American Debt– per Einstein: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over…. while expecting different results!

In brief…

    Although the title is a paraphrase of the great thinker’s words, insanity seems appropriate in describing our current national economic policy of blind borrowing.  Obama asks Congress to pass a national budget based upon: twice the increased tax rate he campaigned for, and fewer budget cuts… including more expenditure for ‘stimulus.’  Haven’t Americans seen this before?  There’s a reason it’s called a, “budget deficit:” because ya can’t spend what ya ain’t got: we cannot keep borrowing from China… unless we want to become Chinese.  The Fiscal Cliff?  Insanity.  Some members of Congress know that.  OK: raise revenues BUT be fair and decrease entitlements by 1% or 2.  Fair compromises.  Balance budget deficits and revenues through humility and discipline… with everyone’s participation, especially leadership: Congress and the Executive.

(Note: America is in a production-consumptive imbalance–  Americans consume way more than we produce.  But that’s a whole other blog, so for now….)

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How can it be that our national government is expending time and resources NOT resolving our seriously flawed economy–  when you spend more than what you take in, the budget is flawed.  Outcome: deepening debt resulting with a dim future.  The American government is spending money it does not have.  Budget proposals thus far seem like the same old, same old.

Look at it this way: using a credit card to buy a $1000.00 TV, but making only minimum payments drives up the cost and makes the debt unsustainable: ultimately, payments service the debt, not pay off the debt— and the TV really isn’t his: it belongs to his creditor.  To make matters worse, what if the borrower keeps charging more and more stuff, without paying off the debt?  Heirs will be burdened by debt, leaving their credit in tatters— with dim prospects.

That scenario is America: how we’ve incurred $16-trillion dollars worth of debt which compounds by the second.  The American government keeps borrowing and spending more money than what is raised in revenues.  No, this didn’t happen in one year or one administration–  it is a collective bad habit that has gone uncorrected for a generation and longer.  Your grandchildren–  and mine–  and our great-grandchildren will pay off our debt via higher taxes taken from their paychecks, which translates to lower actual earnings.  They will pay a slew of expanding taxes, inflation (the ‘hidden tax,’) and social entitlement programs.   Imagine your kids’ lives–  when their take-home pay translates to 1/3 (or less) of what they earn.

Where does Washington spend our money?

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258

The Center on Budget & Policy Priorities (cbpp.org) outlines that America spends 6% of the national budget on debt servicing: about $230 million dollars in 2011 alone—and we borrow to pay that!  But, the question remains: why doesn’t our government STOP spending what we don’t have?!  If I ran my personal budget like the government, the bank would be at  my door–  with the sheriff!

During my marriage, there have been a few times when my spouse and I had to reduce our spending by as much as 40% to balance our budget during changes in our careers.  We’d brew a pot of coffee and sit down with calculator, legal pads and bill-book in hands, to hammer out a sustainable budget for our family.  Keeping the family as our key focus, ego was put aside.  We found all kinds of creative ways to cut expenses–  no cable TV, trips to the movies, or impulsive buys.  For a year, we kept the TV and radio OFF–  and played chess, cards and board games while snacking on carrot sticks and herbal tea.  We learned about ourselves.

Sometimes, I think America wastes our resources to “outdo the Jones’s:” as if we’re failures if we don’t overspend.  But discipline (or austerity) is a teaching tool.  Challenges always are.  Our family discovered we didn’t NEED 300 channels on TV; we didn’t NEED to quell boredom through shopping; we didn’t NEED the luxury car—not if it jeopardized us.  And, frankly, it would have been unfair to cut expenses for some, but not for everyone.  On a national scale, sure, taxes might be expanded for some— if entitlements are sliced by 1% or 2%.  Cut government salaries by 2% or 3%, and 4% or 5% for higher earners.  EVERYONE should participate– executive, judicial and legislative branch employees for federal, state and local governments.

A personal family story taught us kids growing up about effects of the Depression of the 1930’s: two relatives (city workers,) were asked if they would prefer a 50% cut in pay—or unemployment altogether.  They took the cut.  The same scenario seems relevant today–  except NOT a 50% cut in pay, but a 2% or 3% cut in pay… with the highest earners taking a 4% or 5% cut in pay.   If the Executive asks high-earning Americans to pay more tax, it’s only fair that all Americans pay more.  Walk the talk .

My spouse and I downsized when our business failed, making the transport of household goods so not worth it.  We gave most of it away: relatives, friends, and after a yard sale, the local family shelter benefited.  Among the truck loads, were 600 pounds of coffee table books: geography, history, fiction, world events.  I suggested the shelter create an evening “reading hour” for families: no TV or radio, just families reading books– together.  Because what happens is not as important as how we respond.   Most of the world’s enduring writers and leaders sprang from humble beginnings.  Children enrich themselves with the world of possibilities through books– no matter their immediate circumstances

Americans are extremely generous: donating more than $300-billion dollars a year—more than 152 other countries.

https://atlasofgiving.com/

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/01/24/10228112-report-americans-more-generous-in-giving-to-charity-in-2011?lite

This is a mark of how much Americans appreciate other human beings.  Why would we re-distribute our wealth to total strangers?   Perhaps we want others to benefit from American opportunities.  It isn’t just for the tax-deduction… which may become a thing of the past anyway.  And if the tax deduction does go away, it will be interesting to see how donations will be affected.  But for now at least, Americans are a generous people.

http://philanthropy.com/article/Americans-Are-Most-Generous/130137/

America must also re-assess its foreign aid: it is unsustainable to continue giving away money to other countries, when we borrow money to pay our bills.  The time for thinkers has come for a new national plan, taking into consideration all aspects of a healthy budget–  not just those that make for a popular or political spin.

http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/politics/us-foreign-aid.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/us-foreign-aid-by-country_n_1837824.html#slide=1405868

When it comes to life, when it comes to choices, when it comes to action–  we must humble ourselves to new thought and new action in order to create new results.

Hence, the opening statement of Einstein’s definition of, ‘insanity,’ – repeating the same thing, again and again, while expecting different results.  The same things again and again, are burying America–  and others– in debt.  Hence, I offer a call to a new action:

“Mr. President and Congress, please sit down face-to-face.  Honestly and effectively compromise on the big picture: America.  Americans need a government that functions: chaos only diverts attention.  The truth is, every American needs to practice austerity, including you, Mr. President, and you, members of Congress.  Practice what you preach; walk your talk.  Lead by example.  Find sustainable ways to reduce spending along with, yes, raising revenues responsibly: take a pledge to reduce a dollar of spending for each dollar of revenue raised.  Here–  I’ll start….

I, Suzy Right© 2012, hereby solemnly swear, to balance my personal budget and not borrow what I don’t have…. And to diligently pay off my credit card debt in its entirety…. that I will tighten my belt by not spending what I don’t have… and achieve the overall goal of fiscal thrift and economy while protecting my family and country, while giving continued support to my neighbors… so help me God.

Thank you.  And God Bless America.”

 

–Suzy Right © 2012

–©RightOnTheTruth 2012

Happy Thanksgiving– For Our Republic!

In brief….

Grumbling is in the air…about impending American crises.  Higher taxes, inflation and unemployment loom on the horizon.  Unemployment (and underemployment) via high penalties will be incurred by companies and citizens unable to afford the new national healthcare.  So, during this Thanksgiving season, it bears saying a few words about past American hard times.  Lest we forget… we will survive!  America has weathered hard times before, and we should be grateful for past successes— and insights to overcome American social change.

