Tag Archives: Economy

Republicans Can No Longer Place Blame on President Obama

President Obama has to be very pleased about the news of 200,000 jobs added in December 2011. This is the highest uptick of jobs since February 2009. All rational economists know that the cause of this recession was not on Obama’s watch; however a shell game, played by the Republicans was instrumental over the last two years to place blame on the Obama Administration. This dubious strategy put forth by Republicans is in a word irrational and a failed strategy. Much to the Republican’s deep alarm, the economy has taken a turn for the better and now the spin doctors are hard at work to deny any gloating from the Obama administration. The last thing they want is for Obama to gain traction with this good news.

Already there is little they can do to pin the recession on him. He has virtually won the terrorist war. He has brought home the troops from Iraq. He has begun to withdraw troop from Afghanistan. Republicans now have nowhere to go in pointing out deficiencies in Obama’s policy. Not only that, the best candidate that they can put up against Obama is Mitt Romney. They certainly will need to bring someone stronger than that. At this late date, it is highly unlikely that they will find the perfect candidate with the attributes to beat Obama. So the next few months will be interesting to say the least as the election season gears up.

Advertisements

Your Soaring Health Insurance Premiums – NYTimes.com

Published: October 3, 2011

Annual premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage soared by 9 percent for families and 8 percent for individuals this year from 2010, far faster than wages or inflation. Republicans, predictably, blamed health care reform for contributing to the rise. In fact, the reforms accounted for only 1.5 percentage points of the increase this year. The value to millions of Americans who are already getting expanded coverage and benefits is undeniable.

Related News

Health Insurers Push Premiums Sharply Higher (September 28, 2011)

Times Topic: Health Care Reform

So what is driving up insurance premiums? The main factors, analysts say, were increased medical care costs and higher profits for insurance companies, which charged a lot more in premiums than they paid out for medical services. Both problems are being addressed by the health care reforms. But, clearly, they will require even more vigorous attention.

This latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that the average total family premium climbed above $15,000 in 2011, with the worker paying roughly $4,100 and the employer about $10,900. Since the survey started in 1999, worker contributions to premiums have increased 168 percent, while wages have gone up 50 percent.

The two reforms that affected premiums — together making up about one-sixth of the 9 percent premium increase for a family plan — required that parents be allowed to keep children up to age 26 on their policies and that many insurance plans cover preventive services like cancer screening and immunizations at no cost to patients. Some 2.3 million young adults were enrolled on parental policies and 28 million workers (plus their dependents) benefited from preventive care provisions.

The reform law has two provisions that kicked in this year and could help hold down premiums in 2012. Insurers will have to spend at least 80 percent to 85 percent of their premiums on medical care, which will force them to keep the premiums closer to their claim payments. And insurers seeking rate increases of 10 percent or more in the individual and small-group markets must disclose and justify their proposed rates, allowing state regulators an opportunity to reject them or force them down.

The reform law also provides $250 million for grants to help states strengthen their ability to challenge insurers’ rate requests. Only about half the states give insurance commissioners power to veto rates deemed excessive; all should allow regulators to reject unfair increases before they happen.

For the longer term, the reform law will create a slew of pilot projects in Medicare to find ways to reduce the cost of delivering care. Any effective strategy should be pushed quickly into the private sector. Until the underlying health care costs are reduced, it will be hard to hold premiums down.

 

President Obama To Congress : “Use Should Pass it Right Away”

From Fox News

Seeking to boost a slumping economy along with his hopes for re-election, President Obama on Thursday night implored Congress to pass a $450 billion jobs plan that he says will give an array of tax cuts to small businesses that hire while reforming the corporate tax code and investing in infrastructure projects.

In a highly-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress, Obama repeatedly called on lawmakers to pass his plan “right away,” saying “there should be nothing controversial” about the American Jobs Act. Obama said all the proposals are paid for with spending cuts although he won’t detail them until next week.

 “Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans – including many who sit here tonight,” he said. “The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.”

