Sunday, 3 November 2013

Nineteen Neglected Consequences of Income Redistribution


Nineteen Neglected Consequences of Income Redistribution
By Robert Higgs
Mon. December 5, 1994
Also published in The Freeman

Virtually every government action changes the personal distribution of income, but some government programs, which give money, goods, or services to individuals who give nothing in exchange, represent income redistribution in its starkest form.

Until the twentieth century, American governments steered pretty clear of such "transfer payments." The national government gave pensions and land grants to veterans, and local governments provided food and shelter to the destitute. But the transfers to veterans can be viewed as deferred payments for military services, and local relief never amounted to much.

Since the creation of the Social Security system in 1935, especially during the past 30 years, the amount of income overtly transferred by governments has risen dramatically. In 1960 government transfer payments to persons amounted to $29 billion, or 7 percent of personal income. In 1993 the total came to $912 billion, or nearly 17 percent of personal income.1 In other words, one dollar out of every six received as personal income now takes the form of old-age, survivors, disability, and health insurance benefits ($438 billion), unemployment insurance benefits ($34 billion), veterans' benefits ($20 billion), government employees' retirement benefits ($115 billion), aid to families with dependent children ($24 billion), and miscellaneous other government transfer payments ($280 billion) such as federal subsidies to farmers and state and local public assistance to poor people.


Myth versus Reality

It is tempting to think about government transfers in a simple way: one person, taxpayer T, loses a certain amount of money; another person, recipient R, gains the same amount; and everything else remains the same. When people look at income redistribution in this way, they tend to make a judgment about the desirability of the transfer simply by considering whether T or R is the more deserving. Commonly, especially when the issue is discussed in the news media or by left-liberal politicians, R is portrayed as a representative of the poor and downtrodden and T as a wealthy person or a big corporation. Opponents of the transfers then appear callous and lacking in compassion for the less fortunate.

In fact, the overwhelming portion­more than 85 percent­of all government transfer payments is not "means-tested," that is, not reserved for low-income recipients.2 The biggest share goes to the elderly as pensions and Medicare benefits, and anyone over 65 years old, rich and poor alike, can receive these benefits. Today people over 65 have the highest income per person and the highest wealth per person of any age group in the United States. Federal transfer payments to farmers present an even more extreme case of giving to those who are already relatively well off. In 1989, for example, the federal government paid about $15 billion to farmers in direct crop subsidies, and 67 percent of the money went to the owners of the largest 17 percent of the farms -- in many cases payments to farmers are literally welfare for millionaires.3 It is simply a hoax that, as a rule, government is taking from the rich for the benefit of the poor. Even people who believe in the rectitude of redistribution à la Robin Hood ought to be troubled by the true character of the redistribution being effected by governments in America today.

But apart from the troubling moral questions raised by redistribution, the issue is far more complicated than ordinarily considered. Beyond the naked fact that T pays taxes to the government and the government gives goods, services, or money to R, at least 19 other consequences occur when the government redistributes income.


Neglected Consequences

1. Taxes for the purpose of income redistribution discourage the taxpayers from earning taxable income or raising the value of taxable property through investment. People who stand to lose part of their earnings respond to the altered personal payoff. As a result, they produce fewer goods and services and accumulate less wealth than they otherwise would. Hence the society is poorer, both now and later.

2. Transfer payments discourage the recipients from earning income now and from investing in their potential to earn future income. People respond to a reduced cost of idleness by choosing to be idle more often. When they can get current income without earning it, they exert less effort to earn income. When they expect to get future income without earning it, they invest less in education, training, job experience, personal health, migration, and other forms of human capital that enhance their potential to earn income in the future. Hence the society is even poorer, both now and later, than it would have been merely because taxes discourage current production and investment by the taxpayers who fund the transfers.

3. Recipients of transfers tend to become less self-reliant and more dependent on government payments. When people can get support without exercising their own abilities to discover and respond to opportunities for earning income, those abilities atrophy. People forget -- or never learn in the first place -- how to help themselves, and eventually some of them simply accept their helplessness. It is no accident that both material privation and lassitude distinguish individuals accustomed to living on payments such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

4. Recipients of transfers set a bad example for others, including their children, other relatives, and friends, who see that one can receive goods, services, or money from the government without earning them. The onlookers easily adopt an attitude that they, too, are entitled to such transfers. They have fewer examples of hardworking, self-reliant people in their families or neighborhoods. Hence a culture of dependency on government transfers can become pervasive when many people in a neighborhood rely on such transfers for life's essentials or­where the recipients are better off­its comforts.

5. Because some transfers are more generous than others, some classes of recipients come to resent the "injustice" of the distribution of the largess. Hence arise political conflicts. Representatives of discontented groups politicize the determination of the amounts to be transferred and engage in continual jockeying to increase certain kinds of transfers, at the expense of others if necessary. Note, for example, the ceaseless activities of the American Association of Retired Persons, perhaps the most powerful lobby in Washington, striving to increase old-age pensions and Medicare benefits, or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, seeking to increase transfers that benefit blacks in particular. Such political maneuvering creates or exacerbates conflicts among groups defined by their eligibility to receive particular kinds of transfers: old against young, black against white, rural against urban, female against male, Northern against Southern, homeowner against renter, and so forth without visible limit. Society becomes more contentious.

