Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dems Agree That ObamaCare Panel Will Not Work

So, Sarah Palin was right all along, the ObamaCare IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) won't work.  It will hurt and possibly kill people.

This 'board' is an unworkable "medical rationing" committee which will make pronouncements about medical spending for large categories of persons (with no knowledge of each individual situation) to try to "save" costs.   An unelected, unaccountable panel of 15 persons can't do squat except cause millions of problems!  It's totally unworkable!  It's like a Soviet-style "politburo" trying to preside over the health care of 100s of  millions of persons. What a joke!  Can you imagine the contempt that will emerge from doctors?

Even Howard Dean, a physician and former Governor of Vermont, agrees.  From the WSJ, an article by Howard Dean called The Affordable Care Act's Rate Setting Won't Work:
One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.
However, rate setting—the essential mechanism of the IPAB—has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.
I believe the IPAB will never control costs based on the long record of previous attempts in many of the states, including my own state of Vermont. If Medicare is to have a secure future, we have to move away from fee-for-service medicine, which is all about incentives to spend more, and has no incentives in the system to keep patients healthy. The IPAB has no possibility of helping to solve this major problem and will almost certainly make the system more bureaucratic and therefore drive up administrative costs.
 But Dean still supports the legislation!! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Why We Can't Borrow and Spend Our Way to Prosperity

The following charts go a long way to explain why the US can no longer create prosperity by deficit spending and pushing more debt into the economy/population.  The charts show the diminishing returns to national income (GDP) for each additional dollar of debt creation.  They are extrapolated to show that the year 2015 is the year where an increase in debt gives no increase in GDP.

The charts help explain what we've all witnessed in recent years; that after trillions of deficit spending and money printing, that the economy has been extremely lackluster.  It may be because of the diminishing returns of debt.

If so, it's also a dagger in the hearts of the Keynesians who live, breath and die espousing their belief that MORE and MORE deficit spending is the right prescription. The charts show that their 'prescription' is still true,  but it would now involve HUGE amounts of additional debt for very paltry return.  Remember the 2009 stimulus that created (or saved) 1.5 million jobs at a cost of over $500,000 per job ($790 billion divided by 1.5 million)?  It's the same phenomenon.  If the charts are true, then at some point debt accumulation might even be detrimental to GDP growth. 

Spanish High Speed Train Derailment Caught on CCTV

The tragic Spanish high-speed train wreck was caught on CCTV. The train was traveling at over 190 km/h or 118 mph and over double the speed limit.  The speed limit was only 50 mph.  Some 79 people on board were killed and 178 injured.

Here's the clip:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Obama: If I Had a City, It Would Look Like Detroit

In my blog post Detroit, Obama and African American Failure, I detail how the combination of 'progressive' liberal Democrats, the failure of US automakers, the big labor unions, the decay/collapse of African American 'culture', and the corruption of the local (black) politicians have resulted in the burned-out hulk known as Detroit.

Democrats and Obama are all about uncontrolled spending, huge debt, unsustainable entitlements, public employee unions and big government.  It will bring America down just as it has in Detroit.

And don't rationalize and blame Detroit's decline just on the decline of the automakers either.  Pittsburgh also suffered the same 55% population decline as Detroit with the complete loss of steel making.  And Detroit didn't completely lose the automakers and 'benefited' from a recent auto bailout. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blaming Race is Just An Excuse Now

The only widespread racism that I'm seeing regarding the Zimmerman trial is from black people---not white people.  After all, it was TRAYVON who called Zimmerman a "creepy-ass cracker."   Zimmerman never made such a comment.

The black race-baiters like Al Sharpton and Quanell X are trying to play the race card that mostly doesn't exist anymore. They are the only racists now.

