Friday, April 29, 2011

Debt Ceiling, Smebt Ceiling.....

The Washington Post Opinions
Posted at 09:34 AM ET, 04/29/2011
By Jennifer Rubin

In sum, the Democratic Party has thrown overboard decades of tax ideology (“soak the rich”) and succumbed to the Republicans’ insistence that Keynesian spending must end and fiscal discipline must commence.

The White House has lost control of the fiscal debate and of its own party. (“The White House has condemned efforts to attach additional measures to the debt-ceiling issue. Press secretary Jay Carney has called it ‘a dangerous, risky idea to hold hostage . . . a vote on raising the debt ceiling to any other piece of legislation.’ ”) Now, the White House grudgingly accepts the prospect of spending conditions. I suppose this is, as they say, leading from behind.

I am trying to figure out Ms. Rubin's point.  Is she for the continued stimulus spending binge in Washington?  Does she think we should pass the deficit cap with no strings attached?  Maybe we should just eliminate the deficit cap altogether? 

I'll tell you what, Ms. Rubin.  Why don't you call your credit card company and tell them to remove the limit on your card.  Explain to them how by allowing you to spend ad infinitum, you will be able to take care of your family so much better and grow the economy.  You'll be able to provide a larger house (infrastructure), raise allowances (entitlements),  install some solar panels & a geothermal HVAC system (green technology) , sent all your relatives to Ivy League Schools (education) if only you did not have that nasty spending cap on your credit card.  Explain to them how the economy would grow if you got to build a bigger home, if they spent their allowances on products, how your expenses would decrease due to the solar panels & geo HVAC and how much more successful everyone would be if allowed to go to the best schools...   I'm sure they would lift the cap - no strings attached - right?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stupid Decisions Continue from the "Least Qualified Person in any Room He Walks Into"...

So, how is our POTUS, or as Rush Limbaugh and I prefer to call him, the "Least Qualified Person in any Room He Walks Into" doing on energy policy?  Let's take a look at how the MSM is portraying his action (or inaction, as the case may be)...

What can Obama do to bring down gas prices?

By Zachary Roth
Wed Apr 27, 11:19 am ET

Here's a rundown of what Obama might do to start bringing gas prices back to earth:
Invest more in renewable energy sources. In a radio address Saturday, Obama called this effort "the key to helping families at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil."
End the $4 billion in subsidies for oil companies. "Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow's,"Obama has said.
Root out fraud and manipulation in the oil markets. Obama has said he'll have a Justice Department task force probe whether oil market traders and speculators are "taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain."
Boost domestic oil production. "We don't want a repeat of the oil spill that we had in the Gulf last year," Obama said in an interview Tuesday. "But we've got to continue to make sure that U.S. production is strong." That might mean expanding drilling off the coast of Florida, or in Alaska.

Press oil-producing allies like Saudi Arabia to do their part. We need to "let them know," Obama said, "that it's not going to be good for the if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices."
Work with automakers to increase fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. 
Still, none of these approaches looks likely to have an immediate impact when Americans fill up their tanks. Ending oil subsidies and instead boosting investments in renewables may be good long-term policy, but it would take years for consumers to start feeling the benefits of such shifts  at the pump. LIkewise, increasing  domestic production wouldn't bring prices down any time soon, while raising fuel economy standards is a long-term project requiring a serious buy-in from Congress. And most experts think manipulation of the oil markets account for only a very small part of the recent price spikes, so it's unlikely that cracking down on such practices will have a major impact. As for leaning on Saudi Arabia, the Saudis profit from high prices, so it's far from clear what leverage the United States may have to counter the Saudis' push for market dominance.

All that and nary a word on the one thing that would have the greatest impact on oil prices.   How about fixing our monetary policy?  Since oil is pegged to the dollar and the dollar continues to lose value maybe there is a connection, hmmmmm?  I bet yuan to donuts that George Soros is betting against the dollar and is helping to drive down the currency and thus inflating the price of oil.  Of course, the Chinese Yuan being worth $0.15 is what is driving China's economy which makes us competitors for the same limited supply of oil.  Unfortunately, they have a government whose only concern is China and because of this they have been going around the world buying up oil from places like Venezuela and Africa ...

