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NEWS and OPINIONS by BILL STANLEY
Detroit Politicians Just Plain Stupid
(21 March 2014) Marathon Petroleum received a $175 million tax break as it started a $2.2 billion expansion project in 2007. Marathon projected it would hire 60 Detroit residents related to the expansion, but hired only 15. Marathon claimed it could not find qualified employees in Detroit and the city did not require residents be hired as a condition to receive the tax break. (Source: Detroit Free Press, 15 March 2014 Conservative Byte)
Los Angeles (LA) City In Decline
(11 March 2014) City of LA: language other than English spoken at home 60%, Hispanic 49%, residents in households below poverty level 40%, foreign born 39%, workers below poverty level 28%, home of Fortune 500 companies reduced from 12 to 4, only one of the 7 major cities to have net reduction in employment over the last decade. (Sources: Los Angeles 2020 (commission established by LA City Council President), Census Bureau, 9 March 2014 Townhall)
U.S. Taxpayers Helped GM become CM (China Motors)
(11 March 2014) Thanks to U.S. taxpayer's bailout, Government Motors (GM) is prospering in China. In 2013, GM vehicle sales were 2,786,078 in the U.S. and 3,160,374 in China. GM has several plants in China and opened or will open 8 more in 2013-2015. (Source: 20 Apr. 2013 Detroit Free Press)
National Debt Continues To Soar
(11 March 2014) In May 2003, Obama called on the Senate to resist Bush's "unprecedented $300 billion deficit" that "underscores the recklessness of the George W. Bush administration and the Republican Congress". During the 2008 campaign, Czar Obama said, "The first thing you do when you're in a hole is what? ... You stop digging. So the first thing that we're going to have to do is to stop adding to our deficit." During the 61 full months of Czar Obama's reign, the national debt increased by $6.83 trillion to $17.46 trillion, at an annual rate of $1.34 trillion. The increase in the last 12 months was $0.78 trillion. During Bush's 95 full months, the debt increased $4.98 trillion at an annual rate of $0.63 trillion. Obama's rate is 2.13 times Bush's. Bush was bad ... Obama is horrible.
Obama Is Food Stamp King
(10 March 2014) The number of households receiving food stamps (SNAP) increased from 15.2 million in fiscal year 2009 to 23.1 million in 2013, an increase of 51%. (Source: Dept. of Agriculture)
Government's Amtrak Has Lost Money Every Year
(10 March 2014) Amtrak has had a deficit every year of operation, starting in 1970 when Nixon signed the Rail Passenger Service Act. The fiscal 2014 request for federal subsidies was $2.6 billion. (Source: 7 March 2014 Washington Times)
1.2 Million Fewer Students Eating Nanny-State School Lunches
(9 March 2014) Participation in the National School Lunch Program had increased for more than a decade until implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required the USDA to update school lunches to account for new nutrition requirements. With Czar Obama's wife as a cheerleader, the USDA bureaucrats have been busy at work. During the 2012-13 school year, there was a decrease of 1.6 million students paying full price for lunches and an increase of 0.4 million students paying nothing or partial price. Students who pay nothing or partial payment will eat the politically-correct food, but not those who pay full price. (Sources: Government Accountability Office (GAO), 4 March 2014 CNS News)
Social Security Is A Terrible Retirement Plan
(9 March 2014) If my Social Security taxes had been placed in a private account and earned only 4.46% per year, the current monthly interest would be equal to the monthly after-tax payment I receive. When I die, my heirs would receive $338,000. Instead, they will receive nothing from Social Security.
Expensive E85 Ethanol Fuel
(9 March 2014) In October 2013, the national average price of gasoline was $3.45, compared to $4.30 for E85 ethanol (based on same energy equivalence). (Source: Dept. of Energy)
The Federal Government Spent $3.9 Trillion In 2013
(9 March 2014) $1.98 trillion was for wealth transfers such as Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment insurance and farm subsidies. $571 billion was for goods and services from defense equipment to paperclips. $510 billion went toward state aid such as health care programs, education, highways and housing assistance. $414 billion was for interest on the national debt. $407 billion was for federal employees, including defense workers. (Source: Feb. 2014 Cato Institute)
Medicare Has Not Been Good Plan For Me
(9 March 2014) If my Medicare taxes and premiums had been placed in a private account and earned 2.35% per year, my Medicare premiums and the interest during the period I have been on Medicare would have paid for my Medicare benefits. When I die, my heirs would receive $64,000. Instead, they will receive nothing from Medicare.
Expensive Obama Care Cloud Software
(2 March 2014) Verizon Terremark is the contractor for Healthcare.gov computing cloud software. The value of the contract has ballooned from $10.8 million to $59.9 million since 2011. (Sources: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 24 Feb. 2014 Washington Free Beacon).
(2 March 2014) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced, "Claims for all health care services and hospital inpatient procedures performed on or after October 1, 2014, must use ICD-10 diagnosis and inpatient procedure codes. Claims that do not use ICD-10 diagnosis and inpatient procedure codes cannot be processed." The original effective date was 1 Oct. 2011. Medical providers must select from 68,000 diagnostic codes (ICD-10 CM) and 76,000 procedure codes (ICD-10 PCS) when submitting claims. The ranges of implementation and 1st-year annual costs for small physician groups are $56,639 - $226,105 and $31,079 - $120,599, respectively. The corresponding ranges for large physician groups are $2,017,151- $8,018,364 and $1,479,117 - $5,011,463. (Sources: CMS, The Cost of Implementing ICD‐10 for Physician Practices 12 Feb. 2014 Nachimson Advisors)
Stupid Federal Government
(2 March 2014) The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to do away with preferred pharmacy networks (arrangements between drug companies and pharmacy networks that promise exclusive business in exchange for lower drug costs) in Medicare Part D plans. Currently, pharmacy networks bid to offer their drugs at low cost and the winning bidders agree to exclusive arrangements with drug plans. The CMS proposal would not allow drug plans to exclude the pharmacy networks that do not offer the lowest prices; rather it would allow all of those networks to participate in the drug plans on the same terms as the winning bidder. This leaves no incentive for pharmacy networks to offer low costs, as they are assured the ability to participate in a drug plan. Drug plans would lose all bargaining power and pharmacy networks will be incentivized to bid higher. (Source: 27 Feb. 2014 National Center for Policy Analysis)
2 Georgia Hospitals Close Due To Obama Care
(27 Feb. 2014) The 4th Georgia hospital in 2 years is closing due to severe financial difficulties caused by Obama Care. The bill's authors believed they would force all states to expand Medicaid and therefore cut hospital payments for emergency services. (Source: 18 Feb. 2014 Daily Caller)