutionality.us/SupremeCourt.html – so poignantly points out;

“It is the Constitution, not the Supreme Court, which is the Supreme Law of the Land. Even the Supreme Court should be accountable for overstepping Constitutional limits on federal power.

Conclusion:

Obamacare is bad and unconstitutional law, just like the Alcohol Prohibition, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, and Slavery, which was also upheld in the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is not the final say in our Country, we are not a country ruled by Justices.  The Constitution is the final say, and it’s up to EACH body and Representative to uphold and fight for that document.  The Government Shutdown MUST continue until we defund/delay the implementation of this HORRIBLE law, that none of the proponents bothered to read before voting YES.

ObamaCare-Totally-Safe

Obamacare is killing jobs, Obamacare is killing privacy, Obamacare will kill people.

The goal of Obamacare, is not to increase Health Care access.

It’s goal is to decrease the amount of money we’re spending on Health Care.  That’s all the left talks about.  How much more we spend on Healthcare than countries with “wonderful” universal Healthcare.

I hate to burst their bubble, but life is not all sunshine and lollipops with Universal Healthcare.  ObamaCare AKA the Affordable Care Act, is a step towards Universal Healthcare and will destroy the wonderful Health Care this nation enjoys.

It is completely appropriate to compare it to Slavery, as the Government will judge your worth, and determine if you are worthy of being helped.  You belong to the state. 

That is why Republicans need to keep the Government Shutdown! We CANNOT stop fighting hard enough against this bill, it is bondage.

Shackled to ObamaCare

Post Election Thoughts – Reactions One Week Later

I wrote this on Wednesday, 07NOV12, the morning after waking to find out President Obama was going to have another four years in office. BOLD TEXT indicates my reflecting on my feelings nearly two weeks ago:

Here’s what I’m seeing from what happened last night:

1. The American people have spoken. Although I do not believe Conservatism is a minority mentality in America, what is exposed through the evidence from yesterday’s election is that Conservatives are not well represented, and thus will not be able to well represent Americans in its political endeavors  This needs to change if America is going to become a powerful leader on the world stage again, instead of a complicit follower.

2. Americans, as a whole, do not understand the damage that has been done to our ability to sustain ourselves as a Nation. We’ve forgotten what self reliance means, and have traded hard work and dignity in for revenge politics a la Valarie Jarrett, David Axelrod and President Obama. America, to our dismay, has shown that the sensationalism of the dirty political game is what makes them happy.

We continue to see this represented in what happened last week with the Hostess bankruptcy proceedings. Even in the midst of corporate failure the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union’s public euthanization of Hostess (their leadership knew that Hostess wouldn’t be able to meet their demands, and held firm anyway, regardless of the need to work for their employees) represents a failure of the Left to realize that corporations do not exist to provide work, benefits and pensions for employees. The private sector is about the creation of wealth, not the creation of jobs. One begets the other, but without the former the latter simply cannot exist. The BCTGM, in what they called “good faith” for their workers, intentionally destroyed a cornerstone of American culture for the last 82 years. Their disregard for the livelihoods of the families of the 18.5k employees that are now out of work due to their actions is appalling, and should shown as such by our media. Instead, Hostess is being vilified by the media and by those in Leftist circles. The news doesn’t indicate the truth of the matter. Instead this is being portrayed as a story of revenge made good. Hostess failed to properly care for its working class employees, instead giving lavish bonuses to its executives while the company was in the throws of bankruptcy. How else can anyone see this but as a story of the bourgeoisie getting over on the proletariat? Hostess was faced with unfunded liabilities that were going to crush it regardless of an agreement with the BCTGM. When the company reached an agreement with the Teamsters Union last week it was hopeful that the BCTGM would see there was a way to save the jobs of the employees if they  would simply allow for Hostess to work through bankruptcy in a way that would make the company profitable again. The BCTGM didn’t blink, calling bluff where none existed, and now 18,500 people are out of work, along with the entire support apparatus that existed to enable an 82 year old company to be viable. Entitlement. Business does not exist to create jobs, but to create wealth. The creation of wealth necessitates the creation of jobs because wealth creation requires labor. Hostess wasn’t cheating their workers. The company was bleeding money out of its union negotiated benefits and pension packages and needed a way out. The executives that sought bankruptcy were rewarded for their efforts to save the company, and would have been regardless of the union’s efforts to destroy the company in what seemed like their proving a point. I wonder if the 18,500 BCTGM employees out of work now understand what that point is?