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            The first Thanksgiving in New England, 1621, was 3 days of celebration and prayer for the early pilgrims (those fleeing religious persecution in Europe.)  They expressed thanks for surviving the arduous journey to the New World—  thanks for the first harvest of food and the Wampanoag nation who showed them the way.  Early settlers could not have succeeded without the nation who educated them about climate, growing seasons and the land.  Some Wampanoag wanted alliances with the “Coat Men,” because they knew their world was changing.  Some wanted to help fellow human beings.

http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/feast/

Overcoming the treacherous voyage to the New World to establish meager homes in the wilderness cost the early pilgrims many lives.  And survivors were not all happy, either.  Some regretted what they’d left behind in Europe to start over.  Others lived in fear for the future.  Fear, like disease, spread through the people like wildfire, taking many lives.  Including the Wampanoag.

There was much dissention among the Wampanoag and pilgrims— no-one knew what the future would bring.  (see link above: “Historical Letters”)  Bitter tales of expansion into all native territories would precede the birth of the United States.

Before the 13 colonies evolved into a United States, there was much dissention between colonists: those who would fight the British government (and greatest military power on earth,) vs. those who wanted to remain under the British crown.  The two sides were amassing their support and arms throughout 1776, culminating on December 23, with “The American Crisis,” written by Thomas Paine: who lived among George Washington’s troops.  On December 25, Washington ordered the booklet read to his troops—

These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.  Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

At 3:00 a.m. on December 26, George Washington and his soldiers crossed the Delaware in boats… and roused the British to the Battle of Trenton and colonial victory.  But this bloody American Revolution war would rage for four long years.  Afterwards, the constituents of the new country asked Washington to be their King.  Yet, he kept the public at large waiting for 3 days before insisting that a new Republic should be the goal: no more imperialist monarch.  But the United States Constitution–  the hallmark of a government of written laws–  would not be ratified until 1787.  Why did this take so long?  Dissent among the outspoken.  Bitter dissension raged for years between the fledgling lawmakers– until tough compromises would yield the triad of democratic government America is today.

These ‘birthing pains’ were not lost on constituents.  When the founders finally emerged with consensus from Independence Hall (Philadelphia,) one woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “what kind of government have you given us?”  He replied, “a Republic: if you can hold on to it.”

It would be nearly 100 years before America again would find itself embroiled in blood and hate: the Civil War.  The contention, of course, was slavery.  A wicked practice: enslavement to build a country– but a practice, global-wide.  Even Thomas Jefferson, on his death bed in July 4, 1826, told his surviving daughters, that the issue of slavery would be left to the future.  He personally deplored the institution, yet needed hundreds of slaves to manage the 5000 acre estate, Monticello.  From its porch, Jefferson glanced across the far country lands that, one day, would be the University of Virginia, a leader in education and law.  But upon his deathbed, he voiced regret for the institution he knew would be divisive in America’s heritage and history.   http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson

Southern states decried that the north had neither power nor right to dictate anti-slavery policies to them!  The south represented the farmlands that fed the country, produced its cotton for sails that powered the expanding global commerce and slavery was the underpinning.  Dissention split the United States, with southern states seceding from the union altogether and the stage was set for war.  The Civil War almost ended the country altogether.  It destroyed the old way of America–  while giving birth to freedom for millions of deserving human beings, who’s only reason for being enslaved was the color of their skin.  It took another 100 years to prove that all Americans are equal in the eyes of the written American law.  But equality, finally, was won.

Following World War I, America saw wretched economic conditions: high inflation and unemployment, low wages and an absence of unified leadership.  Unemployment in 1919 was 1.9 %; 5.2% in 1920; and 11/7% in 1921.  Then-Republican presidential nominee, Warren Harding told gatherers at the Convention—

We promise that relief which will attend the halting of waste and extravagance, and the renewal of the practice of public economy, not alone because it will relieve tax burdens but because it will be an example to stimulate thrift and economy private life.

Let us call to all the people for thrift and economy, for denial and sacrifice if need be, for a nationwide drive against extravagance and luxury, to a recommittal to simplicity of living, to that prudent and normal plan of life which is the health of the republic.  There hasn’t been a recovery from the waste and abnormalities of war since the story of mankind was first written, except through work and saving, through industry and denial, while needless spending and heedless extravagance have marked every decay in the history of nations.”  (The Real Crash, Peter Schiff; St. Martin’s Press, NYNY  2012,  pg. 32; also, “Warren Harding and the Forgotten Depression of 1920,” Lew Rockwell.com, Oct. 19, 2009.)

Americans remains divisive about which path to take during our current economic climate.  Should the government overspend revenues?  Once again, America and the globe are experiencing birthing pains, economically and politically.  How do we fix this?  Through dissension and compromise.  And prayer, just like the pilgrims.  America was born in dissension… and America will prosper through dissension.  That’s what America is all about!  The right of our people to dissent!  So, let’s give thanks this Thanksgiving, for our Republic and its architecture of petitioning government!  Happy dissension, folks— just remember: to be a dissenter, ya gotta stay in the game!  Get involved with government!

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!  

 

© 2012 RightOnTheTruth.com

©Suzy Right 2012

America Is Red, White and Blue– With Freedom of Speech!

In brief…

There is too much division in our country: not just diversity of opinions, but division between our people!  It’s almost like America is at war—with itself!  We’re engaged in a Civil War, between philosophies and political parties, Democrats vs. Republicans.  But, America has always espoused strong dissention among its rank and file!  Freedom to express ourselves– especially opposing views— is what makes our nation a really great place in which to live, grow and prosper!  Suddenly, within a few short months or years, it feels as if we’re truly at war among ourselves: pitching slurs, insults and fighting words.  Why?  Why has America suddenly become a place of antagonism with decorum of disrespect?  Is it too late for Americans to live and govern together—based upon principles of mutual respect?

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            We’ve all heard it: ‘red state,’ ‘blue state.’  During the elections, while chatting with friends, it occurred to several of us that, we’re all Americans: so how can we be defined by blue or red?  Yes, the primary color of Democrats is blue; Republicans is red.  But the point is, or should be, “aren’t we all Americans?”  And we are!  This red and blue stuff is a way to divide us, not unite us.  And after the acrimony of the 2012 national elections, America can use some unity.

One example of recent acrimony in the media, was a popular late-night TV host calling one of our nation’s former governors, a felon, for supposedly not paying federal income tax.

http://nation.foxnews.com/david-letterman/2012/10/06/letterman-calls-mitt-romney-felon

Not only is this claim unsubstantiated, but the TV’s host’s fighting words may have incited  media can be interpreted as unethical, at the least–  and potentially dangerous, at the most.  And all this, for a late-night joke.  Price-Waterhouse (the CPA firm that processed the tax returns,) might have a stronger opinion.   And this TV host is not the only one: the media insults and slurs of late are too many to count.  What a poor example for our youth.  And the world.

Another thing that stood out was the way some journalists derided the candidates and commentators.  Isn’t journalism supposed to be impartial?  According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics…. “Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.”   Hence, there’s no room for bias.

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Also, let’s look at the clause that says, “Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.”  I heard numerous jeers from journalists during the election that made me cringe: respect?  Calling others derogatory names is not respect.  It is disrespect.  And no ethical journalist should be stooping to that low.  Those who do, undermine journalism–  and it’s future.

America is founded upon principles: written laws, freedoms, including free-speech–  but fighting words are not free speech. 

http://www.freedomforum.org/packages/first/fightingwords/index.htm

Although the US Supreme Court has difficulty defining, fighting words, exactly–  which lie outside the Constitutionality protection of free speech–  fighting words are defined as intended to insult a particular individual and ‘reasonably incite the average person to retaliate.’  But that’s what insults are: designed to incite retaliation.  When words are used to insult a particular individual to the point that the average person would (or could or should,) retaliate with more fighting words–  or worse, violence—than, in my opinion, fighting words forfeit the Constitutional protection of freedom of speech.  Let’s look at this another way.

If there’s a child in your kid’s elementary school class who insults your kid constantly, and your kid comes home crying–  the average parent would respond.  Either you call the school, or you call the other kid’s parents or you do both.  Some parents would send their kid to karate class, so he or she could knock the other kid’s block off: we’ve all read the stories.  The initial insult was the catalyst for the response.  Typically, human beings don’t bully or insult others because they DON’T want to incite a response.  The goal is to incite a response big time, just to have it out with the other guy.

It’s particularly distressful when our national media use fighting words to insult another journalist or reporter or candidate–  and, maybe because humans are so voyeuristic, we tend to enjoy ‘listening in,’ to the dirt.  But we shouldn’t.  We wouldn’t just stand around doing nothing while listening to a 3rd grader insult a classmate, would we?  Why do we do that with adults?  Besides, journalists are supposed to be unbiased: if they’re spinning the news with their own opinions, they’ve ceased to report the news and have now made the news.  They ‘make’ the news by spinning it to one side of the philosophical argument or the other.  And if journalists are true to their professional ethics, they will…. “never distort the content of news, photos or video….”  And they will… “examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.”

The SPJ Code of Ethics also include discourage spinning the news or a particular view of the news: “Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.  Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.”  And although this code is not legally enforceable, it is encouraged as “a guide for ethical behavior…. As a resource for ethical decision-making.”  It goes on– “Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.”  Boy, do we ever need this in the current heyday of scandals du jour!

The point is that we, as Americans, are part of this great experiment in Democracy… and it is the press—the media– who help keep us free with unbiased news reporting and comments–  keeping it out in the “sunshine.”   There is no place for insults or acrimony, pandering or bias–  we’re all Americans.  Let us agree, but not be disagreeable.  The whole world watches America.  Let all Americans behave like respectful adults!  What a great gift for future generations of global leaders!

 

Go look at the evidence: be an informed American!   Thank you

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©RightOnTheTruth.com  2012

©Suzy Right  2012

After the Party… Sober Up– It’s Time To Go To Work!

 

In Brief….

            Despite political affiliations, ideologies and attitudes, we are all Americans in America… based upon Constitutionally guaranteed and recognized God-given freedoms.  No matter our physical or mental beginnings, our color, sex, creed, America is about Americans.  We work hard, play hard—we are the captains of our own destinies.  We’re all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  After a tough 2012 election, some of us won–  some lost.  But we have not lost America.  It is now time to work together, to uphold the principles of America, the Beautiful.  We’re all in this together… laying aside our differences in order to embrace our common ground… for ourselves, for our grandchildren and for future generations.  The time is now… to get to work.  Like Americans always have and, God willing, always will.

http://www.starspangledbannerchallenge.com/

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            November 7th was a sobering day for many of us.  Despite the predictions, for good or for bad, many Americans were not prepared for the outcome.  Now, after having emailed the White House to congratulate President Obama, I also remind him that he has a job to do: to unite this country.  Every president has had that job: to preserve, protect and defend the US Constitution and defend America from its enemies, foreign and domestic.  The biggest enemy is hate.   America is not a country of hate, but of kindness, goodness, generosity—America is a country of love.  America is strong because of our love for others.  We just need to remind ourselves to look around and see this truth.

President Obama came to national office in 2008 on a platform of transparency, hope and change.  After the 2012 election, I am sick of too much hate and spewing mud-slinging and still hungry for transparency, hope and change.  I see too much fear.  Too many attacks from the media: media isn’t supposed to influence voters, but to report facts.  I’d frankly like to see and hear more about strength, integrity and fairness: honesty.  It’s time to go to work, America.  And work for sincere transparency, hope and change, and stop all the acrimony against those who happen to disagree!  We may disagree with each other, but, we are One Nation, Under God.  We’re all Americans here!  Let’s behave like the Americans we truly are!

The task is at hand: with fiscal cliff polices, acts of global Terrorism, pro-Democrat vs. pro-Republicans, the cost of oil, national health-care, abortion and the mystery of Libya–  there is enough disagreement and dissention to go around!  The old adage says, “either you are part of the problem or part of the solution.”  Truly, we all have a personal choice to keep spewing the mud, or bury the hatchet and move on–  to resolving these massively huge challenges.  What will be our choice as a country?  To add to the acrimony?  Or try to resolve these issues?

Let us remember that as Americans, we actually share more in common with each other than our differences.  Let us start to bridge our commonalities—for our sakes, as well as the sake of our future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Let’s dig our heels in and start the peace.  We don’t need more war.  We just need to go to work.  And in case you need a gentle reminder of exactly what we are, who we are, what America is all about, go to this link:

http://www.starspangledbannerchallenge.com/

Let us all be who we are!  Free American men, women and children!  God Bless the United States of America! 

 

©RightOnTheTruth.com  2012

©Suzy Right 2012

 

Polls… Polls… Who’s Got The Polls– Why Election Polls Are All Over the Map– And What Questions Every American Should Ask!

In Brief….

2012 election polls are all over the map–  some reporting that Obama is ahead… others reporting Romney is ahead.  Why such a spread?  Simply put…  it’s easy to skew polls, and easy to sway the voters.  Some polls include less reliable data.  Most are based upon ‘exit polls,’ including early-voters, plus past election behavior.  Polls can represent who voted, (mail-in ballots or at the booth,) when they voted (before or on the day of voting,) and polls can include data from ten years of elections.  Other polls are snap polls via the internet or phone, and some polls are national polls taken over a whole week.  So, what to believe?  Read on for some suggestions….

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            I happened to hear a poll in the New York Times’ the other day, and their prediction that Obama would win re-election.  This prediction was based upon the 2% increase in quarterly economic growth, they said.  Not so, said I. The supposed 2% growth was primarily government expenditure.  Government expenditures are NOT economic investments, but upkeep… like paying the electric bill, government salaries, entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc..)  Money you and I will not see again–  but money our grandchildren will have to pay because these are BORROWED dollars.   (see blog: “The Fiscal Cliff”)

I first read the New York Times when I was 10 years old.  It was a good paper–  take it’s printed word to the bank!  But this?  Not so, said I, as I tossed it aside.  First of all, mis-informing Americans about the bogus “2% growth” nonsense is bad enough.  But, using that bogus number to predict that Obama is ahead in national polls?  Let’s look closer.

First of all, pollsters take data about election turn-out.  With 52% + of mail-in ballots already in, Romney is ahead by about 7 points.  Then pollsters look at 10 years of races and use averages and trends.  That would be data from elections in 2004, ’06, ’08 and 2010.  Then outliars are thrown out–  behavior that stands so far apart from the typical, ‘bell shaped curve.’  Outliars (anomalies,) are omitted because they are too extreme from typical general group behavior; in other words, outliars distort or skew results.

 

In 2008, an anomaly happened: Americans elected a virtual unknown, novice candidate on a platform of ‘hope and change–’  touting that a Washington outsider could bring the parties together for positive change from business-as-usual.  Plus his platform of ‘redistribution of wealth.’  He won, but Socialism in a free society is a tough sell.  (see blog: “The Fiscal Cliff”)  This novice president ignores Constitutional law by enacting policy changes via executive order, instead of working with the body of law-making, Congress.  This president has touted his philosophies of “leading from behind–” throughout the economy, national policies, countering terrorism, socializing medicine (even the doctors don’t like it!  see blog: “Obamacare,” parts I, II, III.)  He has accrued escalating national debt, more than most of the previous US presidents all together.  This president, in all due respect, is the anomaly.

Polls show that Americans like this president, and I like him, too!  He’s witty and funny!  On late-night television, he’s a hoot!  Especially when Obama talks about his lack of math acumen!  http://lonelyconservative.com/2012/10/video-obama-admits-to-jay-leno-he-cant-do-math-above-7th-grade-level/

Not to mention the transparency regarding the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012.  (see blog, “What Went Wrong In Libya?”)   The President has yet to explain to the American people what went wrong in Libya—and papers like the NYT do not address: what did the president know and when did he know it?    Has Al Quada infiltrated American operations in the middle east, contrary to President Obama’s campaign claim that, ”bin Laden is dead and Al Quada is on its heels!”??    President Obama still refuses to answer even senatorial letters demanding the truth about Benghazi.  Why doesn’t the NYT poll Americans about this?  Read one of these letters–  http://www.ayotte.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=740

Back to polls.   In Ohio (a swing state,) almost 200,000 fewer early voters have cast their vote for Obama, compared with 2008 voters— coupled with 160,000 more early voters have voted for the other guy, than in 2008.  That’s a margin of about 360,000 +/- voters in the critical swing state of Ohio–  so it’s looking really strong for the other guys, not the president–  when compared with 2008.  (Another reason for discarding the outliars from the 2008 model.)

Another inobvious fact about the Times ‘poll,’ is the weighting of poll participants.   Weighing means simply, asking more of these people, than those, ie: Democrats vs. Republicans.  The NY Times added more registered Democrats than Republicans in the poll: about 8% more Democrats.  Even with 8% more Democrats, Obama only showed a one-point lead.  But, with this 8% skew, Romney actually is way ahead.  Think about this.  Take two runners in a 50-yard foot dash.  Draw the finish line 12 feet shorter for one guy, at 138 feet, but keep the finish line for the other guy at 150 feet.  If the two runners cross the (two separate) finish lines one second apart, with the shorter distance runner coming in first, the second runner actually is the winner.  She finishes the longer race only 1 second shy of the first one, with the 12 foot disadvantage.  Ask yourself: would I approve a skewed race, if my kid were running against the guy with the 12-foot advantage?  Fair?  –Not so, say I.

The NY Times has given the incumbent an 8 point lead, touting that he is the winner.  But, if you do the math, the NYT poll shows that Romney/Ryan are really 7 points ahead of Obama.  Just like our runner in the skewed foot race.

Is this NYT “journalism,” journalism?  Not so, says I.  It’s bias.  NY Times didn’t just report the news: it skewed the news.  It is propaganda.    Out of sentimentality, I will go easy: Hey, NYT!  Try Fox News!  There’s a good reason why Fox is the most watched cable news network.  Fair and balanced, just like a fair and balanced 50-yard dash. Among Fox News’ stellar lineup of pollster brainiacs are Dick Morris and Karl Rove—the Einsteins of election polling.  We all reminisce about Ronald Reagan’s fresh and honest approach to politics— but did you know that Reagan also hired Rove?  In fact, Morris and Rove say Romney/Ryan will sweep the elections, based upon the polls.

What about independents?  Much polling takes place via phone interviews.  But 1/3 of Americans now use cell phones in place of land lines, so polling itself may be skewed.  We know that the 2008 election saw an unusually high level of enthusiasm among Democratic voters (with those identifying themselves as Democrats,) more than any other time in recent election history–  especially 2012.  In fact, the enthusiasm of Republican voters currently is significantly higher than Democrats— including independents now identifying themselves with Republican tickets.  

So, what questions should you ask regarding election polls?  Be sure the outliars (skewed anomalies,) are omitted from the mix; make sure you understand what data the poll is based upon; and always ask, ‘how is this poll weighted?  Is one group more represented than the other?’  Then research the polls for yourself.

            Read the facts–  be an informed voter!  Thank you! 

            And may the best American candidate win!

©2012   RightOnTheTruth.com

©Suzy Right  2012

The Fiscal Cliff– What It Is– Why It Would Hurt The Economy– And What You Can Do

In Brief…

                On January 2, 2013, the Bush Tax Cuts are due to expire and automatic spending cuts (Sequestration,) go into affect, translating into a 4% or 5% hit to GDP.  This could cause major slowdowns in financial markets and the overall economy.  President Obama and Vice-President Biden have voiced that renewing the Bush Tax Cuts is not likely (unless Congress hits upper earners with higher taxes-)-  and expired Bush Tax Cuts mean that Americans may pay as much as 39.6 % tax  in addition to other national fiscal concerns.  Plus, capital gains and taxes on stock dividends will go off the chart.  CEO’s from large companies have alerted the President and Congress that the Fiscal Cliff could knock the economy into recession, as well as another downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.  The current administration does campaign  “redistribution of wealth,” which the Obama ticket ran on in 2008.  –What exactly will the Fiscal Cliff mean to the country after January 2, 2013?  And what steps can Americans take now to address the outcomes?

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          The few news programs that talk about the Fiscal Cliff are trying to get our attention about what could possibly set back the American economy, even after such a paltry 1.9% growth for 2012.  And 2011 showed even less growth—so any increase in inflation, interest and debt combined with a slowdown in GDP (total goods and services in the market,)  could send the economy into a serious slowdown.   To make reality worse, this 1.9% ‘growth’ is accounted for by government spending: not free enterprise.  The difference?  Government spending is just that: spending.  But capital investment spending in free enterprise business is truly investment.  Well-planned investments are expected to give a return on investment.  Government spending is just money spent.  Period.

With the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts, these January, 2013, tax increases not only hit income, but taxes on capital gains, dividends, estates and more.  The impact of these could be between $300 billion dollars to $600 billion dollars–  in addition to slowdown of GDP.

Economic indicators can seem at first glance to signal an increase in economic upticks, including the recent reduction of unemployment from over 8% to 7.8%–  but economists remind us of the fallout from reduced “participation rates,” or, the growing number of those unemployed who have given up looking for work.  Given that the sequestration (elimination or partial elimination,) of unemployment benefits is looming with the January Fiscal Cliff momentum, the unemployment ‘good news,’ actually indicates a no-change.  Plus, a study by the National Urban League with the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project, shows that “Four Years Under Obama Wipes Away 30 Years of Black American Gains,”   www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/tribune-black-gains-wiped/2012/10/08/id/459096

Not only have Americans of all socio-economic levels been hard hit over the last 4 years—declining home values, foreclosures, loss of income, stalling economy—but with the looming fiscal cliff, we may yet see more economic devalue added on.  And what’s troubling about this study is that middle class Black Americans, especially, are seeing a 13.4% unemployment and youths are seeing way higher unemployment rates.   Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, 40, a doctoral candidate in African-American studies at Northwestern University, who told the Chicago Tribune, “A generation of wealth and assets are evaporating, and the presidential  candidates aren’t making a peep about it.” 

On top of all this, sequestration could also mean further reductions in economic growth.  FCW, The Business of Federal Technology, reports: “it is still far from certain that the 10 percent, $1.4 trillion across-the-board cuts to federal spending will actually kick in on Jan. 2.  And directives from the White House and Office of Management and Budget have reinforced that sense of mere possibility, offering little in the way of concrete guidance for agencies to prepare for the so-called fiscal cliff…”  http://fcw.com/Articles/2012/10/22/sequestration-update.aspx?p=1

Economists agree that sequestration, in addition to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, would combine to spur America into another segment of recession–  it’s ain’t good, folks!  America–  the world!!–  CANNOT afford more recession.  Plus, what we need are concerted EFFECTIVE fiscal policies, the world over!  Let’s not re-build lousy policies in our global economies!  At 1.9% or 2% quarterly growth to our economy this past quarter, keep in mind that most of that figure represents more GOVERNMENT SPENDING!  This is not a sign of the CPI (Consumer index,) which represents a finger on the pulse of growth.  It is government pumping MORE FAKE/printed funny money into our economy disguised as ‘growth.’  No-no!  T’ain’t so!  Just more voodoo-math…. And remember it was President Obama on popular late night T.V. who told Americans and the world that he didn’t get past 7th grade math.  Not good.

