Congress Should Immediately Declare War On ISIS And Adopt A Trillion Dollar Defense and Homeland Security Spending Program

Since President Obama has indicated that he will not go to Congress to request that it declare war on ISIS, Congressmen must begin to act like adults and perform their constitutional function to protect our country. They should as soon as they return for the next Congressional session, declare war against ISIS (which has openly declared war on us). It should be approved by bi-partisan, almost unanimous votes in both the Senate and the House.

Our country is threatened and our president makes light of it. Congress should also assume the task ignored by our president of restoring our declining military superiority and upgrading our homeland security by initially allocating at least a trillion dollars for such purpose. An enormous sum, but at least that amount will be needed to enable our military to fight the necessary war against ISIS and attempt to prevent, defend against or recover from the terrorist attacks that are likely to be planned or carried out on our shores by Islamic terrorists and their followers.

We must reverse the deliberate decline in our military strength orchestrated by President Obama during the first six years of his presidency in order to be able to provide government funding for Obamacare and other rapidly growing welfare entitlements and his politically oriented green projects. We must develop and have available a broad array of new and improved offensive and defensive weaponry to defend against attacks on our citizens and our infrastructure.

We must begin by currently repairing and upgrading and taking further steps to protect and provide redundancy and back-up for all aspects of our infrastructure (including our transportation infrastructure, water supply, power grid and the Internet) and added protection for all of our strategic places. Our cities and states with CIA and FBI assistance have since 9/11/2001 upgraded their anti-terrorist preparedness. We have placed reinforced cement or steel pillars around many of our strategic places to prevent an attack. However, the Boston Marathon bombings and other acts of Islamic sponsored terrorism demonstrate how difficult the task is. As was also true for the 9/11/2001 attacks, we always seem to miss the available clues that could have led to the prevention of the terrorist acts.

We need enhanced federal financial assistance to the cities and states and a USID card with constantly updated electronic linkage to the CIA, FBi and other security agency databases to assist in identifying potential terrorists and preventing their attacks. I refer you to the book I published in 2003 entitled “Homeland Security and Economic Prosperity” that proposed and described a USID card. We should be strengthening the relationship of the police, our first responders, with the residents they are hired to serve and protect. We should not be stirring up and promoting antagonism, for political purposes, against our local police forces for protecting the property of law-abiding people in their communities from looters.

Some people look at our $17 trillion deficit and ignorantly blame it on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most people do not understand that increased military spending on those wars generated millions of tax paying jobs and as a result of a multiplier effect, resulted in GDP growth and federal income tax revenues that financed them. The increase in the National Debt is largely attributable to the Great Recession that resulted from wrongful and ridiculously stupid mortgage lending practices, excessive use of leverage by our bankers investing other people’s money, and failed government regulatory actions that promoted the wrongdoing.

President Obama’s naive and inept foreign policy decisions have led to the growth of Islamic terrorist groups throughout the world and encouraged Russian and Chinese aggression. Combined with the opening of our southern border to terrorists and criminals following the illegal invasion, encouraged and welcomed by President Obama, of infants and families from Central America, they have placed our homeland in jeopardy.

The ISIS land and weapon grabs in Iraq and Syria, barbaric acts, and open declaration of war on the US, coupled with Russia’s outrageous takeover of Crimea and other parts of eastern Ukraine, is serving as a wake-up call to an increasing number of Americans. However, even though our homeland is threatened, most Americans still remain oblivious to the dangers we face. They are unaware of the extent to which our military strength and homeland security have been weakened.

President Obama, who got reelected by concealing the truth from voters and spent months acting like “Mr. Cool”, as the crises developed, does not seem prepared to deal with them. When Russia moved into the Ukraine, he chose to ignore our prior commitment to give the Ukraine military assistance if attacked. When we had the chance, why didn’t we bomb the Russian tanks moving inside Ukraine’s border? No risk, no gain. A coward is afraid to take the risk. JFK responded to Russian aggression by blockading the Russian ships during the Cuban missile crisis. President Obama’s only response to the Russian advances in Ukraine was to threaten and then take what have turned out to be ineffective sanctions that are also harming the European and indirectly our economy.

After the sudden rise of ISIS occurred President Obama acknowledged that he had no strategy to deal with ISIS in Syria. We now know that he should have been prepared. He had been briefed for more than a year by our military leadership, the CIA and his cabinet members. Maybe he just didn’t want to acknowledge that almost all of his prior foreign policy decisions during his years as president, including his failure to negotiate an agreement to leave troops in Iraq, were wrong. He is a commander-in-chief of our military who always favors personal political considerations over the taking of appropriate military action to protect our homeland.

This is not the time for political rhetoric and gamesmanship. President Obama constantly tells the enemy what he will not do and often tips his hand on what he will do. Even a child knows that you greatly hinder your chances of winning in a game of war if you tell your strategy to the enemy. ISIS is attracting thousands of followers and getting stronger each day.

Now, after dallying for months, President Obama says he wants coalitions with our allies, including NATO members and Sunni controlled countries, to provide ground combat troops. However, he is not leading by example by offering to include American troops in the force. In what appears to be a domestic political ploy rather than a useful military strategy, he is moving 5000 free Syria Army fighters, who had been fighting against the Assad forces, to Saudi Arabia for 6 months to a year of training.

We know that bombing ISIS in Syria and ultimately obliterating ISIS will require significantly more US troops on the ground. However, our president plays semantic games by insisting that he will not place troops on the ground, meaning combat troops. How can we gain the respect of our enemies or even maintain the strength of our awesome army if we keep reducing its size and we commit in advance not to use it? We should be putting together a force comprised of US combat troops, fighting along-side Kurdish and Free Syria Army combat troops and those from Sunni controlled countries to take the war to ISIS now! As we ready the force we should use our special operations forces to wipe out ISIS command posts and positions and then immediately withdraw. The longer we delay, the more difficult it will be to wipe out ISIS and other Muslim terrorist groups and the more casualties we will ultimately incur.

The situation is complex. Some of our friends have in the past befriended ISIS. Attacking ISIS in Syria may improve the chances of an Assad victory and be interpreted as our favoring Shiites over Sunnis. It happens that ISIS consists of Sunni terrorists who have been funded in the past by the Sunni countries, whose support we now seek. We seek Turkey’s assistance in stopping the growth of ISIS, but Turkey has been helping ISIS and is happy to see the Kurds destroyed by ISIS. Assad is not threatening to attack the US homeland, but defied international law and President Obama by gassing his own people. His principal sponsor, Shiite controlled Iran, is developing a nuclear bomb that it has threatened to use to attack Israel, and is supporting Shiite Islamic terrorist groups, Hezbollah and Hamas. We must not make foolish concessions to Iran to enable it to develop a nuclear bomb that will be a threat to the US as well as Israel and should clarify that we will also take steps to curtail the terrorist acts of Hezbollah and Hamas.

We need imaginative thinking. Might there be an opportunity for President Obama, who wants to be remembered as the man of peace, to immediately attempt (independent of Iran and Russia) to use secret diplomacy to work together with Turkey to broker a cease-fire followed by a peace treaty between Assad and the Free Syria Army and Kurdish forces we support (the “Grand Middle East Peace Treaty”)  The could then join with our air and ground support and other coalition air and ground forces of Sunni dominated countries, including Turkey to eliminate the ISIS peril? Assad, whose future role, if any, in the Syrian government could be discussed, could be granted immunity from war crimes. Syria could become the showcase country where Shiites and Sunnis share power over identifiable parts of the country. Shiites would have control of the federal government, but they would recognize the historical borders of tribal dominated areas and guarantee that local control of such areas be retained by the tribal leaders.

Regardless of the actions we take or fail to take in Syria, we should immediately take steps to strengthen our military and secure our homeland. Our country has faced and immediately responded to previous wake-up calls. In the years that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, we rose to the challenge. Our parents and grandparents were drafted into and enlisted in the military to fight to preserve our freedom. Others worked day and night to develop a superior military capacity that enabled us to defeat our enemies in World War II in less than four years. When the war ended we had developed not only a great military, but also an unparalleled industrial complex that enabled us to escape from the Great Depression and establish American exceptionalism.

