Tag Archives: irs

Obama Signs Executive Order Giving Himself a Pay Increase (Prolly ’cause he’s doing such a super great job)

Happy Tax Day Everyone!

Obama Signs Executive Order Giving Himself a Pay Increase

(PP)- Friday a White House press release was inadvertently distributed early to news organizations announcing that President Barack Hussein Obama had signed an executive order giving himself a pay raise to $500,000 annually.

government parasitesWhite House staff failed to squash the story as the press release was intended to be distributed late in the day on Friday, after the deadline when most news agencies are able to publish breaking news stories.

Critics of the President’s executive order say the move makes Obama seem “politically tone deaf” because he gave himself a raise at a time when the federal government is arbitrarily cutting services and benefits due to sequestration.

“What a Dick,” said a pizza delivery boy at The Palookaville Post’s news room.

Presidential pay raises are usually approved by Congress, the last increase being authorized by both Congress and Bill Clinton in 1999 and went into effect in 2001.

The Presidential pay raise also now includes a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment.

 

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Obama Cut the Deficit in Half by Double | United States Deficit in Half by Spending More and Taxing WAY More

Obama Claims He’s Cutting the Deficit, Hits New 4 Trillion Spending Record in One Year

April 11, 2013 By 

“This is big,” wrote White House director of new media Macon Phillips in a February 23, 2009 blog post, ”the President today promised that by the end of his first term, he will cut in half the massive federal deficit we’ve inherited. And we’ll do it in a new way: honestly and candidly.”

To everyone’s utter and total surprise every word in that sentence was a complete lie. Especially the honest and candid part.

But there was a miscommunication. Obama meant to say that he would double the national debt, instead of cutting it in half. And while he didn’t quite pull that off, he came close, adding 6 trillion to the national debt. And with a second term, he’s sure to double the debt.

In keeping with Obama’s candid and honest plan to lie to everyone all the time, he delivered a radio address a few days ago in which he once again announced that he’s cutting the deficit.

 

No seriously. Stop laughing.

“For years, an argument in Washington has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs, and making the investments we need to grow the economy.  My budget puts that argument to rest.  Because we don’t have to choose between these goals – we can do both.  After all, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing reduces deficits faster than a growing economy.”

Sally, come in here for a minute. This is fantastic. I just found out that we don’t have to choose between spending money and not spending money. We can do both. Because nothing reduces our spending faster than spending more money.

A crazy man on the radio told me so.

“Now, the truth is, our deficits are already shrinking.  That’s a fact.  I’ve already signed more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction into law, and my budget will reduce our deficits by nearly $2 trillion more, without harming the recovery.”

So how is Obama’s Magic Bus of Deficit Reduction doing?

Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal this morning, the White House Office of Management and Budget revealed that in fiscal 2016, under the president’s budget proposal, it expects Obama to become the first president in the nation’s history to preside over a federal government that spends more than $4 trillion in one year.

Isn’t this amazing.

Obama hits a new record of spending 4 trillion in one year while making 4.5 trillion in spending cuts. Math has finally been defeated. Numbers are all imaginary now. And money comes from a magic tree in the backyard that Obama bought when he traded the treasury for some magical social justice beans.

According to OMB’s tables, the federal government would spend$3.7778 trillion in fiscal 2014 under Obama’s budget proposal. It would then spend $3.9801 trillion in fiscal 2015; $4.0898 trillion in fiscal 2016; and $4.2474 trillion in fiscal 2017.

See. We don’t have to choose between reducing the deficit and spending more money. We can just spend more money and ban math.

But this didn’t begin under Obama. Bush was just as bad.

The federal budget deficit hit a new record in the just-completed 2008 budget year under the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

The record $438 billion shortfall for the budget year that ended last week is up from $162 billion posted last year. The previous record of $413 billion was posted in 2004.

We went from a whopping horrifying 438 billion dollar deficit in 2008  to…

…in fiscal 2013, OMB projects a $972.9 billion deficit

Obama has done it. He doubled the deficit.

