ABOUT OBAMACARE

by Lloyd Streeter

Yes, our country needs prayer.  First, this issue shows the complete lack of wisdom in a majority shoving through a major law without any support from the minority.  The bill was passed by only one vote and with not one Republican vote.  The way it was written and the way it was passed was very unwise.  No one knew what was in it when it passed, and the more people found out what was in it, the less they liked it.  Now, sixty percent of the American people are opposed to Obamacare.  Second, in 2010, the American people threw more than 60 congressional Democrats out of office because they wanted Obamacare repealed, and the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.  Those Republicans were reelected in 2012, and they are committed to doing what they promised and what they were elected to do, repeal Obamacare.  They cannot in good conscience vote to fund Obamacare.  Third, it should be remembered that all money bills must begin in the House of Representatives.  That means that the House holds the purse strings.  It was planned that way by our Founders.  It is the prerogative of the House to fund or not to fund programs as seems wise to it.  The President and the Senate should be sure that the laws they pass and sign have enough support in the House so that they can be funded.  The House, because all members are elected every two years, is supposed to be most responsive to the American people, and it should not vote to fund programs that the American people do not want.  So, that means that we are at an impasse.  Fourth, Statesmen are always willing to compromise for the good of the country.  Right now, it appears that the Republicans are willing to compromise and the Democrats are not.  When the Republicans said, “We want a one year delay on implementation of Obamacare,” what could be wrong with the Democrats saying, “Would you settle or a 6 month delay”?  But the President and the Democrats did not do that.  They said, “We will not compromise.”  What is really behind all of this?  Answer, politics.  If the President and the Democrats thought that they were being blamed more that Republicans for the shutdown, the shutdown would end immediately.

One of the big problems with Obamacare is that it is going to produce more uninsured people than it insures.  It is already producing many uninsured people as employers drop employee insurance programs.  This is often done by reducing all of the full-time employees to part-time.  The reason that the employers do this is the high cost of insurance which all employers are obligated to buy under Obamacare for all full-time employees, if they have over 50.  So, not only do the employees lose their insurance, they also lose their full-time job.  Also, young and healthy people are not going to buy Obamacare insurance because of the very high price.  They would rather pay the penalty/fine, and they can still sign up after they get sick because there are no waiting periods for preexisting conditions.  The best studies say that the exchanges will cover only about 7 million people who can not get or keep insurance from another source.  And, say these studies, after several years, there will still be at least 30 million uninsured people in America, which interestingly is just about exactly the same number of uninsured people we have today.

I’ve heard that there are 30 or 32 million people in this country who are without health insurance.  Of course, there is a difference between not having health insurance and not having health care.  Everyone in America has some health care if they want to go get it.  Even illegal aliens get it.  That said, I’ve also read that 12 million of the 30 or 32  million can afford health insurance but they do not want to buy it because they have enough money to pay for the care that they receive.  Additionally, millions of young adults buy only catastrophic health insurance, which they can get for a very low premium.  They are young and healthy and do not need anything except a catastrophic illness policy.  So, I have always wondered, Why didn’t Obama and the Dems just take the 20 million people who want insurance and can’t get it and allow them to get Medicare??  There would have to be an additional tax to pay for it and to save Medicare, but it would have been a lot easier and less expensive for everyone than all this rigamarole of taxing or fining employers and people who refuse to buy insurance, mandating all kinds of stuff, hiring all these new IRS “police” to run everything, forcing employers to lay off  all their full-time workers, and so forth.  Maybe Obama didn’t do it that way because it is really not about health care or  even health insurance.  It is about controlling everyone and redistributing the wealth.

ABOUT OUR DEBT LIMIT CRISIS

by Lloyd Streeter
The downgrade of the credit and bonds of the US is inevitable and has been inevitable for a long time now, as long as we keep spending money that we do not have, spending at this great rate and borrowing over a trillion dollars every year. There will be a down grade but not a default on our debts, because the Fed is going to print enough money to cover all of the government’s obligations. The US will pay the interest on US debts with devalued dollars. This means that there is a gargantuan inflation of our money coming.Obama has known all along that a downgrade is coming and he is glad that the present debt limit crisis has surfaced because it gives him the opportunity to blame the downgrade on the Republicans. To Obama anything is preferable to stopping the spending. The only way to redistribute the wealth is by spending, and redistribution is Obama’s major goal. He is hell-bent on redistribution, even if it means that the monetary system of the U.S. is ruined and we have to start over with an entirely new system.

