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Things Are Looking Up For The Right!

by Flyovercountry ( 134 Comments › )
Filed under Conservatism, Economy, Libertarianism, Regulation, Republican Party, Tea Parties, The Political Right, Uncategorized, unemployment at February 27th, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

I believe some perspective might be in order, so that the significance of this next item may be fully appreciated in its broader context. Harry Reid it seems went to his fellow minions in the Senate, and as their minion leader, found that little more than half of his sub minion drones were on board with the latest bit of class warfare du jour.

I am referencing of course the proposed federal minimum wage hike to $10.10 per hour, euphemistically referred to as, “giving America a raise.” For purposes of perspective, let’s discuss what these little bits of class warfare truly are, and especially the minimum wage hike. They are the go to plays within the Democrat play book that are pulled out whenever electoral trouble is spotted on the horizon. The minimum wage hike is the Democrat equivalent to the Steelers running their bubble screen each and every time they face a second and long and are down by a touchdown or more. They are the equivalent of Peyton Manning coming to the line of scrimmage and declaring authoritatively, “Comanche,” every single time his offense faces a third and long. The minimum wage hike is the go to play, and before now, it has worked every single time, (in terms of electoral politics anyhow. Economically, it has always resulted in disaster.)

From the Hotair article linked to above:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday delayed action on legislation raising the minimum wage, the centerpiece of the Democrats’ 2014 agenda.

The Nevada Democrat made the surprising move amid escalating Democratic resistance in the wake of a Congressional Budget Office report released last week estimating that hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could cost the equivalent of 500,000 jobs by late 2016.

Reid has not yet unified his caucus on the issue, which is a constant in the Democrats’ election-year playbook. Of the 55 senators who caucus with the Democrats, only 32 have signed on as official co-sponsors of Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) bill.
Let’s get this straight. This is Obama’s highest domestic agenda priority item, and the chamber which his party controls can barely get half of their caucus to sign onto it? That’s some genius work at the White House. Who’s their legislative liaison these days?

The issue, of course, is that the CBO actually scored the proposal before Reid could advance the bill. Their estimate of 500,000 jobs lost in just two years would be a boat anchor on any legislation, but especially in an economy where workforce participation looks like this:

The Democrats who still have jobs in Washington, and are not tenured enough in their careers as professional wielders of power are worried. They have internal polls, and those internal polls are telling them to forget about 2016, but worry instead about 2014. They can read the tea leaves and those tea leaves are telling them that America is not in a mood to elect Democrats to the office of county dog catcher. This is the reason why we are seeing a huge increase in the retirements from the demographic of Democrat Congressional Leaders. These fine folks are not interested in being in Congress and not being afforded the opportunity to wield power to the degree that they feel entitled.

What we’ve just witnessed, to continue the pro football analogy, is the first snap from scrimmage during a playoff game sailing over the head of the quarterback, while the whole stadium anticipated and feared the bubble screen. The Democrats tried to label Obamacare bi-partisan, and that will never work. Then they tried to laud it as a giant success, that won’t work either. Next they tried the whole populist play book, and received a bizarrely luke warm reception from a nation fatigued with previous consequences from earlier forays into populism. After that, the calls to fix rather than scrap Obamacare were sounded to various focus groups. The response of course was this:

“You can’t fix this car Spicoli!”

The tried and true minimum wage hike was supposed to be their go to play. The good news is that as of now, they can’t even sell it to their own. Demonizing political opponents is all they have left now. Expect to see that soon. It may work, and it may not, but one thing is clear, reports of the death of the GOP may have been premature, once again.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Obama to delay employer mandate for small businesses

by Rodan ( 4 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Health Care, Regulation, Special Report at February 10th, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Regardless of how one feels about the Immigration issue, John Boehner was right. Obama can’t be trusted and implements laws as he sees fit. Knowing that Obamacare is an albatross around the Democrats, Obama has now delayed the employer mandate for small businesses.

The federal government Monday announced yet another delay in Obamacare’s rules. It will now exempt companies employing between 50 and 100 full-time workers from complying with the mandate to offer employees affordable health insurance by another year, until 2016.

