Nation’s Largest Health Insurer Will No Longer Participate In Several Obamacare Exchanges Following $1B In Losses

Obamacare Meltdown: Health Insurers Suffer Massive Losses – WorldNetDaily

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The nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth, announced Tuesday it has lost at least $1 billion under Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, and it can no longer afford to participate in a number of states, including Arkansas, Georgia and Michigan.

UnitedHealth is just one of the many health-insurance companies sounding the alarm that they will have to drastically hike premiums in the coming year or consider exiting the individual health-care marketplace in the wake of massive losses sustained over the first couple of years under the rules of President Obama’s signature health-care law.

A report in the Hill newspaper quotes Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini as well as multiple policy experts concluding the current track is unsustainable for the private sector insurance. Furthermore, a report from McKinsey & Company shows insurers lost money in the individual market in 41 of 50 states in 2014.

Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner told WND and Radio America she hears the very same thing from health insurance providers.

“I have talked with insurance company CEOs. I’ve talked with people in professional associations,” Turner said. “They’re very worried because they were virtually assured by the Obama administration that the market would have stabilized by now.”

She said this is not only a distress call to policy makers but a warning to consumers that much higher premiums are on the horizon.

“These reports and these announcements and these news stories are really warnings from the insurance industry, ‘Get ready because our premiums are going to have to be much higher if we’re going to continue to participate in the market. And if you tell us that you’re not going to approve those premium increases, we will drop out,’” Turner said.

Turner said insurance companies bought the Obama promise “that there would be enough young, healthy people in the markets to be able to offset the sicker, older people.” But something happened on the way to huge profits guaranteed through the individual mandate.

“The escape hatches [the health-care law] created, the weakness of the individual mandate has meant that they wind up with many more people who are sicker and using many more health care services than anticipated, and the premiums were not set to adjust to that,” Turner explained.

She said the bad financial ideas underpinning the law are being exposed.

“They also thought they were going to get this other money through a lot of risk corridor reinsurance payments as well as the tax credits that people get to purchase premiums,” she said. “So they thought all of those were going to make this a stable market. It’s only a stable market in the sense that the government is propping it up artificially with all these other funds and it’s not enough.”

“The escape hatches [the health-care law] created, the weakness of the individual mandate has meant that they wind up with many more people who are sicker and using many more health care services than anticipated, and the premiums were not set to adjust to that,” Turner explained.

She said the bad financial ideas underpinning the law are being exposed.

“They also thought they were going to get this other money through a lot of risk corridor reinsurance payments as well as the tax credits that people get to purchase premiums,” she said. “So they thought all of those were going to make this a stable market. It’s only a stable market in the sense that the government is propping it up artificially with all these other funds and it’s not enough.”

Turner said insurance companies are also getting crushed by people gaming the system. She said people sign up for coverage, get a lot of expensive health care right away and then cancel their coverage, only to sign up at the same government-guaranteed rate in the next open enrollment period.

She said this whole sea of red ink exposes the fundamental flaws with the law.

“It’s not a sustainable market,” Turner said. “You cannot have government dictating how a market works. Only the market can do that and we’re seeing the failure of government-controlled health care.”

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The insurance industry is likely to elicit few tears from opponents of the Obama health-care law as conservative activists implored companies not to get on board the Obama bandwagon. The industry didn’t listen, but Turner said watching them leave the marketplace is not an option, either.

“We need the private health insurance companies to continue to participate and to offer insurance if we are going to have a private market,” she said. “You don’t want them to fail.”

Turner is hopeful that the issue will get a lot of attention in the 2016 election season. She is confident that despite the rhetoric of some Democratic Party candidates, the American people do not want government-run health care.

“The support for single payer among the American people is as low now as it has ever been in decades,” said Turner, who advocates health competition in the private sector regulated by the states.

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Obamaconomy Update: Surging Gun Sales Created 24,763 Jobs In 2015

Surging Gun Sales Created Nearly 25,000 Jobs In 2015 – Big Government

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The gun industry added 24,763 jobs to the U.S. economy because of the unprecedented surge of gun sales in 2015, according to an estimate by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The economic gain from the “wages, revenues, benefits, and taxes” associated with gun industry jobs boosted the economy by nearly $50 billion and expanded the sector’s role in the national economy by roughly 15 percent compared to 2014, says the NSSF estimate.

According to PIX 11, the jobs added in 2015 were “manufacturing and retail jobs for guns, ammunition and related supplies, like hunting gear.” The best states for such jobs were “Texas, with about 21,386, followed by California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri.”

