Obama Administration Urges States to Cut Health Insurers’ Requests for Big Rate Increases

Posted on August 5th, 2015

Obamacare snow job from www.caglecartoons.com # 155614EDITOR’S COMMENT: The Obama administration continues to try and mislead the American public on the high costs of Obamacare, in this case by putting pressure on the states and the insurance companies to ‘artificially’ lower their rates one more time. This disastrous program simply cannot stand on its own because of its built-in high cost structure.

By Robert Pear

Hoping to avoid another political uproar over the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration is trying to persuade states to cut back big rate increases requested by many health insurance companies for 2016.

In calling for aggressive regulation of rates, federal officials are setting up a potential clash with insurers. Some carriers said they paid out more in claims than they collected in premiums last year, so they lost money on policies sold in the new public marketplaces. After finding that new customers were sicker than expected, some health plans have sought increases of 10 percent to 40 percent or more.

Administration officials have political and financial reasons for wanting to hold down premiums. Big rate increases could undermine public support for the health care law, provide ammunition to Republican critics of the measure and increase costs for some consumers and the federal government. Read More..

No Jobs for the Young, No Retirement for the Old

Posted on August 4th, 2015

Retirement Further by Frederick Deligne, Le Pelerin, FranceBy Charles Hugh Smith

We shouldn’t wonder why people are working into their 70s–we should wonder why anyone retires, assuming they’ll still be receiving their full pension in five years.

You may have seen a variation of this chart of employment in the U.S. by age group. This chart–courtesy of mdbriefing.com— shows the number of those employed (with any kind of job–full-time, part-time, self-employed) as a percentage of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population (CNP), which includes everyone 16 years of age and older who is not institutionalized or on active duty in the Armed Forces.

Employment by age Graph

A number of striking features pop out of this chart:

  1. Employment in the 16-19 age cohort has been dropping for 35 years, and fell off a cliff in 2008.
  2. Employment in the 20-24 and 25-54 age cohorts topped out in 2001 and has yet to recover the pre-recession levels of 2008.
  3. The only age cohort with employment growth since 2000 is the 55 and older group.

There are many theories as to why youth employment has plummeted while 55+ employment is rising, but demographics and financial insecurity likely play major roles. Back when Social Security was established, few people lived beyond their 60s. A retirement age of 65 meant most people lived only a few years beyond retirement. Read More..

Industry Rails Against Obama’s New Dishwasher Rules

Posted on August 3rd, 2015

AlertEDITOR’S COMMENT: Don’t forget that these are the same government bureaucrats that required recent changes in your shower heads and toilets that no longer work as efficiently as previously, and may, in many cases, use even more water to be effective. All in the supposed interest of meeting President Obama’s greenhouse gas emissions goals under his Climate Action Plan.

By Timothy Cama

Companies that make dishwashers are warning that the Obama administration’s latest efficiency standards for their industry would backfire.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers is accusing the Department of Energy (DOE) of a politically motivated drive to increase dishwasher efficiency standards, which are so bad that they would cause consumers to re-wash dishes, erasing any efficiency gains. Read More..

Exodus from Puerto Rico Could Upend Florida Vote in 2016 Presidential Race

Posted on July 28th, 2015

FYI - 3D Modern Signboard For Your Information BasicBy Mary Jordan

Puerto Rico’s economic crisis meant Jeffrey Rondon, 25, struggled to find even part-time work, so he recently joined the growing exodus from his Caribbean island to Florida. Now he holds a full-time restaurant job and something that could upend the 2016 presidential election — the right to vote in Florida, the biggest of all swing states.

“It’s important to vote and be heard — it’s a privilege,” said Rondon, who is one of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have moved to Florida in the past year.

As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are relatively easy to register to vote, and they are attracting unprecedented attention because they could change the political calculus in a state that President Obama won by the thinnest of margins in 2012: 50 percent to 49.1 percent.

“It’s a potential game changer for the state,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Research Center. “It’s the biggest movement of people out of Puerto Rico since the great migration of the 1950s.” Read More..

The Big Picture

Posted on July 24th, 2015

Financial Crisis Signpost Showing Recession Speculation Leverage And BubbleBy Peter Schiff, President and CEO Euro Pacific Capital

The past four years or so have been extremely frustrating for investors like me who have structured their portfolios around the belief that the current experiments in central bank stimulus, the anti-business drift in Washington, and America’s  mediocre economy and unresolved debt issues would push down the value of the dollar, push up commodity prices, and favor assets in economies with relatively low debt levels and higher GDP growth. But since the beginning of 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 67% while the rest of the world has been largely stuck in the mud. This dominance is reminiscent of the four years from the end of 1996 to the end of 2000, when the Dow rallied 54% while overseas markets languished. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, a casual look back at how the U.S. out-performance trend played out the last time it had occurred should give investors much to think about.

The late 1990s was the original “Goldilocks” era of U.S. economic history, one in which all the inputs seemed to offer investors the best of all possible worlds. The Clinton Administration and the first Republican-controlled Congress in a generation had implemented policies that lowered taxes, eased business conditions, and encouraged business investment. But, more importantly, the Federal Reserve was led by Alan Greenspan, whose efforts to orchestrate smooth sailing on Wall Street led many to dub Mr. Greenspan “The Maestro.”

