Category Archives: Barack Obama

South American Dictator

 

Look, Trump is no shiny nickel.  As they say, ‘Elect a clown.  Expect a circus.”

But at least we don’t have to be subjected to boilerplate South American Dictator skreed.  It’s a Netflix show – I get it.  But I was struck by the fact that it could very well have been Obama on that stage.

Big Data And The Analysts Who Might Use It

Big Data

President Obama is going to change the law regarding how students who take out Federal loans can pay that loan back:

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will issue an executive action on Monday aimed at making it easier for young people to avoid trouble repaying student loans, a White House official said on Sunday.

The president will sign an order directing the secretary of education to ensure that more students who borrowed federal direct loans be allowed to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their monthly incomes, the official said.

I would humbly like to make a recommendation.  Namely, that we extend this loan repayment forgiveness effort to students who actually earn a degree that is useful.

No Art Appreciation.  No Language Arts.  No Renaissance Art.

We need people pursuing degrees that:

A – We need

B – Have a reasonable chance at resulting in a job

Wanna go to school to satisfy curiosity or take up a hobby?  Power to ya.  But if you want me to pay for it – make it something we are in desperate need of:

There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

We need Quants.  And we pay Quants a TON of money.

Go be one of those!

 

 

The Impact Of Obama’s Policies On Job Creation

Wanna see how politics in DC can impact job creation?

From IBD via Care Diem:

Proponents of a large minimum-wage hike have ignored its potential interaction with ObamaCare’s employer mandate, which the CBO suggested may result in a bigger near-term job loss than a wage hike by itself.

Firms that do offer coverage, even of the skimpy variety, would face a fine of $3,000 per full-time worker who receives exchange subsidies. This penalty is nondeductible, so for profitable retailers facing a 39.2% federal and state tax rate the fine would equate to $4,930 in wages. That comes to $2.37 an hour for a 40-hour-per-week, year-round worker.

Coming on top of a federal minimum-wage hike of $2.85 an hour, ObamaCare fines could mean a 70% increase in compensation costs for a low-wage worker.

Obama’s message to his base:  “Were here to help you find a job by making you 70% more expensive to hire.”

This is the devastating impact of populism vs. reality.  The brutal reality is that Obama’s base doesn’t understand the basic economics of his policies.

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Obama-Putin-Ukrain

Barack Obama

A little busy here today with karate, dance and what not.

Scrolling through my news feed I found these two headlines:

Obama Warns Russia of “Costs” in Ukraine

And then

Russian Troops Take Over Ukraine’s Crimea Region

From my feed’s perspective, it took Putin 15 hours to regard Obama’s warning as anything but serious.

 

Obama Deportatiion Record

ImmigrationPresident Obama Deporting Record Number Of Aliens

The current administration likes to point out that they are strong on immigration enforcement:

Immigration officials announced last week that President Obama has deported more than 1.9 million people since first taking office, more than any other previous administration.

Sounds tough, right?  Nearly 2,000,000 people “gone”.  More than even Bush.

True?

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Critique of Barack Obama – UK Style

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

I’m tough on Obama.  I don’t think he likes what America is.  I think that he wants a dramatically more redistributionist state than we have now.

And I don’t think that he has any meaningful experience that would lend itself to being President of these United States of America.

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Obamacare Woes

Red Tape

This is a common story and is most likely mitigated:

David Miller, of Franklinton, says he has applied, canceled and reapplied for health insurance for his family 14 times. After weeks of technical glitches, he was finally able to select a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that would cover him, his wife and twin sons. However, he still encountered problems.

“We got to the very last step. We had it all set up, and when we hit the confirm button, then another technical glitch prevented us from being able to complete the process,” Miller said, adding that he has no idea if he and his family are covered. “Every time we think we’re getting close, then there’s another technical glitch, as they call it.”

No one denies that the roll-out of the service was a massive failure.  And, to their credit, the administration seems to have the front end fixed.

But this is the problem left unresolved:

Miller says he called Blue Cross Blue Shield and was told that his application has not been forwarded to them. He says he calls the Healthcare.gov helpline about every other day and regularly spends two to three hours on the phone waiting for and then talking with service representatives and their supervisors who are unable to tell him his status or how to proceed.

The insurance company doesn’t think that he has coverage.  That’s because the back end website structure isn’t communicating between all organizations.  The billing organizations are collecting money, the insurance companies aren’t receiving data and the consumer isn’t sure if they are getting the right information regarding subsidies or not.

This isn’t close to being over.

 

Obamacare – The Benefits

Health Care

This past Friday I posted on the problems that Obamacare is facing:

One of those problems is counter-intuitive.  The ACA is going to  force policies to rise.

These prices are only going to continue to rise as Obama’s target market shuns the the law opting for a fine that might not ever be levied – the young and the healthy are fleeing the scene of the crime.  This results in only the older and the sicker enrolling; the most costly of the people covered.  The only result is a rise in policy costs.

In addition to the costs associated with rising policies, there will be rising costs in other places as well.  However, these costs are GOOD costs:

 “The real big surprise was how much out-of-pocket would be required for our family,” said David Winebrenner, 46, a financial adviser in Lebanon, Ky., whose deductible topped $12,000 for a family of six for a silver plan he was considering. The monthly premium: $1,400.

While the health law makes many preventive services free — such as vaccines, blood pressure screening and mammograms — most medical care is paid out of pocket until the deductible level is reached. Some of the new plans offer limited coverage for certain services before a patient has met the annual deductible. These services can include primary care, some prescription drugs and routine care for common chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

We are never, EVER, going  to control the costs of medical care until we expose such care to the market.  Wanna have people spend less on health care?  Ask them to spend their own money.

“But Pino, if we allow the government to negotiate prices for the goods and services, we’ll SAVE money!”

Exhibition A:

Defense SpendingAnother industry where the government is the only player, and we can’t contain it either.

No, the answer isn’t government control of the health care industry – the answer is the exposure of the health care industry to the free market.  And high deductibles is the very best way to do that.

Obamacare’s ProblemS Are Just Beginning

Doctor

Health Care Problems Ahead

When I have criticized the ACA in the past, I’ve done so for different reasons; none of them being a horrible website roll out.  With such issues as fewer doctors, rising premiums and political exemptions – the law is riddled with problems.

ACA Forcing Premiums To Rise

One of those problems is counter-intuitive.  The ACA is going to  force policies to rise.

In all the discussions regarding the benefits of the new law, including “free” contraceptives, for example, it has never been brought up by the defenders of the law that nothing, of course, is free.  That contraceptive package will have to be paid for by somebody – maybe even you.

And how will that cost be recouped?  Why, by raising the premiums on people, of course:

Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent.

These prices are only going to continue to rise as Obama’s target market shuns the the law opting for a fine that might not ever be levied – the young and the healthy are fleeing the scene of the crime.  This results in only the older and the sicker enrolling; the most costly of the people covered.  The only result is a rise in policy costs.

No – make no mistake, the problems with Obamacare have nothing inherent to a failed and botched website – that’s only gravy in the pursuit in demonstrating that this administration is dangerously inept at management issues.

 

 

Be Careful What You Wish For

ObamacareLook, I want life to work out well for everybody.  But when people are making horrible decisions, and I try and tell them that they are basically hurting themselves, I have little sympathy for them:

Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.

They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.

But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage.

“I couldn’t sleep because of it,” said Barbara Meinwald, a solo practitioner lawyer in Manhattan.

I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’

I told you so!