Large majorities of white Americans are not racist.  Barack Obama was elected, after all, by comfortable margins.  I think that proves the point to a great extent. Our culture has been bending over backward to give black people a fair shake and this has been true for decades now.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Holder, Stop the 'Witch Hunt' Against Zimmerman

Our idiot Attorney General, who is still in contempt of Congress for not honoring a subpoena from Congress to provide "fast and furious" documents to Congress, apparently doesn't trust the very Judicial system that he's supposedly in charge of when he continues to question the verdict in the Zimmerman case.  He's vowed to bring Federal charges against Zimmerman.  It's not going to happen. There is no case. 

The FBI itself has confirmed that race wasn't a factor.  One of the jurists has confirmed that race wasn't a factor.

People like Obama and Holder and all of black apologist celebrities and "black racist leaders" are making me a racist!  How much idiocy can one person stand??

Updated: An Ambitious Energy Plan For the US

In a recent blog The US Top Oil Producer in World March 2013, I mention that the US is producing about 11.7 million barrels of oil and condensate, exceeding the liquids production of both of the perennial top producers of Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Meanwhile since 2004, oil consumption has been declining due to high oil and gasoline prices, better automobile mileage, lower miles driven, recessionary conditions, etc.  Now oil consumed is about 18 million barrels per day.  This means that our oil import situation is drastically improved from recent years.  See the energy outlook graphs from the EIA:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Failed Political Prosecution of Zimmerman

There never was a good case against George Zimmerman, which is why Sanford police never even arrested him in the first place. Local and State police won't prosecute cases where they don't have a reasonable chance of winning. The local police alone knew the facts of the case early on and decided that there was no case. The case is sad, but it is now proven in court that there was no crime; and this despite the fact that the court resembled more of a Kangaroo court.

This whole episode is a "political" prosecution. The trial was precipitated only because many discredited black leaders (are there any that aren't discredited??), including Obama, whipped up protests and racial resentment and ALL jumped to the WRONG conclusions---before hearing the facts. That's called mob justice, which isn't justice at all. 

Then the liberal media jumped in (incorrectly). Then celebrities jumped in (incorrectly). Most black people jumped in (incorrectly). These people never get it.

Meanwhile, 67 people were shot and 12 killed by gun violence over the long 4th of July weekend (Wed to Sun) in Chicago alone. And BJS statistics say that, on average, at least 57% of those killings are committed by black men and that over 90% of those committed by blacks are black-on-black murders. Where's the outrage about that??

If black folks are tired of being profiled, then they need to stop committing crimes at rates up to 7 times the rate of whites!  And if you don't want others to assume that you're a criminal, don't dress like a thug by wearing a hoodie!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Budget Cutting and Reducing Government Works

History has more than a few examples where government expenditures were drastically reduced but the private economy boomed.  For instance, government spending dropped drastically in the US after World War II and after the Korean war.  US Government spending fell from about 50% of GDP to 11% of GDP after WWII.  There was a recession, but the 50's are remembered as a golden era for the US economy with strong growth, low inflation and low interest rates.

It's also interesting that the US is now seeing a rebounding economy even after the Sequester cuts; which most economists and most other people (Keynesians), including our Socialist-lite President Obama, said would trigger "disaster."  I've seen descriptions by competent commentators that sequester cuts, along with the increase in payroll taxes, are the deepest austerity in 50 years. Scary right?  Well, the economy is not tanking as predicted. In fact, it appears to be going the other way.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Socialist Presidents Part 2: Cristina De Kirchner of Argentina

In my previous blog Socialist Presidents Come from the Same Mold,  I complain about the idiot socialist president of France, Francois Hollande.  Rather than see the light on the dangers of stagnation due to higher and higher taxes on the population feeding a government that, more and more dominates the economy, he doubles down with more taxes on the people.  Socialists never cut spending and most certainly never lower taxes on their people.

