Obamanomics Update: All U.S. Job Gains Since December 2007 Have Gone To Foreign-Born Workers

All Job Gains Since December 2007 Have Gone To Foreign-Born Workers – Zero Hedge

With the Fed on the verge of a full relent and admission of policy error, the Fed’s “data (in)dependent” monetary policy once again takes on secondary relevance as we progress into 2016. However, even with the overall job picture far less important, one aspect of the US jobs market is certain to take on an unprecedented importance.

We first laid out what that is last September when we said that “the one chart that matters more than ever, has little to nothing to do with the Fed’s monetary policy, but everything to do with the November 2016 presidential elections in which the topic of immigration, both legal and illegal, is shaping up to be the most rancorous, contentious and divisive.”

We were talking about the chart showing the cumulative addition of foreign-born and native-born workers added to US payrolls according to the BLS since December 2007, i.e., since the start of the recession/Second Great Depression.

As usually happens, it is precisely this data that gets no mention following any job report. However, with Trump and his anti-immigration campaign continuing to plow on despite the Iowa disappointment, we are confident that the chart shown below will soon be recognizable to economic and political pundits everywhere.

And here is why we are confident this particular data should have been prominently noted by all experts when dissecting today’s job report: according to the BLS’ Establishment Survey, while 151,000 total workers were added in January, a number which rises to 615,000 if looking at the Household survey, also according to the same Household survey, a whopping 567,000 native-born Americans lost their jobs, far less than the 98,000 foreign-born job losses.

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Here is a chart showing native-born non-job gains since the start of the depression:

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Alternatively, here are foreign-born worker additions since December 2007:

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Putting the two side by side:

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And the bottom line: starting with the infamous month when it all started falling apart, December 2007, the US has added just 186,000 native-born workers, offset by 13.5x times more, or 2,518,000, foreign born workers.

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If Trump wins New Hampshire and South Carolina, and storms back to the top of the GOP primary polls, expect this chart to become the most important one over the next 10 months.

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Leftist Nightmare Update: U.S.’s Largest Insurer Reconsidering Obamacare Participation After Near Billion Losses

U.S.’s Largest Insurer Reconsidering Obamacare Participation After Near Billion Losses – Truth Revolt

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UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, is reconsidering its participation in the Obamacare exchanges after reporting near billion losses.

According to figures published at Fortune, UnitedHealth will lose $100 million dollars more than it projected in its financial forecasts for the 2016 Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers. Previous estimates were in the $400 million range, now rising past $500 million.

What’s worse, last year, the company reported $720 million in losses thanks to Obamacare and that number is expected to soar past $745 million in the next year.

“By mid-2016 we will determine to what extent, if any, we will continue to offer products in the exchange market in 2017,” said UnitedHealth President Dave Wichmann.

Wichmann said his company is slowing marketing efforts, withdrawing certain products, and also increasing prices in hopes to offset some of the lost revenue. But as is noted in Fortune’s report, enrollment continues to rise despite these efforts,

Fortune also points out that UnitedHealth can boast $180 billion in total revenue currently, meaning the losses are just “a small fraction of UnitedHealth’s total business.” And currently, the company’s stock prices are up, perhaps indicating that investors aren’t too worried.

While this might not have as big an impact on a giant corporation, it is yet another example highlighting Obama’s “like your doctor, keep your doctor” lie as health care providers continue to pass on losses to their customers.

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Obamaconomy Update: Walmart To Close 269 Stores, 154 In U.S.

Wal-Mart To Shutter 269 Stores, 154 Of Them In The US – CNS

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Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S. and another big chunk in its challenging Brazilian market.

The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide and less than 1 percent of its global revenue.

More than 95 percent of the stores set to be closed in the U.S. are within 10 miles of another Wal-Mart. The Bentonville, Arkansas, company said it is working to ensure that workers are placed in nearby locations.

The store closures will start at the end of the month.

The announcement comes three months after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO Doug McMillon told investors that the world’s largest retailer would review its fleet of stores with the goal of becoming more nimble in the face of increased competition from all fronts, including from online rival Amazon.com.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” McMillon said in a statement. “Closing stores is never an easy decision. But it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future.”

Wal-Mart operates 4,500 in the U.S. Its global workforce is 2.2 million, 1.4 million in the U.S. alone.

Wal-Mart has warned that its earnings for the fiscal year starting next month will be down as much as 12 percent as it invests further in online operations and pours money into improving customers’ experience.

