Sunday, February 23, 2014

Obamacare vs Bureaucrats: A Battle that Hopefully Will Have Lots of Casualties ^ | February 23, 2014 | Daniel J. Mitchell

There’s an old joke that a quandary exists when your mother-in-law drives off a cliff in your new Porsche. Are you more happy about losing her or more unhappy about losing your sports car? I’m not clever enough to come up with humorous quandaries, but I have shared policy quandaries. I’ve asked, for instance, whether libertarians might have second thoughts about an end to drug prohibition if the result was bigger government. And I speculated whether leftists or social conservatives would be more upset about a gay man legally adopting his lover in order to minimize Pennsylvania’s death tax. And if you like this kind of thing, I have more than one dozen additional examples of these types of quandaries. I have something else to add to the list, and it’s near and dear to my heart because I like to think that I’m among the biggest critics of both Obamacare and bureaucracy. But what happens if there’s an issue pitting Obamacare and bureaucrats against each other? Would I be able to pick sides? This isn’t theoretical speculation. Check out these excerpts from a recent report in the New York Times.
Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say. …Even after the administration said this month that it would ease coverage requirements for larger employers, public employers generally said they were keeping the restrictions on work hours because their obligation to provide health insurance, starting in 2015, would be based on hours worked by employees this year. Among those whose hours have been restricted in recent months are police dispatchers, prison guards, substitute teachers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, school custodians, cafeteria workers and part-time professors.

To be honest, I don’t know how to react to this. Am I glad that we have more evidence that Obamacare is hurting people and reducing labor supply? That’s obviously the case, and it’s an embarrassment to the Obama Administration.
For months, Obama administration officials have played down reports that employers were limiting workers’ hours. But in a report this month, the Congressional Budget Office said the Affordable Care Act could lead to a reduction in the number of hours worked, relative to what would otherwise occur. Jason Furman, the chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, reaffirmed the White House view that the law was “good for wages and incomes and for the economy over all.” …The Obama administration says “there is absolutely no evidence” of any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.

One suspects, by the way, that the Obama White House must have a very strange definition of “job loss.”

This Week’s New Executive Orders

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 22 Feb 2014 | John Semmens

True to his word, President Obama bypassed Congress this week with a trifecta of new Executive Orders. Concerned that trucking firms are “needlessly wasting money on gas-guzzling semi-trucks,” the President ordered haulers to “improve their MPGs.” As Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx explained, “no one cares more about this country and its well-being that President Obama. These truckers may be satisfied to fritter away costly fuel, but the President is not. Unless they clean up their act we will shut them down.” In a bid to end the debate over global warming, President Obama issued an Executive Order declaring that “the science proving global warming is irrefutable.” Because the consequences of denying global warming are “severe” the Order bars any firm or individual that contests this irrefutable climate science from bidding on, or participating in, any work funded by the federal government. On Wednesday President Obama corrected an omission from President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 State-of-the-Union speech by adding “freedom to enjoy sodomy” to FDR’s famous “four freedoms.” Previously, the four freedoms included freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. “Even though Americans’ right to pursue happiness could be construed to include this right—as it could be construed to include FDR’s list—for similar reasons it is clear to me that a more explicit enumeration is required to ensure that this right will never be abridged by those who refuse to participate under the guise of feigned religious objections by the practitioners and purveyors of intolerance.”

Why Republican Cowards Despise Cruz ^ | 02/22/14

“Former Rep. Steven LaTourette is a member in the establishment’s war on the Tea Party. His deceptively named ‘Defending Main Street’ PAC is being financed primarily by Wall Street and labor unions, which have contributed at least 20% to the group’s fundraising haul.

In an appearance on MSNBC’s The Last Word on Tuesday, LaTourette said that Cruz was ‘reprehensible’ for forcing Republicans to go on the record to advance a bill to raise the debt ceiling without reducing spending.” - Tony Lee In just the last several years, the nature of the problems that have plagued the Republican Party have gotten infinitely more complex. It was once a Party that valued actual conservatism, then it became liberalism lite. Now, in the years since Obama’s election, there has been a resurgence of real conservatives entering political office. These new conservatives are boldly going where few have gone before. And by “boldly going where few have gone before,” I mean that they are—GASP—actually following through with their promises. They are fighting. The new conservatives have outraged the old guard. The graybeards hate the conservatives so much that they are doing everything possible to derail potential conservative candidates. But why are they doing this? What would drive a seemingly good Republican to wage a war on someone simply because that person is following through on their promises? The answer is clear, and rather simple. The establishment Republicans have died. They who used to be conservative have mutated into a frightening Republican/liberal chimera. These chimeras no longer represent we the people. They represent themselves, and their fellow criminals. Why else would they allow the American people to be steamrolled by Obamacare, when—if they had united behind Ted Cruz—they could have defunded it? Even if it were not the case that they could have succeeded in defunding Obamacare, why would they choose to let go of their principles? Most of them campaigned on fighting Obamacare tooth and nail, yet when the time came to make a choice, they sided with keeping their job. Their cowardice is a shiv in the eyes of all of us. How is it “reprehensible” that Ted Cruz forced fellow Republicans to show their true nature? Oh no! Ted Cruz wanted spending cuts in exchange for yet another massive increase in the debt ceiling! How terrible of him to think that spending cuts should be something Republicans would favor, and fight for! It’s not like our debt is that bad, right? Oh wait. What a jerk he is, forcing Republicans to side with Democrats! Hmmm, perhaps “forcing” is a strong word. The ones who are truly behaving reprehensibly are those who are participating in the anti-tea party movement. Those who have betrayed their constituents, and become crony capitalists in the process, they are the reprehensible ones. Those who have become warped, and beaten down, they are the ones who are reprehensible. Ted Cruz is the opposite. If every representative were like Cruz, and Mike Lee, we would have repealed Obamacare by now. That doesn’t sound reprehensible to me.

An Obituary For Our Dear Friend, "Common Sense"

TRC Magazine Facebook Page ^ | 2/22/14 | Steven W. McReynolds

Obituary Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
* Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
* Why the early bird gets the worm
* Life isn't always fair and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by a simple, sound financial policy and a good reliable strategy toward life.
* Don't spend more than you can earn
* Adults, not children, are in charge.
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a

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