Category Archives: Economic Issues

My two cents: Refining the Republican message (pt 1)

two-centsIt seems that the Republican Party leadership is determined to lose as many seats as possible in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The American voter is looking for any party that will stand up and give a sound vision for an optimistic future for the nation and present a plan on how to achieve that vision. In an election year that should begin the process of winning a larger majority in the House, regaining control of the Senate by even a slim margin, and setting its sights on winning the White House, the Republican Party leadership has instead declared war on its conservative base of constituents, demands that true conservatives forsake the traditional Republican platform and reach a consensus with both rhinos and moderate Democrats, while only making lip service to actually opposing out of control government spending and overreach of executive power. For all practical purposes, many American voters do not see any real difference between the Republican and Democratic parties national leadership.

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My two cents: The problem(s) with the Republican Party

Shield-Two-Cents-ReverseNever before has a political party been so primed to gain so much during the mid-term election cycle and has the politically determined to squander it away. In this important mid-term election, the statistics indicate that the Republican Party can increase its hold on the House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate. In fact, the same polls indicate that the Republican Party could even continue the political sweep and increase its governorships, state legislative margins, and even the presidency in the 2014-2016 election cycle. History indicates there are several reasons why this could easily happen, beginning with the publicly displayed dissatisfaction that the American public has towards the Obama administration. This dissatisfaction comes from apparent failures in both domestic and foreign policy.

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A bad law, its growing unpopularity, and its possibilities

obamacare

In less than a week, a handful of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, will begin to impact the national economy.  All over the nation, the reports have already begun to indicate that this law has not lowered medical insurance costs but has actually increased them for much of the nation.  A recent article from the Washington Examiner, “Tennessee: ObamaCare will Triple Men’s Premiums, Doubles Women’s” stated that premiums were expected to increase dramatically under the new ObamaCare guidelines.  According to the article, men are expected to face a 197% increase in the cost of a basic compliant policy; women could expect to see a 92% increase for the same coverage.  In a separate article featured on Breitbart, “ObamaCare Triples Kentucky Family’s Insurance Overnight,” a Kentucky couple with two young sons had their portion of the family’s employer offered health care plan rise to $965 a month from its much lower $333 per month.


Each day, Americans are horrified to read of the many hidden provisions in ObamaCare, such as one that sets criteria for regular in-home follow ups to individuals and families as defined by statute, direct access to banking accounts of Americans, and end of life counseling for those over 65 or suffering from terminal illnesses or injury.  And these are just the provisions we know about; the Affordable Care Act contains 2,407 pages that was passed into law with another 7,642 pages of additional rules and regulations that have already been written by the Department of Human and Health Services.  Bloggers and pundits have stated that one of the many provisions in the Affordable Care Act that required six pages of legislation required an additional 429 pages of additional regulations defining exactly how and when the legislation will apply.  This means that there are potentially thousands of other restrictions, invasions into privacy, and governmental oversight into the lives of the American citizenry.

There are several reasons why the Affordable Care Act is bad law. Beginning with the most obvious first, this law financially strains the American citizenry at a time when it can least be afforded.  Over the last year, we have seen numerous companies change their employment model from offering full time positions shifting to an all part time workforce under thirty hours a week.  For many working class families, this now means that it will take two or more part time positions per adult family member to recover what has been lost since the enactment of these provisions.  Additionally, annual inflation since 2008 has been around 1.20% or greater, depending on whose estimates and reports you use.  Inflation, plus high fuel prices, high food prices, and increases in local and state level taxes are having a profound impact by reducing the amount of disposable income families and individuals have to spend.  Instead of lowering healthcare costs and creating more disposable income for the average family, the Affordable Care Act increases the premiums for families and will reduce the amount of disposable income. It is estimated that the Affordable Care Act is going to add an additional $7,450 in healthcare costs for the average family of four per year once the entire law is enforced.  This places a financial burden on working and middle class families and upon our consumer driven national economy.

Another reason this is bad law is it can serve to restrain individual freedoms. The purpose of any insurance policy is to reduce financial risk to the individual. While financial risk comes in many forms, the Affordable Care Act’s sole purpose is to reduce the financial risk of individuals and families through a series of laws that will reduce the cost of medical care (or that is the pretense for which the law was passed).  Since under ObamaCare, the risk is to be transferred to state and national exchanges, the government becomes the bearer of risk. Within the insurance industry, financial risk and liability is managed through increased premiums paid by the consumer, or through the offering of incentives that encourages the consumer to modify high or risky behaviors.  With this understanding, it is easy to understand the potential invasion into individual liberty and freedoms that the government deems too risky or too costly to cover under the state or national health care exchanges.  There is the potential for the government to regulate diet, exercise, recreational activities, number of children, and any other decision that before have been considered as issues of self determination.

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