How many Americans know this aspect of American history? Not many of us have done anything to earn our freedom. It has been won and defended by heroes of prior generations whose efforts established American military superiority, defeated our enemies, and handed us our freedom as a gift. Now, a majority of voters take it for granted. Millions of Americans never learned in school about the history of military conquests over thousands of years. Most Americans are upset as they learn of the terrible atrocities being perpetrated by Islamic terrorist groups throughout the world, but they think that the current military superiority of the US guarantees that our homeland is secure. They seem to have already forgotten that Al Qaeda recruited, sent to the US, and financed the terrorists who carried out the attacks on 9/11/2001. We had adequate available information to have prevented those attacks. We remain vulnerable to an ever more dangerous variety of attacks against our infrastructure and our population.

The attacks on 9/11/2001 should have been a wake-up call. We stirred for a while and then fought two long wars foolishly aimed at establishing western type democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008 we elected a president who promised hope and change. He naively believed that all wars must end, and sought to eliminate the role of the US as the world’s only reliable defender of freedom. He downplayed, even refused to acknowledge, the spread of Islamic terrorism throughout the world. President Obama used the Great Recession, the winding down of the war in Iraq and then sequestration as an excuse to reduce the size and preparedness of our military. The American public, our press and politicians talk about being war-weary. What does that mean? We spent a lot of money and sustained injuries over a long period of time. Yet, our foolish disengagement from Iraq has made us vulnerable to what might be an imminent attack on our homeland. Our president and most Americans do not want “boots on the ground”. That’s gibberish. We have boots on the ground. They mean that they do not want to use our infantry in hand-to-hand combat. Even though we have a volunteer army, they don’t want to bear the costs of war.

They are misled by the president’s repeated talk about the trillions of dollars spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans do not understand that it was our bankers and not the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that created the Great Recession. Wars create jobs and prosperity. Ending the war in Iraq was counter-productive to our economic recovery.

President Obama has enlarged the risk of terrorist acts within our homeland by ignoring and thereby allowing the rise of ISIS and by weakening border security to permit large numbers of children from Central America to enter our country for his own political purposes. We must postpone immigration reform and concentrate on the immediate need to control our borders to keep out terrorists, weapons of mass destruction and the diseases that might be brought into our country.

President Obama knew that his policies relating to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan would ultimately lead to disaster, but obviously felt the problem would not deteriorate until after the end of the term of his presidency. He therefore misled voters about our military problems and concentrated his efforts on domestic issues. A majority of Americans care principally about the US economy and jobs and their own favorite social issues. President Obama and members of his administration wrongfully use their governmental authority to silence their opposition and to sensationalize racial and immigration issues to gain political advantage.

His obvious aim is to create a single party system that a majority of voters rely upon for financial support. He doesn’t seem to care about the detrimental effect of Obamacare on the middle class who are paying excessive premiums and deductibles to finance the subsidized benefits for the poor and the sick. Nor does he seem to care about the negative impact on healthcare providers who are receiving reduced fees for services. He and his administration have lied repeatedly and withheld information to prevent voters from discovering the truth about Obamacare. He wants employers to convert full time 40 hour per week jobs into less that 30 hour per week jobs and stop paying for healthcare, when the employer mandate becomes effective. The low-income employees will be forced to seek and become dependent upon Medicaid and subsidized Obamacare policies.

It is probably not be too late to stop the spread of terrorism overseas. We must mobilize the effort. If we spend to significantly upgrade our military capability to deal with the growing terrorist threats we will at the same time create millions of full-time tax-paying jobs and stimulate the mediocre and disappointing economic recovery from the Great Recession. The trillion dollars we spend will generate the greatest prosperity in our history. We need a spokesman to step forward and lead the effort. We should coordinate such spending with our European allies who should also be convinced to spend to grow their military capability and ward of terrorist and Russian threats to their and their neighbors’ security. We might lead by example by offering to purchase the French aircraft carrier being built for sale to Russia.

We should immediately take steps to make our oil and natural gas available for export to Europe to break our allies dependence on Russian sources. It is commonly believed that even if we change our export laws, we will be unable to deliver significant amounts of oil and natural gas to Europe for years. That’s nonsense. Let’s change the laws and find out how fast we can supply energy for Europe by using American ingenuity and capability. I think we will be pleasantly surprised.

President Obama has recently shown signs of awakening by authorizing limited bombing of ISIS forces. It’s time for him to take the reins and act like a commander-in chief. However, he appears to be doing just enough to try to hold on to control of the Senate this November and to pass the risks of terrorist attacks to the next president. History will frown on his presidency if he fails to prevent serious acts of terrorism by Islamic terrorists and their supporters within our homeland.

I note that although I refer in this article to the Muslim terrorist group as ISIS, our president for some inane political reason, before the be-headings and other atrocities committed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq and his decision to bomb ISIS elected to call the group, and continues to call it, ISIL to avoid referring to Syria in its name.

Obamacare Is A Giant Step Along The Path To American Communism

Preliminary Note- I expect that a majority of the readers of this article do not believe there is any danger that our economic system will ever be converted to communism. I hope for the sake of our great country that they are right. However, I fear that the conversion to American communism is already well on its way. Obamacare is a giant step along the path to American communism. Conversion to communism need not be effected by an uprising. It can and is being legislated as the law of the land by our elected Democrat representatives. Even though Russian and Chinese communism, are incorporating aspects of capitalism, American communism is different. Our federal government hasn’t seized outright control of production. Instead it has passed laws, rules and regulations to give itself indirect control in selected areas. It has been taking property, in ever-increasing amounts, from the middle class and the wealthy and giving it or applying it for the benefit of sick, low-income and poor people.

The development of American communism began before Obamacare. Providing free healthcare for the poor at hospital emergency rooms and recovering the cost by increasing the charges to those individuals and employers who paid hospitals for healthcare was a precursor of Obamacare. Charging a fee to cell phone users to fund free cell phones for the poor and increasing transit fares to gives free rides to the poor are other examples of American communism. Requiring the construction of wheelchair accessible bathrooms and ramps, though generally commendable, is requiring spending by those who have, for the benefits of people with disabilities.

What other moves toward American communism will Democrat liberals propose for the benefit of poor and low-income people when they next get the opportunity? Will they (i) require electric utilities to give free electricity or air conditioners, (ii) require landlords to allocate a portion of their properties to offer free housing, (iii) require bicycle renters to pay a higher payment to pay for free bike usage, (iv) require restaurants to give free meals, (v) require theatre owners to provide free access to movies or shows, (vi) require hotels to give free rooms, (vii) require airlines to give free travel, or (viii) require car rental companies to provide free rentals. They may not require such welfare benefits to be given for free. Instead, they might require discounts or provide poor and low-income folks with Obamacare type US government subsidies to be paid for by taxpayers. The Obama administration has found a way to confiscate and transfer wealth by extorting unfair or excessive settlements from banks growing out of misconduct by bankers relating to the collateralizing of mortgages, and redistributing a portion of the penalties collected for the benefit of the poor and organizations that support Democrats.

President Obama and other Democrats seeking political gains constantly complain about growing income inequality. It may be true with respect to the gap between the middle class, whose incomes have stagnated due in large part to the inept federal fiscal policies of the Obama administration, and those of us who have capital to invest and are benefitting from a rising stock market. Stock prices have been increasing in large part because of short-term interest rates that the Fed has kept near zero for years because of the failure of our fiscal policies. However, the gap is overstated because most employers have been paying increasing healthcare costs for their employees. While such payments do not increase cash compensation or take home pay, they have materially increased aggregate employee compensation. The income inequality gap between the middle class and low-income people and the poor is not growing, but is narrowing because of ever-increasing welfare benefits, including Obamacare subsidies, being given to the later groups. President Obama and liberal Democrats also complain that many of our highest income individuals or corporations pay little or no income tax because of tax loopholes. They could eliminate the problem, but because the beneficiaries of the income tax loopholes are major campaign contributors to both parties, our politicians do not eliminate tax loopholes every year as was done routinely in past Congresses.

