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NEWS and OPINIONS by BILL STANLEY

Thank You Nancy Pelosi For Obama Care

(2 Aug 2014) California's state insurance commissioner (a Democrat) said that for 2014, consumers purchasing individual health insurance policies paid between 22% and 88% more than they did last year. (Source: 30 July 2014 Townhall)

EPA Helps Czar Obama Bankrupt Coal Industry And Force Electricity Prices To Skyrocket

(2 Aug 2014) In Jan. 2008, Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that "under my plan ... electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket. If somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can. It's just that [my plan] will bankrupt them." The average electricity price in June was 14.3 cents per kWh ... a record. The previous record was 13.7. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Navajo Generating Station, the largest coal-fired plant in the West, will produce 1/3 less electricity by 2020 and cease operations in 2044 under a proposal that the federal government adopted. Along with meeting electricity demands in the West, the 2,250-megawatt plant powers a series of canals that deliver water to Phoenix and Tucson, fuels the economies of the Navajo and Hopi Tribes, and helps fulfill American Indian water-rights settlements with the federal government. (Sources: 22 July 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28 July Yahoo - ABC News Network, 28 July Washington Times)

Colorado Pot Rush Increases Young Homeless Population

(27 July 2014) Denver homeless shelters say the legalization of marijuana has contributed to an increase in the number of young people living on the city's streets. Urban Peak, which specifically helps homeless youth: the majority of new young people it is seeing say they're in Colorado because of marijuana. St. Francis Center, a daytime homeless shelter: pot is the 2nd most frequently volunteered reason for being in Colorado. Salvation Army's men's shelter: an increase in the number of 18- to 25-year-olds ... a quarter of the increase was related to marijuana, including some who moved hoping to find work in the marijuana industry. (Source: 26 July 2014 Associated Press)

GM Recalled 29 Million Vehicles In Less Than 7 Months

(26 July 2014) In 2014, Government Motors (GM) has recalled 29 million vehicles in North America. (Source: 23 July 2014 Wall Street Journal)

NAACP Takes Page From Czar Obama’s Playbook ... Cries "Racism"

(26 July 2014) 80,000 Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept. residential water accounts are past due ... $43 million. When service to about 7,000 non-payers was shut off, a class action lawsuit on behalf of freeloading residents was filed. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund claimed the shutoffs were racist ("being done in a discriminatory fashion ... the majority of whom are African American"). (Source: 23 July 2014 Townhall)

E-85 (85% Ethanol) Is 32% More Expensive Than Gasoline

(26 July 2014) The national average retail price of gasoline is $3.65, compared to $4.82 for E-85 (adjusted for lower energy content to provide comparison based on same miles driven). (Source: April 2014 Dept. of Energy)

Government Employees Like Unions Much More Than Private Employees

(23 July 2014) In 2013, government wage and salary workers had a union membership rate of 35.3%, compared to 6.7% for private workers. The overall rate was 11.3%, compared to the peak of 35% in the mid-1950s. Three of the 4 largest unions are government employees and the 4th is 48% government employees: National Education Association (NEA) with 3.2 million, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) with 2.1-million, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees with 1.6 million, American Federation of Teachers with 1.5 million. Virginia, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Georgia and Texas do not allow collective bargaining for government employees. (Sources: 24 Jan. 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5 July Associated Press)

Czar Obama's War On Coal Mines Helps Russian Economy

(22 July 2014) Public Service of New Hampshire bought 38,500 metric tons of low-sulphur steam coal from Russia and transported it nearly 4000 miles to burn at the Schiller electricity plant. (Source: 16 July 2014 Bloomberg)

