Vinyl Record Sales at Record Highs…

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It seems that when my girlfriend and I hit the local record stores, we are not alone…

2014: bad for digital music sales, great for vinyl. Like, really great. According to Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl sales hit 9.2 million, a 52 percent jump from 2013 figures, and an all-time high for vinyl on SoundScan, which began tracking sales in 1991. Damn.

But there is hope yet in vinyl. Not only for its boost to the music industry, but also because it’s increasingly the most worthwhile way to own music. You almost never want to buy CDs, and no one’s buying CDs anyway, but that experience of going to a record store and picking up something real and tangible that you can hold and keep has not lost its value. And this trend isn’t just a flash in the pan. Vinyl sales were at a paltry million in 2007; they’re now nine times that. In other words, your parents have been onto something for a very long time. Vinyl is here to stay. [WSJ]

This is near and dear to me.  I’ve kept my records from when I was a child.  And, thanks for some outstanding local record stores, I get to peruse over 100,000 great used records, as well as many new releases.  Combine that with a old console stereo I got at an estate sale (with all important record changer), and I can put a stack of records on it, and write away.  It’s a great way to listen to music.  You shouldn’t pass it up.  Here are some pics of my finds…

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dokkenEnjoy all!

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Just as Predicted, Insurance Premiums Continue to Skyrocket-Because of ObamaCare

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ObamaCare was supposed to decrease heath insurance premiums.  In fact, we were promised a $2500 DECREASE in ObamaCare Premiums.  Instead, however, we are seeing vast INCREASES in premiums.  I guess, just like the “If you like your plan” lie, and just like the “If you like your doctor” lie, the “premiums are going to go down” claim is every bit the lie as the first two.  Wyblog has more…

Now, in a Superfecta of Obamacare #fail, if you were expecting to save $2,500 per year, well, the joke’s on you.

Do you remember when Barack Obama told you the average family would save $2,500 a year under Obamacare?

Yeah, that was a lie, too.

Everything Obama says is a lie. Including “and” and “the.”

The United States has seen the sharpest increase in health insurance premiums in the last year than possibly ever, a new survey has found, and analysts have concluded the “increases are largely due to changes under the Affordable Care Act.”

According to Forbes Magazine, a quarterly survey by investment bank Morgan Stanley of 148 brokers who sell insurance showed that premiums accelerated in the last quarter more than of any of the 12 prior quarterly periods, a peak which has coincided with the run-up to the Obamacare deadline.

The average premium increases for insurance renewals in the most recent quarter were over 11 percent in the small group market and 12 percent in the individual market where consumers buy coverage directly from health plans. By comparison, the September survey showed that increases in the small group market averaged 3 percent, and 2 percent in the individual market.

In some states, increases have been 10 to 50 times those averages, according to Forbes. For the individual insurance market, premiums have increased an average of 100 percent in Delaware, 90 percent in New Hampshire, 54 percent in Indiana, 53 percent in California, 45 percent in Connecticut, and 37 percent in Florida.

For the small group market, Washington had an average increase of 588 percent, followed by Pennsylvania at 66 percent, California at 37 percent, and Indiana at 34 percent.

If you voted for Obama, you voted for this.  You were warned, but you chose to listen to idiots (MSNBC) and liars. (democrats).  Millions have lost their plans, or doctors.  And now, most of the rest are going to pay, and pay, and pay.  Then, if they can’t afford to pay, they still will pay the tax.  In liberal land, even if you don’t pay, you still pay.  That’s life under ObamaCare, and it’s just the beginning.

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Open Letter From ObamaCare Victims

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The Kinder family, of Auburn, Alabama, are victims of ObamaCare.  Rather than sitting back and taking it silently, Kerri Kinder wrote this “open letter.”  Since it is an “open letter,” it is published in it’s entirety.

An Open Letter to the Obama Administration and American Citizens:

My family’s journey with securing our new insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) started on October 1, 2013. I have decided to write this letter to let the American people know what it has been like for us. We are a family of four, with two little boys’ ages seven years old and three years old. My husband and I have had full time jobs for 6 years and 13 years respectively. We have been with the same two companies for those years. We are a middle class family; we own our three bedroom two bath house, we own two cars, and previously provided our own insurance for the four of us. We have coverage through Individual Blue from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama until 12/31/13. Our premiums have been $380.00 a month, which also included dental coverage for all four of us.

On October, 1, 2013 we received our letters like other Alabamians about our new premiums and plans for 2014 from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama. When I opened our letter to say I had sticker shock was an understatement. Our premiums for the Blue Saver Silver would now be $753.26. This included the ACA tax but did not include the additional $75.00 we would need to pay in order to keep dental for me and my husband. So we would need to pay total $828.26 to keep health and dental insurance for the four of us. This payment is roughly $64.00 less than what we pay for our mortgage each month. I was outraged that anyone thought we could afford this. Sure we have some savings, but with that price tag we would whittle it down to almost nothing very quickly. I consider savings as a rainy day fund, a start to saving for the kid’s college, our retirement, etc. I never dreamed in a million years we would need to use it to pay our insurance premiums each month – how in the world could this help the economy too?

