Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Now Official, Part 2: Political Donors More Important Than Constituents

Yesterday we discussed the travesty and disgrace inherent in our political process where Congressional members are spending far more time trying to raise election campaign funds then they are spending on supporting their constituents and doing valid legislative work. The basis of our discussion, a recent Huffington Post article, revealed the formal process that all Congressional members are held to, down to the details of how many hours every day each member is to spend on fund raising (a lot) and non-fund raising activities (not so much).

One would have hoped that members of Congress were dedicating the vast amount of their time and energy to resolving the major issues of our times. That hope, obviously, would be incorrect. Which explains why our lost war on drugs, our failing public schools, our skyrocketing deficit, and other major issues never get resolved.

The article went beyond this exposure of showing that Congressional members are more focused on their political donors than their constituents. When it comes down to Congressional committee and subcommittee posts, one would have hoped that the politicians staffing those positions would be the most qualified and have the most expertise for each committee’s duties.

For example, one would hope that politicians serving on veterans’ affairs committees had some understanding or experience with veterans and the problems they face. Those that sit on banking committees have some kind of finance or banking experience in their background. Same with highway committees, housing committees, etc.

But again, that hope would be dashed. According to the article, the best members matched to the appropriate committees is farthest from the reality of what goes on in Washington. Consider the following insightful quote from the article

“The quality of a committee assignment is directly related to the amount of dues owed, as black-and-white an admission of the connection between fundraising and policy outcomes as can be found.”

This quote and Huffington Post article introduce a process that I was not aware of. They called it a "dues process" and apparently all members of Congress, from both parties, are given monetary targets that they have to hit and raise money that is funneled to the national Republican and Democratic political organizations.

Apparently, making or missing your dues target determines the quality and quantity of Congressional committee assignments a member of Congress can land. It has little to do with someone’s skills, experiences, or education, it all has to do with raising money to meet your dues target.

And these dues target are not trivial. In fact, they are obscenely high, which probably requires sitting politicians to do much more fund raising and hitting up political donors than actually doing their jobs and serving their hometown citizens. A March 11, 2012 Politico article highlighted how obscene these dues targets were for Democrats in 2011 (as you read them, ask yourself how much energy is diverted to these activities vs. problem solving activities):
  • Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer - $800,000 each.
  • Pelosi was given the additional assignment of raising another $25 million for the party and Hoyer had to find another $2.5 million.
  • Assistant Leader Jim Clyburn was to raise $1.5 million.
  • John Larson and Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Xavier Becerra and George Miller (Calif.), and Steve Israel (N.Y.) were expected to give $450,000 apiece OF THEIR OWN MONEY. Which raises the issue of why anyone would want to be a Congressman for an annual salary of $170,00 when in the case of these sitting politicians, according to Politico, they have to put up $450,000 of their own money for dues. Something like corruption smells here in this math.
  • DeLauro and Miller were told to raise another $500,000 for the national Democratic Party while Israel has to raise an additional $10 million.
  • Vice chairs Joe Crowley (N.Y.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Pedro Pierluisi (P.R.) and Allyson Schwartz (Pa.) were to transfer $300,000 apiece (which I am assuming is also their own money), and their goals for raising money ranged from $300,000 for the latter three to $4 million for Wasserman Schultz and $6 million for Crowley.The lists goes on but you get the idea.
These people are expected to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money and then go out and raise tens of millions of other dollars for their mother ship’s political activities. If successful, they apparently get the plum committee assignments, regardless of their abilities and expertise.

This obviously suboptimal process results in suboptimal legislating. The Huffington Post article discusses this disgrace in detail:

One member of Congress said that the fundraising takes up so much time that members don't even have time to become experts on bills they sponsor. "One thing that's always been striking to me is even the members playing a leading role on specific issues actually could not talk about the issues," said the member, who didn't want to be quoted by name. "They didn't have enough knowledge on their own issues to talk about them at length. I'm probably guilty of that." He recalled one meeting early in his career, where he brought several members together to try to hash out a compromise, just as he had done earlier as a state legislator.

"Staff members were all twitching at the discussion, because their principals were saying things that were just flat-wrong or uninformed or wondering aloud about what the industry practices really were," he recalled. "The staff members of course had a pretty good idea. ... The members were sitting around the table having a remarkably uninformed and unproductive discussion."

Pretty scary stuff that a member of the process thinks that the process results in a remarkably uninformed and unproductive discussion. Which probably led to a remarkably uninformed and unproductive piece of legislation that never resolved the war on drugs failure, the high national debt problem, the lack of a national energy program and strategy, etc.

Members of Congress are so distracted into raising ungodly sums of money that pervert our democracy that they themselves end up being unremarkable, uninformed, and unproductive. When a Democratic Congressman confronted Pelosi in a meeting, stating that the dues process and levels were unreasonable, she simply replied that they were not doing enough to raise money. Never mind that not only are the dues levels unreasonable, the whole process and focus on raising money to the detriment of everything else is an abomination.

As a closing to the today’s and yesterday’s exposure of what really goes on in Washington, think about the image the following describes, in the words of a current Washington politician:

 U.S. Senators do not bother going to their party’s headquarters or the rowhouses near the Capital building to make fund raising calls since it is against the law to make fundraising calls from their offices: “But they [U.S. Senators] go outside and sit in their cars and make calls.

Yes, your U.S. Senators, some of the most powerful people in the country and the world, go sit in their cars and grovel for money from political donors over their cell phones. What an obscene and disgraceful image. Paying dues, raising money. Making calls, raising money. Attending fundraisers, making money. With a little bit of uninformed legislating thrown in. No wonder we are in such sad shape as a country.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Now Official: Political Campaign Donors More Important Than Constituents, Part 1

Many Americans had long suspected that Congress and other Washington politicians were not working very hard for the good of the country and the good of their constituents. The war on drugs was declared over forty years and is still a lost cause. In the early 1980s, a Reagan commission on pubic education showed how poorly our schools were educating our kids. Three decades later that situation has gotten even worse. In the 1970s, the nation’s economy was shocked any number of times by oil shortages, exposing the fact that the country did not have a long term strategic plan for energy independence and stability. Almost four decades later we still have no such plan.

What the heck has Congress and the politicians in it been doing for the past four or five decades? We know that they do not work 40 hour weeks, 50 weeks a year. In fact, Congress will only be in session about 115 days this year. What do they do during these less than robust working hours.? They obviously are not coming up with solutions to the major issues facing the nation.

