Friday, February 28, 2014

Why Only 24% Younger Signups In ObamaCare Might Be Worse Than You Think

According to Health and Human Services, the current health exchange pricing of monthly premiums is based on the assumption that 38% of those enrolled would be young and healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 34.  Otherwise, the costs would necessarily jump because there won't be enough healthy people to offset the cost of covering the older and sicker of our population.

When the latest enrollment numbers were released, we learned that only 24% of the enrollees were in that critical younger healthier group; a near 40% shortfall.  Opponents of ObamaCare jumped on this because they know, logically, it means that the current ObamaCare premiums will have to be adjusted upwards by about a whopping 40% unless this situation is improved.

But, that 24% might be a lot worse than you think. What if that 24% isn't a healthy young group?  What if it is mostly made up of younger people or younger families with serious pre-existing conditions?  Right now, there are about 73.7 million Americans who are in that age group. According to Families USA,  at least 15.9% of those millions of Americans -- or about 12 million people -- have serious enough health conditions that they are either not insurable or prohibitively too costly to insure.  So, easily, the less than 1 million youth signups into ObamaCare thus far could have actually come out of that 12 million who are sicker.  If so, we're not just looking at a 40% increase.  In fact, the current exchange pricing could be actually doubled next year.


ObamaCare Resorts To Gimmicks To Get Young To Sign On:

Pre-Existing Conditions: A Problem that Grows with Age:

So How Many Millennials are there?:

Psst! Job Losses Are On The Rise Again!

Ever since the employment situation hit rock bottom in 2010, the number of weekly jobless claims has steadily fallen.  That is until August of 2013.  At that juncture, the decline of job losses just bottomed out.  Now, it appears that joblessness is again on the rise:
Click to Enlarge
Obviously, the trend is negative. I could speculate and say its because of ObamaCare.  Or, it could be a signal that the economy is slowing again and that we might be headed for another recession.  Whatever the reason, the trend is months long and moving decidedly upwards.  That's too long for it to be brushed off as some kind of statistical fluke.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Democrats, Citizen's United, and the "Evil" Koch Brothers

Last October, Senator Bernie Sanders stood on the steps of the Supreme Court building and railed against the high court's Citizen's United decision that allowed corporations to spend and attempt to buy votes with huge campaign donations.  In his ire he singled out the Koch brothers (Koch Industries) as examples of billionaires and corporations buying votes:

What's interesting about this video is that there are two placard holding individuals from the CWA (Communication Workers of America), a labor union, standing in solidarity with old Bernie.

Now, while it is true that the Koch Bros. and their corporation contributed $18 million in campaign donations in the recent years with 90% going to Republicans and only 8% going to Democrats, that was peanuts in comparison to the donations made by the CWA.  That union spent more than $36 million -- double that of the Koch's -- with 86% going to elect Democrats and the balance spent on Democrat initiatives and pro-labor Independents.  Not one dime was spent on Republicans. At least the Koch brothers spent some of their money on Democrats. Of the top 156 campaign donors who spent $5 million or more, 31 were labor unions.  In total, those unions spent $808.5 million dollars of which 81% went to Democrats and only 11% went to Republicans.

For years, liberal politicians have demonized the Koch brothers and Citizen's United case.  At the same time, those very same liberals were unabashedly taking nearly a billion dollars from unions.  They also don't mind it when other left-leaning billionaires, like Warren Buffet, contributed to their campaigns or when multimillionaire Hollywood types would fund raise for them.  In fact, when California billionaire Tom Steyer pledged $100 million in campaign funds in support of Democrats and environmental issues, none of those who would normally castigate big-time Republican donors uttered a single word.

The simple fact is that Democrats don't want any opposition.  They don't want Fox News.  They used the IRS in keeping many Tea Party activists from gaining tax free status, and they certainly don't want any villains like the Koch's contributing money to Republicans.  They also want the average American to believe that those evil brothers are destroying Democracy by buying votes with their massive wealth. On the other hand, they gleefully accept millions from labor unions and other rich campaign donors. It is impossible to wade through hypocrisy so deep!


Center for Responsive Politics: Top Campaign Donors:

Tom Steyer planning $100 million campaign push:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Really? The Judas, Mary Landrieu, Should Get Reelected After Voting For ObamaCare?

Flash back to 2010.  Harry Reid needs 60 votes to pass ObamaCare into law.  This should have been a shoo-in since he had enough Democrats in the Senate to make it happen, but, there were several hold-outs who didn't think the law was the right thing to do.  So, Harry took out his faithful taxpayer-funded checkbook and started handing out money to resisting Democrats in order to buy their votes.  In total, there were about a half dozen Judas's that took their 30 pieces of silver in exchange for voting ObamaCare into legal existence. Senator Mary Landrieu got $300 million in Medicaid assistance for her vote in what has since been called the Louisiana Purchase.  Ben Nelson, a former insurance executive who should have known better, sold his vote in what is now referred to as the Corn Husker Kickback. The sad thing is that, if just one of these Senators had stood on their principles and not taken a bribe, we might not have ObamaCare today.

