Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dave Ramsey Says People Will Pay More for Obamacare — It’s Simple Math

When it comes to your position on Obamacare, financial guru Dave Ramsey says political parties don’t matter—only math.
“Your health insurance premiums are going to go way up,” Ramsey said on his Oct. 4 show. “They have to . . . it’s not a political statement. It’s that I know how to do math.”
Starting January 1, every health insurance company in America is required to take anyone as a customer, regardless of their health, and cannot charge them more. Before Obamacare, insurance companies charged “sick” people higher prices because they were receiving medical care more often. But Obamacare forces healthier (often younger) people to pay for that care. While Ramsey understands the moral underpinnings, he said it doesn’t change the math — you will be forced to pay more.
If your insurance has not gone up, your employer’s has, and he will likely pay for this by cutting expenses that directly affect you—something Ramsey calls a “pass through.”
“Employers aren’t going to pay for this,” Ramsey said. “They aren’t going to accept less profit. They’re going to cut expenses like not hire as many people or not give as many raises . . . you are going to pay for it.”
For those Americans who don’t have a job and rely on the government for help, you will not pay for it; the rest of America will, Ramsey said.

Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably

Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
Trust in Government Again Near  All-Time LowJust 19% say that they trust the government in Washington to do what is right just about always or most of the time, down seven points since January. The current measure matches the level reached in August 2011, following the last battle over the debt ceiling. Explore a Pew Research interactive on Public Trust in Government: 1958-2013.
The share of the public saying they are angry at the federal government, which equaled an all-time high in late September (26%), has ticked up to 30%. Another 55% say they are frustrated with the government. Just 12% say they are basically content with the federal government.
Positive Views of Most Agencies, Federal WorkersDespite highly negative views of the federal government overall, the public has favorable views of many of its agencies and departments, which were closed by the shutdown. Majorities have favorable opinions of 12 of 13 agencies tested – with the IRS the lone exception (44% favorable).
Federal workers, hundreds of thousands of whom were furloughed during the shutdown, also are viewed positively: By about two-to-one (62% to 29%), more have a favorable than unfavorable opinion of federal government workers.
Views of Congress Remain Overwhelmingly NegativeThe latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 9-13 among 1, 504 adults, finds that just 23% have a favorable opinion of Congress, while 73% have an unfavorable view. Dissatisfaction with Congress also is seen in record anti-incumbent 

Feds Will Spend $18M to Develop ‘Reliable’ Climate Change Predictions

NSF logo( –The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have plans to spend up to $18 million over the next five years to develop “reliable” climate change predictions for the next few decades.
The “funding opportunity enables interagency cooperation on one of the most pressing problems of the millennium: climate change and how it is likely to affect our world,” according to NSF’s official request for bids. (See NSF Decadal & Regional Climate Prediction.pdf)
“This solicitation is intended to support development of reliable regional and decadal climate predictions that take into account the influences of living systems and are essential for projecting how living systems might adapt to climate change and its consequences for their physical environment,” the program solicitation explains.
Current methods of predicting future climate change have proved to be wildly inaccurate. For example, none of the 73 computer models used by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that there would be no statistically significant global warming for the past 17 years as determined by actual temperature records stored in five different databases worldwide.
Via: CNS News

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EPA's 'unprecedented' power grab for private property

Two Republican House members have sent a letter to the EPA questioning new rules being formulated that would give the EPA sweeping authority over streams and wetlands on private property.
The EPA is justifying the rules by saying it's part of its mandate to enforce the Clean Water Act. But Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah), both ranking members of the Science and Technology Committee, doubt the EPA's science in justifying the regulations and want the agency to slow down and get other opinions.
In a letter to the agency on Friday, Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah) alleged that it is trying to initiate a "sweeping reinterpretation" of its jurisdiction in a potential new rule.
The regulation to expand the EPA's oversight would give it "unprecedented control over private property across the nation," they asserted.
In September, the EPA began the process of asserting that it can regulate streams, estuaries and other small bodies of water under authority granted by the Clean Water Act. The agency said that the new rule is necessary to clear up confusion caused by two recent Supreme Court cases.
The EPA said making sure that regulations protecting clean water apply to those smaller waters ends up protecting larger lakes and rivers downstream.
Via: American Thinker

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Hillary Clinton stumps for Terry McAuliffe

Terry McAuliffe (left) and Hillary Clinton are shown. | AP Photo
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Hillary Clinton made her first campaign appearance in nearly five years on Saturday to support Terry McAuliffe, her old friend who’s running as the Democratic nominee for governor in Virginia.

But for the media and the majority of attendees packed into The State Theatre here for the event, it was all about her.

She laid out a case for him that rested strongly on women’s equality, gay marriage and rejecting the “scorched earth” politics that have defined Washington over the past several months. Though she didn’t directly call out Republicans, it was clear who she was talking about when she said some politicians have been operating in an “evidence-free zone”, “do not believe in America’s progress” and are trying to “hijack” the future.

“There are times when none of us can sit on the sidelines,” Clinton told the crowd of more than 700 people. “And right now, here in Virginia, is one of those times. … The whole country is watching this election. Watching to see whether the voters of Virginia lead the way of turning from divisive politics [and] getting back to common sense and common ground.”

Via: Politico


On Thursday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said lawmakers in Congress who do not oppose the fundamental transformation of America need to be primaried. 

