As Obamacare Continues Sinking, Americans Continue Losing

The following column (by me) originally appeared at the MacIver Institute.

The mainstream media seems fixated on the insider politics surrounding repealing and replacing Obamacare, but the average person couldn’t care less about parliamentary procedures and intra-party squabbling. They’re faced with an inescapable reality: healthcare is unaffordable and inaccessible thanks to Obamacare. The question they want answered is: What is the point of having insurance if you can’t afford to use it?

text box CR Obamacare is a disaster.png

The out-of-touch media coverage reminds me of the apocryphal tale about elite passengers on the Titanic arguing over the bar tab as the ship takes on water. Meanwhile, the people in steerage are stuck behind those gates trying to escape before the water reaches their heads.

The water is rising fast. In 2017, the average premium increase on the individual market in Wisconsin was 16 percent. One of the most egregiously expensive plans was in western Wisconsin, costing $51,000 per year in premiums for a couple unfortunate enough to be in their 50s with three children.

The cost of Obamacare plans is staggering. In a report last year that scoured the federal database of 2017 premiums in Wisconsin, the MacIver Institute found that a family of four would fork over an average monthly premium of $1,609.11 for a platinum plan – $19,309.32 per year – while a mid-level silver plan would cost them $1,297.02 in average monthly premiums, or $15,564.24 per year

Deductibles – the out of pocket cost of using your health insurance – also keep spiraling upward. For a top-tier platinum plan in Wisconsin, we found the average deductible is $900 for a family and $450 for an individual.

However, for a mid-level silver plan, the average deductible is $7,015.71 for a family and $3,491.92 for an individual. The average catastrophic plan deductible will be $14,300 for a family and $7,150 for an individual. That’s not cut-back-on-Starbucks money, that’s bankruptcy court, even for those earning a decent salary.

pull quote CR real world Obamacare.png

Obamacare proponents constantly point to the number of people they claim are insured because of Obamacare. But conflating health insurance with access to actual health care is looking through rose-colored glasses. In the real world, Obamacare decimates household budgets, especially middle class families who don’t receive federal subsidies and are whipsawed by the full cost of both premiums and deductibles.

Despite the double digit price spikes and astronomical deductibles in Wisconsin, we drew the long stick compared with our neighbor across the Mississippi River. Minnesotans on the individual exchanges got stuck with premium hikes as high as 67 percent in 2017.

In response, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature were forced to bail out 123,000 middle class families to the tune of an additional $313 million in taxpayer money.

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” President Obama said in PolitiFact’s 2013 Lie of the Year. In Minnesota, that lie came with the added asterisk that taxpayers have to come to your rescue after finding out your state’s politicians fell for a federal “free money” scam.

Fortunately, Gov. Walker and Wisconsin’s fiscally conservative legislature were more skeptical of Obama’s P.T. Barnum routine, saving us from a similar fiscal calamity.

The Minnesota example highlights an important and all-too-often overlooked point. If you’re unfortunate enough to make too much money to receive a federal subsidy – like most middle class families in America – you’re on the hook for the entire Minnesota OCARE.jpginflated premiums plus exploding deductibles for your Obamacare plan.

Middle class families stuck with Obamacare are drowning in the exorbitant costs, while poorer families who do receive subsidies can’t even afford to see their doctor because their deductibles are so high that the coverage is little more than a piece of paper. Worse, if you’re so cash-strapped that you choose to go without coverage, the IRS slaps you with a fine.

I recently heard the story of one low-income Wisconsin family of five – a husband, a wife, and three kids under the age of 10. Their punishment for going without insurance for three months last year was more than $800.

Only a nanny-state bureaucrat in a Washington, D.C. corner office would be so divorced from reality that they’d think such punitive policies are somehow fair, right, or just. They should get out of their plush enclaves and see how their policies really affect people. Or better yet, if Congress can get its act together, Obamacare bureaucrats should be standing in an unemployment line.

Obamacare cheerleaders can go on cable news and pen all the columns they want touting the expansion of health insurance coverage, but what good is having health insurance if the deductible alone will send your family into bankruptcy?

Obamacare’s continuing price spiral is caused in part by declining competition across the nation. One-third of counties in the United States have only one insurer this year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Residents in these counties will have only one choice – in other words, no choice at all.