President Obama believes that our rich Americans, even though they earned it, have much more wealth than they need. He ignores the fact that the industrialists who created great wealth for themselves during the 19th and 20th centuries, reinvested it in a burgeoning US economy and created millions of blue-collar jobs that led to the formation of the middle class. A faster growing US economy sparked by capital investment would create millions of jobs and strengthen the middle class.

Instead of concentrating on growing the economy and improving employment opportunities for the middle class and the poor to give them an opportunity to narrow the income gap, the Obama administration adopted (i) an inept fiscal stimulus plan that exploded the size of the National Debt, (ii) rules and regulations that stagnated our economy and (iii) adopted Obamacare, a communistic type law, to take property from those who are succeeding to provide underpriced healthcare for sick and low-income people.

Obamacare Is A Cancer.

Obamacare was adopted by Democrat Congressmen at the urging of President Obama for political gain. President Obama promoted Obamacare based on deliberate lies to mislead the voters about its affect on the middle class. He did so to conceal the fact that the Obamacare mandates require the healthy middle class or their employers and the wealthy, to purchase overpriced insurance or be charged a penalty to pay for a significant portion of the healthcare offered on a highly subsidized basis to sick and low-income people. He obviously expected that once the sick and the poor received Obamacare’s subsidized benefits it would be politically impossible to eliminate them. He believes that the ends justify the means. Now that his repeated lies have been exposed he ignores them and lies about the success of Obamacare.

Obamacare is proving to be a malignant cancer that was inserted into and is causing great harm to our healthcare system, the US economy and the middle class. President Obama and the Democrats who created it knew or should have known of the terrible damage it would cause. Its thousands of pages of regulations are adding excessive costs to healthcare providers. They don’t care. Their goal was to seize governmental control of our healthcare system, expand Medicaid for the poor and create a giant new welfare entitlement to provide greatly expanded benefits for sick and low-income people. They thought they could trick the young and middle class to purchase overpriced Obamacare policies to pay for it.

Obamacare does not create a single payer system making the US government the sole payer. Instead it uses the insurance companies as the middlemen, leaving them to take the blame for the inevitable premium increases and declining quality and availability of healthcare. Obamacare mandates straight jacket insurers. It requires insurance companies to disregard pre-existing conditions and offer greatly expanded benefits, including preventive care that is exempt from deductibles. As a result, they must offer outrageously below cost coverage to sick people that requires insurers to raise premiums, deductibles and co-pays for everyone else or reduce payments to providers or some combination of both. Since low-income people receive federal government subsidies of up to 80% of their premiums, the extra costs incurred by insurers resulting from the Obamacare mandates are in large part borne by the middle class and their employers. To limit the premium increases for the older (but not yet Medicare eligible) middle class they targeted the unsubsidized young middle class for maximum increases by mandating that older people could not be required to pay more than three times the amount paid by young people. They knew, based on actuarial tables, that the rate should be five times higher. Furthermore, since most of the subsidies will be paid for by the taxpayers, the middle class (who pay the bulk of our income taxes) will ultimately be paying for most of the subsidies as well.

Prior to Obamacare, healthcare policies were designed to offer a broad range of benefits subject to cost constraints. Health insurance policies were offered for a one year term. They generally did not include catastrophe coverage that would have entitled you to coverage in later years, but would have greatly increased the premium. Various forms of insurance were available prior to Obamacare to protect against acquiring a pre-existing condition. However, few people bought such coverage. Disability insurance was available to help by providing partial income continuation, but also was purchased by only a small percentage of our population. Some people lived a healthy lifestyle that helped avoid pre-existing conditions, but for various reasons, often beyond their control, or because they made a mistake, developed pre-existing conditions. Others were born with a genetic defect, abused their bodies or took undue risks that increased their chances of becoming subject to pre-existing conditions. If you acquired a serious medical problem prior to the time of renewal of your healthcare insurance policy it was treated as a pre-existing condition. As a result your renewal premium, as determined by insurance company actuaries, may have greatly increased or become unaffordable. Irregardless of the cause, healthcare policy costs for a person or family with a serious pre-existing condition were often $100,000 or more per year.

One’s ability to purchase the best and most expensive healthcare to treat one’s medical problems, like the purchase of an expensive home, car or vacation, was available only to those who could pay. Steps were being taken at the state level to assist people with pre-existing conditions in obtaining limited coverage. Insurers in various states were offering special types of coverages to give limited relief to people with pre-existing conditions. Business group insurance with large pools of healthy workers were often able to include coverage without ratings or with limited ratings for people with pre-existing conditions. However, most people (unless they had acquired adequate catastrophe or disability insurance or had received a large damage award following an accident case) had to limit their care or spend all or a portion of their savings to pay for their healthcare costs. People were responsible for taking care of their own bodies.

We must recognize that the patient must have some skin in the game to encourage wellness, prevent the cost of healthcare from becoming prohibitive and avoid long waiting periods for treatment. We should require significant co-pays. Healthcare needs are often discretionary. If a person has to pay for a portion of a treatment or procedure he may choose to forgo it. Similar consideration should be given to modifying Medicare to make it viable in the long run, instead of the multi-trillion dollar burden it will soon become.

President Obama and the Democrat leadership saw an opportunity for political gain by offering greatly expanded benefits for everyone, including people who had pre-existing conditions. They knew that low-income individuals would be unable to afford to pay the required increases in premiums needed to pay for the trillions of dollars of additional costs to take care of the sick and to cover the Obamacare mandated benefits over a 10 year period. They therefore included very high subsidies for the people they affectionately refer to as low-income folks. The subsidies are so large that they cover not only the increased costs resulting from the Obamacare mandates, but also cover a large portion of the remainder of their premiums, thereby creating a gigantic new welfare program for low-income people. They expected such generous subsidies to be available within a few years, after the employer mandate kicked in and many, if not most, employers dropped coverage, for a majority of all Americans. They knew that if they told the American people the truth about the enormously increased healthcare costs which would have to be paid by everyone who did not receive a large subsidy, namely the middle class, the employers and the rich, Obamacare would never have passed.

President Obama with the assistance of the Obamacare draftsmen  and paid advisers like Gruber carefully concocted a plan of deception to prevent the American people from learning the truth about the cost of Obamacare and who was going to pay for it. They started by creating new types of insurance plans and named them after valuable metals to fraudulently give them the appearance that purchasers were getting a meaningful choice between good healthcare plans. In fact, the exchange offered plans available to most people require them to buy very expensive mandated coverage they may not want or need. Choices between plans deal with choices between higher premiums and lower deductibles and vice-versa. The differences between the plans are meaningful only to people who will be receiving large subsidies or who can reliably predict their healthcare needs.

President Obama and the draftsmen knew that the aggregate of the premium charges, deductibles and co-pays for all of the plans, to be determined by the insurance companies, would have to be substantially higher than prior plans that did not have to meet the very expensive Obamacare mandates. They took money from Medicare and adopted 18 new taxes to pay for a portion of the governments’ administrative costs and the cost of providing the subsidies for low-income people and expanded Medicaid benefits for the poor. Some of the Obamacare taxes will be passed on to consumers and further increase healthcare costs. The revenues from the new capital gains tax are treated as Obamacare revenues, but have nothing to do with Obamacare. They are merely a supplemental income tax on upper income taxpayers allocated to Obamacare to make it appear to be costing the US government less. Few people realize that the Obamacare capital gains tax, coupled with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, increased marginal income tax rates on upper income taxpayers by almost 10% in one year. Yet, many economists wonder why the recovery in the American economy is so tepid.

Obamacare was passed by left-wing Democrats who didn’t understand and didn’t care how it would work. At the urging of President Obama, who withheld the truth from them, they rushed to adopt Obamacare while they had the minimum votes for passage. President Obama is still lying to prevent the middle class from learning the truth about Obamacare. The middle class is only beginning to understand that it is required to pay for (i) the very expensive benefits Obamacare gives at way below fair market rates to people with pre-existing conditions, (ii) the greatly expanded and costly to provide benefits mandated (mainly for political reasons) for all Obamacare exchange offered policies and (iii) the subsidies for low-income workers.