Add to the stupid monetary policy the stupid ethanol policy and now you double down on higher food prices....  The ratio of the energy obtained from ethanol/energy expended from corn in the U.S. in its production is between 1.3-1.6.  Compare this to Brazil where they make their ethanol from sugar cane which contains far more energy per unit (8.3-10.2) and I'd say we are crazy to try to continue to direct corn from our food supply for such an incidental amount of energy....  But, the ethanol lobby is pretty strong....

And finally we have a no-new-oil-exploration and no-new-oil-leasing policy of our energy department.  We are pumping more of our own oil now, but these are on leases granted by the previous administration (as it can take 6-8 years to develop new wells)....  So where does that leave us in 6-8 years...?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"National Coverage Decisions" (NCD) = Death Panels...

Wow...  Is this for real?  If so, then NCD = the Death Panels everyone was talking about during the debate over Obamacare.  How can a federal agency arbitrarily set rules that trump the decision of the doctor who is actually there on the ground with the patient who may die if not given this course of action?  The rationing of healthcare is beginning and, as per usual, the winners are none other than the lawyers....  God help us....

Georgia hospitals facing federal investigation

by Randy Southerland, Contributing Writer

Atlanta Business Chronicle

Excerpts from the article:

Some of the Georgia’s largest hospitals could face multimillion-dollar losses in Medicare reimbursements, if a new federal investigation finds surgeons do not follow guidelines for patients receiving implantable cardioverter defibrillators. 
The review will determine whether hospitals followed National Coverage Decision (NCD) criteria in determining who should receive the small battery-powered electrical impulse generator. The devices, which cost upward of $35,000 each, detect an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause sudden cardiac death, and then fire an electric jolt to restore a normal heart beat....
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sets specific guidelines that prohibit the devices being implanted if the patient has received other types of treatments or procedures prior to the surgery, according to Rebekah Plowman, a partner in the Atlanta office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP and chair of the firm’s fraud and abuse practice. 
“The government found it was pretty easy to go out and use data mining techniques to see if they or any other hospital had billed for codes associated with a heart attack or other [prohibited] procedure,” [Emphasis & color mine] said Plowman. “Then they send a letter to the hospital asking why we shouldn’t collect the fees we paid back from you.”
The NCD criteria prohibits hospitals implanting the device in patients who have had a heart attack within the last 40 days or undergone procedures such as balloon angioplasty or open-heart surgery within the past 90 days. [Again, emphasis & color mine] [Really?  They just assume that every patient fits this template does not get this procedure?]
With the potential for losses so high, hospitals have an incentive to fight the claims.
“What hospitals are doing is hiring lawyers to put everything under attorney-client privilege and then hiring consultants to review the medical records,” said Plowman.
Critics of the CMS review contend that its guidelines for when a defibrillator can be implanted, which were issued in 2003, are out of date and haven’t kept up with research. Others point to evidence that doctors implant too many of the devices without regard to evidence-based guidelines that result in medical complications.
A recent Duke University study found that surgeons often strayed from the evidence-based guidelines for when defibrillators should be implanted. Those cases that did not follow the professional recommendations were more likely to produce in-hospital complications and even death.

Chicago style "poly-ticks".....

Michelle Malkin

All the President's Funny Money 

Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching. President Obama's perpetual campaign cash-o-matic machine kicks into high gear again this week as the celebrity-in-chief heads to Hollywood for several high-priced fundraisers. But while the Democrats' 2012 re-election team stuffs its hands into every liberal deep pocket in sight, questions about the Obama 2008 campaign finance operation still fester. 
Last week, the laggard watchdogs at the Federal Election Commission announced an audit of the Obama 2008 campaign committee -- which raised a record-setting $750 million. White House flacks are downplaying the probe as a "routine review." 
But there's nothing routine about the nearly $3 million Obama has spent on legal expenses to address federal campaign finance irregularities and inquiries. Roll Call reports that Obama's campaign legal fees have exceeded all other House and presidential campaign committees, including members of Congress under ethics investigations. 
There's nothing routine about the whopping $6 million that Team Obama has refunded to individual donors since Obama took office. 
And there's nothing routine about the 26 warning letters to Obama for America totaling "more than 1,500 pages of questions and data that outlined compliance concerns -- including the longest one ever sent to a presidential candidate," according to Roll Call.
She goes on to describe some of the worst offenses of his campaign contributors, but you know none of this will make the Daily Show.  And if doesn't make the Daily Show, how will any of the Obamaites learn about how crooked he really is..?  I'm just sayin'....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I love Thomas Sowell's writing...