Throughout the month of October we read everything we could on what our plan would cover, and tried to get the information we needed about the ACA. I was also blown away when I realized that my son’s medical care, he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), would cost us so much more out of pocket than it was currently costing us. My son has to go to his doctor every other month for his care. If we need to see a therapist we do that monthly, so you see on top of the premiums there are other out of pocket cost we have to factor in. He is also on medication that he takes daily. His medicine is a life saver for him and helps him function like a normal seven year old, without it he can’t focus, his grades slip and his mind literally goes back to the mind of a three or four year old. When he was first put on his medicine his reading went up 20 points and he went from writing one to two sentences to paragraphs, all in the course of a week. He is a straight A student and very bright, but without the proper medical care that could slip away from him. Under our new plan for 2014 we would need to pay a $55.00 co-pay, and then it would be covered at 80 percent once we reached his deductible, which would be $2,000 individual $4,000 family. Out of pocket max numbers are $6,350 individual and $12,700 family. All of this is enough to make anyone’s head spin. We were then forced to look at other options as none of this was affordable for our family.

I started to dig deeper into healthcare.gov. I was hearing all the horror stories through the news about the subpar website. I was reading right off their healthcare.gov Facebook page about other people’s terrible experiences trying to get coverage. Then the government announces that they are going to be working on the site and making it a better experience as well as making it more secure. They had already had three years to make this happen but they said would need the month of November to get it running right. So I waited patiently for them to get the site running so I could see if we would qualify for the subsidy and continue our health insurance through that route.

December 6, 2013 I went to healthcare.gov and started our application. The process took me over two hours to complete. Once it was completed it came back with our results. The results were that my husband and I qualified. That my three year old qualified for All Kids and that my seven year old did not qualify for anything through the exchange (ACA). I was so confused, how could a seven year old not qualify for a subsidy? I was also confused on why they wanted me to enroll one of my children in All Kids? So, I called the number they provided to speak to a representative. I was on hold for 20 minutes when a woman answered and offered to help me with the results. She told me that it is coming back that my seven year old son did not qualify and the only thing I could do was to file an appeal. I asked her a few more questions about how this could have happened, and I was told “she does not know and that all I can do is file an appeal”. She was reading her responses to me right off of a chart that I am sure they are given. So, I ended my conversation with her and proceeded to try to wrap my head around what was happening.

I decided to call back, this time I waited 15 minutes and spoke to a very nice gentleman who seemed to have an understanding for how the system was working. He looked up the results and said “this can’t be right, let’s start over and do an application over the phone”. So again I went through the application process. The results came back the exact same, we all qualified for something except my seven year old son. The gentleman could not understand how this could be happening and assured me it had to be a “glitch” in the system. He placed me on hold so he could speak with his supervisor on how to fix this error. I waited several minutes and when he came back he said “there was nothing more they could do tonight”. He said “we are sending your application to two different departments and that one of the departments would get back to me through a phone call with a fix to this problem”. He also told me “it could take 2-5 days but that I would receive a phone call when they had closed my case”.

So I waited until Tuesday December 10, 2013, which was day four and called them back. I was then told it would be 2-5 business days and if I had not heard from them at that time to call back. So that is what I did, I waited till 9:00 pm on that Friday December 13, 2013 with no phone call. I called Sunday December 15th, 2013 and spoke with my 3rd supervisor who told me “they were very sorry that I had not received a phone call and they were messaging the two departments to give me a call the following day”. He also said to go ahead and file with All Kids in my state because even though they send that information to them, they have no idea when they will receive it. So Monday I went and applied for All Kids for my children, it was a similar application to the healthcare.gov site. I called them to verify that they received my application and was told they cannot access it till sometime in January. They said once they could access it that they would be in touch and if the kids qualified the coverage would retro act to January 1, 2014. So that was a little bit of good news.

So here we are December 22, 2013, the day before the December 23rd deadline to sign up through the Health Insurance Marketplace’s Exchange. I decide I will call one last time to see what they can tell me about coverage, since I never received a phone call after my last conversation with a supervisor. I waited on hold for 1 hour and 15 minutes. I asked to speak with a supervisor and I was transferred. The supervisor pulled my file and was talking to me when she must have accidentally pressed a button and we got disconnected. I thought for sure she would call me back. That is one of the first things they ask for is your phone number. I did not receive a call back, so I call back and have to be placed on hold again to speak to someone. I waited another hour and a half before I get connected with a supervisor. She pulls up my file and tells me “there is nothing they can do and I have to wait the 90 days they have to contact me through the appeals process”. The supervisor tells me “that this whole time I have been told wrong by numerous people and that I should have been called back but that the two departments could do nothing for me”. I just have to wait the 90 days. I asked her, “so yet again an error, due to no fault of my own, has occurred all these times I have been calling and speaking with people and no one can really do anything”? She said “yes that is correct, I am sorry you have been told something different but that is all I can tell you”.