Prior to the passage of Obamacare we were making progress in solving our healthcare problems. It had been determined years ago that the poor needed medical care, and a compassionate America was giving it to them. Everyone who lived within a radius that enabled them to reach a hospital emergency room had access to quality healthcare. Emergency rooms were required by law to treat everyone. You didn’t need to have insurance coverage or be able to pay. The use of emergency rooms became a healthcare safety-net entitlement. Although emergency rooms were not the most efficient way to provide run-of-the-mill healthcare in most cases, over time people who lived near hospitals, including illegal immigrants, used emergency rooms for their routine healthcare needs. However, the federal and state governments didn’t offer to pay for the new welfare benefit. To recover their emergency room costs, hospitals charged higher fees for patients who had insurance or could afford to pay. Such charges and the cost of newly developed treatments, procedures and drugs were rapidly increasing aggregate healthcare costs that were driving up the cost of healthcare insurance. When we look back we can see that providing free healthcare for the poor at emergency rooms resulted in the middle class and the employers indirectly paying for the cost of providing healthcare for the poor.

A large portion of employee healthcare insurance costs was (and is currently) paid for by employers. As a consequence, employers were not increasing cash compensation and in many cases were passing along an increasing portion of the costs to employees in the form of policy limits, premium contributions, deductibles and co-pays. Healthcare insurance for individuals was seeing similar cost increases. As a result of Obamacare, businesses are increasing employee deductibles and co-pays, eliminating full-time jobs and creating part-time jobs, outsourcing or delaying hiring as they grapple with Obamacare regulations and costs as a result of or in some cases in preparation for the delayed employer mandate.

Hospitals were permitted to require proof of insurance or payment before providing treatments and procedures requiring patient admission to the hospital. Expensive surgery and treatments were often not sought or were unaffordable because of cost constraints in cases where there was no insurance or high deductibles or co-pays. Nevertheless, using capitalist principles and relying on American exceptionalism, we were able to develop the world’s best healthcare system and provide ever-improving healthcare to increasing numbers of people.

President Obama and the Democrats fraudulently claim that when everyone has insurance it will lower the cost of providing healthcare by reducing emergency room visits. It is true that clinics that can be staffed with nurses and other trained medical personnel are being established at or near hospitals to perform routine procedures at lower cost. The use of clinics is an important step in lowering the cost of providing good healthcare for the poor. However, that was being accomplished independently of Obamacare, financed, in large part, by charitable contributions to hospitals from rich donors. But, where is a parent going to take their ill child if a doctor or a clinic is not readily available after office hours or because of increased waiting time to see a doctor? Moreover, the savings (particularly if clinics remain open 24 hours) will barely dent the outrageous costs of the Obamacare mandates.

Instead of honestly acknowledging the outrageous burden on the middle class, President Obama took to the airwaves as the chief salesman for Obamacare and deliberately lied (beginning before its passage) about the effects of Obamacare by stating repeatedly that your premiums would decline, and if you liked your doctor, or if you like your plan, you could keep them. He apparently believed that low-income people would accept having to use another plan, doctor or hospital when they learned they were paying reduced premiums as a result of their subsidies. He obviously felt that a significant number of young middle class liberals, who were attracted by his promises of hope and change and blindly supported him, would be confused and prevented by the Obamacare lies from understanding that Obamacare provides for a transfer of wealth from the middle class, their employers and the rich to sick, poor and low-income people and that they were deliberately targeted to pay for President Obama’s new welfare program. The repeated failures of the Obamacare websites and the lack of criticism from the liberal press served as a further barrier that prevented the middle class from learning the truth about Obamacare. However, the VA, IRS and numerous other scandals that even the pro-Obama press are finding impossible to ignore, have caused them to question the truth of statements from and the competency of the Obama administration.

The draftsmen made all preventive care exempt from the deductibles. Therefore, many people will not discover that they their coverage is subject to a deductible or co-pay until after they have a medical need which is subject to them. We do not yet know how many low-income people chose lower premium plans because they did not know they were subject to higher deductibles. Nor do we yet know how many people are being denied treatment for failure to pay a deductible in advance or what will happen if hospitals, doctors and other healthcare providers provide services and the deductible is not paid. Many people, whether or not their premium is subsidized, will elect not to have a treatment or procedure if they have to pay out-of-pocket for all or a significant portion of its cost. Hospitals may elect to perform expensive surgery, even if the deductible or co-pay prove to be uncollectible, because the insurance companies will be obligated to pay all charges in excess of such amounts.

For political reasons, the effectiveness of many of the Obamacare provisions (including the required purchase of a Obamacare policy) were delayed until after the 2012 presidential election so that the Obamacare lies would not be exposed until after the election. Since the Democrats didn’t have the votes in the House of Representatives to modify Obamacare, President effected such delays by issuing executive orders, that are likely to be found to be unconstitutional. President Obama knew that the unfair treatment of the middle class would be discovered over time, after the presidential election. However, he expected that so many low-income people would sign up for the new welfare benefit that it would be political suicide for Republicans to try to take away the subsidies. Being an entitlementist, he believed that the new welfare program would gain more votes for Democrats than it would lose. Now, President Obama stresses the millions of people who have gained coverage because of Obamacare. Many of them have signed up for expanded Medicaid programs which are free and paid for by the federal and state governments and should not have been linked to Obamacare. They were included in Obamacare to coerce the states into creating Obamacare exchanges and give the federal government control of healthcare. Large numbers of low-income people will flock to Obamacare after the employer mandate kicks in and they lose their full-time jobs and their employer paid coverage. However, they may not do so, and will be left with no coverage, if they are unable to receive a subsidy because their state in one of the majority of states that has not established a state Obamacare exchange. In an attempt to coerce the states to create Obamacare exchanges, Obamacare specifically limits subsidies to people who sign up on a state established exchange. However the Obama administration that wants to grant subsidies to as many people as possible to encourage Obamacare sign-ups, has chosen to ignore the very precise wording of the Obamacare law and is granting subsidies to people signing up on the federal exchange. Such subsidies are being challenged in a case to be heard next year by the US Supreme Court. Unless the Supreme Court finds the Obama administration’s payment of subsidies to low-income people signing up on the federal Obamacare exchange to be unconstitutional, we can expect Obamacare premiums for the middle class to rise substantially. If the US Supreme Court rules that no subsidies can be paid to purchasers on the federal exchange, then the number of uninsured individuals will skyrocket.

The draftsmen of Obamacare knew that when the middle class discovered the extent that they were being overcharged for a Obamacare policy many of them would refuse to purchase or refuse to renew a Obamacare policy and go without coverage. Why should anyone pay for insurance coverage they were unlikely to need knowing that if the became ill or injured and needed coverage, they would be able to obtain coverage at the next enrollment period? They therefore included a penalty (that the Supreme Court called a tax) that increases over each of the first three years, rising to 2.5% of income, to trap the middle class into paying an unfair amount whether or not they purchased a Obamacare exchange policy. Whether you call it a penalty or a tax, it is designed to force the middle class to pay to help subsidize the greatly underpriced benefits offered to the ill and to low-income folks. The president (who claims repeatedly that he is a champion of the middle class) continues to deliberately deceive the young middle class people he needs to sign up for Obamacare exchange policies to keep premium increases from going through the roof. He told them it will cost no more than a monthly phone or cable bill. That is just another Obamacare lie unless you are a low-income person or family eligible for up to an 80% subsidy.

We do not yet know what percentage of the Obamacare exchange policy purchasers are healthy or young middle class people who get no subsidy or whose policies will prove to be worthless because of high deductibles and co-pays. We do not know how many people lied about income to be eligible for subsidies or were illegal immigrants who lied about being US citizens. President Obama and the HHS won’t tell us. Nor are they telling us whether people who signed up for Obamacare policies have paid their premiums or are paying their required deductibles to the healthcare providers. Since they make selective disclosures to make it appear that Obamacare is succeeding, it is obvious that President Obama and the Democrats are trying to withhold certain relevant information until after the mid-term elections. They are being aided in their efforts by the failure of the liberal press to talk about the Obamacare faults.

