Joe Biden tells Americans that he's helping them by building "from the bottom up and the middle out." …
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Image of the Day: Americans' Shrinking Earnings Under Joe Biden

Joe Biden tells Americans that he's helping them by building "from the bottom up and the middle out."  But the numbers don't lie, and the ugly reality is that he's only dragging us all toward the bottom.  Throughout his presidency, wage gains (green) have been consistently exceeded by inflation (blue), meaning loss in real earnings (red):

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="455"] Bidenomics Means Lost Earnings[/caption]…[more]

May 19, 2024 • 11:05 PM

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White House Mulling More ObamaCare Extensions Ahead of Midterms Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, February 20 2014
[R]ather than take the principled approach and apply the law equally to everyone, the Obama administration has been all-too-eager to waive and delay parts it once deemed essential.

Another federal election on the horizon begets more extra-legal ObamaCare extensions.

In October of this year, the Obama administration’s last-minute decision to allow millions of people to keep their non-compliant individual health insurance policies will run out. That’s about a month before the 2014 midterm elections. Sensing an anti-ObamaCare tsunami if Americans are forced again to surrender plans they like, the White House is looking for an escape hatch.

The idea currently being discussed is a three-year extension that pushes the delay into 2017. If implemented, this would minimize the issue until after the 2016 presidential election, which Democrats must win to entrench the law further.

From President Barack Obama’s perspective, this scenario is a win-win. It allows him to claim credit for remaking the health care industry in his image, without forcing himself or his party to feel the wrath of voters being herded into ObamaCare exchanges. The move also gives his successor some breathing room to map out a strategy to minimize the fallout.

On its own cynical terms, the idea is a sterling example of good politics making good policy, as the consultants say.

There’s just one problem. ObamaCare’s insurance bailouts only last through 2016. Thus, mollifying voters could leave insurance companies with business-killing losses. And so, one politically motivated avoidance behavior requires another.

“Health insurance companies are looking for something in exchange for the three-year extension, which will make it much harder for them to sign up healthier and younger customers,” reports the Washington Examiner. “Extending the risk corridor program is part of that conversation with the White House, industry sources say.”

As I explained in a recent column, risk corridors protect insurance companies from losing their shirt if the cost of covering ObamaCare users exceeds certain thresholds. The scheme involves forcing taxpayers to bailout high-priced risk pools so that insurance companies won’t raise premiums to cover their losses. At bottom, the bailouts are designed to shield ObamaCare’s supporters from facing the real fiscal consequences of their favorite domestic policy.

Those non-transparent negotiations with well connected groups follow a pattern that has defined ObamaCare from the beginning. Unions demanded – and received – delayed enforcement of ObamaCare’s “Cadillac tax” on high-end insurance plans. Less than two years after its razor-thin passage, ObamaCare was pockmarked with more than 1,200 waivers doled out by the Department of Health and Human Services. Now private insurance companies want to protect themselves against the bad bet they made in supporting government-run health care.

At every turn, ObamaCare’s loudest supporters quietly try to carve out exemptions and exceptions from the law’s intended effects. It’s almost as if none of those people ever seriously thought the law they campaigned for would ever be applied to them. Perhaps they’re right. After all, rather than take the principled approach and apply the law equally to everyone, the Obama administration has been all-too-eager to waive and delay parts it once deemed essential.

This latest example of after-the-fact lawmaking should remind every Republican in Congress of how the Obama administration does business. To think that the same people will somehow enforce the parts of immigration reform they don’t like – for example, securing the border before granting legal status to illegal immigrants – is beyond wishful thinking. If the refusal to implement ObamaCare on its own textually prescribed terms is any indication, the only guarantee coming from the White House on immigration or anything else is that it will do only as much as its self-interest requires.

The only way to slow down the extension of lawlessness is for Republicans to win back the Senate and keep the House of Representatives on a clear message that the constitutional processes for governing – including equal protection of the laws – will be followed. If ObamaCare was good enough for Congress to pass, it’s good enough for the President to implement.

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