Companies that have 100 or more full-time workers, defined as employees who work more than 30 hours per week, will have to begin complying with the mandate to offer such coverage in 2015 or face financial penalties of up to $3,000 per worker.

Officials Monday said that the delay in the Obamacare mandate will affect 50 percent of the businesses that were supposed to be complying by 2015. Those officials could not answer how many workers would be affected by the delay.

You best bet, Obama will delay the employer mandate for medium and big businesses before the Midterms.

Get Konnected With The Kronies OOT

by Macker ( 78 Comments › )
Filed under Bailouts, Humor, OOT, Regulation, taxation, Unions at January 24th, 2014 - 11:00 pm

Heads They Win, Tails You Lose….

Yes, there really IS a website for these “action figures” and here it is! According to the site, it purports to offer these characters for sale…but not yet…all those regulatory and confiscatory statutes, policy mandates, and political paybacks have to be met first!
While everyone’s waiting for that, let’s go right into The Overnight Open Thread!

The Fiscon Lament, We Are Losing Freedom!

by coldwarrior ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Regulation, Special Report, taxation at January 15th, 2014 - 9:27 am

Guess what, GOP? This hits everyone in the pocketbook. Can we please deregulate and get taxation into a logical and more predictable system? Or would that be too much to ask, too much freedom given back to the hoi polloi.

America’s Dwindling Economic Freedom

Regulation, taxes and debt knock the U.S. out of the world’s top 10.

World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

For 20 years, the index has measured a nation’s commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.

Getty Images

Those losing freedom, on the other hand, risk economic stagnation, high unemployment and deteriorating social conditions. For instance, heavy-handed government intervention in Brazil’s economy continues to limit mobility and fuel a sense of injustice.

It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.

But as the U.S. economy languishes, many countries are leaping ahead, thanks to policies that enhance economic freedom—the same ones that made the U.S. economy the most powerful in the world. Governments in 114 countries have taken steps in the past year to increase the economic freedom of their citizens. Forty-three countries, from every part of the world, have now reached their highest economic freedom ranking in the index’s history.

Hong Kong continues to dominate the list, followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada. These are the only countries to earn the index’s “economically free” designation. Mauritius earned top honors among African countries and Chile excelled in Latin America. Despite the turmoil in the Middle East, several Gulf states, led by Bahrain, earned designation as “mostly free.”

A realignment is under way in Europe, according to the index’s findings. Eighteen European nations, including Germany, Sweden, Georgia and Poland, have reached new highs in economic freedom. By contrast, five others—Greece, Italy, France, Cyprus and the United Kingdom—registered scores lower than they received when the index started two decades ago.

The most improved players are in Eastern Europe, including Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. These countries have gained the most economic freedom over the past two decades. And it’s no surprise: Those who have lived under communism have no trouble recognizing the benefits of a free-market system. But countries that have experimented with milder forms of socialism, such as Sweden, Denmark and Canada, also have made impressive moves toward greater economic freedom, with gains near 10 points or higher on the index scale. Sweden, for instance, is now ranked 20th out of 178 countries, up from 34th out of 140 countries in 1996.

The U.S. and the U.K, historically champions of free enterprise, have suffered the most pronounced declines. Both countries now fall in the “mostly free” category. Some of the worst performers are in Latin America, particularly Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia. All are governed by crony-populist regimes pushing policies that have made property rights less secure, spending unsustainable and inflation evermore threatening.

Despite financial crises and recessions, the global economy has expanded by nearly 70% in 20 years, to $54 trillion in 2012 from $32 trillion in 1993. Hundreds of millions of people have left grinding poverty behind as their economies have become freer. But it is an appalling, avoidable human tragedy how many of the world’s peoples remain unfree—and poor.

The record of increasing economic freedom elsewhere makes it inexcusable that a country like the U.S. continues to pursue policies antithetical to its own growth, while wielding its influence to encourage other countries to chart the same disastrous course. The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom documents a world-wide race to enhance economic opportunity through greater freedom—and this year’s index demonstrates that the U.S. needs a drastic change in direction.