This is just my opinion, and I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

I want to make it clear that I do believe that there is a way out of the looming default and super inflation future, but I do not think that the Dems or the Repubs in Congress will go for it. We can cut a lot but we can not cut enough to avoid the crises; after all, we can not cut the Fed budget by 1/3. And there does have to be a raise in revenue, but I do not believe Repubs are going to allow a rise in the income tax rates. The answer, I believe, is to cut all that we can cut, institute a national 2% sales tax, and eliminate most, if not all, income tax deductions, and institute a lower flat-like individual income tax with only two tax rates, 10% for incomes of $40,000 -$150,000 and 15% for incomes over $150,000. Business and corporate incomes should keep most of their deductions, and maybe have them increased for hiring new U.S. workers. Some reforms need to be made in SS and medicare, too. And Obamacare should be repealed because we can not afford it.

LLOYD STREETER’S OPINION OF OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS 2010

Obama is not as good a public speaker as many people say he is and not as good as he thinks he is. His weaknesses are (1) He always looks and acts like he is mad. Who enjoys watching a speech by someone who always has a thunder cloud over his head?

(2) He is mean spirited. He threatens those who dare differ with him. He blames everything on George Bush, which is unprecedented behavior for a sitting president. Meanwhile, George Bush is a decent human being, never criticizing Obama at all. This is a matter of principal with Bush. Yet, Obama continues to bash Bush. He learned this meanness in Chicago where the politicians are used to running things like a mob would do, giving offers no one can refuse and breaking the knee caps of any who voice a contrary opinion. Why do Americans think that he is a good speaker?

(3) He can not think on his feet. That is why almost everything he says is read from a teleprompter. It gets to be a joke. The other day he was speaking to an elementary school class and he had to have his teleprompter there. When he gets out of touch with his handlers, or if they forget to tell him to avoid certain obvious mistakes, he stumbles badly and makes horrific mistakes. An example is what he did the day of the shooting at Ft Hood, when 13 of our men in uniform were killed by an Islamic terrorist. The announcement was made that the president will make a statement, and when He came to the podium he spent the first 5 minutes giving “shout outs” and talking about mundane things. Guess his handlers forgot to tell him that this statement has a singular and solemn purpose and that he should only offer condolences to the families of the dead, comfort the wounded, promise to bring Justice, and assure the nation that due vigilance was being taken. This error was due to immaturity, a lack of gravitas, and a lack of common sense. The result was that our war dead were treated with disrespect and the incident was treated with less importance than it deserved.

(4) He talks in a monotone. Not only does he think that it is an effective way to speak if he talks as if he is mad all the time (which of itself leads to a monotone), he also “lectures” his audience and talks down to them in a most arrogant manner. This is very tiring. No matter what subject he is discussing, his voice is on the same pitch, same cadence, same speed, and same drop in volume on the last word of each sentence.

I think the president has an undeserved reputation as a great speaker simply because he reads the teleprompter accurately. He obviously thinks that he is a great speaker and that his talking can fix anything, so he tries to make a speech every day. I hope the American people will come to realize that it is not “great swelling words” that make an effective speaker but measured and sincere words matched by appropriate deeds. T. Roosevelt talked softly and carried a big stick. Obama talks and talks and talks loudly and carries no stick at all.

GOV’T HEALTH CARE WOULD BE A BIGGER FAILURE THAN S.S. AND MEDICARE

by Lloyd Streeter

An argument advanced, time and time again, by Democrats in their Town Halls is that Social Security and Medicare are successful government programs. “Therefore,” they say, “we should have government health insurance, also.” But both SS and Medicare are failures. Both of these forced government annuities are broke.

Why is Social Security a failure? First, because, if, at age 66, you had all of the money you paid to SS, plus interest, you would have far more than the average person ever collects from SS. And, you would still have enough money left over to purchase an annuity to give you a SS-like income after your savings is expired.