Well, thanks to a January 8, 2013 Huffington Post article, it is pretty obvious why they have not resolved any major issue: they really are not working on them, being far more concerned with raising money for their next election and their political party. Details from the article include the following details and disgraces:
  • The two writers of the Huffington Post article got their hands on a PowerPoint presentation that was given to freshmen Congressmen and women by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
  • The presentation outlined how a typical member of Congress should spend their days when actually in Washington.
  • This prototype daily schedule laid out by the Democratic leadership expects a nine or 10-hour day while in Washington, of which four hours are to be spent in “call time,“ i.e. calling people in order to get them make a political campaign donation.
  • Another hour is supposed to be dedicated to "strategic outreach," which includes fundraisers and press work, i.e. more fundraising time and effort.
  • Another hour is to be blocked off for "recharge."
  • And finally, three to four hours a day are to be used for the actual work of being a member of Congress -- hearings, votes, and meetings with constituents.
  • It is especially good if these constituents are also high potential donors, kind of like killing two birds with one shot.
  • In addition to these daily fund raising activities, the presentation also made sure that Congressional members knew that they had to take time to compile quarterly fundraising reports for the Federal Election Commission, more time and energy taken away from actually doing real work and solving real problems.
So, not only do members of Congress not do a lot of real work, i.e. solving problems, there is an actual formal process that discourages that type of problem solving behavior in favor of raising money to keep incumbents in office. No wonder nothing ever gets resolved or real budgets developed and lived up to or fraud and waste wrung out of government operations, the political class is off taking care of themselves and their political careers.

Let’s do some simple math:
  1. The average American works about 250 days a year, 50 weeks by five days a week.
  2. Congress will be in session about 115 days this year. Let’s assume that they will work another 25 days a year back in their home state or Congressional district, giving them a work year of 140 days.
  3. Thus, relative to the average American, Congressional members work only 64% as long (140/250).
  4. During the average workday, the average American works about 8 hours a day.
  5. During an average workday, we now know from Hufffington Post that the average Congressional members only works about four hours a day on real work.
  6. Thus, the average politician works half as hard on real work than the average American (4 hours a day/8 hours a day).
  7. Since a member of Congress earns about $170,000 a year, given their work load and what we now know they spend their time on, their annual pay should be reduced to $54,400:
$54,400 = $170,000 X .64 (ratio of working days) X .5 (ratio of working hours per day)

This would be a truer measure of their value, not $170,000. And at $54,400, given their poor productivity, they still might be overpaid.

Consider some quotes from the article that prove how ludicrous and shameful this behavior is:
  • "What’s my experience with it? You might as well be putting bamboo shoots under my fingernails. It’s the most painful thing, and they’re no sooner elected and they’re down there making phone calls for the election in 2014." said Congressman. John Larson , a high-ranking Democrat.
  • According to former Congressman Tom Perriello, who now works at the Center for American Progress, the four hours allocated to fundraising may even be "low-balling the figure so as not to scare the new Members too much."
  • "It bites into your private life. It bites into your leisure time. You shouldn't only do what you have to do, you should be able to read. ... It cuts into time members spend with each other," said former Congressman Barney Frank.
  • "It really does affect how members of Congress behave if the most important thing they think about is fundraising. You end up being nice to people that probably somebody needs to be questioning skeptically. It's a fairly disturbing suggested schedule. You won't ask tough questions in hearings that might displease potential contributors, won't support amendments that might anger them, will tend to vote the way contributors want you to vote,” said former Congressman Brad Miller.
  • "One thing that's always been striking to me is even the members playing a leading role on specific issues actually could not talk about the issues. They didn't have enough knowledge on their own issues to talk about them at length. I'm probably guilty of that," said a current member of Congress who wished to remained anonymous.
So we end up with distracted members of Congress, members of Congress that do not ask the tough questions or make the tough calls because it could affect fundraising, and we have members of Congress that do not know the details and ramifications of what they are voting on and sponsoring. Great, no wonder nothing ever gets resolved.

This article alone justifies Step 39 from “Love My Country, Loathe My Government.” Step 39 would impose term limits on all Federally elected officials. Maybe if all of these members of Congress knew that they could not run for office for a second term, they would focus more and doing the right thing and not hitting up the right political donor. How much worse could it get with term limits compared to the current process laid out in the Huffington Post article?

If we implement Step 39, which would remove the word “incumbent” from our political vocabulary, and combine it with Step 6, which would allow only individual American citizens to contribute to political campaigns, we might finally get back to representative government that is for the people and by the people as opposed to the current government which is by the political donor and for the political donor.

Two final thoughts:
  1. The article also exposes the seedy underside of committee assignments. We will cover this other disgrace and insult to democracy tomorrow.
  2. Second, consider a paragraph from the article and visualize the writers’ description of “call time.” It reminds me of a prison work detail, I picture these Congressional people marching off in a straight line to the hard labor work of making fundraising calls, chained together in striped prison garb, based on the writers’ vivid description of the process:
Congress members make the dreaded calls from a room in the office of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or a similar one at the headquarters of the National Republican Congressional Committee. After votes in the House, a stream of congressmen and women can be seen filing out of the Capitol and, rather than returning to their offices, heading to rowhouses nearby on First Street for call time, or directly to the parties' headquarters. The rowhouses, where Larson said he prefers to make calls, are typically owned by lobbyists, fundraisers or members themselves, and are used for call time because it's illegal to solicit campaign cash from the official congressional office. Former Rep. Walt Minnick's (D-Idaho) career in finance enabled him to buy a Capitol Hill rowhouse that he allows Democrats to use for call time. "There's less turmoil and background noise" in the rowhouses compared with the DCCC call center, said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who retired from office this year.

Again, disgraceful and certainly not worth $170,000 per year per Congressional member.
Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Failing Our Kids Again - The Massive Fraud That Is Head Start

A week or so ago we pointed out that the Pentagon has the Defense Department to look after its needs, companies have the Commerce Department to look after their needs, labor unions have the Labor Department to look after their needs and energy companies have the deep pockets of the cronyism infested Energy Department to look after their needs. But there is no Department to look after our kids’ needs. Consider the abuse our kids are constantly subjected to:
  • In the very worse possible scenario, they are killed be an insane lunatic that shoots and kills over two dozen people in a school. Rather than immediately secure our schools and our kids inside them, politicians grandstand their own positions on gun control, leaving the other 132,000 schools no safer than before (even though we have already shown how easy it is to secure them:
  • Our public schools continue to under educate our kids, with the kids in dozens of other countries constantly outperforming U.S. kids on standardized tests.
  • We continue to subsidize tobacco growers and farmers that grow far too much corn than is needed, resulting in cheaper than needed tobacco products and cheap corn fructose. This in turn results in kids that smoke and kids that are obese because it is so inexpensive for it to happen via government subsidies.
  • Millions of kids are physically and sexually abused every year and thousands die as a result of this abuse.
  • With a $16.4 TRILLION national debt, we have subjected our kids and our grandkids to lives burdened with paying off the wasteful and sinful overspending of our generation.
  • Yes, we have not and are currently not taking care of our kids. And the latest government analyses and reports on the famous, or now infamous, Federal government Head Start program prove that we are not taking care of our pre school kids in particular, relative to what the political class and the Federal government it operates are supposed to be doing.