I have never been treated so poorly by any insurance company in my whole life. I have never experienced such terrible customer service in all my years on this earth. I can’t imagine how long a company would last in this country if they followed the same protocol as the ACA/Health Insurance Marketplace does. Most companies can fix a glitch in their systems pretty easily, or can connect you to someone who can. Not the ACA/ Health Insurance Marketplace, you spend all that time on hold to just be told, so sorry but you have to wait for someone to get back to you in a 90 day time span.

What is the most sickening thing to me is that we have been forced into the Health Insurance Marketplace’s Exchange. We wanted to continue our coverage through BSBC and pay as we always had been. But, we found out that option would not be affordable under the new Act, which is how we were forced into the Exchange. Furthermore, not only were we forced into the Exchange, but then forced again to submit an application to ALL Kids for our children. I just don’t understand how we go from being hard working middle class family who provides everything for our family to where we are today. I feel like everything that my husband and I have worked hard for is for nothing. I pray each night that we will get something resolved with our “glitch” in the system so our children will have health insurance coverage in January and by the time I have to purchase my son’s $400 a month ADHD medicine.

I really don’t know how our government can allow this to be taking place. What if something happens and one of my boys breaks an arm, or God forbid something worse? They don’t have insurance, so I guess we will then be paying the hospital monthly if that happens. We are almost completely debt free currently and now all I see is very large medical bills in our future until the government can fix the issues with the ACA/Exchange. I would really like them to rename the Affordable Care Act, because from where I am sitting it is anything but affordable or caring for my family.

Sincerely,
Karri Kinder

H/T Yellowhammer News

Note that this was found via IJ Review.  Thanks!

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Are Anti-Bullying Programs Backfiring?

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Bullying is considered to be one of the most significant problems in our schools.  I can see that, and I don’t really disagree.  I would say that the leftist indoctrination is far worse, but that is a post for another day. After months of covering #FreeKate, I now know more about bullying than I ever cared to.  From the death threats, the threats to “ruin people professionally,” the “digging up of “dirt,” on law enforcement personnel, as well as the victim’s mother, the simple insults and false claims about critics,  to the “doxing” of people that state the truth about the case, the Hunts and their supporters have raised the bar in terms of bullying the family of a sexual abuse victim, and nearly anyone who stands up to their lies.   They are a case-study in online bullying.  Of course, as consummate on line bullies, they will claim to be the victims whenever they are caught.

So then, schools have been spending tons of money on anti-bullying programs.  However, the question arises, do the programs work?  If we are to believe the following, the answer is a resounding, “no!”

But a University of Texas researcher found that anti-bullying programs increase bullying, and “actually teach students different bullying techniques — and even educate about new ways to bully” classmates:

A lot of schools spend countless hours trying to stop bullying. But . . . University of Texas at Arlington criminologist Seokjin Jeong analyzed data collected from 7,000 students from all 50 states.

He thought the results would be predictable and would show that anti-bullying programs curb bullying. Instead — he found the opposite.

Jeong said it was, “A very disappointing and a very surprising thing. Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work.”

The study concluded that students at schools with anti-bullying programs might actually be more likely to become a victim of bullying. It also found that students at schools with no bullying programs were less likely to become victims.

The results were stunning for Jeong. “Usually people expect an anti-bullying program to have some impact — some positive impact.”

The student videos used in many campaigns show examples of bullying and how to intervene. But Jeong says they may actually teach students different bullying techniques — and even educate about new ways to bully through social media and texting.

Jeong said students with ill intentions “…are able to learn, there are new techniques [and gain] new skills.” He says students might see examples in videos and then want to try it.

According to Jeong, some programs even teach students how to bully without leaving evidence behind.

 Broad anti-bullying rules can backfire and be harmful to child development. As a school administrator noted after passage of New Jersey’s bureaucratically rigid anti-bullying law, “The anti-bullying law also may not be appropriate for our youngest students, such as kindergartners who are just learning how to socialize with their peers. Previously, name-calling or shoving on the playground could be handled on the spot as a teachable moment, with the teacher reinforcing the appropriate behavior. That’s no longer the case. Now it has to be documented, reviewed and resolved by everyone from the teacher to the anti-bullying specialist, principal, superintendent and local board of education.”

