Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Obamacare: Heaven Help Us All

So what exactly is so bad about Obamacare?  There of course is the fact that its very existence is unconstitutional, the buying of votes to get it passed with taxpayer dollars, and the rise in abortions we can expect now that abortions will be paid for by taxpayers.  Let's just put all that aside for a moment.  What Obamacare does that is so bad is that it will put all private insurance companies out of business.  If you understand economics at all, you can see that it has to.  Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to anyone for any reason.  If they have to take anyone and cannot charge higher premiums on anyone, then everyone who has insurance must share equally in the costs.  This means that healthy people will be charged the same premiums as someone who is dying of cancer.  All premiums go up.  This then means that healthy people will not be able to afford insurance and will no longer have it.  People will only have insurance when they get sick.  And the fine they pay as punishment for not having insurance will go to the government and not to the insurance companies who will be barely alive at this point.  As people will get insurance only when they need health care to be paid for, insurance companies will not have the money any longer to pay for health care (they lose money as they only receive money in premiums from people who need much more money spent on them in their health care).  Insurance companies will go out of business, and the government will be "forced" to step in with a single payer system (universal or socialized health care).

This of course leads to a nationwide health care system that will mirror the current Medicare/Medicaid system.  In this system, the government chooses how much to pay doctors.  And they choose to pay them less than is worth it to the doctors.  Therefore, doctors retire and students don't enter medical school in the first place.  Then we have a shortage of doctors which leads to rationing and inferior care.  The government tells pharmacies how much they can charge for drugs.  It is not enough, so new drugs are not made and pharmacies go out of business.  Again, the government is "forced" to take over the pharmacy business.

The citizens of the United States are dependent upon their government for their very life via health care.  My husband has been through cancer.  I know all too well that he was dependent upon his doctor to keep him alive.  A doctor we chose.  This will shift to dependence upon the government.  And they may or may not choose to save you in your hour of need.  But either way they will tax you into poverty for it.  This is bondage.  And I don't want to live in bondage.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You've Had a Good Run, Panda

Panda bears sure are cute. And it is a good thing they are, because they are living on borrowed time. In the animal world of the survival of the fittest, they are simply not fit. The females can only mate during a 2-3 day window once each year and will probably only have 7 cubs at most in her lifetime. Their bamboo diet is so low in nutritional value, they are left with little energy, and it is a wonder they survive at all. Loss of their habitat to humans and the dwindling supply of bamboo are the main threats to pandas. However, they do not have the ability to adapt to these changing conditions, and pandas are quickly headed to extinction.

Pandas are the poster child (animal) for the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Unfortunately, this also makes them the poster child for money that could be better spent. The WWF receives millions in American taxpayer money each year. And they spend millions on saving the panda.  Environmentalist Christopher Packham has come out publicly stating that the efforts to save the panda are futile, as the issue of their diminishing habitat is not being adequately addressed. We are, at great cost, keeping them alive in captivity, but the efforts at keeping them alive in their natural habitat is doomed. Packham has said that the money spent on the panda would be put to much better use on other animals. He further states that the panda was not meant to survive according to Darwinian evolution and has said that: "Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It's not a strong species." With so many staunch darwinists out there, I am actually surprised more people have not come out against pouring millions of dollars into saving the panda.

The WWF is a worldwide organization that America gives money to.  We also have the Endangered Species Act.  C.J. Carnacchio has said that this act "...represents one of the most irresponsible pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress. The law basically gives the government the authority to stop extinction in all cases, regardless of the cost, by any means necessary. Not every species can or should be protected. Do we really need to save every allegedly endangered insect out there? Many creatures on the endangered species list are not really endangered or even a scientifically defined species at all. Yet, we spend roughly $2.6 million a year for each creature on the list."

The Endangered Species Act has also been used to take property rights away from owners in order to save whichever species it wants to. As of March 10, 2010, the United States has 574 animals listed as endangered or threatened, and when you include plants, that number goes up to 1,323. Yes, you read that correctly, we are also trying to save plants. Property owners beware, your rights to use your property may at any time be subject to the rights of 1,323 different plants and animals. And the right to develop property has been taken away from owners in order to preserve the habitat for any number of even animals unknown to the average American. It is essentially a tool for those of the environmental religion to control property rights and violate the Fifth Amendment. Property has even been confiscated.

