Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Bart Stupak Demotivational Poster

The Artwork above was inspired by this piece of greatness at Real Clear Politics written by Kathleen Parker:


Etymology: Eponym for Congressman Bart Stupak.
Function: verb

1: In a legislative process, to obstruct passage of a proposed law on the basis of a moral principle (i.e. protecting the unborn), accumulating power in the process, then at a key moment surrendering in exchange for a fig leaf, the size of which varies according to the degree of emasculation of said legislator and/or as a reflection of just how stupid people are presumed to be. (Slang: backstabber.)

(I didn't have room for all that on the poster.)  Ms. Parker continues:

Poor Bart Stupak. The man tried to be a hero for the unborn, and then, when all the power of the moment was in his frail human hands, he dropped the baby. He genuflected when he should have dug in his heels and gave it up for a meaningless executive order.

Now, in the wake of his decision to vote "yes" for a health care bill that expands public funding for abortion, he is vilified and will be forever remembered as the guy who Stupaked health care reform. 

And, since Easter is approaching:

After the Sunday vote, a group of Democrats, including Stupak, gathered in a pub to celebrate. In a biblical moment, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was spotted planting a big kiss on Stupak's cheek.

To a Catholic man well versed in the Gospel, this is not a comforting gesture.

Criticize Obamacare and get hauled in front of Congress

From Ace Of Spades:

This past week several big companies, including Caterpillar, Verizon, and AT&T, announced that ObamaCare would cost them millions of dollars this year. To pay for it they variously suggested layoffs and benefits reductions. Analysts suggest that the total first-quarter hit to S&P 500 firms will be $4.5 billion.

Well, Democrats can't stand to have their precious economy-destroying healthcare program criticized in its very first week, so they've announced an "investigation" into the claims. Late yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation sent letters to the CEOs of AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere & Co, and Verizon asking them to appear for a hearing on their claims. In the letters, Waxman and Stupak ask for company documents including accounting analyses and the internal emails of all "senior company officials" related to the projected costs of ObamaCare. How serious are they? The letter actually defines "senior company officials."

More from Ace:

This will be as much of an "investigation" as the Democrats' demonization of oil company CEOs last summer or Toyota execs more recently.
The Powerline Blog has copies of one of the letters.  You have to read this thing.  God have mercy on us all.  Go here for page one and here for page two
And look on page two at who is chairman of the House Committe On Oversight And Investigation, helping preside over these show trials. 
Bart "Hold Out For More Earmarks" Stupak.   

To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, they told me that if I didn't vote for Barack Obama, there would be a government crackdown on free speech.  Well, they were right.

Anthony Bourdain at Ted Nugent's ranch

Here's TV chef Anthony Bourdain at Ted Nugent's ranch near Waco, Texas, cooking meat over an open flame and shooting some automatic weapons.

THIS is why Texas is great.

Our Obamacare victory message from our Health Insurance Company

My employer, Jukt Micronics, uses Aetna for employee medical insurance.
Our Human Resources Manager knew I would want to do something with this letter that Aetna sent him yesterday. 
We are about to get screwed, glued, and Bar-B-Q'd on the healthcare scam. 
Get ready for it.
March 24, 2010
Dear Plan Sponsor,

Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed health care reform legislation passed by the Senate in December and the House on Sunday. As a result, millions of Americans can look forward to gaining access to health insurance, a significant milestone for this country. The challenge unmet by this bill, however,is how to effectively deal with the critical issue of affordability, which has become a burden for so many people, particularly individuals and small business owners.

The phrase "The challenge unmet" is an ancient bureaucratese expression meaning "Nobody even thought about paying for it".  That would also be "the challenge unmet" if we were to give everyone a yacht, a G.M. vehicle, or even a free pony.  "The challenge unmet" in this bill is that it does nothing, absolutely nothing, to reduce scarcity of medical care.  Therefore, "millions of Americans can look forward to" costs and prices going through what one of our salespeople recently called The Next Stratosphere. 