When asked on The Kelly File on Thursday if she would support primary challengers to Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Thad Cochran (R-MS), Palin noted they were part of the "status quo" and said she would be looking very closely at their challengers.
"I've been saying for years that robust competitive primaries make for a better political system," Palin said. "It makes people work harder and express more articulately what their record is and what their intentions for our country is."
Palin said that those like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) "and a whole lot of other Americans see that we are taxed enough already."
Palin noted that is the "acronym for the Tea Party movement, we are taxed enough already and we believe that the constitution, that's the blueprint that leads us towards a more perfect union and will fight very strong for that. "
"So if the GOP is standing strong on the planks and the platform that represent everything that I just mentioned, if we stand united, well, then we won't lose the House, and we could even win back the Senate," she continued.
Palin said the the enemy of "America's economic freedom is this fundamental transformation of America." She emphasized that those who do not intend to "stop this fundamental transformation and stripping away of our economic freedom" and those who "can't stand strong to defend our republic, to defend our constitution" needed to be primaried.

Union Power Prevents Public-Sector Union Reform

“Public employees have a private interest in taking more and more of the taxpayer-generated revenue for themselves. In other words, public employees have a private interest in diverting public funds from public services to their wages and pensions. In this sense, the increasing numbers of public employees and their increasing wages and benefits threaten to hollow out public services in our country.”
–  Roger Berkowitz, Executive Director, Hannah Arendt Center
The above quote explains quite well the intrinsic conflict of interest that accrues to public-sector unions. This conflict of interest is the primary distinction between public-sector unions and private-sector unions. It is the reason that private-sector unions can muster strong arguments for their continued relevance in society, whereas the very legitimacy of public-sector unions is questionable.
And lest anyone suggest that calls for reform — if not the abolition — of public-sector unions emanates solely from the “extreme right wing,” consider the provenance of the above quote. The highly regarded, intellectually elite Hannah Arendt Center boasts perhaps the most impeccable nonpartisan, anti-ideological credentials of any comparable institution in the world. It is named after famous political philosopher Hannah Arendt, the author of numerous books, the most famous being “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”
The reason Democrats don’t support public-sector union reform is obvious. There is no special interest in America that donates more money to the Democratic Party than public-sector unions. The data in the table below make this clear. If you go to the source of this data,, you will see that the vast majority of the $535 million contributed to Democrats between 2000 and 2010 came from public-sector unions, whose membership in absolute numbers now exceeds that of private-sector unions.
In California, where public-sector union spending on state and local campaigns and lobbying exceeds $500 million per two-year cycle, the same percentages apply.

Alan Greenspan: What Went Wrong

Alan Greenspan Melissa Golden for The Wall Street Journal, Grooming by Melissa Schwartz Jones
Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, goes to a lot of parties. He and his wife, the TV journalist Andrea Mitchell, "sort of get invited everywhere," he says, sitting in front of the long bay window in his office on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. Lately, though, cocktails and dinners seem to have guest lists drawn almost exclusively from one political party or the other. "It used to be a ritualistic 50-50 at parties—the doyennes of culture and partying were very strict about bipartisanship," he adds. "That doesn't exist anymore."
In his new book "The Map and the Territory," to be released on Tuesday, Mr. Greenspan, 87, goes on a hunt for what has gone wrong in American politics and in the U.S. economy. He doesn't blame the current administration for today's partisan divide. The culprit? "It's the benefits," he says, pointing to the disagreements between Republicans and Democrats over how to deal with the growth of entitlements.
In the book, he also ponders why the Fed failed to predict the financial crisis, where he himself went wrong and how that discovery has completely changed his worldview.
Mr. Greenspan's biggest revelation came one day about a year ago when he was playing with gross domestic savings numbers. What he found, to his surprise and initial skepticism, was that an increase in entitlements has closely corresponded to a decline in the country's savings. "We had this extraordinary increase in benefits, with each party trying to outbid the other," he says. "That practice has been eroding the country's flow of savings that's so critical in financing our capital investment." The decline in savings has been partly offset by borrowing from abroad, which brings us to our current foreign debt: "$5 trillion and counting," he says.

How Much Extra Spending Did Lawmakers Sneak Into Bill That Ended Government Shutdown?

featured-imgThe stopgap bill to fund the government was only supposed to end the partial shutdown for a few months, no strings attached -- right?


Despite the bill being tiny by Washington standards -- just 35 pages -- lawmakers still managed to tuck in billions of dollars in additional spending.

Already, one item has earned some degree of notoriety. Appropriators included a line increasing the budget for an Ohio River dam project from $775 million to $2.9 billion.

Costs for the project, approved in 1998, have soared above the original price tag. Supporters of the Olmsted Locks and Dam funding argue the additional money is necessary to reduce bottlenecking at the crossing of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who along with Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., supported the item, told Fox News that all barge traffic would be suspended if the dam wasn't funded.

She said the funding was included in the budget bill because it is the only spending bill moving. The House had earlier approved funding for the dam, though at a lower level.

But there are projects all over the country that could have made a similar case. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., earlier this week called the inclusion "disgraceful," saying many lawmakers didn't realize the bill contained additional spending like this until late in the process.

Government watchdogs argued that if lawmakers wanted to pursue this spending, they should have done so in the long-term appropriations bill or another more appropriate piece of legislation.
The language in the bill itself didn't exactly announce that the dam project was getting extra money, either.

The provision said: "SEC. 123. Section 3(a)(6) of Public Law 100-676 is amended by striking both occurrences of '$775,000,000' and inserting in lieu thereof, '$2,918,000,000'."

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