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Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare’

Happy April Fool’s Day! And good April Fool that I am, I find myself hard at work once again to bring you my weekly blogging awesomeness.

Well, okay. Maybe awesomeness is a little too strong. I’ll settle for weekly blogging not-too-horribleness.

At any rate, I am kinda pumped about this week’s topic, namely the Federal Reserve. In short, I’m fed up with it.

But more than that, there are few things in life that bring joy to my heart more than the thought of dishing out a good beat down to ne’er do well boys and girls at the dear Federal Reserve.

I find it, how shall I say….cathartic. Yes, that’s it! Cathartic! And since it’s been a little while since I’ve dissed the Fed, I expect that it will prove all the more so.

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Obama_This is going to hurtI know. I know. I’m late with my Week In Review. I could tell you the dog ate my homework, but I don’t think that that would fly.

Actually, I blame it on the IRS.

You see, as is the case with most folks who work in finance and accounting, during the first quarter of every year I get monkey hammered at work all for the purpose of meeting some arbitrary government deadline. Oh well. At least the over time’s good money.

And not only am I late this week, but I’m also going be short owing to another government program, Daylight savings time. I have to admit I do like the late sunsets, but that whole spring forward thing? It just kills me.

So without further ado and so I can get to bed at a decent hour, let’s look at some of this week’s top stories.

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Last week in Part 3 of this series, we looked at Donald Trump’s immigration reform proposals. This week, the focus will be on Hillary Clinton’s immigration stance.

As you may recall, the verdict on Trump’s immigration reform proposals was mixed. Some of his ideas were quite good – 1) his statement that American immigration policy should be set up to benefit all Americans and 2) his call to end birthright citizenship – can readily be reconciled with Biblical political theory. On the other hand, some of his ideas fell short of the mark – 1) Trump’s signature issue, his call to build a wall all along the US-Mexico border, and 2) his eVerify program, a proposal that would, in effect, create a national biometric ID card, requiring anyone looking to get a job to show “his papers” to prove he was eligible to work in the US.

An analysis of Hillary’s immigration plan will require a different approach than the one I used for Trump’s. Because her immigration proposals are so uniformly bad, realistically there is no way to break her ideas down into the categories of “good” and “bad” ideas.

In short, her immigration program is an unrelieved disaster that, if enacted, will go a long way to transforming the US into a third world country, while forcing ordinary Americans to foot the bill for the privilege. Or to put it another way, her immigration policy could well have been crafted by prelates of the Roman Church-State, whose destructive immigration policies she has largely adopted as her own. In fact, the only real difference between Mrs. Clinton’s ideas on immigration and those of Rome is that she doesn’t bother with trying to justify them, as the Romanists do, by twisting the Scriptures.

The following critique will be based upon Mrs. Clinton’s immigration platform as stated on her campaign website here.

A Nation of Immigrants

Mrs. Clinton’s begins her immigration platform with the following hypothetical argument: If we claim we are for family, then we have to pull together and resolve the outstanding issues around our broken immigration system.

To this I would ask the question, What do you mean by “resolve the outstanding issues around our broken immigration system? Both what issues Mrs. Clinton identifies and what her proposed solutions are will go a long way to determining whether this is a statement in the interest of American electorate or not.

In Mrs. Clinton’s case, you don’t have to wait long for the answer. She spells it out plainly by saying, “We can’t wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship.” In other words, if you are “for the family”, you must support amnesty for the 12 million plus individuals who are in the US contrary to US immigration law. And if you don’t support amnesty for all, you are, therefore, not “for the family.”

This, of course, is pure rubbish. In fact, it strikes this observer as exactly the opposite of the truth. Because I am for the family, my own, those of my fellow Americans, and also those of the aliens who have violated American immigration law, it is important not to reward illicit behavior, which is the ultimate effect of Mrs. Clinton’s proposal.

Hillary goes on to invoke that most tired of immigration bromides, calling America a “nation of immigrants” as another reason American’s should accept her proposals. But, as David Hume pointed out in the 18th century, you cannot get an ought from an is. It simply does not follow that because America is a nation of immigrants that, therefore, Americans ought to accept her amnesty proposal and the enormous costs, both economic and social, implied by it.

Immigration Reform in Her First 100 Days

Mrs. Clinton makes it quite clear that immigration reform is her top priority. As her website states, “Hillary will introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office.”