We are aggressively working to weigh the impact of this legislation on our various businesses, customers, and members. In the meantime, the Senate is still wrestling with a “reconciliation” bill that contains “fixes” to the legislation signed by the President today.

Note the scorn quotes around the words "reconciliation" and "fixes".
In other words, the Senate believes that with enough sanitizing and cleaning and sculpting and power-washing, it will be possible to pick up this turd by the clean end. 

It is important to remember that most of the legislation will not go into effect until 2014 or later.

I remember going to hear Candidate Obama speak at Reunion Arena in Dallas, back in February of '08.  It was inspiring, even to a skeptic.  One of the phrases that Obama used was Dr. Martin Luther King's quote about "the fierce urgency of now".  Whatever happened to now?  If this thing is wonderful, why not now?  Why the fierce urgency to delay implementation until 2014? 
Election cycles, anyone? 

The details of implementing legislation can take months, even years to work through the regulatory process. Much of what Congress has passed will require additional regulations that will bring further clarity to this new law, and those regulations will truly shape the impact on consumers and employers.

"...that will bring further clarity..."
"...that will bring further clarity..."
"Those regulations will truly shape the impact on consumers and employers." 
"Those regulations will truly shape the impact on consumers and employers."
Can clarity be furthered?  Or can it only be increased or added?  Can impacts be shaped?  That sentence is so poorly written that it is almost unfiskable

We will continue to play an active role in the detailed discussions during the lengthy implementation process.

Translation from bureaucratese: "We've been working with Obama to divide your carcass for about a year.  We've got 30 million new customers.  You're on your own.  Keep them checks coming !"

Given what we know about the mandates and taxes included in the legislation,we do anticipate the likelihood of additional new costs.

No shit.  I now anticipate the likelihood of Polar Bears refusing to migrate southward to Miami.  I now anticipate the likelihood of compass needles pointing north.  I anticipate the likelihood of....

The longer I go with it, the worse it gets.  You anticipate things, and sometimes you think things are likely.   Anticipate the likelihood of something is like making a bet that something is probable. 

I didn't mean to become the grammar/style Nazi, but this dude is distracting me from the topic at hand, which is Obamacare.  Sheesh.  Say that the our prices are going to go up.  Speak English. 

We intend to focus our efforts in the rulemaking process to lessen the financial impact of these changes on our customers and members.

How about this: We're going to lobby for less government so you don't have to pay as much. 
Is that better?  Sometimes I get wordy, but I'm usually trying to be colorful or mildly entertaining at the same time.  Intend focus efforts process lessen impact....Christ almighty, I started this post thinking this guy was on my side. 

Aetna plays a significant role in helping both employers and individuals meet the cost challenge. Our role won’t change with this legislation. But, as a nation, we need to come together to bring greater focus on addressing the many underlying factors that are driving soaring health care costs. When the nation inevitably turns to finding ways of reducing this alarming trend, we stand ready to help.

We will continue to keep you updated as this process moves forward.

Yes.  Move the process forward.  Forward moves the progress, addressing that which is focused upon, lest challenges go unmet, not just in helping, but by playing a significant role in helping when mere helping is not enough.  Or something. 


Anonymous Bureaucrat,

Vice President of Sales and Service,
Southwest Region

If you think this is confusing, verbose, and intentionally vague, go here to see the Healthcare bill.  Everyone involved in this debacle - Congressional Staffers, Insurance Execs, Legal Vultures, and Lobbyists - learned English from the same set of Taiwanese DVD player instructions.

Friday, March 26, 2010

No Corruption Here. Move Along, Please......

Move along people, nothing to see here.  Keep moving folks, keep moving, this isn't corruption.  None of this is as it seems.  You're holding up traffic.  Stop looking at this.  These are not the Droids you are looking for.  The Quid is far enough away from the Pro Quo.  No corruption here.  Totally unrelated.  Stop gawking, please, you're holding up traffic. 

