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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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Ruth_and_Naomi_Leave_Moab

Ruth and Naomi Leave Moab, 1860, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872).

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.

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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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