6. Just as recipients engage in internecine warfare, so do taxpayers, who resent disproportionate burdens in funding the transfers. For instance, young people now learn that their Social Security taxes are going straight into the pockets of retired people who as a group are better off. Young taxpayers also learn that they probably will never recoup their own contributions, unlike the present-day elderly, who have realized an extraordinarily high effective rate of return on their contributions. (Currently the average married couple gets back everything ever paid in, with interest, in just over four years. )4 Black Social Security taxpayers learn that, because of their lower life expectancy, they cannot expect to receive as much retirement income as the average white person can expect. Taxpayers who consider themselves disproportionately burdened grow to resent their exploitation by the tax-and-transfer system. Therefore they give more support to politicians who promise to defend their pocketbooks against legislative marauders, and they strive harder to avoid or evade taxes.

7. As a result of the preceding two consequences, the entire society grows more divided and pugnacious. Less and less does the society constitute a genuine community. Rather, it becomes balkanized into bellicose subgroups regarding one another as oppressors and oppressed. People lose their sense of belonging to a common political community with collective interests and joint responsibilities. Instead, fellow citizens regard each other as either patsies or moochers and feel personal hostility toward those who appear to be net gainers from the system. Some actually come to hate the perceived moochers. Witness the palpable hostility when shoppers paying cash wait in the check-out line at the grocery store while someone uses food stamps to make purchases.

8. Among the recipients of transfers, self-help institutions languish. In olden days the burden of caring for the less fortunate outside the family was borne mainly by friends and neighbors acting jointly through churches, lodges, unions, clubs, and other voluntary associations. When individuals can receive assistance directly from the government, competing private associations tend to wither and eventually die­at least their functions as helping institutions disappear. When they are gone, people who need help have nowhere to turn except to the government, which is unfortunate in many ways, because what the government does is not really the same. Nor is it as effective, especially in the long run, when private associations have much greater success in making sure that people who recover their capacities then resume taking care of themselves.

An observer noted that in the aftermath of the big Los Angeles earthquake, "Thousands of forlorn, atomized individuals did nothing but wait for a centralized savior, the federal government. America has been diminished by a system of compulsory compassion that simply wants true communities out of the way so that altruism can be left to the experts."5

9. Just as self-help institutions wither among the needy, so do charitable institutions among those who are better off. When government agencies stand ready to attend to every conceivable problem in society, people whose sensibilities incline them toward helping the less fortunate have less incentive to organize themselves for doing so. It is easy to say, "I pay my taxes, and plenty of them. Let the government take care of the problem." If one contributes charitably, it is as if one were paying twice to accomplish the same objective. Hence, government transfers crowd out private transfers. Coercion, in the form of the tax system, displaces the voluntary provision of assistance, and private charitable institutions wane.

10. As citizens drop out of their involvement in charitable and helping institutions, letting the government take over, they become less self-directing and more accepting of all kinds of government activity. So when someone proposes that the government undertake a function previously carried out exclusively within the private sphere, people are not shocked; they are not even very suspicious of the government's ability to carry out the task. After all, governments now do all sorts of things, from socializing preschoolers to feeding the poor to insuring the medical expenses of the elderly. So what if the government takes on still another responsibility? What was once a prevailing suspicion of the enlargement of government becomes a resignation to or an acceptance of its continuing expansion into new areas.

In the nineteenth century, opponents of proposed new government programs would commonly protest: "The government has no business doing that." Nowadays we rarely hear anyone oppose a government initiative on these grounds. That there is a private sphere into which government ought never to intrude has become a nearly extinct species of thought as governments have spread their programs and activities, not to mention their regulations of "private" life, into almost every cranny of society.

11. Hence people do not mobilize political opposition so readily when new government programs are proposed. Facing less opposition, those who support the new programs are more likely to triumph politically. New government programs proliferate quicker, restrained somewhat by budgetary limitations but not much by fundamental ideological objections. According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, "when Americans were asked whether 'entitlements' should be cut to reduce the deficit, 61% said yes. But when they were asked whether 'programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and farm subsidies' should be cut, 66% said no."6 Evidently most people resent paying for the programs, but they have no objection to the programs themselves.

12. Redistribution involves more than T who pays and R who receives. In between stands B, the bureaucracy that determines eligibility, writes the checks, keeps the records, and often does much more, sometimes intruding into the personal lives of the clients. The mediating bureaucracies consume vast resources of labor and capital, accounting for much of the gross expense of the transfer system. For the government to transfer a dollar to R, it is never sufficient to take just a dollar from T. In addition a hefty "commission" must be paid to support B. From a societal perspective, one must recognize that labor and capital employed by the bureaucracies cannot be used to produce goods and services valued by consumers. Again, society is poorer.

13. Once a bureau is created, its personnel become a tenacious political interest group, well placed to defend its budget and make a case for expanding its activities. After all, who knows more about the urgent necessity of increasing a bureau's budget and staff than those who carry out its activities? The bureaucrats have a close hold on the relevant data and the ostensible expertise with respect to whatever problem they treat. Therefore they have potent advantages in the political process when they seek to augment the resources placed at their command. Agency experts will testify that outsiders "just don't know how serious the problem is."

A bureau often constitutes one side of a political "iron triangle," joined with the organized client groups that form the second side and the congressional committees with legislative jurisdiction or oversight responsibility that form the third side. When the bureau becomes politically embedded in this way, as most do, its impoverishment of society can continue indefinitely without serious political challenge.

