The Economy: From Bad to Worse, Courtesy of Obamacare

February 5, 2014

Let’s set up a hypothetical situation: I have a spouse, a family, and a job. I am reasonably well-compensated for my work. My small company gives me health insurance that meets my family’s needs at a price that fits our budget.

Obamacare goes into effect.  My employer decides that he can no longer afford to offer health insurance to all his employees, so he cuts my hours. I no longer qualify as a full-time worker. As a necessary corollary, I no longer have my health insurance.

Exploring the Obamacare website (assuming I actually can access it), I find nothing that meets my needs or my budget, as I still make too much to qualify for a subsidy. This actually is a sop to my pride, as I would be mortified were I to ask my fellow tax-payers to pay for even part of my insurance.

But in order to get health insurance that I can afford–even with tax-payer assistance–I must cut my hours and my salary even more, and I must swallow my pride so that I can qualify for a subsidy for a plan that doesn’t really meet my needs but is all I can afford, even with assistance.

piano teacherHowever this cut in hours and pay means that I have far less income to spend on anything other than the very basic necessities for my family–food, mortgage, school clothes for the kids, etc.) I’ll cut back cable TV and internet access, skip my morning stop at the local coffee shop, drop music lessons and after-school sports for the kids, back-burner plans for a Disney vacation (thank goodness we hadn’t mentioned it to the kids yet!), and hope that the grandparents can afford to come and visit us this year, instead of us traveling cross-country to visit them, as is our yearly habit.

Yes, as I look at it, there are lots of ways we can cut the budget to cover the income loss; it’ll be very tight, but I know we can make it. And we’re not the only family tightening our belts. Neighbors, colleagues, even family are all facing similar situations.

So what if the coffee shop goes out of business? They only employ six people–and they’ll probably qualify for unemployment. So what if the music teacher loses most of his students? That’s what welfare is for, right?

All this is doing is creating more dependency… not just those who need the subsidy for their required-by-law, law-of-the-land Obamacare coverage; but also for all those folks who are becoming the casualties of the all too predictable unintended consequences of a very, very bad piece of legislation.

Repeal it now.

Stoutcat


The Road to Rosario

January 4, 2013

Historian Arthur Herman has a very interesting article at the Fox News website, which discusses the fiscal cliff, sequestration, and recent events in the city of Rosario, Argentina, where the good people have been rioting recently.

While unrest in Argentina is nothing new, Mr. Herman draws a very uncomfortable parallel between the events in Rosario and what is currently happening in this country, and calls out the real culprit, those actual takers: the unstoppably growing public sector economy.

Since 1970, America’s public sector has exploded as a percentage of GDP, rising to almost 25% last year. While the national unemployment rate hovers at the 8% mark, government worker unemployment rate is a cozy 3.8%. Sixteen percent of America’s workforce now work for government. By the time the Obama administration ends, we won’t be that far away from Argentina’s 21 percent.

Yet as an economic and social enterprise, government creates nothing. [emphasis mine]

Far from adding to people’s standard of living, government is the number one cause of poverty in this country. It forces those who depend on its largesse to live hand to mouth, with no time or money to plan for the future. They become unable to fend for themselves—and increasingly resentful of those who can… 

Obama and the Democrats are relative newcomers to the game. But Argentina reveals who really suffers when those who create a nation’s wealth get mugged by those who spend it–as just happened this week in Washington.

It’s the poor and the middle class, the very ones big government says it’s trying to protect.

At this point, I diverge with the author, as I have seen no evidence that the Obama administration is actually trying to protect members of the poor and middle classes. The only thing being protected here is the reliably Democrat voting bloc. And that’s happening in the usual way, with bread foodstamps and circuses Obamaphones.

Say what you will about Argentina, especially since the Peron era, the Obamas are no pikers. By the time Obama leaves office, there may not be much in the way of economic difference between America and Argentina.

And then the Obamas will waft away to gracious exile in Hawai’i, leaving the rest of the nation to topple, crash, and burn due in large part to the huge debt and even huger government that they deliberately created.

Rosario may look pretty good in comparison, by then.

Stoutcat


Cut Him No Slack

August 30, 2012

Do not buy into the narrative:

“Well, President Obama inherited the largest set of problems of any president in history, perhaps except FDR and maybe Abraham Lincoln…” (Wasserman-Schultz)

“…Obama reiterated that he had inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression…” (Robert Reich)

The excuse of inheriting a bad situation is simply another false narrative being foisted upon the public by those who ought to know better (and undoubtedly do). 

