1 green job created = two private jobs lost

February 26, 2010

In this morning’s Washington Post, Suni Sharan, director of the Smart Grid Initiative at GE from 2008 to 2009, questions the validity of “the assumption that a ‘clean-energy’ economy will generate enough jobs to mitigate today’s high level of unemployment.”

And yet, as he writes, “‘green jobs’ have become a central underpinning of the Obama administration’s rationale to promote clean energy.” He explains that “the near-term expected levels of investment in and adoption of renewable sources of energy mean that net job creation should top out in the tens of thousands, as opposed to the desired hundreds of thousands or more.”

Sharan concludes that “for the purpose of creating jobs, then, a ‘clean-energy economy’ will not offer a panacea” and that “those who take great pains to tout the ‘job-creation potential’ of the green space might just end up inducing labor pains all around.”

He is onto something. However, the reality is much worse. As we know, President Obama has spent much time praising Spain as being a reference for the establishment of government aid to renewable energy. A role model, Spain?

This study, from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Spain shows that the reality is quite different. After examining Spain’s experience with an aggressive wind-power program, the researchers concluded, among other things, the cost of creating a green job in Spain was 571,000 Euros each (so roughly $800,000) and for each green job created 2 private jobs were lost.

The study also makes predictions in case the president pursues his green job policy.

“Therefore, while it is not possible to directly translate Spain’s experience with exactitude to claim that the U.S. could lose at least 6.6 million to 11 million jobs, as a direct consequence were it to actually create 3 to 5 million “green jobs” as promised (in addition to the jobs lost due to the opportunity cost of private capital employed in renewable energy), the study clearly reveals a tendency that means the U.S. should expect such an outcome.”

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NATIONAL DEBT – how much do you owe?

February 16, 2010

THE NATIONAL DEBT: DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH YOU NOW OWE?

President Obama announced his 2011 Budget which is $3.834 trillion dollars with a projected deficit of $1.267 trillion or 8.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).   As of Feb. 7, our total national debt was $12,348,804,540,946.54 or $12.35 trillion which is larger than the economies of China, the United Kingdom and Australia combined, says Don C. Brunell, President of the Association of Washington Businesses. 

The national debt is growing with the spending spree in Washington, D.C.  According to the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget: 

  • Our national debt will grow an additional $9 trillion over the next decade, to more than $20 trillion.
  • During that time, the United States will accumulate $2.5 billion in new debt each and every day.
  • That’s $1.72 million per minute, for the next ten years. 

According to the Department of the Treasury: 

  • Foreign holders of our national debt are owed a combined total of about $3.3 trillion.
  • The top 10 countries and entities holding U.S. debt are: China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Oil Exporters, Caribbean Banking Centers, Brazil, Russia, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Our debt to China is approximately $776.4 billion, having grown more than $240 billion in the last year; that is more than $10,000 in debt for the average American working family — just to China.
  • The estimated population of the United States is 307,795,997 so each citizen’s share of this debt is $40,146.02. 

The National Debt has continued to increase and that is before Congress tacks on trillions for health care, cap and trade, new federal stimulus programs, and other yet to be identified spending programs, says Brunell. 

Part of the way President Obama plans to pay for his new round of spending is to eliminate the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts families making more than $250,000 per year which impacts a ton of family-owned, small businesses which are the backbone of our economy and nation, says Brunell. 

Source: Don C. Brunell, “The National Debt: Do You Know How Much You Now Owe?” Olympia Business Watch/Association of Washington Businesses, February 7, 2010. 

For text:

http://www.olympiabusinesswatch.com/2010/02/the-national-debt-do-you-know-how-much-you-now-owe.html


Healthcare update 11

January 30, 2010

Health Policy Update: The Battle [Behind Closed Doors] Continues. You may have noticed that White House officials have started talking a lot about banking reform and economic recovery. There’s a reason for that: the unpopularity of government-run health care.

