Today, as I was on my way to drop off the old “Silver Toilet” for an oil change, I turned on the radio and was subjected to this little gem here.
So this is not about spending. And this isn’t about fiscal responsibility. This whole thing is about one thing: the Republican obsession with dismantling the Affordable Care Act and denying affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. (Applause.) That’s all this has become about. That seems to be the only thing that unites the Republican Party these days.
Through this whole fight, they’ve said the American people don’t want Obamacare, so we should shut down the government to repeal it or delay it. But here’s the problem: The government is now shut down, but the Affordable Care Act is still open for business. (Applause.) So they’re not even accomplishing what they say they want to accomplish. And, by the way, in the first two days since the new marketplaces — basically big group plans that we’ve set up — the first two days that they opened, websites where you can compare and purchase new affordable insurance plans and maybe get tax credits to reduce your costs, millions of Americans have made it clear they do want health insurance. (Applause.)
More than 6 million people visited the website HealthCare.gov the day it opened. Nearly 200,000 people picked up the phone and called the call center. In Kentucky alone — this is a state where — I didn’t win Kentucky. (Laughter.) So I know they weren’t doing it for me. In Kentucky, nearly 11,000 people applied for new insurance plans in the first two days — just in one state, Kentucky. And many Americans are finding out when they go on the website that they’ll save a lot of money or get health insurance for the first time.
So I would think that if, in fact, this was going to be such a disaster that the Republicans say it’s going to be, that it was going to be so unpopular, they wouldn’t have to shut down the government. They could wait, nobody would show any interest, there would be, like, two people on the website — (laughter) — and everybody would then vote for candidates who want to repeal it.
Remarks by the President on the Government Shutdown
M. Luis Construction Company, Rockville, Maryland
The arrogance was just too much to take. I shouted out loud “of course the website was flooded!” “We have no choice, it’s the law!” Surely Obama isn’t so narcissistic that he actually believes that people are flocking to the website in droves because they love him and his policies; not because he has forced them to comply by fining them with a tax penalty of they don’t. No, wait, he is. Like Sally Field accepting her Oscar, Obama gushes every time he looks in the mirror, ” you love me, you really love me.” I had to turn the radio off, I couldn’t stomach any more. Every day we are subjected to the propaganda, the soft ball interviews and outright lies of this administration, and no one, steps up to call them on it. It is beyond frustrating, and more and more it seems like we are powerless to stop it.
I keep asking myself, where are the Republicans?, Where are the people I hired by my vote to represent me? Why is there not a televised rebuttal every time Obama opens his mouth? The Republican party has taken the common sense of the American people for granted. They just assume that the masses are smart enough to see through all the lies and deception. Well, apparently they are not, after all they reelected the most miserable excuse for a leader this country has ever known, to a second term. The GOP needs to start striking back, they should have started months ago. Every speech Obama gives needs to be followed by a Republican press conference, pointing out each lie and fallacy one by one. Since we can no longer count on the mainstream media to educate the masses, the Republicans need to fill the airwaves with short PSA type commercials. Short spots of airtime, such as PJ Media‘s Afterburner, that extol the benefits of conservatism on society and highlight the perils of Obama’s Socialism.
The GOP needs to embrace its new blood, the Ted Cruzes and Rand Pauls and other’s of their ilk need to be endorsed and encouraged, not stabbed in the back by their own. The American people are hungry for representatives who will challenge the status quo, and speak for us, not speak down to us. 2014 is closing in. The Republican party does not have the luxury of time. This is indeed our most desperate hour.
It seems that the Department of Defense is continually looking for new and improved ways of breaking its contract with Military Veterans. Starting during the Clinton administration, continued through the Democrat controlled Congress of the Bush administration, and blessed by the Obama administration, the Department of Defense has repeatedly attempted to undermine the healthcare benefits of military retirees and their families. Last year, the annual fees for Tricare coverage were nearly doubled. The copays for prescription drugs went up also, and will do so again soon. The increases will be tied to any cost of living increases in retirement pay. Effectively negating those raises.
Now, about a week ago, retirees in the Tricare South region were informed by email that as of October 1, 2013, those who live more than forty miles from a military medical facility will have their Tricare Prime coverage stripped from them. This change will force Veterans and their families into the prohibitively more expensive Tricare Standard coverage. Two groups of military retirees will be hit especially hard. Those who still have young children, and those who live solely off of their military retirement pay and Social Security.
Most Veterans understand that in order to balance the Federal Budget cuts will have to be made somewhere. But as long as waste, fraud, abuse, and redundancies remain a part of business as usual in Washington, balancing the budget on the backs of Veterans who have served with pride and honor, who have already sacrificed much, is simply unforgivable. These changes flew under the radar. There was no press coverage, no media outrage. No, it’s as if the Obama administration purposely keeps anything from the general public that doesn’t support the narrative of “health care for all”. Americans support and honor their Veterans. Even when the government they served under does not. For President Obama to claim affordable healthcare as his legacy while allowing an increase in the cost for those who served their Commander-in-Chief, is the height of hypocrisy.
Veterans and their families can’t fight this battle alone. We need all Americans to write their representatives, and the President. Get involved and make some noise. Compel Washington to keep its promise and right this wrong.
Instead of asking ourselves if we are better off today than we were four years ago, maybe we should be asking if we will be better off four years from now? Without the need to woo skittish voters, and appease wealthy donors, President Obama would no longer have to carry on the ruse of upholding The Constitution. He would have the power, through executive order if need be, to continue his war on capitalist prosperity. Even without the blessing of Congress, he would assume the authority to appease our enemies while snubbing our allies. What would four years look like if President Obama is elected to another term? In the first of a four-part series, I’ll describe the America, Obama’s America, that is yet to come.
Though we don’t see the exuberance of four years ago, there is much celebration in the nation today. Seniors who feared cuts to Social Security and Medicare are now looking forward to the hope of a decent retirement. People who were previously uninsurable, or had children with catastrophic illnesses, who were already enjoying the benefits of the Affordable Healthcare Act are resting comfortably. Students who only a year ago, were protesting in the streets, now feel they have a future.
There is caution in the celebrating though, an almost palpable feeling that maybe, just maybe everything isn’t as it seems. Tentative hope has now been replaced by fear and uncertainty. For many in this country this is not a day to celebrate, it is a day filled with a sense of dread. The campaign slogans of “Hope and Change”, of “Forward”, of “Believe in America”, have been replaced by a new slogan, “Oh my God what have we done”.
The fifth year:
Obama wastes no time in pushing though his campaign promise of making rich people pay “their fare share”. At first, the extension of the Bush era tax cuts for the middle class, along with the Fed’s new policy of printing and circulating large sums of money has a small positive effect on the economy. Middle class wage earners, while not gaining any true increase in wealth, are feeling better about the future so they are starting slowly and cautiously to spend more.
Employment however, has not increased as much as expected. Small business owners who were waiting on the outcome of the election, before deciding whether to expand or hire, have decided to put it off. Even with the small increase in consumer spending, they are waiting to see just how much the Affordable Healthcare Act and the new wealth taxes will cost them. A few small business owners are eager to utilize the Obama administration’s new programs to reward “insourcing” and “green” business. The program has little success however, as the program’s stipulations, along with all the government’s restrictions, make it impossible for these businesses to be profitable.
The upper tier rich begin to look for ways to divest their income to avoid paying the new wealth taxes. Many are placing most of their funds in overseas bank accounts. Wealthy businessmen, concerned about maintaining the profitability of their companies, many of whom would never have considered it before, are moving overseas. Many wealthy individuals are starting to consider the wisdom of leaving the United States entirely and taking up residence in a foreign country. A policy that was supposed to generate more revenue for the government has the unexpected result of prolonging the employment crisis.
In spite of another drop in interest rates, the housing market has also remained flat. As the year progresses, the Fed’s influx of cash has led to inflation. The increase in the cost of living, coupled with the lack of well-paying jobs has people reluctant to buy a home. What was a slow and cautious economic recovery has now become stagnant.
Obama Care has given many people who worried about the cost of healthcare, a reason to be hopeful. Adult children can now be carried on their parent’s insurance, and a person can’t be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. The trade-off is that now individuals are forced to carry health insurance or pay a penalty tax. In spite of subsidies, many small business owners cannot afford to cover their employees. This forced those employees to turn to the state insurance pools. While low-income people are given a tax incentive to cover the cost of this insurance, many mid level earners do not qualify. This leaves them with an added expense that they did not count on. Just one more item to juggle into an already tight budget.
In spite of continued attacks against American interests in the Middle East, President Obama expands his policy of acceptance and understanding of the Muslim culture. He meets regularly with the heads of radical Islamic groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. He maintains his stance that Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to stop the development of settlements on the West Bank. Meanwhile, Iran continues its so-called “peaceful” nuclear program. Even though this presents a clear danger to one of our most important allies, Obama is reluctant to call for stronger measures against them. He prefers to rely on the economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, despite their lack of success………
As we see, during Obama’s fifth year in office, the world continues to be a dangerous and unstable place, both economically and culturally. While most Americans may not be worse off, very,very, few can say things are better. In my next post, we will see what it might look like during his sixth year.