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Friday
Oct042013

National Review - 100 Unintended Consequences of Obamacare

Companies, workers, retirees, students, and spouses all suffer from the law’s inflexible mandates.

By  Andrew Johnson

Today, Obamacare’s October 1 launch date finally arrived. Ever since its passage, supporters of the law have made countless attempts to convince the American people of its viability, dismissing predictions of lost jobs, decreased hours, and rising costs, among others.

Yet from major corporations to local mom-and-pop shops, from entire states to tiny school districts, a wide range of companies and institutions have seen Obamacare’s negative impact on their workers, budgets, and production. Here are 100 examples of how Obamacare is falling short of what was promised.

(Note: Some items on this list came via Investor’s Business Daily and the Heritage Foundation.)

Corporations

1. IBM
Earlier this month, the computer giant, once famed for its paternalism, announced it would remove 110,000 of its Medicare-eligible retirees from the company’s health insurance and give them subsidies to purchase coverage through the Obamacare exchanges. Retirees fear that they will not get the level of coverage they are used to, and that the options will be bewildering.

2. Delta Air Lines
In a letter to employees, Delta Air Lines revealed that the company’s health-care costs will rise about $100 million next year alone, in large part because of Obamacare. The airline said that in addition to several other changes, it would have to drop its specially crafted insurance plans for pilots because the “Cadillac tax” on luxurious health plans has made them too expensive.

3. UPS
Fifteen thousand employees’ spouses will no longer be able to use UPS’s health-care plan because they have access to coverage elsewhere. The “costs associated with the Affordable Care Act have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” the delivery giant said in a company memo. The move is expected to save the company $60 million next year.

4. Caterpillar Inc.
In the law’s first year, the machinery manufacturer estimated before its passage, Obamacare would add more than $100 million in health-care costs. “We can ill afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” a Caterpillar executive wrote lawmakers, saying that the law would not meet the goal of providing good, inexpensive health care for all Americans.

5. SeaWorld
SeaWorld used to let part-time employees work up to 32 hours per week, but the company is dropping the limit to 28 hours to keep them under the 30-hour threshold at which it would be required to provide health insurance under Obamacare. More than 80 percent of the company’s thousands of employees are part-time and/or seasonal.

To Continue Reading Click Here ---->  National Review Online

Wednesday
Jul102013

Newsmax - Major Newspapers Reject Pro-life Ad

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 09:04 PM

By Tom Topousis

A powerful anti-abortion ad that depicts a 20-week-old baby cradled in the palm of a hand has been rejected by three of the nation’s largest newspapers because it’s too controversial.

The ad, accompanied by the words, “This child has no voice, which is why it depends on yours,” was turned down by the Chicago Tribune, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, the National Review Online reported Tuesday.

Pro-life group, Heroic Media, wanted the ads to run as a way to push the U.S. Senate to approve the Pain-Cabable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was passed by the House last month.

“It seems as though it is okay to talk about the issue in general, but when you actually put a face to the discussion, then it becomes controversial,” Heroic Media Executive Director Joe Young told the National Review.[...]

 

Saturday
Aug182012

NRO Editorial: The Left's Hate Speech Fixation 

A new NRO editorial, “Lessons from the FRC Shooting,” discusses political violence in the United States and why “it is fashionable on the left to attempt to tie acts of violence to conservative political rhetoric.” The article also states:

The Left seeks to discredit conservative criticism as “hate speech,” while at the same time engaging in the wildest sort of excess. One example of left-wing rhetorical excess is of course the attempt to brand the FRC a hate group when its employees are the targets of political violence, not the perpetrators of it.

The complete text of the editorial follows. It can also be found on National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314276/lessons-frc-shooting-editors.

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Lessons from the FRC Shooting

By The Editors

 

 ‘It was not about you, it was what this place stands for.” So said gay-rights activist Floyd Lee Corkins II after opening fire on a security guard at the office of the conservative Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. FRC among other things opposes gay marriage, a position shared with just under half of all Americans including, until about five minutes ago, President Barack Obama. For this alleged instance of extremism, FRC was in 2010 labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

That the SPLC cannot distinguish between a traditional-family organization and the guys in the white sheets and swastika armbands says a great deal about that organization’s intellectual depth, which is measured in millimeters. Organized homosexuality’s relentless crusade to align itself with the civil-rights movement of the 1960s is on the face of it absurd — such insults as homosexuals have suffered in this country do not include chattel slavery — but the SPLC has been happy to play along, in the course of the past decade or so transforming itself from a watchdog on extremism to a peddler of liberal pieties.

It is fashionable on the left to attempt to tie acts of violence to conservative political rhetoric: Bill Clinton shamefully insinuated that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was inspired by Rush Limbaugh, and a diverse bouquet of self-beclowning Democrats tried to pin the shooting of Gabby Giffords on Sarah Palin’s taste in graphic design. Of course McVeigh turned out to be no kind of talk-radio man, and the man who shot Giffords is an incoherent psychotic with no political agenda. For that matter, it was a man of the Left who shot John F. Kennedy, but a shocking number of otherwise respectable liberals treat the assassination as part of a right-wing conspiracy. So convinced are liberals that the Right is harboring dreams of political violence that irresponsible commentators immediately began speculating about whether the Colorado theater shooter was a Fox News viewer. As it turns out, he thought he was the Joker, not the Gipper.

An exercise in tit-for-tat would be tempting here, but conservatives for the most part know better. Given the routinely violent, anti-Semitic, racist, and misogynist rhetoric associated with the Left — as seen at any Occupy encampment or protest directed at Israel, Clarence Thomas, or Sarah Palin — it is worth remarking upon the hypocrisy of the Left’s trying to blame talk radio or tea-party protests for acts of violence. (And never mind that rhetoric was replaced by actual acts of violence at Occupy events, not at tea-party rallies.) There is in fact remarkably little political violence in the United States, a fact for which we should be grateful.

What is remarkable here is the intellectual dishonesty: The Left seeks to discredit conservative criticism as “hate speech,” while at the same time engaging in the wildest sort of excess. One example of left-wing rhetorical excess is of course the attempt to brand the FRC a hate group when its employees are the targets of political violence, not the perpetrators of it. Life is full of little ironies.

Thursday
Nov242011

NATIONAL REVIEW: editorial pins Supercommittee failure on Dem tax donkey 

The text of the editorial follows. It can be found on the National Review website at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/283743/marines-over-medicaid-editors.

 

Marines Over Medicaid

To the great surprise of nobody, another blue-ribbon panel of Washington’s A-list nabobs has failed at its task: In this case, it is the so-called supercommittee charged with nudging the federal government away from the edge of the debt abyss. Investors despaired at the news, and there was talk of a second downgrade of U.S. Treasury debt.

The failure of the supercommittee is a testament to Democrats’ tax obsession. With the supercommittee having fizzled, the next step is the automatic sequestration process, which imposes 50 percent of the cuts on a program that accounts for only 20 percent of spending (national defense) while leaving the entitlements largely untouched. But the country needs the Marines more than it needs Medicaid.

The talks broke down because Democrats demanded $1 trillion in tax increases as the price of doing any deal that included entitlement savings — which is to say, as the price of doing any deal that begins to address the major drivers of spending going forward. Republicans have never quite owned up to being open to a tax increase, but that is what they are talking about when they talk about “pro-growth tax reform,” which includes broadening the tax base and eliminating some deductions and exemptions, producing a net tax increase even if tax rates stay the same or go down. But even that isn’t good enough for the Democrats, who insist that any tax increase be enacted through a relatively narrow range of options, mostly through raising tax rates on individuals with above-average incomes and on businesses that do not fall within the protective circle of Democrats’ political favoritism. (Don’t expect General Electric or the next Solyndra to start paying 35 percent, whatever else happens.) Because Republicans rightly declined to go along with this class-warfare program and insisted upon savings in entitlements, the supercommittee failed.

The sobering thing is that even the massive tax increases the Democrats wish to inflict upon the nation would not close the deficit that our entitlement programs will produce if left unreformed. A study by the International Monetary Fund estimates that, in order to keep entitlement spending at current levels while stabilizing the debt, every federal tax on the books — income tax, payroll taxes, excise taxes, etc. — would have to be raised by 88 percent. Democrats will be happy to run against entitlement reform, and they will wallpaper the airwaves with vulgar advertisements that show Paul Ryan running granny off a cliff in her wheelchair. But they are really running on an 88 percent tax hike — that or massive, unsustainable deficits.

Voters are beginning to understand as much, and that means that Republicans have a two-fold task ahead of them: The first is to overturn the automatic defense-spending cuts, locating savings elsewhere in the federal budget to offset them. Unlike most of what the federal government does, national defense is a real, pressing, national priority that is unquestionably a government responsibility. The range of threats facing the United States is broad and deep, and a single 9/11-scale attack could in financial terms alone cost the nation far more than we would save through defense cutbacks, to say nothing of the loss of life. Defense is one of the few federal functions in which budgetary concerns must perforce take a backseat to global political realities.

The same is not true of the entitlement programs, and so the second part of the Republicans’ task is to take that case to the voters in November. Most of the Republican presidential hopefuls have developed thoughtful, credible, long-term solutions to the financial imbalances of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The reforms they are proposing — means testing, gradually raising the retirement age, changing the indexing formulae — are far short of the radical changes that have been contemplated by some on the right. But properly executed they would bring the programs back into balance, a goal that is of critical importance as our population ages and the financial stress on the entitlements becomes more acute. Changing the terms of Social Security for a well-off 35-year-old decades away from collecting any benefits is not relegating granny to a cat-food diet, and Republicans should be willing to make that case.  

Meanwhile, another opportunity to control spending and rationalize the tax code has come and gone. Our supply of such opportunities is not unlimited.

Friday
Feb122010

National Review Online - The Changing Face of Journalism 

We wanted to pass along the below editorial that ran on National Review Online today. The editorial, "The Changing Face of Journalism" covers the desperate need for investigative reporters to keep our elected officials accountable for their actions. For more information on the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity please visit www.FranklinCenterHQ.org.

To Donate To Franklin Center Click Here

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The Changing Face of Journalism    [Jason Stverak]

 National Review Online

Corruption and scandal are not simply bred in D.C. — crooked politicians have to start somewhere. Gone unnoticed, scandal-plagued local politicians sometimes escalate to Congress or other federal positions.

The cure for a dishonest politician is an investigative reporter willing to allocate the time to expose the truth. However, the decline of resources at newspapers around the nation has increased the vacuum in state-based coverage. As such, newspapers around the country are curbing reporters’ ability to spend the time or money to investigate a story in addition to the daily beat they write. This growing hole in investigative journalism is now being filled by non-profit organizations that have the capacity to spend time becoming immersed in a story.

The formula for success for the non-profits is to hire straight-shooting professionals and provide them the opportunity and training to reemerge as the beat reporters from yesteryear. With local focuses, specific targets, a commitment to using highly trained and professional journalists, and a strategic approach to using and distributing resources, online non-profits are the future of journalism.

Just recently, a series of state-based watchdog groups have demonstrated that online news websites can churn out substantive investigative pieces. Jim Scarantino, the New Mexico Watchdog at the Rio Grande Foundation, found that N.M.’s lieutenant governor was utilizing tax dollars to buy Christmas cards for her political committee. Joe Jordan, a dedicated state-based reporter at NebraskaWatchdog.org, uncovered that their state's educators were using taxpayer-funded credit cards to purchase a first-class plane tickets to China for $11,000. And it was a Watchdog in Ohio that publicized a candidate’s attempt to pay for votes among college students.

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For more information, please visit
FranklinCenterHQ.org