Don’t Be Fooled! NCPA President Dr. John Goodman was exactly right in his recent Health Alert when he wrote, “Democrats will not try to go into the fall election empty-handed.” On Capitol Hill, health care negotiations continue unabated. Consider the following:

  • Fact #1: The Senate Doesn’t Have to Vote Again on Health Care. The Senate approved government-run health in its now-infamous Christmas Eve vote. The only thing preventing government-run health care is the Pelosi-led House of Representatives.
  • Fact #2: House Moderates Want Safety. Voter ire has moderate House Democrats fearful. While at the moment they want to stop talking about health care, at some point House moderates will have to decide whether to pass legislation and defend it before the voters or abandon it and apologize for the colossal waste of time. Pelosi will make the case to House moderates that the safest course is to show strength, not contrition.
  • Fact #3: House Liberals Want Change. Months of delay have liberal House Democrats feeling betrayed. Despite Senate foot-dragging, they know that they’re closer than ever before to realizing the dream of government-run health care. Pelosi will make the case to House liberals that the wisest course is to cut a deal with the Senate.
  • Fact #4: The Senate Can Pass a Clean-Up Measure with 51 Votes. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid holds an ace up his sleeve: a reconciliation vote. If the House passes the Senate version of government-run health care, the Senate could subsequently pass separate, modifying legislation with only 51 votes. All it takes for that plan to work is Pelosi convincing House moderates that it’s safe and House liberals that it’s wise.

LET’S FINISH THE FIGHT! We’ve come along way together in the last eight months and for the first time we’ve got a fighting chance to stop government-run health care. We didn’t start this fight, but now it’s time for us to finish it. Here’s how:

  • The First Punch: Contact the Stupak Supporters. Sixty-four House Democrats supported the Stupak (abortion) amendment – legislation that doesn’t exist in the Senate version and is unlikely to make it through on reconciliation. As such, these House members might vote against government-run health care if convinced.
  • The Shot to the Body: Write the Disloyal Opposition. Sixteen House Democrats opposed the overall bill but voted for it on partisan lines. They’re ripe for well-placed letters, phone calls, emails and member visits.
  • The Knock-Out Blow: Collar the Blue Dogs. Eleven House Democrats are self-described moderates. While they supported the bill during Round 1, Round 15 is getting close-and they may be ready for a change we can believe in.

Do you like Sweet and Sour Shrimp?

December 22, 2009

According to the last Rasmussen poll, 55% of Americans oppose the healthcare bill that is being considered in the Senate and 41% support it. Yet, the Democrats are chugging along ignoring the will of the American people.

The current healthcare bill in the Senate is giving most Americans a “sour” taste in their mouths. But for a few number of Americans this healthcare bill is satisfying their sweet-tooth craving at the expense of the majority of Americans. The “sour” taste is coming from the increase taxes, lower healthcare quality, pay now get later scheme, long-term price tag, and the payoffs/bribes to get the votes of certain Democratic Senators.

Who are those few Americans who got a “sweet” deal out of this?

  • Sen. Ben Nelson – D and Nebraska, population 1.78 million, will get $100 million plus an exemption from paying for Medicaid cost forever and ever, amen.
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu – D and Louisiana, population 4.41 million, will get $300 million to offset the Medicaid cost
  • Massachusetts, population 6.5million, $1.5 billion in Medicaid money
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders – D and Vermont, population 0.62 million, will get $10 to $14 billion
  • Sen. Chris Dodd – D and Connecticut, population 3.5 million, will get $100 million
  • Big Pharma got a deal from Obama      
    • White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.

 Holy cow! The second least populated state will get BILLIONS!!! That’s $16,129 to $22, 580 per Vermont resident. I am sure the millions of Americans who are unemployed would love to get that kind of money invested in creating jobs instead of paying off politicians for their votes. 

All in all 24 million Americans in those states mentioned above will get the “sweet” taste in their mouths while the remaining 280 million will get the “sour” part. 

What are the parts of this healthcare bill that gives the 280 million Americans a “sour” taste in their mouths?

