Category Archives: Economy

ObamaCare fallout: As premiums rise, so does cost to taxpayers

Going as planned.


From Fox News: The Obama administration is trying to calm the panic over soaring ObamaCare premiums by pointing to subsidies many will receive to offset the cost — but analysts and GOP lawmakers counter that those subsidies nevertheless will stick taxpayers with a rising bill. 

With enrollment set to begin Nov. 1, the administration announced Monday that premiums are set rise an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market. Some states, such as Arizona, will see premiums jump by as much as 116 percent.

Department of Health and Human Services officials are stressing that subsidies provided under the law, which are designed to rise alongside premiums, will insulate most customers from sticker shock.

But the rising cost of subsidies, which already totals tens of billions a year, would be passed on to the taxpayer.

“Taxpayers are already in for a lot,” Tom Miller, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told “The cost doesn’t go away, it just goes into someone else’s pocket.”

In a March report, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that subsidies given to enrollees in 2016 would amount to $43 billion in 2016, and predicted the cost would rise to $106 billion by 2026. It also said that over 10 years, ObamaCare provisions would reduce the deficit thanks to tax provisions and cuts to Medicare. That was before the latest announcement by the administration. It’s unclear how exactly the looming premium hikes will affect that picture, though Republicans are now seeking new estimates.

Analysts say it’s safe to assume taxpayer costs will rise. Miller noted that HHS reported an average subsidy of $291 per month in 2016. A 25 percent increase in premiums would theoretically translate into an extra $73 per month, or about $870 a year per person.

you don't say

“If you assume conservatively that there’s 10 million people getting subsidies, that’s an extra $8.5 billion in extra costs taxpayers are getting hit by going into next year,” he said.

Other experts warned this is likely to continue as long as premiums keep rising. “Its real simple, premiums are going up and up, and subsidies are going to go up with them,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and a former CBO director, told

The Department for Health and Human Services, when asked for comment by, noted that the law’s coverage provisions are set to cost 28 percent less in 2019 than the CBO originally projected, amounting to about $49 billion less than originally predicted when the law was signed in 2010. A spokesman also said the same office predicted that repealing the law would increase the deficit by approximately $350 billion over 10 years.

Holtz-Eakin urged caution on the administration’s analysis. “It’s been a mixed pattern, because the enrollments haven’t been what they expected so it hasn’t been as big of an impact financially,” he said. “The bad news is that spending per person is much higher than anticipated due to subsidy increases because of premium hikes.”

Obama signs Obamacare bill

One of the biggest ObamaCare costs to taxpayers has been absorbed into the Medicaid budget, paid for by both state and federal governments. As a sweetener to get states to go along with the plan, the federal government offered to pick up the cost of expanding Medicaid eligibility up to 133 percent of the poverty line. That siphoned low income — and expensive – customers away from ObamaCare exchanges, seemingly contributing to its current solvency. But that cost – in the hundreds of billions — also is borne by taxpayers.

The CBO projected in 2013 that, in part due to ObamaCare, federal Medicaid spending would more than double over the next 10 years, topping $554 billion by 2023. State governments pay another $160 billion toward Medicaid. “Volume has been greater in Medicaid, and per person costs have been much higher than expected,” Edmund Haislmaier, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told

Sensing a spike in taxpayer costs, the Republican-led House Committee on Energy and Commerce has written to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services demanding how much taxpayer money will be spent subsidizing the cost of rising premiums.

“While the Administration continues to focus on premium ‘affordability,’ it ignores the undeniable fact that federal taxpayers are subsidizing these premium increases through tax credits,” the letter from Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., says. “The Committee is concerned that the federal taxpayer continues to bear the burden of subsidizing the growing cost of health care insurance.”

The committee is demanding estimates of the amount of money spent covering rising premiums by Nov. 7.



Fisher-Price apologizes to mom disgusted by ‘girl’ toy

First-world problems.


From Sacramento Bee: Gina Zuk Gerber did not like what she saw recently when she was shopping in the toy aisle. She shared her displeasure on Facebook, and now toy giant Fisher-Price has apologized to the Baltimore mom, promising to fix the “girl” toy that caused her displeasure.