Record High Percentage On Welfare During Czar Obama's Reign

(12 July 2014) The percentage on welfare [living in a family receiving benefits from any of just 3 programs … Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps (SNAP)] was first calculated in 1993. The percentage was a record low 12.5 in 2000 and a record high 23.1 in 2011. During this period, the percentage of children 5 and under on welfare increased from 19.8 to 38.0. In 2011, 34.8% of children 6 to 10 and 32.0% of children 11 to 15 were on welfare. Only 14.6% of married families were on welfare, while 55.0% of unmarried female-headed families were. In 1940, 3.8% of births were to unmarried women. This percentage began to increase in 1960, reaching 32.6% by 1992. It remained steady for a few years, before rising to 40.7% in 2012 ... the 5th year in a row over 40%. (Source: Dept. of Health and Human Services 2014 Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors)

Immigrants From Central America Tend To Be Illegal, On Welfare, Didn't Graduate And Live In Poverty

(11 July 2014) In 2012, there were 2.7 million immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala … 60% of them illegal aliens. 57% of households headed by an El Salvadoran used at least 1 major welfare program, as did 54% of Honduran households and 49% of Guatemalan households. By comparison, 24% of households headed by a native-born American used at least 1 of these programs. 54% of Guatemalan immigrants between 25 and 65 have not graduated from high school. The figures for Salvadorans and Hondurans are 53% and 44%, respectively. The corresponding figure for native-born Americans is 7%. 32% of Honduran immigrants and their young children (under 18) live in poverty; as do 31% of Guatemalan immigrants and their children, and 28% of Salvadoran immigrants and their children. The corresponding figure for native-born Americans and their children is 14%. (Sources: Census Bureau March 2013 Current Population Survey, July 2014 Center for Immigration Studies)

Looking Forward To Pelosi Being Transported To ER In California

(10 July 2014) Czar Obama claimed Obama Care would reduce the number of people that go to emergency rooms (ERs) instead of going to a doctor. Because many doctors in California are refusing to accept new Covered California (state exchange established as part of Obama Care) and Medicaid patients because of low payments, the statewide average ER wait time has increased to 5 hours. (Source: KMPH TV in Fresno, California)

Obama Care Will Undoubtedly Join Medicare And Medicaid Overpayment History

(10 July 2014) Each year, federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments they issued. They include overpayments, underpayments, payments to the wrong recipient and payments that were made without proper documentation. In 2013, federal agencies made $97 billion in overpayments and $9 billion in underpayments. The 3 highest overpayments were for Medicare, earned income tax credit and Medicaid ... $48 billion, $15 billion and $14 billion, respectively. With history as my guide, I am confident the new health program, Obama Care, will be high on this list in the future. (Source: 9 July 2014 Associated Press)

Czar Obama Claimed Obama Care Would Cut The Average Family's Premium By About $2,500 Per Year

(6 July 2014) 41 New York health insurance companies have requested premium increases averaging 13% for 2015. MetroPlus, the 3rd largest market share on the state's exchange and 44% of the New York City market, is requesting an average 18.5% increase. MVP, which holds 8% on the state's exchange, asked for an average 19% increase. (Source: 2 July 2014 Capital New York)

Best / Worst Presidents

(3 July 2014) "since World War II ... consider the worst president" ... 33% Obama, 28% Bush, 13% Nixon, 8% Carter

"since World War II ... consider the best president" ... 35% Reagan, 18% Clinton, 15% Kennedy

"Obama administration has been competent in running the government" ... 54% No

"if Mitt Romney had become President ... nation would be better off than it is today or worse off" ... 45% Better ... 38% Worse (Source: 2 July 2014 Quinnipiac Univ. Poll)

GM Recalled 25.68 Million Vehicles In Less Than 6 Months

(2 July 2014) Starting 13 Jan. 2014, Government Motors (GM) has recalled 25.68 million vehicles in the U.S. for safety-related repairs, equal to more than 9 times their 2013 U.S. sales. (Source: 30 June 2014 USA TODAY)

Don't Let The World Bank Control Your Pension Plan

(30 June 2014) World Bank Pres. Jim Yong said that pension funds should invest in "green assets" instead of fossil fuel companies. Starting 1 Jan. 2002, the STOXX Global 1800 Oil & Gas Index has increased 81.5%, while the RENIXX Renewable Energy Industrial Index has dropped 64.6 %.

