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


Choices

July 3, 2012

Either Chief Justice Roberts is a genius or an idiot. He’s either a traitor or the savior of the Supreme Court’s reputation. I’m not a constitutional scholar, but my tendency is to think that he bartered his conservative values for a mess of pottage. But in the end, history will be the judge, and we’ll only know what the intent of this ruling was when the Honorable Chief Justice retires and decides to write a tell-all book.

But one key quote from the decision has been resonating with me since I saw it:

“Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” [emphasis mine]

So once again, we are learning the hard lesson that elections have consequences.

We have a choice to make in November. I truly hope we will all choose wisely.

Stoutcat


Minding My Own Business

June 21, 2012

You really couldn’t ask for more than Bill Whittle’s latest video on a steamy hot summer Thursday:

Stoutcat


Happy Birthday, ObamaCare!

March 23, 2012

I think this video says it all.

Stoutcat


Brass Nix Docs’ Sneaks

June 28, 2011

You may have read in Sunday’s New York Times about plans by the Department of Health and Human Services to send out “mystery shoppers” to make appointments at various doctors’ offices around the country, in the hopes of finding out just how difficult that is these days. These “mystery shoppers” would represent themselves as new to a local area, describe a set of unpleasant symptoms, and attempt to schedule an appointment. The shoppers would purport to have either private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

The administration says the survey will address a “critical public policy problem”: the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice. It will also try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programs that pay lower reimbursement rates.

Fortunately, before the HHS really beclowned themselves by going through with this farce, public outcry (received, no doubt from the time the NYT article was published up until this evening) forced them to “rethink” the idea:

“After reviewing feedback received during the public comment period, we have determined that now is not the time to move forward with this research project,” an HHS official said in a statement.

Notice, however, how the HHS phrases their back-down: “now is not the time to move forward with this research project.” Makes me wonder exactly when will be the time to move forward with it? Probably once we’ve all gotten more comfortable with Big Brother breathing down our neck about every medical decision made.

Let’s see: they’re dropping this “mystery shopper” program. They’re dropping the ObamaCare waiver process. Can the repeal of ObamaCare be far behind?

Shut up and let me dream, okay?

Stoutcat


How Do We Choose What To Write About Now?

August 17, 2010

You may have noticed that we have only two posts during the past week. Worse, this is after a two-week hiatus. You may be asking yourselves, “Why so little content when so much is happening?” That’s just the point. Where to begin?

If you think it’s easy choosing a topic to write about here at Grand Rants, think again. No, seriously. We have to think again and again ourselves. And it’s only getting more difficult because of the sheer volume of potential rants that occur every day.

Since the inception of “GR” two years ago, the intention of the writers has been to focus on our motto of “Our World Discussed.”  By that, we meant current events, politics, social issues, society in general etc.

Hard work has borne fruit as Grand Rants’ readership quickly exceeded our expectations.  And we’ve been proud of that, even if some of our work would have been better left on the editing room floor.

But as the weeks and months unfolded,  our focus gradually morphed into mostly following the exploits (and exploitation) of the Obama administration as their actions pretty much took over current events, politics, social issues, society in general etc. Acorn. Van Jones. Czar after Czar, avoiding any possible vetting by Congressional approval process. Stimulus packages.  Never in the history of this country has one administration done so much to so many, so quickly as to “fundamentally change” America.

But not for the better.

And it’s not just the Obama administration. It’s our society as well. We seem to have arrived on the corner of Chaos Street and Anarchy Drive because  not only do we suffer from a dearth of quality leaders in the politico who “lead (positively) by (good) example”  but, as a society, we seem to have lost our moral compass. As for our leaders, all they give us are examples of how to rid yourself of any shame for any wrongdoing. Congress (and not just the Democrats) has become Gordon Gecko on steroids. And make no mistake: The American public have been good students.

So then: What DO we write about now? The list is so long… But then, like clockwork, just when I think I”ll have to spend half the day trying to determine which topic is the most urgent, good ol’ Barry Sotero (aka POTUS) says or does something to negate my need to prioritize.

We have a POTUS who has done his best to be all things to all people on both sides of the fence. Apparently, he didn’t get the memo that stated you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

This was most vividly illustrated over the last few days beginning with a White House dinner, celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

In his speech at that dinner, he defended the rights of Muslims to build a mosque within several blocks of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. By all measures, using carefully worded phrases and emphasis, it appeared he was giving the building of the mosque his blessing, scoring points for himself amongst the Muslims gathered to feast in the White House.

But he followed this a day later by insisting he wasn’t endorsing the project at all. Just the right to build it. The target audience hearing the back-spin was of course, NOT the Muslims who had attended the dinner the night before, but an outraged America.

All things to all people. 

