Friday, December 14, 2012
A good woman who respected the life that was in her
Democrats repenting at leisure
"Act in haste, repent at leisure"
Sixteen Democratic senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act are asking that one of its fundraising mechanisms, a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect January 1, be delayed. Echoing arguments made by Republicans against Obamacare, the Democratic senators say the levy will cost jobs — in a statement Monday, Sen. Al Franken called it a “job-killing tax” — and also impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.
The senators, who made the request in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are Franken, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Patty Murray, John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Joseph Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Robert Casey, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski, Kay Hagan, Herb Kohl, Jeanne Shaheen, and Richard Blumenthal. All voted for Obamacare.
Two other Democrats, senators-elect Joe Donnelly and Elizabeth Warren, also signed the letter. Donnelly voted for Obamacare as a member of the House. Warren was not in Congress at the time.
“The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million skilled manufacturing jobs,” the senators wrote in a December 4 letter to Reid. “We must do all we can to ensure that our country maintains its global leadership position in the medical technology industry and keeps good jobs here at home.”
Beyond that, the senators say, the medical device industry “has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax” — a reference to the apparently confused and halting nature of the Obama administration’s implementation of Obamacare.
Several of the senators, many of whom have medical device manufacturers in their states, have opposed the tax for a long time. During the Obamacare debate, for example, Franken and Klobuchar were among a group of senators who successfully pushed to reduce the tax. (The device giant Medtronic is headquartered in Minnesota.)
On Monday, Franken again expressed his opposition to the tax he voted for. “I want to repeal the medical device tax altogether,” the senator and former comedian said in a statement. “But I am concerned that we are running out of time before this job-killing tax goes into effect. So, for now, the best thing to do to ensure that this important industry continues to create jobs and producing life-saving devices is to delay this unwise tax.” Franken and other want Reid to include a provision to delay the tax in the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations.
None of the senators found his or her earlier objections to the tax a sufficient reason to vote against Obamacare. In December 2009, with 60 votes in the Senate and a determined Republican opposition, Democrats needed every vote they could get to pass the president’s national health care plan. But now, with Obamacare — and the taxes to fund it — about to become a reality, some of those Democrats are singing a different tune.
Cause and effect: Americans who voted for Obama now seeing weekly job hours slashed below 30 as Obamacare kicks in
It is the ultimate example of how you reap what you sow: Huge numbers of American workers who voted for Obama are now seeing their own jobs slashed below 30 hours a week as employers desperately try to avoid "Obamacare bankruptcy."
Obamacare mandates for businesses only apply to those working 30 hours a week or more, and while many businesses do not want to cut workers' hours, they are being forced to in order to stay afloat. This necessary action is causing businesses to lose money and become less competitive while at the same time destroying American jobs.
Some businesses are also slashing job positions in an effort to get below the 50-employee threshold above which Obamacare mandates kick in. So across the country, we're not only seeing workers lose hours thanks to Obamacare; we're also seeing workers losing their jobs.
But the Obama administration will announce these results to be a huge "job creation success!" because workers must now find two part-time jobs that usually pay less than the one full-time job they used to have. The raw job numbers, however, will be spun by the White House into a victory pronouncement of "twice as many jobs exist now!"
A note to Obama supporters: When you thought you were voting for "free health care," you were actually voting to get yourself "downsized." Your vote was an act of economic suicide. That's because no government can force a business to pay for something that will put it out of business. When government mandates become too expensive for a business to afford, it will simply stop conducting business and that means cutting jobs or job hours.
Imagine: If Obama announced a new initiative called "double pay for all workers" and made it a federal law, he would of course win another popular vote. But employers wouldn't be able to afford the double pay mandate, so they would start slashing jobs or offshoring jobs, and that's exactly what we see today. Every employer in America is right now asking himself these three questions in order to stay above water and not go bankrupt:
#1) How can we slash workers to under 30 hours a week?
#2) How can we offshore jobs to India or other countries?
#3) How can we cut our total number of employees to under fifty?
This is the upshot of Obamacare: the destruction of America's small businesses.
At the same time small businesses are struggling to afford Obamacare, mega-corporations like Google are proudly announcing they're paying only 3.5% in taxes thanks to a complex array of global tax-shifting strategies with names like the "Double Irish" and "Dutch Sandwich." As Bloomberg recently reported:
"Google Inc. (GOOG) avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenues into a Bermuda shell company, almost double the total from three years before, filings show. By legally funneling profits from overseas subsidiaries into Bermuda, which doesn’t have a corporate income tax, Google cut its overall tax rate almost in half. The amount moved to Bermuda is equivalent to about 80 percent of Google’s total pretax profit in 2011."
So while Google, one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, pays just 3.5% in TOTAL tax, small businesses across America find themselves paying 30%, 40%, even 50% of their earnings in total taxes, including FICA, social security, inventory tax, capital gains and now Obamacare surcharges and taxes. This is how Obamacare works: Protect the corporate giants while socking it to small and medium-sized businesses.
Obamacare is gutting America's economy and throwing a wrench into the economic machinery that keeps America working. You know why service is so slow at retailers these days? Because Obamacare forced the employer to slash workers' hours. Why do car parts take so long to order and deliver? Because Obamacare gutted the human resources of the parts manufacturers. Why is everything becoming slower, more expensive and more frustrating across the economy? Because Obamacare mandates have forced employers to downsize or lay off their most productive workers.
I ask: What good is a health insurance mandate if it destroys your job in the process of being enforced?
The simple truth of all this is that economics is a subject best left to those people capable of understanding mathematics, and that precludes the vast majority of voters of either political party. Mathematically speaking, Obama's so-called "mandate" isn't even a real mandate: Less than half of eligible voters actually voted in this recent election, and barely half of those voted for Obama. This means that roughly 75% of eligible voters didn't vote for Obama, yet they must suffer under his economic policies which are based in pure fantasy and delusion.
Obama has zero business experience. He has no clue how economics really works and no knowledge of how to run a successful business, much less the executive branch of government. I know what it takes to create multi-million-dollar companies because I've done it successfully and repeatedly, and I can assure you that the economic policies currently being pursued in Washington will only destroy jobs, destroy America's economy and destroy our economic future.
Democrats, it seems, believe the solution to all this is to make taxpayers pay even more money to the federal government. As we are told by the lamestream media, apparently the only reason the economy isn't celebrating a rapid expansion right now is because workers and businesses are allowed to keep too much of their own incomes. If only Washington D.C. had more of your money, they would use it more wisely, we're told, and fix all our problems. Obamacare is just the beginning: power-hungry zealots like Obama have plans for centralizing control and running everything in your life: health care, food choices, educational choices, private property, energy consumption, home gardening and anything else you might imagine.
Instead of blaming Obama, of course, the vast majority of the recently-unemployed will blame their employer! "How dare you cut my hours!" they will scream, oblivious to the fact that their employer did NOT want to cut their hours but was forced to by a cabal of economic morons in Washington who are dismantling America's economy one piece of legislation at a time.
Michigan’s Modest Labor Reform
Michigan has passed a modest labor reform, and the result has been threats and violence from Democratic elected officials and their union henchmen. While this is deplorable, it is not surprising: Organized labor’s business model is mechanically identical to extortion, and it is in the nature of the extortionist’s trade to resort to violence when frustrated.
To hear the Democrats tell the tale, you would think that Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature had abolished unions. In fact, the legislation merely prohibits unions from forcing workers to pay dues to them as a condition of employment, which is why such measures are called “right-to-work laws.” The law imposes no limitation on unions’ ability to organize, to engage in collective bargaining, or to strike. It merely forbids them to take money out of the pockets of workers who do not wish to join them.
In response, Democratic legislator Douglas Geiss declared on the floor of the state house: “There will be blood. There will be repercussions.” And indeed there were: Knife-wielding partisans brought down a tent on representatives from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity — women and children among them — and roughed up bystanders. Fox News contributor Steven Crowder was beaten by the same mob, punched repeatedly in the face. See below.
Union thug in action
Michigan is the 24th state to enact a right-to-work law, and the most heavily unionized state to do so. Even though Michigan is the heartland of the United Auto Workers, only 17.5 percent of the state’s workers belong to unions, and most of the state’s union members are government employees. Indeed, so many government-school employees called in sick to protest the right-to-work bill that some school districts had to be shut down. (Not that Michigan’s schools are doing Michiganders much good: The share of Michigan eighth-graders who perform proficiently in math and science is 29.4 and 16.5 percent respectively, suggesting that very few of them will be ready for the high-tech manufacturing jobs that are the pride of the state’s economy.) Michigan was inspired to pursue reforms in no small part by the example of Indiana, which saw its business-recruiting prospects improve after enacting right-to-work reform.
One reason why Michigan kids do so poorly at school?
Right-to-work laws do not necessarily hobble unions; rather, they force unions to compete for resources and prove their value to their workers. Some unions provide obvious value: In places in which private-sector unions already are strongly established, right-to-work laws have in fact had little effect on union membership. The critical difference is that workers have a choice. This is a principle that should be codified in law in every state, and at the federal level as well. Someday, an ambitious Republican congressional majority should simply repeal the corrosive National Labor Relations Act and be done with it. But until that time, the right will proceed state by state.
Democrats are panicked by the spread of right-to-work reforms because the mandatory deduction of dues from the paychecks of public-sector employees provides the party’s financial lifeblood. There are not that many UAW members or Teamsters in the country, but there are legions of bureaucrats, school workers, and surly DMV clerks — and, through its relationship with the public-sector unions, the Democratic party has a direct pipeline into the pockets of practically each and every one of them. The shrieking in Michigan isn’t about workingmen’s wages, but campaign coffers. That is why there is blood.
Freedom from union compulsion
by Jeff Jacoby
Republican legislators voted Tuesday to make Michigan the 24th state in the nation to protect an essential civil liberty: the right to work for a living without being required to join or pay money to a labor union. Governor Rick Snyder signed the new laws – one dealing with private-sector employees, one covering government employment – a few hours later, hailing them as "pro-worker and pro-Michigan."
Big Labor and its allies, of course, are furiously denouncing this as "union busting" and worse. President Obama told union members at a Michigan engine plant on Monday that "so-called right to work laws" are an attempt "to take away your rights to bargain for better wages or working conditions." Democratic congressman Sander Levin fumed on PBS that backers of right-to-work laws want "to snuff out the voice in the workplace, to destroy collective bargaining." Thousands of union activists descended on the state Capitol in Lansing, feverishly protesting what the United Auto Workers hyperbolically labels "the worst anti-worker legislation Michigan has ever seen."
But fewer and fewer people are swayed by such over-the-top rhetoric. Even in Michigan, where the UAW was launched 75 years ago and which has long been thought of as an organized-labor stronghold, unions' strong-arm tactics no longer compel the deference they once did. On Election Day, Michigan voters comfortably backed Obama over Mitt Romney, while simultaneously spurning – by a 15-point margin – a union-promoted measure that would have cemented collective bargaining into the state constitution.
Labor unions commanded greater public affection back when they relied more on the power of persuasion than on the persuasion of power. In a 1957 Gallup Poll, 75 percent of Americans said they approved of unions. Today union approval stands at just 52 percent, while a plurality of Americans says that unions should have less influence, not more. Michigan may be America's fifth-most unionized state, but even there most residents want little to do with organized labor. Union members account for just 17.5 percent of Michigan's workforce.
The advantage of right-to-work laws is hard to miss. As analyst F. Vincent Vernuccio of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a market-oriented Michigan think tank, notes, workers "vote with their feet." Since 1970, the population of right-to-work states has doubled, while in states that allow compulsory unionism, the population has only grown by one-third. "The exodus route is clear," Vernuccio writes.
Between 2000 and 2010, there has been a net domestic migration of nearly 5 million people from states that lack right-to-work protection to states that confer them. Is it sheer coincidence that over the last decade, inflation-adjusted compensation in right-to-work states grew by almost 12 percent compared to just 3 percent in non-right-to-work states? Or that in CNBC's latest ranking of the "Top States for Business," all but two of the top 15 are right-to-work states?
To witness the growth a right-to-work environment makes possible, Michigan legislators need gaze no farther than neighboring Indiana, which banned compulsory unionism early in 2012. Since January, the Hoosier State has added 43,300 jobs. Michigan has lost 4,200.
But the economic gains are secondary. The essential issue is liberty. Every American worker should have the right to join a labor union. And also the right not to.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 1:34 AM