Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Learn to Love Obamacare

Learn to Love Obamacare
Republicans never wanted to repeal it
Conspiracy Theorist
By Mark Luedtke
Publication date: 030717

Just as rulers planned, Obamacare forced insurance rates to skyrocket, and insurance companies are pulling out to avoid going bankrupt. The plan gets more unpopular by the day. That’s why, although voters gave Republicans more than one job, for the last six years repealing Obamacare was job #1.
The only problem is Republicans secretly love Obamacare. The horrendous and horrendously expensive program animated Republican voters, won them both houses, and finally helped win them the presidency.
The only thing Republicans ever wanted to do with Obamacare was to tinker around the edges to share in the looting. Sure, during the six years after Obamacare was passed while President Obama was still in office, Republicans voted to repeal it several times, but those votes were political theater. They knew Obama would veto any repeal.
The plan was, following a Clinton victory, Democrats would blame the market for Obamacare’s failure and Republicans would fake outrage. Then Democrats would force full-blown socialized medicine down our throats with the handful of Republican votes necessary to get it passed from pretend turncoats who could survive it.
That plan fell apart when Trump beat Clinton because any attempt to repeal Obamacare became real.
Repeal will not happen. It goes against the philosophy of government takeover of everything supported by both parties. It’s so obvious, Republicans can barely hide their lies. While they still mince words, senior Republicans can’t hide it.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, speaking at a recent Town Hall sponsored by CNN, promised to repeal and replace Obamacare “definitely within these first 100 days” of President’s Trump’s term. Ryan claimed Republicans are “working on this as fast as possible.” However, he hedged by claiming it will take “a little bit of time.”
Baloney. Obamacare was passed in March of 2010. If Republicans wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare, they had six years and eleven months to develop a plan. They didn’t because they didn’t want to. Unable to come up with a plan in that amount of time, they surely won’t come up with one in the next two months.
Other Republicans admit that. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Rep. Mike Burgess, chairman of the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee made a different, equally worthless promise. He promised to repeal Obamacare, but the Washington Examiner reports, “... Burgess didn't have an answer when pressed on when Congress will vote to repeal and replace the healthcare law — although he did say it will happen before the next CPAC.”
A year from now. That’s also baloney. Ryan and Burgess are playing voters for fools. They have no intention of repealing Obamacare. They’re running out the clock by making promises they never intend to fulfill.
That’s because Republicans hate President Trump and Obamacare has become a tool they can wield against him. While the Democrats and the one world government faction of our rulers are overtly attacking, funding howling astroturf protesters, and trying to discredit Trump daily, Republicans are quietly doing the same. They won’t repeal Obamacare and will blame Trump for lack of leadership. Failing to deliver on his promises then blaming him will help neuter him. Republicans expect Trump to have lost his popular support by next CPAC.
I love it when politicians retire and become more honest like former Speaker John Boehner, the architect of those phony votes to repeal Obamacare. Politico reports the former speaker told healthcare conference attendees “They’ll fix Obamacare, and I shouldn’t have called it repeal and replace because that’s not what’s going to happen. They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.”
I like how he uses the word fix as code for tinkering to enrich Republican cronies, not just Democrat cronies.
Thanks to Republican support, the destruction of our health insurance system by Obamacare will continue. Prices will continue to skyrocket. Obamacare taxes will continue to climb. Companies will continue to drop out or go bankrupt. Rulers will blame the private sector until the government, supposedly for our benefit, takes over and implements full-blown socialized medicine. It’ll just take a little longer than rulers hoped.
Repealing Obamacare was never going to happen. Anybody who believed Republicans would obey the will of the voters and repeal it misunderstands the nature of government and rulers. Fortunately, every day more people realize coercive government exists to steal our money and enrich rulers at our expense. Nothing else. The scales are falling from people’s eyes.

Originally published in the Dayton City Paper.