President Obama and the Democrats attempted to get insurance companies to participate in the Obamacare exchanges and to minimize premium increases during the first three years by including a provision in Obamacare (that the president, HHS and the liberal press do not talk about) that provides for subsidies for insurance companies to cover their losses during the first three years. Many insurance companies have nevertheless excluded the services of many of the best available doctors and hospitals from their groups of providers, to limit their costs of providing Obamacare policy services. They are also talking about raising premiums next year. Because, as was predictable, the insurance company losses are now expected to exceed the amount available, the administration has announced that the subsidies shall be reduced proportionately as necessary. We can expect that when the quality and availability of healthcare has declined significantly, the Democrats will blame it on the “greedy” insurance companies and demand a single payer system. We should not forget that Medicaid ad Medicare are basically single payer systems and that an increasing number of doctors are refusing to treat Medicaid or Medicare patients.

Obamacare Is Destroying The Quality And Availability Of American Healthcare.

Because Obamacare mandates will increase insurance company payments by hundreds of billions of dollars annually, insurers are squeezing healthcare providers by reducing payments for treatments and procedures. Many doctors and some of our greatest hospitals are being excluded from or are refusing to participate in Obamacare provider networks because insurance companies selling Obamacare exchange policies are seeking to contain costs to limit premium increases. The added costs of complying with Obamacare regulations and the failure of Obamacare to deal with outrageous malpractice claims are driving additional doctors from private practice. Many of them, who have or will become hospital employees, will find their compensation reduced because hospitals are paid inadequately by Obamacare exchange qualified insurers. Because of Obamacare, the number of malpractice claims and the cost of malpractice insurance are going to grow due to the increased number of patients that doctors are going to have to treat (at lower fees per patient).

We have not yet seen the expected surge in demand for healthcare services from the sick, the poor (who receive Medicaid) and low-income individuals who are eligible to receive free or highly subsidized insurance coverage under Obamacare. Healthcare expenditures during the first three months of 2014 were less than expected. This is probably due to the confusion caused by the inept Obamacare rollout. The covered benefits, that include preventive care, not subject to deductibles or co-pays, will, within a short time frame, overburden the healthcare system. It will in most cases, because of reduced payments and increased costs, make it less profitable to practice medicine unless you work longer hours. Obamacare’s adoption comes at a time when the aging of our population is also going to add demands for healthcare services from Medicare beneficiaries that will put further pressure on healthcare providers. We only have to look at the treatment of our veterans, whose service earned them premium healthcare, but have for decades received inadequate coverage despite annual funding increases, to know it is inevitable that patients will in a few years incur long waiting periods for appointments and treatment under both Obamacare and Medicare. Obamacare will make it difficult to make a doctor’s appointment or arrange for a timely hospital procedure, thereby effectively rationing healthcare (even for those who are not entitled to a subsidy and pay excessively for coverage) and subject its availability to political considerations. As in Europe and Canada, the rich will not subject themselves to the inadequate healthcare offered under Obamacare (or Medicare which is following the same path) and will pay independently for high quality healthcare. Medical groups are already offering concierge plans to provide improved quality healthcare covering a broad range of healthcare needs at an affordable price for those who decline to purchase an Obamacare policy.

We Should Repeal Or Phase Out The Obamacare Mandates And Subsidies ASAP.

The Democrats claim that Obamacare can be fixed. Like most laws, Obamacare has some provisions and regulations that can be improved, but it is impossible to fix the main flaws of Obamacare. We must start by recognizing that we simply cannot afford (i) the elimination from consideration of pre-existing conditions which may enable an individual or family to receive a million dollars or more of treatments and procedures annually and (ii) the mandate that all insurance policies provide very broad politically motivated benefits for everyone. If we taxed the rich at close to 100% of income, which even Democrats most left leaning members would not dare to propose, the remainder of the cost of the Obamacare welfare will have to be borne by the middle class.

Republicans are faced with a dilemma. They opposed the adoption of Obamacare and have from time to time demanded its repeal. However, the Obamacare cancer has already caused major changes in the healthcare system which are irreversible. We cannot repeal all of Obamacare, but we can repeal its most harmful provisions. We must, as soon as possible, repeal the Obamacare provision that prohibits taking pre-existing conditions into consideration and repeal or phase out many of the other Obamacare mandates.

Irreparable harm is occurring daily as people with pre-existing conditions take advantage of the Obamacare windfall to obtain virtually free benefits that are not paid for the the US government, but instead are paid for in large part by the middle class through increased premiums. Democrats will immediately bash Republicans for any attempt to reinstate the consideration of pre-existing conditions as a callous attack on the sick who will be deprived of needed healthcare. Since most Americans sympathize with the needs of those Americans who are suffering from untreated medical problems, it is critical that Republicans carefully explain why Obamacare is a communistic law whose benefits are being paid for by the middle class and destroying the medical profession. To do so they must remind Americans of all of the misleading and fraudulent statements and outright lies made by President Obama relating to Obamacare.

Democrats argue that Republicans have no alternative proposal to replace Obamacare. Merely eliminating the mandates would represent a major corrective step. We can then reconsider pre-existing conditions and the other mandated benefits, ab initio, using healthcare experts who understand the importance of free-market capitalism, not political entitlementists who lean toward communism. We can encourage insurance companies to offer new types of coverage that will offer various forms of limited catastrophe coverage. We can also expand former efforts to give help to people with pre-existing conditions. To reduce administrative costs and make the providing of healthcare more efficient, we should eliminate federal government involvement in healthcare administration and encourage the mergers of insurance companies with hospital and other healthcare provider networks. The Obamacare rules, that encourage healthcare providers to focus on outcomes, can be retained to improve outcomes and by so doing, reduce costs.

President Obama is now arguing that Republicans are trying to take health insurance away from millions of Americans who have signed up for Obamcare. He ignores the equal or greater number of people who have already lost or are paying excessively for their coverage, or will lose their employer paid coverage after the employer mandate becomes effective. He also ignores the tax benefits from receiving employer paid coverage that will be lost when employees receive a small wage increase (that Democrats will claim credit for) and have to pay for their own coverage on the exchanges.

If left unchanged Obamacare may destroy American capitalism. Eliminating the Obamacare mandates will greatly reduce premium costs and materially increase the disposable income of the middle class and increase business investment and hiring. Instead of working 20 to 30 days a year to pay for the healthcare of non-family members and people they do not know, young middle class people will be able to pay off their college loans, buy a car or home, or put the money in an IRA that will be worth a million dollars or more when they reach retirement age. If we can grow the economy, as is likely to happen if the burden of Obamacare is removed, the percentage of disposable income spent on healthcare will likely decrease over time.

This article is one of a number of Obamacare related articles that have been published on this blog.

The Twitter Stock Price Roller Coaster

In the short time period since the Twitter IPO its stock price has performed as if it was riding a roller coaster.  Various factors have contributed to its meteoric rise to a peak, followed by a rapid decline. Market factors unrelated to the fair market value of Twitter shares have influenced the price movement. Prior to the Twitter offering, IPOs were in a state of great demand (which occurs from time-to-time) with investors of most IPOs being allocated less shares than requested. Many investors were purchasing  the unallocated portion of their subscription as soon as the IPO commenced trading. The Twitter offering was highly glamorized by the financial press. Twitter shares like those of many other IPOs immediately skyrocketed in price. Twitter has many loyal users who were unable to obtain an allotment on the IPO and they and other investors for various reasons elected to buy the shares in the after market. Chart theorists added fuel to the fire as they determined buy points as the Twitter stock price rose and gathered momentum. As the stock price rose far above the IPO price it attracted short sellers. However, as ofter occurs when short sellers sell into a rapidly rising market, they get squeezed and panic, one-at -a-time, and cover their shorts at ever increasing prices, thereby driving the stock price higher. 

When the price of Twitter shares peaked and started to decline, various factors, acting in a manner similar to the way that gravity effects a roller coaster car, precipitated the decline. Some analysts withdrew their support based upon market capitalization and recommended sale . Stop loss orders, which have become fashionable and which were placed at various levels during the share price increase, began to be executed at declining prices, creating selling pressure. Chart theorists interpreted sell signals. Short sellers, who follow the analyst reports, know about the existence of stop loss orders and understand chart theory, exacerbated the decline by selling short at declining prices. As the stock declined, margin calls and tax loss considerations came into play and some unsophisticated stockholders sold in panic. 