Now, Mary Landrieu and other vulnerable Democrat Senators are scrambling for reelection despite their involvement in getting ObamaCare passed. Landrieu is running ads that say she's pushing legislation to "fix" ObamaCare.  For that, she seems to think she should be reelected. But, the chances that Harry Reid will ever bring her "fix" to the Senate floor for a vote are zero and she knows it.  So, she is simply blowing smoke to gain votes.  Like Judas, who hung himself after betraying Christ, Mary Landrieu has hung herself politically.  What she and the Democrats have done to the American people should not be rewarded.


Payoffs for states get Harry Reid to 60 votes:

Landrieu touts ObamaCare fix in first ad:

The Democrats in the famous Obamacare signing photo are rapidly retiring:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Obama Drops Chained CPI From Budget...Another Election Year Maneuver

Last year, in Obama's rejected budget submission, was something called "chained CPI". It was the  proposed method by which annual cost of living adjustments (COLA) would be calculated for Social Security beneficiaries.  Without getting into a lot of technical economics related to how cost of living increases were previously calculated using CPI-W versus how they would be calculated under Obama's proposed chained CPI, the bottom line is that chained CPI would greatly slow the amount of any benefit increases; thus saving the Federal government billions of dollars over time and, similarly, costing seniors billions in buying power.

For years our elderly have been losing ground against rising inflation and chained CPI would only further worsen that condition.  This as evidenced by the following chart:
Click to zoom
The bar labelled "Elderly" reflects the fact that seniors saw their expenses go up by more than 39% from 1999 to 2013.  Yet, the Social Security Administration only adjusted benefits by a little more than 37%, which was the same as the cost of living calculation for all "Urban Workers" (also known as CPI-W). But, if chained CPI had been applied during that same period, those cost of living adjustments would have only been a little better than a 33% increase; leaving seniors with a 6 percentage point shortfall against expenses. Or, in other words, a 15% loss in buying power.

With as many as 22% of seniors living solely on their Social Security checks and many of them already in poverty and having to make serious choices between food and heat or medications, chained CPI would only have made a bad situation worse.  Add to this the expected inflation associated with raising the minimum wage by another $40 and, this could have been a humanitarian disaster in the making. 

For months,  Democrats were fearing that this could be a losing issue for them in the fall elections.  So,  for now, they're breathing a sigh of relief because Obama has yanked that idea from his current budget submission.  Whether it is just another one of his politically motivated delays prior to the 2014 elections or a complete dropping of this horrible idea is anyone's guess. But, I do know this, it's a little hard to argue that America needs to address income inequality and poverty when Obama, himself, was busily trying to create both with his chained CPI proposal.

If the President wants to save Medicare and lower costs, he should start by addressing the estimated $17 to $57 billion in fraud each year; and, not shove all too many seniors deeper into poverty.

Note: The 2nd column on the chart, Urban Consumers, is what is referred to as the CPI-U.  That's the overall number that the government publishes when it releases CPI data.


Why 'Chained CPI' Rattles the Elderly (and Soon to Be):

CNN: February 20, 2014: Obama drops controversial Social Security proposal:

Medicare FAQs: Fraud:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Five Years Later...Why the Stimulus And Keynesian Economics Failed

Remember this chart:
This is what Obama's economic advisers predicted would happen with or without the passage of the $787 billion Stimulus Package (aka the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).  Of course, implied in that chart is that economic activity, as measured by our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), would also return to normal levels by the First Quarter of 2014.

The plain fact is that real unemployment did even worse than Obama's "Without Recovery Plan" with the peak unemployment rate hitting 10.1% in 2010.  Today, when it should be at 5%, we are still struggling at 6.6%.  When Obama took office there were 155.2 million workers in the labor force.  Despite the fact that nearly 7.5 million new workers should have entered the workforce over the last 5 years, the number has only inched up to 155.4 million. That 7.5 million, euphemistically called discouraged workers, have just given up looking for work.  As a result, they are no longer counted as being in the workforce. So much for "real" job creation.

And, GDP?  Well, its seen the worst recovery since the Great Depression with an average of about 1.97% growth per year since the recession ended in 2009.   Normally, growth should be 50% greater than that; at 3% or higher. Obviously, the stimulus didn't work as promised; and, even today, three-quarters of Americans still think we are in a recession.

While there are several reasons why Obama's Keynesian-Style Stimulus Package failed, the primary reason lies in the false belief that, when the economy slips into recession as a result of slack consumer spending, that lack of spending can be made up by increasing government expenditures.  But, this is just ridiculous.  The simple fact is that consumers don't spend like governments.  They don't build roads or bridges and they don't spend their money fixing them.  So, instead of stimulating the existing parts of our economy that are in the process of dying off, the Keynesian stimulus winds up  stimulating a subset of the economy that had nothing to do with the reason that the economy faltered in the first place.  What's worse, most of these projects have a low labor cost to materials and equipment costs ratios.  That is why you wind up with statistics that show that, at the very least, it cost the taxpayers $185,000 for each job that was supposedly created.

Another problem with using federal and state construction projects as a means of trying to stimulate the economy is the fact that any spending and job creation will always be short lived.  If the project is 1 month long or 3 years long, that part of the economy that is being stimulated will only benefit as long as the project is still alive. Once its over, so are the jobs and so is the spending.

