Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What we voted for: new Obamacare taxes coming in 2014

The New York Post reports.

Excerpt:

The cost of President Obama’s massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills.

Most insurers aren’t advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.

But one insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, laid bare the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”

The new taxes on one customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to Kaiser Health News. It boosted the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that individual.

The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.

There’s also a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical-research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Insurers pay a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the HealthCare.gov Web site.

[...]Americans also will pay hidden taxes, such as the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that will inflate the cost of items such as pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs.

Those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses also will get smaller income-tax deductions.

Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years.

Then there’s the new Medicare tax.

Under ObamaCare, individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. They’ll also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.

Right now, Obama is furiously trying to re-write the law by arbitrary executive decisions. But all this does is remove the amount of money being paid into the system, while keeping the amount being spent the same. What will be the end result of a massive shortfall in funding for Obamacare? As Byron York argues, the end result of will be that the Democrats bail out health care insurance companies to keep them from going bankrupt.

Transcript:

COLBY: What do you think about these bailouts of insurance companies, as well? Could that happen?

YORK: It absolutely will happen –

COLBY: Will happen?!

YORK: As a matter of fact, it’s written into the law. There’s something called “risk corridors,” which basically ensure that if an insurance company ends up paying a lot more in benefits than it takes in in premiums, then the federal government will bail it out — it will make it good. And it looks like we are entering a situation — certainly in the first month of January — where the insurance companies will be in that situation. And they’e not going to take the losses. It will be the taxpayer who makes up for those losses.

Do you think that raising the debt from $8.5 trillion to $17 trillion was irresponsible? Then wait until the government has to bail out all their left-wing cronies in the health insurance industry.

One thing is for sure – the Republicans will be running on Obamacare in 2014:

New Hampshire:

Minnesota:

This money that is being wasted due to socialist incompetence doesn’t come from government workers or politicians – they don’t earn any money of their own. The money comes from government borrowing from your children. Honestly, I if I had children, I might be tempted to leave this country, especially if I wanted to have lots of them. This really isn’t the place for a big family any more.

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Obama administration blocks energy development on 1.6 million acres of federal land

From The Hill. (H/T Doug Ross @ Journal)

Excerpt:

The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.

The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

Remember when Obama that Obama’s goal is not to lower energy prices – it’s to raise the price of energy in order to save the planet from global warming:

Investors Business Daily will help you remember Obama’s record of blocking domestic energy development.

Excerpt:

Shell has fought the administration to begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.

The federal government estimates there are 26.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Arctic Ocean’s Outer Continental Shelf but repeated safety reviews and designation of much of the region as critical polar bear habitat has slowed development to a crawl.

Only 2.2% of federal offshore land is currently being leased for production.

Then there are the 10 billion barrels locked up in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, which would require drilling in just 2,000 acres out of 19 million.

The Obama administration recently rescinded 77 oil and gas leases in Utah and stalled oil shale research and development in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, where the federal government owns most of the world’s oil shale reserves.

Out West, we may have a “Persia on the Plains.” A Rand Corp. study says the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude — most of it locked up by federal edict.

Under President Obama, the American Petroleum Institute notes, leases on federal lands in the West are down 44%, while permits and new well drilling are both down 39% compared to 2007 levels.

After the BP oil spill, President Obama shut down most Gulf of Mexico drilling and there’s been a 57% drop in monthly deepwater permits since 2008, according to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permit Index.

Who needs jobs? We have to “save the planet” from the global warming monster – and raise the price of electricity! Only “the rich” put gas in the their cars and use electricity, right? So only the rich will be affected when electricity prices skyrocket. That’s Obama’s goal. That’s what his supporters elected him to do in the last election.

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New study: there has been no global warming since 1997

Newest climate data: no change in temperatures since 1997

Newest climate data: no change in temperatures since 1997

Reported in the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued  quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.

This stands in sharp contrast  to the release of the previous  figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year.

Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.

[...]The regular data collected on global temperature is called Hadcrut 4, as it is jointly issued by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre and Prof Jones’s Climatic Research Unit.

How much has all the hype about global warming cost the British taxpayer?