 

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/obama-claims-hes-cutting-the-deficit-hits-new-4-trillion-spending-record-in-one-year/

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The Irony of the “Affordable Health Care for America Act” AKA “Obamacare” – It Doubles Insurance Premiums

the irs has always been a corrupt syping entity used to subjigate people... let's put them in charge of health care

Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare to Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums by 64-146%

One of the most serious flaws with Obamacare is that its blizzard of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own. This problem will be especially acute when the law’s main provisions kick in on January 1, 2014, leading many to worry about health insurance “rate shock.”

Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. “These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange.

But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent.

Lee’s claims that there won’t be rate shock in California were repeated uncritically in some quarters. “Despite the political naysayers,” writes myForbes colleague Rick Ungar, “the healthcare exchange concept appears to be working very well indeed in states like California.” A bit more analysis would have prevented Rick from falling for California’s sleight-of-hand.

Here’s what happened. Last week, Covered California—the name for the state’s Obamacare-compatible insurance exchange—released the rates that Californians will have to pay to enroll in the exchange. “The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”

That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted Peter Lee.

Except that Lee was making a misleading comparison. He was comparing apples—the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market—and oranges—the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group. The difference is critical.

Obamacare to double individual-market premiums

If you’re a 25 year old male non-smoker, buying insurance for yourself, the cheapest plan on Obamacare’s exchanges is the catastrophic plan, which costs an average of $184 a month. (That’s the median monthly premium across California’s 19 insurance rating regions.)

The next cheapest plan, the “bronze” comprehensive plan, costs $205 a month. But in 2013, on eHealthInsurance.com (NASDAQ:EHTH), the average cost of the five cheapest plans was only $92. In other words, for the average 25-year-old male non-smoking Californian, Obamacare will drive premiums up by between 100 and 123 percent.

Under Obamacare, only people under the age of 30 can participate in the slightly cheaper catastrophic plan. So if you’re 40, your cheapest option is the bronze plan. In California, the median price of a bronze plan for a 40-year-old male non-smoker will be $261. But on eHealthInsurance, the average cost of the five cheapest plans was $121. That is, Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.

For both 25-year-olds and 40-year-olds, then, Californians under Obamacare who buy insurance for themselves will see their insurance premiums double.

Impact highest in Bay Area, Orange County, and San Diego

In the map below, I illustrate the regional variations in Obamacare’s rate hikes. For each of the state’s 19 insurance regions, I compared the median price of the bronze plans offered on the exchange to the median price of the five cheapest plans on eHealthInsurance.com for the most populous zip code in that region. (eHealth offers more than 50 plans in the typical California zip code; focusing on the five cheapest is the fairest comparator to the exchanges, which typically offered three to six plans in each insurance rating region.)

 

As you can see, Obamacare’s impact on 40-year-olds is steepest in the San Francisco Bay area, especially in the counties north of San Francisco, like Marin, Napa, and Sonoma. Also hard-hit are Orange and San Diego counties.

According to Covered California, 13 carriers are participating in the state’s exchange, including Anthem Blue Cross (NYSE:WLP), Health Net (NYSE:HNT), Molina (NYSE:MOH), and Kaiser Permanente. So far, UnitedHealthCare (NYSE:UNH) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) have stayed out.

Spinning a public-relations disaster

It’s great that Covered California released this early the rates that insurers plan to charge on the exchange, as it gives us an early window into how the exchanges will work in a state that has an unusually competitive and inexpensive individual market for health insurance. But that’s the irony. The full rate report is subtitled “Making the Individual Market in California Affordable.” But Obamacare has actually doubled individual-market premiums in the Golden State.

How did Lee and his colleagues explain the sleight-of-hand they used to make it seem like they were bringing prices down, instead of up? “It is difficult to make a direct comparison of these rates to existing premiums in the commercial individual market,” Covered California explained in last week’s press release, “because in 2014, there will be new standard benefit designs under the Affordable Care Act.” That’s a polite way of saying that Obamacare’s mandates and regulations will drive up the cost of premiums in the individual market for health insurance.