Lastly, there's the argument by the Democrats that every dollar spent returns $1.50 in economic activity.  To some extent that's true, but $1.50 is an average.  Depending on how labor intensive the  effort is, the returns will range between 70 cents (a loss) and $1.90.  Heavy construction projects are more towards 70 cents than anywhere near $1.50 because the labor costs are so low relative to the overall cost of the project.  Thus, the potential for any true economic expansion is lost. More importantly, the stimulus is a drag on everyone's wallet because deficit spending devalues all the dollars that are in the economy.   This weak dollar effect means that things will cost more; especially imported items.  For example, oil, which is priced worldwide on the basis of the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar, has dramatically risen since 2009.  The result has been that gasoline prices rose from $1.74/gallon in 2009 to the current rate of $3.63. This is despite the fact we are now awash in new, domestic oil as a result of fracking and other new technologies. In contrast, natural gas, which is not traded in terms of the value of the dollar, has seen its prices fall from $12.49 a cubic ton to $9.40 from 2009 to 2012.  All because of fracking.

Despite whatever spin the White House puts on the stimulus results, it was nothing but a failure and, I think, definitive proof that Keynesian economics is simply another tool for left-wing politicians to grow the government and redistribute wealth.


The Worst Four Years Of GDP Growth In History: Yes, We Should Be Worried:

As Obama starts sixth year, 74 percent say US still in recession:

White House Says The Stimulus Cost Per Job is $185,000; not $278,000:

Politifact: Every Dollar of Spending Returns Between $0.70 & $1.90 in Increase Economic Activity:

A Scorecard on the economy under Obama:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Obama's 'Drought' Ignorance

Desperately needing to strengthen the Democrat's environmental base in advance of the 2014 elections, Obama burned tons more carbon dioxide -- more than you or I would use in our lifetimes -- by flying Air Force One and its companion plane to the West Coast in order to link California's drought to climate change.  There, awaiting the President's arrival, was an entourage of heavy, armor-plated and extremely low-mileage limousines that had been advance airlifted in a  massive gas-guzzling military cargo plane.

Then after surveying some of the dry earth in the area,  the President stepped in front of the cameras and used the California drought as an example of climate change.  He even said that science had predicted it.  After that, his entourage whisked him off to one of the 9 well-manicured and deep-green golf courses in the area that are responsible for using up 17% of all the available water in that county.

Now, it's quite rare that the always-simpatico New York Times would ever take this President to task; but, they did this time.   And, well they should.   This is because he was so off base in linking California's drought to climate change or global warming that even the "Times" couldn't hold its tongue.  As the paper pointed out, computer modeling had never predicted a drought for California.  Instead, the "state" was supposed to have warmer and much wetter weather. Further, the same scientists that didn't see the drought coming, also can't predict when it will end.

Droughts, since the history of time, are an ever occurring fact of nature. Long before the itsy-bitsy carbon footprints of this country's first pilgrims arrived here, there was the Medieval period from 900 to 1500 A.D.  During that time, California had numerous and decades long droughts. In the 1950's, it was so bad that many of the Golden State's natural lakes were mere mud puddles.  The worst drought ever in the recorded history of this country took place during the dust bowl years of the 1930's.  Maybe, this most intelligent President overlooked Steinbeck's Classic "The Grapes of Wrath".

The bottom line is that California doesn't have a climate change problem when it comes to water. They have a population problem. A water usage and planning problem and, an environmental activism problem.

If the state's population was even 10% less than it is today, the drought wouldn't be an issue. The state has not built a single, new water retention facility in the last 30 years.  Yet, during that time, their population has grown by more than 32%.  On top of that, environmentalists have forced California to dump billions of gallons of excess reservoir water into the oceans in an effort to keep a few environmentally protected habitats from being flooded.  Additionally, they have blocked  desalinization of sea water, which would provide an endless source of fresh water, because the process might adversely affect sea life. Fortunately, the state's first desalinization plant is scheduled to go on line 2016.

Once again, the politicization of climate change by using false linkages, makes it less believable.  Though, to an ideologue like Obama, that doesn't seem to matter.


New York Times: Science Linking Drought to Global Warming Remains Matter of Dispute: Scientists fear California's long-ago era of mega-droughts could be back:

Drought In the United States:

The Man-Made California Drought:

Desalination isn't the answer to California's water problem:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Another Failed Obama Promise: A Doubling of Exports by 2015

I doubt many people remember Obama's promise -- as part of the 2010 State of the Union -- that he would double U.S. exports in just 5 years; and, in doing so, create 2 million manufacturing jobs.  But, like so much of what the President says, his words are found to be good for politics and well short of any possible reality.

When Obama made that promise, exports were at $142 billion for the month of January 2010.  By December 2013, exports had only risen to $191 billion.  This is well below the $256 billion needed to be on track with the President's goal.  So, after completing nearly four years of the 5-year commitment, exports have only risen by 35%.  At best, they might increase 42% over what had been a 100% or doubling of export promise.