Found it on Instapundit.  Picture of Officer Barbrady came from here

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

"Health care 'reform' passed by a Congress that hasn't read it, signed by a President who smokes, administered by an obese Surgeon General, financed by a Treasury Secretary who didn't pay his taxes, and paid for by a country that is broke - what could possibly go wrong?"

Go to The Humble Libertarian to buy the T-shirt. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reason magazine on the Davis-Bacon Act

Here's Reason magazine on The Davis-Bacon Act, one of the most vile pieces of legislation ever signed into law.  Until the last week, anyway. 
The Davis-Bacon Act essentially gave us the minimum wage, mostly as a way to keep minorities from competing with the white majority for certain jobs. 
An excerpt:

To make matters worse, the Davis-Bacon Act has explicitly racist origins. It was introduced in response to the presence of Southern black construction workers on a Long Island, N.Y.. veterans hospital project. This "cheap" and "bootleg" labor was denounced by Rep. Robert L. Bacon, New York Republican, who introduced the legislation. American Federation of Labor (AFL) president William Green eagerly testified in support of the law before the U.S. Senate, claiming that "colored labor is being brought in to demoralize wage rates."

Emil Preiss, business manager of the New York branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (a powerful AFL affiliate that banned black workers from its ranks) told the House of Representatives that Algernon Blair's crew of black workers were "an undesirable element of people." The bill's co-sponsor, Republican Sen. James Davis of Pennsylvania, was an outspoken racist who had argued in 1925 that Congress must restrict immigration in order "to dry up the sources of hereditary poisoning."

The result was that black workers, who were largely unskilled and therefore counted on being able to compete by working for lower wages, essentially were banned from the upcoming New Deal construction spree. Davis-Bacon nullified their competitive advantage just when they needed it most.

Politicians do silly things when times get tough.  And when times aren't tough.  Here's some more from Reason:

More recently, the Obama administration extended Davis-Bacon via the American Recovery and Reinvestment of Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus bill. According to an All-Agency Memorandum issued by the Department of Labor, Davis-Bacon now applies to all "projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government."

In other words, even projects that are only partially funded by the stimulus must obey the costly pro-union requirements of Davis-Bacon. With the economy floundering and the government apparently set on another New Deal-style construction spree, the last thing taxpayers needed were rules that force stimulus projects to cost even more.

In sum, we have a law that drives up the costs of federal projects, hurts unskilled workers, unfairly advantages organized labor, and has explicitly racist roots. It's time for Davis-Bacon to go.

But we're too humane to do it any other way. 

Libertarians For Life

I've avoided starting any abortion debates on this site for several reasons - the best of which is that I can't have babies. 
But while doing a bit of websurfing tonight, I found a blog called Libertarians For Life , whose stated goal is "presenting the pro-life case to libertarians, and the libertarian case to pro-lifers."

Their argument goes as follows: 

1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.

2. Abortion is homicide -- the killing of one person by another.

3. One's right to control one's own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.

4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother's body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.

5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally "de-person" any one of us, born or preborn.

6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.

I learned my response to the abortion issue from Big Daddy John Spivey - It's a 10th Amendment issue that should be left to the states, and no government (i.e. taxpayer) money should ever be used to fund abortion. 
But these folks are making a liberty-based argument about the issue. 
Your thoughts?

It really is that bad, isn't it ?

I found this on Denny's site. 

Thanks to Obamacare....

Our extremist rhetoric is causing a violent ripple across America

Like many of you, I am troubled.  Deeply, deeply troubled.
Other people find it troubling also, and that's why we should dial it back a bit. 

Our extremist rhetoric is causing a violent ripple across America. 

Political party headquarters have been vandalized, and the President and a senator have been burned in effigy.  Police called it "a planned and orchestrated event". 

Drive-by shooters have attacked a campaign headquarters.  Thank God no one was inside.

Protesters in Florida ransacked another campaign center, stating that they "wanted to send a message". 

Dial it back, people.  Dial it back.  It's just a new law requiring you to spend your money with certain favored healthcare compnies, nothing more.  Maybe we can find a way to get past it. 

Remember: If the American news media ever start giving these violent incidents a lot of attention, it will hurt the cause.

Update from Friday, March 26th.....It amazes me when I look at my hit-counter, and see that there are SO many people out there looking at this post but not hitting the links.  Maybe I shoulda made the links sexier in some way.  Hit the links above for some hot, steamy, anti-Statist violence, people !  Get outraged !  Hit the links to see the scorn that the people now have for their superiors !  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

With "Reform" like this, who needs corruption ???

Guess who has exempted themselves from The Obamacare Salvation Plan? 

Go here.  It's not just Congress. 

The AG Lawsuits And The Political Theatre Of Healthcare

My employer, Jukt Micronics, is in the middle of a huge shipping push this week, and I haven't had time to post anything of my own.  So here's another press release from Patrick Dixon and Robert Butler of the Libertarian Party Of Texas
If you like what you read, hit this link and send them some money so we can continue fighting the good fight.  You can also go there to get these emails and bypass me altogether..... 

AUSTIN, TEXAS - March 23, 2010 -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, along with attorneys general from dozens of other states, are planning to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Democrat's healthcare bill as soon as it is signed.

"The audacity of the Democrats to pass an unconstitutional healthcare reform law is only matched by the Republicans' recent posturing as anti-government crusaders," said Patrick Dixon, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Texas. "If the Republicans were serious about their constitutional concerns, they would raise the legal argument that no healthcare spending by Congress is anywhere authorized by the US Constitution.

"Republicans passed the largest government takeover of healthcare in 30 years when they granted senior citizens an unfunded Prescription Drug benefit known as Medicare Part D," said Dixon. "The Prescription Drug benefit will cost taxpayers $727 billion in the next nine years. The Democrat's current plan will cost an estimated $950 billion over the next ten years. Both parties have dramatically increased the federal government's role in healthcare. The Republican response to the Democrats appears to be complete theater."

The Republican Party has a long history of supporting the Federal government's expansion into healthcare. In 1997, the Republican Congress passed CHIP, the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance coverage for children in the U.S. since Medicaid began in the 1960's. It was sponsored by the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy in a partnership with Republican Senator Orrin Hatch with the support of then First Lady Clinton. The Republican Congress repeatedly voted to expand SCHIP throughout the 2000's.

"Let's not forget that the Democrat's original plan to take over healthcare this year was copied from Republican Mitt Romney's plan for Massachusetts," said Libertarian Executive Director Robert Butler. "Apparently it's OK when Republicans reform healthcare, but when Democrat's enact a similar plan it's an 'obamanation'."

The Libertarian Party has a completely different approach to the current high prices of healthcare. Libertarians propose that all federal regulation of the healthcare industry be repealed so that prices can fall back to the market-determined prices.

Consumers do not realize that healthcare prices would dramatically drop if the government ended its monopoly of the industry. In 1910, 56% of hospitals were privately owned and for-profit; that number shrank to only 10% of hospitals in 1989, according to the late Nobel-laureate economist Milton Friedman. And this small number of private, for-profit hospitals actually hire more staff to administer government compliance than patient care.

Butler concluded, "We know that government alternatives cost more than the private sector, so decreasing cost by expanding government is a plan doomed to failure."
Robert and Patrick are great people, and would never, ever, post pics of a donkey screwing an elephant.  Those are my choices, and they came from  here and here and here and here and here and here

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's the difference between a gas station and a hospital?

Robert Butler, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party Of Texas, sent me this little gem this morning. 

We hear a lot of Republican and Democrat talking points about healthcare. As Libertarians, it's important that people understand that we have our own voice and our own solutions for the rising costs of healthcare. If you like this story, please forward it to your friends and family by clicking the Forward button below.

So, what is the difference between gas stations and hospitals?

1. Prices - The most obvious difference is price. Gas Stations have big signs advertising their prices so that you as a consumer can decide how much you are willing to pay without even slowing down along the highway. There are federal regulations that prohibit hospitals from advertising and competing based on prices.

