The price of Obamanomics: ObamaCare division

August 24, 2010

In an earlier post, I had described the deliberate sacrifice of 23,000 jobs in the Gulf region as a necessary part of President Obama’s economic amateurism: unfamiliar with how business operates in the real world, he was willing to eliminate the livelihoods of thousands in the magical belief that they would all come back as soon as he allowed drilling to resume.

Now we’re seeing the same processes and consequences in other sectors, as insurance and other companies begin mass layoffs thanks to our shiny new health-care reform law:

  • Assurant health cutting jobs ahead of health reform implementation: “Milwaukee-based Insurer Assurant Inc. is cutting its workforce in various locations around America ahead of health care reform implementation.”
  • NC’s largest health insurer to cut jobs: “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will contract with Dallas-based Sourcecorp for some data entry work… The company wants to cut its total operating costs by 20 percent, or $200 million, by 2014. That’s when much of the federal health care law takes effect.”
  • WakeMed begins $87M cost-cutting effort: “Wake County’s largest hospital system plans to slash annual operating costs by as much as $87 million as it makes changes recommended by an outside consulting firm… efforts likely will include eliminating jobs in some departments… The hospital also may phase out some services where it’s not the market leader, such as providing chemotherapy and other cancer treatment.”
  • Houston Employers chop 17,000 jobs in area: “Finance and health care companies are holding back on hiring because of uncertainties about recent federal regulations, he said. The moratorium on deep-water drilling has also caused energy companies to be more cautious about domestic expansion.”

Be sure to check out Doug Ross’ post for the rest of the cheery news. Regardless of Obama’s smooth assurances that health care reform would bend the cost-curve down and save the country money, this is the reality: thousands of people are going to lose their jobs because businesses will have to adjust to the new expenses imposed by ObamaCare. And it won’t be just job losses: companies will also raise the premiums charged consumers or get out of the health-insurance business altogether.

The real world is going to make us pay for the progressives’ fantasies, so let’s make them pay in November.

RELATED: And speaking of reality messing up a fun fantasy, here’s one for all the college students who helped make history by voting for Obama: Congratulations, your school may have to discontinue your student insurance. You’re welcome.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The shamelessness of Barney Frank

August 24, 2010

Remember when the financial crisis hit and the Democrats, especially Barney Frank, said they couldn’t be held responsible for the poison mortgages that triggered the whole mess? It was the Republicans’ fault, especially that evil and stupid George W. Bush, but never the Democrats. Never, in spite of passing Community Redevelopment Act in the late 70s that was later used, under Bill Clinton and his Housing Secretary, Andrew Cuomo, to force banks into easy-lending policies to home-buyers who weren’t otherwise qualified. The Democrats had no responsibility, according to Frank and others, even though they then pressed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee these bad mortgages, buy them up, and sell them as (lousy) bundled securities on the open market and thus poisoning the financial system. The Democrats had no responsibility, even though they blocked three different Republican attempts to reform the two agencies after 2000. Instead, the Democrats, lead by Frank and Senator Chris Dodd (D-Countrywide), defended Fannie and Freddie tooth and claw and even cried racism at any attempt to tighten up lending requirements.

An educational video:

All this lead directly to the September, 2008, financial crisis, but none of it was the Democrats’ responsibility, according to Barney Frank.

That was then, this is now:

For years, Frank was a staunch supporter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government housing agencies that played such an enormous role in the financial meltdown that thrust the economy into the Great Recession. But in a recent CNBC interview, Frank told me that he was ready to say goodbye to Fannie and Freddie.

“I hope by next year we’ll have abolished Fannie and Freddie,” he said. Remarkable. And he went on to say that “it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn’t afford and couldn’t really handle once they had it.” He then added, “I had been too sanguine about Fannie and Freddie.”

When I asked Frank about a long-term phase-out plan that would shrink Fannie and Freddie portfolios and mortgage-purchase limits, and merge the agencies into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for a separate low-income program that would get government out of middle-income housing subsidies, he replied: “Larry, that, I think, is exactly what we should be doing.”

This is like the guy who was warned not to drink and drive killing someone in an accident and then saying “I made a mistake in judgment.” It in no way relieves our imaginary drunk driver nor Barney Frank of the responsibility for the tremendous harm they’ve done. With a beautifully impersonal “it was a mistake,” he hides the fact that he, himself, was one of the powers making that mistake and turning it critical.

And this fat, incompetent clown wants more power? He expects to be reelected? “Shameless” does not begin to describe this slug.

Please, if this November does see a Republican wave, let Bawney Fwank be one of the ones drowned in it.

You can help make this so by donating to his opponent, Sean Bielat.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Adventures in government incompetence, L.A. County edition

August 24, 2010

It takes a special kind of genius to burn $50,000,000 in a failed effort to save $13,000,000:

After spending more than $154 million for a system of locking turnstiles and electronic payment cards for the county transit system, officials are discovering that at least a third of the money may have been wasted because they can’t use the new devices as planned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority placed the locking turnstiles at subway and light-rail stations to stop fare scofflaws and end what had previously been an honor-based system.

Installed under a $46 million contract, the turnstiles were predicted to save $13 a million a year in lost revenue and reduced fare inspector costs.

But the turnstiles can’t be configured to lock until Metro fully converts to a new electronic Transit Access Pass system – and that is proving nearly impossible.

The stalled effort has raised questions from critics about whether the turnstile contract has turned into a costly boondoggle.

“Raised questions?” I should think pitchforks and torches are in order. The subway itself was a grandiose and monstrous waste of money, do we have to keep throwing ever more into its tunnels?

(via Mayor Sam’s Sister City)