Anecdotal Stories And Just Flat Out Lies, Welcome To Democrat Politics 101

by Flyovercountry ( 100 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Economy, Progressives, Regulation at January 10th, 2014 - 7:00 am

Meet Mark Udall,

he’s running for reelection to his seat in the U.S. Senate. He has the same problem that every member of his party has. He did something really really stupid. He ran as a centrist, a conservative Democrat. He lied to his constituents in multiple ways. First, there is no such thing as a conservative Democrat. Secondly, he promised not to be a rubber stamp for the Marxist agenda so stealthily promised by Barack Obama. Once elected, he voted for every Marxist measure that came up for a vote. One of those affirmative votes was in favor of the Marxist Holy Grail, which we’ll call Obamacare. Like all Marxist wet dreams of Utopia, the program has been an abject failure, and the collapse has even managed to surpass the most pessimistic predictions of such, both in terms of magnitude and rapidity.

This combination has placed Senator Udall in danger of losing his job as a member of America’s elite ruling political class. Feeling threatened,Udall returned immediately to those invaluable lessons taught in Democrat Politics 101 and 201. Democrat Politics 101 teaches the all important lesson of blatant lying to achieve political ends. Democrat Politics 201 teaches the effective use of anecdotal story telling to achieve political success.

CompleteColorado.com reports that emails show U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s (D-CO) office pressured the Colorado Division of Insurance to downplay the number of insurance cancellations caused by the rollout of ObamaCare. A full 249,199 Colorado citizens were victimized by ObamaCare’s cancellations. According to the emails, Udall’s office hoped to change the definition of a “cancellation” as a way to lower the number. All of this occurred late last year as the storm around cancellations was engulfing Democrats and the president.

From an email inside the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), Director of External Affairs Jo Donlin bluntly stated to her colleagues:
Sen. Udall says our numbers were wrong. They are not wrong. Cancellation notices affected 249,199 people. They want to trash our numbers. I’m holding strong while we get more details. Many have already done early renewals. Regardless, they received cancellation notices.
Donlin’s email was sent November 14.

Good luck with that tactic Mark. Your problem of course is this. Even if you are successful in coercing the State Superintendent of Insurance to tell lies on your behalf, there is no way that I can think of, in which you’ll be successful in placing yourself or an agent acting on your behalf, between a person’s eyes and the news contained in one of those cancellation notices. Those 250,000 people know that their policy has been canceled, and what’s more, they know that they were promised that they would be able to keep both those policies, and the doctors that they have not been able to keep. What’s even worse than that for you, is that this is only a small taste of things to come. In October of this year, the already once postponed employer mandate kicks in, and that event will make the current rate of cancellations pale in comparison. (Not that you folks in Colorado don’t deserve this. After all, you twice voted for Barack Obama, and sent Mark Udall to the Senate in the first place.)

This should surprise no one. Moments after this sink hole of a law passed, Dianne Feinstein threatened Insurance Industry executives with subpoenas should they list Obamacare as a reason for the spate of premium increases that occurred immediately after the, “Affordable Care Act’s” assention from bad idea to bill to law. For months now, our President’s teleprompter has been touring the fruited plains and delivering speeches in which it has said, (fair warning, if you have liquid in your mouth you do not wish to see sprayed through your nose, empty it now before reading the President’s quote,)

“we’ve already started to see the costs associated with health insurance coming down.”

Blatant lying to achieve political victory is nothing new for this crowd. What is new is the air of desperation. Mark Udall, under ordinary circumstances, would never swing at this pitch, when the election is still 11 months out. He knows that Americans are mad, and they are mad almost exclusively at the Democrats. They own this monstrosity, and no matter how they try to blame its colossal failure on anybody else, it belongs exclusively to them. They know it, all of America knows it, and hell, even Nancy Pelosi, that great moron of Western Civilization who labeled the law as being bipartisan, (really, she did,) even though not one single Republican voted in favor of it, knows this.

I’m not going to call the Colorado race this far out, but clearly, Mark Udall can see that he is facing a constituency that is not amused with the fact that he lied to them and inflicted them with the Holy Grail of Marxist destructive legislation. There is a target issue here that has the potential to determine the winners and losers for at least the next two cycles. People in general do not like having their financial security and their over all health placed in flux by grinding the ideological ax. When America voted for Barack Obama twice, they did so not because they agreed with Marxism, but because they believed, albeit mistakenly, that their lot in life would be improved.