3. We, as a Nation, are in for a devaluation of the dollar as a world currency. The world, as we know it, will begin to stop trading commodities in our currency and we will begin to see a downward spiral into banana republic status as we continue to try to print our way out of the obligations Keynesian fiscal policies will create for our progeny, and theirs. America will see its credit rating dropped from the As and we will become the biggest Greece this world has ever known. The rest of the world will be forced to cut us off for fear of our failure taking us down with them.

4. Because the House remained in GOP control and the Senate did not change control we will see a perpetual Continuing Resolution built on a 2009 budget baseline that included over $1T in spending that was intended to be temporary. Instead of what President Obama promised in a reduction of our National Debt and reduction of our Deficit Spending we will see at least $5T more added to our debt with $1.3T/yr deficit spending per year until Obama leaves office.

President Obama has expressed confidence that Congress will give him the $1.6T tax increase over the next decade he feels he needs to reduce the deficit. This is a useless statement, however. The President first ran for office on a promise that he would reduce the deficit starting on day 1, but the Super Majority in Congress, held by Democrats until 2011, refused to pass a budget, instead passing continuing resolution after continuing resolution, every single one containing the full balance of the first stimulus package from 2009. This effectively ballooned the deficit to over $1.3T per year over the last budget passed by President Bush. Obama blamed Bush for the deficit, but has shown absolutely no interest whatsoever in pushing Congress in the direction of passing a budget that doesn’t include $1.3T more spending than our Nation is able to generate in tax revenue. His only plan to change this dynamic is to raise taxes. When asked about reducing spending he evades the question, talks about how he’s commissioned a committee or some such study to help identify waste in Government, and then ask for the next question. In every instance where waste in Government has been indicated as something that can be cut the conversation is evaded or Obama indicates that he takes the suggestions of his committees very seriously and will consider their input in due course. Little is said about the fact that the budget recommendations made by his commissions have been rejected by his Administration, and every single budget proposal he’s made has been rejected soundly. If the Obama Administration had any intention of decreasing the deficit the President would have vetoed the Bill authorizing the stimulus and requested Congress change the language to exclude this addition to 2009’s expenditures from 2010’s baseline budget. This simple change would have eliminated over $4T of the deficit, and debt, President Obama has racked up in four years.

5. There will be continued attacks on the non-governmental institutions that have helped define what it means to be an American. The Constitution will see attack after attack as Justice Ginsburg retires and two more lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court are appointed by President Obama and Harry Reid. These appointments will be divisive, have defined designs on their personal interpretations of the Constitution and what it means in terms of how the Government can control the individual and the individual entity. We will see an increased fervor from those already in our Government for Command and Control governance, where the regulatory state will determine your outcome regardless of the legal ramifications of your actions within your state of residency. If you wish to succeed it will be at the behest of the Government, not because of your desire to do so.

6. Iran and radical Islam will be emboldened by our inability to throw off the shackles of tyranny which bind us to our fate. Ahmadinejad and others will see this election as akin to what happened in 2009 in Tahrir Square through violence and unproductive demonst
ration against a totalitarian regime, and recognize our unfulfilled will to oust a dictatorial despot as further evidence that we do not possess the means to prevent him from developing a nuclear device. Iran will reach that goal or Israel will be forced to stop them, 
or Israel will be attacked from another aggressor, and they will have to protect themselves on their own. This will spark the powder keg that is the Middle East into what could very well become the catalyst to WW3. Under President Obama we will not be prepared to protect ourselves or our allies, and we will not be prepared to feed and power ourselves without the rest of the world’s resources available for our purchase because the Command and Control state will not allow for continued domestic energy and agricultural development.

Leading the world in a “Peace through Strength/Strength through Leadership” mentality is a foreign concept to this Administration. For the last four years we’ve done nothing but capitulate and appease our aggressors and the aggressors of our allies, to our detriment. Palestine has been attacking Israel for decades, but since the election we’ve seen a dramatic increase in these attacks. There isn’t anything this Nation, under its current leadership, is willing to do to stem the tide that is building against Israel. Our President has indicated that Israel has the right to defend itself, but has said nothing about whether or not he will stand with them in their defense. It has been discovered (surprisingly after nearly two weeks of shelling) that Hamas has been supplied with weapons from Iran. Egypt’s new Islamist regime has expressed solidarity with Hamas in their attacks on Israel. Our media has shown they’re also tied to Hamas in their reporting of the events as they unfold, calling Israel’s response to being brazenly attacked “assassinations” instead of retaliations. There have been political cartoons in newspapers across the United States trivializing the attacks from Hamas while at the same time implying that Israel’s responses have been overblown and uncalled for. World wide, news organizations have been showing images and video of grieving families crying over children that have been touched by the violence, conveniently leaving out the fact that the Palestinian children being shown were killed by poorly maintained Hamas munitions that detonated prior to deployment, or missed their mark entirely, while Hamas militants have hidden the evidence of a Hamas fired rocket or missile having caused the damage and the family crying out for the annihilation of Israel. Demonstrably, the mainstream media in the United States, and worldwide, has a bias against Israel.

