People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yes. Let's Thank Him.

I noticed one of those Google banner advertisements over on Instapundit.com this morning.  I thought you folks over in the 5th Congressional District might be interested.

The ad, by the way, was paid for by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The union, by the way, is made up mostly of overpaid government and health care workers.

Health care workers who, by the way, are benefiting most from Tom Perriello's YES vote on health care.

A vote that, by the way, was taken to raise massive amounts of taxes while the country is in deep recession and millions of Americans are out of work.  Including tens of thousands in Perriello's district.

Yes, by all means, join government union members in thanking Tom Perriello for his vote.  

By the way, election day is November 2.  Show him some love.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

What's Your Beef?

Sometimes I read a Roanoke Times editorial and just scratch my head in total bemusement. Apparently the "liberals" (noun: those showing or or who are characterized by broad-mindedness) there think Texas is going to hell in a handbasket because conservatives (noun: knuckle-dragging neanderthals who want to restrict knowledge and education) on the state school board of education want to broaden the schools' curriculum.

That's right.  The conservatives want to expand the curriculum.  And those "progressives" (noun: morons) at the Times consider that to be a travesty.

Tell me if this makes any sense:

Whose story?

Conservative Texas Republicans working second jobs as revisionist historians on the state's elected school board are right in one way. Our understanding of our past influences who we are and the course we would set for our future.

As they so perfectly demonstrate, the history of a nation is too important to leave to partisan hacks.

Downplaying Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, in favor of St. Thomas Aquinas as a thinker whose writings stirred the revolutionary fervor of our Founding Fathers and others?

Studying the inaugural address of Jefferson Davis, first and last president of the Confederacy, alongside that of Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States?

These are among the more than 100 changes the Texas board has decided -- on straight, 10-to-5 party line votes -- to incorporate in the state's once-a-decade revision of its social studies curriculum.

Virginians should care because, by virtue of its size and buying power, Texas textbooks tend to spread like a prairie fire through the nation's schools.

The times are too perilous to set ourselves adrift on the flimsy raft of politics. [link]
You'll note that the "conservatives" aren't replacing the study of Thomas Jefferson.  Or replacing the study of Abraham Lincoln.  Their crime is in wanting the children in Texas public schools to know more than they would have otherwise.  Is there an issue there?  Really?

How dare school administrators broaden the curriculum to include topics that broad-minded liberals think should be banned.

I know.  Your head is swimming.  Welcome to the club.

- - -

* Note: I have a special bone to pick with the phrase, "Conservative Texas Republicans working second jobs as revisionist historians ..."  History is in no way being revised.  It's simply being given the light of day.  A crime to the "enlightened" crowd, it would appear.

Promises, Promises

The Democrats have created a new program to "fix" health care.

And you're asked to believe them.  The same bunch who are there to keep Social Security from being broken.
Social Security Payouts to Exceed Revenue This Year
By Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times

This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that while the Congressional projection would probably be borne out, the change would have no effect on benefits in 2010 and retirees would keep receiving their checks as usual.

The problem, he said, is that payments have risen more than expected during the downturn, because jobs disappeared and people applied for benefits sooner than they had planned. At the same time, the program’s revenue has fallen sharply, because there are fewer paychecks to tax. [link]
"Fewer paychecks to tax."

"Fewer paychecks to tax."

"Fewer paychecks to tax."

At some point this must sink in.  We need capitalism back.  And now.

All the government "stimulus plans" in the world will never produce more private sector paychecks.

Let's Remember Who Made It 'Personal'

I call upon those who feel outrage toward the members of Congress who are wrecking our health care system to try to avoid lashing out at them.  Violence will not repair the damage they've done.

That having been said, I understand the rage.  If only our elected representatives and their buddies in the press did as well:
The backlash: Reform turns personal
By Jake Sherman and Marin Cogan, Politico

The vitriolic health care debate has become personal — too personal, say House Democrats who voted for the bill and now find not just themselves but their families in the cross hairs of opponents.

Democrats said their political opponents go too far when they bring members’ families into the fray. [link]
I would be mortified if a Democrat - or family member - experienced some kind of physical retribution from an angry citizen.

But let's understand who it is that made this personal.  

It's those Democrats who are raising our health care bills.

It's those Democrats who have instructed us - at the point of a gun - to buy health insurance, or else.

It's those Democrats who are squandering money that our children and grandchildren will earn in decades to come.

It's those Democrats who have decided that, in order to provide coverage for the disadvantaged, the rest of us will have to have our health care rationed.

It's those Democrats who have told our grandparents that they need to start thinking about "quality of life" issues, with all its implications.

It's those Democrats who have slashed funding for Medicare, in a period in our history when more and more Americans are going to need it to survive.

It's those Democrats who have told us that our jobs - and our unemployment - are of lesser importance than the establishment of another poverty program - one of thousands.

Personal?  You bet it's personal.

But We the People sure as hell didn't make it so.

Obama Has Ensured Our Doom

You were warned.  Repeatedly:
Downsizing America's Economy
By Steve McCann, American Thinker

You can thank President Obama for the lower standard of living coming your way. The numbers tell the story.

The electorate in the United States is presently being bombarded from all sides with financial and economic statistics on health care and budget deficits. The scale and magnitude of the sums are incomprehensible. A calculation containing twelve or thirteen zeros causes the eye to glaze over. However, in their gut, the American people know that something is amiss and that the future very much in jeopardy.

The bleak tomorrows are no longer twenty-five, thirty, or fifty years out; in the next five to nine years, we will be noticeably poorer and on our way to third-world status. We will be like Brazil, only without the hope of wealth from vast offshore oil resources.