Of the closures announced Friday, 154 locations will be in the U.S., including the company’s 102 smallest-format stores called Wal-Mart Express, which were opened as a test in 2011.

Wal-Mart Express marked the retailer’s first entry into the convenience store arena. The stores are about 12,000 square feet and sell essentials like toothpaste. But the concept never caught on as the stores served the same purpose as Wal-Mart’s larger Neighborhood Markets: fill-in trips and prescription pickups.

Also covered in the closures are 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount stores and four Sam’s Clubs.

Wal-Mart will now focus in the U.S. on supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, the e-commerce business and pickup services for shoppers.

The retailer is closing 60 loss-making locations in Brazil, which account for 5 percent of sales in that market. Wal-Mart, which operated 558 stores in Brazil before the closures, has struggled as the economy there has soured. Its Every Day Low price strategy has also not been able to break against heavy promotions from key rivals.

The remaining 55 stores are spread elsewhere in Latin America.

Wal-Mart said that it’s still sticking to its plan announced last year to open 50 to 60 supercenters, 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets and 7 to 10 Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. during the fiscal year that begins Feb. 1. Outside the U.S., Wal-Mart plans to open 200 to 240 stores.

The financial impact of the closures is expected to be 20 cents to 22 cents per diluted earnings per share from continuing operations with about 19 cents to 20 cents expected to affect the current fourth quarter. The company is expected to release fourth quarter and full year results on Feb. 18.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell $1.12, or 1.7 percent, to 61.94 in morning trading.

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*VIDEOS* Prager University: Curriculum – Left Vs. Right


HOW BIG SHOULD GOVERNMENT BE?


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DOES IT FEEL GOOD OR DOES IT DO GOOD?

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HOW DO YOU JUDGE AMERICA?

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HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH PAINFUL TRUTHS?

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HOW DO YOU MAKE SOCIETY BETTER?

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The Enduring Popularity Of Fraud (John Hinderaker)

The Enduring Popularity Of Fraud – John Hinderaker

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Steve’s post earlier today is a great reminder of how over the last 200 years, free enterprise has led to an unprecedented explosion of wealth, individual liberty and creativity. Nothing in human history – putting aside for the moment the claims of religion – has enriched the human race to anything like the same degree. If human history has conclusively established any fact, it is that free enterprise is fantastically successful, while socialism is a pitiful failure. Think of North Korea, the USSR, Maoist China, Albania, East Germany, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, India until it wised up. The list goes on and on.

And yet… the siren song of socialism still lures suckers. Currently, Venezuela is learning the age-old lesson the hard way. But we can’t laugh at Venezuelans, when Bernie Sanders is a serious contender for our presidency and is far and away the campus favorite. How is it that socialism (or the urge toward socialism, anyway) can survive? It is the cockroach of ideologies, seemingly impervious to all efforts to kill it.

It may be helpful to think of socialism as a species of fraud. There are many types of fraud, but nothing new under the Sun. The same frauds that Venetian merchants guarded against persist today. The same con games that flourished hundreds of years ago still work. Charles Ponzi’s financial empire collapsed in 1920, and he was arrested and sent to prison. Yet hardly a month goes by without another Ponzi scheme being revealed. There is only one way in which a Ponzi scheme can end: in disaster. This is a mathematical fact. Yet people fall for them, over and over.

People seem to be drawn to fraud like moths to a candle. When I was in law school, I learned about a relatively ingenious fraud. Someone placed an ad in all of the major newspapers on the East Coast. All it said was: “Friday, March 31, is the last day to send in your dollar. P.O. Box 1234, New York, NY.” Many thousands of people sent in their dollars: they didn’t want to miss the deadline. The perpetrators of the scheme were prosecuted, but it was a close-run thing: what was the fraud? The court accepted the idea that the ad made an implicit representation that there was a benefit to be gained or an evil to be avoided by sending in one’s dollar, but it was a pretty skinny case.

In the realm of fraud, the wisdom of the ages is reflected in the adage that a fool and his money are soon parted. The same, I think, is true of socialism. Socialism is fraud writ large. It is a fraud perpetrated by the cynical and greedy on the ignorant and credulous, just like a Ponzi scheme. Only we can add: a fool and his freedom are soon parted.

Only under socialism could Fidel Castro become the richest warlord, relative to his subjects’ wealth, in recorded history. (And that was the least of his sins.) Only under socialism could Maria Gabriela Chavez, daughter of socialist tribune of the people Hugo Chavez, beloved by the American left, waltz off with a $4 billion fortune. But then, she was a piker: Chavez’s Minister of the Treasury stashed $11 billion in Swiss bank accounts.

Charles Ponzi’s mistake was that he should have gone into politics. He could have gone far as a socialist politician, and could have avoided prison.

Socialism is, I think, a species of fraud, but socialism is also much worse than that. A fraudster like Bernie Madoff will only take your money. A socialist will take your money, but that is just the beginning. When you give power to the power-mad, your freedom and human dignity, and perhaps your life, are soon forfeit. So socialism is a uniquely evil variety of fraud.

The bottom line, though, is that, just as the familiar types of fraud have endured for centuries even though they have repeatedly been exposed and are known to the well-informed, so socialism persists, and will continue to endure, as long as men and women fall for the lies and blandishments of the cynical, the greedy and the power-mad.

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Paul Ryan Proves He’s A RINO Parasite With New Leftist Budget Deal

Speaker Fail: Paul Ryan Stacks Budget Full Of Liberal Goodies; Will Pass With Dem Majority – Gateway Pundit

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Different Republican Speaker – Same Liberal Crap

Now we know why Paul Ryan grew a beard – so he can try to hide from the Republican base.

Republican Speaker Paul Ryan is set to pass a budget chock-full of liberal goodies.

It was another Republican “compromise” meaning Democrats got every item they asked for.

The unpopular bill is expected to pass with a Democrat majority of votes.

That’s how bad it is.

Via Drudge Report:

Hands out gifts for NASCAR, racehorses, teachers, college students, more
MEETS OBAMA PRIORITIES
Funds for ‘climate’ deal
Planned Parenthood Praises
Makes it ‘harder to repeal Obamacare’
‘Cybersecurity’ bill hacked in
Conservatives give pass on deal they despise!
SESSIONS: THIS is why voters in ‘open rebellion’

Isn’t there a conservative out there somewhere who can challenge Paul Ryan in a primary?

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Related article:

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Secret Provision Added Last Minute To “Omnibus” Bill… This Should Have America On High Alert – Conservative Tribune

A provision regarding guest worker visas quietly added to the omnibus spending bill released this morning by the Senate is something lawmakers hope blue-collar workers won’t notice.

The provision would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for foreign “guest workers.” That means it would allow more than a quarter of a million foreign workers to enter the United States each year and work in industries including construction, hotel-motel services, truck driving, food processing, forestry and other fields that do not require a college education.

Back in 2013, The Gang of Eight bill proposed a similar increase in the already controversial H-2B visa, which takes work away from American workers by allowing foreigners to fill jobs in the industries noted above.

In the case of construction, there are currently six unemployed American workers for each job opening, according to a study published by the Economic Policy Institute. Still, the omnibus released this morning around 2 a.m. would nevertheless quadruple those visas and bring in foreign workers despite the high unemployment rate in these fields.

This provision was sponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C, and was inserted at the last minute into the 2,000 page bill.

In an op-ed by immigration attorney Ian Smith that ran in the National Review, he asserts that the bill looks to be a copy of the Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act.

“Many of these unskilled jobs traditionally go to society’s most vulnerable – including single women, the disabled, the elderly, minorities, teenagers, students, and first-generation immigrants,” he wrote of the jobs most likely to be affected by the bill.

However, large corporations love the idea because it means bringing in an hiring more foreign guest-workers, which lowers their labor costs.

While two primary concerns of everyday Americans are immigration and unemployment, Senate Democrats and their allies in the GOP establishment are going forward with a plan that completely ignores those concerns.

Sounds about right.

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Opening Federal Lands To Drilling Would Create 2.7M Jobs, Add $663B To Economy Annually

Opening Federal Lands To Drilling Worth $663 Billion Annually – Daily Caller

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Opening federal lands for natural gas, oil, and other drilling would create 2.7 million jobs and add $663 billion to the economy each year for the next 30 years, according to a new study by Louisiana State University and the Institute for Energy Research (IER).

“We’ve seen a steady decline in lease sales year over year in the Obama administration… if not for oil and gas production on private and state lands, there would be no economic recovery,” said Thomas J. Pyle, the President of IER, in a teleconference with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The permit time it takes to drill on federal lands is over 200 days, that compares with 14 in North Dakota and 4 in Texas. As a result, production on federal lands has lagged behind.”