  • Insurance mandates that will raise premiums by 30% (no wonder the insurance stocks skyrocketed)
  • Employers will have to pay 3x more to insure their employer (just like in California)
  • One levy would take $15 billion from sick patients with high out-of-pocket medical expenses, including elderly and low-income patients. (I wonder if that is where the $10-14 billion that Vermont will get come from??)
  • health savings account or flexible spending arrangement, there are taxes specific to those health plans, plus a third tax that would apply to all “consumer-directed” plans. (Kiss you HAS goodbye!)
  • Another levy would tax medical devices, and another would tax prescription drugs; those two taxes would increase health insurance premiums by about 1 percent, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • $149 billion tax on those with high health insurance premiums; yet many face high premiums simply because they have expensive medical needs, making this yet another tax on the sick.
  • $43 billion in cuts to nursing care and therapy for homebound Medicare beneficiaries
  • health care coverage will be limited to what the government bureaucrats decide
  • for low-income women will no longer screen women below age 50.
  • government’s budgetary concerns, not patient’s health, is the determining factor for quality and access to health care
  • overcharge young individuals’ rates to cost-subsidize older individuals’ rates and if you don’t pay it, there’d be a fine of about now is 2.5 percent of your income
  • trillions of dollars in hidden tax increases (Yup. HIDDEN TAXES that will hit you like a freight train from behind.) 

SO, after all Obama’s promises of hope and change, transparency in government, fiscal responsibility, and political remaking of how government operates, after one year of Obama, it is business as usual. Just like how they have been doing it. This time in grander scale of  screwing hard working Americans. 

The Most Transparent Administration Ever. 

The Most Ethical Congress Ever.

What a joke!!!


If you only know… it will scare you, too!

December 18, 2009

If you just know…it will scare you!

Some details of the Health care bill:

  • The Reid bill (in sections 3403 and 2021) explicitly empowers Medicare to deny treatment based on cost.
  • An Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the bill — composed of permanent, unelected and, therefore, unaccountable members — will greatly expand the rationing practices that already occur in the program.
  • Medicare, for example, has limited cancer patients’ access to Epogen, a costly but vital drug that stimulates red blood cell production.
  • It has limited the use of virtual, and safer, colonoscopies due to cost concerns.
  • And Medicare refuses medical claims at twice the rate of the largest private insurers.
  • Section 6301 of the Reid bill creates new comparative effectiveness research (CER) programs.
  • CER panels have been used as rationing commissions in other countries such as the United Kingdom, where 15,000 cancer patients die prematurely every year according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network.
  • CER panels here could effectively dictate coverage options and ration care for plans that participate in the state insurance exchanges created by the bill.
  • The Reid bill depends on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in no fewer than 14 places.
  • This task force was responsible for advising women under 50 to not undergo annual mammograms.
  • The administration claims the task force recommendations do not carry the force of law, but the Reid bill itself contradicts them in section 2713.
  • The bill explicitly states, on page 17, that health insurance plans “shall provide coverage for” services approved by the task force.
  • This chilling provision represents the government stepping between doctors and patients.
  • When the government asserts the power to provide care, it also asserts the power to deny care.

Source: Dr. Tom Coburn, “The Health Bill Is Scary; Government guidelines would likely have forbidden the test I used to discover Sheila’s cancer,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2009.

For text:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703514404574588842779569168.html

The mandates in the Health care bill:

Insurance coverage mandates refer to the restrictions each state sets on which type of policy can be sold legally within that market.  For example, fourteen states now require all insurance plans sold to cover infertility treatments, regardless of the patient’s need or desire for these services.  Other states ban the sale of insurance plans unless they include coverage for massage therapy, obesity surgery, pastoral care, and wigs.

Needle-phobic consumers cannot buy plans without acupuncture coverage, and teetotalers must pay for plans that include inpatient drug rehabilitation, says Dr. Linda Halderman, a General Surgeon and policy adviser in the California State Senate.

What effect do mandates have on the cost of health insurance?

  • According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, just 12 of the most common insurance mandates currently in place raise premium rates by as much as 30 percent.
  • The State of California forces over 50 such mandates on the employer-provided (group) insurance market, but not on individual plans; consequently, it costs three times more for California employers to offer insurance than if a plan is privately purchased.

