Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

CBO: Obamacare will push 7 million Americans out of job based health insurance

The Washington Times reports.

Excerpt:

President Obama’s health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

CBO said that this year’s tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they’ll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.

But the non-partisan agency also expects fewer people to have to pay individual penalties to the IRS than it earlier projects, because of a better method for calculating incomes that found more people will be exempt.

Overall, the new health provisions are expected to cost the government $1.165 trillion over the next decade — the same as last year’s projection.

With other spending cuts and tax increases called for in the health law, though, CBO still says Mr. Obama’s signature achievement will reduce budget deficits in the short term.

During the health care debate Mr. Obama had said individuals would be able to keep their plans.

Obama said one thing, and something else happened. So why did an obvious liar win re-election in 2012?

The purpose of Democrat policies is not to make our lives better. The purpose of their policies is to make them feel good about themselves. Their good intentions matter more than actual results. But it’s not enough to say that everyone will have great health care. Politicians have to put in place policies that will solve the real problem and make things better. Nothing that Obama did solves the problem. In fact, what he did made the problem worse. That’s what happens when you appoint an imbecile to a difficult task. You get failure.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Christian parents should not teach their children that Santa Claus is real

From Dr. Lydia McGrew, who blogs at What’s Wrong with the World.

Excerpt:

Here’s another anecdotal example of a child’s linking belief in God and in Santa Claus dangerously: In March a young girl visited my (small) church, and my eldest daughter spent some time talking with her. My daughter ended up much concerned about her. The younger girl, age 9, had clearly been trying to test the waters to see what the 16-year-old wanted her to say. At one point she said, “I’m not even sure I believe in God. Well, I sort of believe in Him. I sort of believe in God and Santa Claus.” This was not reassuring.

Consider what it means to teach a young child to believe that Santa Claus is real. You are teaching the child that a person exists who is benevolent and has super-powers, who can do incredible things, who sees his actions while remaining unseen, who rewards good acts, and with whom (if you encourage letter-writing to Santa) the child can communicate.

If you’re a Christian parent, you are very likely teaching the child at the same time in his life and at the same stage in his development to believe in God–a powerful and benevolent Being who sees his actions while remaining unseen, who rewards good actions and punishes evil actions, and with whom the child can communicate by praying. In fact, you encourage him to pray to this Unseen Being.

To induce belief in your child in both of these teachings, you are relying on the fact that children naturally believe what their parents tell them.

But one is an unimportant falsehood and the other is the ultimately important Truth.

Belief in Santa Claus is temporary. Eventually kids figure out that Mom and Dad have been telling them a white lie and that the causes of the presents on Christmas morning are mundane. As the above story about the artist’s daughter shows, it isn’t that much of a stretch for the astute child to wonder whether the other story about an invisible, benevolent Being who is the cause of all things, seen and unseen, has also been a white lie and whether the causes of all the things previously attributed to Him are, instead, mundane.

Atheists trade on this. I’m sure my astute readers could find dozens of examples of atheist rants to very much the “when I became a man, I put away childish things” effect. And this trope can be very effective for older young people as well. A Christian high school or college student willno doubt at some point encounter the following line of thought: “Why do you believe in God? Because your parents told you that He exists, right? But you believed in Santa Claus on the same basis. If you’d been raised in another culture, you would believe a different religion, and they can’t all be true. At some point you have to start thinking for yourself. Just as it turned out that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, so, you’ll find, it turns out that God doesn’t exist either. You’re old enough to figure this out for yourself.”

Unfortunately, most Christian young people do not go to college primed with evidences for the existence of God and for Christianity. This argument against authority may well strike them as devastating. And–I’m sorry to have to say it, but it must be said–it will strike them as all the more devastating if the coin of parental speech has been devalued by those little white lies told them in their innocence for the sake of cuteness.

When I ask parents why they would want to tell their children something that they know isn’t true, they usually tell me that having their children believe nice-sounding things is amusing to them. It seems to me that it’s a split between:

  • pride: knowing something that the children don’t know
  • deception: making children think that the world is nicer than it really is
  • manipulation: tricking children into “being good” by appealing to material goods (easy), instead of presenting reasons and articulating a full-blown theistic worldview that grounds morality as part of the design of the Creator (hard)

I am a former camp counselor and teacher. When I was in my teens, I worked with children of all different ages from 3-12 as well as with developmentally delayed adults – mostly teaching them sports, games, math, logic and other useful things. I always treated the children with respect, because in my mind, these were all future Airborne Rangers, future submarine drivers, future diplomats/CIA spies, future software engineers, future Congressman, future cryptographers, future nurses, future doctors, etc. And what I found is that although children like it when they are allowed to be childish, they also like it when you talk to them like adults and treat them like a smaller version of you. They understand treating them like a to-be grown-up as a form of respect. Young men especially love to be trusted with big responsibilities.

I looked at each child and thought to myself, “this is how football players look at age 8″ or “this person could be my boss one day”. And guess what? They really like being treated with respect, and they really like it when people tell them what to expect in the future. They like understanding what school will be like, what work will be like, how to make money, how cars work, what going to the airport and flying on a plane is like, and how to write computer programs. And when you lie to them about anything, it undermines their trust in you for everything. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to proportion rewards to good behavior, I’m saying that it’s wrong to tie rewards  to a myth which will eventually be exposed.

Just this week I was busy scheming with some Christian college students about their future jobs and what they should be learning and doing in order to be successful while still having a ministry. Why not treat children and young adults like that? Why not give them good advice and do things together with them and build them up with resources so that they can achieve? They are not your pets, they are not there to amuse you. They work for God – just like you. You both have the same boss, and the same job. You have a responsibility to act in a way that will help them to achieve goals, be effective and be influential.

Filed under: Mentoring, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mitt Romney flip-flop videos: flat tax, abortion, health care, public sector unions, global warming

Most of the other Republican candidates are supporting flat taxes. But what does Mitt Romney support?

Human Events explains.

Excerpt:

In a full page Boston Globe advertisement in 1996, Romney attacked Steve Forbes’ flat tax proposal as being unfair and a “tax cut for fat cats!”

In the ad, he took an entirely populist theme saying among other things that the Forbes flat tax will drop taxes on the super-rich while stiffing the middle class.

The ad said, “0% Forbes tax on Kennedy’s, Rockefellers, and Forbes down and gone,” and on the other side said, “Forbes tax on you up and up!”

The Club for Growth noted Romney’s opposition to the flat tax in it’s white paper:

His strident opposition to the flat tax is most curious and difficult to explain since Romney wasn’t a political candidate at the time. In 1996, he ran a series of newspaper ads in Boston, New Hampshire, and Iowa denouncing the 17% flat tax proposed by then presidential candidate Steve Forbes as a “tax cut for fat cats.”   In 2007, Romney continued to oppose the flat tax with harsh language, calling the tax “unfair.”

That’s Romney’s actual view on tax reform. Whatever he says during an election campaign cannot be believed, because the man will say anything to get elected. Don’t believe me? Watch the videos below.

This short video shows a few of Romney’s biggest flip flops.

Note: I don’t support John Huntsman, but that’s a good look at Romney’s flip-flops.

Another one on global warming:

Another one on health care:

And another one on public sector unions:

Why is this man getting 20% of the vote in the Republican primary? He is not a serious candidate. Stop judging on appearances and make a right judgment.

Read more about Mitt Romney’s horrible policies in Massachusetts in this post.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3M to drop retirees from its health care plan

Story from the Wall Street Journal. (H/T National Review via ECM)

Excerpt:

3M Co. confirmed it would eventually stop offering its health-insurance plan to retirees, citing the federal health overhaul as a factor.

The changes won’t start to phase in until 2013. But they show how companies are beginning to respond to the new law, which should make it easier for people in their 50s and early-60s to find affordable policies on their own. While thousands of employers are tapping new funds from the law to keep retiree plans, 3M illustrates that others may not opt to retain such plans over the next few years

The St. Paul, Minn., manufacturing conglomerate notified employees on Friday that it would change retiree benefits both for those who are too young to qualify for Medicare and for those who qualify for the Medicare program. Both groups will get an unspecified health reimbursement instead of having access to a company-sponsored health plan.

The maker of Post-it notes and Scotch tape said it made the announcement now to give retirees a chance to explore different options during this year’s benefit-enrollment period, according to a 3M memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. A 3M spokeswoman, Jacqueline Berry, confirmed the contents of the memo.

“As you know, the recently enacted health care reform law has fundamentally changed the health care insurance market,” the memo said. “Health care options in the marketplace have improved, and readily available individual insurance plans in the Medicare marketplace provide benefits more tailored to retirees’ personal needs often at lower costs than what they pay for retiree medical coverage through 3M.

“In addition, health care reform has made it more difficult for employers like 3M to provide a plan that will remain competitive,” the memo said.

But Obamacare won’t force you to lose your existing health insurance. Oh. No.

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

Was Obama lying to you about keeping your health care plan?

Consider this article in the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

Among President Obama’s core health-care promises was that Americans can keep their current coverage if they like it. Among the reasons that a new ObamaCare squall blows in every other day is that this claim simply is not true, as people are discovering.

The latest fracas was incited by Janet Adamy’s scoop in the Journal this week that McDonald’s Corp. may be forced to cancel its current coverage for 29,500 employees as a result of ObamaCare. McDonald’s told Health and Human Services regulators that new mandates will make its plans “economically prohibitive” and cause “a huge disruption” unless it gets a waiver.

[...]At issue in the McDonald’s dust-up is a type of low-cost, low-benefit insurance known as “mini-med.” These plans cover most medical services but generally have an annual deductible or benefit cap between $1,000 and $10,000. Unlike more comprehensive plans, there’s no catastrophic coverage. Essentially, the very low premiums—under $100 a month—amount to prepaying for routine expenses like office checkups and E.R. visits.

Around 2.5 million consumers are covered by “mini-med” policies, most of them concentrated in low-wage industries like fast food, hospitality and retail that have large numbers of part-time or temporary workers. In the case of the restaurants, 75% of the workforce turns over every year and nearly half are under age 25. Mini-med plans are a temporary stopgap for businesses that have low margins and face high labor and health costs.

But Democrats hate mini-med and other skinny-benefit plans, calling them “underinsurance.” ObamaCare is meant to run them out of the market by mandating benefits, eliminating coverage caps and certain technical rules about how premiums must be spent. This despite the fact that Arkansas, Connecticut and Tennessee sponsor their own mini-med plans for state residents as better than having no insurance at all.

In other words, the choice is between relatively affordable coverage that isn’t as generous as Democrats think it should be and dumping coverage entirely. McDonald’s may eventually offer the high-cost plans that Ms. Sebelius favors, or get its waiver, but many of its less profitable or smaller competitors won’t. While subsidized ObamaCare options will be available in 2014, those costs will merely be transferred to taxpayers.

Radical pro-abortion extremist Kathleen Sebelius is in the news lately, intimidating private businesses for refusing to make bricks without straw.

Michelle Malkin wrote about it.

Excerpt:

In February, the White House coordinated a demonization campaign against Anthem Blue Cross in California for raising rates. Obama singled out the company in a “60 Minutes” interview, and Sebelius sent a nasty-gram demanding that Anthem “justify” its rate hikes to the federal government. A private company trying to survive in the marketplace was forced to “explain” itself to federal bureaucrats and career politicians who have never run a business (successful or otherwise) in their lives. Sebelius went even further. She called on Anthem to provide public disclosure on how the rate increases would be spent —  a mandate that no other private companies must follow.

We already have a federal pay czar requiring companies to justify their pay raises and claiming authority to claw back bonuses already paid. Will the White House next demand that other businesses —  not just health insurers —  justify price increases deemed unreasonable, excessive or “extraordinary”?

On Capitol Hill, Democratic chief inquisitor Henry Waxman trained his sights on executives from Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon and AT&T in a brass-knuckled effort to silence companies speaking out about the cost implications and financial burdens of Obamacare. He scheduled an April 21 show trial of corporate heads who dutifully reported writedowns related to the Obamacare mandates. Obama Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined in on the witch-hunt, pummeling the companies on the White House blog and TV airwaves for their “premature” and “irresponsible” disclosures.

After the Democrats’ own congressional staff pointed out that the companies “acted properly and in accordance with accounting standards” in submitting filings that were required by law, Waxman called off the hounds. But it was a temporary reprieve. Sebelius’ threat last week against individual market health insurers who raise rates to cope with new federal coverage mandates will be far from this desperate administration’s last.

As health costs skyrocket, doctors abandon the profession, hospitals lay off workers and private insurers shut down, the only way to quell the Obamacare backlash will be through an even more thuggish campaign to demonize, marginalize and silence nationwide dissent.

Here are some amusing responses to her Soviet-style bullying from Wall Street Journal readers.

Now you know why companies are terrified of government – and why they aren’t hiring here. Maybe they are hiring abroad, but not here.

Democrats don’t understand the effects of their policies – the purpose of the policies they enact is not to make our lives better. The purpose of their policies is to make them feel good about themselves. Their good intentions matter more than actual results. They think they are morally superior, and they balk when we don’t worship them for failing to understand economic realities. “But we are good people with good intentions”, they say, “you’re too stupid to run your own lives – you need our advanced training in socialism to make your lives better”. It’s not good enough.

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

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