In fact, all Governments rarely cut spending or taxes.  When they do, it brings prosperity!  Iceland cut spending after the 2008/2009 crash and they are logging strong growth now, unlike the rest of Socialist States of Europe.  See my blog European Austerity Is All About Tax Increases.  It's also interesting that the US is seeing a rebounding economy even after the Sequester cuts; which most economists and other people, including our socialist president, said would trigger disaster.  See my blog Budget Cutting and Reducing Government Helps.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

100 Things I Hate About Government

Starting with John Stoessel's "100 things that I hate about government," I've taken his list and modified it to suit.  You know, sadly the government is made up of people and therefore just reflects "us" with all of our problems and beliefs.  Add the problem that money has corrupted too many in our government. Furthermore, groups will always perform poorly compared to individuals. At the end of day, however, the collective "we" is the real problem.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

No, You Can't Keep Your Existing Coverage

I just got a notice from Aetna saying that my individual policy will no longer comply with ObamaCare's requirements.  I will be forced to upgrade my coverage which will dramatically increase my costs due to the law whether I want it or not!

I was happy before, now not so much.  I'm being forcibly upgraded to a higher cost policy against my will!  Maybe I'll move to Thailand where the government is not screwing everything up.

My "impermissible" policy is a policy that only covers only hospitalization and ambulance transport but has a fairly low deductible and moderate maximum out-of-pocket limit.  The policy doesn't cover doctor's visits or even prescriptions.  Interestingly it does cover preventative medicine. I bought the policy to keep my monthly cost low but mainly to cover myself against financial calamity (the true nature of insurance) caused by a hospital stay due to a serious condition.  I was OK with the cost but even the cost of this type of policy ($233 per month) has more than doubled, maybe tripled, since Obama started his "crusade."  

Friday, July 5, 2013

ObamaCare Zombie Staggers Forward

Obama has decided, by his newly invented fiat power to selectively enforce or not enforce laws, that he will delay until 2015 (or whatever) the Unaffordable Care Act's employer mandate to provide insurance.

He must have heard from thousands of small businesses and read my blog ObamaCare Is Killing Jobs: Obama Doesn't Get It.   Heck, the law is so complex, that not only can businesses not afford it, but I'll bet that they can't even figure out how to implement it.  See my blog: ObamaCare's Administrative Nightmare.

So, now small businesses don't have to provide insurance to comply with the law (yet).  But the individual mandate remains; meaning that now you must buy the mandated expensive insurance options yourself or face a (small) penalty.  How is that going to work? 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

US Top World Oil Producer as of March 2013

When you include liquids production from natural gas production, the US is now the largest oil/liquids producer in the world as of March 2013, greater than Saudi Arabia or Russia. This is, of course, due to the revolution in energy production called fracking.

I have no idea why the American people are so hostile or have negative attitudes about the highly competitive US oil and gas industry. It's just millions of solid professional people working hard every day to provide energy for your car, home and for our industry at the cheapest possible price.  Why are they so vilified and demagogued by this Administration and the American people?

We should be singing their praises.

From Carpe Diem blog: (Original data at EIA)

As always, click to enlarge.

Egyptians Angry at Obama and Ambassador Patterson: Major Media Lets You Down Again

Egypt is once again on the verge of total disaster.  You'd be surprised how many Egyptians are angry at Obama and Ambassador Patterson and blame them for not speaking up and "pushing back" at the various power grabs by the Brotherhood. 

The Muslim Brotherhood was always going to be a disaster. They are just another force of tyranny: Islamic tyranny.  I doubt that they fairly won the elections, but I don't know.  We were quick to throw Mubarak under the bus (it was always a lose-lose situation) which has led to an even worse situation, especially if you're a Christian in Egypt. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reverse EPA's Carbon Regulation Mandate

The USA should be proud of our accomplishments in cleaning air and water since the 1960s.  I would think most of us are satisfied about the cleanliness of our air and water. I don't hear any public clamoring for additional regulations, do you?  But President Obama is doubling down on carbon regulation while other, MUCH more serious problems, are unaddressed.  Getting and keeping a job is American's biggest concern, but more carbon regulation will reduce jobs and not increase them.

I guess there is a portion of the public that has succumbed to global warming extremism, but much of that extremism is based on exaggerated claims of computer models that have proven themselves wrong.  The extreme scenarios are not happening.  Nearly all of the models have over-estimated warming rates and missed the recent "pause" in temperature increases over the past decade or so.