Wisconsin’s Obamacare market lost an average of 1.39 insurers per county from 2016-2017 according to our analysis. Fourteen counties have just one or two insurance companies offering Obamacare plans in 2017.

Competition – which inevitably “bends the cost curve down,” to parody another failed Obama promise – is drying up by the week. Just this month, Aetna announced it would stop selling Obamacare policies entirely next year, citing $381 million in losses in the first quarter of 2017 and $700 million in total losses.

Aetna joins insurance giants Humana and UnitedHealth in completely withdrawing from Obamacare in the wake of massive, unsustainable losses. A network of other non-profit health insurance co-ops established by Obamacare have also folded, taking billions of taxpayer dollars down with them. Out of 23 co-ops, only 4 remain, including Wisconsin’s imperiled Common Ground Co-op, which survived only after a secret infusion of cash.

Insurers’ inability to simply break even on Obamacare plans is the result of far more older, sicker enrollees and far too few younger, healthier enrollees to balance the actuarial tables. Obama should’ve been honest with the American people and said the law depends on younger and healthier people paying exorbitant rates for coverage they don’t need in order to prop up the rickety system he and Democrats rammed through Congress.

Obamacare is in a death spiral. Though the House’s version of repeal and replace narrowly passed – certainly a cause for celebration – Congress remains mired in inaction and Americans remain stuck in quicksand. Reporters wringing their hands over CBO scores and telenovela theatrics should remember that few outside the beltway ultimately care about any of that.

There is no bailing out or patching up Obamacare. It will eventually sink to the bottom of the abyss. When it does, nobody in real America will thank the media for keeping them up to date with irrelevant process stories as they go down with the ship.

Yes, Obamacare is Still a Disaster

The following commentary was originally posted at the MacIver Institute.

So, the House GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare was unsuccessful. After months of political theater and seven years of opposition to the disastrous healthcare law, their American Health Care Act (AHCA) failed to garner enough votes from the far right and moderate wings of the Republican party to pass with the needed 216 votes.

Lost in all the drama and theatrics, however, is the big picture: Americans are suffering under Obamacare and will continue to suffer “for the foreseeable future,” as Speaker Paul Ryan lamented in a press conference after it became clear AHCA did not have enough votes to get through the House.

Congressional Republicans, President Trump, the House Freedom Caucus – all will come away with political wounds. But the tarnished image and lost political capital that the failure to pass AHCA will inflict on Washington politicians pales in comparison to the actual harm that Obamacare will continue to inflict on average Americans just trying to stay afloat.

One thing is certain: Obamacare is still an unmitigated disaster. Premiums are still spiraling out of control. Sky-high deductibles still make Obamacare insurance plans practically useless. And competition and choice are still on the decline.

In 2017, the average premium increase on the individual market in Wisconsin was 16 percent. In fact, one plan in western Wisconsin costs $51,000 per year in premiums for a couple unfortunate enough to be in their 50s with three children.

Sure, Obamacare subsidizes premiums for those at the lower end of the income scale. But if you happen to occupy the vast swath of America known as the middle class, you’re likely on the hook for the full bill – plus deductibles.

In a report last year that scoured the federal database of 2017 premiums in Wisconsin, the MacIver Institute found that an average family of four would fork over an average monthly premium of $1,609.11 for a platinum plan – $19,309.32 per year – while a mid-level silver plan would cost them $1,297.02 in average monthly premiums, or $15,564.24 per year.

While proponents of Obamacare like to point to premium subsidies for the poor, they leave out a key concern that Americans grapple with: sky-high deductibles. For a top-tier platinum plan in Wisconsin the average deductible is $900 for a family and $450 for an individual.

However, for a mid-level silver plan, the average deductible is $7,015.71 for a family and $3,491.92 for an individual. The average catastrophic plan deductible will be $14,300 for a family and $7,150 for an individual.

Obamacare’s downward death spiral is also forcing insurers out of the market. One-third of counties nationwide have just one insurance provider in the individual market. Last year, two major insurers left Wisconsin altogether.

Economics 101 teaches that robust competition drives down prices. Giving consumers a choice is also a matter of basic fairness.

However, proponents of Obamacare continue their efforts to prop up the law with scare tactics aimed at vulnerable populations.

