Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obamacare bronze plans up 15% on average, but there’s more wrong than just that

Sure, the cost of Obamacare health plans is higher, especially the cheapest bronze plans which are going up 15%.  But that’s not the only thing wrong with Obamacare. Here are 14 more ways Obamacare is a disaster, as reported by the Federalist.

The list:

  1. Premium Increases
  2. Exchange Subsidy Roller Coaster
  3. Reducing the Quality of Insurance
  4. Slashing Quality of Employer-Provided Insurance
  5. Here Come the Trial Lawyers!
  6. Enrollees Are Older and Sicker than Average
  7. People Dropping Exchange Coverage Are the Ones Exchanges Need Most
  8. The Exchanges Benefit Big Business at the Expense of Smaller Businesses
  9. Policy Cancellation Déjà Vu
  10. Medical Research Has Tanked
  11. Medicaid Still Provides Terrible Care for the Poor
  12. The Deficit Will Increase $131 Billion in the Next Ten Years
  13. Fewer Jobs for Low-Wage Workers
  14. More Economic Woes Ahead

The last two stuck out to me, because they have to do with jobs.

Labor force participation rate

Labor force participation rate

Thirteen:

Obamacare’s employer mandate requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees—“full time” defined as 30 hours or more per week—to provide their workers with health insurance or pay a fine. Critics claimed this would lead to an increase in part-time work leading up to the mandate’s imposition, but many liberal economists insisted part-time work was not increasing. Then Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily dug into the data and found that work hours had declined for employees in industries where the average hourly wage was $14.50 or less.

Graham showed that part-time work appeared stable because the decline in hours for low-wage workers was offset by an increase in hours for higher-paid workers. As Graham states, “Overall, in these low-wage industries which employ 30 million rank-and-file workers, the average workweek shrank to 27.3 hours per week in July [2014]…. For low-wage industry workers… the recovery in the workweek from a then-record low 27.5 hours in mid-2009 began to reverse in the latter half of 2012, and it’s been pretty much all downhill since then.” Employers appear to be limiting the work hours of employees who are least likely to have employer-provided insurance. Given the low wages, there are likely many workers in this group who are in need of full-time hours.

Fourteen:

The employer mandate is causing even more damage as its January 1, 2015 imposition nears. In August, the Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas, New York, and Philadelphia released survey data on how businesses in their regions were responding to the costs of Obamacare. Businesses that had or were expecting to increase part-time employees, outsourcing, and prices far exceeded the number that that had or intended to reduce them. More business also had or intended to reduce the total number of workers and/or wages in response to Obamacare than expected to increase them.

Obamacare is a job killer. And it hurts low-wage workers the most. Imagine what would happen if Obama did an executive order to raise the price of low-wage workers for employers – another incentive to get rid of them. What a disaster.

Filed under: News, ,

Harvard poll: majority of youth likely voters favor Republicans this election

I’m not sure if I really believe this Harvard Institute of Politics poll because young people seem to be so disinterested in moral issues, economics and national security these days. But I guess even young people know whether they have jobs, whether they like living with their parents and whether they want to have their heads chopped off. Right?

Right:

More than half – 51 percent – of America’s millennials who say they will “definitely be voting” in November prefer a Republican-run Congress, with only 47 percent favoring Democrat control, according to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll.

This marks a significant departure from the institute’s findings before the 2010 midterm elections, when America’s 18-29 year olds who were definitely voting favored Democrats 55 percent to 43 percent.

Institute director Maggie Williams described the youth vote as “politically up for grabs” and a potential “swing vote” for control of Congress in a conference call to announce the results.

“The message to political candidates is clear: Ignore millennial voters at your peril,” Williams said.

What’s more, the poll found that only 43 percent of millennials approve of President Obama’s job performance, while 53 percent disapprove. It is his second-lowest rating in the institute’s polls since he took office. The figures are only slightly worse for Obama among those who will “definitely be voting”: 42 percent approve, 56 percent disapprove.

The results showed a stark divide in presidential approval along racial and ethnic lines. Only three in 10 young whites approve of the president’s performance, while nearly eight in 10 young blacks approve. Hispanic youth approval fell to 49 percent, down from 60 percent just six months ago.

