Tuesday, 26 November 2013 14:45

Washington Fruitcakes, Extra Nutty

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There's clearly no shortage of arrogance, senselessness, and deceitfulness among the current crop of politicians and central planners in D.C.

First, here's Nancy Pelosi, the Queen of Zany, regarding the allegedly positive link between the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and job creation: “This bill is not only about the health security of America,” she declared. “It's about jobs. In its life, it will create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”

In fact, the creation of more jobs “almost immediately” is not the way ObamaCare is working out at Orlando-based SeaWorld for those lucky workers who spend their days tossing fish to pelicans and taking a dip with the dolphins.

In September 2013, SeaWorld announced that starting in November it will cut work hours for an undisclosed portion of its 18,000 part-time and seasonal employees from 32 hours per week to 28 hours per week, thereby keeping employees under the 30-hour threshold at which companies are required to provide health insurance under ObamaCare.

Beginning in 2015, ObamaCare requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance to all full-time employees, with “full-time” defined in Obamacare’s regulations as 30 hours per week.

Also in September, Cleveland Clinic, the second-largest employer in Ohio (Wal-Mart is first), announced that it will cut its annual $6 billion budget by up to 6 percent, by up to $360 million or a million a day, because of ObamaCare.

Translating that budget cut into potential job losses, a 6 percent reduction in Cleveland Clinic's 44,000-employee workforce equals 2,640 jobs.

Contrary to Pelosi’s pie-in-the-sky forecast on job creation, firms across the nation are currently seeking to dodge the expenses associated with ObamaCare’s mandates by cutting their workers’ schedules to less than 30 hours per week.

Similarly, companies nationwide are currently putting strategies in place to keep the size of their workforces below the 50 full-time worker size that triggers the imposition of Obamacare’s rules and regulatory costs.

In other goofy talk at the top, this time regarding the intrusion of the federal government into local schools, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently employed a racial and sexist put-down by proclaiming that the “push back” to the federal government's drive for a top-down, one-size-fits-all Common Core curriculum is coming from “white suburban moms.”

I guess that means Secretary Duncan has documented that suburban dads as well as blacks, non-white Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and Mexican illegals are more trusting of federal expertise and centralized planning in education than are white, non-urban moms and that these same groups are basically more okay with the diminishment of local control of their schools than are white suburban mothers.

On top of being inaccurate, that’s somewhat condescending on Duncan’s part, but perhaps the best display of  the overflow of haughtiness and self-importance at the top can be seen in this passage from Jodi Kantor's book The Obamas: “Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: ‘I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I hire to do it,’ he said. ‘It's hard to give up control when that’s all I've known.’  Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign's political director. ‘I think I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,’ Obama told him. ‘I know more about politics on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director.’”

There’s no danger of inadequate pomposity in all that — Obama’s self-evaluation paints himself as better than everyone in the room, better than everyone he hires, and sufficiently sure-footed in his deliverance role to proclaim to supporters in 2008, about himself, “We are the ones we've been waiting for.”

With such super-extraordinary talent at so many levels, you'd think President Obama would have contacted the dummies who were setting up the ObamaCare website — the doorway to his signature achievement — to see if the system’s designers needed his super-expertise in getting everything on track for an A-1 launch.

Instead, he delivered this faulty assurance on September 26 in a speech in Maryland, five days before the official launch and subsequent crash of the Obamacare website:  “Starting on Tuesday, every American can visit healthcare.gov to find out what’s called the insurance marketplace for your state,” he triumphantly declared.  “Now, this is really simple. It’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health insurance plans, side by side, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak, the same way you shop for a TV on Amazon.”

 

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

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