Breitbart News previously reported that the number of background checks for gun sales began breaking records in 2015 during the month of May.

Records were then broken in June, July, August, all the the way through March 2016, which was the 11th consecutive month of record background checks for gun sales. The streak for record background checks also included Black Friday 2015, which surpassed all previous Black Friday records. A staggering 185,345 background checks were performed on Black Friday alone.

According to FBI figures, a total of 23,141,970 background checks were performed in the U.S. during 2015. That is over 2,000,000 checks higher than the previous record of 21,093,273, set in 2013.

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Over 40% Of Federal Student Loan Recipients Aren’t Making Payments On Their Debts

Shocking Statistic: Over 40% Of Student Borrowers Don’t Make Payments – Zero Hedge

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Over 40 percent of those in student loan programs have stopped making payments. Many borrowers have never made any payments.

The department of education (a useless body that I would eliminate in one second if given the chance), cannot figure out why this is happening.

“We obviously have not cracked that nut but we want to keep working on it,” said Ted Mitchell, the Education Department’s under secretary.

The Wall Street Journal reports More Than 40% of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Payments.
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More than 40% of Americans who borrowed from the government’s main student-loan program aren’t making payments or are behind on more than $200 billion owed, raising worries that millions of them may never repay.

While most have since left school and joined the workforce, 43% of the roughly 22 million Americans with federal student loans weren’t making payments as of Jan. 1, according to a quarterly snapshot of the Education Department’s $1.2 trillion student-loan portfolio.

About 1 in 6 borrowers, or 3.6 million, were in default on $56 billion in student debt, meaning they had gone at least a year without making a payment. Three million more owing roughly $66 billion were at least a month behind.

Meantime, another three million owing almost $110 billion were in “forbearance” or “deferment,” meaning they had received permission to temporarily halt payments due to a financial emergency, such as unemployment. The figures exclude borrowers still in school and those with government-guaranteed private loans.

Navient Corp., which services student loans and offers payment plans tied to income, says it attempts to reach each borrower on average 230 to 300 times – through letters, emails, calls and text messages – in the year leading up to his or her default. Ninety percent of those borrowers, which include federal borrowers as well as those who hold private loans, never respond and more than half never make a single payment before they default, the company says.

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Crisis Easy to Explain

Carlo Salerno, an economist who studies higher education and has consulted for the private student-lending industry, noted that the government imposes virtually no credit checks on borrowers, requires no cosigners and doesn’t screen people for their preparedness for college-level course work. “On what planet does a financing vehicle with those kinds of terms and those kinds of performance metrics make sense,” he said.

I could easily come up with numerous reasons off the top of my head.
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1. Being in the workforce and having a job are two different things.

2. Having a job and making enough money to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars is yet another thing.

3. Some feel cheated by the system, as well they should.

4. Many have figured out the consequences of default are small. The worst that can happen is wage garnishment. Should that happen, one can always find another low-paying job, buying time until they are discovered again.

5. Some never intended to pay back the loans in the first place. To those borrowers, it’s all free money for a few years. They will stay in school as long as they can. If by some miracle they actually graduate (or are kicked out), they never make a payment.

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Blame Bush!

A large portion of the blame for this mess goes to George W. Bush. Seriously.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act enacted April 20, 2005 made it much more difficult to discharge debts in bankruptcy.

Among other things, “BAPCPA amended the law to broaden the types of educational (“student”) loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy absent proof of “undue hardship.” The nature of the lender became irrelevant. Even loans from “for-profit” or “non-governmental” entities are not dischargeable.

The Deflation Guarantee Act of 2005

I predicted this mess when Bush signed the bill. As proof, I offer The Deflation Guarantee Act of 2005.

Here are my lead paragraphs as I wrote them at the time.
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Today Congress passed the “The Deflation Guarantee Act of 2005” currently known as the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005”. Twenty years from now economists are going to be studying legislation from this Congress and signed by this administration and be wondering: “What the * were they thinking?”.

Consumer Protection Act? LMAO

Anytime this administration passes a law with the “protection” in it, assume it will do just the opposite.

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Student Debt Highly Deflationary

I have wanted to refer back to that post on numerous occasions.

I had not done so previously because I strongly dislike my writing style in those days. I frequently used chat room talk like “LMAO” (laughing my ass off), in those early posts.

There are other aspects of my 2005 post that I dislike as well. However, I nailed the idea correctly. Student debt is a hugely deflationary force.

