“Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires,” asserted President Obama in his State of the Union Address. President Obama referred to steep tariffs that his Administration imposed on tires imported from China.Not everyone sees it that way. According to the Tire Industry Association (TIA):
TIA believes this was a politically motivated decision that will end up costing more jobs than it saves. These tariffs will not bring back the jobs that the union claims have been lost; it will not create any new tire manufacturing jobs, and it will most likely result in the loss of thousands of retail tire industry jobs here in the U.S., affecting everyone from the shop that services your tire to the tire wholesalers—many of whom are small businesspeople struggling to stay afloat in this economy. This, all during a time when we can ill afford to be losing more U.S. jobs.
The Association pointed out that there is more at stake than dollars and cents:
This tariff will price these tires out of reach of many consumers, and will lead to a tightening in the remaining supply of lower-cost tires. Also, given that the lower-cost tires imported from China help those most vulnerable in this current economy—working-class citizens—we are deeply concerned that many consumers may delay or even defer replacing their tires when necessary, thus creating a potential safety hazard on America’s roads.
When you put a tax of lower-priced goods, the people who are hurt the most are working class workers. During a recession, people have even less money to spend and they need to be able to have the option of buying cheaper foreign goods. Tariffs take away that option, and force families to pay higher prices for the things they need.
For 30 years it has been used to test the fitness of officers who police riots and other outbreaks of serious public disorder.
The so-called ‘shield run’ involves officers covering a distance of 500 metres in less than two minutes, 45 seconds while wearing full riot gear and carrying a shield.
But when Inspector Diane Bamber, 51, failed to meet the time limit, she claimed she had been left humiliated.
She brought a sex and age discrimination case against her force, Greater Manchester Police, and now stands to win up to £30,000 after an employment tribunal ruled in her favour.
The landmark case has opened the door for thousands of other women officers to claim payouts and has triggered a review of specialist police training across the country.
Insp Bamber, a serving officer for more than 30 years who still works for Greater Manchester Police, attended an Initial Public Order Commanders’ Course in Lancashire in November 2008.
She complained to the tribunal that prior to the course starting she had been led to believe that she would not have to take part in the shield run. But on the day of the test, Insp Bamber was informed that all officers who wanted to be considered for events where trouble was a possibility would have to pass it.
She agreed to run but she did not finish in the allotted time. Her failure meant she could not complete the rest of the training course.
[…]In her ruling, Judge Hilary Slater said Insp Bamber’s claims of indirect sex and age discrimination were ‘well-founded’.
Noting that the officer had ‘suffered humiliation at being sent away from the course’, Judge Slater added: ‘The tribunal concludes that the claimant was put at the disadvantage suffered by women and persons of her age group in that she failed the test and was not able to complete the training.’
The shield run was first introduced in the Eighties when Scotland Yard used it to test the fitness of officers policing the Notting Hill Carnival. Greater Manchester Police also conducted the runs for 30 years but has now dropped them.
The Mail on Sunday understands that the Association of Chief Police Officers is now reviewing the lawfulness of the physical training formats for 13 specialist operational roles, including those for firearms officers, which could discriminate against women and older officers.
Last night [Conservative] MP Robert Halfon said: ‘At a time when forces face enormous challenges and need to do all they can to protect frontline service, it is bizarre they are being forced to use taxpayers’ money to pay compensation in cases such as these.’
Now ask yourself a question. If the police force was completely private, and had to compete for security contracts with other firms, how long do you think someone who could not pass the physical fitness exams would last? That’s right. But there is no choice and competition for government services. You just pay your taxes and the left-wing bureaucrats decide how much service you’ll get. Their agenda is not driven by concerns about serving you – the customer. Their agenda is about winning the votes of special interest groups by appearing nice. If you call for the police, and your life depends on it, then you can have a nice die, because no one is coming to save you.
Why did you write this book aiming at the women — aren’t both responsible for the quality of the marriage?Of course! However, women are in the unique position of having an extraordinary amount of influence over their husbands, which when exercised thoughtfully, compassionately, lovingly, and intelligently results in a happier husband who will ‘swim through shark infested waters to bring her a lemonade.’ Women seem not to understand, or underestimate, the profound power they have over their husbands. Men are very emotionally dependent upon women from the day they are born to the day they expire. This book teaches women to use this power benevolently — which will definitely result in them being happier with life and love.