Frankly, I can see this being true.  We know that Head Start has never shown a statistical difference in school achievement past third grade.  DARE has never been shown to decrease alcohol or drug use by teens.  If it’s a bureaucratic and top-down program, it will likely fail, if not make things worse.  To invoke Quinn’s Law…

Liberalism generates the exact opposite of it’s stated intent.

Do I know the real solution?  I don’t know that there is a blanket one.  I think that if school personnel take the time to watch for it, punish misbehavior, reward good behavior, and try to derail nasty behaviors whenever they occur, they stand a far better chance of turning things around.  In other words, let the professionals be professionals, and hold them up as examples, or hold them responsible.  This is a fight that is won in the classroom, not in a legislature.

H/T: College Insurrection

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ObamaCare Damage: Ohio Rates to Rise 88%!

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It’s ObamaCare Damage time yet again!  You were warned.  We told you that if people re-elected Obama, that people would be paying more for their health insurance.  Frankly, it was not due to any special insights or skills, unless you consider grasp of the obvious to be superhuman.  So, armed with nothing more than math and common sense, we were able to predict the increases in health insurance premiums.  Doug Ross has the latest example…

It’s another success story for central planning! Avik Roy explains:

…on Thursday, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced that, based on the rates submitted by insurers to date, the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, “representing an increase of 88 percent” relative to 2013…

So then, yet another rate increase. But didn’t Obama promise reduced rates?

And didn’t Pelosi make the same promises?

So, if you believed the lies, and voted for Obama, you really voted for increased premiums.  Hope you enjoy that, because you asked for it.

Elections have consequences.

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Car Prices are on the Rise, Government to Blame

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Car prices are on the rise. I’ve often noted that when the leftists want to end something, they do not ban it outright.  That would be unpopular.  But, if they make it more and more expensive, they can still say you can do it- you just won’t be able to afford it.  I wrote about this back in 2009. 

Now, enter the auto industry.  For decades, the Fed has made cars more expensive via safety, emissions, and fuel economy requirements.  The safety regulations make the cars heavier, making mileage a problem, the emissions regulations made engine compression ratios go down, which also ruins mileage.  Of course, you then have to do a ton of R&D, and add a bunch  of additional equipment to make the cars meet all of the regulations.  Then end result has been cars that are far more expensive that they need to be.   Also, they have consistently prevented us from increasing domestic oil production, leaving us at the whim of foreign powers, and driving consumer costs through the roof.  When you look at all of these in their totality, you can guess that, “Gee, seems they want to make it mighty inconvenient to own and operate at car!”

The Foundry has the current analysis. 

The average price of a new car in 2012 was $30,500. Wondering why? One contributing factor is the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

All models from a single manufacturer must reach an average of 35.3 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016 and 54.5 mpg by 2025. The current average is 29 mpg. We already knew federal fuel efficiency standards don’t reduce global warming, considering that not even cap and trade would have. We knew they don’t reduce dependence on foreign oil. And now, if we didn’t know it before, we know that they don’t help make cars affordable.

By the government’s own account, the stringent new CAFE standards will increase the average cost of a new car by $3,000 in 2025. The Energy Information Administration warned that new cars priced under $15,000 may no longer be available by 2025. Further, people who buy a new car this year are unlikely to ever realize any fuel savings.

So, as you can see, they are performing exactly as expected.

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ObamaCare Damage: 100% Health Insurance Premium Increases for Next Year

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In a follow-up to a story we covered last December, the CEO of Aetna,Mark Bertolini, warned of 100% health insurance premium increases for next year.  Doug Ross (no relation) has more…

I’m guessing the administration’s infamous “Enemies List” just got bigger by one.

Aetna CEO Warns of Approaching Health Insurance ‘Premium Rate Shock’ in 2014 for Consumers and Others Under Accountable Care Act

Steep increases in insurance costs may leave patients with less money to cover deductibles and copayments for clinical laboratory tests

Next year, consumers and small businesses can expect what one health insurance CEO says will be, “Premium rate shock for 2014.” As this happens, clinical laboratories and pathology groups are likely to find it even more difficult to collect co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket fees from patients who had medical laboratory tests performed.

The premium rate shock remark was made by no less than Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, Inc. (NYSE: AET). In his speech at an investor conference, he predicted premiums would rise by 20% to 50% next year before the government subsidies are applied. In some markets, rates could double, he added.

Aetna is not alone in seeking steep hikes in health insurance premiums. Blue Shield of California is seeking a rate increase of 12% to 20% for more than 300,000 individuals, The Los Angeles Times reported. These new rates would go into effect in March, the company said.

And, ironically, the “official” name for ObamaCare is the Affordable Care Act ?  Of course, like all liberal efforts, it achieves the exact opposite of it’s stated intent.

Doug has far more coverage, so get over there and check it all out.  He also sums it up perfectly.

