Friday, November 29, 2013

Obamacare and Minimum Wage

Minimum wage workers are often also unskilled workers.  James Sherk and Patrick Tyrrell’s report for the Heritage Foundation shows that under Obamacare, the government has already raised the minimum wage without any advantages for the employees.  By forcing businesses to contend with an unwarranted wage hike, the government has subverted the natural order of free markets causing unnecessary friction.  As well intentioned as Obama may have been, the high regulations under his policy are detrimental to our economy and ultimately hurt the most vulnerable of all Americans.

According to Obamacare, businesses with 50 or more employees must provide workers with health coverage that meet “minimum standards” or pay a $2000 penalty per full time employee.  Sherk and Tyrrell point out that beginning in 2015, full time employees must produce at a minimum of $10.30 per hour otherwise, “employers will lose money….”  If Obama’s proposal to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 succeeds, the total cost to employers shall become $12.71 per hour to cover full time employees.  That amount includes the unemployment insurance and the employer’s share of payroll taxes that every employer must pay.  Herein is one of the big problems with Obamacare.  If employers are unable to lower the pay below minimum wage and if paying $12.71 per hour to 50 or more full time workers is detrimental to a business, aside from shutting down the business altogether, what else can employers do? 

In many cases, businesses have stopped hiring new workers.  A close look at the steady unemployment rate in the country bears witness to this fact.  Additionally, some businesses have started the process to lay off workers or reduced their hours from full time to part time to avoid the heavy penalty under the law.   

Obama made many claims as he pushed his Affordable Healthcare Act on the American people.  Much of the rhetoric was about how the new healthcare law would help Americans.  Unfortunately, many Americans have lost their health insurance and experienced job loss or the unwanted transition from full time work to part time work under Obamacare.  As we grapple with the reality of this nightmare, the government continues to push Obamacare upon us.  Yet, no proposed “fixes” for a law that has already proven to be broken can answer a few basic questions for Americans.  For instance, how is Obamacare affordable for people who are now without jobs?  How is Obamacare affordable for people who now have to work two or more part time jobs just to make ends meet?  How is Obamacare affordable for millions of people who no longer have health insurance?   In the aftermath of the Obamacare fiasco, the government has no answers for millions of Americans who are now suffering from the results of a well-intentioned idea.  Ironically, the government continues to function and grow even as it destroys the livelihood of precisely those it claims to be helping.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Piecemeal Approach to Immigration Reform

On Monday, Obama gave a speech in San Francisco where he indicated that House Speaker, John Boehner, was open to negotiating on immigration reform.  Apparently, Boehner is willing to discuss immigration reform with one caveat:  he shall not go to conference over the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate earlier this year.  Instead, Boehner and some House Republicans favor a piecemeal approach towards immigration reform.

The piecemeal approach shall allow Republicans to discuss the various issues that were part of the Senate Bill individually and vote only on those issues that benefit our nation.  At least, that is what they want Americans to believe.  It is highly debatable if this approach shall bring different results than the comprehensive Senate Bill. 

Notably, Obama has already indicated that Republicans can use the piecemeal approach as long as a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens is part of the reform.  Similarly, Harry Reid, Luis Gutierrez, and Chuck Schumer have all stated previously that a pathway to citizenship must be a part of any final immigration reform.  Therefore, if pathway to citizenship is the ultimate goal for politicians, does it truly matter whether they reform our nation’s immigration laws in a piecemeal approach or sign off, as the Senate did, on a comprehensive bill destined to change the future of our country?  Boehner wants us to believe that the piecemeal approach is better but if the Democrats are unwilling to consider anything less than pathway to citizenship, does the piecemeal approach truly work for America? 

Lest we get too excited that politicians are finally working for us, it would behoove us to remember the tragedy of another “reform” pushed on American taxpayers.  Obamacare has led to massive losses in health insurance and jobs for Americans throughout the nation.  The unfolding of Obamacare has brought forth disastrous consequences for struggling Americans and the damage is hardly over.  The results of the Obamacare fiasco are in front of us and we should take a moment to think about whether our nation can handle yet another law, justified as reform, which shall change the dynamics of our nation forever.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Border Patrol Agents: Our First Line of Defense

As progressive politicians in Washington debate and discuss “comprehensive immigration reform” with a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens, American border patrol agents continue to place their lives in harm’s way to protect our borders.   Despite the assurances of politicians that our borders are practically militarized, the ongoing murders of border patrol agents and the latest information on drug trafficking present a different story.  Yet, for politicians and their elite friends, amnesty for illegal aliens with pathway to citizenship remains the top priority for reforming the broken immigration system.