Barack Obama sought the job of the Presidency with his eyes wide open. It doesn’t matter what he inherited. He knew he was going to inherit it. He wanted it. He applied for the job, actively interviewing across all 57 states. He had the best advisors the Chicago political machine money could buy.

In short he spent $750 million dollarsyes, 3/4 of a billion dollars — and nearly two years convincing the American people that he wanted the job, that he understood the problems we were facing, and that he knew how to fix them.

He knew the situation was bad when, in his arrogance he said, “[I]f I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” The next year he was singing the same hubristic tune, warbling his preference to be  “[A] really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” Of course, he will be neither.

So when I heard Paul Ryan earlier this month say, “No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation…” I cringed.

Of course no one disputes it. It doesn’t come into play one way other the other, except as the Left would have you believe.

Obama is not just moving the goal posts, he’s trying to re-define the entire playing field to suit himself. Don’t allow it, don’t play into it. America can’t afford it.

Cut him no slack.

Stoutcat


Are You Better Off… The 2012 Edition

June 15, 2012

From the TexasAgs forum via Doug Ross at Director Blue comes this appalling chart, which says it all:

You really want to be sure everyone sees this.

Stoutcat


I’m Talking To You

March 26, 2012

…and so is Bill Whittle. In his latest video, Mr. Whittle addresses himself to people who don’t really get too deep into politics (which may be why you’re reading Grand Rants, and not HotAir, Malkin, Instapundit, or others):

And he’s right.

Stoutcat


Do You Believe in SuperCommittees?

November 21, 2011

Well, it’s official. The much-vaunted supercommittee, which was appointed to try to dig us out of our mountainous debt has utterly failed to do its job.

It’s not that surprising, really. Our nation’s credit rating gets downgraded for the first time in history, and what do we do? We raise the debt limit yet again, and punt the problem to an all-knowing committee which is supposed to solve the problem. And they failed. No, really. That’s what actually happened! And in sad fact, this failure is being cheered by some.

The only folks who believed this clever plan might actually work probably also clapped their hands at this:

Hey, maybe if we all clap, they’ll actually cut something!

I think we should start calling them the Tinkerbell Congress

Stoutcat


Boehner Acts – Obama Bows and Blinks

September 1, 2011

Stare-Down Finale: Boehner 1 - Obama 0

You almost have to feel sorry for Barack Obama.   Almost.

Obama unwisely attempted to upstage next week’s Republican Presidential Candidates Debate by scheduling his highly anticipated “Jobs Plan” speech to occur at the same time. As if that wasn’t brassy enough,  President Obama in his ever growing need for attention,  decided to go for broke by presenting his jobs plan to a joint session of Congress. One problem: He forgot this would require the cooperation of Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Bad move Barry. As Doug Powers writes, it winds up looking…

“as if the president invited himself to someone else’s house without first finding out if they wanted company that night.”

I think it’s worse than that. It was a stupid game of “Chicken” that only someone as egotistical as Barack Obama would be foolish enough to think he could win. And it leaves him with sufficient egg on his face to make an omelette large enough to serve all participants in the upcoming Republican Presidential Candidates Debate.

One can only imagine the conversation in the White House Office Of Damage Control:

“Hey, Mr. President… we”d expect something as dumb as this from Vice President Biden, but… WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?”

Perhaps he figured with so many people out of work, everybody would gather at the Mountain Top to hear his decree, leaving the Republican candidates with a smaller viewership than normal (which is, let’s face it, usually abysmal for either party’s debates). However, by challenging (and failing to upstage) the debate, all he has accomplished is to add a klieglight to the debate stage.

On the surface, it might seem to be a simple game of one-upsmanship.  But it’s a far more telling example of how Obama’s ego blinds him to the fact that he no longer has carte blanche to do whatever he wants. Perhaps another way of putting it: without the combined houses of Congress to back his playshe still has his writers drafting ten-gallon hat speeches, but he’s now delivering them while wearing a beanie.

Still, there’s Little President Fauntelroy, demanding attention by scheduling a prime time address to discuss the jobs plan he apparently had to journey to the sand traps on the golf courses of Martha’s Vineyard to find. But in doing so, his ego may have just written another check to be returned by the First National Bank of Action marked “insufficient funds.” Because while we can all be assured the White House Peacock will be in full strut, anything less than a viable plan that has a realistic chance of success without digging the country deeper into financial chaos will result in an even bigger embarrassment for his administration.

And, somehow, I don’t think the sand traps of the golf courses on Martha’s Vineyard yield anything close to what Obama needs to avoid that.

Gerry Ashley


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