But how many Americans actually know that this is the case. I’ll admit to not following every speech or press release by the current presidential candidates. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton intended to make this point somewhere along the way in one of her press conferences that she didn’t hold. Who knows? But I don’t recall hearing her make this point about the amnesty in the first 100 days anywhere in her public campaign statements.

There seems to be a certain lack of frankness here on her part. But then again, that sort of thing is her stock in trade.

The DAPA Heartbreak

“The Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision on DAPA was a heartbreaking reminder of how high the stakes are in this election,” says Hillary’s website.

So, you may be asking, what is DAPA anyway? Short for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, DAPA, “is a planned American immigration policy to grant deferred action status to certain illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are either American citizens or lawful permanent residents” (Wikipedia).

To put in another way, DAPA is in effect a mini-amnesty, allowing the illegal alien parents of anchor babies to remain in the country indefinitely until such time as their children come of age to sponsor them for citizenship.

Anchor babies, as you may know, are children born on American soil to illegal alien parents. And due to the location of their birth, these children are automatically considered to be American citizens. DAPA allows their parents to avoid deportation and eventually be rewarded with citizenship when their children turn 18 and are able to act as their sponsors.

To date, DAPA has not been enacted due to it being blocked by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016. This decision was upheld by the Supreme Court, which is the ruling Hillary called “heartbreaking.”

If DAPA is ever enacted, it will have the effect of rewarding illegal aliens twice. Once by allowing them to have anchor babies with automatic American citizenship and once by allowing those parents to remain in the country until their American born children are able to sponsor them for full citizenship.

Doubtless, most if not all families in the illegal alien community consider this a good deal. But what about the American families who have to pay the costs associated with this program? Is it a good deal for them? Certainly not. But in Hillary’s world, the well-being of foreigners comes before the well-being of the American people.

And this really gets to the heart of the problem many Americans have with the current immigration “debate,” which really is no debate at all. But rather consists of government officials announcing some new immigration program to the harm of ordinary Americans, and then proceeding to lecture them when they hesitate to swallow it.

The only “heartbreak” about DAPA is that the American people have been so asleep at the wheel as to allow the nation to degenerate to the point where legislation of this sort has come within a hair’s breadth of becoming law.

And hearkening back to my comments from last week, DAPA once again highlights the desperate need to plug the gaping legal hole of birthright citizenship. Without anchor babies, DAPA would be a non-issue.

Obamacare for Everyone

How’s that Obamacare working out for you? Not too well you say. Not to worry. Hillary’s got big plan’s to make everything better by allowing illegal aliens to sign up for this boondoggle and receive tax-payer subsidized healthcare.

Hillary’s website puts it this way, “We should let families – regardless of immigration status -buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so.”

According to the Washington Post, “Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under President Obama’s health law are struggling financially…Many of the online exchanges are wrestling with surging costs, especially for balky technology and expensive customer call centers.” So, we have a socialist healthcare system on the brink of failure and Hillary thinks adding millions more to the roles will help fix things. I guess it seems like a great idea to her great idea for the already rickety state health exchanges to continue to lose money on every sale but make it up on volume. Sounds like a good business plan to me.

If this legislation were to pass, not only would it serve to expand the welfare menu available to illegal aliens – at this time, those in the country illegally are prohibited from applying for welfare for themselves, they are, however, permitted to apply for welfare for their American born anchor baby children – it would serve as a first step to making available the full benefits of the welfare state directly to individuals who have violated American immigration law.

Unstated but important implications

As is often the case with those who promote big-government, Mrs. Clinton prefers to focus on the benefits of her immigration proposals, but has nothing to say about the costs. But it’s worth asking, Who’s going to pay for all this?

Nowhere in her immigration statements does Mrs. Clinton identify who will cough up the funds for all the goodies. But we all know that it will be the already hard-pressed American people.

And what about the future? What will happen once Mrs. Clinton gets her amnesty? Will that end once and for all the issue with illegal aliens? Of course not! Not only does Mrs. Clinton’s program not remove the perverse incentives of the welfare state, on the contrary it enhances them.

Is there any doubt that as soon as the current 12 million illegal aliens are amnestied that they will be replaced be a new cohort as large or larger? As they say, wash, rise, repeat. Hillary’s plan does nothing long-term to solve America’s gaping immigration problem, but serves only as a temporary band-aid with the promise of a bigger fix being needed in the future.