Now I do not want panda bears to die out.  I think they are adorable and enjoy seeing them.  I likewise do not have a death wish for any of the 574 animals listed as threatened or endangered.  However, like most of my tax dollar decisions that the government makes, the panda is not something I would choose to spend my money on.  As you know, I am not a conservationist, and I am not opposed to saving pandas in order to spend the money on other animals, I just use common sense to see that millions of dollars spent each year on keeping the panda alive would be better spent elsewhere.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On the Dole Again

I had an acquaintance who lost her job.  She was a single mother, and it was a trying time for her.  She decided to go back to school.  She was able to do this because the government (i.e. you, the taxpayer) paid for her tuition through a grant.  She was able to still support her family through other government welfare such as food stamps.  So here she is trying to improve her situation and take care of her family.  Next thing she knows, her company wants to hire her back.  Her company had gone through a rough patch, but things were looking up for them now.  Well, if she goes back to work, she will no longer qualify for government welfare to care for her family and grants to pay for her schooling.  She would make too much money, as the job was a pretty decent one.  But now she had adjusted to going to school part time and then going home to spend most of her day with her children and doing what she wanted to do.  She didn't want to go back to work full-time when she could make enough money on welfare.

She did decide that she wouldn't mind a little extra spending money, so she arranged with her employer to go back to work part-time.  They wanted her full-time, but they, together, figured out how many hours she could work and how much she could be paid in order to still qualify for her government subsidies.  She made the selfish decision, but it was a decision that was in her and her family's financial best interest.  She got to go back to school and care for her family and have extra spending money, but she also got to be home more since she didn't need to work so many hours.  On the taxpayers' dime.  I wonder how many people have found themselves in this situation where they used to be productive, but now they will spend the rest of their lives working the system.

Our country is already quasi-socialist through welfare.  And socialism doesn't work.  Money is taken from the haves through taxes, making them less successful, and given to the have-nots, even if the have-nots could be haves but choose not to.  It even helps the have-nots make the choice to continue to be have-nots.  And thus everyone is worse off.

Those people on welfare often instead of trying to get off welfare, use their welfare income in their budget as if it was now just part of their income.  And why try to make more money by doing extra work when it would just disqualify you for your welfare stipend and replace that.  You are not left with more money, initially, than if you had just stayed on welfare.  If you don't ever take that first harsh step off of welfare and try to make it on your own again, you will never reach independence and become productive again.  It is easier to just stay on welfare.

It works the same with countries.  Other countries, especially in Africa, have come to depend on foreign aid from America.  It is no longer the helping hand to get them on track, but has become just part of their budgeted income.  And why try harder as a country when you can instead just get your extra money from America?

Monday, March 1, 2010

When in Greece....

Sometimes I wish we could just get rid of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid right now and just get it over with. Greece is currently in the process of getting rid of their entitlements. Greece is now bankrupt. Their socialist society has imploded on itself. There is no more money left to pay their bills. They have a high tax and high entitlement society, and there is not enough money to go around anymore. The government had no choice but to start cutting entitlements. They even started with small entitlement cuts. But the Greeks are not having it. There is mass rioting in the streets. 80% of the government work force is on strike. Government offices, schools and universities, and their airport are all closed. Even train, bus, and ferry services closed. They are short on gasoline, and Carter era 1970's style line-ups are taking place at the gasoline stations that still have gas. This is what happens at the point where the unsustainable socialist economy can no longer run. Is this the "socialist utopia" you are looking for Obama? This is the direction America is headed, and we will get there even faster if Obama can ram through his health care plan.

I believe the first time I really understood how Social Security works was when I entered my finance program in college. Now believe me, I know that a college degree in any field does not necessarily an expert make, but even the most preliminary investigation into Social Security reveals the frightening reality that it is a house of cards. It is a ponzi scheme as I discussed in an earlier post. They do not and never did even invest the money we put into Social Security. It is immediately spent. I knew at 20 years old that I would never be able to retire and live on Social Security and Medicare. I don't believe it will be around at all by the time I get to the age of retirement. And if it is still kicking around in its death throes, the benefits will be scaled back so much that I won't be able to do much with it.

These programs have turned our country into a socialist scheme wherein the government takes money to hand over to the elderly. But the money comes from their children and generations to come. I have had money taken out of my paycheck to pay for Social Security/Medicare since I was 16 years old. I was earning $4.25 an hour. How dare the elderly take that money from me! I was a child! And I will never see any of it back. They are taking it from me today. I have children to raise! I would rather have that money for myself right now to invest and use to raise my family, especially since I do not believe I will ever receive Social Security myself. It will be bankrupt. The projections change all the time for the insolvency of the programs. One current projection is this year (2010). But now that the baby boomers will start retiring this year, the only way to stave off the end of it all is to raise taxes and lower benefits ad nauseum until the house of cards comes crashing down notwithstanding all of these efforts. And then myself and my children will be left with nothing. But they all feel so entitled to it, even though studies show that the average elderly person uses three times more in Medicare money than they ever paid into the system.

So my question is this: Do we begin the end of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and other entitlement programs now peacefully? Or do we wait until we have no choice? And if we reach the point of no choice that Greece is at now, do we transform back to a capitalist society? And do we work together, or do we riot in the streets and shut down life as we know it?