Like a roller coaster the ride will stop at the bottom. If Twitter can generate revenues and profitability from its large number of followers, its shares will begin to rise again. If, as I expect, the rise occurs, the SEC should conduct an investigation as to when every short sale took place to try to determine the role of short selling in exaggerating stock market declines.

A Proposed Tax Law Change To Encourage Our International Corporations To Bring Home Cash Held Overseas To Invest In Transporatation Infrastructure Projects

Our transportation infrastructure is a national disgrace. We are the richest country in the world and yet we fail to upgrade, or even maintain, the vital paths of commerce. The main reason is that our states and cities, which are primarily responsible for infrastructure projects, are saddled with ever-growing welfare and employment obligations and excessive debt. We must find a way to supplement transportation infrastructure funding.

President Obama, as he has every time an important election nears, is attempting to promote a plan for HUD funding of infrastructure spending. Why should Congress approve the president’s request for funding? A large portion of previously approved infrastructure funding has not been used by the Obama administration for shovel ready projects, but to promote Democrat candidates and to reward friends. Republican Congressmen don’t trust or like President Obama who disregards Congress and abuses Republicans at every opportunity. They are unlikely to approve the funding he seeks.

This writer in his book entitled “Perpetuating American Greatness After The Fiscal Cliff”, published in March 2013, has proposed changes in the corporate income tax laws to encourage the creation of “Jump Start America Bonds”. Such bonds would be sold offshore by states and their transportation agencies to our international corporations to finance transportation infrastructure construction projects. Jump Start America Bonds would have properties to make them a win, win, win for the investing corporations, the states and the federal government. The corporations would receive a fair return and be protected against loss of principal resulting from default or interest rate risk. They would also be able to repatriate the funds over a term of years at favorable tax rates. The states would get transportation infrastructure construction funding on reasonable terms. The federal government would collect outstanding taxes on overseas profits at reduced rates and would benefit from dynamic economic growth leading to middle class job creation and increased income tax revenues. See my previous article on this blog entitled “Jump Start America Bonds Represent the Perfect Economic Stimulus”.

Short Selling Does Not Promote Pricing Efficiency

Only fools, who do not understand the interplay of short selling with  chart theory, stop-loss orders, margin calls, and panic selling in market downturns, think that short selling is a price discovery mechanism that leads to pricing efficiencies. In fact, it generally exaggerates price swings. Short selling is often used as a manipulative device and it should be banned or carefully regulated. The up-tick rule should be reinstated immediately. In addition, all short selling in a security should be banned when its price has declined substantially from its 52 week high.

You should read the short chapter entitled “Short Selling and Stock Market Manipulation” in my book entitled “Perpetuating American Greatness After The Fiscal Cliff”. My earlier book entitled “Homeland Security And Economic Prosperity” written after 9/11 and the bursting of the .com bubble, but while the up-tick rule was still in effect, proposed strengthening the up-tick rule to prevent bear market raids by short sellers. Subsequently, the SEC ignored the bear raids in 2007 and 2008 and ignorantly eliminated the up-tick rule. My original paper on the subject was written while I was a third year law school student in 1963. Since then SEC regulation of bear raids has gotten worse, not better.

We Are Going to Find Out That Eight Million Is Worse Than Seven Million

President Obama, after reporting that eight million people have signed up for a Obamacare Exchange insurance policy before the end of the extended April 15, 2014 deadline, proudly stated he has won. What did he win? Americans are not taking to the streets to celebrate his victory. Most people don’t know what he is referring to. Apparently he considers getting people to sign up for a Obamacare Exchange insurance policy to be a game for which he creates and can, at his whim, change the rules. Almost everything President Obama has said about Obamacare for the last 5 years has been an outright lie or deliberately misleading. Now, because he set up a meaningless goal of signing up 7 million registrants before the deadline, which was apparently exceeded, he claims he won. Even if all of the 8 million people have validly registered on a Obamacare Exchange and paid their premium (which is doubtful), it is almost certainly a meaningless number.

Why should the fact that eight million people registering on an exchange be a meaningful number or be something to be proud of? After all, five million people had insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare and over 40 million individuals had no coverage before Obamacare. The percentage reduction in the number of uninsured is not significant considering the extensive and costly effort made to get people to do so. Moreover, since Obamacare is a new welfare program that offers poor, low-income and people with pre-existing conditions healthcare for free or for a price of 20% or less than its true cost, you would expect more people to have taken advantage and signed up for it. However, the insurance policies being offered on the Obamacare exchanges are so confusing and limiting as to hospitals and doctors, that, even the folks being offered a bargain, are sceptical.

Obamacare is being paid for by higher insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays being charged to the healthy middle class and above who (i) do not qualify for a premium subsidy and (ii) who as taxpayers are going to be taxed to supplement the 18 Obamacare taxes (most of which are being paid by or will be passed on to them) adopted to pay for the US government Obamacare costs, including the subsidies, and the increased Medicaid coverage for the poor. The more sick and highly subsidized people who sign up for a Obamacare policy, the greater the costs that will have to be borne in large part by the middle class. As a result we are going to discover that the more people who sign up for Obamacare, the more disastrous it will be to the middle class. For that reason 8 million people signing up for Obamacare policies is worse than 7 million. The draftsmen of Obamacare knew how unfair it was to the middle class and that large numbers of people would opt out of coverage. They therefore included a penalty, that increases each year, to compel the purchases. The penalty, if collectible, is payable to the government (and not the insurance companies) and, therefore, will not limit premium increases.

President Obama doesn’t talk about Obamacare as a welfare program for low-income people because he is trying to induce the middle class into signing up for it to generate revenues for the insurance companies by collecting excessive premiums from low-cost customers and thereby limit future premium increases. However, the middle class, particularly those who are young and healthy and targeted by Obamacare mandates to pay the most excessive amounts for their coverage, are discovering sticker shock when they learn the cost of their premiums, deductibles and co-pays. We do not yet know for sure, because President Obama refuses to tell us, the important facts he must know about the registrants, including whether they are people who (i) are sick or had pre-existing medical conditions, (ii) were replacing their cancelled insurance, (iii) are paying little or nothing for their coverage because their premium payments are being highly subsidized by the US Government and the taxpayers or (iv) are healthy middle class people. We can expect to find out that a high percentage of the those who have registered for coverage are sick, poor or low-income folks taking advantage of the bargain. They are the only individuals who will be getting fair value for purchasing a Obamacare qualified insurance policy.

President Obama, with assistance from the liberal press, has also prevented the American people from finding out other important facts about Obamacare, including the enormous costs of (i) eliminating pre-existing conditions from consideration or (ii) providing the expanded mandated coverage of Obamacare qualified insurance policies. He stresses only the benefits, not the costs.

It should be obvious that President Obama doesn’t care what the cost of providing Obamacare is to the US Government or the taxpayers or about the excess amount being paid by healthy, middle class people. He lied about Obamacare to get reelected and is now lying to try to keep control of the Senate in the mid-term elections.
He has repeatedly tried to trick middle class, young people into signing up for Obamacare by making fraudulent statements about its cost, recently claiming it will cost no more than a monthly cell phone or cable bill. That statement is deliberately misleading because it only applies to low-income people entitled to a large premium subsidy. When the true cost of their premiums, deductible and co-pays becomes known to young people, many of them will elect to pay or risk paying the penalty and go without coverage, or will cancel or not renew their coverage and premiums are likely to skyrocket in future years.

The US is a wealthy country which can afford to give adequate healthcare to the poor and low-income people. We can set up clinics at or near hospitals to provide free or low-cost preventive care and certain types of emergency care. However, we cannot afford to give Rolls Royce or Cadillac plans to everyone, including people with pre-existing conditions whose coverage may cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year. President Obama proudly claims that as a result of Obamacare no-one will ever again lose their home because of illness. He doesn’t care whether they are rich and getting an unneeded benefit or their pre-existing condition was self-caused as a result of smoking, drug or alcohol abuse, or high carb diets causing obesity. He doesn’t tell middle class workers that as a result of Obamacare (i) they are required to pay for most of the healthcare costs of their low-income and sick neighbors, or (ii) they may never be able to buy a car, own a home, save for retirement or their children’s education or even pay off their college loans. Nor does he tell them that when the employer mandate kicks in, they may lose their full-time job or their employer paid coverage.