And the President has the chutzpah to think he can still pull it off – or, perhaps, the ego to simply not care.

Mr. President:  You’ve already had you shot at fooling most of the people some of the time: You got elected President.  But you’re not fooling anyone anymore with the exception of those who want to be fooled,  and those too gullible to know the difference.

Perhaps the bigger issue for Obama is how this is unraveling the Democratic Party. On Monday a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader (and tourist sniffing hound) Harry Reid broke ranks with the White House saying the Senator thinks the Mosque should be built elsewhere.

It’s all ’bout them polls, isn’t, Harry?  As the mid-term elections grow closer, look for more Democrats to abandon the Obama Express in favor of saving their own careers.

Rumor has it that Nancy Pelosi is even looking for a new word and it doesn’t rhyme with Obama.

I hope people will see through these self-serving gestures and simply look at the voting records of each of these self-serving turncoats. There, you will find the truth: They HAVE supported virtually every step Obama has taken. And they are largely responsible for the state of the country being where we are today.

The best we can do is remember our values, and hold on to them. And I hope each of you will “remember in November” just who put us where we are.

In the meantime, what would YOU like to see in Grand Rants? More political coverage? Less? More coverage on other day-to-day issues and human interest? 

See? It’s not so easy to narrow down that list, now, is it?

Let us know…

Gerry Ashley


Remember In November – Billboard #2

July 18, 2010

Here’s number 2 in our series of suggested Billboards to help people “Remember In November.”

Click to view full size. You are free to download and circulate as you like.

If you missed our first billboard, you can see it by clicking here.

I would only point out that, although the Billboard is a display of satire, please don’t become complacent regarding the significance of this mid-term election. It’s one of the most important and decisive elections this country has ever faced: America is under attack from within. We’ve seen the evidence mounting:

  • After only days in office, President Obama and the Democratic Congress (backed by a few traitor Repubicrats) teamed up to ram through Congress and sign a stimulus package we were told had to be done immediately in order to cap unemployment at 8.5%. The bill was never posted for the 5 days Obama assured the American public (during the Presidential Campaign) on the Internet for us to read before he signed it. To date, unemployment has gone as high as 10% (much higher in areas of the country) and currently sits at about 9.5%. It was recently reported that only about 1/3 of the money has been spent, yet the lame duck congress (after the election and before the new congressmen take their seats in January 2011) is expected to pass yet another stimulus package. Many think Obama is using this money as a slush fund to buy support from legislators.
  • Barack Obama and Congress teamed up to shove health care reform down our throats, against the will of the majority of Americans. In doing so, the government has taken control of over 1/6th of our economy in one fell swoop. Implementation begins with new steep taxes in 2011, but actual benefits will not be provided to the masses until 2019.
  • In a stunnng accusation,  former Department of Justice employee J. Christian Adams details how the Department of Justice (under Obama appointee, Eric Holder) is racially biased against whites claiming that Holder was told by officials in the Obama administration to back off prosecutions of blacks who commit crimes against whites, but aggressively prosecute cases where white(s) allegedly have committed crimes against blacks. A black elected official in Noxubee agreed, during a deposition,  that racially discriminatory behavior against whites occurred. “But you got to understand,” he explained, “now it’s payback time.

No, what we need to understand is that we have a chance in November to START turning America’s ship back to a democracy. But we can only do it if everyone legally eligible to vote exercises that right.

Gerry Ashley


The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency – Part 8

April 28, 2010

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.”   
– White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel  

Note to our readers: This the 8th installment of a series called “The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency.” Intended to illustrate just how Obama’s policies fail us, and the Constitution he swore to uphold, it is based on The 10 tenets for establishing and maintaining democracy, written by William J. H. Boetcker and originally published in 1942. To read previous installments, just type or copy “The Abject Failure” into the search box to the right of this article, then click “Search.”  

The more research I did to support this particular tenet, the more I realized that this tenet is, perhaps, the most complex to explain and properly cover:  

8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.  

Photoshop by Josh Johnson

 Let me be clear about this: The United States is teetering on the edge of financial oblivion and it would be both factually incorrect and misleading to suggest the blame for this lies at the feet of the Obama administration.    

Neither the mainstream media nor Congress, nor most of the Presidential administrations over the past 40-50 years have been totally honest with the American public about this. But the numbers don’t lie, even if the politicians do: The amount of money the United States is committed to in either social programs or entitlements over the next decade is well over $100 Trillion (yes, with a “T”). Our own Alan Speakman of Grand Rants has written about this on a number of occasions. For a harsh look at the truth, read these pieces by Alan:   

This debt is principally the result of entitlements funded by Congress while you and I were not paying attention.  “Who’s going to win the playoffs?” became more of a concern to us than “What is Congress doing with our tax dollars?”  “What’s the number one song on the hit parade this week?” surpassed “Can we, as a nation, afford to do this now?” in importance. So, in a way, if you want to know who is most directly responsible for the economic crisis, we can all start by looking into a mirror.  

