Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rough Times in the Land of Plenty

Today, the U.S. economy received some rare good news: Intel announced they had an excellent second quarter in their earnings report and the news had coattails; Intel's success set a bullish tone of trading for the day, bringing up the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 between 3-3.5% today.

On the federal government front, universal healthcare seems to be more and more inevitable. It is going to have to be up to moderate Democrats in the U.S. Senate like Ben Nelson and for Republican Senators to keep party discipline (that means YOU, Olympia Snowe), make sure this bill isn't filibuster proof, and vote against what I will think will be the most damaging legislation of my lifetime.

Already the U.S. federal budget deficit is $1 TRILLION. The House Democrats' plan for universal healthcare will include tax hikes on the richest Americans; those making over $350,000 and over will see a 1% increase in their taxes. Those making $1 million a year and over will get whacked an extra 5.4% to pay for this monstrosity.

The economy is still in a perilous state. The $787 billion stimulus bill hasn't worked. The beginning cost for the health care bill is $1 trillion. Realistically, it will be more like $2-3 trillion.
Just around the corner, the Baby Boomer Generation will begin retiring and collecting Social Security in 2011 - no one is talking about this! The Social Security trust fund has been raided for years to pay for other programs. How will the money be there for Social Security to be solvent, never mind paying over $1 trillion for government run health care!

The damage that is being done by those on Capitol Hill over the last 6 months is nothing short of alarming. If I ran my household the way the President Obama and the Democrats are running this country, I'd be bankrupt and could never get a house or car loan. However, George W. Bush and the House and Senate Republicans also deserve blame, because they abandoned their conservative principles and fiscal discipline over the last eight years.

Seriously, how is our economy supposed to recover, when taxes are being hiked on both individuals and corporations? One of the provisions being discussed in order to implement universal healthcare is if a company doesn't provide health insurance and has more than 25 employees, the small business will incur a $750 per employee penalty. Small businesses drive our economy. If this provision were passed, how will that stimulate job growth?

Once a universal healthcare plan is in place, many companies will immediately stop offering health care as a benefit to their employees. I can honestly say I am very happy with the health insurance I receive from my company. Never do I have to wait long to get in to see my doctors, the premiums are fair, and any doctor I would want to see is in the provider network. I would be livid if I were to lose my private health insurance, have to enroll in a government program, and wait months to see my doctors. How long will it take for one of my family members to get an MRI if they were to need one with government insurance? I know it won't be nearly as fast as the 5 days it took when a family member needed one in the fall of 2007.

The bigger picture is how and when will our economy grow with all these anti growth policies the Democratic dominated federal goverment is pushing? I haven't even gone into the details of the cap and trade bill which will reduce American competitiveness in the global marketplace. When will the American people stop being so naive and suckered by politicians promising pipe dreams without tax hikes? For those of us who see the big picture and care about the future of America, these are rough times in the land of plenty.

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