Apart from potentially flailing ourselves over the fiscal cliff in 2013 with counter-productive economic policies– plus the president’s own admission to his low math acumen– we must remember that in 2008, Obama campaigned on a Redistribution of Wealth platform.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge3aGJfDSg4

Many constituents were thrilled with Obama’s redistribution philosophies, including the 32% increase of welfare spending.  But, again, once this money is spent, that’s it: unlike free enterprise business, which spends it’s capital investments in order to receive a return on investment.  The difference between these two expenditures is night and day.  AND, as an affirmative action student who went to Columbia and Harvard Law School, I cannot figure out why Obama supports redistribution of wealth anyway–  when he, himself, benefited immensely from affirmative action opportunities with his Columbia and Harvard Law School education.  Although, he’s admittedly not strong in math.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEEpVXspflM  (see minute: 3:14 within 5:01)

Of course, a president who admits to having very little math comprehension, does not instill much confidence when he touts his supposedly sound economic policies–  and attacks the other guy for his math!!  How would Obama know the difference between a good economic policy and a lousy one?

Apart from President Obama’s admittedly poor math comprehension, I know first hand that re-distribution of wealth punishes high-achievers.  As a 12 year- old, I spent every Saturday morning vacuuming the house, dusting, waxing the dining table and chairs, washing the kitchen floor, and doing my laundry.  My big sister did boopkus: but I was paid less allowance!  Was that fair?  Until her last day, sis didn’t know the value of a dime, let alone a dollar.   Money is a form of appreciation, and sis didn’t appreciate money at all.  It just slipped through her fingers like water.  Re-distribution of wealth does not work: but creates a cycle of dependency– the Congressional Research Service’s 10/18/12 report, “Welfare Spending Soars Under Obama,” touts a 32% jump in welfare dollars spent on needy Americans–  to a whopping $746 billion dollars, which is more than we spend on defense!   http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/welfare-spending-climbs-obama/2012/10/18/id/460514

The report goes on to say that the expansion of President’s Obama welfare is “…that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.”  With this fact, I am left to wonder that the more we spend, the more we must borrow, since our spending has outpaced our revenues.  Yes, Obama inherited the debt (even though he asked for the job—) but Obama has doubled the national debt.  Expanding programs such as these adds to the debt he’s incurred.

So, if its true that more Americans qualify for (broadened eligibility requirements,) in this WEAK economy, why the heck would the government NOT extend the Bush tax cuts and stop sequestration??

So, what can Americans do to stem the tide of these economic hits?  First of all, pay off debt—especially unsecured debt.  Credit card debt will soar if the fiscal cliff, in fact, happens.  Interest rates will bounce…. And credit cards add as much as 7.9% or more on top of the prime rate.  Secondly, dump the debt.  Try to renegotiate fixed rates: do the math first, before taking the deal, whatever it is.  And finally: cut your spending, live within your means and sock the cash away.  Learn to eat at home, cook soup and brown bag it.  It doesn’t matter that banks give you boopkus for interest on savings— liquid cash is still green.  And tough days lay ahead.

One final suggestion: study the governmental process.  The Congress, Executive and Judicial branches were designed by the Framers of the Constitution to work via citizens’ petition.  Petition the government!  Tell them what you think!  And to do that effectively, one must understand how exactly they work.  America, learn how your government works!

The fiscal cliff doesn’t need to happen–  in fact, President Obama CAN prevent this RIGHT NOW.  And if Romney wins, write and tell him to put off sequestration and the extend the Bush tax cuts–  and CREATE concerted, sustainable economic policies for today and the future!  It is time for Congress to serve the people of this country—and the President, too—  without any more political game-playing and pandering to the media.

Stop sequestration NOW!!  Extend the Bush Tax Cuts NOW!!

Read the facts yourself… and you decide—

Be an informed voter!  Thank you.

©RightOnTheTruth.com  2012

©Suzy Right 2012

A Woman’s Right To Safe, Legal Abortion– Or Not

In Brief…..

            Abortion rights is a hot-topic for all of us: it involves highly charged emotionality from various points of view.  This blog tackles some of the complexities about the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade (a 7-2 decision,) making abortion legal.  Secondly, it addresses how this law—now intertwined with other abortion laws–  could be overturned, dispelling the myth that any individual—including presidential candidates—can overturn supreme court decisions, regardless of election year rhetoric about the fictional ‘war against women.’  Thirdly, the blog addresses what happens IF and WHEN Roe v. Wade ever were overturned–  and what that would mean for Americans seeking safe, legal abortions.  Lastly, it addresses the public tax dollars that pay for safe, legal abortions.  Abortion is an emotional and tough decision and anything but simple or easy. 

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          I was in college when a girlfriend asked if I could lend her $200.00 for a legal abortion.  She didn’t want her husband to know (he wasn’t the father.)  –What would you have done?

That was in the 80’s, ten years after the 1973 Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court (7 – 2,) decision, giving women the right to safe, legal abortion.  I was a full-time college student, working and newly divorced, when I discovered I was pregnant.  After a failed attempt to reconcile with my ex-spouse, I gave up and went my own way, continuing to study and work my way through two degrees.  As it happened, I was studying Roe v. Wade in a summer law class with a professor so acrimonious and nasty, I felt sick every morning–  when a classmate guessed at my daily bouts of nausea–  and told me that I had the right to abortion.  Single parents, she said, had it tough.  I heard about my grandmother backstreet alley abortion, excruciating and downright dangerous.  She never had more children.  Three other friends of mine in college went through abortions— abortion is not easy or simple.

Today, in 2012, there’s still much mis-information about abortion rights about the 1973 USSC decision, Roe v. Wade.  Because this is an election year, the mud flinging drowns out the facts.  I hear about this fictitious war against women.   Stop!  Hold the phone, Joan!!  Let’s get the facts straight!!  NO ONE PERSON CAN make abortion illegal, or strike down Roe, stripping women of their right to safe, legal abortion.   No one person can strike down a US Supreme Court decision, except the Justices themselves, and only in certain circumstances.  Read on.

The nine US Supreme Court Justices are appointed as the bench opens up, either by retirement, or death.  The US President submits names of potential choices to the Senate–  and each potential is deposed (reviewing careers, philosophies, etc.,) via Senate hearings.  Those few that pass scrutiny are confirmed by the Senate.  This time-consuming process is supposed to be above politics–  presidents are NOT SUPPOSED TO lobby the Senate or Justices, or tempt them with political favors.  This process is SUPPOSED TO BE impartial, above favoritism.  The Justices are SUPPOSED TO act with only the law in mind, so, political pressure cannot interfere with the Law of the land.  Do presidents sometimes try to ‘stack’ their favorite judges on federal court benches?  Yes.  Like greedy children, some presidents want support within the triad of government to support their visions.  Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government on earth…. Except when you compare it to everything else.” 

Fast forward to election year, 2012.  President Obama is a Harvard educated lawyer—but he mis-speaks when telling America (and the world,) that his political opponents will abolish abortion rights from women.   Rather, Obama should be advocating respect of the law.  Roe v. Wade involves a REALLY complex legal matter–  given that abortion rights have been addressed by the Supreme Court many times, not just once: often, case law is tied to other case law (and therefore, named in other cases,) because case law is built upon existing case law.  USSC majority decisions (6-3, 7-2, 8-1, and 9-0) demonstrate agreement between the Justices in their interpretation of the law.  BUT with a 5-4 decision, it is clear that the Justices have dissenting opinions within their varying interpretation of the framework of the law: 5-4 sends the signal that, “we reserve redressing this matter if it comes before the Supreme Court again.”   And of the 1500 or so cases each year that petition to be reviewed by the US Supreme Court, the Justices grant 300 or so, depending upon the merits of the case.