But rather than acknowledge that truth, the agency decided to ignore it completely, instead comparing Obamacare-based insurance to a completely different type of insurance product, that bears no relevance to the actual costs that actual Californians face when they shop for coverage today. Peter Lee calls it a “home run.” It’s more like hitting into a triple play.

Obama attacked insurers in 2010 for much smaller increases

That Obamacare more than doubles insurance premiums for many Californians is especially ironic, given the political posturing of the President and his administration in 2010. In February of that year, Anthem Blue Cross announced that some groups (but not the majority) would face premium increases of as much as 39 percent. The White House and its allies in the blogosphere, cynically, claimed that these increases were due to greedy profiteering by the insurers, instead of changes in the underlying costs of the insured population.

“These extraordinary increases are up to 15 times faster than inflation and threaten to make health care unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of Californians, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet in a difficult economy,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “[Anthem’s] strong financial position makes these rate increases even more difficult to understand.” The then-Democratic Congress called hearings. Even California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a Republican running for governor, decided to launch an investigation.

Soon after, WellPoint announced that, in fact, because of lower revenues and higher spending on patient care, the company earned 11 percent less in 2010 than it did in 2009. So much for greedy profiteering.

So, to summarize: Supporters of Obamacare justified passage of the law because one insurer in California raised rates on some people by as much as 39 percent. But Obamacare itself more than doubles the cost of insurance on the individual market. I can understand why Democrats in California would want to mislead the public on this point. But journalists have a professional responsibility to check out the facts for themselves.

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UPDATE 1: On Twitter, Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic argues that I’m being unkind to California (1) by not describing the mandates that Obamacare imposes on insurers in the individual market, and (2) not explaining that low-income people will be eligible for subsidies that protect them from much of the rate shock.

For an extensive discussion of Obamacare’s costly insurance mandates, such as its requirement that plans cover you whether you’re healthy or sick ,read this post. For a discussion of how Obamacare’s insurance mandates dramatically increase the cost of insurance for younger workers, go here.

Jon is right that low-income individuals will be protected from these rate increases because of Obamacare’s subsidies, but if you’re not low-income, you face a double-whammy: higher taxes to pay for those subsidies, and higher indvidual-market insurance costs for yourself. A better approachwould be to offer everyone access to low-cost consumer-driven health coverage.

UPDATE 2: A number of writers did call out California for the apples-to-oranges comparison last week, including David FreddosoPhilip Klein, andLanhee Chen.

Lanhee, writing in Bloomberg View, does the useful exercise of showing that even for plans with the same generous benefit package that Obamacare requires, eHealthInsurance is significantly cheaper:

To put it simply: Covered California is trying to make consumers think they’re getting more for less when, in fact, they’re just getting the same while paying more.

Yet there are many plans on the individual market in California today that offer a structure and benefits that are almost identical to those that will be available on the state’s health insurance exchange next year. So, let’s make an actual apples-to-apples comparison for the hypothetical 25-year-old male living in San Francisco and making more than $46,000 a year. Today, he can buy a PPO plan from a major insurer with a $5,000 deductible, 30 percent coinsurance, a $10 co-pay for generic prescription drugs, and a $7,000 out-of-pocket maximum for $177 a month.

According to Covered California, a “Bronze” plan from the exchange with nearly the same benefits, including a slightly lower out-of-pocket maximum of $6,350, will cost him between $245 and $270 a month. That’s anywhere from 38 percent to 53 percent more than he’ll have to pay this year for comparable coverage! Sounds a lot different than the possible 29 percent “decrease” touted by Covered California in their faulty comparison.

While Covered California acknowledges that it’s tough to compare premiums pre- and post-Obamacare, at the very least, it could have made a legitimate comparison so consumers could fairly evaluate the impacts of Obamacare.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/30/rate-shock-in-california-obamacare-to-increase-individual-insurance-premiums-by-64-146/?utm_source=TOPin&utm_medium=twitter

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