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December 26, 2009
Issue 76  -  So Close to Disaster
 
This past week the Senate passed one of the most outrageous bills ever introduced in our history.  This bill is so far from anything that the constitution allows, that it boggles the mind.  Note that I won't say, "That the system needs fixed but this isn't the way to do it."  The system may need fixed, but there is no legal way for the Federal government to fix it.  They are actually precluded from doing anything.  Not that that will stop them.  This is now the main problem in our country.  Congress does things that are not in the constitution ALL THE TIME.  That being said, this bill goes far and above the normal illegal lunacy.
 
First off, how can covering more people save money?  It can't, that's obvious.  This is just the start of more and more government intrusions into your life.  Once this monstrosity is in place and most of it Isn't, until 2014, things will only get worse.  Why such a rush to pass this when it didn't really start until 2014?  That's easy, most people opposed this and they didn't want to deal with the complaints.  What's the solution?  Pass it on Christmas Eve when no one is paying attention.  (Remember that the Federal Reserve Act was also passed on Christmas)  Pass it now and let the chips fall where they may.  This is just a big step toward socialism.  We are nearly there, you know.  The final nails are being tapped in and most of US sit and watch.  TARP was passed with virtually no support and yet we elected these clowns at a 97% re-election rate.  Sheesh, are we stupid?  If you walk down a street everyday and a guy comes out and hits you on head with a hammer, do you keep using the same street?  No, then why do we keep electing the same idiots to congress.
 
There is also a new idea in this law that violates your basic freedoms.  It MANDATES that you get insurance.  This is way more left wing than anything Clinton ever came up with.  You will be fined if you don't have insurance.  How about if you want to buy insurance with a high deductible because you are young, single and healthy?  Sorry, that's illegal:  (from statenews.com)
 

Rogers said the plan would be problematic for college students because it bans catastrophic insurance plans, which only cover emergency situations. Catastrophic plans often are used by college-aged people because they are relatively healthy and need little coverage.

“Instead (it will) levy fines and potentially jail time on college students and others who do not purchase full-scale, government-approved insurance,” Rogers said.

 
 
That's an outrage.  This is one of the ways to CONTROL health costs.  Even Great Britain allows this.  Aren't they one of our examples of how to run a health system?  Then there is the matter of bribery.  To get the filibuster proof 60 votes, all types of pay offs and pork had to be inserted.  Of course this was done with all manner of secrecy.  The most outrageous of these payoffs went to Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska:
 

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox isn’t impressed with the landmark health care legislation approved in the U.S. Senate this morning, calling special Medicaid provisions aimed at securing the vote of Nebraska’s Ben Nelson costly to other states and potentially unconstitutional.

Cox issued a statement this morning after the Senate vote in which he described the provision a “Cornhusker Kickback” that will transfer costs to other states.
The Republican attorney general said he and attorneys general from South Carolina and Washington have convened a work group that is “urgently studying the legality of the recent deal,” which helped bring U.S. Sen. Nelson on board with his Democratic colleagues to end a Republican filibuster of the legislation.
The provision exempts Nebraska from future Medicaid payment increases associated with the expansion of health care insurance.
“Michigan families should not … be forced to subsidize a sweetheart deal for Nebraska,” Cox said.
 
This obviously violates the 14th amendment to the constitution that guarantees equal protection under the law.  How can a universal law favor one state?  And how about those Obama promises of more transparancy?  This bill was changed and voted on numerous times without anyone seeing the changes.  Remember when Obama was running and promising to change how business was done:
  
 
 
Change is comin'.....not!   Does this bill look like it has transparency?
 
    

 

I don't think so either.  It looks like more of the same to me.  (Don't worry though, you'll have a whole 5 days to review it.  You can just do that in your spare time.)
 
One of things that most people don't understand about this travesty is that the government is now going to have another line on your pay check to deduct from.  One more place they can "withhold" your taxes for health care.  One more line that will hide the true cost of government intervention by spreading it out over 26 or 52 pays.  Here's some more details:
 

Economist L. Randall Wray observes that ever since Congress threw out the Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial banking from investment banking, insurance and Wall Street finance have been “two peas in a pod.” He writes:

“[T] here is a huge untapped market of some 50 million people who are not paying insurance premiums—and the number grows every year because employers drop coverage and people can’t afford premiums. Solution? Health insurance ‘reform’ that requires everyone to turn over their pay to Wall Street. . . . This is just another bailout of the financial system, because the tens of trillions of dollars  already committed are not nearly enough.”

The health reform bills now coming through Congress are not focused on how to make health care cheaper or more effective, how to eliminate waste and fraud, or how to cut out expensive middlemen. As originally envisioned, the public option would have pursued those goals. But the public option has been dropped from the Senate bill and radically watered down in the House bill.

