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


Post Card From Martha’s Vineyard

August 19, 2011

Front

Back

Let’s be fair here. The President must be exhausted. And why not? Consider:

  • He’s just spent 3 solid days on board one of the most luxurious buses you and I could possibly pay for.
  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but did he get even ONE round of golf in during the past 3 days? I don’t think so.

"Greyhound One"

It gets worse: The travel agency that booked this 3-day tour – for some reason – did NOT book him into any urban areas where blacks and Hispanics are suffering from unemployment rates as much as two or three times the national average. I know how disappointing that must have been for him to have the travel agency neglect to have those areas represented. As that hilarious giant of the comedy world, Janeane Garbagefellow, would say (probably on Bill Mahr’s show), “This is racism… straight up!”

What’s that? The Obama administration set the itinerary? Oh… well, I’m sure there was a good reason the President didn’t want to speak to blacks and Hispanics from the inner cities most affected by his failed economic policies.

But as the President would surely point out, the real problem here, folks, is you and I. 

You see, when the President said he was going on a “listening tour,’ you and I mistakenly thought he meant HE would listen to US. But as we all saw the other day, that was clearly a miscommunication: when a member of the tea party asked the POTUS his views on Vice President Biden referring to tea party members as “terrorists,” after a brief exchange, Obama walked away saying, “You obviously don’t want to listen…” (emphasis mine).

And therein lies the crux of the problem. During those three days, Obama was the one who did the vast majority of the talking, expecting the crowd to simply listen and accept.   In other words, this was a political campaign trip in taxpayer-funded sheep’s clothing… aboard some mighty expensive luxury buses.

Net results: zero jobs created or saved in the US, a bunch of jobs created or saved in Canada to outfit some very expensive (and taxpayer-paid) buses.  Apparently all because we didn’t want to listen.  Got that?

And now we’re upset because Obama is taking the rest of August off on vacation? Maybe we should re-think our logic here.

As Erick Erickson wrote at Redstate this morning in his “Open Letter To Anyone Who Thinks Obama Should Not Go On Vacation” :

“Mr. President, you take as much vacation as you want. In fact, if you want to leave the country and go visit your relatives in Kenya or just go for a safari or go see your old stomping grounds in Indonesia or, heck, take the family to see penguins in Antarctica or even go to Bora Bora, I’d be glad to have you take say . . . the next twelve months off.

“And even better, I’m sure we can find some people to fund your vacation other than the American taxpayers who you’ve been using to fund your political campaign bus tour.”

I have to agree with Erick but with one caveat: Please… oh please... take Joe Biden with you.

Gerry Ashley


Now THAT’s a Scary Thought

August 10, 2011

You know, I’m beginning to have some frightening thoughts. For example, on Monday, as I simultaneously watched the President say nothing useful and the Dow plummet nearly 200 points, I found myself thinking that maybe Joe Biden wouldn’t make such a bad president after all.

Yes, I know, good old open-mouth-insert-foot Joe, they guy who, while introducing wheelchair-bound Sen. Chuck Graham, called to him to “[S]tand up, Chuck, let the people see you!”

The same Veep who was caught on mike during the Obamacare signing ceremony telling the President, “This is a big f*ing deal!”

The very same gentleman who was confused enough to think that JOBS is a three-letter word. Ah well.

Regular readers here probably know that I started Obama’s presidency unhappy but willing to give the man the benefit of the doubt and hoping for his success in office. In the intervening years, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s, well, an idiot. I know that sounds harsh, but really, how else does one describe a man who speaks of 57 states, who is the Commander in Chief of our armed forces and, in a rehearsed speech, mispronounces the word “corpsman” not once, not twice, but three times? What else could you call someone who thinks there is language called Austrian? Who makes jokes about the Special Olympics?

This is a president who, by his abject insistence on “leading from behind,” by his disastrous inaction, by his complete lack of engagement with his job and his nation, has allowed our nation’s  AAA+ credit rating to drop for the first time ever.

When you look at it like that, even Joe Biden looks smart by comparison!

So maybe it’s time for Obama to step down and let his inspired choice for Vice President, good old Slow Joe, fill out the remainder of his term.

At this point, Joe could hardly do worse.

Stoutcat


Obama Reassures Us, Dow Immediately Plunges

August 8, 2011

There’s an old expression that goes, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you’re a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

"The U.S.A. Is Quad-A Rated. That's ONE Better Than The Rest."

In what has to be seen as a defining moment in Barack Obama’s failed presidency, the POTUS Ignoramus took to the airwaves today to “reassure the American people” that America is still doing well under his leadership, and that Standard & Poor’s downgrade of America’s credit rating was obviously a mistake.

The telling moment: Just after Obama suggested that the way to restore our credit rating and to overcome our debt problems is to spend more money on government projects, the Dow responded by dropping more than 100 points in just over a minute.

By 4PM the Dow had plunged a total of approximately 630 points for the day.  NASDAQ lost 80 points. It was the first time The Dow-Jones had closed under 11,000 since October of 2010.

I guess that would make what we have left, “Change we can live on?” Too bad America doesn’t have a “Vote of No Confidence” eh?

Of course, as Doug Powers points out, the Democratic Ignorami quickly huddled and came out united behind a new talking points memo.  Within minutes of each other, John “Have I reminded you I’m a Vietnam Veteran?” Kerry, Howard “Shriek” Dean and David Axelrod all came out with press releases or public statements using the term Tea Party Downgrade.

Our tongue-in-cheek department did an independent research and discovered the President’s secret team of Liberal Obfuscationists Spreading Erroneous Responsibility Statistics (L.O.S.E.R.S.) quickly released their own report which rejected Stand & Poor’s rating and immediately upgraded America’s credit rating to “Quad A” status. When told the highest level available on the S&P scale was TRIPLE A, a spokesman for the LOSERS responded (in his best Spinal Tap accent), “Right. Well we’re QUAD-A rated because we’re one better than the rest.”

Yep… right after we get a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, I think our next point of order is to invoke a “No Confidence Vote” amendment so we don’t have to remain stuck with a President who thinks America has 57 states… or that the best way to get out of debt is to borrow and spend even more.

Gerry “No Stocks” Ashley


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