As conservatives predicted, Obama, Pelosi and Reid all lied about Obamacare as they rammed it through Congress, sight unseen. Rates are going to skyrocket. Employers will drop coverage. Physicians will stop accepting Medicare patients. Insurance carriers will go bankrupt. Care, when you can find it, will be rationed. And the system is going to melt down, with the poor and seniors suffering most.

The people were warned, and they chose not to listen.  Now, everyone will suffer for the Obama voters.  If you voted for Obama, you voted for this.  We tried to warn you.  Doug Ross, myself, hundreds-if not thousands of others tried to raise the warning, but too many decided to be “low information.”

Elections have consequences, and the Obama voters are going to be suffering more and more for their support of Hope and Change.

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California Raises Taxes, Lose Revenues…Again!

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They say that they definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.  If that is indeed the case, California’s tax policies make them the official land of fruits and nuts, as they are proving the insanity axiom to be most true.

On March 15th of this year, we took a look at the fact that after yet another failed tax increase…

One of the greatest weaknesses of the statists is that their efforts at creating a fantasy world. more often than not, create the exact opposite of their stated intent.  They try to engineer unicorns that fart rainbows, and they create a stillborn jackalope.  You would think that they would learn from such infamous failures, but they seem to double-down instead.  The latest example of this comes from Califailure.   Knowing, and probably denying, the long history showing that tax increases  cause a decrease in revenues, they have stuck with the highest tax rates in the country.  Breitbart has the predictable results.  

State Controller John Chaing continues to uphold the California Great Seal Motto of “Eureka”, i.e., ‘I have found it’. But what Chaing is finding as Controller is that California’s economy as measured by tax revenues is still tanking. Compared to last year, State tax collections for February shriveled by $1.2 billion or 22%. The deterioration is more than double the shocking $535 million reported decline for last month. The cumulative fiscal year decline is $6.1 billion or down 11% versus this period in 2011.

While California Governor Brown promises strong economic growth is just around the corner, Chaing proves that the best way for Sacramento politicians to hurt the economy and thereby generate lower tax revenue, is to have the highest tax rates in the nation.

California politicians seem delusional in their continued delusion that high taxes have not savaged the State’s economy. Each month’s disappointment is written off as due to some one-time event.

So then, they raised taxes, and lost revenue.  If one did something and it hurt, you’d think that they’d stop, or at least never go back for a repeat hurting.  However, the electorate in California hasn’t shown that very basic level of what the rest of us would call “common sense,” or more simply…Duh!  Since they don’t possess the sense of “duh,”  they chose to double down on stupid, with the same results.  Breitbart has the totally unshocking and completely predictable aftermath…

California State Controller John Chiang has announced that total state revenue for the month of November 2012 fell $806.8 million, or 10.8%, below budget. 

Democrats thought they could hammer “the rich” by convincing voters to pass Proposition 30 to create the highest state income tax in the nation. But it now appears that high income earners have already “voted with their feet” by moving themselves and their businesses out of state, resulting in over $1 billion shortfall in corporate and income taxes last month and the beginning of a new financial crisis.   

Passage of Proposition 30 set off euphoria and expectations of higher spending for public employees. The California Teachers’ Association (CTA) trumpeted: “California students and working families won a clear victory today as voters clearly demonstrated their willingness to invest in our public schools and colleges and also rejected a deceptive ballot measure aimed at silencing educators, other workers and their unions.” 

This one is funny, because the results were instantaneous.  However, the reality remains-you tax something, and you usually end up with less of it to tax.

But don’t worry, it’ll be someone else’s fault, I’m sure.

 H/T:  Doug Ross

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The Fiscal Cliff, and Why We’ve Already Lost, and will Continue to Lose

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OK, we’re facing the infamous “fiscal cliff.”  What doe that mean?  It means that a crisis has been manufactured in order for Obama to triumph, and the Republicans to be scapegoated.  Here’s how it will happen.

1.  If both Houses and the POTUS fail to reach an agreement (read, if he Republicans fail to capitulate) there will be a rather unpleasant set of tax increases and budget cuts.

2.It doesn’t matter how many proposals the Republicans make.  It won’t matter how many times the Democrats change the rules or break their word-it will ALWAYS be the Republican’s fault.

3.  Reality doesn’t matter, and the MSM will spin all developments in favor of the POTUS.

4.  Tax increases will be demanded in exchange for future spending decreases.

5.  The tax increases will be immediate, if not retroactive.

6.  The spending cuts will never happen.

7.  Did I mention that it’s all the Republican’s fault?

Oh, and by the way, when the revenues fail to come in, or they even lose money on it, don’t expect to hear it from the MSM.  Unless, that is, the MSM spins it to be someone else’s fault.

And there you have it.

Elections have consequences, my friends.