Secondly, remember, that you now pay 12.4% of your income to SS. That is equivalent to paying to SS one full year’s salary out of every eight. If a worker’s wages are less than $106,800.00 per year, and he works from age 20 through age 67, SS will take the equivalent of 100% of that worker’s wages for seven of those years. Imagine that! Seven years labor to pay for Social Security. Most people never draw out of SS the amount they paid, plus interest. Those who die before age 62 get nothing back from SS except $200 toward their funeral. Most men are dead before age 70. Those who die at age 70 will have received less than $100k on average. Women tend to live longer, but their average monthly payments from SS are less than what men receive.

Thirdly, there have been many cuts in SS, contrary to what politicians would have us believe. Survivor benefits have been cut. Full retirement age has been raised. Eighty percent of benefits are now taxed by the Federal government and by some State governments. Cost of living payments have been suspended for at least the next two years. These are all cuts. Politicians do not want to admit that these are cuts because anyone favoring cuts in SS would not be reelected. So, they have brought these cuts in through the back door.

And finally, SS is broke. No surprise, with all of the government abuse of this program. If the President and Congress cared as much about our seniors as they do about the irresponsible big banks, the radical false environmentalists, and the greedy automobile labor union executives, they would find money to rescue SS and Medicare.

Government’s mishandling of SS and Medicare is typical of the ineptitude and inefficiency of any government bureaucracy. It would not be any different with government run health insurance.

If the SS taxes had been saved and invested instead of raided and spent, how much better it would have been. Through the magic of compounding, the money paid into the system, over the 45-50 years of the average beneficiary’s working career, would have been so great that SS would be solvent, and no one would have found a reason to make cuts.

As it stands today, SS is certainly an example of poor government planning and poor government management. Government management of our health care would be even worse. It would be a disaster.

Medicare is a similar example of mismanagement. It is unfair to medical providers, approving only a fraction of the cost of treatments and diagnostics. The result is that Medicare patients and the taxpayers are the losers.

How are patients the losers?

  1. Patients may have trouble finding a doctor. Doctors, and other providers, are losing money on medicare patients. Therefore, some doctors will not take any more medicare patients. Probably all doctors will keep all of their patients who turn 65 and go on medicare. But, if the patient moves, or for any other reason, is looking for a new doctor, he may not be able to find one
  2. Medicare patients may not be able to go to the doctor of their choice. They can only go to a doctor who will agree to take them as patients.
  3. Medicare patients may not be able to get the tests, treatments, or surgeries that their doctor says they need. Medicare decides what procedures it will cover. Of course, private insurance companies also decide what procedures they will pay for, but these decisions must be according to the policy, and the patient can shop for the best policy. The Medicare patient does not have that option.
  4. There is another way that Medicare patients and all tax payers are the losers. When hospitals and other providers are forced to take less than the procedures cost, the real high cost is passed on to other insured patients, and, in the case of public hospitals, to the tax payers. This, in turn, drives up the premiums on all private health insurance. This premium busting cost is often overlooked. Indeed, the liberals are now using the cost of health insurance as an excuse for a “government option.” This is ironic because the Federal government is one of the biggest reasons for the high cost of private insurance.

And now, Mr. Obama is saying that he plans on helping to pay for government health insurance for all Americans by taking the “waste” out of Medicare, five hundred billion dollars of “waste.” By “waste,” he means those “unnecessary tests and procedures” that our doctors think we need to keep us alive and keep us walking. Obama and the liberals in Congress do not believe that seniors are worth the expense to the Medicare system (which the seniors bought and paid for). To Obama, it is a “waste” to keep these old, non-productive people alive.

The Federal government is breaking faith with its seniors. Social Security and Medicare are “bait and switch” programs because the rules have been changed in the middle of the game. These programs are not what seniors thought they would be, and not what seniors were told that they would be at the time that those seniors were forced into them.

These programs are no longer what seniors paid for. America is indeed turning its back on its seniors.

Now the liberals want the government to take over the entire health care insurance business and the entire health industry. Those liberals want a government panel to decide health care standards and treatments for the various “classes” of people. They want the government to have power to hand out penalties to individuals, employers, insurance companies, and providers that do not do as government wants. They want a Federal Health and Insurance Commissioner with enormous, unimaginable power.

If it becomes a reality, the “government option” and government health care program will be a bigger failure than Social Security and Medicare combined.  (9/23/09)