Now, what about all those manufacturing jobs?  Well, in the February 2013 State of the Union Address, Obama proudly said this:
 “After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three.”
For that claim, the normally-friendly Washington Post gave him 2 Pinocchios.  But, even if it was true, at best, we are only on track to create 800,000 manufacturing jobs by 2015; of which only about 40% could be attributable to exports.

I think Americans need to wake up and stop believing anything Obama says.  For him, talk is truly cheap; and, as always, politically opportunistic. And, I mean "opportunistic" in the most negative way.

You might keep this blog entry in mind, when, on Tuesday, Obama promised that -- thanks to his new fuel standards -- the average family will save $8,000 in gasoline expenses over time. Of course, that savings never takes into consideration how expensive a car will have to be to meet his new standards.  I'm sensing even more Pinocchios on the way.

With the stroke of Obama's pen, new fuel standards are coming:


State of the Union Address: Obama to Double Exports and create 2 million jobs:

January 2010 Exports/Imports:

December 2013 Exports/Imports:

Obama Gets 2 Pinocchios on Manufacturing Job Creation:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Latest ObamaCare Delay Confirms That The Healthcare Law Is A Job Killer

Ever since ObamaCare was passed into law, non-partisan economists have labelled it a job killer.  In doing so, they point to the fact that employers can avoid any mandates and penalties by converting full time workers to part-time and by keeping the full-time staff under 49; a simple task if you are able to convert those employees to outside, contract  labor.  Other economists believe that struggling companies, unable to either provide insurance or pay the penalties, will have no other choice but to shutter their businesses.  Others point to higher costs and new taxes associated with the law as potential drags on the economy with job losses to follow.

Those on the left have countered this by pointing back to the original Congressional Budget Office's analysis of ObamaCare which said that an insignificant amount of jobs (800,000) would be impacted: that being only one-half of one percent of the total workforce.  Further, the proponents of the law have noted that the benefits to the overall economy would be greater than any small number of jobs being lost. Some even argued that it would actually create jobs.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to rolling out ObamaCare last week.  This time, in the 29th such delay, Obama told employers with 50-to-99 employees that their compliance with the law was delayed until January 1, 2016.  Or, that's what most of the news media reported.  What was little reported is that an employer has until that date to comply "as long as" that employer signs an affirmation, as part of each and every tax submission, that says that any changes they might have made in staffing were not a result of trying to avoid the mandates of ObamaCare.  Otherwise, if they lied, they would be subject to both penalties and imprisonment for perjury under Federal law.  Now, if that doesn't backhandedly scream proof of  job-killing, I don't know what does!

Obviously, the delay and the associated "perjury" condition is intended to stop any further deterioration of the workforce in advance of the November elections. I'm quite sure that the President's economic advisers have told him things like, in the last year, 75% of the jobs being created were part-time.  Or, that productivity has risen and unit labor costs have fallen to levels that haven't been seen since the last two recessions.  Or, that the decline in retail sales is closely following the pattern that preceded the last great recession in late 2007.

Any way you shake it, the Presidents signature legislation is harming both the economy and jobs; and, this latest delay and that "affirmation" just proves it.


Businesses must certify under penalty of perjury that job cuts aren’t Obamacare dodge:

CBO: Healthcare to Shrink Workforce by 800,000:

Chart: Productivity and Unit Labor Costs:

Chart: Retail Sales:

 75% Of Jobs Created This Year Were Part-Time:


Monday, February 17, 2014

Climate Alarmists Didn't Learn The Lessons of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "Chicken Little

Recently, I read a news article in the National Journal that focused on the fact that some Senate Democrats are planning to pressure the Sunday news talk shows into having more coverage of  global warming and/or climate change.  This because the media god of all things extremely liberal, Media Matters, reported that only 8 minutes of Sunday talk time was dedicated to the subject in 2012.  Of course, I had to laugh because those Democrats really don't want a "discussion" of "all" the facts regarding climate change -- both pro and con -- but, rather, they want more extreme, alarmist pablum being rammed down the throats of Americans.

Last Sunday, dutiful to the will of the Democrats, all three of the major network Sunday shows had climate change discussions.  The most laughable of them was NBC's Meet the Press where Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, with a degree in home economics, was matched up with Bill Nye, the Science Guy, a mechanical engineer. Obviously, NBC was unable to scrape up a couple of experts in either meteorology or climatology to debate the issue.  I'm also assuming that Daffy Duck and Mickey Mouse must have turned down their invitations as well.

What Democrats don't seem to understand is that America has "tuned out" the subject, and, the "tune out" is simply the result of people not buying into the extreme and dire predictions that clearly aren't happening.  It's as if the likes of Al Gore and other alarmists completely ignored the wisdom of the two children's fables: The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Chicken Little.  This is why, the latest Pew Poll on priorities, placed global warming at the bottom; second only to dealing with global trade.

Then, of course, there was "ClimateGate" revealing that some critical data was being falsified in order to push the global warming theory.  That again weakened trust among Americans regarding the reality of this so called crisis.

Lastly,  the believability factor isn't helped when every time there is some severe weather event,  some politician, not a scientist or climatologist,  trips all over themselves to proclaim it a direct result of global warming. People understand that bad weather occurs all the time.  More often that not, the event being hyped was not as severe as some similar event in the past.  For example, when a deadly tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma in May of last year, Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island gave an impassioned speech blaming climate change.  Yet, after the tornado season was all said and done, we learned that 2013 broke the all-time record for the fewest tornadoes.