7. Because the President and those in the Senate will see their continued status in power as a mandate from the people for them to lead us to their designs of what this Nation should be we will see massive increases in taxes for the wealthy and what is known as the upper middle class. Those who have means will leave this country for nations friendlier to their wealth, and those who do not have means will suffer at the hands of a Nation that does not value their productivity as much as it values punishing it through wealth redistributive measures. Those who are in the so-called middle class will find it harder to succeed, and those who are poor will become poorer still. There will be a rash of selling of stock and a retraction from the market by those who have capital but are unwilling to spend it in anticipation of the increased taxation that will come beginning in 2013 and continue with the implementation of ObamaCare.

Already there has been a shrinking away from capital markets as businesses with much to lose are preparing for their tax liabilities beginning in 2013. Many companies have begun to publicly indicate what their plans for 2013 will mean to their workforce, and the picture they’re painting isn’t very pretty. There will be a new 29.5 hour work week for non-salary employees (read: wage earners, mostly below the poverty line, and many below several multiples thereof). This change in many labor practices will be in direct response to the mandate in ObamaCare that businesses with over 50 employees SHALL supply every employee working over 30 hours in a single week (hence to be referred to as “full time”, a ludicrous thought process) with Government approved health insurance. Businesses with low profit margins, relying on shift labor to churn through volume consumption will increase headcount and reduce hours to make up the gap while at the same time dodge the requirement AND the tax/fine associated with not providing health insurance to their employee. Those working in low skill employment will find their hours cut from 8 hours a day/5 days a week to 4 hours a day/5 days a week, with no tolerance by the employer for over clocking, and no options for overtime. Hourly employers will hire twice the headcount, get the same amount of work out of two employees that they would have otherwise had one employee accomplish, and both employees will slide further into poverty as they’re forced to work three or four jobs in order to feed their families. Again, entitlement. Business exists to create wealth, not jobs. Obama and the Left has made the conversation about ObamaCare not about the impacts to the economy, but about the health care that everyone will have. They fail to mention that you’ll have to lose what health insurance you may have once had to obtain ObamaCare, and you may not be able to feed yourself while you’re waiting in line for your Government mandated minimal care at the hands of overworked, under staffed medical professionals who will be leaving their jobs in droves due to the increased burdens ObamaCare places on them in terms of patient to provider ratios. Simply put, you cannot add 39M patients to what will have been known as MediCare/MediCaid without adding doctors. The Administration has indicated they see a need, due to ObamaCare, for at least 52k more private practice doctors in the coming years to deal with the increased patient load ObamaCare will create. They haven’t really paid much attention to the fact that MediCare has reduced payments to doctors who take Medicare patients steadily over the years, so much so that it will eventually be impossible to make a profit as a private practice doctor in the United States. That’s alright, though. Everyone will have insurance, right?

We’re in for a very rough four years, everyone. If you measure our Nation’s success in terms of the unemployment numbers and GDP, both are in store for a respective downturn as those who produce begin to find new markets to move their productive activities into. War will not become a thing of the past, and we will see many more instances where the controversy in Libya, and the failures of our Nation to adequately deal with the aftermath will become the norm.

We have been shown to be the moral minority. That doesn’t need to be our death knell, but at present it will be discouraging. Do not despair. When confronted with the truths about Conservatism in the face of the lies of Liberalism and outside of the echo chamber that is the mainstream media, the American People invariably choose the former over the latter. We have to find a way to cleanse the GOP of those less than upstanding examples of who and what we stand for, and better educate those who are willing to listen. Our message is clear, but the minds of those receptive to it are not, and the hearts of those who would co-opt our souls for avarice and power are all too common.