Since case law is often tied to other case law (so named in the case, given sound reasons as to why the matters are linked,) similar matters can thusly be ‘heard,’ (reviewed) again in varying legal contexts—as Roe was reviewed (in part,) with Webster V. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490, (1989,) another abortion rights case.  Webster was tied to Roe v. Wade, and in fact, the USSC reviewed, once again, the legality of Roe within this context.

http://www.caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=492&page=490

In 1989, the US Supreme Court rendered a 5-4 decision in the Roe part of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, in which then-Chief Justice Rehnquist, “declined to explicitly overrule Roe [being tied to the Webster case,] because of ‘ “ none of the challenged provisions of the Missouri Act properly before us conflict with the Constitution.’ ”    

Pretty complicated, huh?  –So, why would the US Supreme Court re-consider a legal matter previously decided?  Because societal attitudes change: and societal needs and conditions change.   And here’s something to consider: each year, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, about a quarter of a million people march on the Supreme Court to protest abortion.   And because more and more protesters each year demonstrate their anti-abortion beliefs, the US Supreme Court knows that this means that nothing is carved in stone regarding federally sanctioned abortions.  Social attitudes are changing—

Democratic Gains Spur Abortion Foes into Action, The News & Observer (2009/01/18)

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/22/pro-life-rally-yearns-for-media-spotlight/

And we should all keep in mind that as we embrace Reagan politics, that Reagan himself was also pro-life.  www.worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/10456929   “Abortion and the Conscience of the Modern Nation.”

AND: some legal minds concur that NOW that Obamacare opens the door to abortion, this could change abortion right.  Some care facilities (under Obamacare funding) do not accept mandated abortion.  If they decide to sue the government—which is happening now–  Obamacare just might be the impetus to motivate the US Supreme Court to hear another abortion case— thusly, jeopardizing federally mandated abortions if the court overturns Roe v. Wade!!  Ironic, but plausible.  Don’t panic– read on.

Are women’s rights imperative?  Of course.  But protesters are also thinking of the women (and men) who have no voice in abortion: the unborn.  The unborn have no rights.   Perhaps the US Supreme Court understood that this philosophical question might become the eventual focus of the argument.   Please understand:  I respect your right to abortion— but you must respect my right to express concern for the unborn child.

There’s another reason for growing contention for abortion–  why should taxpayers PAY FOR abortion?  Each year, our government gives millions of our tax dollars— borrowed tax dollars now–  to organizations to pay for abortions.  And millions of tax payers protest this– including the Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.  Ryan is a Catholic and that adds another side of the argument.  Right now, some in the Catholic Church— via hospitals and care facilities– are suing the federal government over mandatory abortions in their hospitals.  New national healthcare laws make abortions part and parcel to healthcare services– and that means no choice for Catholic health services, or anyone else.  Will care facilities lose their government sponsored health care if they refuse to perform abortions?  Why should the choice of abortion override another’s choice not to perform abortions?  This is a philosophical discussion that should have been addressed before national policies were passed into law— Congress failed to read the Obamacare bill before voting it into law.  The truth is, nobody knows concretely, what the answers are.

Please understand, I respect Planned Parenthood for helping women by providing these services… but please respect me for not paying for them.  Abortion should be privately funded.  Americans donate more to worthy causes than other countries combined.  We are a generous people—but government should not be borrowing money to donate to anything!  We should be paying off our nation debt–  all 16+ TRILLION DOLLARS of DEBT!  Not incurring more.  Instead of ‘warring’ against each other, our President should be working to incite our unity, creating sustainable solutions to help each other.

So, if Roe v. Wade IS overturned, what happens next?  If Roe is overturned, the matter of safe, legal abortion would be REMANDED back to each of the 50 states to decide for themselves.  And states already are preparing for that possibility.  Some states have ‘trigger laws,’ already in place, meaning that if Roe is remanded back to those states, the ‘trigger law,’ enables state governments to make abortion automatically illegal.  Trigger states include: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota—and Illinois: President Obama’s home state!  This is a war, all right—a war for the truth.

So, if you live in one of these trigger states—including Illinois—AND IF Roe is struck down (overturned via another Supreme Court decision,) AND you decide that abortion is your choice of action, get in your car and go to either: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, or Washington–  these states have passed laws to maintain the legality of safe abortions.  What will the other states do?  Jump on the internet and start digging.  Americans have the right to know what their government is doing!   Call your Congress folk!

So… did I ever lend my friend the $200.00 for her safe, legal abortion?  Yes, because she was desperate.   I held her hand through the procedure.   Then I encouraged her to tell her husband honestly what happened.   We all make mistakes.  She agreed to tell him, but ultimately chose not to.  I respected her decision.  They later divorced.

As for me… my one and only baby has grown up, is happily married—and speaks joyously about making my spouse and me, grandparents.  And I continue to write.

 

What’s your opinion?  Petition your government—get involved– and tell them what you think!  Your voice counts!  

Get all the facts…. And you decide.  Be an informed Voter!  Thank you.

©RightOnTheTruth 2012

©Suzy Right

How Obamacare Drives Up The High Costs Of Healthcare– Part III — What Americans Can Do About Obamacare!

In Brief….

In Parts I and II of this blog entry, are cites to government publications about Obamacare, the “scheme” to hide the real costs of Obamacare from Americans, especially senior citizens who will be the hardest hit— plus reaction by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ cite, which speaks to  Obamacare/PPACA.  This third part of the blog will address what Americans can do to offset the increased costs of Obamacare.

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What can Americans do about Obamacare?  Let’s start with employers.  Some employers will reduce their employees’ working hours to part-time hours, which fall outside the mandates of full-time employees.  Although this may not be fair to some employees, they may be better off getting a partial pay check, than none at all, if some are laid off to reduce the high costs of Obamacare.  Many businesses are already “lawyering up,” telling the media that Obamacare will reduce their ability to grow their businesses because of the projected additional taxes and costs that the GAO, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Congressional Budget Office and others point out that are part and parcel to Obamacare.   At this point, it is safe to say that Obamacare will benefit insurers and government—adding at least 16,000 more IRS workers alone.  Obamacare will NOT benefit consumers, patients, doctors, hospitals, nor employers.

Other employers, like Sears and Darden Restaurants (parent company of Red Lobster and Olive Garden,) are creating new options to assist their employees to head off the increasing costs of healthcare.  But the costs are rising in part due to PPACA itself: through regulations and taxes, including “essential health benefits,” to cover mental-health and substance-abuse services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, medical devices and pediatric dental and vision care.  (see Part II: )These services are not usual services consumers buy, except if they need them: again, as a former insurance sales rep, consumers traditionally buy the basic policy, and then add riders to them as needed.  A 19-year old, for example, would not usually purchase insurance for pediatric dental care, unless s/he already has a child old enough to have teeth.  The CBO (Congressional Budget Office, the fed’s accountant,) says that premiums will rise by close to 30% because of essential health benefits.

www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/10/09/olive-garden-serves-up-better-menu-health-insurance-options

Obamacare/PPACA includes billions in taxes on insurers, drug companies, and medical-device companies that will be mostly passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums.  (ibid.)  “Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the insurance tax alone will add close to $400 annually to family premiums in 2016.  Because the taxes require aggregate amounts to be collected from insurance companies– $14 billion by 2018–  if one insurer’s payout declines, other insurers have to make up the difference.  PPACA’s tax structure will likely motivate insurers to merge–  reducing competition and further driving up costs for consumers.”