    Before we discuss this latest scandal, let’s review a little history of the Head Start program:
    • Officially, the Head Start program “promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.”
    • Furthermore, “Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social services and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage.”
    • The program began as a small summer program under LBJ in 1965.
    • Since then, the American taxpayer has spent about $180 billion on the program.
    • The just released study of Head Start’s effectiveness involved the rigorous tracking and testing of over 5,000 kids over time, from their Head Start preschool days through third and fourth grades, and across over a hundred measures of success/failure.
    And what have we gotten for this $180 billion? Apparently not much, according to the latest government analyses:
    • The Health And Human Services study concluded that “by third grade, the $8 billion Head Start program had little to no impact on cognitive, social-emotional, health, or parenting practices of participants.”
    • Additionally on a few measures, access to Head Start had HARMFUL effects on the children enrolled in the program.
    • For example, one subset of kids that were tracked had lower math skills than their peers who did not attend Head Start, all other factors controlled for.
    • But it was not only book learning where Head Start failed since researchers found Head Start also had little to no effect on the other socio-emotional, health, or parenting outcomes of children participating in the program.
    • In other words, we have paid $180 billion to provide a Federal babysitting service.
    But all of this should not be surprising since in 2010, the Health and Human Services Department did another extensive tracking study and found that Head Start provided no positive impacts for kids once they entered first grade. Given those results, it should not be a surprise that there were no positive results or takeaways from Head Start by the third and fourth grades.

    So, we have another Federal government program that has failed miserably in delivering on its goals. But the failure in the class room is not the only atrocity of this program. In 2010, the General Accounting Office (GAO) did an undercover audit of the program and found there is massive fraud and abuse of the program by those people benefiting from taxpayer wealth in funding the local operations:
    • The GAO conducted thirteen undercover eligibility tests based on fictitious families to determine the practice of Head Start grantees, those operating Head Start centers with taxpayer funding, were enrolling children not qualified to attend the program.
    • The fictitious families were all above the income limits and had other disqualifying characteristics, as established by the Office of Head Start.
    • The GAO found that in eight of the thirteen eligibility tests, the fictitious families were told by Head Start staff that they were eligible for the program and encouraged to attend class.
    • In each of these eight cases, Head Start staff directly told the fictitious families to misrepresent their eligibility for the program.
    • In seven cases, Head Start staff deliberately overlooked some families’ income to make these families eligible for participation.
    • In at least four of the cases, the GAO was sent phony eligibility documents that excluded income information, originally provided to the Head Start staff;
    • In two cases, Head Start staff designated on application forms that one parent was unemployed, even though the GAO presented documentation of both parents’ income.
    • In one case, Head Start staff promised the fictitious family that no one would validate the income information submitted was correct.
    • The GAO concluded that their undercover investigations “highlight the ease with which unscrupulous parents could fabricate documentation designed to make it appear as though their children were under-income or otherwise eligible for the program. At no point during our registrations was any of the information contained in fictitious documentation submitted by our parents verified, which indicates that the program is vulnerable to beneficiary fraud in addition to grantee fraud.”
    Now, this was obviously not as rigorous a test and analysis as the 5,000 kid tracking study. But it is probably indicative of the overall operations of the program, ineffective in teaching and improving the lives of our kids and fraudulent, criminal, and wasteful in its execution.

    Just as an aside, let’s think about what we could have done with that $180 billion, in light of the Newtown school shooting tragedy. In previous posts we documented how there are about 132,000 schools in the country and that the average salary for a trained police officer is about $55,000.

    If we take these three numbers, number of schools, cost to put on police officer in each school to protect our kids, and use the wasted $180 billion to fund the process, we could have secured every one of our schools for 25 years, more than half the life of the Head Start program. In other words, every school could have had a trained police officer on sight to deter violence against our kids since about 1988.

    Instead, we have spent our taxpayer dollars on a massive government bureaucracy that does not come close to fulfilling its relatively simple goal and is laced with fraud to boot. Disgraceful.

    But not unexpected. The Federal government never does a “spring cleaning” of its programs to determine if they are worthy of taxpayer wealth. For over four decades we have been funding this program for no benefit in return. I am sure that there are many other dead end programs that are on autopilot, receiving funding year after year with no review on whether it is a worthwhile expense. And this is one of the many major reasons why we have a $16.4 TRILLION national debt, unnecessary Federal spending.

    That is why some steps from “Love My Country, Loathe My Government” are so important if we are ever to inject sanity into Federal spending:
    1. Step 1 would reduce Federal government spending 10% a year for five years into order to squeeze unnecessary programs and projects out of existence since the funding to support them would no longer be available.
    2. Step 34 proposes a process that would hold Congressional members accountable for their actions, removing them from committee posts for dereliction of duty. Spending $180 billion and getting nothing in return would certainly count as dereliction of duty.
    3. Step 39 would impose term limits on all Federal politicians since the current set of politicians have proven they are incapable of doing a “spring cleaning” of unnecessary federal spending items which in turn results in a $16.4 TRILLION national debt with nothing to show for it in return.
    But expecting the Washington political class to fix itself is probably not going to happen. In fact, it is pretty obvious than many politicians in Washington cannot even identify these types of problems and their root causes.

    Consider a statement from an official White House publication from 2011, the year after the Obama administration’s own Health And Human Services Department proved that Head Start program is a failure in actually giving American kids a “head start:”

    “Studies show that children in early childhood education programs are more likely to score higher in reading and math, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, more likely to hold a job, and more likely to earn more in that job. For every dollar we invest in these programs, we get nearly $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health care costs, and less crime.” – President Barack Obama, March 10, 2011, President

    If you cannot even recognize the problem, e.g. Head Start is a complete failure in preparing kids for life and DOES NOT pay the American taxpayer back in a 10-to-1 ratio, the chances of terminating or fixing the failed effort or program is next to nil. That is why Obama Care is shaping up as an epic failure, an inability to define the true problem and the true underlying root causes. That is why the 40 year “War On Drugs” is a lost cause, an inability to understand the root causes of addiction and the need to use drugs. The list of failure to understand the resultant wasted taxpayer wealth goes on and on.