Economics 101: U.S. Company Moves To Ireland

(29 June 2014) Medtronic, the world’s largest medical technology company, has announced plans to move its corporate headquarters from Minneapolis to Dublin, Ireland. With the U.S. corporate tax rate at 35%, Medtronic would rather move to where the tax rate is only 12.5%. Medtronic will have more money to invest and grow their company. (Source: 23 June 2014 Townhall)

D.C.'s Goal To Increase Commuting Cost, Pollution And Taxpayer Subsidies

(24 June 2014) A District of Columbia goal is to reduce auto commuting from 54% of all workers in the district to no more than 25% by shifting to urban transit. In 2012, the average U.S. car and light truck emitted 268 grams of carbon dioxide per passenger-mile, compared to 285 grams for Washington's transit system. Americans spend about a trillion dollars a year buying, maintaining, operating and insuring cars, and subsidizing highways. They travel about 4 trillion passenger-miles per year ... 25 cents per passenger-mile ... 24 cents paid by users and 1 cent by subsidies. In 2012, Washington's urban-area transit system operated 2.5 billion passenger- miles at a cost of $3 billion ... $1.20 per passenger-mile ... 34 cents paid by users and 86 cents by taxpayers. (Source: 6 June 2014 Cato Institute)

The Other 3 Largest Users Of Coal Are All Increasing The Amount They Burn

(24 June 2014) From 2000 to 2011, the annual amount of coal burned in China increased from 1.5 to 3.8 billion tons. During the same period, the amount burned in the U.S. decreased from approximately 1.1 to 1.0 billion tons. China’s increase was 23 times the U.S.’s decrease. At the same time, the increase in cost of U.S. electricity hurt the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing … we bought more foreign goods and lost jobs. Is our pain worth our very small impact on world pollution? (Source: Apr. 2014, National Geographic)

Medicaid Will Require Huge Increase in Taxes Or Result In Huge Increase In National Debt

(24 June 2014) Federal and state Medicaid spending: $72 billion in 1990, $206 billion in 2000 and $401 billion in 2010. Expansion due to Obama Care will inflate Medicaid to $795 billion in 2021. (Sources: George Mason Univ. Mercatus Center, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 17 June 2014 National Center for Policy Analysis)

Eliminate LBJ's "Great Society" Job Corps

(23 June 2014) Part of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" was the Job Corps, a training and placement program to teach trade skills to low-income, troubled youth at least 16 years old. The program is the Labor Dept.'s most expensive, costing $1.7 billion in 2014 for 37,000 participants ... $45,946 each. Students live at the centers courtesy of taxpayers. A 9-year study that began in 1995 quantified the effectiveness of the program. Researchers studied 15,000 who applied for the program and compared the results of the students who attended with those who did not. Wage benefits of Job Corps students disappeared after 4 years. (Sources: 19 May 2014 Washington Post, 22 May National Center for Policy Analysis)

Student Proficiency Does Not Correlate With School Spending

(23 June 2014) Washington, D.C. government schools spent $29,349 per pupil in the 2010-11 school year ... highest among 21 large cities. In 2013, only 17% of 8th graders were "proficient" or "advanced" in reading and 19% in math ... worse in both subjects than all states. The other D.C. students were "basic". (Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, 14 May 2014 Townhall)

School Lunch Czar Obama Loses A Battle

(22 June 2014) The Dept. of Agriculture announced a 2-year delay in a regulation that forced schools to provide food that is rich in whole grains. Lasagna and elbow pastas were especially difficult to cook in large quantities. With Czar Obama's wife as a cheerleader, new regulations have been phased in over the last 2 school years. The School Nutrition Association has pushed for delays in many school nutrition changes, citing declining revenue and increased costs. In the 2012-13 school year, almost half of schools experienced lower revenues for their school meal programs and 90% saw food costs increase. (Source: 19 May 2014 Associated Press, 20 May Daily Caller)