Rather than focusing on making health care affordable, the bills focus on how to force people either to buy health insurance if they don’t have it, or to pay more for it if they do. If you don’t have insurance and don’t purchase it, you will be subject to a hefty fine. And if you do purchase it, premiums, co-pays, co-insurance payments and deductibles are liable to keep health care cripplingly expensive. Most of the people who don't have health care can't afford to pay the deductibles, so they will never use the plans they are forced to buy.

To subsidize those who can’t pay, the Senate bill would make families earning two to four times the poverty level who don’t have employer-sponsored insurance surrender 8% to 12% of their income to insurance payments, or pay a fine. In another effort to make the insurance payments “affordable,” the Senate bill calls for the lowest cost plan to cover only sixty percent of health care costs.

“In other words,” writes Dr. Andrew Coates in a November 23 article, “a guarantee of insurance industry dominance and the continued privatization of health care in every arena.”

Compulsory health insurance is like compulsory selective military service (the draft), except that all of our numbers have come up. The argument has been made that auto insurance is compulsory, so why not health insurance? But the obvious response is that you can choose to drive a car. The only way to escape the vehicle we call a body is to give up the ghost.

 
 This is type of incrementalism that is so devious.  Just like boiling a frog, most folks just don't notice they are being cooked until it's too late.  The only chance now for this health law to be derailed is if the conference can't come to an agreement.  The two bills are vastly different so we can hope.  Hope usually doesn't work and I expect Obama to pull out all stops to get this passed.  He truly is a liberal's liberal.  He was ranked the MOST liberal Senator while in the Senate and he is just doing what he believes.  Anyone surprised by his actions just wasn't paying attention.
 
His liberalism is also being used to ram the absurd notion of carbon emissions and a warming planet down our throats.  The scheme being peddled is called cap and trade.  Countries will be able to buy other countries emission "credits" so that they can emit more "deadly" carbon.  This is turning into a complete indoctrination.  Our school's books have global warming treated as fact.  Now, there is even a reality show in Australia called the "Carbon Cops."  Watch this short clip to see how far this and other liberal ideas have come:
 
 
 
What's going on in this country is just beyond comprehension.  Kids turning in their parents for carbon crimes?  Boy Scouts helping the military.....Girl Scouts helping the government.....compulsory civilian armies?  What country are we again?  This isn't Germany circa 1940 is it?  I'm sure our "carbon cops" are not that far off in the future.  I wish this stuff was made up, but it's not.  It's happening behind the scenes with nary a peep of protest.
 
Remember years ago when congress changed the laws for cable companies because they were ripping people off?  I remember well as my cable bill promptly went up.  Then, they changed the law again to "fix" the mistakes and my bill went up again!  Well it seems that history repeats itself.   Congress passed a law to protect consumers from banks.  Well the problem with a law that plugs a hole, is that it always leaves another.  In a prime case of "stop helping me because you're going to kill me", a bank now has a credit card with a 79% interest rate.  Hmmmmm......glad they passed that law:
 
 

“NEW YORK (AP) — It’s no mistake. This credit card’s interest rate is 79.9 percent.

The bloated APR is how First Premier Bank, a subprime credit card issuer, is skirting new regulations intended to curb abusive practices in the industry. It’s a strategy other subprime card issuers could start adopting to get around the new rules.

Typically, the First Premier card comes with a minimum of $256 in fees in the first year for a credit line of $250. Starting in February, however, a new law will cap such fees at 25 percent of a card’s credit line.

In a recent mailing for a preapproved card, First Premier lowers fees to just that limit — $75 in the first year for a credit line of $300. But the new law doesn’t set a cap on interest rates. Hence the 79.9 APR, up from the previous 9.9 percent.”

 
I'm sure congress will now run to "fix" this loop hole.  This is a prime example of the nanny state.  I don't need protection from everything in the world.  If someone is not smart enough to figure out that an interest rate of over 70% is too high, then there's not much I can do for them.  They are going to lose their money sometime.  It's only a matter of time.  We need less laws, not more.  We need enforcement of the laws we have.  But that doesn't get people elected, passing inane bills to "help" does.  That's the real problem.
 
I finish today with some analysis done by the Zero Hedge web site.  This is the type of thing that SHOULD  be investigated, but never is, I wonder why?  Check out this chart:
 
 
 
What you are seeing is the gains in the stock market since September.  What they did was divide the performance into two time periods:  regular market hours (9:30-4:30) and after/pre market.  They found something very interesting.  All of the gains have come during nonregular market hours.  Guess who dominates those time frames?  If you guessed the government, through it's paid lackies like Goldman Sachs, you get a gold star.  This is a completely controlled market.  It's not free and it's not random.  Realize that you are playing a rigged game.  If you don't invest with this in mind you'll have a hard time getting ahead.  I'll be making some remarks on the market next week in my predictions blog.  Until then, here's postulating a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year for you and yours!