Hillary’s Monstrous Regiment

This has been an attempt to critique Hillary Clinton’s immigration program. In the view of this author, it is a disaster. But while it is necessary for Christians to point out her disastrous immigration plan, criticizing her ideas alone are not sufficient.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, it is unbiblical for Christians to support a woman for president. And it is important to say so. Were I to criticize only Mrs. Clinton’s policies, it might suggest to some that I think it’s appropriate to support and vote for female presidential candidates as long as their policy views are more Biblical.

As John Knox said so well, “To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature, contumelious to God, a think most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance, and finally it is the subversion of good order, and of all equity and justice (The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women).

Summary and Conclusion

The Bible tells us that the civil magistrate has two and only two functions: 1) punish evildoers and 2) praise the good. Hillary manages to invert this order by rewarding those who break the law while punishing those who keep it. To put it another way, Mrs. Clinton’s immigration program is basket of deplorable nonsense, one that calls good evil and evil good.

While Donald Trump’s immigration plan has significant flaws, at the same time it has a few points to recommend it. On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton’s immigration program is an unrelieved disaster, one that all by itself unfits her to assume any public office, let alone the presidency.

I realize this has been a rather harsh critique of Mrs. Clinton’s immigration proposals. It is well deserved and I stand by every word of it. But lest anyone suppose that I write these things without any Christian concern for the “strangers among us”, on the contrary, it is in part because I have concern for them that I write what I write.

While Mrs. Clinton’s immigration plan offers some short-term benefits to those who have violated American immigration law, long-term her proposals will damage their prospects as well.

Immigration should be a win-win for both the immigrants and for the American people. And when unjust, unbiblical laws benefit one group at the expense of another, in the long-run no one comes out ahead.

Or perhaps to put it more accurately, very few people come out ahead. For while Hillary’s socialist immigration policies work against the interests of the vast majority of people, both Americans and those who wish to come to this country legally, there are a few individuals who stand to benefit from her proposals: big government loving socialists, professional ethnic lobbyists, businesses that benefit from mass, taxpayer-subsidized immigration – legal and illegal – which allows to privatize outsized profits while socializing the costs, and globalists such as George Soros, Hillary Clinton, pope Francis and the entire Roman Church-State, all of whom seek to use mass immigration/migration as a battering ram to overthrow the Westphalian order of independent nation states established by the Protestant victory in the Thirty Years’ War and put in its place an oligarchic, New World Order global government.

It is possible to have an immigration policy that is fair both to the American people and to those who wish to come to this country. But for this to happen, we must seek God’s counsel in his Word. Lord willing, I will attempt to sketch out what a Biblical immigration policy should look like in future installments.

To be continued


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Obama_2016 SOTU

President Barak Obama delivers his State of the Union address to Congress, January 12, 2016.

“Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction,” or at least that’s what President Obama would have Americans believe based on his remarks in his State of the Union address last week. Yes, according to the president, everything is awesome. And anyone who thinks otherwise is simply, to quote a Vice President from a few decades back, a nattering nabob of negativism.

 

But is everything as rosy as Obama would have us believe? The following points would suggest otherwise:

  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) just experienced the worst opening week in its history. During the first two weeks of trading in 2016, the market has declined by 4%.
  • The Labor Force Participation Rate – this the total number of people who are either employed or actively looking for work divided by the total working age population – is at lows not seen in nearly 40 years, going back to a time when women were just entering the workforce in large numbers.
  • The Baltic Dry Index – a shipping and trade index measuring the changes in the cost to transport raw materials by – is at record low levels and continuing to sink rapidly. These low and rapidly declining readings – the index has dropped 19% just since the first of the year – indicate a sharp drop in international shipping, implying a significant drop in international trade and a global economic slow-down. According to this article, the index has hit new record lows for the past nine days straight.
  • According to FactCheck.org, the number of Food Stamp recipients grew by 45% for the period from 1/9/2009 – 1/9/2015.
  • Breitbart reports that, “American’s middle class has shrunk by almost 20% since the 1970s and is now a minority of the population in the United States.”
  • In connection with a shrinking middle class, income distribution has become significantly skewed toward the top of society. This video give a good breakdown of just how unequal incomes have become in the US. Among its findings: 40% of the wealth of the country is held by 1% of the population, those in the top 1% own 50% of value of the stock and bonds markets. Taken together with a shrinking middle class, it appears that the US is coming to resemble more a feudal society than the healthy middle class nation most of us grew up in.
  • US federal government debt has exploded in recent years. When Obama entered office in January 2009, the debt stood at a frightening $10.6 trillion. According to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, the debt was $18.1 trillion in January 2015 and is projected to grow to $19.1 trillion a year from now when Obama leaves office. To put it another way, it took the US 236 years to amass $10.6 trillion of debt, but by the time he leaves office next year, Obama will have presided over a near doubling of this amount. According to Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff, “Our country is broke. It’s not broke in 75 years of 50 years or 25 years or 10 years. It’s broke today.”