In the wake of that act (albeit with a bit of a delay), we saw massive amounts of seemingly reckless lending to students. Because of government guarantees, lenders did not give a damn who they lent to.

For profit universities flourished. Abuses at the University of Phoenix became rampant. And because of various lending programs that followed, education costs soared as well.

Those debts cannot be paid back, and household formation has gone into reverse. Students moved back home after graduation, and attitudes on debt have changed.

These are all debt deflation forces.

Modest Fee Request

The Department of Education will no doubt waste millions of taxpayer dollars studying this issue, only to come up with the wrong answers because students will lie.

Will anyone realistically admit “I never intended to pay back these loans”?

My modest fee for this analysis is a mere $250,000. Of that amount, I pledge $249,999.99 to the Khan Academy.

All I ask is a penny for my thoughts, saving taxpayers countless millions in useless department of education studies.

For more on the Khan Academy please see Teaching Revolution: Online, Accredited, Free; Start Learning Now!

Obama’s Role

President Obama does not escape criticism for his efforts to fuel the problem.

Here’s my blast at Obama: For Profit Schools Turn Students Into Debt Zombies; It’s Time To Kill The Entire Pell Grant Program.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but I have not seen a single person take this crisis back to the logical origin, the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005” making student debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

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Obamanomics Update: U.S. Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low – 16 Consecutive Months Of Declines

Manufacturing Recession Deepens: Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low; 16 Consecutive Declines – Zero Hedge

In 60 years, the U.S. economy has not suffered a 16-month continuous YoY drop in Factory orders without being in recession. Moments ago the Department of Commerce confirmed that this is precisely what the U.S. economy did, when factory orders not only dropped for the 16th consecutive month Y/Y, after declining 1.7% from last month…

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…but at $454 billion for the headline number, this was the lowest print since the summer of 2011.

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Market reaction: stocks rebound on the news and are now well in the green.

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Obama In Argentina: Communism, Socialism And Capitalism Are All The Same (Video)

Obama Has His Say on Communism, Socialism And Capitalism… They’re All The Same – Independent Sentinel

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Barack Obama told an audience of Argentinian youth that the differences between socialism and capitalism make interesting conversation but just pick whatever works. The ideological-left U.S. president suddenly doesn’t have an affinity for ideology.

He said in the past there was a sharp division between communists, socialists and capitalists but that is merely an intellectual argument and it’s not so today.

The Marxist in the White House is erasing the lines between two dangerous ideologies and the one that made the U.S. great, just as he erased our borders. This is a man who would be at home in communist China.

“So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate,” Obama said at the Buenos Aires town hall.

“Those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it really fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works.”

For Obama, high taxation, wild spending, government agency domination over the people and heavy regulations work which tells you what he is.

Obama made his comments in response to a question about establishing nonprofit community organizations and said it’s important to get government and private sector investment, which for him is a sketchy relationship between Wall Street and DC.

“To president Castro, I said you’ve made great progress in educating young people [Cuban dictators indoctrinate its youth]. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education. Medical care, the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States despite it being a very poor country because they have access to health care. That’s a huge achievement,” he said about the repressive regime. “They should be congratulated. But you drive around Havana and you see the economy is not working. It looks like it did in the 1950s.”

The US president likes socialism but also likes the capitalism, both of which he has subscribed to for the last seven years.

Then he told them not to rigidly adhere to labels as if the systems of socialism and capitalism are mere labels.

“You have to be practical in asking yourself, How do you achieve the goals of equality and inclusion, but also recognize the market system produces a lot of wealth and goods and services and innovation and it also gives individuals freedom because they have initiative, depending on the social issues you are trying to address, what works? What you’ll find is the most successful societies and economies are the ones that are rooted in a market-based system but also realize a market does not work by itself. It has to have a social and moral and ethical and community basis.”

His love of wealth redistribution and social [unfair] justice trumps all.

During his trip, he told the Cuban dictator that his revolution was like ours – it was a liberation movement – and he told Argentinians earlier in the week that he is frustrated with the separation of powers.
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Related article:

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FLASHBACK 2012: Socialist Or Fascist – Thomas Sowell

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous – something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely – and correctly – regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book “Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot – and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people – like themselves – need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…”

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

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Related video:

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Thanks Barack… Federal Government Flushed $1.2B Down Failed ObamaCare CO-OPs

Feds Flushed $1.2 Billion Down Failed ObamaCare CO-OPs – Moonbattery

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The long election season that has already degenerated into a circus is a boon for Democrats. It keeps most people distracted from how ObamaCare is unfolding:
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More than half of the government-funded nonprofit health insurers created by Obamacare have failed, sticking taxpayers with a $1.2 billion tab and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in more than a dozen states scrambling for medical coverage, a new federal audit reveals. The nonprofit insurers are known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (CO-OP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has pumped $2.4 billion into them under the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system.