Director of Polling John Della Volpe described youth voters as “a little bit less Democratic” than during Obama’s first term, speaking on the conference call. Factoring in the voting likelihood of all millennials, more 18-29 year olds prefer a Democrat-controlled Congress than a Republican one (50 percent to 43 percent), Della Volpe said – but the age group has become less supportive of the party.

“A lot of it comes down to turnout,” Della Volpe said. “It seems that young Republicans are more likely to participate next week.”

And this, I really like:

The poll also surveyed voters about terrorism threats. More than six in 10 millennials say they are “a great deal” or “somewhat” worried about another terrorist attack, with young women (66 percent) more afraid than men (56 percent).

I guess my naive view of young, unmarried women is that they are all like the ones I see in my gym – watching the Bravo channel or game shows to see people with too much make say mean things to one another. But it turns out that they are actually concerned with the economy and national security, which is a very good thing. Welcome aboard, young ladies! It’s not a shame to have a fear of something if the fear is justified, and if you do something about it to make it go away.

And by the way, the men in the gym are just as bad about not paying attention to politics and the economy. The day of the terrorist attack in Ottawa, the men were all watching ESPN sports. Horrible! Even the muscle bound Christian guy changes the channel from Fox News to ESPN as soon as I leave. The only person who is responsible at all is the gay guy – he at least watches local news.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

Obama’s unemployment: 11,472,000 Americans left the workforce since January 2009

CNS News reports.

Excerpt:

11.4 million Americans age 16 and over have left the workforce since President Obama took office in January 2009, according to data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In July 2014, there were 92,001,000 Americans, 16 and over, who were classified as “not in the labor force,” meaning they not only did not have a job, but they didn’t actively seek one in the last four weeks.

This number has increased by 11,472,000 since January 2009, when the number of Americans not in the labor force was 80,529,000.

The number of Americans not in the labor force dropped slightly in July, down 119,000 from the 92,120,000 Americans not in the labor force in June.

The participation rate, which measures the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population that participated in the labor force by either having a job or actively seeking one, increased from 62.8 percent in June to 62.9 percent in July.

In July, the number of unemployed Americans increased by 197,000 (from 9,474,000 in June to 9,671,000 in July), meaning they did not have a job even though they were actively seeking one.

While the number of unemployed increased in July, so did the number of employed Americans: In June, there were 146,221,000 employed Americans, and that number climbed to 146,352,000 in July, a one-month increase of 131,000.

By contrast, George W. Bush created 8.1 million jobs after his 2003 tax cut.

Excerpt:

Obama and other critics of Bush’s tax cuts argue that they did little to boost economic growth or jobs. But they tend to start their count when Bush signed the first tax cut bill into law in mid-2001.

The problem is that much of that tax plan — including reductions to most of the income tax brackets — wasn’t scheduled to take full effect until 2006.

Bush’s second tax cut, signed in May 2003, accelerated those tax cuts, letting them kick in retroactively to the beginning of that year. The 2003 law also cut taxes on capital gains and dividends.

It turns out that the month after Bush signed that 2003 law, jobs and the economy finally started growing again.

From June 2003 to December 2007, the economy added 8.1 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate fell to 5% from 6.3%. Real GDP growth averaged close to 3% in the four-plus years after that, and the budget deficit fell steadily from 2004 to 2007.

And despite Obama’s claim, Bush’s policies did not increase income inequality. In fact, inequality was the same when Bush left office as when he came in, according to theCensus Bureau. A study by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez found that inequality has climbed much faster under Obama.

What’s more, the rich ended up paying a larger chunk of the federal income tax burden after Bush’s tax cuts went into effect, with the share paid by the top 1% rising to 40% by 2007, up from 37% the year before Bush took office, according to IRS data.

The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, found that the federal income tax was more progressive in 2007 than it was back in 1979.

Recall that these tax cuts didn’t cost us a thing – the 2007 deficit was $160 billion dollars, which was down from the previous year. Economic growth raised tax revenues.

When you let job creators keep more of their own money, they create jobs. When you tax and regulate job creators more, you destroy jobs. You can’t argue with the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. These are the official numbers and they show that Obama failed where Bush succeeded.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Young people who voted for Obama are holding fewer and fewer jobs

Youth labor force participation

Youth labor force participation

Stephen Moore writes about Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Economists are scratching their heads trying to figure out a puzzle in this recovery: Why are young people not working? People retiring at age 60 or even 55 in a weak economy is easy to understand. But at 25?

The percentage of adult Americans who are working or looking for work now stands at 62.8%, a 36-year low and down more than 3 percentage points since late 2007, according to the Labor Department’s May employment report.

This is fairly well-known. What isn’t so well-known is that a major reason for the decline is that fewer and fewer young people are holding jobs. This exit from the workforce by the young is counter to the conventional wisdom or the Obama administration’s official line.

The White House claims the workforce is contracting because more baby boomers are retiring. There’s some truth to that. About 10,000 boomers retire every day of the workweek, so that’s clearly depressing the labor market. Since 2009, 7 million Americans have reached official retirement age. The problem will get worse in the years to come as nearly 80 million boomers hit age 65.

But that trend tells only part of the story. The chart above shows the real problem: The largest decline in workforce participation has been those under 25.

[...]We do no favors to the young by teaching them that they can consume or have a good time without first earning the money they spend.

I think young people are often brainwashed at a young age to think that bashing the free enterprise system and voting for socialism isn’t going to take away their jobs. But if you vote to tax and regulate the businesses who may employ you later, you’ll find that they are too busy groaning under the strain of big government to employ you.

If young people were serious about getting jobs, they’d be voting to cut subsidies on universities to lower tuition costs, to lower corporate taxes, to cut environmental regulations, to repeal Obamacare, and so on. They would be more concerned that schools teach them actual skills instead of politically correct views, and so they would be voting for school choice and for right-to-work laws, to weaken the teacher unions who are not accountable to them. They should be voting against the minimum wage hikes that will price them out of an all-important first job. They should be voting against the (more than) doubling of the national debt in the 5.5 years under Obama. Job offers are not just there independent of the legal and economic environment. And just reaching a certain age doesn’t mean that you are qualified for a job.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , ,

How the green movement makes war on jobs and the poorest Americans

This article by Stephen Moore from Investors Business Daily is important, because it shows that there is a cost to environmentalist advocacy.

Excerpt:

Last month we saw firsthand one impact of Big Green on our economy with the White House announcement that the Keystone XL pipeline won’t be built for at least six more months.

Ten thousand blue collar jobs, almost all paying more than $50,000 a year, down the drain.

It’s a project that polls show almost all Americans want, except for the deep-pocketed green elite in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

Then the Los Angeles Times recently warned that electricity prices could be driven upward in California and other states due in part to renewable energy mandates that cause electric power shortages and spike prices paid by homeowners.

Meanwhile, around the country, from Seattle to Bangor, Maine, property owners are locked into fights with green groups preventing people from building on their land in responsible and productive ways.

Out West, the Endangered Species Act has become an Endanger the Oil and Gas Industry Act, as energy companies confront higher regulatory hurdles and bans on development on potentially tens of millions of acres.

Whole communities that depend on natural resource development are being wiped out.

Big Green is already fast at work wiping out America’s coal industry, with entire mining towns nearly shut down in states like Kentucky and West Virginia, thanks to the left’s war on coal. These are small towns where the median household income is often less than $40,000 a year. Liberals used to pretend to care about these people.

[...]In fact, the environmental movement’s entire agenda — stop fracking, stop coal development, stop pipelines, stop nuclear energy, stop drilling on federal lands, require expensive “renewable energy,” enact cap-and-trade schemes, impose carbon taxes, and on and on — victimize poor and middle-class Americans the most. Rich donors to the Sierra Club get hardly a scratch from these policies to save the planet.

If you ask most Americans whether they are more worried about global warming or having a job, they’ll say having a job is more important. Paying less for electricity is more important. Paying less for gas for their car is more important. The only people who don’t care are the rich. But not just any rich – the Hollywood rich. The people who have no idea how the economy works. If only young people and the middle class could realize what the real price tag is for all this fine environmentalist rhetoric. Maybe we should be telling them how environmental policies affect their day-to-day lives.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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