The Whole Issue of EPA Regulating Carbon Dioxide is a Joke!

The EPA is only doing it under the guise that carbon dioxide is "harmful or threatening to human health". To call 400 parts per million levels of CO2 in the atmosphere "harmful to human or public health" is untrue and should be reversed. It's just not true. Your exhaled breath is 100 times higher at 4% for some perspective. Unlike other gases such as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide is naturally occurring at about 0.030% (300 ppm), plants require it for their photosynthesis and the level has only risen to a less-than-astounding 0.040% in 60 years (or 400 ppm). Plants are growing faster now. Humans have a bit of difficulty breathing in a complete absence of CO2.

At best, you might call the effects an "inconvenience" since nothing drastic is happening quickly. There's plenty of time to adjust.

Yeah, the earth has warmed 1.6 degree Fahrenheit in the past 100 years, but it's not a cause for panic nor an excuse to kill the world economy.  The sea is rising about 1/10th of an inch per year or about 10 inches in 100 years.  We can move cities gradually inland over 100 years!  Most structures don't last 100 years, so building on higher ground can and will become a routine thing. Any forget alarmist claims about acidifying the ocean: the ocean has a pH of 8.0 or already on the basic end of the scale and it will take 100s of years to come down to even neutral pH (still safe), as the sea is a natural carbon dioxide buffer system. See my blog on global warming and related politics:  Global Warming Made Easy, Climate Change UpdateGlobal Warming Extremism, Cap and Trade Is All About Taxing, Not WarmingEPA Carbon Regulation Power GrabBloomberg and Climate Change Politics, Eco-Imperialism Thriving in the Obama Administration

The age of hydrocarbons may be over in 100 years. Thorium nuclear reactors should become our primary carbon-free energy source in the years and decades to come.

Carbon Dioxide is Not Like Sulfur Dioxide

You can see why sulfur dioxide is appropriately regulated. Other than volcanic activity, it is not a naturally occuring atmospheric pollutant. Mostly through burning of coal, man emits sulfur dioxide and, if not regulated and reduced, has shown to cause acid rain, deforestation and harm to human respiration. It is an irritant to human respiration. Carbon dioxide is not an irritant to human respiration at anywhere close to the 400 parts per million level. In fact, your breathing is disrupted without such levels. To this day, sulfur dioxide emissions are reduced and that's largely a good and desirable thing for the public.

Coal doesn't deserve it's "dirty" reputation.  

It's dirty to mine, that's for sure!  But don't be confused by the confusers, coal completely combusts in coal burning power plants. There is a bit of an ash problem with coal, but there are bag-houses to catch those. I've recently heard that some coal has small amounts of mercury, but that can be removed and captured. Sulfur dioxide is already being scrubbed from many coal fired power plants so that the effects of acid rain has been substantially eliminated.

I'll bet you $1,000 that Obama has never been in a coal fired power plant! He doesn't have a clue about this industry or the entire energy business in general. That's the problem with government: the people with the least information and expertise are making decisions!

Reverse the EPA's Mandate to Regulate Carbon Dioxide

The EPA will continue it's self-aggrandizement unless this regulatory mandate is overturned.  They will inject themselves further into the business community and hurt the economy and jobs.  Already this administration is cancelling coal burning power plants and removing permits for existing plants under this regulation.  Now, Obama is trying to put even more of a crimp on US power plants and coal producers.  Fortunately we have an extremely cheap natural gas market thanks to our oil and gas companies--who have created a true energy revolution with fracking technology.

Reverse the EPA's mandate to regulate CO2!  It's based on untruths, over-excited alarmists, still evolving science, faulty thinking and faulty understanding of economics!  The only way to fight this is for Congress to reduce the EPA's budget and wait for Obama to exit stage right.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Lynching of Paula Deen

You're got to feel sorry for Paula Deen, in our era of extreme political correctness, that you must pretend black people are the same as whites.  I wish it were true. I really do.  But, in general it's not true.  She made the mistake of being honest---something not advisable in our insanely politically correct culture---that she had used the "n" word in the past.  I hate to tell you.  I've used the "n" word this month (to make a point)!  Believe me there are plenty of blacks the well deserve that epithet!!

So, now all of her sponsors are dumping her. The Food Network dropped her.  Her right to earn a living has been taken away.  I call that a lynching.  Yep, Paula Deen has been lynched; robbed of her ability to earn a living and "disgraced" and certainly embarrassed by the media! They didn't even report that she had said it in the distant past!  Idiots.

None of us are perfect, but the reality is that ....

The US would be better off without black people.

It's sad but true. If you think I'm racists, you are dead wrong as I'm ALWAYS delighted to meet the many super-nice and responsible black folks. More black women have their act together.  But, the fact is that blacks only represent 13% of this nation but continue to do major damage to our country.  Look at those deserving the 'n' word insult:

If black people were suddenly gone, then,
  • Prisons would empty by almost 50% immediately (link):  
  • Gun murders would drop 56%, all murders would drop 52%, drug homicides would drop by 66%.  Wouldn't that be great?  I vote for that!  Homicide rates by blacks is 7 to 8 times that of whites. (here) Thanks to all you black criminals! 
  • Gonorrhea infections would drop by 70% (CDC) which is 18 times the rate of infections of whites.
  • New HIV infections would drop 70%.  Black men represent 70% of new HIV cases or 7 times the rate of whites, blacks account for 44% of all HIV cases. (CDC
  • Abortion is disproportionally about black pregancies and would drop substantially.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that black women accounted for 35.4% of all abortions in 2009.  Abortion rates for black women is 4 times the rate of those for white women.
Other sad statistics showing just how backward and decayed the black culture is.  And your children think gansta' rappers (a bunch of criminals) are cool!!  
  • 72% of newborn black babies are born to a family without a father.  How useless are black men??  (link)   From the NYT,  “the simple, tragic truth is that a large number of young black men do engage in violent acts and other forms of criminal behavior and over 80 percent of black children have been abandoned emotionally and, usually, economically by their fathers,”  Sadly, their fathers had been abandoned too. So, it's an inter-generational problem.
  • BJS estimates that 1 in 3 black men will serve time in prison over there lifetimes.
  • And 37% of blacks aged 20 to 34 without a high school diploma are in prison.  Comparing males aged 20 to 34 yrs old, black rates of incarceration in 2010 is 10 times that of white Americans. (link)  
  • More young black high school dropouts are in prison or jail than have paying jobs. (link)
  • Black men are more likely to go to prison than to graduate with a four-year college degree or complete military service. (link)
  • Black dropouts are more likely to spend at least a year in prison than to get married.  (link)
  • Average US standardized school test results would rise without black results; black students much lower on IQ and every standardized academic aptitude and IQ test---even when compared to whites of the same socio-economic groupings.(link) and (link)
  • In the latest year, it is reported that only 66% of blacks graduate high school compared to about 83% of whites and 93% for Asians (link)   But even that black high school graduation rate is, in fact, inflated by about 40% because it doesn't take into account the large number of incarcerated young blacks!  Sadly, there may have been no progress in black high school graduations in recent decades when adjusting data for the large black incarcerated population. (link)
  • Average black IQ is reported as 85 with a standard deviation of 13.  This means that half of the black population has an IQ below 85. It also means that at least 85% of blacks have IQs below the white median of 100. That is just statistics, not commentary. People with less than 85 IQ would be expected to fill menial jobs and probably not graduate from high school.  I'm genuinely sorry about these facts but they are the facts. It's so explosive that you can hardly find the data.  But, this more than anything, explains the problem. I hope this can eventually reversed somehow, but the data supports that the white-black gap is persistent.
  • If only merit (GPA and Admissions Testing) were considered, there would be essentially no black students admitted to the top professional schools. Given their IQ distribution, intellectually "gifted" blacks are extremely rare.  The article, by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, worries that the gap between white and black is actually rising not shrinking.  (link)   Obama himself has almost certainly benefited generously thru affirmative action programs. Why else are ALL of his academic records sealed?
  • Black criminals march across my local TV news every night--at least 50% or more of the crimes reported---every night--night after night.  Sometimes it seems that EVERY crime reported is a black perpetrator. The newscasters don't even mention race in their reporting anymore.  It would be extremely embarrassing---and politically incorrect!
  • How about the all foolish idiots in the black community leaping out to support Trayvon Martin, assuming that Zimmerman was wrong when it is black crime that is at epidemic proportions in Trayvon's neighborhood. Even the black community is unable to "process" or admit how bad their culture remains.
OK, I've dumped enough on the bullshit PC environment and the criminal and miscreants in the black community!  Thanks to scholarly work by Becky Pettit, she has poked holes in the entire notion that things are improving for blacks and black youth in this country. 