An executive summary of the study given to The Daily Caller News Foundation estimates that opening federal lands and waters would also lead to $5.1 trillion in new wages and $3.9 trillion in new federal tax revenue over the next 37 years, which would massively stimulate the economy. Over a 30 year period, this would create and support 2.7 million new jobs. More than 75 percent of the jobs would be in high-wage, high-skill employment, and many would be “support” jobs outside the energy industry.

The study is an update and expansion of a 2013 study that estimated that opening drilling would only be worth $450 billion over the next 30 years.

To put these numbers in perspective, the US military budget in 2015 was $598.5 billion.

Despite the lack of open drilling on federal land, the United States became the largest oil and natural gas producer in the world in 2015. This drastic change stems largely from America’s increased production of oil and natural gas due to new hydraulic fracturing techniques.

America controls the world’s largest untapped oil reserve – the Green River Formation in Colorado. Three-fourths of the formations is on federal land so it has remained largely untapped. This formation alone contains up to 3 trillion barrels of oil shale, half of which may be economically recoverable. That’s five and a half times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. This single geologic formation could contain more oil than the rest of the world’s proven reserves combined, and American oil production in 2014 was 80 percent higher than production in 2008.

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Homeless Couple Caught With 2 Pounds Of Meth Living In Lap Of Luxury Above Tennessee Walmart

Homeless Couple Found Living In Walmart… You’ll Never Guess What They Were Doing – Buzzpo

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Police and store employees are baffled by this couple who were “living the lap of luxury” above a Tennessee Walmart store.

48-year-old Wilbert Thomas, who is ‘homeless though he admitted to police that he and his girlfriend, 54-year-old Ingrid Malone, had been living above the store for over two years.

What they were doing up in the attic is what puts the icing on the cake.

“I don’t mean to laugh, but these people really got one over on Walmart,” said Lieut. Marshall Weiss.
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“In the attic, we recovered 2 pounds of meth they had somehow produced on a hot plate. They also managed to get food, drinks, mini refrigerator, a big screen TV, surround sound system, bedroom set, hangers, clothes… I mean, if Walmart sells it they had it. These people were living good. They even managed to splice into the satellite TV wire and ordered NFL Sunday ticket!”

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Police reportedly found them when someone heard odd noises coming from the attic. Apparently they were engaging in intercourse to test out their new queen size bed from Walmart, of course.

Source

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The Donald Unveils His U.S.-China Trade Plan

Reforming The U.S.-China Trade Relationship To Make America Great Again – Donald J. Trump

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How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The Hook

In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.

The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.

The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers

America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.

The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:

1.) Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.

2.) Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.

3.) Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.

4.) Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.

Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:

Declare China A Currency Manipulator

We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.

Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.

In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America’s massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.

End China’s Intellectual Property Violations

China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it – without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.

The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.

Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages

Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include – in direct contradiction to WTO rules – free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.

China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.

The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.

China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.

The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position

As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:

1.) Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.

2.) Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.

3.) Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.

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Conservative Maine Government Doubles Down On Successful Welfare Reform Policies Despite Leftist Whining

Maine Doubles Down On Welfare Reform Despite Media Backlash – Daily Signal

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Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, knows her politics aren’t always popular.

“I can’t stress enough what an attack campaign it has been from the media for four and a half years,” Mayhew said Thursday at an anti-poverty forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Heritage Foundation.

Then there are the more personalized critiques: “There is a poet, or he calls himself a poet, and he sends me poems all the time,” she added. “They are not nice poems.”

Mayhew claims that detractors – who mostly take issue with welfare reforms enacted by Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, since his election in 2011 – have gone so far as to call her “Commissioner Evil,” and her and LePage’s policies a “War on the Poor.”

The irony, according to Mayhew, lies in the fact that her and LePage’s efforts actually aim to empower Maine’s poorest citizens. She says a third of the state is on welfare.

“The welfare hurricane doesn’t just destroy one family; it destroys generations of them,” Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, said at the event Thursday. “This work is about giving children a better chance for a future.”

To illustrate that point, Mayhew told a story of one of her first days on the job as DHHS commissioner, spent touring a substance abuse treatment facility for adolescents:
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I was taken aback by one of the youth who came up to me – it was actually several youth, who were just completely focused on whether I could help them get disability. These were 15-year-old, 16-year-old young men clearly battling addiction, but they had decided that the answer for them was to pursue disability. And, frankly, as we all look at that pathway, that truly is committing individuals to a lifetime of poverty.

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Since LePage assumed the governorship, Maine has reduced enrollment in the state’s food stamp program by over 58,000; currently, according to Mayhew, there are 197,000 people on food stamps, down from a high of 255,663 in February 2012.