After studying this article by Paul Howard, (see above,) I asked myself: what options are there to Obamacare and its increasing costs to Americans?  Howard suggests looking at the Romney/Ryan platform, which has promised to repeal Obamacare on Day 1 of his presidency (presidential debate, 10/9/12.)    Romney/Ryan advocate these options:

  1. Make health insurance truly portable (buy/serve across state lines,) opening up competition in services and pricing;
  2. Give individually-bought health plans the same tax advantage that companies have;
  3. Reform insurance rules, so that as long as consumers stay insured (continuous coverage—see part I of this blog,) they are not penalized for paying higher premiums if they do get sick;
  4. Open up the industry to insurance exchanges—giving consumers a wider range of choices and prices.  “High risk pools could be created with modest funding from Washington for the small number of those with pre-existing conditions who cannot find affordable coverage.”  (ibid, Howard article.)
  5. Finally, repeal the costly regs and taxes of PPACA/Obamacare, and re-fund Medicare/Advantage, which lowers the cost of health insurance.

 

Dr. Howard’s article concludes with: “Private health-insurance exchanges can serve as a model for real health-care reform—  especially if the insurance they sell is made truly portable while protecting individuals from future rate increases as long as they stayed insured.  It’s a simple, elegant approach that would improve American health care at low cost.”

Study healthcare from both front-end and back-end costs.  The front end costs of Obamacare are way too high– and get higher at the back end.  (Read Dr. Bellar’s one sentence definition of Obamacare, Part I.)

www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/02/doctor-seeking-illinois-senate-seat-offers-brutal-diagnosis-obamacare-in-viral/

www.electBellar.com

Obamacare does not translate to neither better healthcare nor affordable healthcare–  not when a board of non-medical government-paid CPA’s decide consumers’ medical needs!  These life-and-death decisions will be based on insurance profitability.  If decisions were based upon healthcare, the board would consist of physicians.  Americans were told, Obamacare does NOT add taxes— Obamacare makes healthcare affordable–  but this isn’t true.  The GAO, CBO, HCO, AAPS, and others are warning us to do our homework.  Even the United States Supreme Court has said that, “States are not required to implement Exchanges or to take the bait….and should not do so.”   http://www.Aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/supreme_court_oral_argument_analysis/

We either comply with a questionable law the nation did not support, which Congress exempted themselves and the  President–  or repeal PPACA and re-fund Medicare, where the money came from.  “And to the Republic for which it stands,” draft a non-partisan bill that protects the American people.  Remember… government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.  (*November 11, 1863: Lincoln’s Gettsyburg Address.)

Get the facts…. And you decide!       Be an informed Voter!

©RightOnTheTruth 2012

©Suzy Right

Why Obamacare Drives Up Costs of Healthcare—–And How!—— Part II of III

In Brief….

Obamacare adds costs to healthcare.  Also, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating Obamacare funding as The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS: Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, D-Kansas,) defunded Medicare/Advantage of 716 billion dollars to fund Obamacare before the November 6th elections, with 8.3 billion-dollar federal “Demonstration Project” bonus.  Committee member John Mica (R-FL,) calls this a blatant attempt to “buy the election.”  The GAO already has declared this shift of dollars to Medicare a “scheme,” to keep voters in the dark until after the election.

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Like many citizens, I appreciate that President Obama wanted a universal healthcare plan that is fair to all Americans.  But $716 billion dollars have been defunded from Medicare/Advantage to fund Obamacare/PPACA.  (see “Oversight Presses HHS on Billion-Dollar Scheme Designed to Mask Obamacare Cuts,”  http://www.over http://www.oversight.house.gov/release/oversight-presses-hhs-on-billion-dollar-scheme-designed-to-mask-obamacare-cuts/

Here is what the White House is telling Americans about Obamacare:

  1. Obamacare will reduce the cost of healthcare;
  2. Obamacare will make good healthcare affordable for all Americans;
  3. Obamacare will save Americans money;
  4. Obamacare will ‘fix’ the broken healthcare system;

And according to many in the healthcare industry, these claims simply are not true.  Here’s why, according to Paul Howard, PhD, Director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress, and his research associate, Yevgeniy Feyman http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/10/09/olive-garden-serves-up-better-menu-health-insurance-options/

–The following are just a few reasons why Obamacare will cost you more (and I apologize that some of my words are direct quotes:)

  1. The costs of Obamacare will increase the cost of healthcare with many regulations and taxes that drive up the cost of insurance in the individual and small-groups.  The PPACA’s “essential health benefits” include coverage for mental health and substance abuse services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, medical devices and pediatric dental and vision care.  Great!  If you need these services… but what if you don’t?  You pay for them anyway, to cover the costs of those who do use them.  The CBO (Congressional Budget Office,) estimates that premiums will rise by close to 30% for this.
  2. PPACA limits insurers’ ability to offer lower rates to younger and healthier applicants and charge higher rates to older, less healthy applicants.  This drives up affordability, particularly to young applicants.  –This could also undermine ‘continued coverage,’ which leads to higher insurance costs to consumers.  (see part I of this blog)PPACA includes billions in taxes on insurers, drug companies, and medical-device companies—that in all likelihood will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums.
  3. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the insurance tax alone will add close to $400.00 annually to family premiums in 2016.  AND because the taxes require aggregate amounts to be collected from insurance companies (14-billion dollars by 2018!) then if one insurer’s payout declines, the other insurers will have to make up the difference.  This tax structure will likely cause insurers to merge—reducing competition, further driving up the cost for consumers.
  4. Even Obamacare supporters say that PPACA will drive up costs:  including former Obama administration health adviser Jonathan Gruber.  He used to advocate that PPACA “for sure” will lower costs.  Now, however, Gruber says the law will drive up individual insurance premiums by 40% in Maine and Minnesota, and by 20% in Colorado… and others speculate 85% in Ohio and 95% in Indiana.  Rates for small businesses will also be hard hit.

How exactly does Obamacare protect patients?

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) supports the repeal of PPACA and the restoration of personal freedom.  (see part I of this blog.)  AAPS filed a lawsuit against the PPACA in federal court (still pending.)  http://www.aapsonline.org/hhslawsuit      Plus, they filed a motion to intervene.  (see AAPS efforts before the courts at the AAPS website and at http://www.FreeMediPedia.org)

And here’s another reason why Obamacare is unsustainable for the American middle class: because Obamacare will ultimately cost senior citizens their affordable Medicare coverage.  Read on.

The study in Part I of this blog (“Oversight Presses HHS on Billion-Dollar Scheme Designed to Mask Obamacare Cuts,”) is about a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HCO) investigation into the $8.3 billion dollars that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius (former D-Kansas governor,) has spent “to temporarily offset Obamacare’s controversial cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.”  (ibid: internet site.)

The following quote is the HCO’s memo’s dated 9/27/12, in which they protest the 8.3 billion dollar “bonus,” so-called, taken as a “demonstration project” fund.  The ‘demonstration project’ is cash for a governmental study on a particular policy or change to a policy, a feasibility study.  But this 8.3 billion is not to test the feasibility of Obamacare—that’s why it’s under investigation by the HCO.  The reality is that HHS and Obama have defunded the Medicare/Advantage program for 716 billion dollars to fund Obamacare: and with the start of the new fiscal year (on October 1,) to float Obamacare.  Secondly, this 8.3 billion dollar demonstration project fund is the largest demo-project fund ever spent in one time, since 1995.   And why?  Read the HCO’s quote:

“Obamacare was rushed through the House of Representatives and Senate by the Democratic majority in each chamber.  Many conceded they did not even read its entire contents…. One of those consequences is major cuts in the popular Medicare Advantage program serving seniors.  These cuts mean many seniors will lose coverage that they enjoyed prior to the law’s enactment….” 