So far as I can tell, doubling of insurance premiums, outright cancellations, and deductibles so stratospheric that they’ll never be met is not something that can be sugarcoated sufficiently to convince someone facing it that this has somehow improved their lot in life. Barack Obama won two popularity contests, admittedly important ones, but that does not change the fact that he has grotesquely misinterpreted his mandate. The price to be paid for this folly will be exacted most heavily on those fools who went along with it, the Mark Udalls of the world.

Now for Democrat Politics 201, the anecdotal story, not to be confused with the more advanced course, Democrat Politics 402, Deflection. In the class known as Anecdotal Evidence for Political Persuasion, our students are taught the finer points of trying to fake a trend in American life by telling a story from the perspective of a single individual. The story need not be true, only believed. That last point is key.

My favorite example of this of course remains to this day, Al Gore’s 2000 debate performance. He pointed to a heavy set woman in the audience, one whom attended at his invitation, and declared that she spent her life with the ominous choice between buying basic groceries or purchasing her life saving medications that kept death at bay. For good measure he added, “and she drove here cross country in her Winnebago so that she could be here with us this evening.” collectively, half the nation offered this suggestion for her to themselves, “maybe she should sell her quarter million dollar vehicle and use that money to purchase either her medications or groceries.”

This one is a more advanced technique, but I notice it almost everywhere. The number of my liberal debate partners who have suffered cancer or some other debilitating disease which previously made the purchase of health insurance impossible defies all known laws of statistics. I also notice that almost everyone left of center has a family member who lives in either Canada or France and absolutely loves their access to health care, which of course is in direct contradiction of all independent polls conducted amongst the citizenry of those nations.

Fortunately, Mark Levin has provided us with a method to combat the technique taught in the 201 class. Click the link below, and give it some consideration.

Click here for some Mark Levin Brilliance.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Obamacare not the Only Obama Mandate Crashing and Burning

by Mars ( 176 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Barack Obama, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Education, Fight Thread, Free Speech, Multiculturalism, Political Correctness, Politics, Progressives, Regulation at January 2nd, 2014 - 7:00 am

Here’s an article from National Review on Common Core. The central tenet of the article is that we can’t have a debate on Common Core because even it’ advocates aren’t being honest about who they are and what they want. Well, inside the article there is something more interesting. It seems Common Core is collapsing without any outside interference. Like everything else the liberals do, it is unorganized and chaotic. Conflicting standards, overly bloated textbook selections, unclear goals, and no sense of authority whatsoever.

As Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas Fordham Institute and a longtime champion of national standards, observed in 2010, “For these standards to get traction . . . a whole bunch of other things need to happen. Curriculum needs to happen, textbooks need to be aligned with the curriculum, teacher preparation and professional development need to be aligned, tests need to be aligned, [and] the accountability system that is built on those tests needs to make sense.”

There’s little evidence that Common Core boosters really believe that states, school districts, and commercial providers will make this work on their own. For instance, a quick search of Amazon for “Common Core” shows more than 30,000 books — and superintendents and teachers are quick to acknowledge that no one knows how to tell the good from the bad. Finn’s Fordham Foundation just released a report noting that most English teachers are not assigning the kinds of reading envisioned by the Common Core. The National Council on Teacher Quality recently reported that the vast majority of education schools are not preparing new teachers to teach the Common Core. Right now, school districts, states, and Common Core advocates don’t have an answer for any of this.

In each case, plenty of Washington-based Common Core enthusiasts think the feds need to help get this stuff right. In 2011, the American Federation of Teachers endorsed the creation of a national curriculum to support the Common Core. The National Governors Association has previously called on Uncle Sam to help fund and encourage Common Core implementation. The Obama Department of Education has embraced a much more prescriptive role in telling states how to measure teacher effectiveness and where teachers should teach.

States including Oklahoma, Georgia, and Florida have announced that they’re abandoning the federally recognized Common Core tests, and other states are weighing similar moves. These states have promised to develop their own tests. But someone will still feel obliged to determine whether those new tests meet promises states have made to Washington in order to secure federal education funds. This opens the door to federal officials’ micromanaging test design and even test scoring.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367085/common-core-slippery-slope-frederick-m-hess-michael-q-mcshane

As most here now, I loathe the Politico, I think they are a bunch of leftist radicals masquerading as middle of the road. But, here is something interesting from them.