This is not the end, everyone. It is a beginning. Eventually Americans will realize what they’ve done to themselves. Once they do, we will be there to help guide them out of the dark and into the light that is Freedom, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Post Election Thoughts

Here’s what I’m seeing from what happened last night:

1. The American people have spoken. Although I do not believe Conservatism is a minority mentality in America, what is exposed through the evidence from yesterday’s election is that Conservatives are not well represented, and thus will not be able to well represent Americans in its political endeavors. This needs to change if America is going to become a powerful leader on the world stage again, instead of a complicit follower.

2. Americans, as a whole, do not understand the damage that has been done to our ability to sustain ourselves as a Nation. We’ve forgotten what self reliance means, and have traded hard work and dignity in for revenge politics a la Valarie Jarrett, David Axelrod and President Obama. America, to our dismay, has shown that the sensationalism of the dirty political game is what makes them happy.

3. We, as a Nation, are in for a devaluation of the dollar as a world currency. The world, as we know it, will begin to stop trading commodities in our currency and we will begin to see a downward spiral into banana republic status as we continue to try to print our way out of the obligations Keynesian fiscal policies will create for our progeny, and theirs. America will see its credit rating dropped from the As and we will become the biggest Greece this world has ever known. The rest of the world will be forced to cut us off for fear of our failure taking them down with us.

4. Because the House remained in GOP control and the Senate did not change control we will see a perpetual Continuing Resolution built on a 2009 budget baseline that included over $1T in spending that was intended to be temporary. Instead of what President Obama promised in a reduction of our National Debt and reduction of our Deficit Spending we will see at least $5T more added to our debt with $1.3T/yr deficit spending per year until Obama leaves office.

5. There will be continued attacks on the non-governmental institutions that have helped define what it means to be an American. The Constitution will see attack after attack as Justice Ginsburg retires and two more lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court are appointed by President Obama and Harry Reid. These appointments will be divisive, have defined designs on their personal interpretations of the Constitution and what it means in terms of how the Government can control the individual and the individual entity. We will see an increased fervor from those already in our Government for Command and Control governance, where the regulatory state will determine your outcome regardless of the legal ramifications of your actions within your state of residency. If you wish to succeed it will be at the behest of the Government, not because of your desire to do so.

6. Iran will be emboldened by our inability to throw off the shackles of tyranny which bind us to our fate. Ahmadinejad will see this election as akin to what happened in 2009 in Tahrir Square through violence and unproductive demonstration against a totalitarian regime, and recognize our unfulfilled will to oust a dictatorial despot as further evidence that we do not possess the means to prevent him from developing a nuclear device. Iran will reach that goal or Israel will be forced to stop them, and they will have to do so on their own. This will spark the powder keg that is the Middle East into what could very well become the catalyst to WW3. Under President Obama we will not be prepared to protect ourselves or our allies, and we will not be prepared to feed and power ourselves without the rest of the world’s resources available for our purchase because the Command and Control state will not allow for continued domestic energy and agricultural development.

7. Because the President and those in the Senate will see their continued status in power as a mandate from the people for them to lead us to their designs of what this Nation should be we will see massive increases in taxes for the wealthy and what is known as the upper middle class. Those who have means will leave this country for nations friendlier to their wealth, and those who do not have means will suffer at the hands of a Nation that does not value their productivity as much as it values punishing it through wealth redistributive measures. Those who are in the so-called middle class will find it harder to succeed, and those who are poor will become poorer still. There will be a rash of selling of stock and a retraction from the market by those who have capital but are unwilling to spend it in anticipation of the increased taxation that will come beginning in 2013 and continue with the implementation of ObamaCare.

We’re in for a very rough four years, everyone. If you measure our Nation’s success in terms of the unemployment numbers and GDP, both are in store for a respective downturn as those who produce begin to find new markets to move their productive activities into. War will not become a thing of the past, and we will see many more instances where Libya’s failures will become the norm.

We have been shown to be the moral minority. That doesn’t need to be our death knell, but at present it will be discouraging. Do not despair. When confronted with the truths about Conservatism in the face of the lies of Liberalism and outside of the echo chamber that is the mainstream media, the American People invariably choose the former over the latter. We have to find a way to cleanse the GOP of those less than upstanding examples of who and what we stand for, and better educate those who are willing to listen. Our message is clear, but the minds of those receptive to it are not, and the hearts of those who would co-opt our souls for avarice and power are all too common.

This is not the end, everyone. It is a beginning. Conservatism is not dead. Eventually Americans will realize what they’ve done to themselves. Once they do we will be there to help guide them out of the dark and into the light that is Freedom, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.