One “report” put out by Citizen Action of Wisconsin claimed the GOP proposal would cost older premium payers thousands more per year, but it’s a two dimensional analysis in a three dimensional world. The liberal group’s so-called report hinges on cocktail napkin math, simply subtracting the AHCA’s refundable tax credits from Obamacare premium subsidies.

The group also claims out-of-pocket costs would increase, but fail to mention that the AHCA would’ve expanded health savings accounts (HSAs), tax-free accounts from which health expenses can be paid. Healthcare tax credits under the AHCA would’ve gone into HSAs – which an individual would then use to pay for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles. HSAs coupled with the AHCA’s tax credits would have made insurance portable from job to job and accessible to the self-employed and independent contractors.

Obamacare actually put a cap on how much pre-tax money individuals could contribute to an HSA, compounding the problem of the law’s astronomical deductibles. What good is having insurance – even if it’s provided for free at taxpayer expense – if you can’t afford to use it? Why have insurance when the deductible alone will bankrupt you? Perhaps that’s why some Wisconsin hospitals started waiving out-of-pocket fees for lower income patients last year to stem the tide of increasing ER visits by Obamacare recipients.

Let’s also not forget that Obamacare activists like CAW have constantly pushed Wisconsin to follow in the footsteps of Minnesota, which gave Obamacare a big hug, and is now paying the price. The Minnesota Mistake was brought into focus last year when the state was forced to shovel more than $300 million – in one year alone – into a rescue plan to help middle class Minnesotans absorb a 60 percent Obamacare premium increase. Minnesota practically begged insurers to stay in their market to stave off a complete collapse of the market.

The giant folly of the healthcare debate is that prognosticators like CAW and Obama himself constantly conflate health insurance coverage with actual health care. Conservative health reform, of which the AHCA was supposed to be just the first of several phases – introduces market forces into healthcare. When there’s price transparency, someone seeking care is actually able to shop around for better prices.

A healthcare system where providers actually compete over price conscious customers would have the same effect as any other competitive marketplace – rapid innovation, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. As Speaker Ryan points out, that very phenomenon is demonstrable in the cost of elective LASIK eye surgery, the price of which has actually dropped over the past 15 or so years – as has the price of flat screen TVs, smartphones, and anything else sold in an actual free market.

The GOP’s failure to pass AHCA is a setback. But, it is not a political setback like all the talking heads want you to believe. It is a setback because the death spiral that is Obamacare continues unabated and the American people continue to suffer because President Obama lied to them. If you like your health insurance, you will be able to keep it, and the ACA will bend the cost curve. Obama’s lies live on.

But it’s important for lawmakers to keep their eye on what’s important – Obamacare is a disastrous big government boondoggle that will cost taxpayers a trillion dollars in new taxes and threatens to collapse entire individual insurance markets.

As President Trump said on Friday after the AHCA was pulled, Obamacare will inevitably “explode.” But lawmakers can’t wait around for that to happen and then try to blame the Democrats. A solution that can pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president must be found.

Read the original post at the MacIver Institute.

Don’t Point Fingers, Do the Job.

The first Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare failed to gain enough votes in the House to pass. Ok, that’s a big setback for the party that’s promised to get rid of the disastrous healthcare law since it became law in 2010.

Some commentators and politicians have already started pointing the finger of blame. Some are pointing at the Freedom Caucus, who were intransigent in their insistence Obamacare be repealed in full.

Others are pointing at more moderate Republicans, who feared the dubious CBO score that claimed 24 million people would lose their insurance and premiums would continue to increase under the AHCA.

Many on both sides are trying to pin the blame on Speaker Ryan. Some say he didn’t let the Freedom Caucus in on the process of creating  the bill, kept it hidden from members for too long, and/or didn’t adequately communicate the big picture (the three-phase plan of which the AHCA was just the first part).

Still others blame Trump, who trusted his advisers that the AHCA was the best way forward and that healthcare should’ve been the first priority of the administration as opposed to tax reform.

While the failure of the AHCA is at least nominally a failure, going down the course of blame placing and finger pointing will turn that surface wound into a swollen pustule.

The American people are sick of Washington. They are sick of politicians making promises they can’t or don’t keep. They are sick of political spin and politicians blaming everyone but themselves when their failures become manifest.

They’re also sick of Washington meddling in their business, confiscating their money, lying to them, playing them for fools, and treating them like they’re moronic trolls who can’t run their own lives – or see through D.C. political tricks. And their impatience is increasing.