What are the most common complaints men have about their wives?
Their women don’t seem to have much regard for their feelings and needs
Their women constantly criticize and dismiss them
Their women don’t seem to want to go out of their way to please them
Their women nag, demand, and complain — and seem to behave as though they were entitled to do so
Their women don’t make them feel truly needed and valued as men
What are husbands’ most important needs?
He wants to feel like a “man” to his woman; he wants to feel that he is providing and protecting
He wants to feel that she needs and admires him
He wants to know that she desires him
Basically, The Three A’s: appreciation, approval, and affection
This is my favorite practical book on marriage. I read it because I am always interested in understanding what it is like to be a married man, and what I should be looking out for from women during courtship. I want to know what I should be looking for in a woman to make sure that I am properly cared for and fed if I become a husband. I think every woman should read it in order to understand how to relate to men. It’s like an owner’s manual for men! The book sold bazillions of copies. Has anyone else read this book other than me and found it useful?
One of the toughest issues is likely to be what to do about millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. Ms. Napolitano called for a “tough and fair pathway to earned legal status,” including “registering, paying a fine, passing a criminal background check, fully paying all taxes and learning English.”
Not included in her list was a requirement that illegal immigrants leave the country, and re-apply for legal entry. In 2007, many members of Congress said they couldn’t support a program of mass legalization in the face of opposition from constituents and activist groups critical of easing the road to legal immigration for those who had already violated the law.
Lamar Smith (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, voiced concern in a statement Friday about Ms. Napolitano’s proposals. “How can they allow 12 million illegal immigrants to take jobs that should go to citizens and legal immigrants?” he said.
Today, anywhere from 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants are in the U.S.–enough to populate America’s three largest cities, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Half a million more enter illegally every year.
Those who would do us harm respect no borders. For instance, four of the 19 terrorists who attacked us on September 11, 2001, were in the country illegally. Border security equals national security.
Illegal immigrants also depress wages and often take the jobs of legal workers. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, low-skilled workers lose an average of $1,800 a year because of competition from illegal immigrants for their jobs. That’s a huge economic hit.
The highest unemployment rates among Americans are in the occupations with the highest number of illegal immigrants. Almost one-quarter of all African-Americans and 40 percent of all Hispanics do not have a high school degree. These low-skilled legal workers are the victims of porous borders.
Some say there are jobs Americans won’t do. But that demeans Americans who work hard in every occupation. Any honest job is a worthy job.
There is another cost to illegal immigration besides lower wages and lost jobs. Communities and taxpayers pay the bills for their education, health care, and government benefits. Overcrowded classrooms, long waits at hospital emergency rooms, and expensive government services result from a failure to secure our borders.
In California alone, hospitals spend over $1 billion a year on health care for illegal immigrants. And the National Research Council has found that an immigrant with less than a high school education will, over his or her lifetime, impose a cost on taxpayers of $89,000. It is unfair to force legal residents and taxpayers to continue to pick up the tab.
Some say the taxes illegal immigrants pay offset the costs of providing them education, health care, and government benefits. But, at their low wages, most illegal immigrants don’t even pay taxes. And when they do, their taxes don’t cover other government services, like maintaining highways, providing for our national defense, and taking care of the needy and elderly.
Also, at their wages, if illegal immigrants participate in Social Security, they will get back $100,000 more than they pay in, further bankrupting the system for everyone else. The cost of illegal immigration is staggering. And it is growing by the minute.
Gateway Pundit comments on what Democrats stand to gain from pushing through another amnesty. I feel badly for all the skilled immigrants who play by the rules and have to wait for years and pay thousands of dollars for green card processing fees. My understanding is that you can only apply for a green card through marriage or employment, and employers almost never sponsor workers due to Department of Labor regulations. I am for increasing legal immigration of skilled immigrants who work hard and play by the rules.
These video clips feature one of the conservatives I like, Senator Tom Coburn! (H/T Club for Growth)
Tom Coburn is a medical doctor, and ran a medical business. He gives you the inside view of why American health care needs changing, and why big government socialism is not the answer. This is not just a lesson in health care. Listen closely – this is a lesson in economics, and it shows the vision of free-market capitalism, liberty and personal responsibility that drives the policies of the right-wing.
And here is Ronald Reagan talking about the loss of liberty that follows when a country adopts socialized medicine. (H/T Club for Growth)
This is the easiest way to learn about health care policy.
Note: If you prefer to learn about socialized vs consumer-driven health care with podcasts, click here.
More details from a think tank
Here is a comprehensive treatment of the problems of health care today, and the right way to reform it. This article by the founder of the Heritage Foundation, Edwin Feulner, Ph.D., is so long that it is exactly the kind of thing that lefties like commenter Jerry won’t have the patience to read! This is the best thing to read in this post if you can only read one thing.
Here is are some of the myths he corrects:
If you like your health care package you can keep it
“…a public plan will lead many employers to drop private health coverage for their workers and dump them into the public plan… According to independent analyses, as many as 119 million Americans could end up in a public plan….”
The end goal is not a single payer system
“…The “single payer” here is Uncle Sam, using taxpayers’ money, and not just paying the bills but calling the shots and deciding what care every American will get—or not get….”
The end goal is not a single payer system
“…Congress’s own watchdog–have issued preliminary estimates that the cost could be high as $2 trillion over 10 years, with most of that borrowed money…”
The quality of your health care will get better
“…Medicare has huge gaps in coverage. Medicaid’s quality is notoriously bad. They both offer substandard care compared to most private insurance plans…”
And of course his letter also gives conservative solutions to the problem of rising health care costs. The Heritage Foundation is my favorite think tank. Conservative across the board – not just on fiscal issues.
And conservatives like James Demint are getting this message out to the public, too.
…Washington politicians make it hard for individuals to own their own health insurance policies. Government gives tax benefits to businesses to provide group health plans to employees, but offers no such tax benefit to individuals who try to buy their own plan for themselves or their family. Government prevents consumers from shopping for better plans across state lines, which limits competition and drives up prices. Government health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid pay doctors and hospitals less than the full value of their services, and the difference gets priced into the higher premiums paid by people who do have insurance.
In other words, politicians deliberately restrict consumer choice, drive up prices, underpay doctors and hinder both access and portability. Then they turn around, blame the free market for the health care crisis and say the only way to save the system is a government takeover of health insurance in the form of a so-called “public option.”
And he’s goes on to explain conservative solutions to the problem of rising health care costs. A great article from one of my favorite conservatives.
The real costs of Obama’s plan
Keith Hennessey has an analysis of the costs of Obama’s new government-controlled, rationed health care plan. You may have heard that the CBO has issued an estimate about the costs of Obama’s plan: 1 Trilliion over 10 years. Keith says that the number is actually closer to 1.3 trillion.
Keith took at closer look at the CBO’s 1 Trillion estimate, which includes only ONE area where money will need to be spent (subsidies for the poor). He found that many items in the Democrats’ health care bill were not included in the CBO estimate!
The budgetary effects of neither the individual mandate nor the employer mandate are included in this score. I think CBO will find these provisions would raise revenues for the government and reduce the deficit. While the leaked draft of Kennedy-Dodd was specific about the employer mandate, the official version has just the placeholder language, “Policy under discussion.” Both mandates leave wide discretion for the Secretaries of Treasury and HHS to create a level and structure of taxation “to accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage.” It is extremely difficult for CBO and their tax counterparts, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) staff, to estimate something like this.
The estimate does not include the budgetary cost of expanding Medicaid to childless adults with income below 150% of the poverty line. I expect that this will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the cost over the next decade.
It does not include the requirement that health plans define “children” as dependents up to age 27. I expect this will raise costs.
It does not include the effects of the Medical Advisory Council’s ability to define benefits, or the requirements that plans rebate premiums to the insured. I think this too will raise costs.
It does not include the budget effect of having a “public plan option.”
There are a bunch of other programs in the bill, including a new disability program and lots of new public health programs.
Keith will be posting more articles on his blog as he calculates the real costs of Obama’s plan.
Obama thinks that you are more satisfied with the service at your local DMV than you are with Amazon.com. And he plans to make sure that you are dealing with government bureaucrats, not with private businesses, when you need health care. Who gives you better service? The government, that isn’t trying to compete with anyone to meet your needs? Or private businesses, which do need to compete to earn your business?
You can watch some videos containing horror stories from countries that have adopted single-payer health care, too.