14. Taxpayers do not simply cough up money to fund the transfers without resistance. Many of them devote time, effort, and money to minimizing their legal tax liability or evading taxes. They buy books and computer software. They employ financial advisers, lawyers, and accountants. From time to time they organize political movements to campaign for tax relief à la California's Proposition 13. All the labor and capital employed in connection with tax resistance are unavailable to produce goods and services valued by consumers. Society is poorer, and will remain poorer as long as people continue to devote resources to tax resistance. (However, to the extent that tax resistance succeeds in making tax rates lower than they otherwise would have been, it promotes greater wealth creation in the longer run.)

15. In the end many citizens will pay taxes to finance the transfers. Even if no one tries to resist the taxes or alters his behavior in supplying labor and capital, the cost to taxpayers will be more than one dollar for each dollar taken by the government, because it is costly just to comply with the tax laws. Taxpayers must keep records, research the tax rules, fill out forms, and all the rest. These activities require time and effort withdrawn from valuable alternative uses. Many people, even though they intend nothing more than full compliance with the law, hire the expert assistance of accountants and tax preparers­the tax rules are so complicated that mere mortals cannot cope. Use of resources to comply with tax laws makes the society poorer.

According to a study by James L. Payne, just the private compliance expense of taxpayers plus the budgetary and enforcement expense of the IRS add $270,000,000 to the tab for each billion dollars of spending by the federal government.7

16. Just as taxpayers do not passively submit to being taxed, recipients and potential recipients of transfers do not just sit quietly waiting for their ship to come in. They also act politically. They form organizations, attend meetings, employ publicists and lobbyists, and campaign for political candidates who support their objectives. All the labor and capital employed in transfer-seeking activities are unavailable to produce goods and services valued by consumers. Society is poorer and will remain poorer as long as people continue to devote resources to seeking transfers.

17. Just as taxpayers must employ resources to comply with the tax laws, so recipients of transfers must employ resources to establish and maintain their eligibility to receive the transfers. For example, recipients of unemployment insurance benefits must visit the department of employment security and wait in long lines to certify that they are indeed unemployed. Sometimes they must go from place to place applying for jobs, which they may have no intention of accepting, in order to demonstrate that they are "seeking employment." Recipients of disability insurance benefits must visit doctors and other health professionals to acquire certification that they are indeed disabled. In each case, more resources are squandered, and society is that much poorer.

18. By adopting programs to redistribute substantial amounts of income, a nation guarantees that its government will become more powerful and invasive in other ways. Because government itself is the most menacing interest group in society, nothing good can come of this development, and much evil may come of it. As James Madison remarked more than two centuries ago, "one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding."8 When the government created Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, for example, it set in motion a train of events that led inexorably to the subsequent "crisis" of escalating health-care costs and thence to the bigger government now being wrought by congressional efforts to deal with this artificial crisis.

19. Creating a more powerful and invasive government means that the liberties of citizens will be diminished. Rights previously enjoyed will be set aside. For a long time American citizens enjoyed extensive rights in the negative sense­rights to be left alone by governments or other people as they went about their lives. All individuals could enjoy such rights simultaneously. With the growth of the transfer society, American citizens have gravitated away from negative rights and toward positive rights, also known as welfare rights, which are in effect claims on the resources of other people. One person's welfare right entails a corresponding duty of other people to provide the resources necessary to satisfy the claim. As such entitlements have grown, therefore, liberties in the sense of negative rights have necessarily diminished.


Culmination

Ironically, in the full-fledged transfer society, where governments busy themselves redistributing income by means of hundreds of distinct programs, hardly anyone is better off as a result. Those who get something of value from the system frequently give up even more in taxes. Further, because many of the consequences of government income redistribution share the common aspect of impoverishing the society, even those who get a bigger slice than they surrender are cutting into a smaller pie. Only the ruling class -- those who constitute the government -- can confidently expect to gain, as each new program enlarges the number of official jobs and the bureaucracy's budget.

In the transfer society the general public is not only poorer but less contented, less autonomous, more rancorous, and more politicized. Individuals take part less often in voluntary community activities and more often in belligerent political contests. Genuine communities cannot breathe in the poisonous atmosphere of redistributional politics. Most importantly, the society that allows its government to redistribute income on a wide scale necessarily sacrifices much of its liberty.

Finally, one must recognize that, notwithstanding what some regard as the institutionalization of compassion, the transfer society quashes genuine virtue. Redistribution of income by government coercion is a form of theft. Its supporters attempt to disguise its essential character by claiming that democratic procedures give it legitimacy, but this justification is specious. Theft is theft whether it be carried out by one thief or by 100 million thieves acting in concert. And it is impossible to found a good society on the institutionalization of theft.


Notes:

1. U.S. Council of Economic Advisers, Annual Report 1994, p. 299.
2. James D. Gwartncy and Richard L. Stroup, Microeconomics: Private and Public Choice, 6th ed. (Fort Worth: Dryden Press, 1992), pp. 409–410.
3. Ibid., pp. 488–489.
4. Paulette Thomas, "BiPartisan Panel Outlines Evils of Entitlements, But Hint of Benefit Cuts Spurs Stiff Opposition," Wall Street Journal, August 8, 1994.
5. Arianna Huffington as quoted by John H. Fund, "A Spiritual Manifesto for a New Political Age," Wall Street Journal, July 13, 1994.
6. Thomas, "Bipartisan Panel."
7. James L. Payne, "Inside the Federal Hurting Machine," The Freeman, March 1994, p. 127.
8. "The Federalist No. 44," in The Federalist (New York: Modem Library, n.d.), p. 291.