If squabbling must be done, Republicans should do it behind the scenes. Let the Democrats publicly gloat that their ruinous law is still in place.

I applaud President Trump for throwing up his hands and demanding a vote. He was elected to get things done, and another protracted few weeks of intra-GOP squabbling wouldn’t have produced a substantially different bill that could’ve both gained enough House support to pass that body and clear the Senate’s ridiculous cloture hurdle. I also applaud Speaker Ryan for avoiding placing blame and gently chiding his caucus for failing to grow into a governing party, rather than a grandstanding, statement making opposition party.

Speaker Ryan and the House GOP have compounded their challenge. They must still deal with Obamacare, or face a major revolt in 2018 from the voters. The seething mass of Americans in the populist ring who have grown increasingly agitated with Washington won’t put up with more inaction. Simultaneously, Ryan and company must now deal with tax reform.

If they don’t accomplish tax reform, they will lose all credibility as a governing party and all trust that the American people have placed in them to actually get something done – to shrink a government that takes trillions of tax dollars annually but renders little to middle class taxpayers except pothole-riddled highways and nonstop cable news bickering.

If they don’t accomplish health care reform – and there’s still time – they will break one of the longest-running political promises ever made to the American people.

It’s time for the GOP to figure out the way forward and to act and produce results, or else the nationwide uprising among flyover country voters will continue and GOP incumbents will be told en masse by voters, “You’re Fired.”

Weekend Martini: Obamacare wreckage in two andecdotes

Obamacare is disastrous, but the wreckage has only begun piling up.

We’re already seeing the very early ramifications – far and away more important than a dysfunctional website are runaway costs of individual health plans and plan cancellations. Recent epiphanies by two friends are good cases-in-point; and though anecdote is a poor substitute for comprehensive evidence, that’s never stopped politicians.

In one case, a high school friend found out yesterday that on the Obamacare exchange, the cheapest plans for him and his family range from $509.60 per month to $643.44 per month with an average deductible of $9,222. Those are the “Bronze” plans. The “Platinum” Plans top out at $856.64 with an average deductible of $1,500.

He posted the screenshot to Facebook, clearly frustrated that insuring his family will cost him the same amount as a home mortgage.1441232_486200308161704_2071462871_n (1)

The good news is he could actually get through the website to receive the bad news.

On the other side of the demographic divide is a couple I know in their ’60s in great health. They own a small business in Onalaska, employing fewer than 20 people. They also need to buy their plan on the individual health insurance market. The wife, let’s call her “Susan,” was visibly shellshocked one day when she arrived at the business. Her husband, “Dave,” wasn’t far behind.

Knowing I’ve been predicting Obamacare will be a disaster since I was a student studying HR, I was one of the first people Dave told: they’d received a renewal letter; their monthly premium would be going up.

From $730 a month to $2350 a month.

Plan cancellations and sky-high individual insurance rates are only the first shoes to drop. Next year and beyond we’ll start seeing employers drop insurance for their employees on a massive scale.

Employers usually sponsor a majority if not most of their employees’ health insurance. But once they’re dumped off their employers’ plans, they’ll be “on their own,” the phrase Mr. Obama likes to disingenuously assign to Republican economic ideas.

Those people will have to buy individual coverage, much like my younger friend above. Most likely they won’t be able to afford it, so they’ll have no other choice but to do without health insurance. That defeats the purpose of the law.

Older people will have a choice to make as well. When they get a 300 percent price hike or get dropped from their employer plan, they will either have to enter Medicare, eat the higher prices, or go without coverage.

If they enter Medicare en masse, this will likely happen: The program will come under such strain that the amount the program pays doctors will decline even further. Yes, Medicare always short-changes doctors and hospitals, often to the tune of 60 cents on the dollar, a habit that would get average people into a lot of trouble. Docs though can decline to accept patients on Medicare.

Which effectively leaves, with time, all those new Medicare enrollees high and dry with no hospital that’ll see them.

If they eat the higher prices, their budgets will have to change. In the case of my friends, they own a business in a very low-profit margin industry. They will very likely have to cut staff, put off raises and hire new people at lower rates to save money, and forget any dreams of expanding. That happening on a large scale is a recipe for economic paralysis.