    Which is why the three steps above are needed to stop the insanity that is Washington’s cult and heritage of failure.

    Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

    It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.
    Please visit the following sites for freedom:

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    The Devastation That Is Obama Care, Part 6: Fido's Medical Care Just Went Up And More Insanity

    This is our sixth in a series of in depth analyses of why Obama Care is possibly the worst written piece of legislation ever written and how it is likely to be the most economically destructive piece of legislation in the history of the country. Today we will review more instances of how Obama Care will stifle jobs, economic activity, and wealth creation by Americans, how it is becoming so unwieldy as each of fifty states decide what medical services to cover, and how Fido will be affected by the law. Yes, Fido’s medical costs will also be rising.

    1) We have already discussed the many companies in a whole host of industries that will be laying off workers, not expanding their businesses, and cutting workers’ hours because of how poorly Obama Care was written and conceived. Consider some more that were reported on by the Heritage Foundation in December:
    • “We’ve calculated it will [cost] some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say—that says we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people,” Zane Tankel, chairman and CEO of Apple-Metro, which runs 40 Applebee’s restaurants.
    • “There’s no other way we can survive it, because we think it will cost us 50 cents a sandwich. That’s just the actual cost. If you have 40 or 50 employees at a restaurant, and the penalty is $2,000, and you’re going to pay $80,000 or $100,000 penalty, there goes the profit in your restaurant.”—Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John’s subs, who said he was considering cutting workers’ hours to come in under the Obamacare mandate threshold.
    • “It’s a great concept. We want to have everyone insured. The problem is, who is going to pay for it and how are we going to accomplish this?” — John Metz, who operates roughly 40 Denny’s locations and five Hurricane Grill & Wings franchises in Florida, Virginia, and Georgia, and has said he may have to add an Obamacare surcharge to his menus.
    • “New unit construction will cease if we have to allocate moneys for that construction to the [Affordable Care Act]. And building new restaurants is how we create jobs.” — Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.
    Driving businesses out of business, curtailing business revenue that could have been used to expand job opportunities and the economy, forcing employees to settle for fewer hours, this is all not going to end well.

    2) Obama Care also has a “death by a thousand cuts” attribute that we have not talked about. According to a December New York Times article, states can determine what health care actions, treatments, and procedures can and cannot be covered by Obama Care insurance provisions in each state:
    • Insurance plans will have to cover weight-loss surgery in New York and California, for example, but not in Minnesota or Connecticut.
    • Infertility treatment will be a required benefit in New Hampshire, but not in Arizona.
    • Whether or not Obama Care insurance programs will pay for hearing aids, foot care, speech therapy and various medications will vary significantly by state.
    • Other options being considered for coverage on a state by state basis is chiropractor treatments, obesity treatments, podiatry treatments, dental treatments, services performed by nurses and not doctors, medical marijuana treatments, and others.
    Some questions easily arise:
    • With such wide discretion, who is to say Obama Care may not eventually determine where Americans live, in order to get the treatment they think the require? The Federal government should never have this power in a democracy.
    • Given that the Federal government will have to operate health care exchanges in more than 60% of the states because these states realize how expensive Obama Care is likely to be, the difficulty of customizing these exchanges at the state level just got much more difficult and making the impossible (i.e. the Federal government being able to put this all together in ten months) if more impossible.
    As more and more medical services’ lobbies get their services included in the Obama Care insurance basket, the cost of the legislation will get higher and higher, resulting in more and more astronomical national debt.

    3) A small, interesting, and silly fallout from Obama care is the fact that veterinary bills and costs may also go up as a result of Obama Care. In early December, the IRS Internal Revenue Service declared that some medical devices used in veterinary practices will be hit by Obama Care’s 2.3% device tax since theoretically, these devices could also be used on humans. These manufacturers are likely to increase their customers’ prices, to cover the tax imposed on these pet products.

    A depressing set of Obama Care ramifications from just the past two days. Tax and fee increases for half of America. Unbridled Medical criminal fraud that Obama Care will make much worse. Businesses cutting hours and jobs prospects. A death by a thousand cuts as the Obama Care implementation adds more and more secondary medical services that will cost more and more taxpayer wealth, wealth that will be spent in the most inefficient and criminally infested manner. And higher costs for Fido’s annual physical.

    Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

    It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

    Please visit the following sites for freedom:

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    The Devastation That Is Obama Care, Part 5: Taxing Your Health Care, A Secret $63 Tax, $900 Back Braces, And More

    This is a fifth in a series of posts that review and dissect the horrible consequences that Obama Care will dump on lives, our health, and our economy in the next year or so. All of this disruption will not result in any improvement in our health care costs, our health care deliverance, or our health care insurance processes since Obama Care never investigated, understood, and addressed the root causes of our health care crisis:
    1. Americans eat too much.
    2. Americans eat too much of the wrong types of food.
    3. Americans smoke too much.
    4. Americans do not exercise enough.
    5. Americans are getting older on average.
    6. Health industry tort reform is desperately needed but not included in Obama Care.
    7. Cross state lines health insurance competition is severely restricted, competition that would reduce health care costs.
    8. The Federal government subsidizes the over production of corn that results in dirt cheap corn fructose as a by product that infests most of our good supply.
    9. The Federal government subsidizes the tobacco industry that produces high quality, lost cost, deadly tobacco products that Americans use to their health detriment.
    10. The Federal government loses well over $100 billion a year to Medicare and Medicaid wasteful spending and criminal fraud, wealth that could be used to extend health insurance and health care to Americans who need it without raising taxes.
    11. The U.S. health care system wastes well over $700 billion a year in total, waste that could easily fix the health care needs of the country without raising taxes and without instituting a mammoth and dysfunctional Federal bureaucracy.
    12. The Obama administration never "followed the money" to understand where and how the U.S. healthcare system drains wealth out of the economy.
    Since the Obama Care writers never understood that these were the root causes of our health care issues, their legislation has no chance of ever being cost efficient, health effective, or successful. The past four days went into excruciating detail of their failure, based on reality, statistics, and expert opinions, including the opinions of those that initially supported the legislation (e.g. the eighteen Senators who want to repeal some of the funding attributes of the law.)

    The failures continue today:

    1) A December 25, 2012 Associated Press article discussed the new possibility that the Federal government might start treating the health care benefits that many Americans receive and depend on today for their health care insurance coverage as regular income, subject to income tax. This new tax would affect about half of all Americans.