Obama also called on Congress to “stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy.”

The biggest element in Obama’s plan calls for increasing and extending a payroll tax cut for workers that goes to Social Security, while providing the tax cut to employers, too. For workers, the tax that has been cut from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for this year would fall to 3.1 percent under Obama’s plan — a $175 billion cost. The tax will go back up to 6.2 percent without congressional action by the end of the year.

The president’s plan would also spend $25 billion on school infrastructure to modernize at least 35,000 public schools, including spending on computer labs and on emergency repairs. He would spend an additional $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers and support the hiring of thousands more.

Senior administration officials wouldn’t say how many job the plan would create but noted that it could have an immediate impact.

The idea is to have an effect “within the year,” one official said.

Obama’s plan strikes the “right balance” and contains the “right mix” of elements to get people back working again, an official said. But the officials added there’s no “magic here.”

Republicans didn’t rule out support for Obama’s plan but noted that they had their own proposals too.

“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well. It’s my hope that we can work together to end the uncertainty facing families and small businesses, and create a better environment for long-term economic growth and private-sector job creation.”

Obama wanted to convey a deep sense of urgency about the economy in his speech and try to back Republicans into a corner, said top Democrats who spoke to the president about his speech.

But top Republicans wonder why it took nearly three years to convey this urgency. They suspect the timing has more to do with the president now trying to save his own job.

“The president’s so-called jobs plan is to try those very same policies again and then accuse anyone who doesn’t support them this time around of being political or overtly partisan, of not doing what’s needed in this moment of crisis,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “This isn’t a jobs plan. It’s a re-election plan.”

A key audience is the all-important independent voters who helped elected the president in 2008 but have been fleeing. One year ago, 40 percent of independents approved of his job performance. Now it’s down to 31 percent, according to the latest Fox News poll.

The president is gambling that since Congress has an approval rating of only 10 percent, Republicans will feel election pressure to work with him. But passage of the plan may rest on how the president plans to pay for it.

Obama Unveils $300 Billion Jobs Package

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will roll out a jobs package on Thursday that strives to lift the ailing economy through $300 billion worth of tax credits,  and $300 Billion in new cuts.  The jobs package will include school renovation projects, job training for the unemployed and a program to prevent teacher layoffs, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plans.

In his speech before a joint session of Congress, Obama also will ask lawmakers to renew the 2 percent payroll tax cut that was approved last December and to extend jobless benefits, said the person, who requested anonymity to talk more freely about White House internal deliberations.

The White House would not confirm specifically what is in the plan. And details could change as White House advisers fine-tune the package.

The address being written by chief White House speechwriter Jon Favreau looms as one of the most important of Obama’s presidency. Unemployment stands at 9.1 percent and the fragile economic recovery appears to have stalled.

A new wave of polling this week shows that people are deeply pessimistic about the country’s future and dissatisfied with Obama’s management of the economy.

A survey by The Washington Post-ABC News showed that 77 percent believe the country is on the wrong track.

Obama is under pressure from his Democratic base to submit a “bold” package that would put a real dent in the jobless rate — and revive his re-election prospects.

To the extent he follows this advice, though, he risks alienating Republicans and even conservative Democrats who want to avoid anything that smacks of another expensive stimulus package.

Briefing reporters on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that impartial economists will conclude that the new jobs plan would “have a direct, quick and positive impact on the economy and job creation.”

Carney also said the package would be “paid for,” not financed through deficit spending.

Whether it can pass the Republican-controlled House is no sure thing. Obama has said the jobs plan would include ideas that Republicans have traditionally embraced. One such proposal is a tax credit for businesses that hire new workers, an idea that fits within Republican economic doctrine. But the level of polarization in Congress doesn’t bode well for any new presidential initiatives.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky gave a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday predicting that Obama would unveil ideas that “represent more of the same failed approach that’s only made things worse over the past few years.”

The top-ranking House Republican leaders, meantime, sent Obama a letter Tuesday asking him to meet with congressional leaders of both parties and discuss his jobs package before laying it out in a nationally televised speech.