Mayhew says the decline is due to eliminating the waiver of the work requirement previously attached to food stamps, as also witnessed in Kansas. Under the new legislation, recipients would need to work 20 hours per week, volunteer for about an hour a day, or attend a class to receive food stamps past three months.

LePage and Mayhew have also rolled back Medicaid eligibility through a series of battles Mayhew called “fierce.”

With a population of roughly 1.3 million, Maine had 357,000 individuals receiving Medicaid benefits when LePage took office. Today, 287,000 people are on Medicaid, according to Mayhew.

“What we have done truly has taken the arguments to the public to underscore what has been lost as that program grew out of control, never mind that the resources that had to be devoted to Medicaid were being taken away from education, infrastructure, and reduced tax burden on the state of Maine,” Mayhew said.

In August, Maine DHHS announced they planned to redirect $3.24 million in welfare savings to fund home care services for elderly citizens as well as the Meals on Wheels program.

Lastly, Mayhew touched upon Maine’s efforts to retool the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card programs, stating that Maine had over 15,000 open TANF cases when LePage took office. That number is down to less than 5,000.

LePage’s and Mayhew’s policies, as Mayhew herself highlighted, have not been without controversy.

Earlier this week, amid an ongoing dispute over EBT cards being used to wire money abroad, critics accused the LePage administration of using last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris to justify reforms.

“This proposal is really an example of fear-mongering at its worst,” Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, told MPBN News.

But Mayhew does not plan to back down – especially if it means reducing her own influence long-term, and shifting that responsibility to local non-profits.

“I can’t underscore enough that part of the issue is government is too big, my agency is too large, and people are trying to preserve their jobs,” she said.

“We have got to reduce the size and scope of these agencies if we are going to have communities really take on the responsibility of supporting these families and these individuals on those pathways [to independence].”

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*VIDEO* Fox Business GOP Presidential Primary Debate (11/10/15)

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*LIVE STREAMING* Fox Business Republican Presidential Primary Debate (11/10/15 – 9pm ET)



…………………………Click on image above for live stream.

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Participants: Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina

NOTE: Kiddie table debate begins at 7pm and includes the following candidates: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal

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11 Of 23 Obamacare Co-Ops Have Collapsed, Leaving Half A Million More Americans Without Health Insurance

Obamacare Doomsday? ‘Collapses’ Drop Half-Million Americans – WorldNetDaily

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About half of Obamacare’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, have imploded, leaving nearly half-a-million Americans looking for new health coverage.

And instead of addressing the problem, the Obama administration is pretending it doesn’t exist.

That’s the assessment of Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee who recently wrote about the spate of failures in the Wall Street Journal.

“When it passed Congress in 2010, the Affordable Care Act offered substantial financial support to create nonprofit health-insurance plans. Today 11 of the 23 such regional Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans have failed – seven since the beginning of October,” Smith wrote.

“They’ve collapsed despite federal startup loans totaling more than $1.1 billion. These loans will likely never be fully repaid, while insurers and consumers will be on the hook for any unpaid claims left behind by failed insurers,” he added.

The congressman estimates 400,00-500,000 Americans lost their coverage in those 11 failed co-ops.

In an interview with Radio America, Smith says the co-ops were doomed from the start.

“I think they were improperly structured. They were allowed to charge too low a premium, not reflecting the actual costs. They thought the original subsidies – or loans if you will, but let’s face it, they’re subsidies, especially since they’re so unlikely to be repaid. That wasn’t enough,” said Smith, who is fuming more as he learns how these collapses transpired.

“The more I am learning about this entire situation, the more offensive it is, and this is just one part of Obamacare,” Smith said.

The congressman said what galls him most is that the government forced many people out of coverage they liked and then left those same people out in the cold.

“The thing that bothers me the most is when a good, upstanding citizen is doing everything they’re supposed to do to be a responsible individual,” Smith said. “Yet they are faced with canceled coverage, or they’re faced with a penalty for taking care of themselves.”

Adding to Smith’s frustrations is what he believes is utter indifference to the problem from the Obama administration.

“We had a hearing earlier this week, and the chief of staff from [the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services] was our witness,” Smith said. “[Dr. Mandy Cohen] sent the message that everything is just fine in the Obamacare co-op arena.”

He said it’s quite obvious that co-ops are not “just fine.”

“It’s not a win,” Smith said. “Nearly half of the co-ops have collapsed and that’s from New York to Nevada. Ours, with Nebraska and Iowa together, we were the first to collapse a year ago. Now we see them collapsing at a much quicker pace.”