“My son’s favorite toys growing up were Little People. I always just grabbed the fire truck or barn and didn’t think much about it. Today when shopping for toys for Anna I was disgusted to see the ‘girl’ versions of Little People,” Gerber recently wrote on her Facebook page.

“The only ones with all girl figures were all smothered in pink and purple, they worked in interesting places like the ‘home,’ and they all lacked the multiple educational elements the ‘boys’ toys had.”

The offensive toy...

The offensive toy…

But this is what really set her off: a plastic SUV with a mom doll. “Please note tagline ‘time for yoga and a smoothie.’” Gerber wrote. “It’s 2016 people. Fisher Price needs to step … up and show women working in all types of fields and in leadership roles.”

Gerber’s post quickly went viral among other moms who felt the same way. “Because all women do is yoga and sip smoothies,” one woman wrote. “Oh Fisher Price you screwed up big time!”

Redbook magazine took a swipe at the toymaker, too, writing that girls can be “more than just SUV-driving stay-at-home-moms.”

“Sure, the dutiful stay-at-home mom breaking a sweat from cooking some fatty meat has ‘progressed,’ for lack of a better word, to a health-conscious mom who cavorts about town in a care-free manner, scheduling workout classes and sucking down smoothies to better herself rather than please someone else,” the magazine noted.

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

“But it’s still representative of one kind of mom: a stay-at-home mom, which, while fine to be, shouldn’t be the only possibility illustrated to young girls. After all, they can be much, much more.”

The company told ABC News that “as a result of Ms. Gina Gerber’s advocacy, we are planning to make a running change to both the package and audio chip.”

Fisher-Price also sent Gerber a direct message on Twitter, The New York Daily News reports. “You’re absolutely right; we could have done a better job,” the company wrote to her. “You’ve inspired us to change the phrase the toy says, and also the words we call out on the package. . . We’re getting to work on that now!”

The company also reiterated its commitment to breaking down stereotypes in its toys. “You can find a female Little People firefighter, dentist, mail carrier, farmer, and in 2017 you’ll see our Little People friends branch out even more with both female and male characters in professional and community service roles such as servicemen and women, doctors and dentists, athletes, construction workers and others,” the company told Gerber.

A male writer at took Gerber to task for making much ado about nothing, “bullying” the company into making an unnecessary change and for taking her case “to the only place that would care if a dumb toy was offensive, Facebook of course.”

Gerber told ABC she doesn’t have anything against yoga, but was still offended by the insinuation that yoga and smoothies are a big part of motherhood. “Maybe it’s one relaxing moment in a day, but it’s definitely not representative of being a mom,” she told ABC.


Texas soccer coach, an undocumented immigrant, accused of abusing 8 players

The illegal alien/Fox 4 Photo

The illegal alien/Fox 4 Photo

From Fox News: A soccer coach in Texas was arrested after he was accused of sexually abused eight of his players — boys between 10 and 15. Police say more players are likely to come forward.

Marcos Ramos, an undocumented immigrant illegal alien living in Corsicana, Texas, is also is wanted in his native Guatemala for sexually assaulting children, police said. He faces three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and five counts of indecency with a child.

Investigators say he has been fooling people for years, finding work under assumed names. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement has placed an immigration hold on Ramos, Fox4 Dallas reported.

Police said Ramos fled Central America and entered the U.S. illegally, first settling in Houston, where he coached a boys’ soccer team. Houston has issued a warrant for his arrest for aggravated sexual assault charges. But he’s facing more charges in Corsicana, where he’s coached recreational soccer for the past four years.

The soccer coach lived across the street from a middle school and close to the team’s practice field. Ramos only coached recreational teams, never for a school.

A woman who lived next door to Ramos who has a 15-year-old son and requested anonymity told Fox4 that she took Ramos to the store last Christmas to help him buy gifts for his team.  “It breaks my heart, because that could have been my kid,” she explained.

Corsicana police have not revealed what aliases Ramos has used.

The station reported that the group of players that has accused the coach is now about two years older than at the time of the abuse, police say. One of the older kids came forward and persuaded other boys to speak out about Ramos, police said.


Michael Moore calls all Donald Trump supporters ‘legal terrorists’

response to Michael Moore

From Daily Mail: Donald Trump supporters are furious at Michael Moore for branding them ‘legal terrorists’.

The filmmaker used the term in an interview with Rolling Stone published Friday, saying that Trump would ‘blow up the system’ and his voters would ‘participate in the detonation’.

Moore also compared Trump to a pedophile, saying voters had to protect America from the GOP nominee the way children should be protected from molesters.

His movie ‘Michael Moore In Trumpland’, which Moore has called his October surprise, came out earlier this week after just 11 days of development.

Moore, once a fervent Bernie Sanders supporter who has now endorsed Hillary Clinton, told the LA Times he hoped the film would convince ‘the depressed Hillary voter’ to cast a ballot on November 8.

‘Michael Moore In Trumpland’ is based on a one-man show that Moore performed earlier this month in Wilmington, Ohio. The show revolves mostly around Moore’s support of Clinton – but he denied having written it in the hopes of converting devoted Trump supporters.

‘I did not want the racists or the crazies in there or we would have never gotten the show done,’ he told Rolling Stone. Instead, Moore said, he wanted to strike a chord with voters who typically support Democrats but where thinking of casting their ballot for Trump.

‘I want them to think about the damage they could do by being a legal terrorist on November 8th,’ Moore said. Rolling Stone asked if the words ‘legal terrorist referred to any Trump voter or to anyone in particular. Moore replied: ‘Any.’

‘Legally, you have a right to vote on November 8th. You can go in there and even though you’re not necessarily in favor of Trump and you don’t like him that much and you know he’s a little crazy, you also know he’s going to blow up the system,’ Moore added.

‘The system that took your job and house away from you. You get to get back at the system now and blow it up and this is the only day you can do it legally.  He’s told everybody that’s what he’s going to do. He’s the outsider who is going to ride into town and blow up the old way.’

‘So you, as a voter, get to participate in the detonation. He’s going to get a lot of votes from people who actually just want to sit back and watch the thing blow up.

What's really about to blow up...

What’s really about to blow up…

Moore later called the GOP nominee a ‘sociopath’ and said Trump had a mental illness – to the point where Moore didn’t feel comfortable ‘picking on’ Trump anymore and wanted him to get help. 

‘At the same time, you have to protect the population from him like you do with a pedophile,’ Moore said. ‘A pedophile doesn’t need to be in prison; they’re sick. They have to be separated from us so they don’t hurt children. But you have to treat it that way.’

Furious Trump voters blasted Moore’s comments on Twitter. One called Moore a ‘pathetic thing’, another accused him of being ‘terrified’, and a third tweeted a story about Moore with the words ‘IDIOT ALERT’.

User Merle Patterson wondered: ‘So, Americans have #rightofchoice, unless it’s #Trump?’ Another Twitter user, Dan Foster, wrote: ‘like Michael Moore would know anything about patriotism or reality.’ Real estate broker Greg Bennett compared Moore to a ‘butt itch’, adding: ‘it’s there but you can’t scratch it, just annoying.’

Brunell Donald-Kyei, a Trump supporter and the vice-chair of the national diversity coalition for Trump, blasted Moore’s comments on Fox News, accusing ‘anyone that votes for Hillary Clinton’ of ‘aiding and abetting a felon’.


Women – anti-Trumpers – Are Boycotting Ivanka Trump’s Brand

And how many of these womyn boycotting Ivanka have supported Broaddrick, Jones or Wiley? Yeah, didn’t think so.


From Cosmopolitan Magazine: Lindsey Ledford, a 29-year-old student at the University of Maryland-University College, is a self-described “Maxxinista” who shops at her local College Park, Maryland, T.J. Maxx at least three times per week. But about a week ago, her favorite store abruptly lost her business: Ledford was checking out a black blouse with a stripe down the center when, suddenly, she felt like her throat was closing and she couldn’t breathe.

 “My first thought was, Grab them by the pussy. We can do anything we want. Don’t even ask,” Ledford told

The blouse was triggering traumatic flashbacks to physical abuse she’d suffered in the past, and to times she’d been grabbed or groped by men without her consent. “None of them ever asked how I felt, what I was thinking, or what I wanted. They didn’t wait,” she wrote in a flurry of tweets at T.J. Maxx after fleeing the store. “That is what ‘Trump’ means to me,” she told me: complete disregard for women and their bodies. “It doesn’t matter if Ivanka’s name is in front of it, or Donald’s.”


Speaking of disregard for women…

Ledford is now one of a passionate group of women joining forces to boycott both the Ivanka Trump fashion and accessories brand and, unless they drop Ivanka’s line from stores, the retailers who carry it. The list includes T.J. Maxx,, Zappos, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, DSW, Macy’s, Marshall’s, and Saks Off Fifth. “As much as I love shopping at T.J. Maxx, I can’t stomach seeing that name front and center,” she said. “Supporting a brand — Trump — that condones sexual assault and makes excuses for it is wrong.” (Ledford also logged a complaint with a phone call to customer service; she said a rep politely listened and promised to pass along her feedback.)


Shannon Coulter on a mission against Ivanka

The boycott was hatched on Twitter by Shannon Coulter, CEO of a boutique marketing agency in San Francisco, on October 10, in the wake of Trump’s now-infamous Access Hollywood tape; since then, Coulter’s tweets about the boycott, including tweets aimed at the retailers who carry Ivanka Trump products, have earned an estimated 1 million impressions on Twitter, according to her analytics report.

For a long stretch of the campaign, “[women] were ready to give Ivanka a pass because she’s his daughter and it’s hard to be objective about your dad. But the Trump tape just sent people over the edge,” Coulter told me. “I think [women] took particular offense, as I did, to the fact that Ivanka tries to make feminism a part of her brand but is standing by, as an official campaign surrogate, a guy who is an alleged serial sexual assaulter of women. The disconnect was too big. And they were ready to speak up about it and flex their consumer power about it.”

I'm sure this daughter can be objective about her father

A father and daughter who the proggies always give a pass

Though Ivanka insisted this week at a Fortune Most Powerful Women event: “I am not a surrogate. I’m a daughter,” the lines between Ivanka and her father’s incendiary politics have been blurred beyond recognition for some former fans and customers. Ivanka and her eponymous line are “inextricably tied to a movement that denigrates women,” Amy Andelora, a 52-year-old high school teacher in Mesa, Arizona, told me.

Days after the tape’s release, Andelora tweeted a plea to Neiman Marcus, asking the retailer to remove Ivanka’s line. She is also boycotting her favorite store, Nordstrom, where she says she formerly spent “hundreds of dollars per month,” because, similar to Ledford, she felt triggered by a pair of Ivanka shoes.


“It’s a visceral response, when I see the name ‘Ivanka’ nestled inside a shoe,” she said. ”The man who assaulted me used almost exactly the method Donald Trump described in his conversation with Billy Bush. I can’t see a Trump-related label without remembering what happened to me three years ago in a house I couldn’t escape.

Though some customers are defecting, Ivanka Trump’s eponymous line — an estimated $100 million operation in the last fiscal year, according to a July report in Forbes — has thrived in spite of her father Donald Trump’s wildly controversial presidential campaign. (Trump has made damning comments about women, Mexican and Muslim immigrants, and Gold Star families, while Ivanka, an executive vice-president at the Trump Organization, has consistently defended him as a “feminist,” insisting she knows him to be different.) As a private company, the Ivanka Trump brand does not release sales or profit numbers. But an Ivanka Trump brand PR representative told that sales and revenue grew 37 percent over 2015.

“Over the past year many more women have discovered and become loyal to the brand, leading us to experience a significant year over year revenue growth,” said Abigail Klem, chief brand officer through the representative.

According to annual and quarterly reports by her licensing company GIII, sales at the Ivanka Trump brand grew $29.4 million over last year, and increased $11.8 million in the last six months. “Whether or not people are saying good things or bad things, her name is getting out there,” Madeline Hurley, a retail industry analyst at market research firm IBIS World, said. “She can’t really pay for the press that she’s getting.”