An aide to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that in crafting the jobs package, the White House has not consulted Boehner.

Perry Lands Himself In Hot Water Less Than One Week of Entering The Race For President

The White House denounced Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Tuesday for his threatening remarks toward the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve that represented some of the most inflammatory rhetoric of the 2012 election campaign.

Campaigning in Iowa on Monday, the Texas governor said he would consider it “treasonous” if Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke “prints more money between now and the election” in November 2012 — a fresh sign of the political heat the central bank faces as it tries to right the stumbling U.S. economy.

“If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all will do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas,” Perry said to laughter from supporters in Iowa.

“Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, treasonous in my opinion,” he said.

The White House responded by saying it is important for the Fed to remain independent, and jabbed back at Perry, who on Saturday entered the race for the Republican nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama. Perry is already considered one of the strongest candidates for the Republican nomination.

“I certainly think threatening the Fed chairman is not a good idea,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

“When you are president or running for president, you have to think about your words,” Carney said in Iowa, where Obama was on a campaign-style bus tour.

Perry, who succeeded former President George W. Bush as Texas governor, is known for strongly conservative social and fiscal views. In his first three days as a candidate, he has upset Democrats by questioning Obama’s patriotism and implying the U.S. military does not respect Obama as commander-in-chief. His remarks on Bernanke caused the biggest flap.

Another top-tier Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, also criticized the Fed. “The Federal Reserve is not subject to transparency. The Federal Reserve has made terrible, grievous errors,” Bachmann told reporters in South Carolina on Tuesday.

U.S. Representative Ron Paul, another Republican presidential candidate, also is a fierce critic of the Fed.

Bernanke was appointed in 2006 by Bush, a Republican, and reappointed by Obama. Under Bernanke, the Fed has embarked on one of the most extended periods of cheap money in U.S. history, keeping U.S. interest rates near zero since late 2008 and pledging to do so until mid-2013.

TARGETING THE FED

Perry, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, may have been trying to tap into the anti-Fed sentiment of some of the most right-leaning Republican voters, who deeply distrust the unelected, but powerful, officials of the central bank.

The Fed has faced fire in Congress over its emergency financial rescues and regulatory lapses. Defenders argue the central bank was right to act aggressively to stem the crisis, and they credit it with preventing a financial collapse.

In fact, some argue that with no appetite among politicians for more fiscal stimulus, Fed action could be the only avenue left for Washington to support the U.S. economic recovery.

While investors chalked up Perry’s comments to the campaign season, they said criticism of the Fed and threats to its political independence could multiply if the economy sours even more and the central bank takes further action to spur growth.

“Make no mistake, inflammatory comments like these are indicative of one thing — an election cycle,” said Keith Wirtz, the chief investment officer at Fifth Third Asset Management, with $18 billion in assets.

Financial markets increasingly expect the Fed to launch a third round of bond buying to provide liquidity if the economy continues to weaken.

“If correct, the noise will explode,” Wirtz said.

The Fed has already conducted two such programs, known as quantitative easing, since the financial crisis. Critics say that such programs are equivalent to the Fed running the printing presses faster and can lead to a long-term reduction in the value of the dollar.

‘NOT THE ANSWER’

Perry’s campaign did not back away from his comments. Campaign spokesman Mark Miner said the Texas governor was expressing frustration with the economic situation and “out of control spending” in Washington.

“Most Americans would agree that printing and spending more money is not the answer to the economic issues facing the country,” Miner said.

But his tone could turn off independent voters whose support will be needed to defeat Obama in the 2012 general election.

“When you say those things in the Lone Star State (Texas), you look colorful. When you say these things on a national stage … it’s going to come back and get you,” said Ford O’Connell, an advisor on Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

“You’ve got to be more like James Bond and less like Rambo,” he said.

Democrats have seized on the latest remarks by Perry, who caused a stir in 2009 when he said Texas might need to secede from the United States, to make their case that he is a loose-talking cowboy likely to act too hastily under pressure if he were to win the White House.