—Chairman’s Preview Statement Committee On Oversight & Government Reform:  Mr. Jonathan Blum (Deputy Administrator and Director Center for Medicare;) Mr. James C. Cosgrove (Director, Health Care; US Government Accountability Office;)  Ms. Edda Perez (Managing Associate General Counsel; US Government Accountability Office.) http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-409R

http://www.oversight.house.gov/hearing/gao-report-the-obama-administrations-8-billion-extralegal-healthcare-spending-project/

http://www.oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MedicareDemonstrationProjectFAQs.pdf

 

HHS defunded Medicare/Advantage’s $716-billion dollars to leave M/A with a shortfall.  The 8.3 billion dollars worth of ‘bonus,’ is a temporary stop-gap plan to pay for seniors’ M/A insurance before seniors find out that their M/A coverage is less than what they paid for before.  Once the 8.3 billion dollars are gone, (in 2 or 3 years,) senior’s will discover that they were deluded into thinking that Obamacare did NOT use M/A dollars.  This leaves Obamacare to cover young people, while Medicare/Advantage is gutted—meaning that:

  1. More seniors will have to pay higher fees out of pocket for M/A coverage;
  2. Seniors’ out-of-pocket costs (on fixed incomes,) will buy fewer healthcare services;
  3. Fewer seniors will be able to afford Medicare/Advantage, meaning fewer seniors will have healthcare coverage when they need it the most;
  4. All to pay for others’ “free” yearly pap smears and prostate screenings–  unless the non-medical ‘board’ of decision-makers decide that those expenses are too high.

The GAO reported that this defunding of Medicare to fund Obamacare is a “scheme.”  John Mica (R-FL,) House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, now subpoenaing the White House, calls this defunding of Medicare, “buying the election.”   I’m inclined to agree.  Where do you stand?

What can Americans do about Obamacare??

Read Part III of this blog: thank you!

Get the facts…. And you decide.  

 

© RightOnTheTruth 2012     © Suzy Right 2012

Obamacare Drives Up the Costs of Healthcare— Part I of III

In Brief….

President Obama is proud of his healthcare plan, Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: PPACA.  He lobbied Congress hard, with then-Speaker of the House, Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, as his biggest ally.  Later, she and others admitted that they did not read the PPACA bill.  But pass it, they did, with not one single Republican vote.  This is the first part of a 3-part blog entry that speaks about the high costs of Obamacare.  Keep in mind that national polls showed that the majority of Americans were opposed to Obamacare, and that the US Supreme Court, in its review of the legality of Obamacare—and other cases involving huge amounts of money— ask the question, “Cui bono?”  Who benefits?  According to G. Keith Smith, M.D., and others, “…big-money players have already achieved their purpose, regardless of the fate of the bill in the courts.”  **

** quote from “The Affordable Care Act: Does the Supreme Court Decision Matter to Its Proponents?”  G. Keith Smith, M.D.  www.jpands.org/vol17no2/smith.pdf

……………………………………………………………………………

            Folks, after a brief stint selling health insurance, I investigated this controversial issue myself.  You better get a cup of coffee.  You’re gonna need one.

I appreciate that Obama tells the American public that he wants to help Americans get better and more affordable healthcare.  But you need to discover for yourself if Obamacare is affordable, or if it will provide better care.  He speaks about the “free services,” Obamacare will provide, but I know firsthand that nothing in insurance is free: everyone pays.  Insurance costs are deferred either through rating up customers with higher risks, or by spreading the costs to customers in the pool.  Insurance companies are designed to make profits– all organizations must be profitable to keep the doors open.  Insurance companies are mandated by state law to retain a certain specific percentage of profitability: the MLR, or medical loss ratio: cash on hand to pay claims.  Hence, loss or payout is divided among the pool of consumers via higher premiums.  MLR’s are based on actuarial tables, and probability rates of customers’ claims.  Hence, with medical insurance, the customer’s youth, good overall physical condition, the absence of alcohol or drug use, no pre-existing conditions, relatively safe employment conditions, and so on, keep premium prices low.   Plus, ‘continued coverage,’ which means, keep the insurance in effect.

Healthcare insurance has never been regulated by the federal government until Obamacare!  The Congress disregarded the US Constitution…. despite the fact that Congress consists primarily of lawyers!  The President (also a lawyer,) is vested with the responsibility to “uphold, protect and defend the US Constitution…”  Yet, both the Legislative and Executive branch of our triad of republic passed a law that is contrary to law!  Rather than change the law, as any citizen would be required to do– Congress and the President simply disregarded the law.  Then, Congress and the President exempted themselves from Obamacare altogether!  Hypocrisy makes a poor example of leadership.

What does a consumer do, for example, with a complaint about her car insurer?  She hoofs down to the state government and files a complaint with the state insurance regulatory agency.   But, what about all the complaints about Obamacare?   Where do you file a complaint?  Washington D.C.?  If Congress had not read (or still has not read) the 2700-page bill before they passed it into law, what’s the likelihood that they enacted well-conceived rules and regulations for administrating Obamacare?   Dr. Barbara Bellar, also a lawyer, nun, college professor and Army major, and is running for Illinois’ state senate from the 18th District, and says this about Obamacare:

“So let me get this straight.  This is a long sentence.  We are going to be gifted with a health care plan that we are forced to purchase, and fined if we don’t, which reportedly covers 10 million more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it, but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese and financed by a country that is broke……. So what the blank could possibly go wrong?”    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/02/doctor-seeking-illinois-senate-seat-offers-brutal-diagnosis-obamacare-in-viral/

Thank you, Dr. Bellar: lawyer, doctor, nun, Army major, college professor.  Do you think she might have some insights about what this law really does?  Her website is:  www.ElectBellar.com

Here are some thoughts from a June 28, 2012 statement by Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS,) Jane Orient, M. D., who said, “[Health insurance] Coverage is not care… The Act [PPACA] will increase costs, sharply restrict availability, and deny treatment to the old and the sick…. The key to patient protection and affordability is the patient-physician relationship and free-market competition.” 

The AAPS is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to defend the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship.  Think about the 10 million additional patients in the Obamacare system with no additional doctors: they sued the government over Obamacare.  PPACA will erode the patient-physician relationship.   And don’t forget that sitting ‘board’ of CPA’s in Obamacare who will make decisions about medical procedures and care for YOU and your doctor– with their eye on profitability.  Remember the mandated MLR and profitability.  These lay-people can override YOUR physician’s medical recommendations.  How does this give you better care?

The United States Supreme Court heard the appeal of a law suit brought against Obamacare, and indeed, upheld some parts of Obamacare.  http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/supreme_court_oral_argument_analysis/

This is what Dr. Jane Orient of the AAPS had to say about the USSC opinion (with my bolding:)

“This is a bleak day for America.  The US Supreme Court has upheld a blatantly unconstitutional law of enormous scope that affects every American.  The federal government has no constitutional authority to dictate how Americans shall pay for their medical care.  It has no right to force them to turn over their earnings for the profit of private insurers or for the “public use” such as providing “free” services that a federal agency dictates people should have.  It is most distressing that the Supreme Court has validated the corrupt, dishonest process by which this law was enacted, the “penalty” for noncompliance with the mandate was repeatedly said not to be a tax, until it suddenly became one… As the US Supreme Court said, “it’s up to the people to repeal the law, defund it, and resist its implementation.  States are not required to implement Exchanges or to take the bait for Medicaid expansion, and should not do so.  Physicians are not required to sign up for “Accountable Care Organizations,” and should not betray their patients by doing so…”

AAPS’s then-President, Alieta Eck, MD, voiced physician-opposition to the law…. And (based on the questions and statements of the Justices, during oral arguments in March, 2012,) there is now optimism that the court will invalidate the individual mandate and possibly the rest of Obamacare.  I only wish Obama had worked both sides of the aisle in Congress to build a mutually beneficial plan for all Americans.   But, until then….

Get the facts…. and you decide.

Go to Part II, for more info!  Thank you!

©RightOnTheTruth 2012

© Suzy Right