Taxpayers On Increasingly More Expensive Obama Care Ride

(22 June 2014) The average Obama Care Federal Exchange Bronze Plan monthly premium is $289 per month, with $221 subsidized by taxpayers. The Silver plan is $345, with $264 subsidized by taxpayers. 69% of those who qualified for a tax credit pay a monthly premium of less than $100. Nearly 9 in 10 who bought health coverage on the Obama Care Federal Exchange received taxpayer subsidies. This spring, the 2014 subsidies were estimated to cost the taxpayers $10 billion. Now, the estimate is $16.5 billion. Obama Care insurance provisions will cost $1.4 trillion from 2015 to 2024. (Sources: Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Joint Committee on Taxation, Dept. of Health and Human Services, 17 June 2014 LA Times, 18 June Fiscal Times)

Arizona Health Insurance Premiums Going Up Next Year

(21 June 2014) Arizona is the latest state whose insurers have proposed their premium rates for next year. For major insurers, the rate increases range from a 14.4% hike from Cigna to a whopping 25.5% hike from Humana. Czar Obama claimed his health care plan would cut the average family's premium by about $2,500 per year. (Source: 4 June 2014 Fiscal Times)

$24,000 Replacement Battery System For Least-Expensive Tesla Car

(21 June 2014) Most electric cars have a few large batteries. Tesla's have thousands of laptop-computer-size batteries. The base prices of Tesla Model S cars, including destination charges, are $71,070 with a 60 kWh battery system and $81,070 with an 85 kWh battery system. This implies the cost of batteries is $400 per kWh. Therefore, a replacement 60 kWh battery system would be $24,000. The base price of a Honda Accord Sedan LX with an automatic transmission, including destination charge, is $23,545. (Sources: Tesla, Honda)

Fiat Loses $14,000 On Sale Of Each 500e Electric Car

(21 June 2014) The CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said this about the Fiat 500e electric car, "I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000. If we just build electric vehicles, we’ll be back in ... Washington asking for a second bailout because we’ll be bankrupt by Christmas." If he increased the price, he would sell fewer and get pummeled for not meeting the government mandated fleet-average miles-per-gallon (mpg). The fuel efficiency standards were put in place by Czar Obama in 2011, and there are separate mandates in California. The 2014 Fiat 500e base price is $32,300. The standard Fiat 500, which has a 4-cylinder engine and gets 40 mpg on the highway, starts at $16,195. Czar Obama provided a bailout for Chrysler, a U.S. company. Since January, it has been 100% owned by Fiat, an Italian company. By the end of the year, Fiat Chrysler will be a Netherlands company with headquarters in London. (Source: 23 May 2014 FOX Business)

Fewer Transit Riders Despite $1 Trillion In Federal Tax Subsidies

(14 June 2014) Transit carries only 1% as much travel as highways. However, 20% of federal gas taxes go towards transit. The subsidies have not increased ridership, which has fallen since 1970, despite $1 trillion in federal subsidies. (Sources: 13 May 2014 Cato Institute, 20 May 2014 National Center for Policy Analysis)

LA County Biggest Loser Of Jobs Since 1990

(13 June 2014) Los Angeles County has lost more net jobs than any large metropolitan area in the nation from 1990 to 2013. (Sources: Anderson School of Management, 1 June 2014 Townhall)

Federal Grants To States Have Increased 18% ... 35% For Medicaid

(13 June 2014) Medicaid constitutes nearly two-thirds of federal grant money issued to the states. Since 2008, federal Medicaid grants have increased 35% and grants to other health programs have increased 21%. Total non-health federal grants have decreased 5%. (Sources: May 2014 Pew Charitable Trusts, 28 May National Center for Policy Analysis)

Medicare Reimbursement Cuts ... Closure Of 18 Rural Hospitals

(13 June 2014) 60% of funding for rural hospitals comes from Medicare. The rest comes from Medicaid and private health insurance. Cuts for Medicare reimbursement funding and the Oct. deadline for upgrading to electronic medical records are a grave concern to rural hospitals. 18 rural hospitals have shut their doors since the beginning of 2013, more than the combined total in the prior 10 years. (Source: 28 May 2014 Fox News)