Congress initially allocated $6 billion for the Obamacare CO-OP program, with the goal of establishing CO-OPs in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Thankfully, subsequent legislation slashed funding for the ill-fated experiment. In all, HHS has funded 23 of these dubious enterprises and 12 have already gone under after losing an astounding $1.2 billion that’s unlikely to ever be recovered. As a result 740,000 people in 14 states must search for new medical coverage they thought they had under the disastrous Obamacare plan. Every resident of the United States who pays taxes should be outraged by this monstrous failure, exposed in great detail in a scathing report published by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The committee’s probe reveals that, even when the CO-OPs showed clear signs of financial failure, HHS kept giving them huge amounts of money in the form of “loans” the agency knew would never be repaid.

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Statists believe that anything can be made to work if you infuse it with enough of other people’s money. But as Margaret Thatcher observed, eventually you run out of that.

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Ed’s Cabinet/Agency Leadership Suggestions For A Potential Trump/Cruz Administration


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EXECUTIVE OFFICES
President: Donald Trump – Real Estate Tycoon
Vice President: Ted Cruz – U.S. Senator

CABINET/OTHER KEY OFFICES
Chief Of Staff: Jeffrey Lord – Former Associate Political Director For The Reagan Administration
Secretary Of State: John Bolton – Former U.S. Ambassador To The United Nations
Attorney General: Trey Gowdy – U.S. Congressman
Secretary Of Defense: James Mattis – Retired 4-Star Marine Corps General
Secretary Of Homeland Security: Frank Gaffney – Founder And President Of The Center For Security Policy
Secretary Of Treasury: Thomas Sowell – Senior Fellow At The Hoover Institution
Secretary Of Education: Newt Gingrich – Former Speaker Of The U.S. House Of Representatives
Secretary Of Health And Human Services: Ben Carson – Former Director Of Pediatric Neurosurgery At Johns Hopkins Medical Center
Director Of National Intelligence: Keith Alexander – Retired 4-Star Army General
Secretary Of Veterans Affairs: Allen West – Former U.S. Congressman
Secretary Of Transportation: Ted Houghton – Former Chairman Of The Texas Transportation Commission
Secretary Of Energy: Tom Tanton – Executive Director Of The American Tradition Institute
Secretary Of The Interior: Sarah Palin – Former Governor Of Alaska
Director Of Immigration And Customs Enforcement: Joe Arpaio – Sheriff Of Maricopa County, Arizona
Chairman Of The Federal Reserve: Mark Thornton – Senior Fellow At The Ludwig Von Mises Institute
Director Of The Office Of Management And Budget: Romina Boccia – Grover M. Hermann Fellow In Federal Budgetary Affairs For The Heritage Foundation
U.S. Trade Representative: Carl Icahn – Business Magnate
Press Secretary: Lou Dobbs – Television News Commentator

OFFICES THAT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED
Department Of Agriculture
Department Of Commerce
Department Of Labor
Department Of Housing And Urban Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

NEW OFFICES THAT SHOULD BE CREATED
Secretary Of Free Market Capitalism: Arthur Brooks – President Of The American Enterprise Institute
Director Of Government Downsizing: Thomas Schatz – President Of Citizens Against Government Waste

POTENTIAL SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEES
William Pryor – Judge On The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The Eleventh Circuit
Diane Sykes – Judge On The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The Seventh Circuit
Roy Moore – Chief Justice Of The Alabama Supreme Court
A. Raymond Randolph – Judge On The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The Washington, DC Circuit

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Leftist Utopia Update: Rich People Want Homeless Removed From San Francisco Tent City

The Rich And Elite Want Homeless Removed From San Francisco Tent City – Weasel Zippers

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A liberal utopia can’t have a reminder of their failed policies.

Via San Jose Mercury News:
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Homeless people have until the end of Friday to vacate a rambling tent city along a busy San Francisco street declared a health hazard by city officials earlier this week.

Sam Dodge, the mayor’s point person on homelessness, said Friday that about 40 tents remained, down from a high of 140 this winter. The tents have lined both sides of a street under a freeway overpass for months, drawing complaints from residents and businesses.