2. Upfront Estimates - When you need a mechanic to replace your head gasket, he will give you an upfront estimate of the price. He will often give you a list of less expensive alternatives if they are available. When you ask a surgeon to replace your heart, there are federal regulations and AMA rules that prevent the distribution of price estimates.

3. Competition - If someone wants to build a Gas Station across the street from a competing Gas Station, its quite alright. If someone wants to build a hospital, they have to prove to the Federal Trade Commission that the hospital won't lower prices in the community or cause undue competition.

4. Monopoly - In the early 20th century, the federal government broke up a monopoly on oil and gasoline distribution. In the mid-20th century, they created a monopoly on hospitals and doctors because the American Medical Association said there were too many doctors, too much competition, and doctor's couldn't earn enough money.

Allow me a brief digression....Please go here and then get back to Mr. Butler's excellent email.  The AMA's monopoly is the leading cause of high healthcare costs.  Deregulating this mess would lower costs quicker than any Republicrat or Demoblican scheme ever conceived. Things are expensive when they are scarce (relative to demand).  Ending scarcity or reducing demand is the only way to lower the cost of anything.  It really is that simple.   

5. Do It Yourself - When you go to the Gas Station, you can pay someone to fix your car and fill up your tank, or you can buy what you need to do it yourself. At a hospital or pharmacy, you can't make any decisions on what medications you can take, dosage levels, or treatments. You must have the "official" opinion of a state regulated doctor.

6. Choice - When shopping for mechanics, you can decide to hire your handy neighbor, or find someone with all the latest training and certifications. When shopping for doctors, your only choice is regulated by the state.

7. Purchasing Power - When you buy gasoline, you are paying for the gasoline you actually purchase (and a little extra for the small amount of theft). When you buy healthcare, your price includes a large government imposed subsidy for those who can't afford it, thus making healthcare less affordable to more and more people each year.

So if you wanted to make healthcare cheaper what would you do? Impose more rules or less? Allow competition or create a more restrictive monopoly?

Only the Libertarian Party supports more freedom, more choices, and more competition on healthcare. The Democrats have passed their bill to create a government guaranteed monopoly on health insurance and hospitals. And the Republicans will be campaigning this year on "Repeal and Replace". Yes, Republicans want to repeal or reject the Democrats' reform, and replace it with their own rules, restrictions, and regulations. "Repeal and Replace" is not the answer.

The real answer is to make hospitals a little more like gas stations and end the government's monopoly on healthcare. Vote Libertarian; the revolution is golden. 
Go here to double the effectiveness of any contribution you make to the Libertarian Party. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

The U.S. National Debt Clock

It seems appropriate this morning to look at the U.S. National Debt Clock
Go here. 

The average citizen has a net worth of $235,000.00, and that includes all corporations, foundations, companies, and all the assets of The Evil Rich. 

The amount currently on your bar tab is $350,000.00.  

Total government bar tab per family is now at $650,000.00.   We're too fair, humane, and ethical to have it any other way.   

I have advantages that many of you do not have.  I still remember about 100 words and phrases in Mandarin Chinese, and I'm still in good enough shape to operate a lawnmower.  I'm uniquely qualified to go to China during vacations and holidays and start working off my share of this debt. 

Good luck to the rest of you.  Go here to learn how to clean a Wok. 

World-class healthcare is now guaranteed for every American

I'm not in the mood to write anything original about last night's 32 million customer gift to the insurance industry.  So here's Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek:

Watching tonight on television the charlatans who infest Pennsylvania Avenue gaudily pronounce their saintly motives and their deity-like powers to “guarantee world-class health care for every American” (as one creep put it to a NewsChannel 8 reporter here in DC) makes me want to vomit.

These people look like serious adults; the timber of their voices make them sound like serious adults; and their titles are ones that are assumed to be reserved for serious adults. But, in fact, these people – from Obama to Pelosi to Hoyer to Reid – are nothing of the sort.

If they really believe even a quarter of the things they say, they’re imbeciles. If they aren’t imbeciles, they’re scoundrels. No third alternative is conceivable.

