Saturday, January 15, 2011

Business as Usual: the Administration's Economic Sabotage of the Private Sector Continues Apace

So much for 'civility'.

Data-point #1: Fearing that the outcome of secret-ballot elections in the workplace would overwhelmingly reject unionization, the National Labor Relations Board has issued a threat to sue four states. Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah all have state constitutional amendments that force unions to use secret-ballot elections to reduce the possibility of voter intimidation by -- who'da thunk it? -- union thugs. And the NLRB objects to the use of the secret-ballot.

Of course, only 86.2% of South Carolina voters approved the secret-ballot amendment last November, which means it's perfectly reasonable that the Obama administration's hand-picked union hacks should be able to overrule the people.

Data-point #2: In an effort to commit energycide (a self-inflicted strangulation of the economy by restricting access to energy), the Environmental Protection Agency just shut down the largest mountaintop mining project in the history of West Virginia. Logan County's 2,300-acre Spruce No. 1 mine had its permit revoked by the federal agency.

The administration's unelected, unaccountable and largely unknown anti-energy 'masterminds' have effectively crushed a large swath of the state's economy in one fell swoop.

Data-point #3: The most powerful agency in the history of the United States government -- by dint of its control over one-sixth of the economy and its power of life and death over every American -- has begun to issue its hundreds of thousands of pages of rules and regulations. The Department of Health and Human Services is in the process of defining how every health insurer will operate down to the tiniest level of detail.

The long-awaited proposed HHS regulations for dealing with “unreasonable rate increases” were released Dec. 21, and health insurers will soon face greater scrutiny than they have ever faced before. Starting July 1, any planned rate hike of 10% or more in the individual or small-group market must undergo extensive review, either by the state involved or by HHS itself. And insurers would have to publicly disclose not only the increases and the rationale for them, but lots of other information, including the salaries of their executives...

...In what could be one of the most far-reaching effects the health reform law will have on insurers, HHS in late December unveiled proposed regulations for dealing with “unreasonable rate increases.” On first glance, it may appear that HHS is deferring to the states. But a deeper look reveals HHS would have subjective criteria it could use to determine that a state’s review processes are not effective, and that means HHS would take over the review itself... HHS’s new filing requirements are so extensive for planned hikes of 10% or more, and the potential for adverse publicity is so enormous, that some insurers may choose to back off even from hikes that are needed and warranted.

We used to call these kinds of things "Soviet-style price controls."

Price controls led to the seventies oil shock, the collapse of the Soviet Union, food shortages in Venezuela, and hyperinflation in Argentina, to name but a few.

And these controls are certain -- certain! -- to lead to the death of health insurers and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. That much we can predict without a shadow of a doubt.

For that is the intent of the Obama administration: a complete collapse of the free-market economy and a resulting takeover of every industrial sector by an all-powerful central government, which Democrats will control.

And if you doubt me, please answer the following question: where is an iota of evidence that President Obama is concerned with jobs?


Zilla said...

God help us.

Anonymous said...

but...but he tells us every year he's going to make jobs his number #1 priority

MarkJ said...

What are the main differences between Jean Sibelius and a Soviet political commissar?

Better hair and wardrobe.

What's the difference between the HHS and the Taliban?

You can negotiate with the Taliban.