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1155

Daylight Saving Time Is America's Greatest Shame


There is actually no benefit or rhyme or reason we have to endure this weekend's time shift and no reason we should even be playing with the idea of losing and gaining hours. Here's why:

Daylight Saving Time Is America's Greatest Shame
Alexander Abad-Santos
Nov 1, 2013

Daylight Saving Time is the greatest continuing fraud ever perpetuated on American people. And this weekend, the effects of this cruel monster will rear its ugly head again. On Sunday morning, Americans across the country will have to set their clocks back one hour, and next week, the sun will begin its ambling lurch to eventually setting at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Technically-speaking, this sleep cycle-wrecking practice of setting our clocks back is because we will be going back to Standard Time after our flirty summer with DST. And the unsettling shift back to these hours, and the hour "we gain," is the back-end of the time-bargain we have to pay for setting our clocks forward in March to "maximize daylight" ­ a phrase probably better suited to organisms that rely on photosynthesis ­ during the spring and summer hours.

Why we try and "maximize daylight" like we're plants is actually an archaic practice first thought up in the late 1700s and often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. As some elementary school teacher may have explained to you, this was a practice to accommodate agricultural workers and farmers (wrong, and we'll get to this in a minute) or lower the nation's electricity usage. 

A lot of that is prime b.s. There is actually no benefit or rhyme or reason we have to endure this weekend's time shift and no reason we should even be playing with the idea of losing and gaining hours. Here's why:



The Energy Savings Are Minimal

A large push for DST has always been the idea that this time warp saved money and helped conserve energy. In the 1970s the energy crisis helped further this notion along. This is all a myth ­ the energy saving are tiny. First off, did you notice any change in your energy bills between 2006-2008? I know that recalling electricity bills is asking a lot, but the reason I ask is that we actually extended DST by a month in 2007. The thought was that a month of DST would bring more savings.

That was wrong. The great energy-sucking state of California actually studied the impact of that extension and found it wanting. "Formally, weather- and lighting-corrected savings from DST were estimated at 0.18%," reported the California Energy Commission.

There was also another study on the state of Indiana, a state that went full DST in 2006. A team from Yale studied what happened post-DST, and found that the average Indianan was hit in the wallet by DST. National Geographic reported:

In their 2008 National Bureau of Economic Research study, the team found that lighting demand dropped, but the warmer hour of extra daylight tacked onto each evening led to more air-conditioning use, which canceled out the gains from reduced lighting and then some: Hoosiers paid higher electric bills than before DST, the study showed.




DST Is Bad For Your Health

SAD, a.k.a. seasonal affective disorder, is when people get bummed out when the seasons shift. Sunlight plays a role into that, and you'd think that DST would be something everyone would be looking forward to. Wrong. In order to get more daylight during the day, DST short-changes the early-morning sun hours. Those hours are important for those affected by SAD. And it's also very important for your sleep patterns.

"Daylight savings time is anti-physiologic, and it's a little deleterious, at least for several days,"  Dr. Nicholas Rummo, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital told Health.com, and added, "light earlier in the day is more helpful for them."

Research has also shown that DST, and shifts and the rupturing of sleep patterns is also linked to myocardial infarctions (a.k.a. heart-attacks), car accidents, and medical equipment malfunctions.



Time Shifts Are Bad For Your Productivity

American exceptionalism is a phrase we've heard a lot recently, and it's usually prefixed by words like "dwindling" or "losing faith in...". If we want to continue this path, then we might as well have DST and shifting time patterns every few months. The weird shift in time messes with our sleep patterns and our bodies, and our work.

"We're encountering data of an increase in extra auto and workplace accidents on Monday or perhaps even carrying through the first week of the Spring time shift," Dr. James Wyatt, at Rush University Medical Center told ABC News in 2012. National Geographic spoke with Till Roenneberg, a chronobiologist, and he explained why:

Light doesn't do the same things to the body in the morning and the evening. More light in the morning would advance the body clock, and that would be good. But more light in the evening would even further delay the body clock.




DST Is Not Financially Responsible

Think about what you could do with $147 million. T hat's how much the Air Transport Association estimated the 2007, one-month shift cost the airline industry because time schedules with the world ( a lot of which does not believe in DST) were messed up.



DST Is Not Helping Any Farmers

Oh right, we almost forgot about farmers. I remember my second grade teacher told skinny, frail, 7-year-old me, "We do this [time shift] for the farmers." I didn't know any farmers, but I remember feeling noble and helpful. I did not know I was being lied to.

"That's the complete inverse of what's true," Tufts University professor Michael Downing, told National Geographic. "The farmers were the only organized lobby against daylight saving in the history of the country." The reason, Downing explains, is that DST left them with less sunlight to get crops to market.

DST affects dairy farmers the most, since cows' bodies and the milk they're tasked with producing are affected by the time changes.



You Don't Even Like DST

"God, I love getting up an hour earlier," said no one ever. "Me too. I can't wait to have my schedule messed up in the fall," no one replied.

  A 2011 Rasmussen poll (for what it's worth, Rasmussen can be a bit skewed when it comes to conservative politicians but seems to have no known bias against time zones) found that 47 percent (ha, Romney, ha) of Americans said DST was not worth the hassle.

