Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obama Job’s Bill Includes Huge Cuts to Medicare and Increase to Oil Fees in Attempt to Extend Unemployment Benefits through November.

Greek Riots in Greece - With continued spending this could be Washington. photo zimbio

Apparently, in a measure to reduce the jobs bill by $50 Billionwhich includes cuts to Medicare reimbursement to physicians, and increase in oil fees, and a reduction of one month in unemployment benefit extensions. The bill, with an original price tag of $190 billion, cut one vital program and increased a tax that will impact the price of oil, in order to attract enough votes from so called “moderates” in order to push another huge spending bill through Congress before the June recess.

The cut in Medicare payments to physicians is most worrisome to seniors, and the physicians who are at the receiving end of yet another stimulus. Although Congresshad promised there would be no cuts to Medicare, and the President, according to the AP, sent out “a glossy brochure to reassure seniors the health care program is on solid ground”, the jobs bill, with heavy pressure from unions, contains a reduction of $21.8 billion in Medicare reimbursements, from the $65 billion commitment made to physicians and seniors. In addition the funds are only guaranteed for a portion of the original time dictated by the administration (Politico).

Democrats are now referring to this cut as a “freeze”.

Most worrisome is the input from Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, who apparently feels that the growing deficit is of less import than extending unemployment benefits. (Politico) McEntee, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, opined in a recent piece that there is an assault on Public Employees. The clueless Union Talking head has apparently missed the New York Times article, which discussed the gap in pensions for public employees versus those in the private sector (and lack of transparency): “about 3,700 retired public workers in New York are now getting pensions of more than $100,000 per year, exempt from state and local taxes”.

Meanwhile, Europe scrambles to avoid financial collapse (see Greece) in France, the government is raising the retirement age to 60 in order to stave off huge deficits. It may be recalled that Greece, with outrageous entitlement programs that it could no longer sustain, was recently bailed out by the U.S. government.

One should ask those Union leaders and the clueless horde that currently runs our government, who might bail out the U.S. should our entitlement programs (already unsustainable in most states) are summarily cut? New Jersey Governor, Chris Christy is battling to cut the state deficit, and warns that New Jersey is one step away from being “Greece”. He is currently ignoring the state union employees who had rallied on the Statehouse steps against the budget cuts. Chris Christie “gets it”.

While the Administration and the Democrat Controlled Congress are about to cut essential services to the nations senior, place a tax on oil that will impact both seniors and those on fixed incomes nationwide, in order to pacify the unions, one has to ask when the proverbial “light bulb” will finally appear over the heads of the committed Progressives who are so pro-union, they cannot see the forest through the trees. There will be no bailout of the U.S. period. We can, as a nation, only sustain so much debt before serious cuts must be made, and taxes reduced on those very same businesses so vilified by the union talking heads, that create jobs. John F. Kennedy got it, Ronald Reagan got it, even George W. Bush got it – for some reason, Progressives never get it, instead, they cry foul of the corporations whose very existence created jobs for the likes of union bosses.

The big what if? Certain economists believe that the Chinese Economy is not on solid ground, and the real estate market there is experiencing some difficulty, in addition they face rising unemployment. Given the fact that the China holds the biggest percentage of U.S. Debt (allowing the Democrats to continue to spend like no tomorrow), should that country’s economic system experience a hiccup – they would no longer be in a position to bail us out. Europe is in a shambles – there is literally no place to turn.

What needs to be done now is not minor surgery to yet another tax and spend bill, rather serious cuts to every segment of the Federal government and a reduction in entitlement programs, coupled with across the board tax cuts. This is not an overnight fix, it takes time to bring back those businesses Mr. McEntee accuses of leaving the U.S. jobless in pursuit of non-union employees in other nations that offer real tax breaks. One other remedy that should be on the table – disband the unions that protect individuals in jobs where there is absolutely no risk to life and limb. Any left standing should be federally mandated to ensure that dues are used only for retirement programs and plans for its members. (Not hefty salaries and donations to political parties, as is now the case, on the back s of those same union members McEntee is allegedly tyring to protect) Salaries to so-called union officials and union management should be capped, period. Someone has to have the courage to make major change to the current program, which is highly unlikely given the current administration and like-minded Congress. The only remedy at this point is the ballot box. November cannot come soon enough.

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