Thanks Barack… Typical U.S. Household Worth One Third Less Than Under Bush

Obamanomics In Action: Typical US Household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush – Gateway Pundit

Another Obama record…

AMERICANS GETTING POORER – HOUSEHOLD NET WORTH IN DECLINE

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The median household net worth under Obama is one-third what it was during the Bush years.

Under Barack Obama American households are worth two-thirds of what they were worth under George W. Bush.

The New York Times reported:

Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution – the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.

The Russell Sage study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 94 percent of the population had less wealth and 4 percent had more.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worthincreased 14 percent over the same 10 years. Other research, by economists like Edward Wolff at New York University, has shown even greater gains in wealth for the richest 1 percent of households.

Hat Tip Banafsheh Zand

It should come as no surprise then that Republicans overwhelmingly represent the middle class districts by almost a two-to-one ratio.

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Thanks Barack… Obamacare Subsidies Will Push Costs Up By More Than 50 Percent

O-Care Subsidies Will Push Costs Up By More Than 50% – Sweetness & Light

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections

By Noam N. Levey | June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON – The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates…

You don’t say.

That assistance helped lower premiums for consumers who bought health coverage on the federal marketplaces by 76% on average, according to the new report from the Department of Health and Human Services…

While the generous subsidies helped consumers, they also risk inflating the new health law’s price tag in its first year.

The report suggests that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought health plans on marketplaces run by the federal government… If these state [exchange] consumers received roughly comparable government assistance for their insurance premiums, the total cost of subsidies could top $16.5 billion this year.

That would be far higher than projections this spring from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that the 2014 subsidies would cost the federal government $10 billion…

Imagine them being so badly mistaken in their projections. How does it happen, time and again?

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in April that the annual cost of subsidies will rise to $23 billion next year and $95 billion in 2024, although the budget office continued to project that all the law’s costs will be offset by additional revenue it raises and by cuts in other federal healthcare spending.

Right. Just like the way Medicare costs have been offset over the years.

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Thanks Barack… 73,000 Marylanders To Lose Current Health Plans Due To Obamacare

About 73,000 Marylanders To Lose Current Health Plans – Capital Gazette

About 73,000 Marylanders will lose their health coverage on or after Jan. 1 due to regulations mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.

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The Maryland Insurance Administration was notified by nine insurance carriers that they will discontinue some of their health plans starting in the new year, said Joseph A. Sviatko, a spokesman for the agency.

The ACA, passed in 2010, does not require people with health plans purchased before March 23, 2010, to buy new coverage, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Those plans are grandfathered into the new law.

But plans that were changed after March 2010 – including changes to deductibles, co-pay or benefits – must meet new federal requirements.

The ACA mandates all health insurance premiums must cover 10 essential health benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity and newborn care.

Approximately 73,000 nongrandfathered plans in Maryland will be discontinued, Sviatko said.

“Those plans are being replaced with stronger coverage that provides more consumer protection, such as guaranteed coverage, mental health parity, and prescription drug coverage,” Sviatko said in an email.

Health care plans that have remained unchanged since March 23, 2010, can be renewed, he said.

CareFirst BlueCross Blue-Shield, which handles about 70 percent of Maryland’s individual insurance market, said close to 76,000 of its customers could lose their current health plans in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., by January.

A CareFirst spokesman said about 60,000 of those cancellations would take place in Maryland.

CareFirst has close to 120,000 individual members in the state.

Sviatko did not know how many health care plans would be discontinued in Anne Arundel County. Most people should receive 90 days notice before their health coverage is discontinued, he said.

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Thanks Barack… China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet

China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet – Breitbart

Each passing day sees more resistance to the Obama Administration’s announced handover of Internet domain supervision to an as-yet undetermined global agency. There’s still plenty of support for the move as well, but the pendulum seems to be swinging against it this week.

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This morning we heard from a few Republican critics of the Internet handover. National Journal adds Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to the list:


“If the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever,” wrote Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Castro argued that the world “could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, called the announcement a “hostile step” against free speech.

“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the internet looks and operates,” she said in a statement.

It’s hard to argue with Mr. Castro’s point; there will be no way for the United States to regain oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers once it’s been handed off to some global body. And there are good reasons for Rep. Blackburn to worry about what the composition of that global body might be, as National Journal notes “China, Russia, Iran, and dozens of other countries are already pushing for more control over the Internet through the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.”

The Administration has promised that it won’t accept foreign governments controlling ICANN, and has specifically promised the International Telecommunications Union won’t be involved. And we all know how calmly and logically these decisions tend to be made, once they’re handed off to the “international community.” Just look at how swimmingly the United Nations’ effort to halt Russian annexation of Crimea is going!

It’s somewhat annoying to hear American supporters of the ICANN handover doing their level best to validate the narrative that their own country can no longer be trusted with oversight of the Internet, while actual users point out that U.S. supervision has been working out quite well, as in these quotes from a Politico story:

If the agency hadn’t relinquished its oversight, the ITU could continue to argue that ICANN functioned as a pawn for the U.S. government, said former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who oversaw the Energy and Commerce subcommittee with jurisdiction over ICANN. “This will reduce the level of global controversy.”

The uncertain path forward still has some in the business community concerned.

“I don’t see how the future ends up being better than the last decade of responsible stewardship by the U.S.,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the trade association NetChoice, which counts Yahoo and Facebook as members. “Once the contract leverage is gone, what’s to prevent ICANN from being more significantly influenced by [specific] governments… The devil is in the details.”

So let’s hear those iron-clad, foolproof plans to keep authoritarian regimes from getting their hands on ICANN once America casts it adrift into the uncertain waters of the international community.

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Thanks Barack… U.S. Electricity Production Declines As Price Index Soars To New Record

Electricity Price Index Soars To New Record At Start Of 2014; U.S. Electricity Production Declining – CNS

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The electricity price index soared to a new high in January 2014 with the largest month-to-month increase in almost four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, data from the Energy Information Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, indicates that electricity production in the United States has declined since 2007, when it hit its all-time peak.

The U.S. is producing less electricity than it did seven years ago for a population that has added more than 14 million people.

“The electricity index rose 1.8 percent, its largest increase since March 2010,” said BLS in its summary of the Consumer Price Index released Thursday.

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In December, the seasonally adjusted electricity index was 203.740. In January, it climbed to a new high of 207.362.

Back in January 2013, the electricity price index stood at 198.679. It thus climbed about 4.4 percent over the course of a year.

Last month, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity in a U.S. city also hit an all-time January high of 13.4 cents, according to BLS. That marks the first time the average price for a KWH has ever exceeded 13 cents in the month of January, when the price of electricity is normally lower than in the summer months.

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A year ago, in January 2013, a KWH cost 12.9 cents. The increase in the price of a KWH from January 2013 to January 2014 was about 3.9 percent.

During the year, the price of a KWH of electricity usually rises in the spring, peaks in summer, declines in fall, and is at its lowest point in winter. In 2013, the average price of a KWH in each of the 12 months of the year set a record for that particular month. January 2014’s price of 13.4 cents per KWH set a new record for January.

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Historically, in the United States, rising electricity prices have not been inevitable. In the first decades after World War II, the U.S. rapidly increased it electricity production, including on a per capita basis. Since 2007, the U.S. has decreased its electricity production, including on a per capita basis.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when U.S. electricity generation was increasing at a rapid pace, the seasonally adjusted U.S. electricity price index remained relatively stable. In January 1959, the electricity index stood at 29.2, according to BLS. A decade later, in January 1969, it was 30.2—an increase of 3.4 percent over a 10-year span.

That 3.4-percent increase in the index from January 1959 to January 1969 was less than the 4.4 percent the index increased from January 2013 to January 2014.

Over the last seven years, according to the EIA, the U.S. has actually decreased its total net electricity generation, although not in an unbroken downward line from year to year (generation did increase from 2009 to 2010 before going down again in 2011 and 2012).

The EIA has published historical data going back to 1949 on the nation’s annual total net electricity generation, which EIA measures in million kilowatthours.

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In 1949, according to EIA, the U.S. produced 296,124.289 million KWH of electricity. By 1959, it produced 713,378.831 – an increase of 417,254.542 million KWH or about 141 percent.

In 1969, the U.S. produced 1,445,458.056 million KWH – an increase of 732,079.225 or about 103 percent from 1959.

In 1979, the U.S. produced 2,250,665.025 million KWH – an increase of 805,206.969 or about 55.7 percent from 1969.

In 1989, the U.S. produced 2,967,146.087 million KWH – an increase of 716,481.062 or about 31.8 percent from 1979.

In 1999, the U.S. produced 3,694,809.810 million KWH – an increase of 727,663.723 or about 24.5 percent from 1989.

In 2009, the U.S. produced 3,950,330.927 million KWH – an increase of 255,521.117 or about 6.9 percent.

In 2007, according to EIA, the U.S. generated a net total of 4,156,744.724 million KWH of electricity, which, so far, is the historical peak. In 2012, the last year for which full data is available, the U.S. generated a net total of 4,047,765.26 million KWH. That represents a drop of 108,979.464 million KWH – or about 2.6 percent – in the nation’s electricity production since 2007.

CNSNews.com divided the million KWH of electricity generated each year in the United States, according to EIA, by the number of people in the U.S. population as of July of that year (as estimated by the Census Bureau) to derive a number for per capita electricity production (see chart).

As with overall electricity production, per capita production exhibited decelerating growth over the decades, peaked in 2007, and has since declined.