So how do we fix all of this? Over at Quartz, there's an idea to just have two timezones. But let's be clear here. The real evil here is change. No one really minds if 4 a.m. is 4 a.m. They (and their possible heart attacks) mind if for some reason or another that 4 a.m. is now 5 a.m and will be 4 a.m. in a few months. It's time to stop this insanity.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/11/daylight-saving-time-americas-greatest-shame/71172/

Lies of Obamacare, Documented


November 1, 2013
Lies of Obamacare, Documented
by John Hinderaker

Over the last day or two, the major breaking story has really been a throwback: in 2010, the Obama administration promulgated rules governing what plans that pre-existed Obamacare would be "grandfathered" under that statute, and allowed to continue. In the context of announcing its rules, the administration predicted that because of their restrictiveness, many millions of Americans would lose their existing insurance coverage, whether they liked it or not. Further, it has been widely reported (as by CNN, here) that Republicans tried to reverse the administration's "grandfather" rules so that those who liked their insurance would be allowed to keep it, but Senate Democrats voted them down.

Given the lies with which Obamacare was promoted–"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it"–this is of course a blockbuster story. So I spent some time today tracking down the original sources to verify it.

The Obamacare statute provided that plans pre-existing the law would be allowed to continue, but left the details to future administrative action. That came on June 17, 2010, when the Obama administration–specifically, the Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services–promulgated "Interim Final Rules for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Coverage Relating to Status as a Grandfathered Health Plan Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." You can read the rules here; scroll down to Part II.

The basic idea underlying the rules is that if the pre-existing plans remained unchanged, they could continue. If, however, there was any significant change in coverages, co-pays, and so on, then the plan would become subject to all of the requirements of Obamacare (even grandfathered plans are subject to a number of Obamacare requirements). The problem is that the health insurance market is constantly changing, and it is typical for plans to change, to some degree, from year to year. So the administration looked at historical data to estimate how many employer-sponsored and individual plans would likely lose their grandfather status once Obamacare was implemented. The administration's methodology can certainly be questioned, but the results were as has been reported. This chart sums them up; click to enlarge:

FederalRegister092

The Obama administration projected low-end, mid-range and high-end estimates for how many plans would be terminated, in total and broken down between large and smaller employers. The bottom line is that the administration expected 51% of all employer plans to be terminated as a result of Obamacare. That is the mid-range estimate; the high-end estimate was 69%. So as of 2010, the Obama administration planned that most Americans with employer-sponsored health care plans would lose them, whether they liked those plans or not.

As for individual, as opposed to group plans, the Obama administration said that data were insufficient to predict how many would lose grandfather status, but in any given year the percentage of such policies losing such status would "exceed[] the 40 percent to 67 percent range."

Those numbers starkly contradict Obama's "if you like your insurance, you can keep it" assurances. But it is worth noting that the percentage of pre-Obamacare plans that would terminate within the first few years after the law was enacted isn't the main point. The administration never intended to allow any American to keep a non-Obamacare insurance policy for any length of time. In the Federal Register, the administration candidly acknowledged:

The collective decisions of plan sponsors and issuers over time can be viewed as a one-way sorting process in which these parties decide whether, and when, to relinquish status as a grandfathered health plan.

The administration was prepared to be patient as the "one-way sorting process" ran its course, and all Americans lost the plans they had, whether they liked them or not.

That brings us to September 29, 2010, when Senate Republicans brought to the floor a resolution that would have disapproved of, and reversed, the administrative rules that the Obama administration promulgated on June 17. Wyoming's Mike Enzi sponsored the resolution; the debate that followed is here. Enzi introduced his resolution:

Mr. President, the resolution we are debating today is about keeping a promise. The authors of the new health care law promised the American people that if they liked their current health insurance, they could keep it. On at least 47 separate occasions, President Obama promised: "If you like what you have, you can keep it."
Unfortunately, the Obama administration has broken that promise. Earlier this year, the administration published a regulation that will fundamentally change the health insurance plans of millions of Americans. The reality of this new regulation is, if you like what you have, you can't keep it. The new regulation implemented the grandfathered health plan section of the new health care law. It specified how existing health plans could avoid the most onerous new rules and redtape included in the 2,700 pages of the new health care law. …
Unfortunately, the regulation writers at the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services broke all those promises. The regulation is crystal clear. Most businesses–the administration estimates between 39 and 69 percent–will not be able to keep the coverage they have.
Under the new regulation, once a business loses grandfathered status, they will have to comply with all of the new mandates in the law. This means these businesses will have to change their current plans and purchase more expensive ones that meet all of the new Federal minimum requirements. For the 80 percent of small businesses that will lose their grandfathered status because of this regulation, the net result is clear: They will pay more for their health insurance.

Does this give you a sense of deja vu, or what? The baleful consequences of Obamacare that we are now seeing–there are many more to come–were known and foreseen in 2010. The Democrats voted down the Republicans' effort to preserve the health care plans that Americans already like on a party-line vote. The Democrats knew that Obama had been lying through his teeth, and they voted unanimously to sustain his lies.

Did the Democrats have a theory? Sure. They argued that if a health care plan changes significantly, then it isn't the plan you originally bought. And it is common in a variety of contexts for something that is grandfathered to lose that status if it is changed significantly. But there are several problems with the Democrats' theory: First, it was entirely different from the assurances Obama gave the American people. You may like your insurance perfectly well after a modest change; you may like it better. But that is irrelevant: if the Obama administration thinks your coverage has changed materially, you lose it. Period. Second, it isn't true that plans lose their grandfathered status only if they are changed in a major way. For example, if there is any increase in the co-insurance rate, no matter how small, the plan terminates.

Even more significant is the fact that under the administration's regulations, the plan may stay exactly the same, but if one insurance carrier replaces another, the plan loses its grandfathered status and terminates. The effect of this provision is to eliminate competition and make it less attractive, over time, to maintain pre-existing plans. The Republicans read several letters from business groups into the record, at least one of which pointed out the importance of this provision.