Considering only the bullet points above, it would appear that precarious is about the kindest word one could use to describe the economic condition of the US. To say we’re headed off an economic cliff likely would be closer to the mark.

So how did we get here? How did a nation founded by the Puritans and committed to the principles of civil and economic liberty end up a bloated, socialist over extended empire suffocating under the largest debt edifice in the history of mankind? Although a full answer to that question is beyond the scope of a single blog post, the short answer is that the American people have, to borrow what Isaiah said about the people of Judah, turned away backwards from God and from his law. We have rejected the truth and embraced the lie, and now the chickens are coming how to roost.

In this post, I would like to look specifically at three economic lies that are held by nearly all academic economists, politicians and their enablers in the media: central banking, fiat currency and Keynesian economics. Any one of these by itself is dangerous to the health of a nation. Taken together, they are a sort of perfect storm, guaranteed to bring economic destruction to any nation whose leaders embrace them.

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When President Obama met today with Pope Francis I, part of their agenda involved the giving of gifts. The president presented the pope with seeds of the sort used in the White House vegetable garden in a box made with wood reclaimed from the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The pope returned the favor by giving Obama two medallions and a copy of Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Francis’ heavily socialist Apostolic Exhortation released in November 2013.

Doubtless, the gift was warmly received.

For all the whining and posturing of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the contraceptive provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), they must be delighted with the socialist tone of the current administration, which jibes nicely with historic Roman Catholic Church-State social teaching.

The only question seems to be, which will run out first, the pack of vegetable seeds or the US Treasury from paying for Roman Catholic inspired, socialist health care?

Please click here for a link to a New York Times article on the meeting.

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Obamacare Ad Nauseum

I’ve gotten to the point where I can scarcely go to the workplace refrigerator to get my lunch. I dread opening the break room doors, for behind them horror awaits. Vile. Unspeakable. I’m referring, of course, to CCN’s incessant, breathless, blow-by-blow coverage of the Obamacare website mess.

And the more I hear it, the more I think this may be a blessing in disguise for the medical socialists. The enormous website fail has given them the opportunity to redirect the conversation, so that now everyone is abuzz about how to fix healthcare.gov instead of how shut it down forever. It would seem the Obama folks have taken to heart Rahm Emanuel’s saying, never let a good disaster go to waste.

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Leon Trotsky…might be paraphrased, “In a country where the sole physician is the State, opposition means death by health care rationing.  The old principle, who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one:  Who does not cooperate shall not recover.” – John Robbins

In his must-read 1994 lecture on Hillary Care, John Robbins noted the logical and historical connection between national healthcare and dictatorship, an opinion shared by his former boss, Congressman Ron Paul from Texas.  As a physician, Ron Paul understands the importance of quality, affordable healthcare.  As a congressman and advocate of personal liberty, he understands it can be delivered only through the agency of the free market, not government bureaucracies and onerous mandates.  For this reason, he has introduced legislation that would repeal the worst feature of the recent healthcare reform bill:  the requirement that every American purchase health insurance or face IRS penalties.        

Paul writes,

The administration’s terrible healthcare reform bill is now law, but the debate over how– and whether– the federal government should be involved in providing healthcare services is not over.  It is not too late for America to correct its course and stop the march toward a government-run, “single payer” healthcare system.

Polls show that a large majority of Americans don’t want Obamacare.  Congress should seize the opportunity to repeal the very worst aspect of this new legislation, namely the mandate that forces every American either to purchase health insurance or face an IRS penalty.  This mandate represents nothing more than an unconstitutional, historically unprecedented gift to the insurance industry.  I introduced the “End the Mandate Act” (HR 4995) expressly to prevent the administration from ever putting this provision into effect.

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