From 1950 to 1959, per capita total electricity generation (in million KWH) grew by 83.11 percent; from 1960 to 1969, it grew by 69.76 percent; from 1970 to 1979, it grew by 33.51 percent; from 1980 to 1989, it grew by 19.25 percent; from 1990 to 1999, it grew by 11.25 percent.

From 2000 to 2009, per capita total net electricity generation in the United States declined by 4.45 percent.

In 2007, when U.S. electricity generation peaked at 4,156,744.724 million KWH, per capita production also peaked at 0.013799 million KWH for each of the 301,231,207 people in the country as of July of that year.

In 2012, the U.S. generated 4,047,765.26 million KWH for a population of 313,914,040—for a per capita production of 0.012895. That means per capita electricity production in the U.S. declined by about 6.6 percent in five years.

The downward trend in U.S. electricity production continued into 2013. The EIA’s latest Monthly Energy Review, which includes data through October 2013, indicates that in the first ten months of 2013, the U.S. generated a total of 3,392,101 million KWH of electricity, down from the 3,407,155 million KWH produced in the first 10 months of 2012.

The Monthly Energy Review also indicates that a large part of the decline in U.S. electricity generation has come from a decrease in the electricity produced by coal – which has not been replaced by a commensurate increase in the electricity produced by natural gas or the “renewable” sources of wind and solar.

In 2007, the year U.S. electricity generation peaked at 4,156,745 million KWH, coal accounted for 2,016,456 million KWH of that production – or 48.5 percent of it. Natural gas, then the nation’s second largest generator of electricity, accounted for 896,590 million KWH of total production – or about 21.6 percent.

In 2007, wind generated 34,450 million KWH – or about 0.8 percent of the nation’s supply that year. Solar generated 612 million KWH – or about 0.0147 percent of the national supply.

By 2012, when U.S. electricity generation had dropped to 4,047,765 million KWH, coal generated only 1,514,043 million KWH – or 37.4 percent of the national supply.

Between 2007 and 2012, the nation’s annual coal-fired electricity generation declined by about 25 percent, or 502,413 million KWH. The combined increases in natural gas, wind and solar did not make up for this decline. In 2012, natural gas produced 1,225,894 million KWH, up 329,304 million KWH from 2007; wind produced 140,822, up 106,372 million KWH from 2007; and solar produced 4,327 million KWH, up 3,715 million KWH from 2007.

The combined 439,391 million KWH increase in electricity generation from natural gas, wind and solar did not cover the 502,413 million KWH decline in the electricity generated by coal.

Coal was not the only source that produced less electricity in 2012 than in 2007, according to the EIA data.

Electricity from nuclear power plants dropped from 806,425 million KWH in 2007 to 769,331 in 2012 – a decline of 37,094 million KWH or 4.6 percent.

Electricity generated from petroleum sources dropped from 65,739 million KWH in 2007 to 23,190 million KWH in 2012—a decline of 42,549 million KWH or about 64.7 percent.

Conventional hydroelectric means of generating electricity hit their peak in 1997, a decade before overall electricity generation peaked in the United States. In that year, the U.S. produced 385,946 million KWH of electricity through conventional hydroelectric power. By 2012, that had dropped to 276,240 million KWH, a decline of 109,706 million KWH or 28.4 percent.
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Thanks Barack… Hidden Obamacare Provision Allows Government To Loot Your Estate After You Die

Revealed: Hidden Obamacare Provision Allows Government To Loot Your Estate After You Die – Gateway Pundit

In March 2010 Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters; “We need to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

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Now we know what’s in it-

A hidden clause in Obamacare allows the government to loot your estate after you die.

The Seattle Times reported

As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses. State officials are scrambling to change the rule.

It wasn’t the moonlight, holiday-season euphoria or family pressure that made Sofia Prins and Gary Balhorn, both 62, suddenly decide to get married.

It was the fine print.

As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form – Balhorn’s application for free health insurance through the expanded state Medicaid program. As the paperwork lay on the dining-room table in Port Townsend, Prins began reading.

She was shocked: If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.

The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said.

With an estimated 223,000 adults seeking health insurance headed toward Washington’s expanded Medicaid program over the next three years, the state’s estate-recovery rules, which allow collection of nearly all medical expenses, have come under fire.

Medicaid, in keeping with federal policy, has long tapped into estates. But because most low-income adults without disabilities could not qualify for typical medical coverage through Medicaid, recovery primarily involved expenses for nursing homes and other long-term care.

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed that. Now many more low-income residents will qualify for Medicaid, called Apple Health in Washington state.

Put simply:

Affordable Care Act of 2010. Estate recovery will be forced on millions of people who might have otherwise gone without insurance. Why? Because the plan is that millions more Americans have health insurance. That would be accomplished by expanding Medicaid and implementing premium assistance (subsidies). When a person is found to be eligible for Medicaid, they will be automatically enrolled into their state’s Medicaid program. Those forced into Medicaid will, due to the federal law, also be forced into estate recovery. Their estates will be partly or fully taken over by the federal or state government when they die.