But for some, the fact that Ivanka’s business has appeared to profit from the exposure of the Trump campaign is all the more reason to boycott. “[Ivanka] is supporting one of the most offensive, sexist, racist, xenophobic human beings to ever run for president,” Ledford said. “She is making a buck off it.”

Though Ivanka said at this week’s Fortune event that she’s “always tried to maintain complete separation between [her brand] and the campaign,” Ledford and others point to what they feel is a notable example to the contrary: after introducing her father at the Republican National Convention (in a speech filled with traditionally Democratic policies like equal pay, paid leave and affordable childcare), Ivanka tweeted a link to buy the blush-pink shift she was wearing from her collection with the line: “Shop Ivanka’s look from her #RNC speech.”


Don’t you DARE inquire as to where to buy this dress…(at least it wasn’t blue!)

“Do I think it’s appropriate for her to tweet out a link to where you can buy the dress that she was wearing? No, definitely not,” said Dini von Mueffling, founder of an eponymous public relations and strategy agency in New York. “Instead of tweeting about her dress, I think the message that she should have put out there was how honored she was to be part of a moment in our nation’s history, and to be part of trying to improve the lives of Americans everywhere.”

Gloria Ratcliffe, once a faithful customer, threw out a pair of Ivanka Trump pumps after another of Ivanka’s high-profile campaign appearances — when she attended the second debate in support of her father, just days after the release of the now-infamous tape. Ratcliffe also decided against buying bridesmaids dresses for her spring wedding from Nordstrom, as well as shoes for the wedding party from DSW, because both carry the Ivanka Trump brand.

Some anti-hate attire for the wedding, perhaps?

Some anti-hate attire for Ratcliffe’s wedding, perhaps?

“My wedding is a day of love. I’m not going to wear clothes that represent hate,” Ratcliffe said. “[Trump] doesn’t respect women at all, and I’m not giving my money to people who are supporting him, because it’s going to inevitably end up in his pocket.” (Ivanka’s line is a sub-brand of the Trump Organization).

So far, none of the retailers who carry the Ivanka Trump brand have dropped the line in response to the boycott. reached out to 12 retailers; only two replied. A representative for Nordstrom said: “We have received some feedback from customers, though we don’t currently have plans to stop offering this brand.” (When asked about the nature of that feedback, the representative didn’t answer). Zappos declined to comment.

But Coulter and the women boycotting Ivanka’s brand aren’t giving up. Ledford, for instance, is still steering clear of T.J. Maxx: In addition to voting for Hillary Clinton and donating to her campaign, Ledford feels the boycott is another way of taking concrete political action. It’s “something I can do to say ‘enough is enough,’” she says. “I can not give my money to them.”

Coulter continues tweeting, every day, multiple times per day, and calling retailer customer service lines to complain about the Ivanka brand. She says she has received backlash for the boycott on Twitter — some men, in particular, argue that Ivanka shouldn’t be held accountable because they believe she’s being manipulated by PR people or by her father.

“I don’t think that’s true,” Coulter said. “She’s the head of an international, $100 million dollar a year brand. She’s sophisticated. I think she’s smarter than Donald Trump. Part of why I started the boycott is because I respect her as a businesswoman. We should hold her to a higher standard.

And just how many liberal women were triggered by this?

Exit question: How many liberal women were triggered by this fine example of a “higher standard?”


Trump’s Gettysburg Address: what he will do in first 100 days

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, Donald Trump chose Gettysburg, PA — a site full of historic and political meaning to Americans who actually know about this country’s history — to deliver arguably his most important speech in his quest for the presidency.

In his speech, Trump outlined an 8-point plan for his first 100 days in office should he be elected President 15 days from now, on November 8.