Common Core testing problems seem inevitable

By CAITLIN EMMA | 12/27/13 11:46 AM EST

The education world is scrambling to avoid its own version of a full-scale HealthCare.gov meltdown when millions of students pilot new digital Common Core tests this spring.

Technological hiccups, much less large-scale meltdowns, won’t do: The results of the Common Core tests will influence teachers’ and principals’ evaluations and other decisions about their jobs. Schools will be rated on the results. Students’ promotion to the next grade or graduation from high school may hinge on their scores. And the already-controversial Common Core standards, designed to be tested using a new generation of sophisticated exams that go beyond multiple-choice testing, may be further dragged through the mud if there are crises.

States and the test developers have thought through some of the possible pitfalls. For example, some schools are stocking up on technology, and the tests have been designed to go easy on schools’ Internet infrastructure.

But problems with the exams seem imminent if issues during other large-scale online assessments are any indication: Schools’ bandwidth could collapse under the stress of too many students testing at the same time. Computers could hang up or crash. And schools in some places will have to come up with creative schedules to test all of their students, who may far outnumber available computers. Some schools are already planning to take paper exams until their districts can get up to technological speed — even though those tests will cost more per student than online counterparts and might throw off comparisons with computer-based tests.

“There will be bumps in the first couple years,” said Jeff Livingston, senior vice president of education policy and strategic alliances at McGraw-Hill. “There’s no question in my mind about that … It’s an engineering problem and a policy problem.”

The tests will be given on a massive scale: Roughly 4.2 million third through eighth graders will test the exams in math and English this spring, and 29 million students nationwide will use them starting next school year.

Last spring, Kentucky students taking digital end-of-course assessments designed by ACT had to switch to paper and pencil after slow and dropped connections complicated the testing. Alabama and Ohio students also had problems.

The Kentucky Department of Education wanted ACT to conduct a “stress test” in mid-November to see if the server could handle 20,000 students at one time. ACT was supposed to make software corrections and hardware fixes to improve the online system, but the testing company told the state those fixes wouldn’t be ready for the stress tests or next round of end-of-course exams. The stress test was ultimately canceled.

In addition, CTB/McGraw-Hill apologized last spring for interruptions after its digital testing service disrupted exams in Indiana and Oklahoma. About 3,000 students in Oklahoma lost their connections to the testing provider’s servers. And nearly 80,000 out of a half million Indiana students who took the company’s tests in the spring had their testing postponed and about 30,000 were kicked off of the testing platform on a single day of testing. One Indiana charter school has said the errors are to blame for its F grade from the state.

The company said the Indiana outage occurred because “our simulations did not fully anticipate the patterns of live student testing.” Members of the Indiana Board of Education called the situation “disastrous.”

Oklahoma dropped out of one of the groups developing Common Core tests in early July, citing technology challenges as one of its leading reasons.

Wyoming ditched its online testing system a few years ago, after network infrastructure buckled when 80,000 students tried to take state exams. The debacle cost the state superintendent his job.

Those problems and others have the potential to play out on a much larger, more public stage in the coming years.

“There’s a lot of anxiety in the field, and I think it’s rational,” said Brian Lewis, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education.

At least four states have officially withdrawn from the testing consortia. Other states are teetering on the edge of their relationships with the federally funded groups devising the tests, decrying cost, federal overreach and the potential tech troubles. A shaky roll out could burn more bridges with those organizations and drive up the cost of testing for remaining states.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/common-core-testing-problems-seem-inevitable-101568.html#ixzz2okBO24oP

Of course there are many out there that think these problems were planned in order to pave the way for even more government interference. I see this as possible, however, this administration has shown itself over and over as incapable of even getting their own nefarious schemes done right.

So, time will tell. Is this a monumental disaster and screwup? Or is this another plan for a huge federal power grab? Feel free to fight it out in the comment section.