You can thank Democrats for this.

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Thanks Barack… Disability Trust Fund Runs Record 5 Straight Years Of Deficits

Under Obama: Disability Trust Fund Runs Record 5 Straight Yrs Of Deficits – CNS

In the fourteen fiscal years that preceded President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, the tax receipts coming into the federal government’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund exceeded the benefits paid out, and the trust fund ran a surplus.

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In each of the five fiscal years Obama has served as president, the trust fund has run a deficit as the number of people receiving disability benefits has surged. The Disability Insurance Trust Fund has never before run five straight years of deficits.

In fiscal 2013, which ended on Sept. 30, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran a record deficit of $31.494 billion, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration. That followed deficits of $8.462 billion in fiscal 2009, $20,831 billion in fiscal 2010, $25.264 billion in fiscal 2011, and $29.701 billion in fiscal 2012.

From fiscal 1995 through fiscal 2008, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran surpluses, as receipts from the disability insurance taxes paid by people who were working exceeded the value of the benefits paid to those claiming disability.

Congress created the federal disability insurance program by adding an amendment to the Social Security Act in 1956. The government paid the first disability benefits in fiscal 1957.

That year, the Social Security and disability programs were funded by payroll taxes that equaled a combined 5.625 percent of a person’s earnings. If someone was employed by someone else, this included a 2.0 percent tax for Social Security that was withheld from a person’s paycheck, an 0.250 percent tax for disability that was also withheld from the paycheck, a 3.0 percent tax for Social Security that was paid by the employer, and an 0.375 percent tax for disability that was paid by the employer.

A self-employed person paid the full 5.625 percent directly from his or her earnings.

Over the years, the payroll taxes for Social Security and disability have more than doubled to 12.4 percent. Self-employed individuals pay the entire 12.4 percent directly. People employed by someone else see 5.3 percent withheld from their paycheck for Social Security and 0.9 percent withheld for disability. Employers pay the other 6.2 percent on the worker’s behalf.

In 1957, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund took in $709 million and paid out only $59 million in benefits – or 8.3 percent of total revenues. A surplus of approximately $649 million was deposited in to the Trust Fund.

In reality, that means the government took that “surplus” and used it to pay for other government expenses, giving the Trust Fund an IOU to pay the money back later.

In the 57 fiscal years that the federal disability program has operated, it has run deficits in only 11 years – with five of those years coming under Obama. Prior to the last five fiscal years, the longest run of deficits in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund was the four-year span from fiscal 1962 trough fiscal 1965, when John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were president.

The trust fund also ran three straight years of deficits from fiscal 1975 through fiscal 1977, when Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter were president.

When President Obama took office in January 2009 – which was the fourth month of fiscal 2009–there were 7,442,377 workers on disability, according to the Social Security Administration. As of October 2013, there was a record 8,936,932. That means the number of people on disability has increased by 1,494,555 while Obama has been in office – a jump of 20 percent.

In addition to the 8,936,932 workers collecting disability in October, there were also 157,676 spouses of disabled workers who collected additional benefits, and 1,871,127 children of disabled workers who collected benefits.

All told, 10,965,735 people collected federal disability benefits in October.

At the end of fiscal 2008, there was a net balance of $216.239 billion in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund – meaning the Treasury owed $216.239 billion in IOUs to the trust fund for surplus disability insurance tax receipts it had taken in previous years and used for other government expenses.

At the end of fiscal 2013, the net balance in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund had dropped to $100.486 – a decline of $115.753 billion.

That $115.753 billion, the cumulative five year deficit of the disability insurance program, equals the amount of money the Treasury had to borrow from other sources to pay disability benefits during that time.

From the last day of January 2009 through the last day of September 2013, the total debt of the federal government climbed from $10,632,005,246,736.97 to $16,738,183,526,697.32—an increase of $6,106,178,279,960.35.

That equaled approximately $53,091 in additional debt for each of the 115,013,000 households that the Census Bureau now estimates there are in the United States.

Since the last day of September, the federal government’s total debt has continued to increase, hitting $17,200,725,370,597.56 as of Tuesday—or approximately $149,555 per household.

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Thanks Barack… Obamacare Drawing Con-Men Like Rotten Meat Draws Flies

PSA: #Obamacare Drawing Con-Men Like Rotten Meat Draws Flies – Moe Lane

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Don’t believe me? Then maybe you’ll believe that notorious right-wing Tea Party rag The New York Times:

To the list of problems plaguing President Obama’s health care law, add one more – fraud.

With millions of Americans frustrated and bewildered by the trouble-prone federal website for health insurance, con men and unscrupulous marketers are seizing their chance. State and federal authorities report a rising number of consumer complaints, ranging from deceptive sales practices to identity theft, linked to the Affordable Care Act.