In a follow-up email this morning, Trump summarized his speech as follows:

As soon as I enter the White House on January 20, 2017, I will begin implementing my 8-Point Plan for the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration, and here’s what we’ll do:

  1. On Day One, we will roll out our plan to BUILD THE WALL, send criminal illegal immigrants home, and finally end the open borders nightmare.
  2. Begin renegotiating ALL unfair trade deals like NAFTA which have undercut American employment and exported our prosperity.
  3. CANCEL all executive orders, bureaucratic rules, and crippling regulations that send American jobs overseas.
  4. Work with Congress to REPEAL and replace the disastrous ObamaCare legislation that is ruining American healthcare.
  5. Lift the radical Obama regulations on America’s energy industry to END our dependence on foreign sources and create new jobs here at home.
  6. Propose, pass, and sign into law a massive TAX CUT for all working Americans and unleash the jobs-creating power of our small businesses.
  7. NOMINATE Supreme Court Justices who will uphold the Founders’ Constitution and not legislate the liberal agenda from the bench, and…
  8. IMPOSE strict new ethics rules to restore the integrity of the Office of the Secretary of State.

Accurately accusing the corporate media of “trying desperately to suppress my vote and the voice of the American people,” Trump also promised he will stop the MSM from abusing their power, beginning with thwarting the merger of AT&T and Time Warner — a media empire that already owns CNN and HBO. On Saturday, AT&T Inc. officially announced its purchase of Time Warner Inc.

Trump also said that if he were President, he would not have approved the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast Corp in 2013 because by concentrating even more power in media giants who control news and information, such mergers “destroy democracy” and “poison the mind of the American voter.”

Hillary Clinton will do none of that because, like Wall Street, the news media are big donors to Hillary’s corrupt Clinton Foundation.

Here’s Trump’s Gettysburg speech:

Don’t believe that the corporate media are biased toward Trump? See:

See also:

H/t Will Shanley


New York City has scandalous bureaucrats overseeing its struggling schools

Shocker, not. If the kids in schools can get away with doing bad things (See the new discipline code launched by Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Education) then why shouldn’t the teachers?


Via NY Post: The city Department of Education has stocked the office that oversees the city’s lowest-performing schools with bureaucrats who were ineffective and tainted by scandal in previous school jobs.

Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña launched the Renewal program two years ago to boost 94 struggling schools. Independent Budget Office figures show they plan to spend $887 million through 2019. But some of the 114 educrats who oversee the 86 schools now in the program were reprimanded by courts, oversight boards and parents, a Post review found.

Parents charge that the program has become a place to reward cronies and dump the unfit. “The DOE has many former principals still working who should have been fired,” said a member of the Brooklyn Community Education Council. “The bad news is that they are now the ones in positions telling others how to teach, and that’s not right.”

Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center education professor David Bloomfield said the city must make better personnel decisions. “These schools are behind the eight ball,” Bloomfield said. “The de Blasio administration has to make the case that these are the best people for these jobs — and they haven’t.”


Among the questionable hires was Elif Gure, an executive director and second in command to Renewal Executive Superintendent Aimee Horowitz. Gure created a “hostile, race-based work environment” as principal of PS 316 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and called a parent coordinator the N-word, a federal judge ruled in March 2014. A jury awarded the coordinator $110,000.  Gure makes a $171,601 salary in the Renewal program.

Eileen Coppola, executive director of Renewal high schools, left her post as principal at the Secondary School for Journalism in Park Slope, Brooklyn, awash in problems. The school’s PTA president said students failed Regents exams despite getting A’s and B’s in class. A petition by 24 kids complained they didn’t get most of the earth-science labs required by the state. Coppola makes $144,824 in her new job.

Joelle Mcken, a Renewal director in District 17 making $141,765, was principal at PS 73 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a school later phased out for abysmal performance. In 2003, the city Conflicts of Interest Board fined her $900 for having an employee chauffeur her kids.

Mary Nelson, who earns $134,994 as Renewal director in District 14, was principal at PS 236 in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, where parents said that she failed to report violent incidents. Then-Councilman Lew Fidler joined a drive to push her out.

Lisa Lauritzen was an assistant principal at Science Skills Center HS in Downtown Brooklyn before being appointed a Renewal “instructional coach.” A DOE investigation found she urged teachers to re-score failing Regents exams. She now makes $136,010.

DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye defended the hires. “Turning around a struggling school does not happen overnight, and it requires dedicated, experienced administrators who know how to work with and support school staff,” she said.