And if they decide they have to go without, we’re right back to 1680. Maybe they can become beggars.

The wreckage spills over – in fact, it might even be worse by comparison – into the economy as a whole. Obamacare rules and regulations unwisely set at 50 the number of employees at which the costly employer mandates kick in. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that businesses that can cut back to that number or less will do so. Obamacare incentivizes downsizing.

The law also puts at 30 the magical number of weekly hours worked for an employee to be “entitled” to coverage from their employer. Employees who are full-time now are already seeing their hours cut back to below 30 as employers, even some of the newspapers that supported Obamacare, dodge the massive new cost of providing coverage. Obamacare takes us to a part-time workforce.

But there is good news. As employers dump employees onto Obamacare, they’ll save truckloads of money; they’ll pocket the approximately $2,000 difference between covering an employee and paying the fine for not covering them. No wonder stocks are going up. Obamacare could be a windfall for the largest corporations.

But corporate employees and small business owners will be screwed. Obamacare screws the average American.

Without a massive overhaul, a scenario in which Obamacare doesn’t wreak mass havoc and result in a net hardship for middle America takes either a hell of an imagination or a very unhealthy dose of self-delusion.

It’s time to repeal the law.

It’s also time for Republicans to put forward and publicize a plan of their own that empowers average Americans with choice, opportunity, and truly free market-based healthcare.

Kind tainted by special interest cash

The following except is from my Sunday column in the La Crosse Tribune: 

Rep. Ron Kind will probably never forget the earful he got from people on both sides of the health care debate. It was 2009 at a listening session in Whitehall, and the clock was ticking until the time the bill now known as Obamacare would become law.

A staunch defender then and now of the proposal, he even repeated President Barack Obama’s notorious promise that if you like your doctor and insurance, you can keep them. But unknown to those in that auditorium in Whitehall, Kind had 346,000 reasons to support the bill, and not a single one was in the room.

That’s how much money the congressman received during his 2008 and 2010 campaigns from the insurance, pharmaceutical and health care industries, according to OpenSecrets.org and Federal Election Commission data. Since 2012, his most recent election, Kind has enjoyed gifts totaling $211,550.

Read the rest at the La Crosse Tribune website.

Power Lunch: Ron Kind's Healthcare Rhetoric

The rollout of the health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act hasn’t gone as smoothly as hoped, but one important aspect of health care reform that’s receiving less attention is its ability to reduce health care costs for all Americans.

JS Column by Ron Kind

Congressman Ron Kind is a master of words. In this recent column that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mr. Kind opens with the most flaccid defense of Obamacare imaginable.

Mr. Kind has been a staunch supporter of Obamacare from the start, as I will elaborate on in tomorrow’s La Crosse Tribune. But his most recent attempt at pointing out the silver lining is all garnish and no meat.

As always, Mr. Kind points out universally understood problems and potential big-government fixes, but no real substance about why those big-government fixes will work. Costs have been rising too fast. Doctors are rewarded for quantity of tests. Rampant readmissions.

Obamacare may well have contributed to recent slowed growth in national healthcare spending, but it’s more likely that the recession coupled with inflation, stagnant wages, and higher healthcare costs have led to decisions by healthcare consumers to postpone or forget about non-immediate health issues. In other words, let the tumor grow because they can’t afford the doctor right now.

Mr. Kind rightly points out that bundling payments (that means paying a doctor after everything’s been done, not for each test, etc.) is a positive change. But it was Medicare’s flawed and unchanging payment model that made that the norm in healthcare to begin with, a testament to how government has corrupted the healthcare industry over the decades.

Mr. Kind also refers to value-based purchasing on behalf of hospital systems. “Value-based purchasing rewards providers that have top-quality scores and penalizes poor performers to encourage improved performance.”

Sounds a lot like No Child Left Behind.

Lastly Mr. Kind rightly says hospital readmissions need to be reduced somehow to ease demand on valuable bed space. “We could potentially make readmissions criteria more robust, leading to billions in additional savings.”

Now that 17,000 pages of Obamacare regulations have promulgated I can no longer to claim any kind of expertise in the area of the law. But what it sounds like Mr. Kind is saying is that the federal government should set stricter rules regarding what circumstances hospitals can re-admit a patient who may be concerned about a relapse, additional health problems, and so on.