In mandate-heavy states, consumers are denied the option of buying low-cost, basic health insurance plans to cover major illness or injury.  They cannot choose to save money by paying out of pocket for ten-dollar pneumococcus pneumonia vaccines and ninety-dollar mammograms, thereby reserving health insurance for significant expenses, explains Halderman.

In those states, insurance is not insurance at all — it is expensive, prepaid health care.  In other words, when Hummers and Ferraris are the only vehicles sold, people on Toyota budgets can’t afford transportation, says Halderman.

Source: Linda Halderman, “Senate’s Solution: Consumer Choice Is Dead on Arrival,” American Thinkers, December 16, 2009.

For text:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/senates_solution_consumer_choi.html

The possibility of losing your health savings account:

For an individual government mandate to compel the purchase of health insurance, another government requirement for something called “guaranteed issue” must first be enacted.  “Guaranteed issue” forces every insurance company to sell health insurance to every applicant regardless of age, health history, lifestyle or risk factors. 

In theory, this appears sound.  If health insurance companies can’t “just say no” to high-risk applicants, no one will be left without access to coverage.  Unfortunately, the law of unintended consequences trumps this logic.  Under guaranteed issue mandates, “access to coverage” becomes “access to higher premiums,” says Dr. Linda Halderman, a General Surgeon and policy adviser in the California State Senate.

For example:

  • In New Jersey and Massachusetts, unlike in California, laws were passed to force every insurance carrier to sell plans to every individual applicant; individual insurance premiums in New Jersey and Massachusetts are three times higher than those in California.
  • Washington State tried guaranteed issue, but with no way to mitigate risk, insurance carriers in the state suffered severe financial losses related to high-risk patients; they then exited the individual market; no individual health insurance plans were accessible to Washington residents at any price.
  • Sen. Hillary Clinton was not a New Yorker in 1993, the year New York State forced guaranteed issue on the health insurance market; as a result, rates for a third of all those insured increased by 20 percent to 59 percent, causing 500,000 New Yorkers to cancel their health insurance plans.

The Heritage Foundation published a 1998 study evaluating the 16 states in which the most aggressive health insurance mandates and regulations were passed between 1990 and 1994.  The goal of these individual, employer and insurance industry mandates-including individual mandates, guaranteed issue and price fixing of premiums-was to increase access to coverage and decrease the uninsured population in a given state.  The effects were than compared with the 34 states that had not enacted such regulations:

  • The two groups of states shared nearly equivalent rates of uninsured residents before the reforms.
  • But by 1996, the sixteen states with the most aggressive reforms (including New Jersey, New York and Washington) experienced a growth rate in their uninsured population eight times higher than the 34 states without such mandates.
  • Additionally, the percentage of the population covered by private or individual insurance declined.

Source: Linda Halderman, “Senate’s Solution: Consumer Choice Is Dead on Arrival,” American Thinkers, December 16, 2009.

For text:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/senates_solution_consumer_choi.html

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_Category=16


This is tax, tax, and tax bill and not healthcare reform.

December 13, 2009

The CATO Institute has analyzed the Senate’s health bill. And the institute’s conclusion, TAX, TAX, and more TAX but no reform.

SENATE HEALTH REFORM PLAN PRESCRIBES HEAVY TAX DOSE

Amid double-digit unemployment, a record $1.6 trillion federal deficit and a national debt projected to double in 10 years, the Senate voted to bring to the floor a health care overhaul that will kill jobs through its myriad tax increases, says Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute.

For starters, consider the $500 billion in explicit tax increases:

  • One levy would take $15 billion from sick patients with high out-of-pocket medical expenses, including elderly and low-income patients.
  • If you have a health savings account or flexible spending arrangement, there are taxes specific to those health plans, plus a third tax that would apply to all “consumer-directed” plans.
  • Another levy would tax medical devices, and another would tax prescription drugs; those two taxes would increase health insurance premiums by about 1 percent, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Also:

  • There’s another $60 billion tax that would drive health premiums higher still; if your premiums climb high enough, you’ll become subject to a $149 billion tax on those with high health insurance premiums; yet many face high premiums simply because they have expensive medical needs, making this yet another tax on the sick.
  • The legislation would increase the Medicare tax on wages above $200,000, yet divert the revenue toward new entitlement spending.
  • And lest any corner of the health care sector go untaxed, the bill would even impose a 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgeries.