The Great Guns & Ammo Panic of 2013

by huckfunn ( 43 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Business, Corruption, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, DOJ, Economy, Eric Holder, Free Speech, government, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Second Amendment, Special Report, Weapons at December 7th, 2013 - 9:55 am

While lurking on The Blogmacracy  this morning, I saw that Mike C. suggested that we have a gun thread about the “Great Guns & Ammo Panic of 2013”. So here it is.

This past summer I was sitting in the waiting room of the Grease Monkey lube shop in Clovis, NM while my oil was being changed. I picked up the current issue of Guns & Ammo magazine and the cover story was “G&A Perspective: Panic Purchases and the Volatile Ammo Market”. The article explored the various theories on the empty ammo shelves at gun shops and the resulting spike in prices of the most common calibers as well as the shortage of AR-style rifles. The conclusion was that gun ownership has now gone mainstream due to the gun control efforts of Obama and his democrat cohorts. People who have never considered owning a firearm have now armed themselves and are taking to the ranges. Many people are hoarding ammo. All ammo manufacturers are currently running at maximum output having added more capacity and round-the-clock shifts.

Read the entire article here.

State Tax Policy and Growth

by coldwarrior ( 107 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread, Politics, Regulation, taxation at December 3rd, 2013 - 8:00 am

Death and taxes are, of course, inevitable. Death is unchanged, it never stops. Taxes on the other hand, while inevitable, can be changed. Taxes can be written in such a way as to promote growth and spending can be curbed so that the State government isn’t always looking for more ways to get blood out of a stone.

This map is interesting, it gives us a nice snapshot:

http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/2014%20State%20Business%20Tax%20Climate%20Index.png

Lower taxes are not the only thing that determines employment, see this map. There is correlation, but it isn’t as strong as I thought it would be. Of course there is one major item missing from both of these maps, regulation. Here is the most recent map from BLS.

I was unable to come up with a map that showed total regulation by state or by complexity. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on how to define that one.  We can assume that regulations cost companies money so it is in fact a tax.

 

Below is a table of GDP per capita by state. Visit the link to move the rows around to get the complete picture.

2013 list GDP by State.

List of U.S. states and territories by GDP in 2013[3]
GDP
Rank
State
territory
GDP
($Millions)
Percentage of
national GDP
Population
(Millions)
GDP
per capita ($)
GDP Rank
per capita
35  District of Columbia 104,700 0.72 0.6 174,500 1
41  Delaware 62,700 0.43 0.9 69,667 2
46  Alaska 45,600 0.31 0.7 65,143 3
23  Connecticut 233,400 1.61 3.6 64,833 4
48  Wyoming 38,200 0.26 0.6 63,667 5
12  Massachusetts 377,700 2.60 6.5 58,108 6
2  Texas 1,458,300 8.92 25.1 58,099 7
3  New York 1,156,500 7.68 19.4 57,423 8
7  New Jersey 497,000 3.42 8.8 56,477 9
9  Virginia 427,700 2.95 8.0 53,463 10
14  Washington 351,100 2.42 6.7 52,403 11
19  Colorado 259,700 1.79 5.0 51,940 12
1  California 2,080,600 13.34 37.3 51,914 13
15  Maryland 300,000 2.07 5.8 51,724 14
17  Minnesota 267,100 1.84 5.3 50,396 15
5  Illinois 644,200 4.44 12.8 50,328 16
47  South Dakota 39,900 0.27 0.8 49,875 17
37  Nebraska 89,600 0.62 1.8 49,778 18
39  Hawaii 68,900 0.47 1.4 49,214 19
30  Iowa 147,200 1.01 3.0 49,067 20
50  North Dakota 33,400 0.23 0.7 47,714 21
 United States 16,202,700 100.00 316.8 47,482
24  Louisiana 213,600 1.47 4.5 47,467 22
42  New Hampshire 61,600 0.42 1.3 47,385 23
32  Nevada 127,500 0.88 2.7 47,222 24
6  Pennsylvania 575,600 3.97 12.7 45,323 25
45  Rhode Island 49,500 0.34 1.1 45,000 26
26  Oregon 168,900 1.16 3.8 44,447 27
31  Kansas 128,500 0.89 2.9 44,310 28
20  Wisconsin 251,400 1.73 5.7 44,105 29
51  Vermont 26,400 0.18 0.6 44,000 30
10  North Carolina 407,400 2.81 9.5 42,884 31
29  Oklahoma 160,500 1.11 3.8 42,237 32
8  Ohio 483,400 3.33 11.5 42,035 33
33  Utah 116,900 0.81 2.8 41,750 34
11  Georgia 403,100 2.79 9.7 41,711 35
16  Indiana 267,600 1.84 6.5 41,169 36
22  Missouri 246,700 1.70 6.0 41,117 37
44  Maine 53,200 0.37 1.3 40,923 38
18  Arizona 261,300 1.80 6.4 40,828 39
4  Florida 754,000 5.20 18.8 40,106 40
21  Tennessee 250,300 1.72 6.3 39,730 41
13  Michigan 372,400 2.57 9.9 37,616 42
28  Kentucky 161,400 1.11 4.3 37,535 43
49  Montana 37,200 0.26 1.0 37,200 44
34  Arkansas 105,800 0.73 2.9 36,483 45
25  Alabama 174,400 1.20 4.8 36,333 46
38  New Mexico 75,500 0.52 2.1 35,952 47
27  South Carolina 164,300 1.13 4.6 35,717 48
40  West Virginia 66,600 0.46 1.9 35,053 49
43  Idaho 54,800 0.38 1.6 34,250 50
36  Mississippi 98,900 0.68 3.0 32,967 51

