Archive for the ‘jobs’ Category

Federal Mandates for Dummies

Well, I just picked up my Sunday morning mail. Yes, it was actually Saturday’s mail, but I digress. There’s almost usually nothing that I look forward to about getting the mail, and this morning is just one prime example of the many wonderful surprises awaiting most of us.

The electric bill.  Yippee…

Now I don’t know where you live, but lately in Missouri it has been hotter than the flames surrounding Obama’s Healthcare Proposal.  So, of course I was curious to see how much more I might have to pay the electric company than usual considering the air conditioning has been running non-stop (kind of like the federal deficit).

Actually, the bill was lower than I might have guessed by about $70.00 compared to winter rates and $10.00 less than last month.  This was a pleasant surprise considering we run the ceiling fans most of the time also.  (But I’ve heard that ceiling fans help lower the cost of air conditioning a bit.)  And then I thought about the savings that I expected when I changed every single light bulb in my home to extremely expensive energy efficient light bulbs.  Maybe I’m doing something right.  Right?   

Then I read this in the electric company’s newsletter:

Bill

“[W]e recognize that this is a challenging time…”   Well, thank you.   That makes me feel not at all better. 

“… this [16%] rate increase will help….”  Help what?  Help me?

“… help KCP&L pay for environmental investments… and allow us to meet federal environmental mandates.”  Oh, I see.  The new rate increase will help the electric company pass the costs to me. 

Lesson:  EVERY TIME the federal government MANDATES something to energy corporations, insurance companies, healthcare providers, or even educators, YOU and I are the ones who get the privilege of paying for ALL OF IT. 

This is precisely why the President’s current policies are so aggravating: that despite his “Ivy League” education, his basic economic understanding is that money grows on trees.  (That’s the technical term for his fiscal policies.)  Or at least he truly believes that the federal government can create wealth by printing more money and leverage the expected output of future generations yet unborn by continuing to charge the giant Red China credit card.

And what ever happened to the President’s promise to not raise  taxes on the middle and lower class to help me?  Federal mandates are just another type of sneaky tax — they just come around and in through the back door (or in this case my mailbox). 

Apparently, I have been helping myself just fine.  My electric bill was lower than expected.  I was saving energy and saving money.  But thanks to the government’s “help” I will now be experiencing a 16% increase in my electric bill despite all my attempts to lower it.  Thank you big government — I couldn’t have done it without you. 

And for what it’s worth, the government cannot promise something for nothing.  Healthcare — whatever its final form — will never be free.  “Rich” people and the businesses run by them will not be paying for government programs or mandates.  You and I will be paying for them one way or another.  The costs are ultimately passed down to the end-user, the consumer, and the very citizens the government proclaims to “help”.

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Salesman of the Year!

Barack Obama declared the other evening that, “It’s time for America to chart a new course.”  (Quite possibly the scariest words in American politics.)  And who wouldn’t buy what this guy is selling??? 

Obama promised affordable education and declared that a college education should be a birthright for every American!  Obama promised affordable healthcare for every American and that all of us will have the same top-of-the-line healthcare as members of Congress in four years!   Obama promised to take the record profits of big oil and “make” them reinvest in alternative energy sources and pay for pollution!  Obama promised good paying jobs for the jobless!  And for such a young man with little experience, Obama has done very well for himself in finding enough people to buy into the hype with their votes.

First, Obama does not seem to appreciate that education, especially higher education is something that should be earned through hard work, dedication and personal sacrifice.  What kind of a birthright is Obama talking about?  What kind of message does that send to slackers in high schools across America if the government will ensure that you get a college degree whether you’ve earned it or not?  How many excellent future graduates will then have their degrees discounted because the market is flooded and employers can’t determine whether these degrees represent any significant achievement?  Obama doesn’t understand that promising government-backed college education does not raise the bar, it lowers the bar for everyone.  Obama doesn’t understand that information, i.e. education,  is a commodity that students buy and that college education is an investment in yourself that shouldn’t be passed out to people who haven’t earned the privilege.

Second, Obama doesn’t appreciate the fact that compared to private sector compensation, full-time civil servants and elected officials in the Federal government typically make far less money in public service. One of the incentives to retain well-trained and competent employees and leaders is to provide an excellent healthcare incentive package.  The idea that EVERY American should be entitled to the same government healthcare benefits package is simply pandering for votes.  So, why work for the government anymore?  And more importantly, Obama’s plan cannot work well simply because healthcare services are limited and finite.  Anyone who has visited an emergency room lately already knows this.  If the government begins footing the medical bills of every American and disregarding the limited resources available and increasing the demand on our skilled medical professionals, we will be begging for the days of the 3 1/2 hour emergency room waiting experience.  Further, individuals will have less incentive to be proactive in maintaining their own health (quitting smoking for example) because medical bills will be a thing of the past.  (Well, not exactly, but I’ll get to that.)

Third, the evil “big oil” corporations.  Since when is actually making money such a problem in America?  I really don’t understand how people in cafes can complain about $3.75 per gallon gas while simultaneously paying $64.00 per gallon for their lattes with tipping to boot. Think about it.  We hear a lot about big, bad, American oil corporations and their outrageous profits, but Starbucks is making out like a bandit!  And Obama needs to brush up on corporate formation.  Last time I checked, it’s the shareholders, i.e. regular Americans, who actually own these companies and invest in them!  Obama promises to punish these oil companies for excessive profits, force them to reinvest in other energy sources and make them pay for global pollution.  So Obama’s policies will actually punish the investors, i.e. you and me!  So what’s the point in investing in stocks or mutual funds of American companies if the government is going to limit your opportutnities to amass wealth or save for retirement?  IT IS OUTRAGEOUS that Obama is going to take profits from hard-working, investing Americans and claim that he will help us and the economy by doing so. The government already rakes in billions of dollars with a “B” through corporate taxes and fuel taxes.  If you wish to revive the American economy, the answer cannot be found in punishing with EVEN MORE TAXES the very industries driving the economy in the first place.  Furthermore, Obama doesn’t explain why American oil companies should have to pay for global pollution but not other countries such as Mexico, India, and China. 

Finally, Obama promises good paying jobs (not good jobs) for the jobless–all 5% of them.  This can only mean one thing: raising the minimum wage.  If you haven’t already figured this out, artificially raising wages decreases the overall standard of living because prices rise as well.  You have “more” money, it just has less value.  So rather than raise the bar for everyone and strengthen the economy, minimum wages discount everyone’s dollar–all 100% of us.  Thanks, Barack!  So while a jobless person may find a new job, it won’t necessarily be worth it.  The taxes taken out of their pay check to fund American college educations, universal health insurance, global warming initiatives, and massive job programs won’t leave much after the bills are paid.  And any money left over won’t be worth investing in companies since profits are evil.  So Obama’s policies won’t be free at all.  All of us will pay much higher taxes, have much greater dependence on government and have less money and fewer opportunities for ourselves and our families.

So Obama really knows how to work a crowd and get people excited about “change” even though no one really seems to understand that change can be very, very, bad.  He appears to many as a political saviour, yet his policies only represent the tired old liberal ideas that have never worked.  Obama has the least experience of any Presidential candidate in modern times.  I ask you, “How is that change we can believe in?”

Vote for Obama! It’s easier than thinking!