That’s exactly the centralized, top-down, dictatorial, bureaucrat-empowering system that drives conservatives to oppose Obamacare so fiercely and why the law needs to be defeated.

Power Lunch: Ron Kind’s Healthcare Rhetoric

The rollout of the health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act hasn’t gone as smoothly as hoped, but one important aspect of health care reform that’s receiving less attention is its ability to reduce health care costs for all Americans.

JS Column by Ron Kind

Congressman Ron Kind is a master of words. In this recent column that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mr. Kind opens with the most flaccid defense of Obamacare imaginable.

Mr. Kind has been a staunch supporter of Obamacare from the start, as I will elaborate on in tomorrow’s La Crosse Tribune. But his most recent attempt at pointing out the silver lining is all garnish and no meat.

As always, Mr. Kind points out universally understood problems and potential big-government fixes, but no real substance about why those big-government fixes will work. Costs have been rising too fast. Doctors are rewarded for quantity of tests. Rampant readmissions.

Obamacare may well have contributed to recent slowed growth in national healthcare spending, but it’s more likely that the recession coupled with inflation, stagnant wages, and higher healthcare costs have led to decisions by healthcare consumers to postpone or forget about non-immediate health issues. In other words, let the tumor grow because they can’t afford the doctor right now.

Mr. Kind rightly points out that bundling payments (that means paying a doctor after everything’s been done, not for each test, etc.) is a positive change. But it was Medicare’s flawed and unchanging payment model that made that the norm in healthcare to begin with, a testament to how government has corrupted the healthcare industry over the decades.

Mr. Kind also refers to value-based purchasing on behalf of hospital systems. “Value-based purchasing rewards providers that have top-quality scores and penalizes poor performers to encourage improved performance.”

Sounds a lot like No Child Left Behind.

Lastly Mr. Kind rightly says hospital readmissions need to be reduced somehow to ease demand on valuable bed space. “We could potentially make readmissions criteria more robust, leading to billions in additional savings.”

Now that 17,000 pages of Obamacare regulations have promulgated I can no longer to claim any kind of expertise in the area of the law. But what it sounds like Mr. Kind is saying is that the federal government should set stricter rules regarding what circumstances hospitals can re-admit a patient who may be concerned about a relapse, additional health problems, and so on.

That’s exactly the centralized, top-down, dictatorial, bureaucrat-empowering system that drives conservatives to oppose Obamacare so fiercely and why the law needs to be defeated.

Sunday Shots: Flying Cars, Treknology & Obamacare

Flying Cars on Track for 2015

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

It’s not exactly anti-gravity; it follows the same principles of flight pioneered by the Wright Brothers more than a century ago. But finally the fiction of a workable flying car is on the verge of becoming consumer-ready fact. Massachusetts company Terrafugia has been working on this for years. Thanks to advances in computers that allow automated flying – taking out the human/idiot factor – a vertical takeoff and landing “car,” a small airplane that flies itself, is said to be on the market in just years.

Return on Investment: It’s Our Right to Know

Even Anderson Cooper lashed out at the Obama Administration for its lack of transparency in the results so far of Obamacare. The administration has refused to reveal the metrics that Americans could use to gauge the success or failure of the staggeringly expensive law…Americans, you know, the people footing the trillion dollars or so to fund the monstrosity?


Star Trek Called It

Technologies first proposed in the various incarnations of Star Trek have become or are becoming realities. Of particular interest is a new technology similar to the transparent aluminum first talked about in Star Trek IV. Scientists have invented a ceramic-aluminum material so strong it can stop a .50-caliber bullet. And it’s transparent. I would add to this story this breakthrough by HP and, at the risk of sounding kooky, advancements in our understanding of antimatter, modifications to Alcubierre’s warp speed postulates, and all kinds of other deep geek material.

The point is, science fiction truly does precede science fact, so as long as we can imagine it, we can indeed some day build it.

A Deal in the Works?

130314_john_boehner_82Republicans can’t win. If they acknowledge the reality that they control only the House and that they must have patience in reaching for their goal of dismantling Obamacare, they get crushed by a delusional far-right that’s convinced it being correct in its criticisms is enough to win elections. But if the GOP stands firm, they prolong a very unpopular government shutdown, even if the shutdown has a noticeably unnoticable effect on most peoples’ lives. Victories over the disastrous Obamacare must be taken one little bit at a time; Obamacare when in full effect will be disastrous for Democrats; there is a case to be made in taking the current deal and moving along.