San Francisco has long had a problem housing its homeless, but tensions have been exacerbated by a shortage of affordable housing amid a tech-based jobs boom.

Earlier this month, a founder of a technology startup posted a letter to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee complaining that he “shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people” on his way to work.

The letter, which went viral, was soundly mocked on social media for its whiny lack of sensitivity but writer Justin Keller is not alone in demanding the city do more about homelessness.

People who live near the tent city, for example, testified at a city hall hearing on Thursday that they were afraid to step outside their homes due to aggressive behavior.

The homeless and their advocates say they need more services and homes for the unhoused.

“I’m not going to let somebody run me out of somewhere where I’ve made my home,” said camper Patrita Tripp, as she dished cold beef pasta out of a can earlier this week. “Where am I supposed to go?”

On Friday morning, city workers sprayed bleach and power-washed one side of the multi-lane street as campers packed up some half-dozen tents. City outreach workers are prodding many to move into a large canopy shelter on Pier 80 that has 150 sleeping mats.

Keep reading

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Ed’s List Of The 20 Greatest Documents Ever Written


1.) The Bible – Both Old And New Testaments

2.) The Unanimous Declaration Of The Thirteen United States Of America – aka The Declaration Of Independence

3.) The Constitution Of The United States Of America

— The Following 17 Are Submitted In No Particular Order Of Importance —

Magna Carta Libertatum

The Principia: Mathematical Principles Of Natural Philosophy (Isaac Newton)

The Wealth Of Nations (Adam Smith)

The Republic (Plato)

Relativity: The Special And The General Theory (Albert Einstein)

The Road To Serfdom (Friedrich Hayek)

Common Sense, The Rights Of Man And Other Essential Writings (Thomas Paine)

The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare

The Histories (Herodotus)

The Art Of War (Sun Tzu)

The Iliad/The Odyssey (Homer)

The Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri)

Thus Spake Zarathustra (Friedrich Nietzsche)

The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)

Leviathan (Thomas Hobbes)

The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)

A Treatise Of Human Nature (David Hume)

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Leftist Louisiana Governor: No More LSU Football If Budget Isn’t Balanced – His Solution? More Taxes

Louisiana Gov. Edwards: Balance Budget Or No LSU Football Next Year – CNS

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In a televised address to the state Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said that “you can say farewell to college football next fall” if the state doesn’t fix a near $2 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year.

“If the legislature fails to act and we are forced to proceed with these cuts the LSU Ag Center and parish extension offices in every parish, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center will close by April 1st and the LSU main campus in Baton Rouge will run out of money after April 30th,” Edwards said. “Many students will not be able to graduate, and student athletes across the state at those schools will be ineligible to play next semester. That means you can say farewell to college football next fall.”

Edwards noted in his speech, as found on NOLA.com, that the LSU system is not the only one in danger. Thanks to the $940 million budget deficit that Louisiana faces this fiscal year and the $2 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year, the Southern University System, University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System are in the same boat.

“Without legislators approving new revenue this special session, some campuses will be forced to declare financial bankruptcy, which would include massive layoffs and the cancellation of classes,” stated Edwards.

According to Edwards, the budget deficit threatens other universities the state’s healthcare system and the New Opportunity Waiver program, a program for families with developmental disabilities.

To help bridge the gap Edwards said he plans to increase alcohol and cigarette taxes and also intends to add an extra penny to the state’s four cent sales tax, which he claimed isn’t permanent.

“I am proposing this penny as a bridge that will give us time to stabilize and restructure our state’s tax code,” remarked Edwards. “When that restructuring is complete, this penny sales tax will be removed.”

Alongside tax increases, Edwards called for reducing tax credits, suspending corporate tax deductions and making further cuts in an effort to stabilize the budget. Edwards said this would include a hiring freeze and more than $160 million in cuts in government spending.

He also proposed using $128 million from the rainy day fund and $200 million from non-coastal BP payments.

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The most Ironic Irony of all

Marxists like  Bernie Sanders love to accuse the rich and all Capitalists of being greedy, but as Chris Wysocki points out they are the true greedy grabbers

Bernie Sanders’ New Hampshire victory speech in a nutshell: We want what you’ve got.

For the life of me I can’t understand how any red-blooded American can sit there and stomach such nonsense.

The guy’s never worked a Real Job in his life. Or rather, he failed miserably at every job, except politics. Yet he believes he’s entitled to take from those of us who didn’t fail and live large off our efforts.

You can call it Socialism. You can dress it up as “fairness,” except it really isn’t all that “fair” to the guy forking over his hard-earned money.