Ongoing annual budget shortfalls in the trillions of dollars will, by 2019, cause publicly held federal debt to exceed 100% of the gross domestic product. Together with all the trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, the United States will be, in essence, a bankrupt nation.

Deficit spending (program expenses exceeding dedicated revenue) began on Medicare (2008) and Social Security (2010). Social Security cash surpluses, which have been used to help finance other government activity, will no longer be available to supplement the rest of the federal budget. By 2019, these programs will require at least $160 to $200 billion a year in borrowing to keep up with promised benefits.

As a result of all the massive borrowing, the annual interest liability by 2019 will approach $900 billion annually. (2009: $187 billion.) Within nine years, spending on Medicare, Social Security, and interest will account for 97% of all federal revenue. [link]
And Obama just raised taxes on the American people by another $940,000,000,000.  At least.

There is nothing in that which you read above that offers an either/or proposition.  It's all fact.  We are already in an irreversible dilemma.  Only the magnitude of the implosion is in question.  That and what you intend to do to mitigate the damage.

My suggestion?

At minimum, remember in November who it was that brought this upon us.  And go into the voting booth with clenched fists and a set jaw.  And the resolve to stop the madness.

If we don't end this, the consequences are unlike anything we've ever imagined.

While Obama Was Hard At Work Destroying Our Health Care System ...

... the economy - the one he said was his Number One concern - continues to spiral out of control:
New Home Sales Show Market Continues to Struggle

Sales of newly built U.S. homes fell for a fourth straight month to a record low in February, but another rise in new orders for durable goods offered hope that the economic recovery remained on course.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales of new single-family homes fell 2.2 percent to a 308,000 unit annual rate from 315,000 units in January. Markets had expected sales to edge up to a 320,000 unit annual pace.

"The housing market is really struggling to find its footing despite huge government support efforts. The near-term outlook for the housing market remains quite poor," said Zach Pandl, U.S. economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.

The data came on the heels of report on Tuesday showing existing home sales fell for a third straight month in February while the supply of houses on the market jumped. [link]
Record low home sales.  And now those most able to buy a new home, those with disposable income that might go toward a down payment, will be shelling it out to pay for ObamaCare in the form of new taxes.  A host of new taxes.

My God.

- - -

By the way, don't get excited about that "another rise in new orders for durable goods offered hope" blurb.  It too disappointed analysts.

So You Bought Into The Hype

"Most Americans who get their coverage from their workplaces will see no major change ..."
"Insurance rates will begin to come down ..."
-- Roanoke Times editorial yesterday --

One day later, the truth starts to come crashing down upon us.

One day later:
ObamaCare Day One
Companies are already warning about higher health-care costs.
Wall Street Journal editorial

Democrats dragged themselves over the health-care finish line in part by repeating that voters would like the plan once it passed. Let's see what they think when they learn their insurance costs will jump right way.

Even before President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone. Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. Now Verizon joins the roll of businesses staring at adverse consequences.

In an email titled "President Obama Signs Health Care Legislation" sent to all employees Tuesday night, the telecom giant warned that "we expect that Verizon's costs will increase in the short term." While executive vice president for human resources Marc Reed wrote that "it is difficult at this point to gauge the precise impact of this legislation," and that ObamaCare does reflect some of the company's policy priorities, the message to workers was clear: Expect changes for the worse to your health benefits as the direct result of this bill, and maybe as soon as this year.

Mr. Reed specifically cited a change in the tax treatment of retiree health benefits. When Congress created the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, it included a modest tax subsidy to encourage employers to keep drug plans for retirees, rather than dumping them on the government. The Employee Benefit Research Institute says this exclusion—equal to 28% of the cost of a drug plan—will run taxpayers $665 per person next year, while the same Medicare coverage would cost $1,209.

In a $5.4 billion revenue grab, Democrats decided that this $665 fillip should be subject to the ordinary corporate income tax of 35%. Most consulting firms and independent analysts say the higher costs will induce some companies to drop drug coverage, which could affect about five million retirees and 3,500 businesses. Verizon and other large corporations warned about this outcome.

U.S. accounting laws also require businesses to immediately restate their earnings in light of the higher tax burden on their long-term retiree health liabilities. This will have a big effect on their 2010 earnings.

While the drug tax subsidy is for retirees, companies consider their benefit costs as a total package. The new bill might cause some to drop retiree coverage altogether. Others may be bound by labor contracts to retirees, but then they will find other ways to cut costs. This means raising costs or reducing coverage for other employees. So much for Mr. Obama's claim that if you like your coverage, you can keep it—even at Fortune 500 companies.

In its employee note, Verizon also warned about the 40% tax on high-end health plans, though that won't take effect until 2018. "Many of the plans that Verizon offers to employees and retirees are projected to have costs above the threshold in the legislation and will be subject to the 40 percent excise tax." These costs will start to show up soon, and, as we repeatedly argued, the tax is unlikely to drive down costs. The tax burden will simply be spread to all workers—the result of the White House's too-clever decision to tax insurers, rather than individuals.

A Verizon spokesman said the company is merely addressing employee questions about ObamaCare, not making a political statement. But these and many other changes were enabled by the support of the Business Roundtable that counts Verizon as a member. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg's health-reform ideas are 180 degrees from Mr. Obama's, but Verizon's shareholders and 900,000 employees and retirees will still pay the price.

Businesses around the country are making the same calculations as Verizon and no doubt sending out similar messages. It's only a small measure of the destruction that will be churned out by the rewrite of health, tax, labor and welfare laws that is ObamaCare, and only the vanguard of much worse to come. [link]
The Democrat Congress did this to us.  Congress and Obama.  Remember that.  Hang onto it.  Hold these animals to account in November.

And fear for your country.