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Latest EPA Rules to Cost 1.4 Million Jobs and a 12% Increase in Utility Bills

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The good thing about having a record is being able to run on it, and I have a track record of posts on my blog that make Obama pretty jealous. In November of 2008 I pointed to an interview that Obama gave where he said that as part of his ‘green energy’ policies he intended to use the power of the federal government to bankrupt all coal producers in the United States. As I quite accurately wrote:

Obama is telling anyone that uses any energy at all that he intends to drive up the price of it. Combine this with his anti-drilling stances for oil, and get used to an economy that is starved for energy- high inflation, low growth, unemployment, and bad times.

This recession is not ‘Bush’s fault’- it is the result of government policies that Obama put in place that have led to a rise in prices for energy, and when it becomes more expensive to produce energy, the result is as predicted. As I wrote in Democrats Energy Policies Continue their Assault on Wealth and Jobs:

Our economy is struggling for a reason- Democrats and their policies are crushing human liberty and freedom, attacking wealth and wealth creation, freezing in social and economic structures, limiting mobility and change, and disincentivizing economic growth. Their policies are quite clear- these energy policies are a great example of how Democrats are increasing ‘safety’ or ‘environmental’ regulations that will drive US companies under, kill jobs, and drive business to other nations which have lower standards (thereby causing more harm to people or the environment), resulting in a net loss for society and America. Similar policies are found in healthcare, defense, education, etc.

This is not just fun and games people- these are real policies being put in place by real people that are having real job-killing and wealth-destroying effects. Democrats might want to run next election by churning out negative attacks and finding the one bad thing that their opponent did in the past, but that’s just a side-show to distract you from the real results of their policies.

And the energy policies of the Democrats in the House, Senate, and Presidency are bad policies. They are not resulting in any sort of ‘safer’ environment. The man-made caused global warming that was going to destroy the world in the near future has been proven to be an utter myth promoted by corrupt scientists and ‘green energy’ producers who both live on kick-backs from the government. And it appears that under Obama and the Democrats administration, oil spills and mining disasters are getting more common and having worse effects. This isn’t a shock- being safe is more about kicking back money to the right people now and much less about everyone following the law. And there attempts to kill coal production and mining in the United States just means that an unsupervised and unregulated communist China will produce and mine for more coal, doing far more damage to the environment than if it was done in the United States.

And the negatives of the energy policies of the Democrats in the House, Senate, and Presidency are becoming more obvious. The latest example of their bad policies is the latest rules that the EPA has put out on ‘pollution’ and energy production. These rules are draconian in nature and by design are supposed to be as unfriendly to energy and business as possible- the exact opposite of flexible and smart policies that allow businesses to thrive in a creative and business-friendly environment.

These new EPA rules are designed to choke job creation, especially in rural areas and states that produce coal, but these states don’t vote Democrat and don’t give the Democrats lots of wealth, so they think it is okay to hammer those states and punish them for their sense of liberty and freedom and equality.

These new EPA policies are also designed to ensure that consumers are stricken with higher utility bills. Oh, your Al Gores and John Kerry’s and John Edwards and Barack Obama’s will be able to pay those higher utility bills, but the middle class will be hard hit by these policies and driven into poverty and become a serf to the government system.

Coal plants will soon be forced to install new scrubber equipment that provides marginal improvement in air quality at tremendous expense. Producers of this new scrubber equipment will benefit and thousands of unionized bureaucrats who will be hired to ensure that these new standards are met will benefit, but the quality of air will see little improvement and the costs associated with installing and running these new energy-eating scrubbers will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher costs, or the company will absorb the costs by delaying investments in improvements in technology or safety, or the company will be forced to become more efficient by laying off many workers and employing more automation (they’ll also save money by laying off workers because they won’t have to pay the ever increasing costs of employing people that Obama and the Democrats are piling on). Or the company will go out of business.

The Washington Post reports that electric bills will jump 12 percent nationally by 2016 to comply with these new policies that the Democrats are putting in place, with residents in areas such as Kentucky and Tennessee seeing a 24 percent increase in their utility bills. These policies are project to eliminate 1.4 million jobs, and those people will no longer be paying taxes any more and will now be sucking down government benefits, all thanks to these policies pushed by Democratic bureaucrats employed by a Democratic President supervised by Democrats in the House and the Senate and supported by Democratic unions and a Democratic media. They are responsible for these bad policies- these aren’t Republican or conservative or Bush or tea-party policies that are killing jobs and destroying the middle-class- they are Democratic policies.