 'Meet The Press' Shows Us Exactly How Not To Cover Climate Change:

National Journal: Democrats Plan To Pressure TV Networks Into Covering Climate Change:

Pew Research: Public Priorities:

Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation:

Oklahoma Tornado: Proof that politics and climate change are linked:

2013 shatters the record for fewest U.S. tornadoes:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Why Obama's Executive Orders Are Lawless

When Barack Obama took the oath of office, he agreed, before God and our country, that he would "...preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."  In doing so, he also agreed to Article Two, Clause Five of the Constitution which states that the President must "faithfully execute the laws of the land".  The word "faithfully" in that statement is clearly defined by Webster's Dictionary as "strict or thorough performance of one's duty." Faithfully does not mean that the President can arbitrarily execute the laws of the land.  Nor, does it say he can ignore those parts of the Constitution he doesn't like.

In our power-balanced system of government, only Congress has the right to create or amend laws; and, once signed into law they become the responsibility of that President and all future President's to "faithfully" execute and uphold them.  If, however, the law is somehow unconstitutional, the courts can strike it down; but, not the President. Therein lies the problem with a number of executive orders issued by Obama.  Especially those associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that he, himself, signed into law.  If he didn't like the mandates of the ACA, including the dates of implementation, he should have vetoed it.  That was his right under our Constitution.  But, instead, by signing it into law, he agreed to "faithfully" execute it.

Some on the left, like Juan Williams, a writer for the and a Fox News contributor, seem to think that the issue of lawlessness is, somehow, just a numbers game; arguing that George Bush and Bill Clinton issued twice as many executive orders than has Obama.  I suppose, then, from this, we are to believe that both Clinton and Bush were twice as lawless as Obama. That argument is just a another canard; being served up for the benefit of the dumbest in our society who don't know any better.  Both Clinton and Bush were cautious to issue executive orders that could not be construed as being unconstitutional.  Clinton even waived off an opportunity to kill Bin Laden because he thought that it could be interpreted as an illegal or unconstitutional act.

In Obama's case, he revels in blatant, in-your-face violations of the Constitution.  Neither Clinton nor Bush would have issued an executive order forcing "all" religious organizations to  provide free contraception methods and abortive drugs to their employees; thus, violating the protection of religious rights and freedoms. Yet, in the case of President Obama, he is taking this lawlessness all the way to the Supreme Court, with many experts believing that the "contraception" order will be found unconstitutional.

We should have known from his earliest days in office that Obama would use his "pen" to violate the laws of the land for purely political reasons.  In February of 2009, just days before he signed his $787 billion stimulus package into law, he issued an executive order entitled: "USE OF PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS FOR FEDERAL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS".  In effect, this was payback to the unions for their help in his election.  Under that executive order, union work rules and union pay scales were mandated for all Federal construction projects; especially all those projects that were being outlined in the Stimulus Package.  So, when it was eventually signed into law,  the vast majority of all of those so-called shovel-ready jobs were invalidated by the President's previous executive order on union work rules and pay.  Then, all those projects had to be rebid at higher costs with either union or union-like labor.  That's the primary reason that the $787 billion Stimulus Package wound up costing the taxpayer $831 billion and why so many shovel-ready projects were cancelled or delayed. Then, in 2011, Obama looked back and quipped that "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected!" as if he had nothing to do with it.

In my opinion, Obama's continued use of executive orders just proves his ineptness in the "horse trading" skills that we have seen, and have come to expect, from our past presidents.  This president simply cannot negotiate or compromise.  There are no carrots in his quiver; only sticks.


Executive Order: Use of Project Labor Agreements (PLA):

Obama Jokes About Shovel-ready Jobs:

Hank Crumpton, Former CIA Officer: Clinton Wouldn't Authorize Osama Bin Laden Kill In 1999:

February 14th, Juan Williams to Martha MacCallum on Fox: "I can't even understand why Mr. Limbaugh's so upset, because when I look at the actual numbers, you see that President Obama has used an executive order to go around the Congress, I think it's less than half of the time of Bill Clinton, and just over half of the time of President George W. Bush. So it just doesn't make sense to me, I mean, unless you're trying to demonize President Obama and say he's lawless and he's a bad guy":

Friday, February 14, 2014

Did You Get Your 40% Increase In Pay When Obama Pen-Legislated A $10.10 Minimum Wage?

With a stroke of the pen, Obama gave any minimum wage worker involved with new government contracts a 40% increase.  Did your wages go up 40%?  Probably not, but one thing is true, that 40% increase "will" ultimately be passed on to everyone in the form of either higher costs or higher taxes.  While the President seems to think he made a few thousand minimum wage earners less poor, he sure as hell made millions of other Americans poorer.

Especially hurt are all those on fixed incomes.  Right now more than 38% of the 57 million people receiving Social Security checks are living solely off of that income; and, they are struggling. Obama didn't give them a 40% increase.  They only saw a 1.5% increase this year.  Since the President has been in office, social security checks have only risen an average of a little more than 1.1 % per year, while inflation was 50% higher than that.  In his first two years, he actually gave no increases to social security recipients.