Towards the end of the 1990’s, Greenspan worked hard to insulate the markets from some of the more negative developments in global finance. These included the Asian Debt Crisis of 1997 and the Russian debt default of 1998. But the most telling policy move of the Greenspan Fed in the late 1990’s was its response to the rapid demise of hedge fund Long term Capital Management (LTCM), whose strategy of heavily leveraged arbitrage backfired spectacularly in 1998. Greenspan engineered a $3.6 billion bailout and forced sale of LTCM to a consortium of Wall Street firms. The intervention was an enormous relief to LTCM shareholders but, more importantly, it provided a precedent that the Fed had Wall Street’s back. Read More..

Why Obama and Hillary Must Stop Donald Trump at All Costs

Posted on July 22nd, 2015

A Trump Thumpin PunchBy Wayne Allyn Root

Someone is getting very nervous. Obama. Valerie Jarrett. Eric Holder. Hillary Clinton. Jon Corzine…to name just a few. And I know why.

I wrote a book entitled, “The Murder of the Middle Class”

about the unholy conspiracy between big government, big business and big media. They all benefit by the billions from this partnership and it’s in all of their interests to protect one another. It’s one for all, and all for one.

It’s a heck of a filthy relationship that makes everyone filthy rich. Everyone except the American people. We get ripped off. We’re the patsies.

But for once, the powerful socialist cabal and the corrupt crony capitalists are scared. I’ve never seen them this outraged…this vicious…this motivated…this coordinated. NEVER in all my years in politics, have I seen anything like the way the mad dogs of hell have been unleashed on Donald Trump.

When white extremist David Dukes ran for Governor of Louisiana even he wasn’t treated with this kind of outrage, vitriol and disrespect. When a known fraud, scam artist and tax cheat like Al Sharpton ran for President, I never saw anything remotely close to this. The over-the-top reaction to Trump by politicians of both parties, the media and the biggest corporations of America has been so swift and insanely angry that it suggests they are all threatened and frightened like never before. Read More..

Democrats Don’t Really Care About the Little Guys and Gals

Posted on July 22nd, 2015

Elizabeth Warren at campaign event Nov 2 2012By James S. Robbins

Don’t listen to what they say, look at what they actually do.

It’s funny how preachy politicians and activist groups can be when it comes to pet issues like “economic justice.” Yet when it involves their private interests it turns into a case of “do as we say, not as we do.”

Case in point crusading Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who said in her 2006 book All Your Worth that the idea that “you can make big money buying houses and flipping them quickly” is a myth.

If so, then in the 1990s Warren and her husband were myth-busters. According to a new report in National Review making hundreds of thousands of dollars buying a handful of houses at deflated prices and reselling them months or years later at a substantial markup. Read More..

Big Brother Barack: Obama Collecting Personal Data for a Secret Race Database

Posted on July 20th, 2015

DID YOU KNOW? red Rubber Stamp over a white background. BasicEDITOR’S COMMENT: Just imagine all the new rules, regulations and laws that could be generated by the liberal-left, progressive Democrats and the various special-interest groups, as a result of this monster privacy-invading project. And, then, consider all the havoc and expense that the class-action and tort lawyers will be able to generate by having this government-backed data and information to pursue their nefarious claims. Again, all part of Obama’s overall redistribution scheme.

By Paul Sperry

A key part of President Obama’s legacy will be the fed’s unprecedented collection of sensitive data on Americans by race. The government is prying into our most personal information at the most local levels, all for the purpose of “racial and economic justice.”

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.

This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online. Read More..

The ‘Mini Greece’ of the United States: Puerto Rico

Posted on July 17th, 2015

Flag of Puerto RicoBy Mike Gonzalez

The inability of Puerto Rican governments to live within their own means is, of course, the reason why the island finds itself with a $70 billion debt it can’t pay.

But as we apportion blame, let’s not forget the federal government’s role in creating our own “mini-Greece.”

From Franklin D. Roosevelt on down, we have made Puerto Rico a laboratory for liberal policies. It wasn’t just benign neglect on the part of Washington that has produced a crippling culture of dependence. Read More..

Greek Debt Crisis: Germany Flexes Its Muscles in Talks With Bailout Ultimatum

Posted on July 13th, 2015

Greek Gift, EU cashBy Marcus Walker

Europe’s ultimatum to Greece, demanding full capitulation as the price of any new bailout, marks the failure of a rebellion by a small, debt-ridden country against its lenders’ austerity policies, after Germany flexed its muscles and offered Athens a choice between obeisance or destruction.

Sunday’s statement on Greece by eurozone finance ministers will go down as one of the most brutal diplomatic démarches in the history of the European Union, a bloc built to foster peace and harmony that is now publicly threatening one of its own with ruination unless it surrenders.

The weekend’s power play also highlights the cracks among Greece’s creditors—especially Germany and the International Monetary Fund—as the cost of keeping Greece in the euro spirals out of control. The IMF has urged Europe to give Greece some debt relief, something Berlin has opposed. Part of the reason for Germany’s hard line now is that maximally tough austerity in Greece could reduce IMF pressure to write off Greek loans.

The other 18 euro members were late Sunday pushing Greece to implement all of the austerity measures and broader economic overhauls its voters have twice rejected—in elections in January and in a referendum on July 5—not in return for new rescue loans, but as a precondition for even talking about them. Read More..

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