When a party pushes for policies that achieve little good at the cost of a great number of negatives, it doesn’t matter how much spinning they do and it really doesn’t matter how good or bad the individual candidates are who they are running against- that party needs to be thrown out of power until they learn just how much damage their policies do to the life, liberty, and property of the great people of the United States of America.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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Steny Hoyer Meets Reality: Film at 11

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Steny Hoyer accidentally collided with reality yesterday.  Reports confirm that while neither were injured,  Hoyer was shocked and dismayed…

If you’re on the fence as far as an opinion on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, Steny Hoyer seems to be unwittingly trying to push you in the “pro” direction:

(CNSNews.com) – House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.) said on the House floor last night that if the balanced budget amendment Republicans are supporting is ratified and included in the Constitution it would make it “virtually impossible” to raise taxes.

“In order to pay our bills, Republicans would require us to pass a Constitutional amendment that would permanently enshrine their partisan budget priorities in law and make it virtually impossible to raise revenue,” Hoyer said.
[…]
Hoyer was evidently alluding to the amendment’s requirement that taxes could only be increased with a supermajority vote of Congress when he said the proposal would make it “virtually impossible to raise revenue.”

Well guys, the cat is out of the bag.  Hoyer has stumbled upon our evil plot…to prevent  government from committing the legalized theft of other people’s money.

“virtually impossible to raise revenue.”

EXACTLY!!!!

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Obama Thinks "Unneeded" Income Belongs to Government?

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Commentary Magazine has a great article by John Steele Gordon.  I think it is quite revealing.

President Obama’s press conference yesterday—in which he only took questions from left-leaning reporters apparently–contained an amazing statement. It should be noted the first two instances of the first person singular pronoun in the sentence refer to Barack Obama, President of the United States. The second two refer to Barack Obama, taxpaying citizen:

And I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I’m able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans. (emphasis mine)

But, unlike Scrooge McDuck, the rich do not put the excess in a vast money bin and frolic about in it. They invest it. What a concept! Where does Obama think new capital comes from, the tooth fairy? It’s nothing more than the excess of income over outgo. Take away the income the rich “don’t need” and spend it on social programs, and capital formation in this country drops to zero.

Gordon nails it completely.  In the absence of experience, or for that matter, reality, Obama takes to the leftist mantra that wealth is unfair, and that government is the arbiter of who gets what, or who keeps what.

Government, under the liberal vision, confiscates wealth, and spends it as they see fit.  And, we see the results every day; an expanding dependent class,  increased poverty, and decreased economic activity.  The economic pump is not “primed,” as FDR put it, it is instead buried, and sealed in concrete.   The left fails to realize that without the enticement of profit, businesses do not spend.  If businesses do not spend, they cannot be taxed.  When they cannot be taxed, government revenues goes down.  And then, the left’s precious social programs, which exacerbate the very problems that they are meant to ameliorate, are underfunded.

The fact that history teaches this again and again, without exception, is  irrelevant to the left.  Steele goes back in time to show that reality bounces right off of Obama…

So determined is Obama to deprive “the rich” of excess income–as defined by him, of course–he is even willing to adversely impact government income in order to do so. Read this colloquy between Obama and ABC’s Charlie Gibson in a 2008 debate with Hillary Clinton:

MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the [capital gains tax] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

SENATOR OBAMA:  Well, Charlie, what I’?ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

MR. GIBSON:  But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, that might happen or it might not. It depends on what’?s happening on Wall Street and how business is going.

Actually, it doesn’t. Every time capital gains tax rates have gone up, revenues have gone down and vice versa. High capital gains tax rates, because the tax liability is only incurred when an asset is sold, have the effect of locking in capital, which is economically pernicious, preventing capital from flowing to its most productive, i.e wealth creating, use.

Again, he knocks it right out of the park.  The ignorance of economic reality, and the effort to destroy the rich, no matter the fact that they will destroy the economy in the process, means nothing to Obama and his ilk.  His statement about “fairness” is frankly asinine, as it not only unfair to steal what others have legally earned, it will eventually hurt everyone.  The government will be underfunded, jobs will be lost, and everyone will be poorer.  But then again, socialism doesn’t build people up equally, it screws everyone down equally.

We call socialism “trickle up poverty” for a reason.  Because it is.

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Democratic policies lead to more expensive cars, allies upset at us, and corruption in the White House

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Today on my drive home from work I listened to both a liberal talk radio show (the Ed Schultz show) and a conservative talk radio show that was having liberals call in to debate (the Michael Medved show). The basic point of liberals, no matter what the topic, was that conservatives/tea party supporters/Republicans support tax cuts for the rich which is corrupt and wrong and takes money and jobs away from the poor people in society, and the better way to go is to support the liberal/progressive/socialist/Democratic policies best illustrated by President Barack Obama. Also, they like to bring up the fact that when Republicans are in charge no one likes America, and now that Obama is in charge everyone around the world loves us. That’s pretty much the heart of every argument on every issue that comes up.

Does the recent news support that Obama’s policies are better for the poor, are less likely to lead to corruption, and help build strong partnerships around the world? Based on a summary glance of stories this week, I think the answer is a pretty clear ‘no’.