Finally, it should be noted that John McCain, now the bete noire of some activists, weighed in powerfully against the administration's Obamacare rules. Among other things, he pointed out that they do not apply to unions. They can negotiate changes in the pre-Obamacare plans that cover their members without having them terminate. This is one of the weird features of gangster government: the administration passes terrible laws, and then excuses its friends from complying with them. Let's turn the floor over to McCain:

Mr. ENZI: According to the administration, in small businesses, 80 percent of the people–unless this [Republican resolution] is passed–will lose the insurance they have and like, and in all businesses 69 percent will. Those are not my numbers; those are the administration's numbers.
Mr. McCAIN: But isn't it also true that is the case for small business and people and entrepreneurs all over America except the unions? Isn't that true? Isn't this a carve-out again, part of this sleaze that went into putting this bill together, part of the "Cornhusker kickback," the "Louisiana purchase," the buying of PhRMA–all that went into this–the "negotiations" that were going to take place on C-SPAN that the President said during the Presidential campaign that went from one sweetheart deal cut to another. Part of one of those sweetheart deals was the unions are exempt; is that correct?
Mr. ENZI. That is correct.

So it's the usual toxic stew of lies, corruption and incompetence that we have come to expect from Barack Obama. But one last point should not go unmentioned: where has the press been in all of this? As of 2010, it was blindingly obvious–was baldly stated by the Obama administration itself–that under Obamacare, far from being permitted to keep your health care coverage if you like it, most Americans' policies would speedily be terminated, and all would soon cease to exist. Given the dozens of misrepresentations by Barack Obama and other members of his administration, and given the entirely dishonest basis on which Obamacare was rammed through the Democratic Congress without a single Republican vote, and given that Republicans' warnings were indisputably coming true–was there not a news story here? How can it be that three more years went by before our one-party media thought to mention what happened back in 2010? One can only imagine how the 2012 election might have been different if the electorate had understood that Obamacare was sold on a scaffold of lies.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/11/lies-of-obamacare-documented.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+powerlineblog%2Flivefeed+%28Power+Line%29

Government Programs


Kevin Gutzman:
No Federal Government program ever ends. None is ever declared to be a failure. Today's example:
"The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly for the 22nd time to condemn the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, whose foreign minister said the American policy in place since 1959 was barbaric and amounted to genocide. There were 188 votes for the non-binding resolution, entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba," in the 193-nation General Assembly. The only country that joined the United States in voting against the resolution was Israel."

How Obama went from bulls–t to dishonesty

How Obama went from bulls–t to dishonesty

By Kyle Smith

November 2, 2013 | 5:07pm

How Americans see President Obama changed in an important way this week. It's because there is a huge difference between lies and bulls – - t.

Obama says a lot of things that are not true, even nonsensical. But it's easy to shrug off most of these, because they aren't really lies. They're just bulls – - t.

Bulls – - t is airy, meaningless drivel, the stuff that campaigns are made of. Or it's a misleading oversimplification with hidden qualifiers. Not only do we forgive bulls – - t, we like it. Especially suckers who have far too high an opinion of the importance and efficacy of politicians, people who hope casting a ballot is a way to expunge sin or join a noble crusade. "We are the ones we have been waiting for"? Not a lie. Just bulls – - t.

Even when Obama made seemingly specific promises like, "I want to go line by line through every item in the federal budget and eliminate programs that don't work," he left himself wiggle room. He still wants to do that, no doubt. He's just too busy filling out his March Madness brackets and golfing. Or maybe he just couldn't find a program that fails by his standards.

While he was saying things like, "I will make sure we renegotiate NAFTA" in an effort to match Hillary Clinton's equally insincere blather about turning back the clock on the free trade agreement that her husband vigorously promoted and signed, Obama aides were going around telling Canadian officials that this was just "rhetoric" — a nice word for "bulls – - t."

Obama denounced the individual mandate to purchase health insurance during the primaries to get to Hillary's left, but his stated reason was that it wouldn't be fair to force people to buy health insurance if they couldn't afford it. You could argue he covered himself by including in the law large subsidies — your income can be four times the poverty line ($94,000) and you still qualify for aid.

He said he would close Guantanamo but that was just campaign blather for suckers — an applause line, not a serious policy proposal. As any student of the matter knew, there wasn't a better alternative, and nobody really cares about Guantanamo detainees anyway. It was just opportunistic Bush-bashing.

This week was something new. It was the week Obama was revealed to be a stone-cold liar.

Some 10 million Americans are going to lose their health insurance as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act.

On June 15, 2009, Obama said, in one of hundreds of similar statements, "No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."

This wasn't just bulls – - t. This was a lie.

This was a direct, specific detail that left no wiggle room. It couldn't be excused as "campaign rhetoric" because he wasn't running for anything in 2009. It wasn't a gassy generality. It wasn't a pie-in-the-sky platitude.

It was credible, concrete and important.

Even devoted members of the Barack Obama fan club are forced to concede that the president wasn't telling the truth. "I think what he could have made is a more nuanced, accurate statement," said James Carville. "The administration turns out to have misled the public," admitted liberal columnist Jonathan Chait, a personal favorite of Obama's. Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post, who usually retails pro-Obama spin under the label "fact checker," gave Obama four Pinocchios.

Obama and his minions are pretending they only said "the vast majority of Americans," (nope), trying to deflect blame to insurance companies (won't work, because of the "no one will take it away, no matter what" line) or to claim nonexistent caveats were there all along.