GE To Create Jobs

(29 May 2014) General Electric has committed to create 1,000 industrial jobs within 3 years ... in France. (Source: 28 May 2014 Reuters)

France Forgot To Measure Before Purchasing Trains

(29 May 2014) The French government's rail system ordered 341 new trains and then discovered they were too wide for nearly 1,300 of the 8,700 railway platforms. It will cost $68 million to widen the stations. (Sources: Wall Street Journal, 22 May 2014 USA Today)

Expensive Solar Electricity

(28 May 2014) For power plants entering service in 2019, electricity produced by natural gas is estimated to cost $66 per megawatt-hour, compared to $130 for solar. (Source: 20 May 2014 Real Clear Markets)

A Couple Billion Dollars For Obama Care Website And State Exchanges

(27 May 2014) As of 28 Feb., the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had obligated $834 million for HealthCare.gov information technology contracts and interagency agreements. In addition, Czar Obama has spent hundreds of millions on federal grants to states for their own exchanges. 4 state exchanges on the edge of collapse have used $474 million of federal taxpayers' money so far ... Nevada (will transition to federal system by 15 Nov.), Massachusetts (looking for another $121 million in federal funding to develop its new state-based exchange), Maryland (attempting to build a new one on its own), Oregon (gave up on its state exchange entirely and moving to the federal HealthCare.gov system). (Sources: Health and Human Services, 14 May 2014 Daily Caller, 20 May Daily Caller, 21 May Reuters)

Czar Obama Claimed Obama Care Would Cut The Average Family's Premium By About $2,500 Per Year

(26 May 2014) Virginia insurance carriers were the first to publicly release premiums for 2015. Anthem HealthKeepers Inc., offered by WellPoint, is raising its premiums on individual plans by an average of 8.5% for 110,000 people. CareFirst Blue Choice, Inc. is increasing its rates 14.9% for 32,000 members. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. is raising its premiums 3.3% for 10,000 residents. (Sources: 11 May 2014 Wall Street Journal, 20 May 2014 National Center for Policy Analysis)

What Happens When Low-Education, Low-Skill Employees Demand More Pay?

(26 May 2014) As of March 2010, there were 1500 kiosks in 400 McDonald's restaurants in France to substitute and supplement employees. The kiosks have allowed McDonald's to avoid some of the high payroll costs of dealing with France's minimum wage ... 12.22 an hour in U.S. dollars. McDonald's has kiosks in more than 7000 restaurants in Europe. As soon as 2016, Panera's 1,800 restaurants will replace all of their cashiers with kiosks. A sushi-chain in Japan has robots making food that customers order on a touch screen. A conveyer belt delivers the food, and a computer tracks customer purchases and automates their bill payment. (Sources: Kiosk Europe, 18 May 2011 Neowin, 14 May 2014 Daily Caller)

GM Recalled 18.67 Million Vehicles In 4 Months

(25 May 2014) Starting 13 Jan. 2014, Government Motors (GM) has recalled 18.67 million vehicles, equal to 6.7 times their 2013 U.S. sales. (Source: 21 May 2014 USA TODAY)

UK To Discontinue Solar Subsidies

(25 May 2014) The UK Dept. of Energy and Climate Change will discontinue its ratepayer-funded subsidies to new large-scale solar electricity producers by next April. They were supposed to last until 2017, but there has been growing opposition to solar panels littering the countryside and driving up electricity costs for households and businesses that were forced to subsidize the developments. (Source: 13 May 2014 Daily Caller)

Suppliers Do Not Like Government Motors (GM)

(24 May 2014) 411 suppliers rated their relationships (16 categories) with the 6 companies that account for more than 85% of all light vehicle sales in the U.S. Toyota (318), Honda (295) and Nissan (273) were ranked 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Ford (267), Chrysler (245) and GM (244) were at the bottom. Overall, 55% of the suppliers characterized their relations with GM as "poor to very poor", worse than the 48% last year. (Sources: Planning Perspectives Inc., 12 May 2014 Detroit Free Press, 12 May Reuters)