Even in years when administrations claimed to have a balanced budget, the deficit was, in fact, building in the background. Both political parties share the blame for this.  

In order to fully understand the nature of the beast preparing to devour our entire economy, here is a “quick-start” video to help get you up to speed. I urge you to watch it in its entirety.  When the video has finished, then please click on the link to read the rest of this installment to see how the Obama administration is heading in exactly the wrong direction… and why they are doing so intentionally.  

Read the rest of this entry »


Most Truthful and Transparent Adminstration Ever

April 27, 2010

 

If this is true, heads should roll, and the first head should be Obama’s.

The Department of Health and Human Services published a report last Thursday from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary which outlined the unsurprising fact that the recently passed healthcare bill would actually be more expensive that the White House had been promising, and would in fact cost consumers more.

However: according to the American Spectator, HHS withheld that report for several weeks before issuing it to the public.

The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama’s health care “reform” law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.

“The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote,” says an HHS source. “Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think.”

The analysis, performed by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, which in the past has been identified as a “nonpolitical” office, set off alarm bells when submitted. “We know a copy was sent to the White House via their legislative affairs staff,” says the HHS staffer, “and there were a number of meetings here almost right after the analysis was submitted to the secretary’s office. Everyone went into lockdown, and people here were too scared to go public with the report.” [Emphasis mine]

We need to find out more from the Spectator’s HHS source. That person should come forward and speak out so that the entire country can finally see how corrupt this administration truly is.

While this probably does not qualify as treason or bribery, blatantly lying to the public (and possibly to Congress) about a bill so very damaging to America both now and far into the future, surely falls under the rubric of high crimes and misdemeanors…

Both Confederate Yankee and Sweetness and Light are covering this as well, and Gateway Pundit has video of some of the “unintended” consequences of the bill, now that it has been passed.

Oops.

Stoutcat


The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency – Part 7

April 20, 2010

 

Depressions and mass unemployment are not caused by the free market but by government interference in the economy. – Ludwig von Mises

As we head down the home stretch of this series, I felt it necessary to seek the input of someone who can give a first-hand example of how the seventh of the 10 tenets to maintaining democracy in a free-enterprise system directly affects him:

7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  

Recently, I spoke with a friend of mine who has been the owner of an automotive repair shop for some 3o years. He considers his employees to be “family.” He treats (and pays) them well. More important, he pays for 100% of their health insurance.  Not because he has to, but because he CAN. He is probably no different from millions of other small businessmen across the land. For it is the small business owners who employ the vast majority of Americans and contribute the most to our economy.  

My friend despairs over this new healthcare decree.

“If it goes through as indicated, I will be forced to pay for the insurance, not just for my employees, but their whole families,” he told me. “And their kids are to be considered kids until they are 26 years old? Who the hell came up with the definition of a child being 25 years old?”  

He went on to tell me that healthcare alone is probably going to cause him to go out of business. A businessman with decades of success, forced out of his business and forced to lay off all employees, not because of bad business practices or lack of customers, but simply because of a socialist’s agenda that simply will not work… except to destroy the free-enterprise system perhaps so it can be replaced by socialism.

“For 30 years, I’ve prided myself on working hard, giving a good service to my customers for a price that enables me to hire good workers and pay them well. It’s a formula that’s worked in this country for 200 years. And now someone comes along and says, ‘No, this isn’t how it should be done… we’re gonna change everything and do things differently… trust me!’ Well, I’ve got news for the President: You’re taking away the very thing that has made America work for centuries: The opportunity to work hard, earn a decent, honest income and provide for your family.  What the hell is wrong with that?”

This small business owner has figured out that, with the cost of labor, benefits, rent, advertising, insurance, and all the other mandates required to run a business, it now costs him $3,500 for every day he opens his door to do business.  

“Add to this the cost of his healthcare system and I’m done,” he told me. “And even if I could find a way to survive that, if Cap and Trade goes through, the energy prices will go through the roof for absolutely NO legitimate reason. But virtually every business I can think of will have to adapt to skyrocketing energy prices. What other way can you survive but to raise the prices of your services? That’s the kiss of death for most of us small businesses. And that means even more people out of jobs and on unemployment! It’s like [Obama’s] trying to ruin this country and the whole free-enterprise system!”

Add one more small buisinessman to the list of those who stand to lose it all under the ideology of Barack Obama… and one more reason to stand up and be counted – before it’s too late.

Gerry Ashley