How can the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, say all is well when almost half the co-ops have failed?

“In a very dismissive manner, I have to say, and it’s disappointing,” Smith said. “I started asking questions almost a year ago and HHS is not offering any answers.”

Not only is the government doing little to help, in some circumstances it is actually pushing co-ops to their deaths.

“The administrators of the Nebraska-Iowa plan saw a larger number of people sign up for their plan than they originally anticipated,” Smith said. “So they requested permission from HHS to suspend enrollment, to basically cap that at a number they figured was more manageable. They were prohibited by HHS from capping the number of enrollees.”

The congressman said that hastened the demise of the Nebraska-Iowa co-op. He said HHS did give permission for the Tennessee co-op to cap enrollment, but it collapsed anyway.

In the meantime, Smith is sponsoring legislation that would protect those who lost coverage with the failure of the co-ops from being fined by the IRS for not having coverage as mandated by federal law.

He believes all of Obamacare will eventually crater, but he hopes too many people aren’t hurt in the process.

“Ultimately, I think it collapses under its own weight,” he said. “I just want to do everything I can to minimize the damage in the ensuing time. That’s what weighs heavy on my mind is that the heavy hand of the federal government is actually hurting the very people Barack Obama was saying he was wanting to help.”

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Newly Elected Tea Party Governor Of Kentucky Tells Obama’s EPA To “Pound Sand”

Tea Party Kentucky-Elect Matt Bevin Tells Obama EPA To ‘Pound Sand’ – Politistick

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It was supposed to be a “neck-and-neck” race between Tea Party-backed candidate and political newcomer Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway in the Kentucky gubernatorial race on November 3.

But Bevin crushed Conway by a whopping 9%, 52.5% to 43.8%. It was a bloodbath, with Bevin winning all but just a few counties.

If that wasn’t enough to twerk leftist Democrats and their establishment Republican brethren, the state elected another Tea Party champion, Jenean Hampton, the first black woman ever elected to statewide office in Kentucky.

But it’s not just Democrats and RINO Republicans who are threatened by these new anti-establishment, pro-liberty, pro-Constitution Kentucky leaders.

The unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats from Washington, D.C., who unconstitutionally pass rules, laws and regulations without any vote from Congress, were given a powerful two-word message from Governor-elect Matt Bevin.

The Tea Party favorite Bevin, fresh off his huge victory, appeared on The Glenn Beck Radio Program on Friday and said that in regards to the Obama EPA’s tyrannical and un-American efforts to shut down a great American industry – the coal industry – he will tell the controlist agency to “pound sand.”
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“Why it is that we in Kentucky – that sit on two extraordinary basins, the Illinois basin and the Central basin, an abundance of this – how are we not participating in something that the world wants more of than they ever have?

And so, from my way of thinking, we will tell the EPA and other unelected officials who have no legal authority over us as a state, to pound sand.”

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Bevin told Beck that the Constitution grants the EPA “no authority” over the state, because of the Tenth Amendment, and that the only thing the EPA can do is take the state to court because they have “no enforcement arm.”

Matt Bevin told Glenn Beck that he is fed up with the federal government “bribing us with our own money” and plans on putting a stop to it.

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National Debt Jumps $339B On Day Debt Ceiling Is Lifted

Debt Ceiling Lifted, And The Same Day, Debt Jumps $339B – Washington Examiner

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The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling.

That legislation allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants above the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling that had been in place.

The website that reports the exact tally of the debt said the U.S. government owed $18.153 trillion last Friday, and said that number surged to $18.492 on Monday.

The increase reflects an increasingly common pattern that can be seen in the total U.S. debt level when the debt ceiling is reached.

At the end of 2012, for example, the government hit the debt ceiling, and the Treasury Department was forced to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the government afloat until the ceiling could be increased again. Those measures included decisions to delay issuances of certain debt instruments.

When the ceiling was finally lifted a little more than a month later, the debt jumped $40 billion in a day as the pressure to stay under the ceiling eased, and after nine days, the U.S. was $100 billion deeper in debt.

In February 2013, the debt ceiling was suspended until mid-May. Extraordinary measures were again used through mid October, and the official debt burden hovered in place for more than six months. When the debt ceiling was suspended again in October, the debt exploded by $300 billion the next day.

This time around, the national debt has been frozen at its ceiling of about $18.1 trillion since late January, longer than nine months. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the government had somewhere around $370 billion worth of extraordinary measures to use this time around.