While we are comparing states and their economics, lets look at debt by state. This is by percentage of State Product and not as a total because some economies are larger than others.

http://thestatesproject.org/wp-content/themes/organic_nonprofit/images/statemap5-totaldebt.png

What we see here is that it is not just taxes that have an impact on economic performance. There are 50 different laboratories out there. Some get it right, some don’t.

Overheard At An ObamaCare Exchange

by Bunk X ( 213 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Business, Communism, Corruption, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Fascism, Health Care, Healthcare, History, Liberal Fascism, Open thread, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Socialism, unemployment at November 14th, 2013 - 8:00 pm

“Hello, Ma’am. May I help you?”

“Yes, I’m here to sign up for ObamaCare because my insurance carrier dropped me.”

“I can help you with that, but I need some information first. I need your age, weight, height, current medical status and your Social Security ID card with an ID.”

“Here’s my card and my driver’s license. I’m 67, 5′-7″, 210 lbs., diabetic, smoker, varicose veins, and have high blood pressure.”

“Do you drink alcohol?”

“All I can get.”

“Do you own a firearm?”

“What? Yes I do. For self defense.”

“Huh. Are you aware that ObamaCare provides free contraceptives and coverage for pregnancy?

“I’ve had a hysterectomy.”

“That doesn’t matter, because you’ll still be covered just in case. Who did you vote for in the last presidential election?”

“What does that have to do with medical insurance?”

“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I need that information to process your enrollment.”

“I voted for Mitt Romney.”

“Okay. I’ve got your info entered and it looks like you qualify for ObamaCare Plan 9.
Please proceed down the hall to Waiting Room 2, Door 314, and an ObamaCaregiver will be with you shortly. Have a nice day.”

ObamaCare Exit

What a bizarre nightmare of bureaucratic fascism Obamacare has become. It has nothing to do with so-called “affordable health care” because it’s more insidious than that. Look beyond the facade of the ObamaCare website fiasco, and there’s nothing but expensive darkness, economic gloom, substandard medical care and more.

Make no mistake, the aging “baby boomer” generation, those of us born between 1946 and 1964, are the targets, because we’re old enough to remember atrocities perpetrated by the Left here and abroad. ObamaCare is just another vehicle designed to erase the past in order to promote a radical leftist agenda, and it’s got lethal teeth.

People still wonder how mass murderers like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Ho Chi Minh & Pol Pot came to power and killed off millions of their own people. We’re witnessing the same process today, via a clever but insidious program known as ObamaCare, and that’s not hyperbole. If ObamaCare is fully enacted, the Missus and I will suffer, but I worry for my kids who will suffer more, because they won’t know why.

Teach Your Children Well.

[Crossposted here, just because.]