What it really is, is Theft.

And what is theft but greed by another name? The Bible calls it “coveting.” And that’s the essense of Bernie’s socialism. He covets his neighbor’s goods. He envies your and my success. And his goal is to take what we have, by force.

How that is somehow better than the system we have now is left unanswered. Hipsters don’t do irony, right?

So, riddle me this. Why should Bernie stop at Free College and Free Health Care and Free Housing and Free Drugs and Free Love? Why not Free Flat Screen TVs? Or Free Cars?

Bernie’s vision of government is to meet everyone’s “needs” without regard for their efforts or abilities. Marxism 101. Go ahead, look it up.

That’s not “fairness.” It’s never been about “fairness.” It’s always, and I mean always resulted in abject misery, except for the Chosen Few.

Dropping the truth folks!

Thanks Barack… Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750M In Obamacare Subsidies

Senate Report: Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750 Million In Obamacare Subsidies – Weasel Zippers

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Didn’t Obama say illegal aliens would not be getting subsidies?

Via Fox News:
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Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.

The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums. It found that as of June 2015, “the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.”

Keep reading

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Obamanomics Update: President Asshat Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017

Obama Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017; New Taxes And Spending – CNS

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President Barack Obama is unveiling his eighth and final budget, a $4 trillion-plus proposal that’s freighted with liberal policy initiatives and new and familiar tax hikes – all sent to a dismissive Republican-controlled Congress that simply wants to move on from his presidency.

The budget will be released Tuesday morning, the same day as the New Hampshire primary when it’s likely to get little attention. It comes as the deficit, which had been falling over the duration of Obama’s two terms, has begun to creep up, above the half-trillion mark.

The White House is countering the worsening deficit outlook with a proposed $10-per barrel tax on oil that would finance “clean” transportation projects. It also is sure to propose taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Long gone are proposals such as slowing the automatic inflation increase for Social Security benefits and other ideas once aimed at drawing congressional Republicans into negotiations on a broader budget deal.

Now, Obama has broken out a budget playbook filled with ideas sure to appeal to Democrats: A “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer; increasing Pell Grants for college students from low-income backgrounds; renewed incentives for GOP-governed states to join the expanded Medicaid system established under the health care law, and incentives to boost individual retirement accounts.

The $10-per-barrel tax hike proposal comes as the price of crude has dropped to the $30 per barrel range.

“We’re going to impose a tax on a barrel of oil – imported, exported – so that some of that revenue can be used for transportation, some of that revenue can be used for the investments in basic research and technology that’s going to be needed for the energy sources of the future,” Obama said. “Then 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, we’re going to be in a much stronger position when oil starts getting tight again, prices start going up again.”

Republicans, however, immediately rejected the idea after its release last week and it will meet the fate of prior dead-on-arrival proposals such as increasing capital gains taxes on the wealthy, imposing a fee on big banks, and cutting the value of charitable deductions for upper-income taxpayers. Higher cigarette taxes and a minimum 30 percent rate for wealthier filers have also gone nowhere.

Obama’s proposed tax increases also mean that he can present relatively reasonable deficit estimates without having to go for painful cuts to benefit programs such as Medicare, health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, food stamps, and Medicaid health care for the poor.

The budget deficit, after hitting a whopping $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year, dropped to a relatively manageable $439 billion last year. But a softening economic outlook, combined with a round of tax cuts and increased spending enacted by Congress last year, will make the deficit problem about $1.5 trillion worse over the coming 10 years, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimate.

CBO’s “baseline” deficit – what it expects would occur if Congress does nothing – would now total almost $10 trillion over the coming decade.

The White House hasn’t revealed what, if anything, Obama will propose to address the worsening deficit picture. In its budget roll-out, the White House has instead focused on new spending initiatives. The plan is also likely to call for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, highly unlikely in an election year.

On Monday, Obama proposed $1.8 billion to combat the Zika virus, asking for the money immediately as emergency spending on top of the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that passed in December. The virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. While most people experience either mild or no symptoms, Zika is suspected of causing a devastating birth defect – babies born with abnormally small heads – and the funding is aimed at fighting its spread both abroad and in the U.S.

Obama has largely shifted his focus elsewhere. After winning a higher income tax rate in 2013 on couples earning more than $400,000 per year, Obama and Republicans have battled over relatively small increases to the less than one-third of the budget passed by Congress each year. Republicans seeking higher spending for the Pentagon have been forced to accept Obama’s demands for additional funds for domestic agencies.

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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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