Madeleine Mirzayans was fooled when a man posing as a government official knocked on her door. Barbara Miller and Maevis Ethan were pitched by telemarketers who claimed to work for Medicaid. And Buford Price was almost caught by another trap: websites that look official but are actually bait set by fly-by-night insurance operators.

(Via Hot Air Headlines) Seriously, it’s widely known at this point that the only real reason that we haven’t seen more fraud is because pretty much nobody can actually use the site. To the point where seeing the process apparently working smoothly should in itself set off warning bells. But before Democrats start breathing a sigh of misguided relief, they should chew on this:

It is now becoming clear that the Obama administration will not have Health.care.gov fixed by December 1 so hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, of people will be able to smoothly enroll by January 1.

Why do I say that? Look at this from the administration spokesperson’s daily Healthcare.gov progress report on Friday:

Essentially what is happening is people [those working on the fixes] are going through the entire process. As we have fixed certain pieces of functionality, like the account creation process, we’re seeing volume go further down the application. We’re identifying new issues that we need to be in a position to troubleshoot.

Does that sound like the kind of report you would expect if they were on track to fix this in less than three weeks?

That’s from Bob Laszewski, who first hit the national scene last month when infamous neocon and Sarah Palin supporter Ezra Klein interviewed him for Klein’s column for the paleoconservative fish-rap Washington Post. I assume that I can stop with that line of sarcasm, right? – Because my point is that we’re one-third of the way through the month to a December 1st deadline, and two-thirds of the way through to a November 15th deadline, and if neither deadline is met by Obamacare there will be a whole passel of folks out there who will in fact mildly panic and start looking for insurance policies because Barack Obama canceled their existing ones. When and if (read: “when”) that happens there’s going to be a lot of hungry predators out there, licking their chops.

So please be careful out there.

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Thanks Barack… Record 90,609,000 Americans No Longer In Labor Force

90,609,000: Americans Not In Labor Force Climbs To Another Record – CNS

The number of Americans who are 16 years or older and who have decided not to participate in the nation’s labor force has climbed to a record 90,609,000 in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The BLS counts a person as participating in the labor force if they are 16 years or older and either have a job or have actively sought a job in the last four weeks. A person is not participating in the labor force if they are 16 or older and have not sought a job in the last four weeks.

In from July to August, according to BLS, Americans not participating in the labor force climbed from 89,957,000 to 90,473,000, pushing past 90,000,000 for the first time, with a one month increase of 516,000.

In September, it climbed again to 90,609,000, an increase of 136,000 during the month.

In January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, there were 80,507,000 Americans not in the labor force. Thus, the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 10,102,000 during Obama’s presidency.

The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the non-institutionalized population 16 years or older who either have a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks, was 63.2 percent in September. That was unchanged from August.

When President Obama took office in January 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7 percent.

The percentage of the civilian non-institutionalized population over 16 that was employed also remained constant from August to September at 58.6 percent. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the employment-population ratio was 60.6 percent.

The overall national unemployment rate–which is the percentage of people participating in the labor force who actively sought a job and did not find one in September–was 7.2 percent. That was a slight drop from the 7.3 percent unemployment rate in August. When President Obama took office in 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent.

The number of people actually employed increased by 133,000 last month, climbing from 144,170,000 in August to 144,303,000 in September. When Obama took office in January 2009, there were 142,153,000 Americans employed–meaning the number has increased by 2,150,000 over the past 57 months.

One reason for the increasing number of people not in the labor force is the aging of the Baby Boom generation, whose members have begun retiring–and are not being replaced by an equal number of young people entering the labor force.

Another reason is that female participation in the labor force has been declining. In January 2009, the female labor force participation rate was 59.4 percent. In September 2013, it was 57.1 percent.

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Thanks Barack… U.S. Releases Five Top Terrorists From Gitmo As Goodwill Gesture To The Taliban

Unreal: Obama Releases Five Top Taliban Detainees From Gitmo As Goodwill Gesture To The Taliban – Weasel Zippers

As of now there are no reports of the Taliban releasing captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl (they offered to swap him for these same Gitmo prisoners in June).

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Via Ynet:

Without much publicity or official announcements, the Unites States released five Guantanamo Bay detainees as a nod of willingness to open peace talks in Afghanistan. After officials in Kabul expressed desire for negotiations, the Obama administration released five members of the Taliban who were detained at the US detention center.

A top US official said that the prisoners were released under the condition that they will not engage in any violent activity. While it is clear that they are guilty of crime, the benefit in releasing them – the potential withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by the summer of 2014 – is greater than the risk. The US announced it will attempt to negotiate peace talks with the Taliban and Afghanistan government officials some months ago.