This week White House flack Jay Carney absurdly said Obama was "clear about a basic fact . . ." that you could keep your insurance "if it was available." He sounded like a Publishers Clearinghouse letter saying "you just won 10 million dollars if you have the winning number."

And it wasn't what his boss said.

There is no escape. What Obama said wasn't true and that's all there is to it. To the American public, he is a different man than he was last week.

People can handle bulls – - t, but not dishonesty. We don't like that. His approval rating touched an all-time low this week in the NBC/WSJ poll, and that was before his deception became the news of the week. Obama has rebranded himself as a liar, forever. He will carry this new label to his grave.

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Fwd: Who Built Obamacare's 678 Million Dollar Website?







No surprise here. Just another example of this criminal administration' not that others have been squeaky clean, but this one has Chicago/Al Capone written all over it with a Chicago ward heeler leading it. (For those of you who are not familiar with the term ward heeler, it is a position in a large city's political machine, going back to the 1870s, which is a step above a petty criminal and known today as a community organizer).

 

Who Built Obamacare's 678 Million Dollar Website?

 

WELL, WELL--LOOK AT WHAT'S COMING TO LIGHT.....

 

 

Another looming scandal that is going to be ignored to the tune of 3/4 of a billion dollars.

The Feds only reviewed one bid to build the ACA (Obamacare website)

(
http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2537194#.UlvHPWwQRGk.twitter)

           "Federal officials considered only one firm to design the Obamacare health insurance exchange website that has performed abysmally since its Oct. 1 debut.

           Rather than open the contracting process to a competitive public solicitation with multiple bidders, officials in the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid accepted a sole bidder, CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian company with an uneven record of IT pricing and contract performance.

           CMS officials are tight-lipped about why CGI was chosen or how it happened. They also refuse to say if other firms competed with CGI, or if there was ever a public solicitation for building 
Healthcare.gov, the backbone of Obamacare's problem-plagued web portal."

           Some allegations have come to light.

 

Meet:

 

 

 Toni Townes-Whitley, 

 

Senior Vice President at CGI Federal 


           *Toni Townes-Whitley, Senior Vice President at CGI Federal for Civilian Agency programs, is Princeton Class of 1985. Michelle Obama is Princeton Class of 1985. Both are members of Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

           *CGI "donated" $47 Million to Obama's campaign.

           *CGI executives were large campaign bundlers for the Obama.   They helped him shut off all the security features on Obama's campaign donation website in 2008 and 2012 in order to take multi-millions in foreign donations.

ALL THE ABOVE FALLS UNDER THE 'YOU SCRATCH MY BACK; I'LL SCRATCH YOURS'...CATEGORY....TRANSLATED HERE: 'YOU CONTRIBUTE BIG BUCKS TO MY CAMPAIGN, AND WHEN I WIN, YOU'LL GET GREATER BIG BUCKS CONTRACTS TO LINE YOUR POCKET!'....



           Why are the Main Stream Media not asking questions???...

 



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Fwd: Obama Accused of Military 'Purge'






[[  It is not nice to disagree with the Traitor-in-Chief. ]]

http://news.newsmax.com/?Z6CRXbSu.P9GmBUk9sKznGM1IQyktfRAZ&ns_mail_uid=1469942&ns_mail_job=1544392_11032013

 

Obama Accused of Military 'Purge'

The United States military is being "purged" of officers suspected of disloyalty to or disagreement with the Obama administration, several sources charge.

"We recognize President Obama is the commander-in-chief and that throughout history presidents from Lincoln to Truman have seen fit to remove military commanders they view as inadequate or insubordinate," Investor's Business Daily (IBD) observed.

"Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling, and even harmful to our national security posture."

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely believes Obama is "intentionally weakening and gutting our military and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged."

According to Breitbart.com, at least 197 officers, mostly at the rank of colonel or above, have been relieved of duty for a variety of reasons, or for no stated reason at all.

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the administration this year, "leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is underway," IBD reported.

Among those officers:

·  Gen. Carter Ham was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue effort in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Benghazi, Libya.

·  Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, commander of Carrier Strike Group Three, was relieved of duty in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group to assist and provide intelligence for forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham, according to IBD.

·  Two nuclear commanders were fired in a single week — Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the Air Force unit that maintains control of 450 intercontinental missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command. Carey was sacked "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment," while Giardina lost his post for allegedly using counterfeit gambling chips at a casino.

·  Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker, commander of the Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, was fired for alcohol use and sexual misconduct charges. Defense officials told CNN the reason was "loss of confidence."

·  Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus was terminated for questioning the "winning hearts and minds" policies that led to the murders of U.S. officers by Afghan recruits, according to FrontPage magazine.

·  Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller was relieved of his command in Afghanistan after he told a media source that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other government officials were "isolated from reality."

·  On the last day of November 2011, the administration terminated 157 Air Force majors, citing budget shortfalls as the primary reason — a move that some legal experts said was illegal.

According to IBD, a senior retired general said on the condition of anonymity that "they're using the opportunity of the shrinkage of the military to get rid of people that don't agree with them or do not toe the party line."

FrontPage concluded: "Obama has made clear that he will aggressively pursue anyone who defies his agenda. Now it seems that chilling message has been sent to the military as well."

 



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Fwd: Antarctic Ice Sets New Record









No one's so clueless (or stupid) anymore to believe in global warming propaganda…are they?

 

B

 

http://news.newsmax.com/?Z6CRXbSu.P9GmBUk9sKznGM1IQyktfRAZ&ns_mail_uid=1469942&ns_mail_job=1544392_11032013

 

Antarctic Ice Sets New Record

Amid ongoing warnings about the perils of global warming and rising sea levels comes the news that the extent of sea ice surrounding Antarctica set a new record in September — for the second year in a row.