Yet those are just the explicit tax increases, says Cannon.  There are trillions of dollars in hidden tax increases, too.

The Senate health care bill would impose massive tax increases on Day One and keep increasing your taxes well into the future.  Let’s hope the ensuing Senate debate exposes why job-killing tax increases are the wrong prescription for health care reform, says Cannon.

Source: Michael F. Cannon, “Senate health reform plan prescribes heavy tax dose,” Omaha World-Herald, December 2, 2009.

For text:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20091202/NEWS0802/712029999


Healthcare Update 10

December 9, 2009

If Democrats Win, Seniors Lose! As reported in the New York Times, included in the Democrats’ $460 billion of Medicare cuts is $43 billion in cuts to nursing care and therapy for homebound Medicare beneficiaries. This is critical help which is needed for the health and welfare of our parents and grandparents – to be taken away by the government!

California Model, Rationing of Care! One of the principle problems with government-run health care is that the government is the customer, not you. As a result, health care coverage will be limited to what the government bureaucrats decide, not what you as the patient needs.

This Los Angeles Times article reveals just how quickly health care bureaucrats can sacrifice patient care. In cash-strapped California, public health officials announced this week that the state’s government-provided mammogram program, “Every Woman Counts” for low-income women will no longer screen women below age 50. This is what we will be facing in health care, the government will tell us what is allowed.

Officials from the California Department of Public Health claim that the incidence of breast cancer is relatively low in women less than 50. This may be true, but what if you are in that “relatively low” number? We are talking about your life! In California, the government’s budgetary concerns, not patient’s health, is the determining factor for quality and access to health care. Under ObamaCare government-run health care, budgetary priorities rather than a patient’s health determine whether you get the health care you need.

Call Your Senator, Toll-Free! Communicate your displeasure with what they are doing? In less than five minutes, you can be on the phone with your Senator’s office, communicating your opposition to government-run health care.

Just follow this Action Army link, enter your information on the right-hand part of the screen and click TAKE ACTION!

You will see a TOLL-FREE NUMBER to reach YOUR elected representatives and a PASSWORD.

Dial the number on a touch-tone phone, enter the password and you’ll be connected as quickly as you can say Free Our Health Care NOW!

Your Senators Work for You! Believe it or not, Senators get job performance reviews: they’re called elections. For this one-third of the Senators and for every member of the House of Representatives, Election Day is less than eleven short months away.

You have an important part to play in the health care debate: letting your voice be heard. Through the Free Our Health Care Now! Action Army website, communicating with your Senators is easy and convenient. Whether through an email or a phone call, please use this website as a way of letting your elected representatives know that you oppose government-run health care and plan on expressing your dissatisfaction at the polls in the upcoming election.

Senator McCain to AARP Members: It’s Time to Cut the Card. Fighting against Medicare cuts, Senator John McCain recently proposed an amendment which would protect senior citizen benefits from the drastic cuts proposed by Congressional Democrats. McCain implored his fellow senators to “preserve the solemn obligations we have made to our seniors.” However, to McCain’s surprise, the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) opposed the McCain Amendment and, remaining true to its strange bedfellows, supported drastic cuts for seniors.

In a scathing assault on AARP’s infidelity, Senator McCain pointed to numerous AARP statements from the past renouncing Medicare cuts, including one as recently as just a few years ago. Clearly disappointed, McCain concluded by saying, “Take your AARP card, cut it in half and send it back. They’ve betrayed you.” Click here to see video of the speech.

The NCPA maintains a wealth of educational and resource material including better alternatives to government-run health care:

John Goodman’s Health Care Plan:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/health_plan112007.pdf

Health Care Solutions:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Health_Care_Solutions_072909.pdf

Five Steps to a Better Health Care System:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Five_Steps_to_a_Better_Health_Care_System_Web.pdf

Dr. John Goodman’s Blog – Current, up-to date information on the debate:
www.john-goodman-blog.com

Heartland Institute’s Health Care Solutions:
http://www.chcchoices.org