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U.S. unemployment rate hits 10.2 percent

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Obamacare Line: What a phone call for health care may sound like in the near future.  More videos at Concerned Women For America

Under Obamacare, you could face substantial fines and even punishment for violating the plan’s mandatory insurance requirement. It looks like the IRS may play enforcer for President Obama and the Democrats, even deciding if your insurance coverage is acceptable or not.

Have you heard that Sen. Reid put the public option back in the Senate bill?   And that Speaker Pelosi wants to rebrand it to make it more palatable to us idiot voters?  And that the Senate Democrats are ready to break out the champagne for the public option?    And Senator Bayh got us a break on medical device prices?

Does all that not irritate the heck out of you?  It does me, and I faxed this to Bayh, Lugar and Visclosky this morning.  Feel free to use any or all of it if you have had enough of Congress treating you like a fool.

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Image from Lolcats

The talk by Federal legislators about competitive options, state opt outs and triggers relating to current health care legislation are an insult to taxpayers. Does Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi think voters don’t understand the context of such gimmicks? I am writing you to register my firm opposition to the public option, under whatever focus group-tested name it is slipped into legislation. That means no provisions for states to “opt” out, and no “triggers” for it to kick in if private insurers don’t meet some government-approved price level. Does Congress think the American public is too stupid to understand that the existence of opt outs and triggers assumes that a program of government control of the entire system has to be in place for those options to be offered? You can’t opt out of a program, or have to utilize it under certain conditions if it doesn’t exist in the first place. Shame on Congress for insulting voters that way.

As a concerned citizen, I oppose any and all efforts to further expand government control over the U.S. healthcare and insurance system. It will impose massive taxes on the American people, whether in the form of fines, higher insurance premiums, higher prices for medical devices or increases in state income tax rates to cover the huge expansion of Medicaid it will necessarily bring. I understand the Senate bill will now only impose about half the new taxes on medical device makers that were originally planned. How is this a victory for consumers? The price will still go up since companies pass along any higher costs of doing business.

Like most Americans, I prefer getting my health coverage through private insurance rather than the federal government. That’s because government healthcare always results in higher costs and rationing. I do not want politicians and bureaucrats dictating my health care and insurance decisions. Especially in these difficult economic times, I flatly reject any new government healthcare plan that imposes new taxes or burdens on individuals or businesses.

If Congress means what it says about its desire to make health care more affordable, look at freeing up competition instead. More competition always means lower prices and more and better products. Cloaking increased government intrusion in the health care system in the language of capitalism by calling the public option the “competitive option” or referring to it as enhancing consumer choice is a perversion of what those words mean. It’s a charade that I and millions of other taxpayers see right through, and does Congress no credit.

From CNS News, Hoyer Says Constitution’s ‘General Welfare’ Clause Empowers Congress to Order Americans to Buy Health Insurance

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that the individual health insurance mandates included in every health reform bill, which require Americans to have insurance, were “like paying taxes.” He added that Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare.”

The Congressional Budget Office, however, has stated in the past that a mandate forcing Americans to buy health insurance would be an “unprecedented form of federal action,” and that the “government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”…

Is there any limit to Congress’s power in his view?

CNSNews.com also asked Hoyer if there is a limit to what Congress can mandate that Americans purchase and whether there is anything that specifically could not be mandated to purchase. Hoyer said that eventually the Supreme Court would find a limit to Congress’ power, adding that mandates that unfairly favored one person or company over another would obviously be unconstitutional.

“I’m sure the [Supreme] Court will find a limit,” Hoyer said. “For instance, if we mandated that you buy General Motors’ automobiles, I believe that would be far beyond our constitutional responsibility and indeed would violate the Due Process Clause as well – in terms of equal treatment to automobile manufacturers.”

Hoyer said that the insurance mandate was constitutional because Congress is not forcing Americans to buy one particular policy, just any health insurance policy.

Well, that’s a relief.  I was starting to think I lived in a police state.  More at the link.

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Weyant’s World

Good grief.  7 Months After Stimulus 49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs

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T shirt from OMama!Obama?

America Now Over 6 Million Jobs Shy of Administration’s Projections

The table below compares the White House’s February 2009 projection of the number of jobs that would be created by the 2009 stimulus law (through the end of 2010) with the actual change in state payroll employment through September 2009 (the latest figures available).  According to the data, 49 States and the District of Columbia have lost jobs since stimulus was enacted.  Only North Dakota has seen net job creation following the February 2009 stimulus.

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Why this epic fail? The Myth of the Multiplier.

Reality bites one politician.

Another stimulus in the offing? Lawmakers Weigh Measures to Spur Hiring, Short of a Second Stimulus

H/T Instapundit

The video is from July, but things haven’t changed in so-called health care reform.

From the Cooler Heads Digest, a summary of climate change-related news:

The House-passed Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bill, H.R. 2454, sets specific federal housing standards $4,000 to $10,000 and price more than 1,000,000 people out of the market, according to Bill Killmer, a vice president of the National Association of Home Builders. In 2014 for new residential buildings and 2015 for new commercial buildings, a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency is required (relative to the baseline code), increasing each year thereafter. Waxman-Markey also adopts California’s portable lighting fixture standard as the national standard. And it mandates efficiency improvements for many new appliances, including spas, water dispensers, and dishwashers.

But the Senate’s Kerry-Boxer energy-rationing bill, S. 1733, goes much further; it gives an unelected federal official a regulatory blank check:

“The (EPA) Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall promulgate regulations establishing building code energy efficiency targets for the national average percentage improvement of buildings energy performance.” And, “The Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, shall promulgate regulations establishing national energy efficiency building codes for residential and commercial buildings.” Pp. 173-174

Federal building codes would be in the hands of the EPA.

The Obama administration really, REALLY doesn’t like Fox News:  White House Escalates War on Fox News

The White House escalated its offensive against Fox News on Sunday by urging other news organizations to stop “following Fox” and instead join the administration’s attempt to marginalize the channel.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that President Obama does not want “the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox.”

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is “not a news organization.”

“Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way,” Axelrod counseled ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “We’re not going to treat them that way.”…

More at the link.

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It’s in the eye of the beholder.  $2.3 million in federal stimulus money is going to pay for Tampa Bay area beauty school tuition

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More than $2.3 million in federal economic stimulus grants have gone to eight Tampa Bay area cosmetology and massage schools to pay tuition for the hairdressers, masseuses and nail technicians of tomorrow.

That’s swell news for those who see the beauty trades as a way to gain a firmer footing in the job market. But is there truly demand for more beauty school graduates at bay area salons?

Not really, said Monica Ponce, owner of Muse The Salon in Tampa.

“Instead of encouraging more people to go to beauty schools,” Ponce said, “they should probably help the stylists who are unemployed.”…

Silly rabbit, the money’s meant to grow entitlement programs, pay off special interest groups and make more people love government intervention.

…The stimulus money is being paid to  beauty schools in the form of Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income students. The grants don’t have to be repaid.

The government doesn’t allocate the money based on an assessment of what kinds of job skills are in demand. Rather, students apply to the government for the grants and if eligible can put the money toward the vocational school, college or university to which they’ve been accepted.

The government sends the grant money directly to schools.

The stimulus bill includes $17 billion to boost the Pell Grant program and raise the maximum annual award from $4,731 to $5,350.

See?  The stimulus is working — it’s saving all those Pell Grant bureaucrats’ and beauty school teaching jobs, along with the other half a million jobs Vice President Joe Biden takes credit for saving.