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*VIDEO* Ben Carson: Colorado Christian University

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Yes, America Needs To Be More Like Denmark (Tyler O’Neil)

Yes, America Needs To Be More Like Denmark – Tyler O’Neil

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has a good point – America needs to be more like Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries. But he’s wrong about the reason why. He thinks socialism is the cause of their success, but the true cause is their older free-market culture and their recent efforts to return toward market and economic freedom.

Since the 1990s, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway have expanded private property rights, business freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom. Each of these countries has increased its score on the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, and Denmark now outranks even the United States as a good place to do business.

Sanders sees the size of the Scandinavian welfare states and the relative health and happiness they enjoy, and thinks this correlation proves causation. A deeper look at the history and current affairs of Denmark and the surrounding countries tells a different story, however. These countries’ benefits arguably spring from their free-market pasts, not their brief dalliance with big government.

A Free Market Culture Under Attack

Scandinavian countries are well known for their unusually high levels of trust, a strong work ethic and an emphasis on individual responsibility. These traits are not the result of socialistic welfare states, but the explanation for why such bloated government programs could be implemented in the first place.

“In the early days, the unique culture of success in the Nordic countries meant that high taxes and welfare benefits could be introduced” with the negative side effects delayed, wrote Nima Sanandaji in her 2015 book Scandinavian Unexceptionalism: Culture, Markets and the Failure of Third-Way Socialism. During the early 1900s and following the Great Depression, Scandinavia’s small government and free markets fostered a culture of hard work that paid huge dividends in terms of prosperity.

The success of these countries enabled the government to expand, as the wealth of average citizens allowed them to pay more taxes. More importantly, the culture of hard work meant few people tried to live off of welfare and “game the system.” After big governments were introduced however, the culture changed – for the worse.

The Scandinavians who left for the United States mark this change well – Sanandaji notes that Americans with Nordic ancestry are thriving better than their relatives back in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Contrary to Bernie Sanders’ belief, the 1960s-1990s expansion of welfare states actually held the Nordic countries back.

After their experiment with socialistic welfare states, “Nordic citizens now have unusually high levels of sickness absence (despite being healthy societies), high youth unemployment and a poor record for integrating migrants into the labour force,” Sanandaji explains. Big government has weakened the strong culture which enabled welfare states in the first place, and these countries know it.

In 2013, a Danish woman on welfare made the news. A liberal member of Parliament challenged the free-market politician Joachim B. Olsen to actually visit a single mother of two on welfare, and see how hard her life is.

Olsen took the advice, and learned that being on welfare isn’t so hard after all. The 36-year-old single mother, known as “Carina,” was making more money than many of the country’s full time workers, the New York Times reported. “All told, she was getting about $2,700 a month, and she had been on welfare since she was 16.”

Reforming the System

“With little fuss or political protest – or notice abroad – Denmark has been at work overhauling entitlements, trying to prod Danes into working more or longer or both,” New York Times reporter Suzanne Daley continued.

“The welfare state here has spiraled out of control,” declared Olsen, the reform-minded politician who visited Carina. “It has done a lot of good, but we have been unwilling to talk about the negative side,” he added, saying that discussing the “Carinas” in public has long been considered “taboo.”

Denmark has been hard at work at reform, however. In 2013, it reduced early-retirement plans, and cut the term for unemployment benefits from four years to two. Reformers like Olsen have also pushed for limiting disability checks to those over 40 or with a severe mental or physical condition. In 2013, roughly 240,000 people – nine percent of the potential work force – were receiving disability checks, and about 33,500 of them were under 40.

In recent years, all the Nordic countries have decreased their corporate tax rates – each one is lower than in the United States. They also support free trade, unlike American Socialists like Bernie Sanders, who opposed the 1990s North American Free Trade Agreement.

Becoming More Like Denmark

Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are tiny – and not very diverse – compared to the United States. Denmark is a nation roughly the size of Maryland with the population of Atlanta, and nearly 90 percent of its population is of Danish descent.

Nevertheless, there are clear lessons a huge, diverse country can learn from the recent experiences of these small, homogeneous nations. The biggest lesson might surprise Bernie Sanders – socialism doesn’t work.

A cradle-to-grave welfare state has transformed the strong work ethic of the Scandinavian countries into a sad complacency. People like Carina game the system, and feel no shame in doing so. Indeed, “Lazy Robert” Nielsen, 45, did not even ask for a pseudonym when he told the media that he has been on welfare since 2001. “Luckily, I am born and live in Denmark, where the government is willing to support my life.”