On Sept. 22, sea ice extended over 7.51 million square miles of the Southern Ocean, the largest extent in the satellite record, NASA reported.

The previous record, set in September 2012, was 7.50 million square miles.

Antarctic sea ice reaches its minimum extent in February or March and then grows until reaching its maximum in September or October.

"For the second year in a row, we set a record high winter maximum," said Walt Meier, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "But even though it is a record high, it is only 3.6 percent above the 1981-2010 average maximum."

The overall trend shows growth in the extent of sea ice of about 1.5 percent per decade, NASA disclosed, adding: "Multiple factors — including the geography of Antarctica, the region's winds, as well as air and ocean temperatures — all affect the ice."

The Climate Policy Initiative's "Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013" report, issued in October, disclosed that governments and private entities around the world spent $359 billion to fight global warming in 2012.

Of that total, 94 percent was spent to support "greenhouse gas mitigation," according to the report, including more than 2,000 large-scale projects involving renewable energy in 19 countries.

 



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Fwd: 23 World Festivals You Won't Want To Miss

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Fwd: Hunters Shoot Animal Rights Drone Out of the Sky







[[  Good for the hunters.  The Petaturds got no business spying on private land.  ]]

http://clashdaily.com/2013/11/ahahaha-hunters-shoot-animal-rights-drone-sky/

 

Hunters Shoot Animal Rights Drone Out of the Sky

The gun totin' boys at the Broxton Bridge Plantation hunting ground were planning on having themselves a good old fashioned pigeon hunt. South Carolina's unfortunately named S.H.A.R.K. animal rights group planned to expose them via aerial drone. Guess what happened.

The Times and Democrat reports that once the hopeful hunters knew they were going to be watched from above, they started to leave the private shooting plantation. SHARK decided to send up their drone anyway—above a group of cranky firearm-wielding southerners. Big mistake, SHARK. Their drone was quickly shot out of the sky:

"Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," [SHARK leader] Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter." He claimed the shooters were "in tree cover" and "fled the scene on small motorized vehicles."

From the photos of the drone we've obtained, it looks like the damage was pretty light—though drones are very sensitive machines, and even a helicopter can be downed with small arms fire. Does this at least provide a possible explanation for the drone we lost over Iran? Are there pigeon hunts there? [The T and D]

 



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Fwd: [New post] Muslim Imam Says Cover Up Little Girls




And hide the little boys.
burkasrugly posted: "Fellow infidels, He indicates that their fathers might find them too sexy to resist. He says this because he knows that Muslim men are ok with sexually molesting little girls, since Mohammed consumated his marriage with Aisia when she was nine years ol"
Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on actjonesboroar

Muslim Imam Says Cover Up Little Girls

by burkasrugly

Fellow infidels,

He indicates that their fathers might find them too sexy to resist. He says this because he knows that Muslim men are ok with sexually molesting little girls, since Mohammed consumated his marriage with Aisia when she was nine years old. Sick freaks.  I have a better idea:  Muslim men - keep your hands to yourself!!!! Watch below:

Satanic to the "N"th degree!!

Until next time,

Burkasrugly

burkasrugly | November 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Tags: Muslim cover up girls, Muslim imam cover up girls | Categories: Radical Islam | URL: http://wp.me/p1t1Gt-1nA

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Fwd: Obama's ex-bodyguard: Scandals 'worse than you know'






http://www.teaparty.org/obamas-ex-bodyguard-scandals-worse-know-30181/

 

Obama's ex-bodyguard: Scandals 'worse than you know'

Warns president sees government as 'shiny new toy'

(The Blaze) – Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who is running for Congress in Maryland, appeared on the Glenn Beck Program Thursday to discuss why he chose to run for elected office.

"We're at a very dangerous point, Glenn," Bongino began. "We're in a lot of trouble. The president sees government — and I think it's because of his lack of experience, and maybe community organizing in the past — as like this shiny new toy. And for all the disagreements I had with Clinton, Carter, and Bush, there were always limits. There was that line you just didn't cross — we cross that seemingly every day…"

FAX BLAST SPECIAL: Impeach Obama NOW!

Bongino said that we're "lost in the scandals," from the IRS targeting conservative organizations to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius "shaking down" the healthcare industry, among others.

"It's to the point where these scandals in and of themselves [that] would be huge, backbreaking scandals are just lot in the 'scandal fog' of this administration," he said in disbelief. "It's worse than people know; I'm not trying to scare you either."

Here are some of Bongino's other positions, from the "Dan Bongino for Congress" website (you can click on the image to make it larger):

Beck and Bongino also spoke about the NSA and the U.S. government's domestic surveillance programs.

"You give the government information, it will be abused," Bongino warned flatly. "It is not a matter of if it will be abused, it's only a matter of when."

He added that while most will say "I have nothing to hide," you do.  Whether it's something personal but not necessarily illegal, or some regulatory offense you didn't even know you are committing, the government will get you if it wants to.

"It's only a matter of time before someone slaps an email on your desk that you sent fifteen years ago threatening to punch out your neighbor for not pruning his trees, and says, 'Look at what I got against you. We need your information on whatever…'"

He said the NSA scandal "gets at the roots of what liberty means…That flag means something. It's undermining the very principles that made this country great."

"Remember," Bongino concluded, "when the key is held by someone else, liberty means absolutely nothing."

 



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