According to a recent study, Democrats policies could force vehicle prices up by nearly $10,000, reduce sales by 5.5 million vehicles annually and eliminate more than 260,000 jobs. Thankfully Republicans are able to block many of these policies from the one half branch of government that they currently control, where they are expending massive amounts of time and money to try to simply stop these policies. Imagine if they had control of the Senate and the White House- they might be able to put in the opposite policies leading to cheaper cars, increased sales, and more jobs. The rich and wealthy will be okay under the Democrats plans- they can afford to pay a little extra for their cars- but the poor and middle class will be the hardest hit by these Democratic policies. The record is clear- Democrats policies don’t help the poor and the middle class, they hurt the poor and the middle class more than Republican policies.

The election of Obama and the implementation of his policies was supposed to lead to a new era in international relations, an era where our allies became more supportive of our nation and took over a larger share in conflicts like Iraq or Afghanistan (or Libya). Instead, reports indicate that our allies are increasingly frustrated by our policies, and are beginning to reconsider their friendly relationships with us. Last month it was Israel that was stunningly badly treated by the Obama administration- this month, we see in the news that the Czech Republic is withdrawing from our missile defense plans because they are frustrated that their nation was forced into a minor role at the request of Russia. This weakens the US, Czech Republic, and our allies in Western Europe, all to the advantage of Iran and Russia. The Bush administration and Czech Republic struck a groundbreaking deal to put interceptor missiles in the Czech Republic, missiles that would possibly be able to knock nuclear missiles launched by rogue or terrorist nations. Obama rolled in and decided that he’d change the deal and instead just give the Czech’s an early warning center instead, and rather than waiting around to see if he’d alter the deal further, the Czech’s withdrew in frustration.

Liberals are often upset at ‘tax cuts for the rich’, because in their minds they see some sort of corrupt deal going down when Republicans are in charge, where ‘the rich’ get to keep more of the money that they earned in exchange for some sort of kickbacks or something. Democrats hint that Republicans are more corrupt and are taking bribes and deals in exchange for giveaways, still cashing in on reputation of Nixon’s shady dealings while conveniently ignoring the impeachment of Democratic President Bill Clinton for lying under oath. The truth is, while Bush may have given tax cuts to the rich, Obama is giving jobs, commissions, stimulus money, government contracts, and more to those who supported his Presidency. More than two years after President Obama took office vowing to banish “special interests” from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events, an investigation by iWatch News has found. This is the sort of real corruption that only a liberal Democrat who believes the purpose of government is to distribute gifts to those who help earn power can bring.

The record is clear- Democratic policies lead to more expensive cars, allies upset at us, and corruption in the White House.

For more on the direction that liberal policies lead, check out Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher

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ObamaCare Damage: Increased Costs to Consumers, Just as Predicted

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It’s been a while since I covered the damage that is piling up due to ObamaCare. One prediction from the right was that costs would rise for both employers and employees.  For saying that, we were called liars, rednecks, racists, and so on.

Fast forward less than one year after the bill’s passage, and low and behold, costs have risen for employers, as well as for employees.  The NY Times has the story on increasing costs for employees.

As health care costs continue their relentless climb, companies are increasingly passing on higher premium costs to workers.

The shift is occurring, policy analysts and others say, as employers feel more pressure from the weak economy and the threat of even more expensive coverage under the new health care law.

In contrast to past practices of absorbing higher prices, some companies chose this year to keep their costs the same by passing the entire increase in premiums for family coverage onto their workers, according to a new survey released on Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group.

Workers’ share of the cost of a family policy jumped an average of 14 percent, an increase of about $500 a year. The cost of a policy rose just 3 percent, to an average of $13,770.  (Emphasis mine)

Waaaaaaait a minute here!  You mean, businesses, run by the “evil” rich, used to absorb the costs of insurance increases?  And now, they’re NOT?  Might businesses be preparing for the escalating cost increases of ObamaCare, once it hits full stride?  You bet!

This blog, and so many others, predicted that cost increases are a form of the Cloward-Piven strategy.  By increasing costs, a crisis will be created due to individuals and  companies dumping coverage.  The government would then respond to this crisis by creating a public option that would lead to single payer, or by going directly to single payer. After all, the kind and loving nanny state can’t possibly let people NOT have health coverage, can they?   Let’s not forget that single payer is the end-goal.  For the background here is a video that I did last year.

And what of the POTUS?  Will he point out that he was wrong when he said prices would decrease for everyone?  Will the MSM retract all the nonsense that they said about us for pointing out what would happen?  Why do I even ask these questions when we all know that they’ll go unanswered?  Eh, who knows, maybe they’ll just find a way to blame Bush!

There will be more damage to report, and more lies to expose, so stay tuned, and well bring them to you.  Unless that is, we’re all suddenly re-educated!

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