In the future Republicans should avoid no-win situations.

Mary Burke’s veneer thin enough to see through; Walker offers more tax relief

Opening Remarks

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke made sure to tout her jobs records in the video announcing her candidacy this week.

“I spent a few years as Wisconsin’s commerce secretary, focused every day on creating jobs,” Burke says in the three-minute plug. “We’ve reopened the mill in Park Falls, brought Uline to Kenosha, and helped entrepreneurs and new businesses start up and grow.”

The promo piece came as a shock to one business leader: the chief executive officer of Uline Inc.

“When I saw it, I said, ‘Holy moly, what the heck is this?'” said Richard Uihlein, who with his wife, Elizabethowns Uline, a packaging supply company. “I don’t even know her. That’s the strange part of it.”

Uihlein said he and his wife were in touch with a lot of state and local officials when they were expanding their operations and moving the corporate headquarters to Pleasant Prairie several years ago.

The 68-year-old businessman said he met Gov. Jim Doyle at a press conference. He also chatted several times with Burke’s successor, former Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel.

But Uihlein — a big-time financial supporter of Republican Gov. Scott Walker — said he never talked to or met Burke during the process. He also was not contacted by her campaign before the video was released statewide.

It’s possible, he said, that Burke played some role in the projects. But he said it would have been a very minor one.

-Dan Bice, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Watchdog

Mr. Bice nails it in his October 10th post revealing the thin credentials of Mary Burke, who just this week announced her candidacy for Wisconsin Governor. Not only is Burke stretching her credibility thin regarding her time as the reviled Gov. Jim Doyle’s Commerce Secretary, her entire resume should be printed on Japanese Mulberry Paper (so thin it puts the stuff they glue to Piñatas to shame).

This late August story attempting to pump up Burke’s credentials as a respected businesswoman backfires in the eyes of any thinking reader. It’s a story of a woman who can’t hold a job in her daddy’s bike company, getting bounced from position to position until she finally takes a six-month vacation snowboarding in Argentina.

When she returned she joins the Boys and Girls Club of Madison, where she pisses off several consecutive executive directors until she finally decides to run for Madison school board, where she spent $128,000 of her own money. She’s a rich girl from a rich family who spends upwards of $92,000 more than the next highest spender campaigning for that seat in the past decade.

The media’s treated her well so far, but it’s only a matter of time until it wears thin. Just because she’s had some titles in her daddy’s bike company and dimwit Doyle thought she was just incompetent enough for his cabinet – and dishonest enough to take credit for works of job creation she had nothing to do with – doesn’t mean she can claim to know a whit about creating jobs in Wisconsin.

On another note: 

“It’s what people are asking for. It’s what they deserve,” Walker said. “The taxpayers of the state helped us create the surplus, it’s only right that we draw down their property taxes.”

Gov. Scott Walker on his new property tax cut proposal

Walker rolled out his newest tax relief proposal yesterday. At $100 million, it’s a relatively small boon to property tax payers in Wisconsin, but a new direction that’s welcomed by those who work hard enough to worry about every $13, or whatever it might be, that’s taken off their tax bill.

Walker accomplishes the tax relief by increasing state aid to school districts but not allowing them to raise property taxes in their districts. That’s a win-win proposition.

The left and their allies in the media, especially the miserably boring AP piece, are not excited at all, essentially saying it’s a reaction to Mary Burke’s candidacy. The same people who decry the Tea Party’s so-called extremism when it comes to government largess imply Walker’s tax cut isn’t deep enough to satisfy people. It’s only a bite of a Snicker’s bar just after an hour at the gym.

As evidenced by our earlier commentary about Mary Burke’s underwhelming credentials for governor, Mr. Walker has nothing to worry about from her. As for Main Street Wisconsin, we appreciate any politician who gives us whatever relief he feasibly can, even if the lefties pounding at his door make it difficult to do more.

Quote of the Day

Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.

Montesquieu

Social Networking

Poor Eli…

 

Uff Da

Five people in Iowa manage to “thread the needle” and sign up for Obamacare. What a disaster. At upwards of a third of a billion dollars, one would expect better press for the optics-obsessed Obama Regime’s flagshit [sic] website.

Chasers