The idea that comprehensive reform is the right answer for our nation’s immigration system bears serious consideration.  After all, have we learned anything from Obamacare about what can happen when politicians make back room deals in the name of comprehensive reform?  The law was supposed to provide affordable healthcare for everyone and help improve the economy.  Unfortunately, each day brings a new set of problems with Obamacare.  Whether these issues shall ever be resolved is anyone’s guess.  The important question is that if our healthcare system was in desperate need of reform, why did the legislators not work on only those areas of the healthcare system that actually needed the reform?  Did we truly need an overhaul of the entire system? 

Similarly, does our immigration system need a comprehensive reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens?  Why does our government not focus on providing our border patrol agents with adequate equipment, protection, and assistance to secure our borders?  Why is it more urgent for the government to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that rewards lawbreakers instead?  More important, how can the government claim that the immigration system does not work when they hardly enforce existing laws?  Why should any tax paying American have faith in an overgrown government that has repeatedly proven that it cannot be trusted?    

If politicians are truly interested in reforming the current immigration system, they should begin with securing our borders.  To make this happen, they should enable border patrol agents with the necessary and proper support that is required.  If the focus of immigration reform remains on amnesty and pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens instead of securing our borders, a lack of border protection shall be the least of our problems.     

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Obama-Care 'Unmasked'

“We all had better wake up.”  – David Limbaugh.

David Limbaugh correctly has his finger on the pulse of the nation as he points out that Obamacare is “Obama unmasked.”  Indeed, the Obamacare fiasco that is unfolding before us now, with millions of Americans losing health insurance, is only a symptom of a bigger problem.  Yet, people blindly continue to support Obamacare.  Why is that?

As Limbaugh points out, “he has the unqualified support of the entire liberal media apparatus, the Democratic Party in lock step, millions of people purchased with government money and/or indoctrinated in liberal universities, and the cudgels of racial shaming and white guilt….”  Those who disagree may call Limbaugh a racist or partisan for his statement but to those of us who are aware of what is happening in the country, his statement represents an ugly truth present today in America.

President Ronald Reagan once said, “A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.”  Look around, is the government  using “force and coercion” to achieve its purpose of forcing people to enlist in Obamacare? 

Aside from providing all Americans with a fantastic health insurance plan, Obamacare was supposed to boost America’s economy as well.  Therefore, let us consider America’s economy today.  The latest polls show that the October 2013 unemployment rate is stuck at 7.3%, a jump of .1% since September.  Compare this to the lowest unemployment rate in the past 10 years, which occurred in October 2006 at a rate of 4.4%.  Moreover, if we consider the overlooked Labor Force Participation Rate, the plight of young unemployed Americans in particular becomes even more dramatic.  Yet, politicians want us to believe that the economy is gaining steam and unemployment is shrinking.  Indeed, politicians are working hard to pass other comprehensive laws, much the same as Obamacare, to “help” America’s economy. 

Limbaugh notes that, “Obamacare has always been nothing less than the linchpin in Obama’s bigger dream to fundamentally change America into a nation he could like instead of resent — a socialist utopia rather than the land of the free, of the brave and of equal opportunity.”  As a legal immigrant to the United States from a country ruled by Socialism under the guise of Democracy, I can assure you, Limbaugh’s point is terrific.  Having experienced socialized medicine, rationing of food, forced uniformity of an educational system, I am astounded to see how easily Americans are willing to give up their liberty and freedom to an out of control government. 

Perhaps, the best part of Limbaugh’s article is in his conclusion where he asks Obama supporters, “Is your appetite for denial unbounded?”  Without missing a beat, he then addresses the opposition, “Those on the right who insist on continuing to pull their punches instead of calling it like it is will also eventually have America’s blood on their hands.”  Limbaugh is correct; the fight against an overreaching government is a fight for all Americans.  Indeed, extremism on both sides of the political spectrum produces the same results:  slavery.  Reagan said, “Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”  In 1964, Reagan fought the idea of socialized medicine for Americans.  Today, we have socialized medicine in America through Obamacare.  The question then is no longer how far removed we are from our founding principles, enslaved to an ideology, but how do we revert to a historically proven system that once made America great.  It seems, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.”