This gesture from the US government was a departure from the Obama administration’s policy of zero tolerance to negotiations with terrorists and releasing prisoners; thus, in preparation for talks with Afghan officials, the US state department redefined the Taliban as an organization that is no longer included in the US enemy list.

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Thanks Barack… Shorter Work Week Equivalent To 500,000 Jobs Lost

Thanks Barack… Shorter Work Week Equivalent To 500,000 Jobs Lost – Gateway Pundit

The good news is the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5%. The bad news is that companies are cutting hours.

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In April the shorter work week was equivalent to 500,000 jobs lost.

Market Watch reported:

The April employment report exceeded expectations, with 165,000 jobs created and a welcome drop in the unemployment rate to 7.5%.

But there was a dark side to the report: Total hours worked fell sharply, and the total amount of money earned by U.S. workers actually declined from the month before.

“Aggregate weekly hours” is an obscure series of data in the jobs report, but it’s vital to understanding how strong the economy is performing. As the name implies, it measures the total number of hours worked, which is what matters for sizing up overall growth in the economy.

Usually, we focus just on the number of new jobs created and the unemployment rate, but the number of hours we work matters just as much, if not more, to our economic well-being…

…In April, companies hired 165,000 more workers, but they cut everyone’s hours (on average) by 12 minutes. That doesn’t sound like much of a decline, but spread out over the 135 million-strong work force, the decline in hours worked is the equivalent of firing more than 500,000 workers while keeping hours steady.

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Thanks Barack… Georgia Power Company Closes 15 Plants Thanks To Latest EPA Regulations

It’s An Obama World… Georgia Power Company Closes 15 Plants Thanks To Latest EPA Regulations – Gateway Pundit

The Milledgeville area plant closing will cost more than 200 jobs. (The Telegraph)

A Georgia utilities company is closing 15 coal, oil and gas plants thanks to the latest Obama EPA regulations.

Reuters reported, via The Examiner:

Georgia Power said on Monday it plans to seek approval from Georgia regulators to retire 15 coal-, oil- and natural gas-fired power plants in the state totaling 2,061 megawatts (MW) due primarily to the high cost of meeting stricter federal environmental regulations.

Over the past few years, U.S. generating companies have announced plans to shut about 40,000 MW of older coal-fired power plants as low natural gas prices have made it uneconomic for the generators to spend millions to upgrade the plants’ emissions systems to meet the latest federal and state environmental rules.

In a press release, Georgia Power, the biggest unit of U.S. power company Southern Co, said it wanted to shut units 3 and 4 at Plant Branch in Putnam County; units 1-5 at Plant Yates in Coweta County; units 1 and 2 at Plant McManus in Glynn County; units 1-4 at Plant Kraft in Chatham County; and units 2 and 3 at Boulevard in Chatham County.

The company said it plans to file its updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with Georgia’s utility regulators on Jan. 31.

Units 3-4 at Branch, units 1-5 at Yates and units 1-3 at Kraft are coal-fired units. Kraft Unit 4 and Boulevard 2 and 3 are fired by natural gas and oil. McManus units 1-2 are oil-fired.

The company said it expects to ask to retire the units, other than Kraft 1-4, by the April 16, 2015, effective date of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule.

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Thanks Barack… Iranian Regime Says All Data From Captured U.S. Drone Has Been Decoded (Video)

Iranian Regime: All Data Of Captured U.S. RQ-170 Drone Has Been Decoded – Gateway Pundit

Despite repeated warnings from the Pentagon, Barack Obama rejected three plans to recover or destroy the U.S. drone that was intercepted over Iranian territory.

FOX News reported on this earlier this year.

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Today a senior Iranian commander announced that the regime has extracted all the information from the downed drone.

Fars News reported:

A senior Iranian commander announced that the country has extracted all the data and information existing in the intelligence gathering systems of the United States’ highly advanced RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which was captured by Iran last year.

“All the intelligence existing in this drone has been completely decoded and extracted and we know each and every step it has taken (during its missions),” Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told reporters here in Tehran on Monday.

The stealth drone was downed by Iran last December through a sophisticated cyber attack.

The commander further revealed some of the data taken from the aircraft’s intelligence system, and added, “The U.S. President (Barack Obama) had told the Israeli officials that the drone was tasked with spying on Iran’s nuclear program, but our experts found after decoding the drone that it had not performed even a single nuclear mission over Iran.”

“And this reveals that Americans are treating the nuclear issue (of Iran) as an excuse” to conduct hostile moves, including spying operations, against Iran.

The unmanned surveillance plane lost by the United States in Iran was a stealth aircraft being used for secret missions by the CIA.

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Thanks Barack… U.S. Drops 10 Spots In Economic Freedom Rankings

Thanks Barack… U.S. Drops 10 Spots In Economic Freedom Rankings – Gateway Pundit

It’s an Obama world.

The U.S. dropped 10 spots in the economic freedom rankings this week.