Thomas Sowell 

Taxes and Politics

Here are some great excerpts:

...  We may think of taxes as just a source of government revenue. But tax rates are a big political statement on the left, whether they bring in any revenue or not.
For more than 80 years, the political left has opposed what they call "tax cuts for the rich." But big cuts in very high tax rates ended up bringing in more revenue to the government in the Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush 43 administrations. This included more-- repeat, more-- tax revenue from people in the highest income brackets than before. 
...  After all, "the rich" paid that larger sum of taxes only because their incomes had risen. Their paying a higher share of all taxes doesn't matter to the "progressives," who see high tax rates as a way to take a bigger bite out of the incomes of higher-income people, not just provide more revenue to the government. 
Tax rates are meant to make an ideological statement and promote class-warfare politics, not just bring in revenue. 
....Internal Revenue Service data show that the income of people who were in the lowest income tax bracket in 1996 rose by 91 percent by 2005. But people in the "top one percent" had their incomes drop by 26 percent in those same years. 
There is nothing complicated about this. Most people simply start at the bottom when they are young and their pay rises as they get more experience. Most people in the top one percent are there for only a single year when they happen to have a spike in income. They too are not an enduring class.

Monday, April 11, 2011

More Journalistic Malpractice

Obama to set out budget plan on Wednesday
AFPApril 11, 2011, 8:18 am

Here is all you need to read to know how disingenuous this so-called journalist is:

"Republicans want to slash funds for Medicare, benefits for the elderly, and Medicaid, a health program for people with low income, but Democrats would prefer to make up much of the deficit by raising taxes on the wealthy."

Really?  Is that what the Republicans are proposing?  Medicare "cuts".  Only D.C. politicians and the minions in the MSM can get away with such blatant lies...  There are no "cuts" proposed for people on medicare/medicaid.  They are simply lowering the rate of growth and changes qualifications to means test it, so people like me will not be able to access the "free healthcare" after paying in all these years.  You know what?  I don't care because the country cannot afford it!!!!

And Democrats only raise taxes on the "wealthy".  Really?  That is unless you eat, drink, smoke, use electricity, gasoline, or have a cell phone, credit cards, a bank account or home mortgage.  Then your taxes, either directly or indirectly are going up as well.

What about this do people not understand.  We spend $10,000,000,000 a DAY.  $4,000,000,000 of that is borrowed!  Most of that is borrowed from other countries.  Are people really so stupid, as to believe we can continue this absurd behavior?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Adult conversation

This is how adults talk about the real problems facing our country.  No talk about cowboy poetry or other useless government programs....  FINALLY!!!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Moron Alert...

I'll be the first to admit, up until the last couple years I neither knew, nor cared to know who Paul Krugman was...  But, since the economy tanked and Obama took over, it seems as though the Obama administration has been following his playbook, albeit with a couple less zero's behind his recommendations.  And now Krugman is clamoring for even more spending:

The Mellon Doctrine

I know he's one of the "smartest men in the room" people, but someone ought to tell him the emperor has no clothes.  His plans are worse than moronic, they are downright dangerous, if only because for some idiotic reason people listen to him.  I guess he must have failed as a financial planner (er, sorry "wealth manager") so he thought he'd try his hand at economics.

Here is but one small sample of how out of touch this guy is...:

"....why would lower wages promote higher employment?"

Really, he said that.  Worse yet, he WROTE that, by which I mean he might have thought it in a flash, but anyone with a half a brain would have realized how nonsensical it would have sounded and thought better about actually saying it (i.e., better to not say anything and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt).  But, no he actually pecked out that sentence on a computer and one would assume he proof read it before submitting it, so he likely wrote and read it (at least once).  And yet, he allowed that sentence to be published.

I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence by pointing out that higher wages do, in fact, lead to higher unemployment, especially among entry level employees, so I won't.  I also won't point out that if a business doesn't have to pay each employee as much per person, they might actually be able to afford to hire a couple more people and those couple more people would generate even more revenue.  And that the greater revenue might lead to greater profit and eventually expansion and the creation of even more jobs...   No, I don't want to insult anyone who might read this by pointing out such a simple, basic,  business principle as that!


I can only think of one thing when I read that column.  Moron.