Wednesday, April 30, 2014

# Two Million Less...

What’s the single most important issue facing the country today? According to a recent Gallup poll, a majority of Americans says it’s jobs.

We need more of them, Millions more. But thanks to the policies of Barack Obama, we’re not getting them. In fact, just the opposite is true. Recent reports from the Congressional Budget Office reveal how two of the President’s pet programs will cost this country millions of jobs. They make very grim reading for anyone concerned about the employment picture in America.

The first report dealt with the impact of Obamacare. The CBO estimates that as the Affordable Care Act becomes fully implemented, some 2 million Americans will either leave the workforce or substantially reduce the number of hours they work. The reason is simple: They won’t want to lose the subsidies for their health insurance. But that’s what will happen as their earnings increase, either because they work more hours or get a higher-paying jobs.

The Obamacare insurance subsidies are gradually reduced as a person’s income rises. In other words, as the CBO report puts it, Obamacare is really “an implicit tax on additional earnings.”

The White House immediately put its own enthusiastic spin on the CBO’s projected job loss. Believe it or not, it said this was really good news, because it meant that many people would finally have the freedom to stay home with their children or maybe start their own businesses. Yep, the Obama Administration said we should all be happy about the loss of 2 million jobs because it meant that “Individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Sure thing. That “dream” no doubt helps explain why nearly 50 million Americans have signed up to collect food stamps. Welcome to the Obama's version of the American dream which is rapidly becoming the American nightmare for those of us who have to pay the taxes to keep the shell game going.

The employment picture is already pretty grim, with the lowest labor-participation rate since the 1970's. The way the Feds like to count, the unemployment rate in the U.S. is now less than 7 percent, a finding that led to all sorts of back-patting and self-congratulations from the White House. But of course, “the way the Feds like to count” is as crooked as a corkscrew. As soon as someone stops looking for work, he is no longer counted among the unemployed. So while the Bureau of Labor Statistics sees only 10 million unemployed Americans, the reality is that there are another 92 million Americans — more than nine times that number — who don’t have jobs. Some of them don’t need or want to work, of course. They may be retirees or stay-at-home moms. The number also includes full-time students, the disabled and anyone else who doesn’t need a job. But even after making every possible allowance, it’s clear that the real unemployment number in this country is considerably higher than the government’s official figure.

The second bit of bad news for the Democrats concerned their campaign to increase the minimum wage by almost 50 percent. They want it raised from $7.25 an hour, where it is now, to $10.10 I’ll leave aside for now the whole question of whether the Federal government has any business setting wages in this country or whether it has the Constitutional authority to do so. Of course it doesn’t. But the three branches of government haven’t agreed with me on this one since 1938, when the first law was passed by Congress establishing a Federal minimum wage.

Now comes a report from the CBO estimating that raising the minimum wage to more than $10 could cost anywhere from half-a-million to a million jobs According to the Labor Department, about 3.6 million Americans earned $7.25 an hour or less in 2012, the latest year for which numbers are available. Almost half of them were between the ages of 16 and 24. The vast majority were working in entry-level jobs, mostly in restaurants and other service industries. But here’s the good news: Most people who start in minimum-wage jobs in this country won’t stay there. 

After they've increased their skills and experience, they become worth more to an employer. That just makes sense. There are 146 million people employed in this country, according to the Labor Department Some 118 million hold full-time jobs, while another 28 million are working part-time. And you know what? Most of them got their first jobs working for minimum wage at McDonald’s or some other fast-food joint. Many, if not most, of the people reading this column could probably say the same thing. How many of those first-time jobs will be lost if the minimum wage goes up by almost 50? That’s why the National Restaurant Association warned that increasing the minimum wage will “significantly limit the entry-level opportunities businesses can provide, hurting employees with limited skills or experience and looking to enter the workforce.”

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Destroyer

Now Playing In Our Nations Capital

I dearly wish that our political leaders would combine their observations with insight and season them liberally with understanding.  I also wish that they would learn the lessons of history so they would be less inclined to repeat past mistakes.

Maybe we should think about our communication style with these people.  Could we pattern our approach with the insight and understanding of where they came from and how they grew up? 

How can we make the national defense issue“up close and personal” to a people who are more prone to run away from responsibility than face it squarely and deal with it effectively? 
An attitude adjustment requires disposition.  How do we help lawmakers and US voters become disposed to listen and be open to ideas that are different from their own?

72% of the house of representatives and 78% of the Senate was made up of lawmakers who served in the armed forces some 40 years ago. Today just 20% of House members and 18% of Senators have served.

Those who have served in the military have a better understanding and a deeper comprehension of issues involving national security, armed services and veteran issues – issues that if not more important now, are just as critical as they were 40 years ago.

“40 years ago” equates to the early 1970's or about 25 years or so after WW-II.  I remember that we had mandatory military service (the Draft Law) in the 1950's.  This also was about the timeframe that the news media started branding people with names like “Hippies”, “Yuppies”, “Flower Children”, and “Generation-X” just to name a few.  Their parents were labeled “baby boomers.” 

Our nation was in a turmoil of clashing value systems and ideological rebellion.  No wonder the US House and Senate was packed with Military veterans back in that day. That also might explain why many present US politicians in office now are allergic to anything military.

The Republicans basically respect their oath of office and want to pattern the present government on the mandates outlined in the US Constitution.  They want to restore the three-leg stool that supports the US Constitution:

1. Separation of power.
2. Balance of power and
3. Limitation of power.

They argue that the US Government is NOT a democracy now, and never was.  Instead, it is a Representative Republic bound by a confederation of member states. On the other hand, the Democrats consider the US Constitution an obsolete document urgently in need of revision or outright replacement. 

Meanwhile, they ignore its original concepts and substitute an informal replacement that they call their “living constitution.”  They advocate a parliamentarian republic modeled after Canada and the European nations.

Their principles and foundation are reflected in the Obama campaign flag that he wanted to fly in all government buildings in 2010 instead of the official American flag we use today to identify ourselves to the rest of the planet. This is a variation of the campaign logo, represented by the blue and white symbol in the upper left corner The three curved blue stripes represent Canada, the (about to be former) United States and Mexico.   The rising sun represents the future America with three provinces.   The outer circle represents a one-world government.

As Obama said, “There are no States but the United States.” His vision involves the dissolution of a confederation of States. Are those red stripes blood?  If so, whose blood? 

My source for its symbolism is The Post American World.  This book was in the President’s hand as he prepared to board the Presidential Helicopter in 2009.

Veterans pledged a solemn oath when we joined the US Military.  That oath had no expiration date or terms for dissolution. Our nation is in peril of destruction from within.  This is one of those times in our history when we face a determined enemy from within our nation that threatens the survival of our nation even more than our foreign enemies. 

I cannot remember a time when our mission to change the minds and spirit of our nation’s lawmakers and citizens is more important than now.

Placation and appeasement are not and never were viable options.  Ever try to appease a tiger?  We do not look like a worthy opponent; we look like lunch.