Bring Back Jobs From Asia By Helping Small Business

Small businesses create some 70% of the jobs in this country, so small business creations are the lifeblood of the economy.  Small business creation is dropping like a rock in recent years and that's not a good thing for employment.

Number of Establishments Less Than 1 Year Old 1994 to 2010

Small Firm "Start-Up" Rate


Over-Regulation, In Part, Is Killing Jobs

ObamaCare is killing small business and jobs. It's not the only thing hurting jobs. Other types of over-regulation at all levels of government, taxes and of course the lousy business environment are also killing small businesses.  How likely is that Obama will have an epiphany about ObamaCare?  Never!  He's too busy dreaming up even worse job killing initiatives like carbon emission regulation sure to limit our available electrical power, kill our coal industry, raise prices to consumers just like a tax and kill jobs!!  Expect brown-outs in the future due to power shortages but after Obama is gone (so people won't get the connection).  We will never have a vibrant economy as long as Obama is President!!  If Obama really cared (which he doesn't) or were smart (which he isn't) he would make small businesses exempt from the requirements of ObamaCare.  This would be the first thing to do.

Bring Back Manufacturing Jobs From Asia

I say to bring back jobs from Asia!

First , China and Asian cost advantages have largely dissipated in recent years due to their own wage and cost inflation.  It's highly likely that a reduced top US corporate tax rate of 25% (from 35%) will bring back jobs to the US from China and Asia. This is a nascent trend already. But the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world and the only country to tax world-wide income. From Veronique de Rugy at

US Corporate Tax Rates Are the Highest In The World

The US has the highest marginal tax rate in the world. Interestingly, it has one of the lowest corporate tax revenues in the OECD as well!  It's because there are so many tax loopholes including the dollar-for-dollar tax credit for foreign tax paid.  More importantly, the IRS allows US corporations to defer taxes on earnings until those earnings are repatriated to the US. These tax treatments are incentives to relocate and retain earnings overseas since it reduces their US tax burden.  If tax rates worldwide were the same, this issue would go away.  One way to solve the problem is to reduce top corporate tax rates to match overseas rates and also reform tax loopholes.

Obama can only demagogue such issues--never fix them. 

US corporate tax policy has been an incentive for big businesses to shift operations overseas.  This affects large companies and manufacturers the most, but they are the ones who have created millions of jobs overseas in response to our own disincentives.  Herein lies an opportunity to bring back large numbers of these jobs back to America!  If you really want to help minority unemployment, which no one ever mentions, then lower tax rates on the multi-national corporations. 

I suggest that Congress lower the top corporate tax rate (and reduce the number of loopholes)  to make the US top rate more competitive with international tax rates and reduce the incentive for big business to shift operations overseas.  Incentives work! 

The repeal of ObamaCare would be very important to "normalize" the now disrupted business environment.

Also, since taxes are an expense to business, so it's important to lower the  top personal income tax rate to 25% for the small business creators who file as LLC and Subchapter S.  This would help small businesses.  John Boehner made this argument when Obama pressed for higher top individual tax rates. Obama doesn't see it or he's just doesn't care.  There are none so blind as those that cannot see.