Your bills are going up, at least in part, because of the array of ‘green’ subsidies being provided to the renewable energy industry, chiefly wind.

They will cost the average household about £100 this year. This is set to rise steadily higher – yet it  is being imposed for only one  reason: the widespread conviction, which is shared by politicians of all stripes and drilled into children at primary schools, that, without drastic action to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, global warming is certain soon to accelerate, with truly catastrophic consequences by the end of the century – when temperatures could be up to five degrees higher.

Hence the significance of those first two answers. Global industrialisation over the past 130 years has made relatively little difference.

And with the country committed by Act of Parliament to reducing CO2 by 80 per cent by 2050, a project that will cost hundreds of billions, the news that the world has got no warmer for the past 16 years comes as something of a shock.

Across the pond in the United States, we are not only paying more for electricity because of energy taxes and energy regulations, but we are also losing blue collar jobs, as the Daily Caller explains:

Coal company Alpha Natural Resources announced Tuesday it would be laying off 1,200 workers and closing eight coal mines to face two new challenges: cheap natural gas and “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.”

The Associated Press reports that the company is cutting production by 16 million tons and 1,200 jobs nationwide, with 400 layoffs occurring immediately by closing coal mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Four mines will be closed in West Virginia, another three will be closed in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. All the mines are non-union operations, according to the AP.

Not only that, but the Wall Street Journal just reported that Obama banned oil drilling on 11.5 million acres of federal land:

President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it. The latest example is the Interior Department’s little-noticed August decision to close off from drilling nearly half of the 23.5 million acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

The area is called the National Petroleum Reserve because in 1976 Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to meet the “energy needs of the nation.” Alaska favors exploration in nearly the entire reserve. The feds had been reviewing four potential development plans, and the state of Alaska had strongly objected to the most restrictive of the four. Sure enough, that was the plan Interior chose.

That kind of thing, along with blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, explains why gas prices are so high, and why we have no energy jobs being created. They are being created in Brazil, China and elsewhere, but not here. Why would anyone create jobs here when corporate taxes and regulations eat up profits? If the USA is worried so much about global warming, then they don’t want jobs and they don’t want lower electricity prices. You can’t have everything at once.

This is all according to plan, as Obama explained:

Higher energy prices and bankrupting coal plants is how Obama planned to deal with “global warming”. That was one of his top priorities as President. Only there was no global warming. That was just an excuse by left-wing academic charlatans to get more grant money for their universities by extracting it from the private sector businesses and workers. The government went along with it because they wanted control of business, and a legitimate looking way of paying off their campaign fundraisers, as with Solyndra. That’s all global warming was. It was a hoax designed to achieve a more socialist economy why rewarding Democrat donors.

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Did Obama cause gas prices to go up?

From House Speaker John Boehner, a timeline of events leading up to higher gas prices.

Excerpt:

[T]he Obama administration simply hasn’t focused on reducing our dependence on foreign energy. In fact, energy production on federal lands has dropped by 11 percent.

While these represent only a fraction of the Obama administration’s efforts to stifle new energy production, here’s a look at some of the key data points from above:

  • FEBRUARY 4, 2009 – Just months after President Obama’s Energy Secretary said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” the Obama administration begins “scrapping leases for oil-shale development” and cancels 77 leases for oil and gas production in Utah. Gas is $1.91 a gallon.
  • MARCH 7, 2009ABC News says the White House is closely monitoring the expedited Solyndra loan project even as it was delaying new American energy production that would help make us less dependent on foreign energy. Gas is $1.94 a gallon.
  • JUNE 27, 2009 – President Obama urges the Senate to adopt House Democrats’ “cap and trade” national energy tax, the same one the president once admitted would cause electricity rates to “necessarily skyrocket.” Then-GOP Leader Boehner later said the bill “would raise electricity prices, increase gasoline prices, and ship American jobs to countries like China and India.” Gas is $2.50 a gallon.
  • JANUARY 7, 2010 – The Obama administration announces new bureaucratic hurdles to American energy production that Secretary Salazar admitted “could add delays to the leasing and drilling process.” Gas is $2.67 a gallon.
  • MARCH 31, 2010 – Instead of opening new areas to energy exploration and development, President Obama blocks deep-ocean energy production on 60 percent of America’s Outer Continental Shelf. Gas is $2.80 a gallon.
  • DECEMBER 1, 2010 The president re-imposes and expands the moratorium on offshore energy production. Gas is $2.86 a gallon.
  • JANUARY 2, 2011TIME reported that the Obama administration issued the first in a series of regulations on January 2 designed to unilaterally impose a national energy tax. Gas is $3.05 a gallon.
  • MAY 5, 2011 – The White House issues a formal statement opposing House-passed Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230) and Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229), legislation designed to jumpstart American energy production, address rising gas prices, and help create new jobs. Gas is $3.96 a gallon.
  • JUNE 21, 2011 - The White House opposes the House-passed Jobs & Energy Permitting Act that would unlock an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Gas is $3.65 a gallon.
  • NOVEMBER 8, 2011 – The Obama Administration releases a plan for a five-year moratorium on offshore energy production, placing “some of the most promising energy resources in the world off-limits,” according to the House Natural Resources Committee. Gas is $3.42 a gallon.
  • JANUARY 18, 2012 – President Obama rejects the bipartisan Keystone XL pipeline and the more than 20,000 jobs that would come with it. Gas is $3.39 a gallon, and rising faster and earlier than ever before.

In case you missed it, Obama’s energy advisor admitted that he wanted gas prices to go much higher.

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Higher gas prices were caused by Obama’s green energy policies

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Shell has fought the administration to begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.

The federal government estimates there are 26.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Arctic Ocean’s Outer Continental Shelf but repeated safety reviews and designation of much of the region as critical polar bear habitat has slowed development to a crawl.

Only 2.2% of federal offshore land is currently being leased for production.

Then there are the 10 billion barrels locked up in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, which would require drilling in just 2,000 acres out of 19 million.

The Obama administration recently rescinded 77 oil and gas leases in Utah and stalled oil shale research and development in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, where the federal government owns most of the world’s oil shale reserves.

Out West, we may have a “Persia on the Plains.” A Rand Corp. study says the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude — most of it locked up by federal edict.

Under President Obama, the American Petroleum Institute notes, leases on federal lands in the West are down 44%, while permits and new well drilling are both down 39% compared to 2007 levels.

After the BP oil spill, President Obama shut down most Gulf of Mexico drilling and there’s been a 57% drop in monthly deepwater permits since 2008, according to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permit Index.

The demand for oil is increasing as India and China grow their economy. That means there are more people bidding on the supply of oil. In order to keep the price low, the supply would have to increase. But Obama has done everything in his power to reduce the supply. Increased demand and reduced supply means higher gas prices.

And he’s not done yet.

Excerpt:

Despite some green energy failures, such as the bankrupt Solyndra solar panel company and weak-selling Chevy Volt, President Barack Obama said that he wanted to “double down” on green energy spending, and would do what he could even without Congress to subsidize these companies.

Obama’s assertions, at the University of Miami on Thursday, come after numerous reports of green energy firms that received large sums of federal loans and grants but which have either declared bankruptcy or hit financial problems.

[...]CBS News has reported that the administration directed $6.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to a dozen different green companies that now face financial ship. The most notable of these is Solyndra, the solar panel firm that got a $535-million Energy Department loan guarantee before declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy and being investigated by the FBI.

Among the 12 companies, five others besides Solyndra have filed for bankruptcy. These are Beacon Power of Massachusetts; Evergreen Solar, of Massachusetts; SpectraWatt of New York State; AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy of New York State and Ener1 of Indiana.

Obama acknowledged that not all companies backed by the federal government will succeed, but said he would not be deterred.

“The payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away. Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies will fail,” Obama said.

“But as long as I’m president, I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy,” he said.  “I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because some politicians in Washington refused to make the same commitment here in America.”

As CNSNews.com earlier reported, the Chevy Volt, touted by Obama as being the future of the government-owned GM and bailed-out Chrysler, was among the biggest market flops in 2011.

Please read this article and share it with your friends. It’s important to understand what Obama’s plan was, and what he did to achieve it. He wanted gas prices to be higher, and that’s what he achieved.

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