We Need A Big Issue, And Democrat Incompetence Has Provided One

by Flyovercountry ( 214 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Election 2014, Health Care, Progressives, Regulation, Socialism at November 13th, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Let’s face it, we all knew how this whole Obamacare disaster would turn out. At least, anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of basic economics not centered on a universe mostly populated by Unicorns and Fairies should have known how this would eventually turn out. My surprise came not with the failure, but with the absolute speed in which that ultimate failure was recognized. I believed and even predicted that it would take Americans a full three years to see the huge mistake that they’d made, once things were fully implemented. It never dawned on me that this disaster would be identified as such 3 months prior to full implementation. Just to lend some perspective as to how huge this error is, anyone who is still defending the Obamacare law is either a full blown Marxist ideologue, or is mentally retarded.

We have gone from the highly suspect 30 Million people without insurance to a full blown crisis of 150 Million without insurance, and growing. Those who have successfully shopped the exchanges have learned that they’ll pay double for the right to buy a, “superior,” policy that will more often than not fail to pay a single penny in benefits, at any time during the policy’s life. What this means, is that the Democrats seem to feel it to be in your best interest that you pay for a policy that gives you the right to pay 100% out of pocket for every thing but abortions and birth control. At least I know that if as a man, I ever develop ovarian cancer, that too will be coming off of my max annual deductible.

Why Mitt Romney and his idiot group of paid consultants failed to make this sink hole of a law a major campaign issue in 2012 is beyond any method of adequate explanation. Calling this decision stupid is an insult to those people who are stupid. But we are past that now, and true to the only way that complete ignorance of what happens when governments pretend that market signals and consequences simply don’t exist because our sense of populism dictates that damn it they just shouldn’t, this has turned out to be even worse than anyone has predicted. The havoc that it has wreaked so far is incredible, and come January, it’s going to get even worse.

I am not in favor of Americans suffering needlessly, but darn it, those who voted for this deserve its consequences. We get the government we voted for, which is what we deserve, and elections mean something. Fortunately, we can do something about it, and turning back this piece of crap is a winning issue, and it is only going to get stronger for those who wish to pitch their tent on this one.

Watch the newest O’Keefe video to see what I mean, and consider also that he has promised more of this as time goes on.

This takes us far from the nebulous field of simple incompetence, and places us firmly into the territory of criminal behavior. The President of the United States, scoring yet another Presidential First, has moved firmly into the territory governed under the RICO Statute. And what better place for a community organizer turned President, than to organize criminal activity to be carried out by others. In case you missed it, one of the things caught on tape here, besides the taxpayer funded Obamacare Navigators flat out directing people to commit felonies and lie to the providers of insurance, needed to make this crap work, was the stark admission that the whole exercise is now officially being used to simultaneously register Democrat Party voters while they sign up for health care.

I have to hand it to this bunch, I never though I’d see the day when Dick Nixon’s behavior would pale in comparison with anybody. Nixon was a piker next to this bunch. If you thought ACORN was bad, (and coincidentally, that’s probably where about 99% of these navigators came from in the first place,) this is a level of criminal behavior that would make Hugo Chavez and Pol Pot say, “gee Barack, we think you went a skosh too far.”

The fraud prevalent in this law, and not just existent, but out rightly promoted should give Americans pause, at least. At most, we now have direct evidence of felonious activity being directed by the Obama Administration. Not only are they not keeping this criminal activity a secret, but they are brazenly bragging about it. This is how far things have degenerated under the leadership of our current President. Now, the criminals no longer need worry their pretty little heads with the thought that anyone might find out about their nefarious activity, they just tack on some official sounding name to the process, and presto, we have us some community organizing going on, otherwise known as Racketeering.

Change We Can Believe In!

Something else I’d like to note here. As is usually the pattern after one of these things pops up, we’ll be told that it’s just an isolated group of bad apples in one small section of our great nation. O’Keefe has more I’m sure, and I’ll bet it’s from multiple locations in multiple offices, and will prove that he’s not just somehow managed to find the lone bad actor yet again. This is systemic, and the collusion to use Obamacare as a Party recruiting and electioneering tool has been part of the deal all along.

A five year old should be able to hammer this crap in 2014, so to my Republican friends, THAT OUGHT TO DO IT!

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.