Commenters on the Left are now beginning to worry that the rollout of Obamacare has been and will continue to be so inept that too many of the suckers public will become convinced it is was a scam all along or that the wonks are technical dilettantes rather than competent innovators or something else “bad.” This, they say, will allow the Right to run successfully against Progressivism as personified in Obama for a generation.
They may have a point. When I was a kid back in the ’50s, I remember Democrats who were still going on about Hoover.
Obamacare is going to be an expensive educational experience.
Peggy Noonan has a piece over at WSJ that describes how disastrous a victory Obamacare is for the President. Not only are many Americans finding that they can’t keep their old heath plans that they liked, the new plans are often unaffordable. And many are discovering that the politically well-connected are being given special exemptions.
It’s as if it’s 1937 and they launched Social Security, only rich coupon-clippers on Park Avenue immediately started getting small monthly checks, and 67-year-old dust bowlers in tarpaper shacks started getting monthly bills.
The Treasury reports that for the Fiscal Year that ended on 30 September the U. S. Government had revenues of 2.77 trillion dollars. The deficit for the same period was around 680 billion bucks.
How much government could we have bought with that money without going into the red?
According to figures posted at the Tax Policy Center website, 2.77 trillion dollars would have covered all federal spending in FY 2007 (corrected for inflation) with a surplus of around 40 billion dollars.
I don’t know about you, but I felt like I had more government than I really needed in 2007.
The Nation is asking it’s subscribers to “donate” $120,272 to cover increased postage costs. The magazine is blaming the rate increase on “Tea Party Republicans.”
The postage rate increase was driven by the need to put the funding of the retirement benefits of postal workers on a more fiscally sound basis. It’s interesting that a leftwing publication is complaining that the Tea Party wants the bosses to give the workers their due.
… for a while, at least, but you young whippersnappers can expect a big cut. Huff Po is reporting that the Democrats may be ready to go for future cuts in Social Security benefits (in 20 years or so after most of them are out of office) in order to keep the Ponzi scheme going into the 2080s.
Vodkapundit has a piece up about how Obamacare and other current federal programs and policies are driving the “new normal” in the economy. Whenever I hear that “new normal” term, I keep thinking of Abbie Someone.
… I will be affected. I was planning to attend an System Engineering Seminar about the James Webb Space Telescope project at Goddard Space Flight Center tomorrow, but it will be cancelled as a non-essential activity if the government shuts down.
During my years at Goddard, I never worked on JWST. I’m hoping to learn more about the program in order to do some writing about its progress.
Daniel Henninger has a good discussion about the coming disaster known as Obamacare over at WSJ. Here are a couple of the more insightful lines.
But ObamaCare’s Achilles’ heel is technology. The software glitches are going to drive people insane.
The discrediting of the entitlement state begins next Tuesday. Let it happen.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE—Things will be quite nasty as Obamacare burns out, perhaps catastrophic. However, I’m beginning to be convinced that is the only way the situation will be remedied. The Progressive politicians who created the mess are behaving very much like an alcoholic who still thinks he can handle it, and their go-along/get-along enablers are much like a drunk’s “understanding” friends. We’re past the time when an intervention might have worked. The system is going to have to wake up in the drunk tank before it hits bottom.
A quick show of hands, please … how many of you have ever worked for 70 cents an hour? Not very many. That’s what I made at my first job as a high school student shelving books in a university library. The minimum wage back then was $1 an hour, but as a student trainee all I got was 70 cents.
By the time I got my next paying job, the minimum wage was up to a buck-and-a-quarter, but I got $2 an hour. That was not because of any generosity on the part of my employer. It was because I had a First-Class Commercial Radiotelephone Operator’s License from the FCC and could legally operate the transmitter at the radio station that hired me.
I’ve never had a minimum wage job. Since that second job, I’ve been overqualified, but for that first job, I was underqualified. Indeed, if the library had had to pay me more that I was worth, I never would have had that first job. I’d have been priced out of the market.
There’s another way to look at the minimum wage. Declaring that there is a minimum price which must be paid for labor has the effect of outlawing labor not worth that much. That can have two effects. One is to keep more low-skill persons who want to work unemployed. The other is to force more workers into the off-the-books economy. Neither strikes me as a good idea.
Marc Thiessen has a piece over at WaPo about federal government spending. (H/T, VodkaPundit) For the first time in decades, certainly the first time in my memory, the federal government’s spending will decrease. In 2010, the feds spend $3.457 trillion. Spending for this fiscal year should come in at $3.455 trillion. A couple of billion out of 3+ trillion may not seem like much, but as Senator Dirksen once said, “A billion here and a billion there, and soon you’re talking real money.” Actually, when you figure in inflation, that’s about a 5 % decrease in spending.
However, don’t be too quick to credit the President. He’s fought for ever more spending. The House GOP probably should get most of the credit because of the Budget Control Act.
You know, we could have balanced the budget this year. The actual revenue to the government would have allowed us to pay the interest on the debt and fund every agency at about 94 % of FY 2003 levels accounting for inflation. Most of us could have gotten by on 94 % of our 2003 income. Why couldn’t the government? Sure, some adjustments would have to be made, but couldn’t you gotten by with only 6 % decrease in the government you had in 2003?
That rattling sound is my tip jar. One very effective way to dampen the noise is fill the jar with pictures of dead presidents (or a dead postmaster general). Clicking on the Tip Jar link will take you to my PayPal account. Also, there’s a link to Amazon on the right side of the Home page. If you shop via that link, I get a commission.
This is a strange. The fireworks displays at military bases are paid for with what are called “non-appropriated funds.” Sequesters and budget cuts should have nothing to do with this.
Non-appropriated funds are generated by the military community through the sale of goods and services and the collection of fees and charges for participation in military community programs. They do not involve federal tax dollars. The largest sources of non-appropriated funds are the PX and BX systems. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is an agency of the United States Department of Defense. One of it’s missions is to generate reasonable earnings of non-appropriated funds for the support of United States Army and Air Force Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs (MWR). The Navy operates the equivalent Navy Exchange, the Marine Corps operates the Marine Corps Exchange, and the United States Coast Guard operates the Coast Guard Exchange. The average soldier’s PX purchases generate a bit more than $200 of profits for MWR funding each year.
Well, at least the Commander-in-Chief made it back from Africa in time to watch the display on the National Mall. I hear the view from the White House is great.
The tax gatherers and their facilitators among our betters in the Congress are bent out of shape because for-profit entities such as Apple don’t voluntarily pay more taxes than they owe under the tax code. Charles C. W. Cooke explains their reasoning thus:
Along with “loophole,” “gimmick” is the voracious Left’s newest way of describing “compliance with our rules.”
BTW, Apple is the largest single tax payer to the U. S. Treasury, paying around $16,000,000 per day. The government manages to spend its daily collection from Apple by 12:03 am.
These are the folks who want to run your health care.