The National Post reported:

Canada has taken its place among the Top 5 countries with the most economic freedom, according to a new Fraser Institute report – now leaps and bounds ahead of the United States thanks to the gradual shrinking of the Canadian government since the mid-1990s as America’s just got bigger.

The annual Economic Freedom of the World report, released Tuesday, has Canada tied in fifth place with Australia – up one spot from last year. Hong Kong remains at the top, Singapore’s next, then New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the United States, once a “standard bearer” of economic liberty among industrial nations, spiralled 10 spots from the 2011 rankings to 18th place – its lowest position ever.

It must be Bush’s fault, right?

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Thanks Barack… Gas Prices Expected To Continuously Increase Through Summer

Gas Prices Expected To Continuously Increase Through Summer – WJZ

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, gas prices are up again this week.

Monique Griego has the latest on when and if they’ll come down anytime soon.

Gas stations continue to pump out the pain.

“It’s outrageous,” said Pauline McKesson, driver. “I just put $20 in and that’s not even half a tank.”

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This week prices jumped another six cents, bringing the national average to around $3.90 a gallon.

Maryland’s average is even higher at $ 3.93, inching ever closer to that dreaded $4 mark.

“It’s just too much,” said Harold Walter, driver.

“When is it going to get down? When will the happy days come back?” said Mohammad Naqibuddin, driver.

Despite these outrageously high prices, AAA has even more bad news. They say the summer months mean another spike.

AAA says April is when the east coast switches from winter fuel blends to the more expensive summer fuel blends. And for drivers that means topping off already abnormally high prices.

“What we’re about to see the increases will just make it even worse but these are typical increase we would see seasonal,” said Ragina Averella, AAA spokeswoman.

Experts expect prices to jump 10 to 20 cents over the next few weeks before spiking in mid-May at around a record breaking $4.25 a gallon.

“I actually expect it to go high,” Walter said. “I think $4.50 to $4.70 a gallon isn’t impossible. I’m sure there’s a lot of people who hope you’re wrong. I hope I’m wrong.”

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Thanks Barack… Jobless Claims Up 9,000

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected – Forex Pros

The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected, official data showed on Thursday.

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In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending August 12 rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 408,000, higher than the expected increase of 400,000.

The previous week’s figure was revised up to 399,000 from 395,000.

Continuing jobless claims in the week ended August 6 rose to 3.702 million from a revised 3.695 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing jobless claims to rise to 3.700 million.

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Thanks Barack… Teen Unemployment Hits 50% In Washington DC

Teen Unemployment Hits 50% In Washington DC – Investment Watch

An analysis based on U.S. Census Bureau data by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) shows that the average unemployment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 in the District of Columbia was 50.1 percent as of June 2011. This corresponds with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing that for D.C. the annual average unemployment rate for teens in 2010 was 49.8 percent.

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Michael Saltsman, research fellow at EPI, provided the 50.1 percent figure to CNSNews.com as an update of an analysis he compiled based on the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

The 50.1 percent figure is almost double the average teen unemployment rate in June 2007 in the District, when it was 26.2 percent, according to Saltsman.

Since 2007, the rate has increased each year: 29.5 percent in June 2008, 44.7 percent in 2009 and 48.8 percent in 2010, based on EPI’s analysis.

“We’re in the midst of the third summer in a row where teen unemployment has been above 20 percent,” Saltsman said when he announced his report on July 8.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not keep monthly unemployment rates on teens, but its data showing the average annual unemployment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 in D.C. for 2010 was 49.8 percent.

The state with the second highest unemployment in the EPI analysis, California, also closely mirrors the BLS annual average for 2010 — 34.4 percent compared to EPI’s 34.6 percent.

The latest data from the BLS on average teen unemployment nationwide – all 50 states and the District of Columbia — as of July 2011 was 25 percent.

“Young people are facing more competition for fewer jobs, a lingering consequence of the recession and wage mandates that have eliminated entry-level opportunities,” Saltsman said. “The consequences for this generation of young people missing out on their first job are severe, including an increased risk of earning low wages and being unemployed again in future years.”

Saltsman’s analysis, which was released on July 8, ranked the 20 states with the highest average teen unemployment through May 2011: the first column shows the actual teen unemployment rate over the teen labor force; the second column reflects the number of discouraged teen workers added to the unemployment rate (also compiled from Census Bureau data).