We must find a way to help people deal with the cost of pre-existing conditions and to help low-income people get acceptable healthcare without placing the burden on the backs of the middle class. President Obama will gladly have the government pay the subsidies to the insurance companies on behalf of low-income people to make it look like Obamacare is gaining popularity. President Obama doesn’t care about the people being harmed by Obamacare because (i) he wants the government’s providing of healthcare for the poor and low-income folks to be his legacy and (ii) because he is an entitlementist who wants to use Obamacare and government control of healthcare as a new welfare program to gain net votes for Democrats from low-income people and the poor. He is using his power as president to convert our economic system of dynamic capitalism that engenders exceptionalism into a socialist state, favoring mediocrity, that will inevitably be doomed to economic stagnation.

President Obama doesn’t care that most doctors dislike Obamacare. He thinks of them as highly paid and rich. He doesn’t care that they are facing greatly increased operating costs and reduced income as the insurance companies seek to limit their costs and future premium increases and the government reduces Medicare payments to providers. He is concealing from the American people that the quality and availability of healthcare is precipitously declining. Obamacare policy holders can expect to encounter long waits to be treated at a hospital or by a doctor not of their choosing. As in European countries, those people who can afford to pay for their own high quality and timely provided healthcare will pay extra for private doctors and hospitals operating outside of the exchanges.

Annual US GDP Growth Of Ten Percent Should Be The Goal

Annual US GDP growth of ten percent should be the goal. Not the communist goal of eliminating income inequality that President Obama keeps talking about that has never succeeded.  Ironically, the failed socialistic economic policies of the Obama administration have created an immediate opportunity for much larger annual increases in the US GDP. Years of stagnant US economic growth, despite exceptional technology advances, have resulted in a highly under-utilized  and underpaid workforce. We should be seeking the preservation of American exceptionalism by encouraging competence and hard work, not laziness or poor conduct. We should be rewarding success, not encouraging failure. We can only imagine the growth that can be generated by bringing large numbers of people back into the workforce and converting part-time jobs to full-time jobs. Each time a job is lost due to improved technology or a job is lost because production moves offshore, we have an available worker for a new job which can accelerate our growth.

We have had five years of a tepid economic recovery during the period following the Great Recession, the most severe downturn since the end of World War II. President Obama has been very lucky. The recovery has taken place despite the failed fiscal stimulus programs adopted during his administration, his raising income taxes, cutting defense spending, adopting incompetently drafted banking and business regulations that are in large part counterproductive and excessively costly to comply with, and adopting Obamacare and its 18 new taxes and thousands of pages of regulations and then changing them at his whim for political purposes. The recovery has taken place because of developments that President Obama had little, if anything, to do with. TARP loans, which originated during the Bush administration, followed by the Fed’s monetary programs were instrumental in enabling the banking system and the auto and housing industries to avoid collapse, stabilize and return to profitability.

Spectacular developments have spurred the economic recovery, including: 

* Improved horizontal drilling and fracking techniques which, despite the unsubstantiated concerns of environmentalists and interference from the Obama administration, represent the single most important economic development of this century. They have (i) caused an explosion in US national gas and oil production, (ii) created an annual demand for tens of thousands of miles of stainless steel pipe for use in connection with the drilling and transportation of such oil and gas production, (iii) created a growing demand for rail transportation to move the pipe to states such as North Dakota and Texas and the oil and gas being produced to refiners and users across the nation, (iv) created  high-paying jobs leading to increased income tax revenues and a demand for cars and trucks for use by the oil and gas industry and its employees, (v) engendered the rapid growth of new communities to house and service the production employees, (vi) led to the return to the US of industries producing plastics and other natural gas by-products, and (vii) made the US energy independent and strengthened our position as the world leading military power; 

* Rapid expansion of our international businesses throughout the world and increased sales of our exports of products and services, including food, aircraft, machinery, equipment and raw materials to the BRIC and other developing countries;

* The spawning and rapid growth of sales of wireless communications devices, the Internet and social-networking businesses; 

* The wealth effect from rising stock market prices based on increased corporate profitability stimulated by the Fed’s bond purchases and promotion of low-interest rates that enabled corporations to reduce financing costs and inexpensively finance the purchase of cost saving technology. and 

*The exceptionally large sums (financed in large part by federal and state government funding and private insurance) spent for clean-up and rebuilding of roads, infrastructure, housing, and commercial real estate and vehicle replacement following  the many natural disasters that have occurred during the period. 

Even the modest recovery in the housing market (and the related housing improvement and rehabilitation market) caused in large part by investors buying up foreclosed properties for resale and rental and rising number of international millionaires seeking to own US-based assets, has contributed to the recovery. However, private home ownership that was the most important asset owned by the middle class for more than 50 years prior to the Great Recession, has been put on the back burner by the Obama administration which favors the poor at the expense of the middle class. Housing construction offers the potential to be a leading force if future US economic growth. 

President Obama claims credit for the recovery, but he had little to do with it. The manner in which he saved the auto industry was disgraceful. He favored his friends, the unions, over secured creditors. He hampered the oil and gas industry by impeding fracking, the leasing of federal lands and pipeline development. The Obama stimulus programs concentrated on increased welfare payments and ill-conceived, failed green energy programs that squandered large amounts that greatly expanded the National Debt, but generated almost no tax-paying jobs. The Fed has repeatedly stated that it has extended QE programs because of failed fiscal policies.

I will not in this writing discuss the harm to the US economy being caused by the adoption of Obamcare. I have and will continue to write about (i) the continuous stream of outrageous, lies and misinformation promoted almost daily by President Obama relating to Obamacare’s costs and benefits, (ii) President Obama’s failure to deal with Medicare spending problems,(iii) how Obamacare is gouging and damaging the lives of the middle class by requiring them to pay for free or highly subsidized healthcare for the sick and the poor and low-income folks and for a significant portion of the healthcare costs of the elderly and (iv) the inevitable economic disaster that awaits the middle class and the US economy when the employer mandate (that has been illegally delayed by President Obama for political purposes) is allowed to become effective. Suffice it to say that if and when the egregious provisions of Obamacare are repealed it will serve as an immediate stimulus to the US economy. 

Can we envision a time soon after President Obama is out of office (i)  when Congress regains control of spending and middle class income growth and not growth in welfare and ending income inequality is the goal, (ii) when Obamacare is no longer interfering with economic growth or destroying the healthcare industry, (iii) when our transportation infrastructure is being adequately repaired and improved, (iv) when employers are investing in expansion, offering raises to current employees and seeking employees for full-time, tax-paying jobs; (v) when young middle class families can pay off their college loans and buy and make improvements in homes which develop growing equity; (vi) when defense spending and homeland security spending is increased to levels needed to protect our country and our allies from aggression and terrorist acts (vii) when the National Debt is stable or declining, (viii) when Medicare costs and welfare abuses are brought under control;(ix) when the Fed permits interest rates to rise during a period with 2 to 3% inflation and (x) when savers can get a fair return on their capital? 

It can happen if we turn away from the path to socialism and focus on GDP growth and strengthening American capitalism.

 

However, the growth will not occur if Republican conservatives insist on policies of austerity or if a needed catalyst fails to occur to get the growth avalanche started. Our international corporations have more than 2 trillion dollars held overseas that can be repatriated if we change the tax laws. Previous changes led to repatriation of overseas funds, but did not result in significantly increased domestic investment. This writer published a book last year (that has not attracted attention) entitled “Perpetuating American Greatness After The Fiscal Cliff” which proposed changes in the US tax laws to finance transportation infrastructure construction projects through the sale of “Jump Start America Bonds”. The name of the bonds tells the story of their purpose. They would serve as the needed catalyst.

Ukraine’s Multi-Trillion Dollar Claim Against Russia

Ukraine should commence a multi-trillion dollar lawsuit against Russia in the World Court  for the taking of Crimea without just compensation. Coupled with other sanctions, such a claim might, during its pendency, seriously impact Russia’s currency in the world markets. It might also discourage other nations from improperly seizing the property of a neighboring country.