Lastly, there are 2 million workers in this country who don't even make minimum wage. That's a higher number than the 1.6 million who do.  Where's their 40% increase?  How does Obama propose they deal with any rising costs resulting from the minimum wage increase?


New York Times: February 13, 2014: Obama Raises Minimum Wage for Contract Workers:

USA Today:  Rising prices hammer seniors on fixed incomes:

U.S. News and World Report: Retirees Increasingly Depending on Social Security:

Social Security Administration: Month Statistical Snapshot:

Social Security Administration: Cost-Of-Living Adjustments:

Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sebelius: Delaying ObamaCare is Not an Option

In a PBS interview last November, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, said this:
"Delaying the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t delay people’s cancer or diabetes or Parkinson. It doesn’t delay the higher cost all of us pay when uninsured Americans are left with no choice but to rely on emergency rooms for care. So, for millions of Americans, delay is not an option."
Yet, just last weekend, another delay -- the 27th so far in less than a year -- was put in place.  This time it again postpones the employer mandate for businesses with 50 to 100 employees until January 2016.  Thui, conveniently avoids the onslaught of expected insurance cancellations that would have occurred during the run up to the 2014 elections as many employers might choose to pay the penalty versus providing insurance by the current January 1, 2015 deadline.

Apparently, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's will now have to wait after all until the Democrats are able to skate through the 2014 elections without all the problems of ObamaCare hanging around their necks.  Obviously,  the President's delay of all the insurance-killing and job-killing aspects of his health care reform completely contradicts the expressed belief by the Democratic National Committee Chairman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that they will run on ObamaCare in 2014 and win.

One has to wonder.  If it is so great for America, why should so much of it have to be delayed?  After all, Sebellius told us that it wasn't an option.


Kathleen Sebelius to Congress: Delay of health care law ‘not an option’:

Employer Mandate Delayed Again:

Wasserman Schultz: Democrats Will Win in 2014 Running on Obamacare:
Democratic candidates will be able to run on ObamaCare as an advantage leading into the 2014 election, - See more at:
Democratic candidates will be able to run on ObamaCare as an advantage leading into the 2014 election, - See more at:
Democratic candidates will be able to run on ObamaCare as an advantage leading into the 2014 election, - See more at:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Productivity Increases: Proof That ObamaCare Is Behind Weak Job's Reports?

Each quarter, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measures worker efficiency in a report titled: "Productivity and Costs".  Normally, increases in productivity are a good thing because it shows that the workforce is producing more goods on a lower per-person basis, thus reducing the costs of items being produced and making those items more competitive; especially against low-cost world markets.

But, when productivity increases at a faster rate than the reduction of labor costs, it might be a sign that the labor force is losing ground in terms of jobs and/or job turnovers or in lowered salaries.  In fact, in 2013, in every quarter -- except for the second quarter -- labor costs fell to the extent that they are now contracting (below 0% growth).  This, then, has resulted in, what I think, is a very disturbing chart:

Of particular note is the yellow line.  This plot of "Unit Labor Costs" clearly shows that they have fallen to levels that haven't been seen since 2001 and 2008; when, in both those previous years, we were in the midst of a recession.  However, unlike those two years, we are hardly in a recession with economic growth in the last two quarters at 4.1% and 3.2%, respectively.
I think the drop in labor costs are proof that ObamaCare may be impacting the workforce in a substantial way by converting high-paying, full-time jobs to part time; thus lowering unit costs.  That's why the Huffington Post reported that 75% of jobs created this year were part time. It certainly is no coincidence that the drop unit costs occurred in the same year that ObamaCare was being implemented. At the same time, it may be the very reason as to why only 75,000 jobs were created in December and 113,000 in January.  In any event, we are now seeing recession-like unit labor costs and the reason isn't characteristically a recession.


BLS, February 6 report, 4th Quarter Productivity and Costs: Statistical Summary of the 4th Quarter Productivity Report:

GDP: Economic Growth:

75% Of Jobs Created This Year Were Part-Time:

Keith Ellison's Lie In Defending ObamaCare

Ever since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report that ObamaCare would result in 2.5 million people electing to work less hours because they then could avoid having to pay for their health insurance, the Democrats have been in "spin overtime" trying to put a positive light on this job-killing fact.

On last Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Representative Keith Ellison said that if ObamaCare cuts work hours it is a good thing.  He went on to elaborate that fact in this quote:
"People might be able to cook dinner rather than having to order out and get some take home. The fact is that if Americans have more choices to open up the business they’ve been wanting to start, this is a good thing. If you look at comparisons, country by country, Americans work way more than the average industrialized countries around the world. And we may want to work at our work life balance and this gives us something."
Now, I don't know what left-wing, union website Mr. Ellison got his information from but, Americans don't work more than the those workers in other industrialized countries.  In 2009, the United Nations published their data on the subject and that data is reflected in this pictorial:
Click on map to enlarge
The two countries that have the lowest hours worked in a week are Canada at 30.4 hours and, the United States at 33.6 hours.  Every other country works longer hours than the U.S.