Lene Malmberg, who works part time as a secretary despite a serious brain injury which affects her short-term memory, told the New York Times about her sister, who was receiving benefits and getting more money than Lene was – when she worked full time before the accident. “The system is wrong somehow, I agree,” Lene said. “I wanted to work. But she was a little bit: ‘Why work?’”

People in the Nordic countries are suffering from the ill effects of the very socialism which Bernie Sanders wants to bring to America. They know it doesn’t work, and they are working hard to achieve robust, free-market reforms.

America cannot ever be Denmark, but we should strive to copy their recent reforms. They have woken up to the woes of dependency and big government. They have cut their corporate tax rates and have made their country a better place to do business. We should follow their example and do the same.

So Bernie Sanders is right, let’s copy Denmark.

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Boehner Gives Constituents One Last Kick In The Teeth On His Way Out The Door

Boehner Makes Horrendous Last Minute Debt Deal With Obama – Conservative Intelligence Briefing

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Looks like House Speaker John Boehner is going out with a raise – to the nation’s debt ceiling.

President Obama has struck a deal with Congressional leaders that will again increase America’s debt borrowing limit with no end to the spending in sight…

Boehner, working directly with Obama and his staffers, was vital to the agreement though other Congressional leaders were also involved.

The deal may be voted on Wednesday, which happens to be the same day Paul Ryan may be nominated by the House GOP conference to replace Boehner as Speaker.

According to CNN:

“Bipartisan congressional leaders and the White House struck a major fiscal deal in principle Monday that would raise the debt ceiling and lift budget caps on both defense and domestic programs, according to congressional sources familiar with the deal.

The final details are being ironed out and a bill could be introduced later Monday as negotiators draft the language to prepare for it for vote.

This deal would avoid a potential debt default on November 3, and it would reduce the chances of a government shutdown on December 11.”

Boehner and his office were vital in creating the framework for the debt ceiling increase.

“Boehner’s office negotiated many of the details directly with the White House, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid were also part of the discussions as the framework was developed, according to a source familiar with the talks.”

The article notes House Conservatives vehemently oppose the debt increase deal.

“Conservatives sharply panned the deal.

“It’s emblematic of five years of failed leadership,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan.”

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Leftist-Run Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Has Killed 700 Jobs So Far

Seattle Wage Hike Off To ‘Pretty Bad Start,’ Kills 700 Jobs – Daily Caller

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Seattle, which recently passed a $15 minimum wage, has seen the loss of 700 restaurant jobs despite the rest of the state seeing huge increases, according to a Wednesday report.

In its report, the American Enterprise Institute looked at restaurant job growth in both Seattle and the rest of Washington. The state itself has gained 5,800 industry jobs since January. Seattle, however, lost 700 jobs in the same time. The state minimum wage is $9.47. Back in June Seattle passed its own minimum wage of $15 an hour. The city ordinance is designed to phase in over the course of several years. It will reach $15 an hour by 2017 for most employers.

“One likely cause of the stagnation and decline of Seattle area restaurant jobs this year is the increase in the city’s minimum wage,” the report speculated. “It looks like the Seattle minimum wage hike is getting off to a pretty bad start. Especially considering that restaurant employment in the rest of the state is booming, and nearly 6,000 more restaurant workers are employed today than in January.”

Seattle was the first place to pass a $15 minimum wage measure and became the first major victory for supporters. San Francisco and Los Angeles followed not long after and now many cities have either enacted it or are considering it. Some states are also giving the $15 minimum wage serious consideration. Currently it has not passed on the state level.

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo first announced Sept. 10 his plan for raising the state minimum wage. If enacted, the increase will gradually put New York City to the $15 mark by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. Florida and Massachusetts have also began taking steps to pass it.

The impact minimum wage increases have on workers and employers is in dispute. Critics often argue increasing the minimum wage, especially as high as $15 an hour, will hurt the poor by limiting job opportunities. The problem is businesses need to offset the extra cost of labor by either raising prices or cutting workers. It is particularly troublesome for low-profit industries like restaurants who struggle much more to absorb the extra costs.

Supporters, though, say wage will help the poor by allowing them to afford basic necessities. The increased purchases would than stimulate economic activity. Fight for $15 has been the main advocate behind the push. The union-backed group has utilized rallies and media marketing campaigns in its efforts.

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*VIDEO* Ted Cruz: Iowa Town Hall

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