At a campaign event on Monday, Perry was asked if Obama loved the country, and replied, “You need to ask him.”

Asked whether Perry’s remarks were disrespectful, Obama said he would “cut him some slack” as a new candidate.

“Everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realizing that this isn’t like running for governor or running for senator or running for Congress, and you’ve got to be a little more careful about what you say,” Obama said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Republicans Will Have to Own Up To The Mess They Put This Country In

Republican have taken back the House of Representative.  They have no agenda other than less  taxes, less spending, and balance the budget.  They  will give us jobs they tell us.  The number one agenda that Republicans have is to defeat Barack Obama; so everything they do will be to defeat Barack Obama.  We want have job growth in the next two years and Obama will probably be a one term President.

America will elect a Tea Party Candidate or a Republican and we want have jobs then, they will be totally responsible for this country and they want have Barack Obama to blame any  more.  Just like we don’t have George Bush to blame anymore.

New York Times Says President Obama’s Stimulus Is Working

The New York Times reported on its front page this morning that the jobs report suggested that the recession was ending, but the recovery will be characterized by still rising unemployment even though the unemployment rate dipped by one tenth of a percent in July.  All good news For President Barack Obama was polling rates went up to 58%.

The most hopeful jobs report since last summer suggested Friday that the  recession was ending, but the recovery will be marked by a still-rising unemployment rate and tens of thousands of job losses each month until next year.

stimulus

Law Makers Should Impose Sanctions On AIG For Bonuses

My feeling are mixed on President Obama call to lawmakers to not govern in anger, by imposing taxes on  AIG bonuses.  I believe that congress in this instance is acting appropriately. Perhaps the President knows something that we don’t know. But on the face of it, it is wrong for executives to take government money and pay bonuses from it , especially at a time when when are economy is facing  problem, people are losing their jobs, and many are unemployed.

Some sanctions need to be applied to these execuitve to deter future activity and governement in Washginton should be more responsible. Mainly reading the language in bills that they pass. To make sure unwanted clause are not included in the bills. We will neer know  who was responsible for placing this clause in the legislation or who turn their head to let it pass. That is the trouble with Washington too much secrecy and too much behind the scene deal making.

Rush Limbaugh Is Not Very Inclusive

Ok. It is time to at least pose the question. I believe I have the answer. But I want to ask the question.  You see   some people how a way of showing their true colors. It comes out.  You know the type, they always complain about the same people. They never have anything good to say.  They sometimes hide behind the cloak, of ” I am just reporting the news”. Or how about this: ” I will say what I everyone else is afraid to say”. They are banking on a huge army of people suddenly emerging to validate a viewpoint.

Usually these people are very narrow minded. They have not taken the time to be inclusive, understanding, or even any semblance of trying.  They don’t care, because in their mind the world is behind them and their message. No one else truly matters.  They are usually my way or the highway personalities. So it’s time to ask the question ……….What is Rush Limbaugh problem? I don’t know the man. But he seems to feel really good about putting down President Obama. Time and time again. Why!

He never put down President Bush. But he always goes out of his way to put down the current President of the United States. The leader of our country and the free world. Where is the respect? By the  way, President Obama happens to be the first African American President of the United States. Perhaps Rush Limbaugh can’t bring himself to like that and it is showing.  So he attempts to rally like thinking individuals who cheer him on. But how can you cheer on someone who appears to dislike President Obama?  Maybe you don’t like the President’s policies, or his politics, but do not become mean spirited enough that it crosses a line and causes the public to wonder…….. What is Rush Limbaugh’s motive, what his problem?  Can’t he be accepting of all people and all races?

It is time for Americans to hold Limbaugh accountable for his words and his actions. He should show some repect to the President.   No Rush, the President will not debate you.  Why should he?  He  won the election, it is over. No one cares what you think.

President Obama is the Leader of the free world. You are merely a talk show host. The last time I checked, that occupation does not rate very high on the list of most influential people.