$6 Subs

$6 Subs
Inflation-fueled boom is turning to bust
Conspiracy Theorist
By Mark Luedtke
Publication date: 022817

As we left Walmart this morning, my girlfriend noticed Subway was advertising footlong subs for $6. Not long ago those subs cost $5. It’s getting harder and harder for government to deny the price inflation we all feel in our bank accounts.
Every day the Dayton Daily News writes about how great the economy is, but the authors of those articles can’t differentiate between wealth-destroying, inflation-fueled bubble activities and real, demand-driven economic growth. For example, the DDN reports on new restaurants popping up nearly every day. But it also reported this: “Restaurants in Ohio brought in almost $1 billion in sales last year, but consumers didn’t go out to eat as much in the first month of 2017,” it wrote. “A new survey by the Ohio Restaurant Association and the Cleveland Research Company found restaurant owners saw weaker consumer demand in January after a strong fourth quarter that ended in December. That increase was due in part to the mild winter weather.”
So while demand is falling, supply is increasing. The consequences are inevitable: falling prices and bankrupted businesses. This begs the question of why so many restaurants are being opened if they can’t be supported by demand. The answer is artificially low interest rates. When the Federal Reserve (Fed) artificially holds interest rates below market value - the Fed has held interest rates near zero since 2009 - it sends the wrong signal to entrepreneurs. The low interest rates prompt them to borrow money to create new businesses like restaurants. When interest rates inevitably rise, many of those businesses are exposed as being unprofitable and forced into bankruptcy.
The resources and labor expended on these doomed businesses are being squandered. These malinvestments wouldn’t have been made if interest rates were determined in the market instead of being set artificially low by central bank fiat. This is how central banks create boom-bust cycles which destroy wealth while making the bankers and the ultra-rich richer and the rest of us poorer.
The damage is done during the boom. The bust, painful as it is, is the healing correction.
The signs of impending bust are everywhere. The DDN recently reported, “A jump in traffic fatalities last year pushed deaths on U.S. roads to their highest level in nearly a decade even as Ohio bucked that trend, registering a decrease in fatal crashes in 2016,” it noted. “The last time there were more than 40,000 fatalities in a single year was in 2007, just before the economy tanked, the AP said. There were 41,000 deaths that year.”
The Fed’s bubble-money creates a wealth-effect - people feel wealthier although it’s only an illusion - so they travel more. More goods get shipped on the roads. That produces more fatalities.
The San Jose Mercury News offers another bad indicator. “The technology industry’s job growth in the [Silicon Valley] region has dramatically decelerated, according to this newspaper’s analysis of figures released by state labor officials and Beacon Economics. Tech’s annual job growth throttled back to 3.5 percent, or 26,700 new jobs, in 2016. That’s much slower than the 6 percent annual gain of 42,300 jobs in 2015, or the 6.4 percent gain in 2014,” it reported. “And while the industry’s 3.5 percent growth last year is still a sturdy annual pace, Bay Area technology companies have already disclosed plans to slash about 2,000 jobs in the first three months of 2017.”
Closer to home, the DDN coos, “Local home builders are enjoying a resurgence, hitting their highest number of permits pulled for single-family homes in a decade.”
While that sounds like good news, it’s a negative indicator. The DDN continues, “The 2016 single-family homes number is the association’s highest since 2007, when 2,159 permits were pulled.”
So the economy has reestablished the highest point of the housing bubble in 2007, right before it went bust. That’s not good.
On a related note, Dubai announced it will open a new, rotating skyscraper in 2020, setting a new bar for the skyscraper index, or as some call it, the skyscraper curse. Building the tallest skyscraper in a region is strongly correlated with an impending bust, let alone the excess of a rotating skyscraper.
I’m reminded of 2000 when President Clinton’s and Fed Chairman Greenspan’s economy was declining, but the crash didn’t happen until President Bush was in office, so he got blamed. President Trump will be blamed for President Obama’s and Fed Chairman Bernanke’s impending crash.

Originally published in the Dayton City Paper.