District of Columbia – 49.0 percent, 52.2 percent

California – 34.6 percent, 36.2 percent

Georgia – 34.6 percent, 35.7 percent

Nevada – 34.3 percent, 36.4 percent

Washington – 33.2 percent, 34.2 percent

Idaho – 31.8 percent, 33.1 percent

West Virginia – 30.2 percent, 32.9 percent

Missouri – 29.6 percent, 31.2 percent

Florida – 29.4 percent, 31.4 percent

Kentucky – 29.0 percent, 30.3 percent

South Carolina – 28.5 percent, 29.0 percent

Rhode Island – 28.0 percent, 29.6 percent

Michigan – 27.6 percent, 29.1 percent

Mississippi – 27.5 percent, 30.7 percent

Tennessee – 26.9 percent, 27.4 percent

Arizona – 26.7 percent, 28.2 percent

Arkansas – 26.7 percent, 28.2 percent

Colorado – 26.1 percent, 26.7 percent

Illinois – 26.1 percent, 27.5 percent

Oregon – 25.8 percent, 26.4 percent

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Thanks Barack… Private Sector Jobs Cuts At 16-Month High

Planned Jobs Cuts Surge 60 Percent In July – Atlanta Urinal-Constipation

A wave of private-sector downsizing pushed the number of announced job cuts by U.S. employers to a 16-month high in July, according to a report released Wednesday.

The 66,414 announced job cuts last month were up 60 percent from the previous month, according to the report by the Challenger, Gray & Christmas outplacement firm. The July figure was 59 percent higher than the planned layoffs announced in July 2010.

July’s planned cuts represented the largest monthly total since March 2010, when 67,611 job cuts were announced by the nation’s employers, Challenger said.

The July increase was dominated by a handful of private-sector employers, Challenger said. They include Merck & Co., Borders, Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin and Boston Scientific. The job cuts from these five companies alone accounted for 57 percent of the July total.

Despite the increase in planned job cuts, the pace of downsizing in 2011 remains slower than 2010, Challenger said. So far this year, employers have announced 312,220 cuts — 8 percent fewer than in the first seven months of 2010.

But the trend has been getting worse recently.

“July marks the third consecutive increase we have seen in monthly job-cut announcements, which certainly seems to provide additional evidence that the recovery has stalled,” John Challenger, CEO of the firm, said in a statement. “What may be most worrisome about the July surge is that the heaviest layoffs occurred in industries that, until now, have enjoyed relatively low job-cut levels, including pharmaceuticals, computer and retail.”

Pharmaceuticals led all industries with 13,493 job cuts in July, Challenger said. It was the first time in seven months that government was not the top job-cutting sector. Government was the third largest job-cutting sector in July (9,389 cuts), behind retail, where employers announced 11,245 cuts.

On Friday, the government will release the nation’s jobless rate for July. Many economists are predicting it will remain unchanged at 9.2 percent.

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Daily Benefactor News – Thanks Barack: Jobless Claims Rise, Confidence Falls

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Thanks Barack: Jobless Claims Rise, Confidence Falls – Bloomberg

More Americans than forecast (by people who never get their forecasts right) filed first-time jobless claims last week and consumer confidence fell, highlighting Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s concern that the slowdown in the economy may persist.

Applications for unemployment benefits increased 9,000 in the week ended June 18 to 429,000, Labor Department figures showed today. The level of claims exceeded the highest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey in which the median projection called for 415,000 filings. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 44.9 last week from minus 44.

Stocks slumped and Treasury securities rose as the figures, combined with a drop in new-home sales, showed the “recovery” was struggling. Bernanke said yesterday that joblessness above 9 percent and weakness in housing show the economy’s “headwinds” may be stronger than Fed policy makers initially estimated.

“The jobless claims numbers are troubling,” said Maxwell Clarke, chief U.S. economist at IDEAglobal in New York. “The Fed is a little nervous,” he said, and the economy is “going to start next quarter out on a weak note.”

Purchases of new homes dropped 2.1 percent in May to a 319,000 annual rate, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median price of new properties sold declined from a year earlier.

“Things are still going to be weak for a while,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We need to see much better job growth and more confidence in general,” he said, adding that new-home sales are “still sort of bouncing around the bottom.”

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Thanks Barack… IMF Cuts U.S. Growth Forcast, Warns Of Crisis

Thanks Barack… IMF Cuts U.S. Growth Forcast, Warns Of Crisis – Gateway Pundit

Worst. President. Ever.

Obama said he was going to cut the deficit in half back in 2009. Instead he tripled it his first year in office and it’s only getting worse.

The Obama deficit this year may reach $1.65 trillion. (The Captain’s Comments)

The IMF cut the US growth forcast and warned of a economic crisis today.

Reuters reported:

The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth on Friday and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are “playing with fire” unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits.

The IMF, in its regular assessment of global economic prospects, said bigger threats to growth had emerged since its previous report in April, citing the euro zone debt crisis and signs of overheating in emerging market economies.

The Washington-based global lender forecast that U.S. gross domestic product would grow a tepid 2.5 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2012. In its forecast just two months ago, it had expected 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent growth, respectively.

Overall, the IMF slightly lowered its 2011 global growth forecast to 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in April. Its forecast for 2012 growth remained unchanged at 4.5 percent.

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