OBAMACARE IS CONCEPTUALLY FLAWED AND CAN’T BE FIXED

President Obama recently took to the airwaves, smiling enthusiastically and jumping up and down like an immature teenage boy, claiming victory for Obamacare because more than 7 million people registered for coverage on the Obamacare website before the March 31, 2014 deadline. He was obviously trying to mislead the American people into thinking that the number of sign-ups was of great importance. It wasn’t. Just another of the president’s Obamacare lies. The 7 million number was initially set by HHS as a meaningless goal that it thought could be easily achieved and only appeared to be difficult to reach because of the failures of the website. After all, Obamacare previously required the cancellation of the coverage of more than 5 million people, a number that President Obama repeatedly told us was insignificant and only a small percentage of all Americans with healthcare coverage. He had for years promised that Obamacare would give coverage for the more than 30 million previously uninsured. He never tells us the number of people who have or will lose their healthcare coverage as a result of Obamacare.

President Obama and the HHS are deliberately withholding significant information from the American people relating to how many of the 7 million registrants (i) are merely replacing their coverage cancelled for failing to meet Obamacare mandates, (ii) are under the age of 26 and signing up for coverage, as permitted by Obamacare, under their parents’ plans, (iii) are elderly people who are likely to need more expensive care that will lead to further premium increases, (iv) have pre-existing conditions and are receiving insurance coverage, worth up to $2 million per individual and hundreds of billions of dollars in the aggregate, for a small fraction of its true cost that will be passed on by the insurers in the form of premium increases, (v) are young middle class people who do not qualify for subsidies and as a result are required to greatly overpay for their coverage (to enable insurers to limit premium increases for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions) or (vi) are low-income people of all ages who are receiving a new welfare benefit from the US Government in the form of exceptionally high premium subsidies. They do not care if most of the registrants on the website are disproportionately highly subsidized low-income people. They do not care how much Obamacare is costing the US Government. On the contrary, they obviously want to maximize the government subsidy payments to the insurers to limit premium increases so that they can claim that Obamacare is working.

Obamacare mandates are changing virtually all aspects of the health insurance industry. They are highly complex and extremely difficult to understand. For example, elderly middle class individuals, who are under the age of 65, and not Medicare eligible, and not subject to pre-existing conditions, are being partially relieved (by a Obamacare mandated formula) of the premium cost increases even if they do not qualify for a Obamacare subsidy. However, they are still required to pay increased and excessive healthcare insurance costs to help pay for the higher premiums necessitated by the exclusion of pre-existing conditions from consideration and the enhanced policy benefits mandated by Obamacare, most of which they do not benefit from. Obamacare is basically a scheme proposed by President Obama and Democrat entitlementists to redistribute income from the middle class and high income people to the poor and low-income folks to create income equality and gain votes for liberal Democrats.

President Obama continues to fraudulently mislead young and elderly middle class individuals about their Obamacare policy costs. He has recently claimed that a Obamacare exchange policy premium costs no more than the monthly cost of a cable or cell phone bill. This is an outrageous lie with respect to the healthy young middle class individuals whose sign-ups are needed to prevent Obamacare premiums from skyrocketing. They are facing aggregate premiums, deductibles and co-pays that make their aggregate health insurance costs many times (i) the fair market rate or (ii) the amount of their cable or cell phone bill.

President Obama knows that his claims about cost are true only for the low-income taxpayers who are eligible for very large premium subsidies of 80% or more. He also knows that it will cost the US Government, the provider of the subsidies, hundreds of billions of dollars annually. As a result, to avoid federal deficits and further National Debt increases, middle class taxpayers, who pay a majority of all income taxes, will inevitably face the added Obamacare burden of paying tax increases to pay for a large portion of the Obamacare subsidies for low-income taxpayers (most of whom pay no federal income taxes). The result is that the middle class is being sucker punched twice. They are targeted to pay greatly excessive healthcare costs for their own coverage and will also pay for the inevitable income tax increases the government will need to pay for the hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies to reimburse most of the premium costs of low-income folks and the added Medicaid costs for the poor.

President Obama and the Democrats are now acknowledging that Obamacare has flaws that need to be fixed. However, they are concealing the fact that Obamacare is conceptually flawed and can’t be fixed. Each of the 38 changes made by President Obama were designed to give relief from Obamacare to his political supporters or to prevent voters from finding out how destructive Obamacare is to businesses and the middle class.

 

President Obama and the HHS are continuing their attempts to mislead voters about Obamacare for political reasons. They have proudly and disingenuously stated (to make it look like the total number of people registering is of great importance) that Obamacare exchange registrations are accelerating. They are running ads using celebrities, who are probably clueless about and do not discuss the merits of Obamacare, to try to induce people to sign up for Obamacare.

To fool the voters for purposes of the mid-term Congressional elections, President Obama and the HHS have by fiat, and in violation of the Obamacare statute (under a highly questionable claim that they are authorized to do so), postponed the employer mandate. By doing so, President Obama is merely postponing the loss of full-time jobs and employer-provided healthcare coverage that will decimate the middle class. Zeke Emanuel (one of the draftsmen and now a spokesman for Obamacare) has confirmed that the employer mandate will likely cause (i) employers to stop offering healthcare coverage and (ii) many millions of employees to lose their employer paid healthcare coverage. President Obama also doesn’t care that the employer mandate will cause the conversion of millions of full-time, tax-paying jobs into part-time jobs. He ridiculously stated that many individuals will benefit from working fewer hours. Why work to earn one’s healthcare coverage if you can become eligible for Obamacare subsidies and other welfare benefits? President Obama and the HHS have also failed to disclose how many people have been illegally permitted to temporarily renew or extend an existing policy that does not meet the Obamacare mandates.

President Obamas actions make it clear that he doesn’t care that Obamacare is destructive to the middle class. He believes that he can continue to fool a large number of them (many of whom are uninformed liberals who trust the president and continue to be misled by his empty promises of hope and change) by disingenuously stating time-and-again that he cares about the middle class. He is an entitlementist who believes that he can gain net votes for Democrats from the poor and low-income voters by adding Obamacare subsidies to the long list of welfare benefits that have been greatly expanded during his presidency. Obamacare threatens to narrow the discretionary income spread between the middle class and low-income people and destroy the work ethic that has since our founding days made American capitalism the envy of individuals around the globe. </p

Despite the large premium subsidies, most low-income people will be harmed, not helped by Obamacare. President Obama can induce them to pay the highly subsidized premiums, but doesn’t tell them about the substantial deductibles and co-pays included under Obamacare plans. When they incur a sickness or injury and discover that the insurance coverage will not apply until they have paid the deductibles out of pocket, many of them will have committed for a treatment they cannot afford. Many of them will simply stop paying the Obamacare premiums. They will also suffer along with everyone else from the declining quality and availability of healthcare services. They are discovering that they may not be able to use their personal doctor or the hospital of their choice and may have long delays before getting treated. Healthcare availability is only going to get worse as fewer doctors participate in Obamacare insurance programs and people with Obamacare coverage take advantage of services that are provided without deductibles, such as preventive care. They may lose full-time jobs and face reduced working hours per week. They will also suffer from the negative affects Obamacare will have on the American economy.

Beware Of The Role Of Short Selling And Stop Loss Orders In The Current Market Decline

For months we listened to investment experts on financial news programs advise investors to protect their positions against a market correction by using stop loss orders. As stock prices rose investors, who heeded the advice of these experts, placed stop loss orders at increasing price levels. As a result an inverse ladder of stop loss orders was created. When international currency issues and other factors set off a moderate market downturn some of the highest stop loss orders were automatically converted into sell orders and the market decline accelerated. Short sellers who have been on the side lines were able to accelerate the decline by selling short on downticks. They know the price on stock charts that chartists interpret as a sell point and begin to sell short on downticks in an attempt to encourage sales by chartists, the execution of stop loss orders and panic by fearful investors. The combination of stop loss orders, chart theory, short selling on downticks and ultimately panic and margin calls may set off a stampede leading to further market declines. Domestic and international economic growth are important to stock market activity, but the above described technical factors have a significant impact during a stock market market decline that may, because of the wealth effect and fear, lead to a downturn in economic activity.