Thursday, 28 June 2012

How to Play Five Aces

Typically, when you lay down five aces, you get tossed out of the card game.  Most of the time, you'd be run out of town and on rare occasions, you'd be tarred up and feathered.  Today, Justice Roberts played five aces and shocked folks.  So a brief moment of time to lay this out.

Congress can't mandate you buy anything....from ointment, to diesel VW cars, onto Florida oranges.  But Congress can tax the heck out of you, if they desire.

So in the midst of this oral argument, there was this one moment where the government lawyer was asked....is this a mandated fee or a tax, and the government guy said tax.  Justice Roberts walks back to his office grinning.  He knows the law and the implications here.

So today....five to four.....the liberal cause wins, or you might briefly think that.  But here's the issues.

First, since this is a tax now and not a mandate.....it puts the President in an awkward situation, which he always denied it was a tax.  Now, it's absolutely a tax.

Second, the 2700 page law really isn't designed to build up "dirt-cheap" health care insurance for working-class or poverty-class folks.  Those who bring home $1300 from Piggly Wiggly after taxes....really don't have $166 to buy some family health insurance package.  They didn't have it before and they don't have it now.

Third, so the poverty-class family is going to get this statement from IRS in 2014....asking where their certificate of health insurance is located.  Answer?  There just isn't any health care insurance for them.  So they need to pay the $1k.  They can't afford it.  Now, this brings up this little topic which may burden the entire Democratic Party.....this ends up being the largest personal hike on taxes for the working-class and poverty-class in America....ever.  The middle-class and wealthy can slide by.....but these guys can't.

Fourth, so the President....if he is around in 2014....is now stuck with a huge problem to fix.  There's a slight majority in the House for the Republicans, and probably 52 Republican Senators.  He has to enter into a room and actually negotiate....which is something that he has never done before and likely not capable of doing.  The Republicans will ask for tax reform (top to bottom), unlimited fracking, open off-shore natural gas drilling, open drilling in Alaska, and probably forty different things which would make Nancy Pelosi weep on the House floor about.  He has no choice.....you can't allow a $1k bill to hit working class and poverty class families.

Fifth, I suspect that the President added up the numbers and figured five Conservatives were enough.  No problem.  He'd at least lose the mandate....which really helped prevent the tax issue on the poor, and he might lose the whole law.....which meant he'd have plenty of angry voters in November.  Well....five just wasn't enough.  This was all going to be a tidy plus-up for the election.

Sixth and just an observation.....but I forecast that hundreds of garage shops will open up in the spring of 2014....run by some guy named Larry. Larry will offer you a low-cost cheapo health care policy deal for $50 a month.  Naturally, you need this certificate in a hurry, and pay Larry $50 to stop the $1k tax fee.  Well...a week passes and you call Larry to cancel the health insurance deal.  Larry is happy, because there really isn't such a thing as a $50 a month health insurance policy.  Larry closes shop sixty days later and disappears to Aruba for twelve months.....returning to create another year's worth of certificates for the next group of idiots.

I suspect that President stood there in shock.....wondering how Roberts could possibly go this direction.  Roberts simply said....go for it....tax the heck out of the poverty-class and working-class, and let's see how far this goes.

So you can play five aces in a game, and get away with it.  Just don't mention this to the President.

Unemployment

There were interesting statistics released yesterday for unemployment.

If you lived out in Bismarck, ND....it was 2.5 unemployment.  In fact, there were a number of cities out in ND (Fargo, Sioux Falls, and Grand Forks), which were all around the three percent level.  For unemployment, three percent is like this number that would make most political folks weep.  Folks in places like this are happy....unlikely to be asking their politicians for anything at all.....and don't even want their political appointees to even show up for speeches.  Don't mess with a good thing would be the prevailing attitude.

Then you come to Yuma, AZ, with almost 29 percent unemployment.  Years ago, I traveled through Yuma, and stopped for lunch.  To be honest.....it's halfway between Phoenix and San Diego.  There's not much in Yuma except truck-stops and restaurants.  Without the Marine Air Station, I doubt if the population of the town would even be worth discussing.  Currently, it's around 93k folks living there, and a huge segment....are unemployed.  Basically, they are unhappy, and they'd really like to put their hands around the political folks to discuss what is not being done.

After Yuma, comes Yuba City, CA and a half-dozen other California towns which all run in the fifteen percent range.

I've come to this moment of historical analysis.  In the period after the 1929 collapse of the US economy....folks started to pack up and move to where the jobs were.  For some reason, this has yet to happen.  Course, I can admit that moving to North Dakota probably isn't an enticing idea....even for me.  But when you note that on any given day in Bismarck....there might be twenty jobs sitting there and begging for fill today, then why stay in Yuba City?

So I'm thinking we need a new reality TV program....to teach Americans that re-locating is OK.  You need to pick five American families from California who have been long-term unemployed and ship them off to Bismarck, ND.  You can imagine the shock of these urban California dwellers....arriving in Bismarck....discovering within seven days that they are now employed and working.  Then the local shock hits them.  There's no gang activity.  There's no weird political activity.  Most folks are all friendly and actually wave at you when you drive down the road.

Unemployment ought to invite folks to take chances and do things that they wouldn't normally do.  As of yet, I don't think most folks have reached the moving stage.