    A few observations:
    • Obama has always stated that his tax increases only affect the very rich in this country, a claim that oft repeated has been proven false any number of times. By raising the taxes on half of America, he could not longer make this boast.
    • He has also boasted that if we liked the health care coverage insurance we have today, we could keep it since Obama Care would not affect what we have today. Subjecting this coverage to a new tax would certainly destroy this false boast also.
    The article quotes Congressional sources which estimate such a tax on half of America would raise about $150 billion a year. We have reported many times that Medicaid and Medicare lose anywhere from $110 billion to $150 billion a year to waste, mismanagement, and outright criminal fraud. In other words, if Obama and the rest of the political class were actually doing their jobs in D.C. and running an efficient and effective government, there would be no need to hit the American taxpayer for more tax revenue.


    2) Speaking of increased taxes, the Associated Press reported on December 10, 2012 that Obama Care includes another hidden “tax”, this on people with current health care insurance from their employer, that very few people know about. These medical plans are facing an unexpected Obama Care expense in the form of a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

    The original supporters of Obama Care liked to brag that Americans with existing conditions could now get “free” health care as a result of the legislation. But most realists know that nothing is free in this reality and the cost is now known: a $63 fee for about 190 Americans. Most experts expect businesses to pass this annual $63 dollar fee along to their employees and retirees, a subsidy to cover Americans with preexisting conditions.

    Now, I am not saying that any human should be denied health care because of pre-existing health conditions. What I object to is the implication from Obama and his supporters that somehow there would be no cost involved with implementing this condition requirement. This cost should have been presented in an honest and upfront manner so that the true cost on millions of Americans was made clear up front.

    This Obama Care fee comes out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers. The article quotes employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks who calls this a "sleeper issue" with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers: "Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, (companies will) be hit with a multi-million dollar assessment without getting anything back for it," said Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary.

    Higher fees without getting anything back in return. Seems like this is a recurring theme for Obama Care.

    3) Did you ever wonder how Medicare and Medicaid could be so wasteful and inefficient with your tax dollars? Consider a report from the Health and Human Services Inspector General that was reported on by the Associated Press on December 19, 2012:
    • Internet sale price for a standard back brace: $99.99.
    • The average cost from retail suppliers of standard back braces: $191
    • What Medicare pays for the standard back braces: $900-plus.
    Just one example of why the government wastes anywhere from $110 billion to $150 billion a year on these Federal programs: "The program and its beneficiaries could have paid millions of dollars less if the Medicare reimbursement amount ... more closely resembled the cost to suppliers," according to the report from the inspector general’s report.

    In light of the report, Medicare's administrator, Marilyn Tavenner issued a written statement stating Medicare will consider including back braces in a competitive bidding plan for medical equipment. The bidding experiment, expanding across the country, has been shown to save taxpayers money. Well, duh! Why hasn’t this then been part of the process all along, given that Medicare has probably been paying for back braces for decades. And why isn’t it standard operating procedure for all Medicare programs?

    Other distressing findings form the inspector general’s report include the following:
    • Medicare spends more than $10 billion a year providing beneficiaries with medical equipment, from power wheelchairs to blood sugar monitors, areas that have been rife with fraud.
    • Dishonest and criminal suppliers sell Medicare customers items they may not need and bill the cost to Medicare.
    • Although the $96 million that Medicare spent on back braces in 2011 was a small part of its overall spending, that amount had more than doubled in just three years, up from $36 million in 2008, the inspector general’s report said.
    • Investigators decided to take a closer look, before the line item for back braces could reach the $200 million or $300 million mark.
    • The article showed how unscrupulous dealers and medical professionals could use the back brace category to generate revenue without necessarily helping customers: “A reporter's quick Internet search suggested there's a thriving business in back braces. One medical supplier in the Midwest aimed its pitch directly at doctors: "Your peers are using back braces to help generate additional revenue for their office," the promotional material said. It explained how doctors can make an added $350 to $650 for each Medicare patient who qualifies for a brace.”
    Disgraceful. Decades after the Medicare program was launched, the Federal government still does not know how to control runaway, wasteful pending and fraud in the program. And now Obama Care will be coming along that will make the program orders of magnitude worse and the criminal fraud component that much more lucrative for criminals and dishonest health care provider.

    A new tax on hundreds of Americans that currently have health care insurance. A new fee on hundreds of Americans that currently have health care insurance. All for nothing in return and because the Federal government has proven over the decades that the only thing it can do well in the health care industry is to be criminally infested and cost cutting deficient.

    But we are still not done with the insanity of Obama Care. More during the next two days on how the legislation still has not addressed the root causes of our escalating health care costs and how it will even reach out and make caring for our pets and vet care more expensive.

    Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

    It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.
    Please visit the following sites for freedom:

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    The Devastation That Is Obama Care, Part 4: More Restaurants Cutting Hours, Massive Conflicts Of Interest, And Middle Class Taxes

    This is the fourth part in our series on how the rapidly approaching Obama Care taxes, regulations, and idiocy are about to crash down on us, our lives, and the economy. We have already reviewed how Americans are losing their jobs or seeing their working hours greatly reduced as a result of the legislation, how it will be next to impossible for the Federal government to meet its deadlines regarding data systems, customer service, etc. as defined by the law’s schedule, how about two thirds of the states opted out of some components of the law, how politicians who originally voted for the legislation are now trying to unto parts of it to protect their political careers, etc.

    The next set of insults to our intelligence and fiascoes are listed below:

    1) Back in September, the Washington Examiner ran an article that covered the International Franchise Convention in D.C. Specifically, the article reviewed a presentation given by David Barr, an Atlanta business owner of Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. Mr. Barr had done the Obama Care math as it affects his operations, showing how devastating it will be to his business and his employees:
    • Obamacare will likely cut his profits in half overnight.
    • He showed that small businesses’ only choice is to slash employee hours so they aren't eligible for company-paid health care or stop offering insurance and pay the $2,000 per employee fine.
    • Barr has 23 stores with 421 employees, 109 of whom are full-time. Of those, he provides 30 with health insurance.
    • He currently pays 81% of their Blue Cross Blue Shield policy, or $4,073 of $5,028 for individuals, more for families, for a total bill of $129,000 a year. Employees pay $995.
    • Because of Obama Care, however, he will have to provide health insurance for all 109 full-time workers, a cost of $444,000, or two and half times more than his current costs.
    • That $315,000 increase is equal to just over half his annual profit, after expenses, or 1.5% of sales.
    • As a result, he said, "I'm not paying $444,000."
    • Providing no insurance would result in an Obama Care fine of $158,000, $29,000 more than he now spends but the lowest cost possible under the legislation.
    • As a result of Obama Care and the above reality math, he'll either cut worker hours or replace them with machines to get his costs down to offset Obama Care fines and taxes or dump his employees on the public health exchange and pay the fine
    In addition, his experience shows him that most of his low-wage workers he would have to cover under Obama Care won't even take it because their $995 share is too high, meaning those the program was set up for won't see any benefit. And those who do will because they have major health issues, likely resulting in higher premiums to him, lower business profits, and less economic growth and benefit.