Either way, they’re an utterly detestable bunch.
Watching Pelosi join arms with Civil Rights pioneers to take a victory lap around her D.C. slaughterhouse was truly nauseating. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How the insurance "reforms" will take away our freedoms

Here's a partial list of the ways that the insurance "reforms" will take away our freedoms.  (Those scorn quotes in the previous sentence were intended as such.)  I'm scraping this from 

The sections described below are taken from HR 3590 as agreed to by the Senate and from the reconciliation bill as displayed by the Rules Committee.

1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).

6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).

7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))

8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).

9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).

10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).

11. If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))

12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you must be an owner and have a “Medicare provider agreement” by Feb. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didn’t have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A))

13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a country where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).

14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)

15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).

16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).
The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 1405).

17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)

18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section 9014).

19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).

20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).

Can anyone name anything, anything at all, where our government has stepped into something and lowered the cost? 

President Obama - Stop The Drug Wars ! !

Bryon Severns for Congress

I went to a District Libertarian Convention this morning, a meeting where we nominated and voted on candidates for various multi-county, state, and national offices. 
One of the speakers was a guy named Bryon Severns, who is running for U.S. Congress, Texas District 6.

Each candidate had a couple of minutes to give a brief bio, explain his political philosophy, and to take any questions.  Someone asked Bryon to give us his two minute "elevator speech" on the healthcare disaster that's about to descend upon us. 

Bryon didn't even have to think about it.  I don't have his exact words, but he said, in effect, "Healthcare is expensive because there is not enough supply to meet the demand.  The current healthcare proposal in Congress does nothing to increase the supply of healthcare providers.  Therefore it's a mistake."

I immediately jumped up and started applauding, the way Nancy Pelosi does when Obama takes a breath.  I mean, how long has it been since you heard someone running for public office stand up and speak the truth? 

But instead of flooding the market with doctors, nurses, medics, and pharmacists, and instead of doing something to make entering the market with a new pharmaceutical product less expensive, what are we about to do? 

We're about to create a monster.  Here's Mark Steyn.....

Meanwhile, Obamacare will result in the creation of at least 16,500 new jobs. Doctors? Nurses? Ha! Dream on, suckers. That’s 16,500 new IRS agents, who’ll be needed to check whether you — yes, you, Mr. and Mrs. Hopendope of 27 Hopeychangey Gardens — are in compliance with the 15 tax increases and dozens of new federal mandates the Deemocrats are about to “deem” into existence. This will be the biggest expansion of the IRS since World War II — and that’s change you can believe in. This is what “health” “care” “reform” boils down to: fewer doctors, longer wait times, but more bureaucrats.  

But back to the subject of Bryon Severns.  Here's what he's got to say about the printing press abomination currently running on overdrive on Fort Worth's Blue Mound Road:

Republicans turned money into paper so they could fund war in Vietnam and outspend the Soviet Union. Now the money printer has gone digital and both major parties will “borrow and spend” until the world stops trusting our DOLLAR and changes to a different reserve currency, causing our nation to crumble like the Soviet Union.

Vote Libertarian to stop Congress from playing monopoly with our money or the next bailouts will be for states. Giving bailouts supports failing management.
Since the federal government spends, borrows and prints money without control we need to end the madness to preserve the savings of Americans. I would sponsor a bill called “Stop the Money Printing” Act of 2011. This bill would ban all federal borrowing and would ban all printing of money. As a result money will stop losing value. Without new money being printed we could feel secure that our life savings will stop getting “watered down.”

And you can go here to read Bryon's proposals for achieving a smaller government with less public debt.  This isn't a hot issue yet, but it will be.

Here's what he's got to say about the difference between Democrats and Republicans.  It's very similar to what I've often said about the Crips and the Bloods, but more to the point. 

Go here to be Bryon's friend on Facebook.  Go there.  Go ahead, do it.  Even if you live in England.  Git ! 

Want some real Change?  Want some Hope for a stable tomorrow?  Please vote for Bryon Severns for Congress.