Only 7% Of Black High School Seniors Proficient Or Better In Math

(20 May 2014) Students of Asian / Pacific Island descent were the most prepared for college, with 47% proficient or higher in both math and reading. Only 7% of blacks tested at grade level in math and just 16% were considered proficient in reading. The gap between black and white students was larger in 2013 than in 1992. (Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, 14 May 2014 CNS News)

Only 25% Of High School Seniors Proficient In Math

(20 May 2014) 92,000 students were tested. 38% were proficient in reading ... slightly lower than the 40% in 1992. (Sources: National Assessment of Educational Progress, 7 May 2014 Associated Press)

EPA Reduces Stupid Requirement

(13 May 2014) The EPA dramatically lowered its mandate for the amount of cellulosic biofuels, e.g. produced from grass and wood, that must be mixed with gasoline and diesel fuels. The EPA did so retroactively for 2013, reducing the requirement from 6 million gallons to 0.81 million gallons, the amount actually produced. (Source: Washington Times)

New Medicaid Patients Having Trouble Finding Doctors To Accept Taxpayers' Money

(13 May 2014) In 2013, the acceptance of new Medicaid patients by doctors in 5 specialties in 15 metropolitan areas was only 45.7%, compared to 55.4% in 2009. Dallas had the lowest acceptance rate ... 23%. (Sources: Merritt-Hawkins, 8 May 2014 Heritage Foundation)

Another Czar Obama Stimulus Green Company Halts Production

(12 May 2014) After its own electric vehicle program collapsed, Tanfield Group (British company) formed American Smith Electric (U.S. subsidiary). Despite $32 million in federal stimulus funds and status as one of Czar Obama's favorite "green" companies, the firm has halted production. It built just 439 of the promised 510 experimental electric-powered trucks and buses for commercial use. It promised Missouri a minimum of 202 new jobs in return for up to $1.4 million in state tax credits, but hired only 54. Promised plant expansions in Chicago and New York have not occurred. $36,084 are owed Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology for work performed as a subcontractor, $192,000 are owed to Consolidated Electrical Distributors for equipment and goods and hundreds of thousands of dollars are owed the Kansas City government for lease payments since last November on 90,000 square feet it rents at the Kansas City International Airport. Smith Electric lost $17 million in 2009, $30 million in 2010 and $74 million in 2011. (Source: 5 May 2014 Washington Examiner)

Thank Texas We Don't Have Much Higher Gasoline Prices

(12 May 2014) Daily oil production (millions of barrels): Texas 2.87, federal off-shore 1.31, N. Dakota 0.93, California 0.56, Alaska 0.54. (Source: Jan. 2014 Energy Information Administration)

Czar Obama Hates Oil And Natural Gas, Not Just Coal

(12 May 2014) From 2009 to 2013, crude oil production on non-federal lands increased 61% while production on federal lands decreased 6%. Natural gas production increased 33% on non-federal lands, but decreased 28% on federal lands. From 2006 to 2011, the average time to process an application to drill on federal lands increased from 218 days to 307 days. (Sources: Congressional Research Service, 16 Apr. 2014 House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce)

$150 Per Gallon For Non-Petroleum Fuel

(12 May 2014) The price of conventional jet fuel is $2.88 per gallon. The Dept. of Defense (DOD) bought 1500 gallons of alternative jet fuel made from algae oil for $150 per gallon. (Sources: Government Accountability Office (GAO), 7 May 2014 Washington Times)

Federal Taxpayers May Fund Wind Electricity Twice Rejected By N.J.

(11 May 2014) Fishermen's Energy wants to install 5 windmills off the coast of Atlantic City. The N.J. Board of Public Utilities twice rejected the Chinese-backed project, concluding the Chinese company did not demonstrate financial integrity and deeming it too risky for ratepayers. Nevertheless, the federal government has awarded $47 million for the $188 million project. (Source: 7 May 2014 Washington Times)

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