    Cutting jobs, cutting hours, a real life example, and the math to support it, why Obama Care is going to devastate small businesses and the economy.

    2) In mid-November, a Florida news report reported on a Florida restaurant owner. who operates roughly 40 Denny’s locations and five Hurricane Grill & Wings franchises in Florida, Virginia and Georgia, and his intention to add a 5% surcharge to customers’ bills to offset costs from Obama Care once it hits in January, 2014. beginning in January 2014: “People are trying to find ways to avoid the penalties and to avoid having to pay for Obama Care,” said restaurant owner John Metz . “Everyone’s looking for a way to not have to provide insurance for their employees. It’s essentially a huge tax on all us business people.”

    As with other businesses, Metz also plans to cut hours of many current employees to under 30 hours to avoid the administration’s definition of full time and thus, sidestepping having to pay for health care insurance.

    Metz is a little different from other small business owners, according to the article in that he thinks that getting everyone health care insurance is a good idea and should be pursued but that this is not the right way to do it. His business model cannot afford Obama Care’s requirements, requirements that would add over $3 million to his expense stream every year, an expense he cannot afford: “I have a choice: try to live within the rules, or go out of business.”

    3) It should come as no surprise, given this administration’s vast experience and immersion in cronyism that Obama Care would also be infested with serious instance of cronyism, payoffs to friends and favorable entities using taxpayer resources and wealth as the currency. Consider the incest and cronyism that is apparently playing out relative to the development of the health care exchanges, as reported in the Weekly Standard on December 12, 2012:
    • Health and Human Services (HHS) contracted with a subsidiary of a private health care company to help build and operate the very Obama Care health care insurance exchanges in which that company will be competing for business, a blatant conflict of interest.
    • How did this happen? Apparently, the person who ran the government entity that awarded that contract has since accepted a position with a different subsidiary of that same company.
    • HHS, in an attempt to hide this potential conflict of interest contract from the public until after the election, encouraged the company to hide the activity from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    • According to the inside source quoted in the article, in January, HHS awarded Quality Software Services, Inc. (QSSI) what The Hill reported as “a large contract to build a federal data services hub to help run the complex federal health insurance exchange.”
    • At that time, the director of Obama Care’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), the enitty tasked with creating the operational rules for the Federal exchanges,was Steve Larsen.
    • He had been the insurance commissioner for Maryland when Obama’s HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, was the insurance commissioner for Kansas, The article reports that the two are reportedly close.
    • The CCIIO awarded the Obama Care exchange contract to QSSI while Larsen was the CCIIO’s director.
    • Under the contract signed with HHS, QSSI’s power would be significant since QSSI would create, operate, and affect companies’ ability to sell insurance through Obama Care’s Federal exchanges.
    • The article quoted another The Hill report quote: “A draft statement of work for the contract awarded to QSSI states the contractor should provide services necessary to acquire, certify and decertify health plans offered on a federal exchange. It stipulates the contractor should monitor agreements with health plans, ensure compliance with federal standards and” — somewhat strikingly — “take corrective action when necessary.”
    • QSSI, apparently realizing what a valuable asset it had in the contract and the power and information generated by this Federal contract, started shopping itself around to prospective suitors within the health care industry.
    • In the meanwhile, Larsen left the CCIIO and took a highly paid position with Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, in June, 2012.
    • Surprise, surprise, this summer, UnitedHealth Group bought QSSI.
    • Another quote from The Hill: “One critic familiar with the business rivalries of the insurance industry compared UnitedHealth Group’s purchase of QSSI to the New York Yankees hiring the American League’s umpires.”
    • The Weekly Standard writer presents the following analogy of this mess: “In other words, UnitedHealth Group, through QSSI, would be able to police the same field in which it would be a competitor.”
    But it gets worse. According to the article, when the administration found out about this massive conflict of interest, it decided to try and bury the mess until after the November elections. Thus, the merger was never reported to the SEC as required by law. This potential breaking of the law is currently being looked into by the Senate Finance committee.

    HHS and the administration has gotten itself into a further bind in that if they tried to void the contract, now owned by a major health car insurance provider, they will never make the deadline laid out by the legislation to have health care exchange up and running by January 2014, even if they could get it done by then.

    Conflict of interest (which always sub optimizes the use of taxpayer wealth), missed deadlines, suppression of truth, breaking of SEC laws. Yep, this is a great piece of legislative work.

    3) The Associated Press recently ran an article describing an pending new tax that could come about as a result of Obama Care. We have previously reported that Obama Care introduces almost 2,000 new Federal regulations and dozens of new taxes, from medical device taxes, to new Medicare taxes, to taxes on the sale of high end homes, to higher dividend taxes, etc.

    Many of these taxes play into Obama’s continual class warfare rhetoric and strategy in that they only touch the higher earning Americans. However, this new tax idea reported on by the Associated Press would squarely hit middle and lower income earners.

    According to the article, about half of all Americans benefit from the tax-free status of employer health insurance. Workers pay no income or payroll taxes on what their employer contributes for health insurance, and in most cases on their own share of premiums. It's the single biggest tax break the government allows, outstripping the mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for charitable giving and other better-known benefits.

    If the value these of job-based health insurance benefits were taxed like regular income, it would raise nearly $150 billion in 2013. So, let’s do some simple math:
    • There are about 315 million people in the U.S.
    • If indeed half of them have tax free employer health insurance, then there are about 157 million Americans in this situation.
    • If we divide the $150 billion raised by the likely 157 million or so citizens who will be paying the tax, we see that each American in this situation would be expected to pay about $950 or so each year to the Federal government under this tax scheme.
    This is $950 that a typical American would not be able to spend on movies, restaurants, clothing, vacations, etc., economic activity that would grow the economy and create jobs. And as we have proven any number of times in this blog, that $950 will never be spent by the Federal government and Washington political class in an efficient, effective, beneficial, or non-criminal fraud manner.

    And this would certainly break Obama’s pledge that the vast, vast majority of Americans will not pay more in taxes during his administration. But this behavior is not new or unexpected as the Obama administration has broken so many pledges already, what is just one more that costs the average American almost $1,000 a year for very little benefit in return.

    The bad news just keeps on coming from this worthless piece of legislation, with more falling down on us tomorrow.

    Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

    It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

    Please visit the following sites for freedom:


    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    The Devastation That Is Obama Care, Part 3: Health Exchange Chaos, More Companies Cut Hours, Hospitals Going Under And More

    This is a third in a series of posts we are doing that updates the growing disaster that is Obama Care as many of its components begin to roll out. In the previous two posts we saw how many Americans are seeing their working hours cut as a result of Obama Care defining full time workers to be those working more than 30 hours a week, how the cost of food, will likely be going up as a result of the legislation, how businesses will be forced to post nutritional information that no one will ever read, etc.

    The insanity of this fiasco continues today with the following:

    1) A December 1, 2012 article from the Huffington Post, Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, will begin denying health insurance to newly hired employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week, most likely a result of the Federal government’s definition of what a full time worker is.

    The policy is to take effect in January, under which Walmart also reserves the right to eliminate health care coverage for certain workers if their average workweek dips below 30 hours, something that happens often and at the discretion of company managers.

    Here we see another company looking to avoid paying excessive taxes and fines associated with Obama Care, hurting some of its employees in the process by cutting them off from company health care insurance. Even worse, most of the part time employees would be eligible to receive subsidized health care insurance via the Federal government, increasing the cost burden on the Federal government and the American taxpayer.

    Thus, Walmart has been able to use this ill-written piece legislation to reduce its corporate expense at the expense of the American taxpayer. Insanity.

    2) Orlando Health, a not-for-profit network of community and specialty hospitals, is just one example of the massive layoffs expected in the coming year. Officials with the Central Florida-based healthcare services provider announced recently that the largest staff reduction in its nearly 100-year history will result in cutting up to 400 jobs, starting immediately.

    Louisiana State University announced in October it would cut 1,495 positions and various health care programs within its seven hospitals to reduce more than $150 million from its budget in anticipation of Obama Care requirements.

    Gary Bauer, president of Washington DC-based American Values, warns that this is only the beginning of an economic disaster that will haunt America for years: "The ripple effects, the negatives on our economy, are going to be playing out for not just months, but for years. And I doubt we will ever be able to totally measure the complete cost in manpower and in money, in addition to taxes, that ObamaCare will end up costing the American people, proving once again there is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is no such thing as free healthcare.”

    3) One of the easiest to read yet most insightful analyses of Obama Care, and what a disaster it is and will become, was written by Greg Scandlen on November 28, 2912 for the National For Policy Analysis ( One part of his writing was a succinct summary of what has already gone horribly wrong as a result of Obama Care:
    • The CLASS Act. This feeble attempt to create long-term care insurance was thrown overboard by the administration itself after it became apparent it would be impossible to do.
    • The 1099 provision. This requirement that businesses issue a 1099 to any vendor from whom they purchased $600 of goods and services in a year was repealed after business owners explained what an impossible burden it would impose.
    • Federal high risk pools. These pools were created and well-funded, but hardly anyone enrolled due to the complexity and cost.
    • Retiree health subsidies. This had the opposite problem. Large corporations and unions were more than happy to accept free money to do what they were doing anyway (provide health benefits to retirees), but all the money ran out in about a third of the time expected.
    • CO-OPs. Once again, Congress put so many restrictions on what was supposed to be a non-profit health plan in each state that none have come into being even though billions were spent.
    • Small employer tax credits. The complexity and confusion of these credits deterred all but a handful of companies from applying.
    • Medical Loss Ratios. The MLR requirements have had the very predictable effect of discouraging innovation and higher-deductible or “mini-med” health plans.
    • Medicaid expansions. The Supreme Court made these expansions voluntary for the states and it currently looks as though fewer than half will do it.
    • Health IT. The HITECH bill was enacted separately from ObamaCare, and many billions have been spent on it, but reports from the field indicate the top-down efforts result in lower quality and less efficiency.
    • Limits on FSA funding. It is cruelly ironic, but the families most disadvantaged by the new $2,500 limit on FSA funding are those with special needs children.
    • Limits on the Medical Expense Deduction. Beginning in 2013, a taxpayer will be able to deduct only those medical expenses that exceed 10% of income, up from the current 7.5%. Once again it is the sickest families that will be hurt.
    This is just what has gone wrong already. He also points out what is likely to fail going forward:
    • As we have already reported, Mr. Scandlen points out that The Health Insurance Exchanges are supposed to be operational by October, 2013, only ten months from now, but virtually nothing has been done to create them.
    • Even if the exchanges eventually get established, the exchange subsidies will vary by income and family size. But there is no government agency in existence that has the slightest idea what a family’s current income is so it is unclear, and pretty impossible, to determine what families and what individuals are entitled to what subsidies, levels that will very by state.
    • The closest source of income determination is the IRS systems but that information is a year or more out of date since you have to wait until April of the following year to know what the previous year’s income was.
    • Even then, you will have to have fifty state data systems operations interfacing with the Federal data systems operations. I do not have to tell you how infinitesimally small the odds of that happening accurately, quickly, and efficiently are.
    Consider some common sense reasoning, a trait lost on those that wrote and approved Obama Care, relative to determining income levels and the level of subsidies: people will have to pay premiums based on what they earned over a year ago. Someone might have been unemployed last year, entitling them to hefty subsidies, but making good money and who do not need or deserve a subsidy today, or the inverse: someone with a great job last year, indicating they do not deserve a subsidy, might be unemployed this year and be in need of a subsidy. How the exchange reconcile these situations is still unknown and certainly not anywhere close to being in place.

    The one optimistic note sounded by Mr. Scandlen, and other experts he cites in his writing, is that Obama Care is soooooo bad that it might collapse under its own bureaucratic weight and complexity. Unfortunately, even if that good event comes to pass, the havoc it would have already wreaked on the economy, the nation’s health care processes and operations, and taxpayer wallets will be catastrophic.

    4) An LA Times article from November 30, 2012 also discussed the major problems that are arising due to the fact that many more states than expected will not be implementing Obama Care state level health insurance exchanges. On top of this chaos, the article points out that many, many other legal challenges to various aspects of the legislation will be going forward, with ramifications one way or the other on top of the already mass confusion the law is creating:
    • Oklahoma's attorney general has sued the IRS to block them from coming into that state to impose penalties under Obama Care and additional state level lawsuits probably will follow.
    • The Pacific Legal Foundation is challenging the individual mandate, I.e. the provision that forces Americans to buy health care insurance. This provision originated in the Senate, even though the Constitution requires that tax measures originate in the House.
    • The mandate requiring a person purchase health care insurance is also vulnerable because it is not uniform across all states.
    • And, finally, more than 40 lawsuits allege the law violates the 1st Amendment's protection of religious freedom.
    I believe Betty Davis once said in a movie, “it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Combine bad legislation with government and political class incompetence, overlaid with dozen of pending lawsuits, and bumpy is probably an understatement.

    The ride and associated bumps continue tomorrow.

    Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

    It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

    Please visit the following sites for freedom:

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    The Devastation That Is Obama Care, Part 2: Digitizing Health Records, Restaurants Signs Nobody Reads, 30 Hours Makes You Full Time and More

    This is a second in a series of very serious discussions regarding the impending Obama Care issues and disasters that are about to descend on the nation and our economy. Yesterday, we reviewed how the Federal government is going to have to set up a massive bureaucracy in just ten months to handle the unexpected rejection by two thirds of the states regarding Obama Care exchanges, the irony of eighteen Democratic Senators hoping to maintain their political careers in the face of their voting for an oppressive medical device tax, and the reality that many American companies are already cutting employees to cope with Obama Care taxes.

    The second set of disasters:

    1) Consider some Obama Care insanity that was discussed in a December 13, 2012 article on the Western Center For Journalism website:
    • One Obama Care requirement, which affects all fast food and grocery stores with more than 20 locations is a requirement to post nutritional labels for every product produced.
    • According to Domino’s Pizza, the pizza industry will be hit especially hard since pizza is customizable and theoretically there will have to be a nutrition label for every one of Dominos pizza combinations.
    • According to a Domino’s Pizza spokeswoman, they have 34 million potential pizza combinations.
    • Dominos estimates the cost to add the multiple signs required under the Obama Care mandate will be $5,000 per store.
    • The spokeswoman stated the obvious that this type of expense per store will obviously raise the cost of pizza for every pizza eating American.
    • According to a representative of the Food Marketing Institute, grocery stores will be hit hard by Obama Care-related costs.
    The Food Marketing Institute used blueberry muffins to illustrate the insanity. If one blueberry is sold, you need a specific nutritional sign or sticker. If a half dozen blueberry muffins are sold, a different sign or sticker is required. If a store sells a dozen of the same blueberry muffins, still another sticker or sign is needed.

    Given that grocery stores average 1,500 fresh-made items per store, the Food Marketing Institute estimates the grocery store industry will absorb a $1 billion financial hit from this.

    Extra efforts by a business requires extra expenses and costs, expenses and costs that eventually will find their way into the wallets of consumers. Even if this was a good hearted attempt to educate consumers, who actually believes that consumers will actually read these labels? Consumers buy from habit, looks, aromas, etc., they hardly ever buy based what they read off of a sign or sticker in the store.

    Thus, the expenses that are probably a total waste. A study by PMC, which is an archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institute of Health's National Library of Medicine, studied this problem a few years ago. The results of which were published in the American Journal of Public Health in May, 2009. The PMC research study involved the following methodology and findings:
    • The study followed 4,311 patrons in 8 suburban and urban franchises of McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, and Au Bon Pain.
    • Only 6 of the 4,311 study subjects looked at nutritional information, which included calorie content, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium levels.
    • One couple out of 1,501 McDonald’s customers looked at the posted nutritional info, while only 3 people eyeballed a nutritional poster at Burger King.
    • One woman looked at this information at Au Bon Pain before ordering, and none of the 657 who entered Starbucks seemed to care much about seeking calorie content stats.
    Great, don’t these people in Washington ever do the most basic research? It took me about ten minutes to uncover this government associated research which proves that Obama Care’s nutritional signage requirement, no matter how well intentioned, is a wasted idea that will cost Americans billions of dollars with no societal benefit in return.

    Signs, no matter how colorful, how prevalent, how educational, how important, are useless if no one reads them.

    2) Staying in the food industry, during the December 3, 2012 CBS This Morning episode, Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton discussed the looming economic impact of Obama Care's implementation, especially on small businesses: "For those businesses that don't cover [for health insurance] their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation." Overton also warned that the cost of the law would be passed on to customers.

    Again, don’t the Washington people do any research into the consequences of their actions, actions that would be apparent to any educated person with any kind of basic economic theory? Don’t they take five minutes out of their highly paid jobs to ask a few simple questions of subject matter experts?

    3) In late November, Pennsylvania's Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) announced that it would slash the teaching and work hours of 400 adjunct instructors, support staff, and part-time instructors to avoid paying for Obama Care penalties and taxes. This slashing was caused because some bureaucrats in the Health and Human Services department took the inane position that under Obama Care, anyone working more than 30 hours a week, not the traditional 40 hours a week, would be considered a full time employee.

    As a full time employee, the employer would be required to pay for health care insurance for these full time employees. This 30 hour definition of full time employees would have cost the college $6 million a year, an expense it could not afford. Thus, rather than having a full time job that did not provide health care coverage, 400 Americans now have part time jobs that do not provide health care coverage. Insanity.

    "It's kind of a double whammy for us because we are facing a legal requirement [under the new law] to get health care and if the college is reducing our hours, we don't have the money to pay for it," said adjunct biology professor Adam Davis. These 400 employees will now work only 25 hours a week.

    Reducing hours and incomes with no benefit, how idiotic is that for a government program.

    4) A November 30, 2012 article that appeared on the Judicial Watch website discussed the fact that billions of taxpayer dollars are possibly being wasted on Obama Care’s requirement that the nation’s health care records by digitized and computerized.

    Highlights of the article include the following:
    • The government agency that oversees Medicare’s payment processes has doled out $3.6 billion to 74,317 medical providers to computerize their customers’ medical records.
    • But according to a Federal audit for the computerization effort, the agency doesn’t bother following up to assure the money is appropriately spent or is meeting the required quality goals.
    • Inspectors and auditors from the Department of Health and Human warn in their audit report that the electronic records program is vulnerable to abuse.
    • They also concluded that immediate efforts should be made to strengthen oversight and prevent tax dollars from being wasted.
    • This recommendation is not unreasonable since doctors are receiving up to $44,000 and hospitals are receiving a minimum of $2 million to switch from paper to digital records.
    • In October, Congressional lawmakers questioned the costly computerization effort, experiment, claiming the effort is wasting billions of tax dollars and doing little, if anything, to improve medical care.
    • In a letter to Obama Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, four Congressmen who chair various committees say the program “appears to be doing more harm than good.”
    • Their letter included a mainstream newspaper article that exposed a potential scandal: the move to electronic health records may be contributing to billions of dollars in higher costs for Medicare, private insurers and patients by making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care or are just fraudulent/criminal activities.
    Another typical government program, one that makes an existing situation worse and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

    Making dining more expensive, making professors earn less, and making it easier to rip off the taxpayers via computerization. It can’t get any worse…until tomorrow’s post.

    Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

    It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

    Please visit the following sites for freedom: