Monday, October 17, 2011

FOD 2011.10.17

obama and his minions have established a tradition of releasing unfavorable news on Friday afternoons to minimize publicity. This last Friday was no exception, although it was particularly notable for the number and significance of its announcements. Number one:

The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president's signature health overhaul law — a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency.

Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a long-standing priority of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
That pretty much tells us all we need to know about it.
Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. The money could go for services at home or to help with nursing home bills.

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.
My wife and I have long-term disability insurance. It's not cheap, but we both had mothers who needed long-term care, and we saw the deleterious impact, both financial and emotional, it had on the family. We've agreed that we don't want to put the other spouse and kids through that. But we would much rather rely on a private insurance company than a government program. Evidently a lot of other people feel the same way.
After months insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally acknowledged Friday she doesn't see how.

That's the same conclusion a top government expert reached in 2009. Nearly a year before the health care law passed, Richard Foster, head of long-range economic forecasts for Medicare, warned administration and congressional officials that CLASS would be unworkable. His warnings were disregarded, as Obama declared his support for adding the long-term care plan to his health care bill.
What's the point of having experts on staff if you don't listen to them? Maybe because their advice gets in the way of politics...?
The demise of CLASS immediately touched off speculation about its impact on the federal budget. Although no premiums are likely to be collected, the program still counts as reducing the federal deficit by about $80 billion over the next 10 years. That's because of a rule that would have required workers to pay in for at least five years before they could collect any benefits.
Budget gimmickry. The private sector must comply with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) but like so many other things, our uberlords exempt themselves from the rules and regulations they subject us to. Which brings us to Friday announcement number two.

Treasury announces 2011 deficit is second highest in history
The U.S budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 is $1.299 trillion, the second largest shortfall in history.

The nation only ran a larger deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, which included the dramatic collapse of financial markets and a huge bailout effort by the government. The nation's deficit that year was $1.412 trillion.
Third straight year in a row the deficit has exceeded $1 trillion ... equal to 8.7% of GDP (the historical average budget deficit is 2.3%) ... and no end in sight.

You can't keep spending more than you make. Eventually something's got to give.

Friday announcement number three seems innocuous enough on its face, but it may be the most subtly troubling of them all.

Obama sends 100 military advisers to fight Africa rebels
The first wave of U.S. Special Forces Green Berets arrived in Uganda this week to support the battle against a guerrilla group accused of widespread atrocities, Pentagon and military officials told NBC News.
I remember when Green Berets (and others) were sent to Viet Nam as 'advisers.' We all know how that turned out.

And don't forget, we still have forces involved in Libya, despite this statement.
“I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners,” Mr. Obama said in an evening speech to the nation. “Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.”
obama said that on March 28 of this year. Last time I looked we still had U.S. forces involved in ongoing operations over there.

Of course, the MSM is so fascinated by the occupy whatever Flea Baggers that there is scant reporting of obama's misadventures...

No comments: