President Obama’s Coming Budget Showdown

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With President Obama having a disastrous 4 years of losing Democrats in the House and Senate, he will now have to face his opponents in the federal budget ring. The media and his supporters have given him a pass on not getting a budget implemented in the last six years. This year will be different with the House/Senate being revamped with budget conscious members.

Rebecca Shabad at TheHill.com has an excellent timeline of what the President faces in the next coming months regarding the 2016 budget. I suggest taking a look at the article for the detailed write up after each date listed.

February 2: Obama’s budget deadline

February 27: DHS funding runs out

March 15: Debt limit suspension expires

April 1: GOP budget resolution?

September 30: Shutdown deadline

October 1: Fiscal 2016 begins

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New Ponzi Scheme: Invest in Government

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Government wants you to invest in them. President Obama talked of a new investment fund in the past and now, without consent of Congress, has started it up through the Treasury Department. Here is more from the Wall Street Journal:

A form of Roth Individual Retirement Account that allows people to save after-tax dollars and watch them grow tax-free until retirement, the new myRA offers a single investment option. It’s a private version of the G Fund that is available to federal workers and has lately been delivering annual returns of about 2% on its portfolio of Treasury securities.

Government is guaranteeing no fees to the investor. That is political code for the taxpayer will subsidize it.

Treasury is funding the program out of the budget for its Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The assertion here is that existing law allows this part of the Treasury to hire financial agents as part of its mission to efficiently finance the federal government.
Taxpayers are covering the costs, though their elected representatives in Congress never voted to create the program. So far Treasury also hasn’t told us the fees it is paying Comerica.

2015 Fiscal Year For U.S. Government Starts Today

The United States federal government starts a new fiscal year today. The President proposed a budget in March but has not worked with the Senate or House in finalizing an actual budget. U.S. federal government spending will occur through later appropriations legislation that is signed into law.

Here’s a snapshot of 2015 proposed spending and tax revenues from the President. Deficits and debt still accumulate at an historical rate.
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1952 Presidential Executive Action

Currently I am reading the book, Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Pretty good so far but stumbled upon some historical context of regulation and thoughts from Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson.

The president’s authority to issue executive orders is strongest when he does so with the backing of Congress (category one), more dubious when he issues an order pertaining to a topic on which Congress has not passed a law (category two), and weakest when the executive order is “incompatible with congressional command” (category three).

President Obama recently said he is about to go “on his own” and Congressman Boehner is threatening litigation. Many in media defending Obama by saying Congress won’t work with him. Maybe reading the above should give you pause in wondering why they won’t and if the President needs to take a breather.

 

Climate Change Tuesday

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On Tuesday, the President is announcing his “Climate Change” plan. For many years, various sections of our American population has latched onto a theory that 1) American individuals are responsible for weather patterns and earth’s temperature changing due to their pollution and 2) Man and government can somehow use their supernatural powers change weather patterns and cool the earth. 

Throughout history there has been all sorts of predictions of doomsday related to humans and pollution. Before I go into a 5,000 word diatribe I will just link you to a long but wonderful read from Matt Ridley titled, Apocalypse Not: Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the End Times. 

You can believe in this theory.  I personally don’t because in the end all the things proposed con people out of their money and make guys like this become uber rich. What I do have a problem with is taking this theory and applying it to government policy that has massive consequences to everyday activities in life. Energy is the best invention ever known to man. I personally want to shake the hand of the man who got fire going back in the day. People who founded oil and coal should be given a lifetime achievement award for making our lives better in almost every action we do in life.

On Tuesday the President is going to announce new “regulation” to combat Climate Change. Here is a brief synopsis of what is coming courtesy of The Blaze

“We’ll need all of our citizens to do our part to preserve God’s creation for future generations,” Obama noted in an online video the White House released Saturday. The president added that he’ll lay out his vision for reducing carbon pollution, preparing the U.S. for the effects of climate change and leading other nations in the global effort. Obama’s speech Tuesday afternoon at Georgetown University will come the day before he leaves for a weeklong trip to three African nations. “There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change,” Obama says in the video. “But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can.”

So during this speech you will hear “Combatting Climate Change”. While this notion is silly like we are at war with some hidden force, what does it mean? When you turn on the news that night you will hear news anchors interview environmental groups packed full of lawyers saying the President hasn’t done anything to improve the environment. This is farthest from the truth in the sense of massive regulation that has been passed since he has been in office. I will give a few examples that has purposely flown under the radar by our truth telling media.

New EPA rules flying under the radar are making it so costly that possibly 280 coal plants will have to shutdown. Regulations have consequences and can be quite costly. Who the hardest hit you ask?

Coal-fired electric generating plants will be shut down across 32 states, with the hardest hit states being Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana, according to the coalition.

And yes, natural gas coming online is also making this possible but the enforcement of rules will be the most devastating. Just ask yourself, when you lose that much power, where else are you going to get it? Wind turbines and solar panels are not replacing it fast enough and have major limitations. If your a wind turbine supporter, just note that electrical and natural gas lines are hooked up to them so it can be powered when the wind’s not blowing. 

What else has the President been up too? Well, just recently while no one was looking his administration slipped a regulation into a little noticed rule on microware ovens that raises the price of coal per ton. Per Bloomberg.com

Buried in a little-noticed rule on microwave ovens is a change in the U.S. government’s accounting for carbon emissions that could have wide-ranging implications for everything from power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline. The increase of the so-called social cost of carbon, to $38 a metric ton in 2015 from $23.80, adjusts the calculation the government uses to weigh costs and benefits of proposed regulations. The figure is meant to approximate losses from global warming such as flood damage and diminished crops.

This money will not be used to “combat” or “help” the supposed fight in climate change. The government is broke and needs revenues. At the same time many within policy making has a disdain for coal as is and see this as a step to punish those who use it. Here is one example from the same article how radical or dangerous these groups are in feverishly wanting to price everyone using coal:

Laurie Johnson, chief economist for climate at the Natural Resources Defense Council says the administration should go further; she estimates the carbon cost could be as much as $266/ton.

Here is a perfect example of how this money will be used. California has their own mini model in pricing for “Climate Change” which is basically a tax. It is in the form of “Carbon Trade Auctions” and the cost gets buried in whatever good the consumer has to purchase. E&E Publishing is now reporting Gov. Jerry Brown is wanting to “borrow” up to $500 Million from this fund to help the overall general budget.  This money will not be used to “combat climate change”. 

California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday proposed borrowing $500 million in revenues from the state’s landmark carbon cap-and-trade auctions and using those to help balance the general fund budget.

He also wants to break the state’s own law in doing this:

By law, the Golden State must spend the funds on efforts that reduce carbon emissions or otherwise meet the purposes of California’s climate measure, A.B. 32.

On a national scale, any implementation of pricing on the American public will just end up the same. Be fully aware of what is coming.

 

Early Indicator of “Obamacare”

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When Congress passed another healthcare plan designed to “help” the American people it had widespread implications. The bill has thousands of pages of not just law, but also regulations written after the bill was passed.

One of the programs within the bill for the HHS(Health & Human Services) agency to begin implementing right away was a “High Risk Pool” for people with already pre-existing conditions. I have been following this program for awhile now in the press. Here is the short version of what the program was created to do. Five Billion dollars was set aside to assist people with already pre-existing conditions until the full bill was implemented. Projections were to sign up anywhere from 350,000-500,000 people. Now the stats are out and should give many pause in seeing how costs of the total health care program will affect the United States government overall spending of this bill down the road.

Investors.com reported on April 10,2013:

ObamaCare funded the PCIP with $5 billion to cover patients with pre-existing conditions from 2010 to 2014. Less than a third of the people HHS projected would enroll in the plan actually signed up for the coverage. Yet despite the low enrollment, the plan is broke. In fact, it started running out of money at the beginning of this year, which means it busted its budget a full year ahead of projections. In a 2012 report, HHS conceded that it had miscalculated (though not until page 11 of its 15-page report): “On average, the PCIP program has experienced claims costs 2.5 times higher than anticipated.”

So what were the estimated numbers in 2010 for this one small program within the bigger healthcare plan? Here is a breakdown from the Heritage Foundation:

In 2010, the Obama Administration estimated that 375,000 people would enroll in the PCIP. But as of January 2013, over two-and-a-half years since the plan began, only 107,139 were enrolled—less than 29 percent of original projections.

Not only did costs skyrocket, but major changes to the program recipients as well:

In addition to suspending enrollment, CMS made major benefit adjustments in an effort to control program costs—mainly by increasing enrollee cost-sharing requirements. These changes included the consolidation of three plan options into one, increased co-insurance, and increased maximums for out-of-pocket costs (a 56 percent increase for in-network services and a 42 percent increase for out-of-network services).

This is not unexpected. History is filled with facts to teach us present day Americans about the fallacy of “Government Healthcare Programs” but we always choose the divine providence of “The Government” when it comes to social experiments. In the same article quoted above, they also had this historical data to show us the coming cost explosion from previous healthcare experiments:

In 1965, the Johnson administration figured Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990. Its actual cost was $110 billion. Now it’s almost $600 billion and climbing.

Washingtontimes.com had these historical numbers on November 18,2009:

In 1965, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that the hospital insurance program of Medicare – the federal health care program for the elderly and disabled – would cost $9 billion by 1990. The actual cost that year was $67 billion. In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee said the entire Medicare program would cost $12 billion in 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was $98 billion.

Once 2014 kicks in which is full implementation of the law itself, we unfortunately will be on the side of waiting to see costs explode. Not only that aspect, but HHS will probably start changing rules once people have signed contracts for health insurance. Constantly changing rules is part of having “Centrally Planned” programs by the government.

Like I said, we unfortunately will have to wait and see.