The problem with Ellison's lie is that it is starting to go viral among Democrats in their futile attempts to defend ObamaCare as "not" being a job killer. And, it's going viral because no one is contesting the lie. This morning, on Fox News, Democrat pundit and commentator, Kirsten Powers, basically said the same thing; arguing that Americans shouldn't have to work as hard as they do just so they can afford health care.  Once again, the lie was repeated uncontested; and, if the lie continues to go unabated, most uninformed American's will start believing it.

Lastly, every generation of this country seems to think that they are worse off then their parents.  The reason for this is that we have Democrats, like Ellison, who continually paint Americans as being victims.  Because, as a Democrat, if you are able to victimize all or some Americans, you can sell more and more taxpayer funded social programs like ObamaCare. That was clear in Kirsten Power's commentary on Fox this morning where she implied that her parents were able to come home from work on a regular basis and, that, somehow, the workers of today are being beaten down by excessive hours of work.  To that, I have just one graph:

Click to Zoom
Enough said! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Real Employment Numbers That Never See Headlines

When the employment report is issued each month, most people and, certainly the media, are only interested in two numbers: (1) the number of jobs created or lost in that month and (2) the resulting unemployment rate.  But, those two numbers are a result of some pretty heavy-handed massaging in what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "seasonal adjustments".  Seasonal adjustments have always come under fire, especially lately, from a lot of well-respected economists, because the "adjustments" seem to be very large and, thus, questionably accurate.

Take, for example, the latest jobs report.  The headline says that 113,000 jobs were created with a resulting drop in the unemployment rate from 6.7% to 6.6%.  Now, to any logical observer, this makes perfect sense in that a falling unemployment rate must mean that some number of jobs had to have been created to lower the rate. But, if you dig deeper into the January jobs report, you would see a completely different picture when it comes to the unadjusted numbers.

According to the raw data in Table A-2, whites, which make up 79% of the workforce,  saw their unemployment rate go up in January by 9%; from 5.7% to 6.2%.  Yet, after seasonal adjustment, whites  remained the same at 5.7% as in December.  The raw data also said that blacks also saw their rate go up by 9%; from 11.6% to 12.6%.  After adjustment, their final number was 12.1%. While there is no adjustment data available for Asians, their unemployment rate went up 17% from 4.1% to 4.8%.  All three groups added together represent 96% of the workforce and all saw substantial losses in employment.  Yet, the final employment number says jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't include an absolutely horrendous fact that our President wouldn't want you to know when he's out there touting the lowest unemployment rate during his presidency.  That fact is that teen unemployment among blacks now sits at 39% (raw) or 38% after adjustment.  In the city of Chicago, the President's hometown, black male teens are at a unbelievable 92% unemployment rate.  Maybe that's why gang membership has risen 40% since Obama became President. 


Has The Fed Been Fooled By Phony Jobs Numbers?:

Table A: January Employment Situation Report: Seasonally Adjusted Results:

Table A-2: January Employment Situation Report: Raw And Seasonally Adjusted Numbers by Race, Age, and Sex:

New Urban League study finds 92 percent of African American male teens are unemployed:

FBI: Gang Membership Up 40% Since 2009:

Friday, February 7, 2014

The January Jobs Report: Shooting Holes In December's Baby Boomer Excuse For A Shrinking Workforce

Last month, when the workforce declined by 347,000 in the December Jobs Report and, as a result, the unemployment rate fell dramatically by three-tenths of a percent, a number of liberals blamed the decline in workers on the retirement of baby boomers.  I countered that with a blog entry titled: "The Big Lie: Workforce Contractions Are Due To Baby Boomer Retirements".

Well, this month, in the January Jobs Report, the workforce grew by 523,000 from 154.937 million  to 155.460 million workers.  Strangely, we haven't heard one peep out of all those idiots that had used the "baby boom retirement" excuse for a shrinking workforce in December. 


January Jobs Report:

USA Today: Tom Mullaney: Jobs report highlights the aging of Baby Boomers:

The Big Lie: Workforce Contraction Are Due To Baby Boomer Retirements:

Electric Cars On The Road: Another Delusional Goal From Obama.

Back in 2010, another election year, Obama set a goal of one million electric cars on the road by 2015.  Certainly, this was an attempt to energize and garner votes from his "green" base of voters. Now, with only 11 months to go on that "by" 2015 goal, one might ask how things are going with the President's target.

Well, according to the facts collected by Wikipedia, there are only 380,000 electric cars operating in the whole world.  Only 170,000 in the U.S.  That's an average of 42,500 cars sold per year in this country.  At this rate, we won't exactly  have a million electric cars on U.S. highways by 2015.  In fact, it will take another 17+ years to meet this ridiculous goal.  Back in 2011, Obama's Department of Energy knew that there was no way the goal would be met.  Yet, they still reported this:
"Although the goal is ambitious, key steps already taken and further steps proposed indicate the goal is achievable. Indeed, leading vehicle manufacturers already have plans for cumulative U.S. production capacity of more than 1.2 million electric vehicles by 2015, according to public announcements and news reports."
This is the same Department that dumped billions into start up green energy companies that would ultimately fail.

The fact is that there just aren't enough wealthy, planet-green-hatted-people in the U.S. who are stupid enough to buy these expensive and range-limited vehicles.  Once again, we have another false and purely politically-motivated goal coming from this President; and, a lying government agency that attempts to support it.


U.S. Department of Energy: One Million Electric Vehicles By 2015: Status Report:

Wikipedia: Electric Car Use By Country:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dispelling the Myth That George W. Bush Only Benefited The Rich

We've heard it all before.  According to Obama and the Democrats, the George W. Bush tax cuts only benefited  the rich.  Thus, apparently, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer during the Bush years.

However, thanks to a post by Jim Lindgren, in a Washington Post blog, we get this very enlightening chart:

As the chart shows, of the last four out-of-office Presidents, the incomes of the lowest 20% of our population under George W. Bush increased the highest at 18.4%.  At the same time, the top 20%, saw declines of  6% in their incomes.  Under Clinton, the poor only saw income increases of 13.3%; but, the richest 1% saw their income rise by a whopping 84.1%.  Reagan was the biggest benefactor of the rich with a 90.9% increase in their incomes in his 8 years.

That, then, brings us to Obama.  Under his stewardship we have a record number of people in poverty: 46.5 million and a 49-year high; as a percent of population. Further, Obama has had to admit that, since being in office, 95% of all the income gains have gone to the top 1%.

If this was a fairy tale, and Obama had a magic mirror, his "fairest of all" question would definitely result in George W's face reflecting back at him.   


Jim Lindgren:  If we want more income equality, should we return to the economy of George W. Bush?:

That’s rich: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record:

Obama admits 95% of income gains gone to top 1%:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another Obama Broken Promise On Health Care Reform

We all know, now, that contrary to the President's promises, you are more apt to see higher costs than cost reductions for your health care.  Also, in direct contradiction, you are likely to lose both your insurance and your doctor.  However, another failed promise is firmly in progress and not being talked about.  That is that ObamaCare wouldn't add one dime to the deficit:

The fact is that ObamaCare is already more expensive than anticipated by merely trying to fix the failed website.  Beyond that, the Federal government is squarely on the hook for billions of dollars in unprojected expenses.  Expenses that are needed to bail out those insurers who are losing money because not enough young people are signing up, and the bailout only gets larger as more and more people who need and want insurance are forced into Obamacare.

Now, a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report states that Affordable Care Act will add another trillion dollars to our deficits by 2021; just 7 years from now.  This report also claims that 2.3 million workers will lose their jobs because of the President and Democrat's health care reform.


ObamaCare's Insurance Company Bailout:

ObamaCare and Deficits: A Reality Check:

CBO: O-Care will cost 2.3M workers:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Obama and the Democrat's Priorities Are Out Of Step With America's

Every year, Pew Research conducts a poll to determine what America thinks the nation's priorities should be. The result of this year's poll are as follows:
At the very top, the economy, jobs, terrorism, education, and social security are what American's are most concerned about.  Yet, we have a President who seems to think he's done a good job on the economy, jobs, and terrorism; and, at the same time, completely ignores any meaningful programs to fix our broken education system.  It is interesting to see that there really hasn't been any significant drops in either the economy or jobs as priorities since the President took office in 2009.  I guess that's why, in other polls, many Americans still think we are in a recession.

But, what's more disturbing, is that many of Obama's  priorities -- global warming, infrastructure,  immigration, and income inequality (dealing with the poor) -- are either at the bottom or, in the case of income inequality, are in the bottom half of this year's list.

All too often Obama and the Democrats claim they are more in sync with what Americans need or want.  If that was really true, the Pew poll would be just the inverse of what it really is.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Americans Losing Insurance Won't Sign Up For ObamaCare

Back in 2010, the Obama Administration knew that 93 million Americans would lose their health insurance as a result of ObamaCare.  It was all part of the plan.  A plan that "assumed" that it would force Americans into either government-controlled Medicaid or the government-mandated health exchanges and, put America on a pathway to single-payer, socialized medicine.  But, their plan makes the false assumption that Americans, in losing their insurance, will be eager to replace it. 

The fact is that -- since the 1980's and with the rise of cheap imported goods -- Americans have found themselves losing their employer-based insurance as employers tried to stay competitive with imports by slashing their high costs of labor.  Essentially, as imports increased and people lost health coverage, the number of uninsured also increased.  You can clearly see the correlation from the following two charts.

Click on either chart to zoom
The simple fact is that when Americans lose their insurance, they aren't necessarily inclined to replace it.   Especially, if the costs are too high.  They will just try and do without and take advantage of any social safety nets that may already exist.  As a result, the implementation of ObamaCare  may just result in many more uninsured.  Remember, that by the end of December, more than 6 million lost their current coverage but only 2.2 million signed up for a replacement in the new exchanges. This is just the opposite of what ObamaCare was supposed to do.

By the way.  Often times you hear that 30 million are uninsured.  The chart (above) from the CDC, clearly shows that 43.3 million are going without insurance.  That 30 million is a stale number from the Clinton years. 


CDC: National Health Statistics Report 2009:

Forbes: Obama Officials In 2010: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare: