Trump Continues Illegal Obamacare Bailout for Insurers and Congress

When Obama was president, we all shouted with one voice that it was unconstitutional to issue the “cost-sharing” insurance bailout funds without an appropriation from Congress. Yet, much as with the Iran deal and Obama’s amnesty, the Trump administration has once again continued an illegal policy of his predecessor, shelling out the cost-sharing subsidies for the insurance racket even though it is not only bad policy, it’s unconstitutional.

The bailout for insurance companies

Administration officials confirmed with Axios on Wednesday that they will continue paying the ransom to insurance companies known as cost-sharing subsidies. Thanks to the government-created monopoly for the few remaining insurers, along with the crushing regulations, the Obamacare consumer subsidies for premiums are not enough to sugar-coat the price inflation on health insurance plans. And in fact, those subsidies have themselves inflated the cost of the plans. Thus, the Obama administration reimbursed insurers for discounting co-payments and deductibles for low-income enrollees who earn below 250 percent of the poverty line.

The CBO projects that under current policy, this illegal program will cost $130 billion over 10 years. Never mind that UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, saw its profits increase 34 percent in the second quarter of this year.

The problem with this program, aside from inflating prices even further on those who are not subsidized, is that Congress never appropriated any money for such a program. In fact, this act of the Obama administration was so unconstitutional that even the courts gave Republicans a rare victory against the payments in federal court. Judge Rosemary Collyer sided with House Republicans in asserting that the cost-sharing subsidies were appropriated without consent of Congress. But the Trump administration is now overturning one of the few victories we secured in the judiciary.

There is a very profound lesson in health care economics to be learned from this. The insurance companies will always have a seat at the government table, and even if we successfully repealed Obamacare’s regulations and subsidies, they will always have the ability to extort the politicians into giving them more money or face the threat of higher prices. This is why I have proposed a free market health care plan to end-around the insurance cartel by directly addressing the cost of health care and promoting private sharing associations on an equal footing with insurance.

The reality is that government has tilted the entire playing field of health care towards medical insurance companies for over 60 years. The $275 billion tax exclusion for employers to offer pre-tax health insurance was Obamacare before Obamacare. Much as with the ethanol cartel, without this form of preferential treatment from government, insurance companies would never have been able to inflate the price of health care and twist the concept of insurance.

Even if we fail to repeal Obamacare, we should expand the exemption for cost-sharing associations to compete with insurance in a free market. Employers should be given the same tax benefits for offering to pay sharing premiums for their employee’s sharing associations as for traditional “insurance.”

Republicans ran on the promise to end Obamacare and end bailouts; now they are promoting both. If we are going to unconstitutionally spend money for parochial favors, why not hand the same cash to consumer HSAs or health-sharing ministries? The insurance companies lobbied for the very Obamacare regulations that engendered a need for subsidies; now it’s time to let them reap what they sowed and circumvent the need for corporate insurance altogether.

The bailout for Congress

It’s also troubling that the Trump administration used executive powers to bail out insurers but will not use his lawful executive power to end Obama’s order exempting members of Congress from paying the full Obamacare freight.

Under Section 1312(d)(3)(D) of Obamacare, members of Congress were no longer eligible for health subsidies through the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program. They were required, like every other resident of D.C., to purchase a plan on the exchange. And given that their income level is well above the subsidy line, they would have had to pay the full inflated price like the rest of us poor losers. Yet, in 2013, Obama’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) wrote a rule treating Congress like a small business with less than 50 employees, which, under the D.C. Small Business Exchange, would be eligible for subsidies.

The irony of Congress and its employees being designated as a small business was brought out by the fact that, in 2014, all but 500 of the 12,907 people signed up in the D.C. Small Business Exchange were … from Congress! Subsequently, documents were uncovered via a Judicial Watch FOIA showing that members of Congress falsified applications by stating that the House had only 45 members and 45 staffers, while the Senate had only 45 employees total.

Consequently, while some of us are paying $15,000 a year for a $13,100 deductible, with the prices slated to skyrocket in November, members of Congress are shielded from much of the pain because up to 70 percent of their premiums can be covered.

Congressman Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has been calling upon the president since January to repeal this exemption. So far … crickets.

Where is the leadership, Mr. President? (For more from the author of “Trump Continues Illegal Obamacare Bailout for Insurers and Congress” please click HERE)

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The REAL Reason for GOP Hypocrisy

So, when it was impossible to repeal or replace or do anything about Obamacare because President Obama was in the Oval Office with his veto pen?

As the Daily Caller noted here: “Forty-eight current Republican senators supported the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.”

Then? Then the unexpected, as explained here by Republican Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey recently. The headline: “Sen. Pat Toomey on health care delay: I didn’t think Trump would win presidency.”

The story says, in part: “‘I didn’t expect Donald Trump to win. I think most of my colleagues didn’t. So we didn’t expect to be in this situation,’ Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said Wednesday […] The Pennsylvanian senator isn’t the only GOP lawmaker working on health care who also wasn’t expecting the Trump presidency. ‘I didn’t think President Trump had a chance at winning,’ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in an interview with a local Kentucky TV station in December 2016.”

And now? Now that there is in fact a President Trump sitting at Obama’s old desk, pen in hand and ready to sign a repeal of Obamacare? Again, the Daily Caller: “Two Republicans senators who voted to repeal Obamacare in 2015 now say they will not support a similar bill by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell […] Now Murkowski and Moore Capito oppose the McConnell measure.”

The utter hypocrisy here is breathtaking. This is a flat-out betrayal of one of the biggest GOP promises since the days of opposition to slavery.

There is room for disagreement on how to go about the repeal. This amounts to a discussion of whether the glass is half full or half empty. Is the GOP bill cementing Obamacare in place — as per Senator Rand Paul? Or is it a move, however tepid, toward a free-market system?

When it says of the “Obamacare Republicans”: “The Obamacare Republicans ran on fiscal discipline but they rejected the best chance for entitlement reform in a generation. They campaigned against deficits—and some like Mr. Moran and Nevada’s Dean Heller have endorsed a balanced-budget amendment—yet they dismissed a $1.022 trillion spending cut. They denounced Obamacare’s $701 billion in tax increases but then panicked over repealing ‘tax cuts for the rich.’”

Particularly startling in all this mess was this comment, again per the WSJ, from Utah’s Senator Mike Lee: “Mr. Lee opposed the first draft of the bill in part because it ‘included hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for the affluent.’ He opposed the new version for ‘not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes.’”

One can only be gobsmacked that any Republican United States Senator has picked up the class warfare thinking of the Obama Left by protesting against “hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for the affluent.”

So, what do we have here when all is said and done? (And it must be noted, there are kudos for Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his ceaseless efforts to get something done that has some relation to principle.)

What we have is one very, very confused Republican Party.

The party of the free market is making it abundantly clear that it is really the party terrified of the liberal media and Democrats picturing them as so many Ebenezer Scrooges for wanting to take away a new entitlement … in spite of the fact that said entitlement is crashing and burning around them and is surely at the root of some future national financial calamity, as was witnessed with the infamous Community Reinvestment Act that eventually contributed to the financial collapse of 2008.

Note well that the CRA, passed in 1977 at the instigation of President Jimmy Carter, passed the House by a vote of 384-26, with 18 of those 26 nays coming from Republicans. Other than those 18 — conservatives of the day with names like California’s John Rousselot and Bob Dornan, Ohio’s John Ashbrook, and Illinois’ Phil Crane — the rest of the House Republicans sided with Jimmy Carter, Tip O’Neill, and liberals.

Decades later, of course, the financial house of cards they set in motion crashed. As Mark Levin notes in “Rediscovering Americanism”: “The progressives’ interference with the housing market through the Community Reinvestment Act resulted in the collapse of that market, a calamitous disaster for millions of homeowners who lost the equity in their homes or lost their homes outright.”

Exactly. But now, as in 1977, progressives have interfered with a giant chunk of the American economy, this time the American health care system. And as demonstrated in the GOP-controlled Senate, there are Republicans today, as in 1977, all too willing to side with the progressives as they buy in to the same reasoning for not repealing Obamacare that they bought in passing the CRA.

The idea was succinctly and fatuously expressed this time by West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito: “As I have said before, I did not come to Washington to hurt people.”

Except, of course, she is. Obamacare has ruined health insurance for many Americans, and, yes, as noted here, it has even proved fatal for some. (In that cited case of Long Islander Frank Alfisi, who was denied needed dialysis because of Obamacare rules, at his death, Mr. Alfisi’s daughter was told by her father’s doctor, “You can thank Mr. Obama for this.”)

There is a serious problem here — a problem that has nothing to do with health care. The problem? Far too many Republicans have been politically gulled into buying the progressive argument about the role of government, because they fear being painted as an elected version of Scrooge or, worse — because they genuinely buy in to leftist/progressive dogma about the role of government.

This is in complete opposition to the founding principles of the country, not to mention those of the GOP. And it produces disasters like refusing to repeal Obamacare or going along with disasters waiting to happen, like the Community Reinvestment Act. As Rush Limbaugh has asked in the wake of this disaster: “What’s the point of voting Republican?”

In sum, too many Republicans (most prominently, today, Senators Murkowski and Capito) are ignoring the wisdom of Ronald Reagan.

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

(For more from the author of “The REAL Reason for GOP Hypocrisy” please click HERE)

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Think a Charlie Gard Situation Can’t Happen in the US? Think Again

For weeks, the world has been watching in rapt attention the saga of Charlie Gard—the case involving a desperately ill child fighting for survival in the face of U.K. government efforts to block treatment.

Charlie’s parents have been relentless in fighting the government and seeking help abroad.

Their efforts are already bearing fruit. Most recently, a judge has agreed to re-evaluate a previous decision barring the parents from seeking alternative treatment for their son in the United States.

Here at home, opinions differ, but the general reaction is one of outrage that a government official could make a decision about what’s best for a child over the objections of the child’s parents, combined with a sense of relief that this is not the status quo in the United States.

Unfortunately, this is not quite accurate.

Under a little-known regulation referred to as “certificate of need,” a majority of states actually place unelected government officials in the position of deciding what types of medical facilities and treatment options are available in local communities.

While the Charlie Gard case involves other issues as well, government intervention in care is at the heart of the dispute.

And under certificate of need laws, any provider that wants to expand certain types of facilities and medical technology or purchase additional equipment must first ask the state for permission.

The original rationale for these regulations was to prevent providers from competing with one another based on the size or luxuriousness of their facilities, and then passing the cost for those bells and whistles down to their patients.

Lawmakers were also assured by many community hospitals that the institutions would be able to provide more charity care to the uninsured and underinsured because those efforts would be subsidized by wealthier patients who would have no choice but to use the community hospitals.

However, research has shown that states with certificate of need laws actually have more expensive health care and provide a lower quality of medical services.

Additionally, many of the hospitals in certificate of need states do not provide additional charity care as a result of the laws. Instead, the laws end up protecting local monopolies by allowing providers to charge more for less service.

Things have gotten so bad that under successive administrations of both parties, the Federal Trade Commission has sent letters to states urging them to end their certificate of need programs because they are anticompetitive.

Most states have ignored this sound advice, sometimes with devastating consequences.

One heartbreaking example includes the case of a prematurely delivered infant dying while waiting for transport because the hospital where the child was born lacked a neonatal intensive care unit, and doctors needed an incubator to stabilize the newborn.

The twist, however, is that just a few years prior, the hospital’s request to build such a unit was rejected by Virginia on the basis that it was “not in the best health interests of the community”—a chilling precursor of the British Supreme Court decision that denied Charlie treatment because it determined it was “not in his best interests.”

The biggest difference between the high-profile case in the U.K. and certificate of need programs in the United States is that most of us never realize that the government has denied us access to certain health care options.

For lawmakers in certificate of need states tweeting about the ills of the U.K. health care system, now is the time for some serious introspection about how our own state governments are getting in the way of improved patient care.

The lives of their constituents might depend on it. (For more from the author of “Think a Charlie Gard Situation Can’t Happen in the US? Think Again” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

All He Does Is Fail: Reap What You Sowed, Mitch McConnell

Now that a group of liberal GOP senators, including Lisa Murkowski, Shelly Moore Capito, and Susan Collins, have made it clear they oppose repeal of Obamacare, some commentators are suggesting that McConnell and party leadership are in an untenable position. They blame conservatives for dissenting from the Right, forcing leadership into a scenario where the liberal flank of the party is also emboldened to dissent from the Left, leaving “mainstream” Republicans sandwiched in between with nothing to pass.

Thus, isn’t Mitch McConnell the victim and Senator Mike Lee the villain?

The short answer is that the problem with the party runs much deeper than the three or so “most liberal” Republicans. The problem is that the majority of the party, leadership members, and “mainstream” elected Republicans agree with the liberal Republicans in principle. They are merely using them as foils.

Why is it that we have so many Republicans who openly support every tenet of Obamacare in the first place? And not just from blue states. From Lisa Murkowski and John McCain to Lindsey Graham, Shelly Moore Capito, Lamar Alexander, and Bill Cassidy, the GOP conference is full of RINOs.

The answer is simple. GOP bosses have no problem with these people and will continue to support them. They stand for nothing. They have failed to offer a free market vision for health care (or anything else for that matter) and don’t disagree with any of the principles from the left flank of the caucus. These senators who are more openly liberal know that the GOP platform is a joke and a free-for-all. They know that leadership will continue to help them get elected, help new liberal Republicans win primaries, and tolerate endless dissent.

The dissents from Mike Lee and Rand Paul are not equivalent to the dissents from Capito and Murkwoski. While the former are upholding the GOP promise and the GOP platform, and even compromising on it, the other side is not willing to adopt a single tenet of what they signed onto during the election. But unlike conservatives who are raked over the coals and marginalized for believing in what the party claims it stands for, these liberal Republicans get off scot-free.

It’s precisely because we didn’t have a president and party leadership speaking with one voice on GOP free market principles that the left flank of the party felt emboldened to promote Obamacare. They understand that party leaders don’t care.

A functioning party that actually stands for something will always have slightly differing shades of its ideology and some differing opinions, but everyone is united behind fundamental principles. Just look at the Democrat Party. They never have problems on legacy issues in a significant way from their “right flank,” because the core center of the party leadership actually believes in their platform.

Think about it: when was the last time you found a Democrat undermining her party’s agenda in any meaningful way, much less on a core legacy item? Where are the Democrats supporting traditional marriage or even dissenting from the party line on the most extreme ideas of promoting sex-change operations in the military? Not a single one Democrat voted against funding sex-change operations in the military.

When was the last time a Democrat supported free markets?

When was the last time a Democrat supported private retirement accounts?

When was the last time a Democrat supported strong borders and opposed illegal immigration?

Even the Democrats from the reddest of red states are fully in cahoots with their party leadership. They merely posture to the Right on a few issues, such as guns, but will never thwart their party in a meaningful way. In fact, the only action we’ve seen from “pro-gun” Joe Manchin was his effort to further the gun-control agenda. It’s all a sham. He has never dissented from the pro-abortion agenda or the transgender agenda — ever! His work in the Senate is completely divorced from his campaign ads.

Yet we have Republicans even from red states who can’t uphold the most basic tenets of the GOP platform. Whereas Democrats lie to the voters in pursuit of their party’s platform, Republicans lie to the voters in pursuit of the other party’s platform.

If the mainstream elected Republicans actually believed in their party’s platform with as much conviction as mainstream Democrats believe in thiers, there would be no place for those who are completely out of touch with those values.

But it’s worse than the callous attitude toward enforcing the platform. Republicans like Mitch McConnell have ensured that these very liberal Republicans continue to win primaries. After Lisa Murkowski ran as an Independent in 2010, and knowing her liberal views on every single issue under the sun, including health care and abortion, why did they help her win over Joe Miller in 2016? They should have downright endorsed Joe Miller if they really believed in their platform. After all, Alaska is a red state.

Furthermore, why do we have a pro-abortion liberal like Capito in a solidly pro-life state like West Virginia? This is because party bosses make it clear that candidates like Mike Lee have no place in the party, even in red states, and that no matter how liberal one of the establishment candidates is, they will support that candidate until the bitter end. At this very juncture, the entire party infrastructure is busy promoting similar candidates in the 2018 primaries — candidates who couldn’t care less about the party platform.

As such, why should conservatives sell out their principles and take ownership of an Obamacare bailout bill just to placate members who were only elected thanks to the work of McConnell and Company? Let him reap what he sows.

The problem with the Republican Party is not that there are a few fringe Republicans on the Left who like to vote with the Democrats. It’s that, unlike with Democrats, there are only a few “fringe” Republicans who actually believe in the platform of the party. (For more from the author of “All He Does Is Fail: Reap What You Sowed, Mitch McConnell” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

The Left Is a Greater Threat to America Than Putin

Last week, I tweeted, “The news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does.”

To my surprise, the tweet went viral. And while there were more likes than dislikes, 99 percent of the written reactions were negative.

Typical reactions were:

–“F— you.”

–“Move to Russia.”

–“Your very full diapers pose a very great danger, please change them.” That received 1,880 likes.

–“I’ve wiped s— off my shoes more trustworthy and patriotic than your sorry a–.” That received 606 likes.

You get the idea.

But it wasn’t the ad hominem insults that I found troubling. What was troubling was the low state of logical thinking that so many responses reflected.

This was exemplified by their reminding me how important a free press is to democracy (as if attacking the behavior of the media were the same as denying the need for a free press); their asking how many nukes the media have compared with Russia (as if a threat to lives were the same as a threat to a civilization); and their thinking that my tweet was about President Donald Trump (he was never mentioned, and the words were just as true when Barack Obama was president).

My tweet was about the Western left undoing Western civilization. My one regret is that I did not mention universities along with the media.

The tweet had nothing to do with the existence of a free press. Attacking what the media is doing is not the same as attacking the existence of the media—any more than attacking Trump is attacking the existence of the presidency.

With regard to Russia having more nukes than the media, those who noted this fact so missed the entire point of the tweet that it is almost breathtaking.

When one speaks about dangers to a civilization, one is speaking ideologically, not physically. Of course, if Russia were to unleash its nuclear weapons against the West, it would kill vast numbers of Westerners.

However, that would no more mean the end of Western civilization than the Holocaust meant the end of Jewish civilization. Civilization connotes a body of ideas and a value system.

Furthermore, a Russian nuclear attack threatening the West’s physical existence is an utterly remote possibility. Russian leaders, just as Soviet leaders before them, fear what is known as MAD (mutually assured destruction).

The real nuclear threat comes from North Korea and, above all, Iran, which constantly announces its intent to exterminate Israel. But while The New York Times cannot stop writing about the threat Russian President Vladimir Putin poses, it accuses Trump of “demonizing” Iran.

The real threat to Western civilization is Western civilization ceasing to believe in itself. And, in that regard, Russia poses no danger, while the left-wing-dominated media and universities pose an existential threat.

That’s why the most depressing of the negative reactions were those from people calling themselves conservatives. If conservatism isn’t about conserving Western civilization first and foremost, what is it about?

Students in college have voted the American flag off their campus. Where did these students learn their unprecedented contempt for America and patriotism, if not from their schools and the media?

European countries continue to welcome in millions of Muslims, adding to the tens of millions of Muslims already in Europe—many of whom, if not most, have no interest in adopting Europe’s values.

Do the critics of my tweet conclude nothing about the left’s role—meaning the role of Western media and academia—in promoting multiculturalism, the doctrine that holds that no cultural, religious, or value system is superior to any other?

At the University of Pennsylvania, its left-wing English department has removed its long-standing portrait of Shakespeare because he was white and male. Is that not a direct hit on Western civilization?

The left-wing prime minister of Canada has proudly announced, “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” and that Canada is “the first postnational state.”

What produced him? Putin?

Is it Putin who is removing American flags from American campuses?

Is Putin destroying the notion of male and female?

Has Putin convinced half of America’s millennials that socialism is preferable to capitalism?

Did Putin convince Pope Francis that Islamic terrorists are no more of a threat to Europe than baptized Catholics who kill their girlfriends?

Is Putin the reason Oxford University students voted that Israel is a greater threat to peace than Hamas?

Putin is indeed a murderous quasi dictator. But all this contempt for Western civilization comes from the Western media and the Western universities.

The smoking gun was provided just two weeks ago in the media’s reactions to Trump’s speech in Warsaw, Poland, in which he called for protecting Western civilization.

Virtually the entire Western media said it was a call to protect white racism—because the media deem Western civilization to be nothing more than a euphemism for white supremacy.

That’s what my tweet was about. (For more from the author of “The Left Is a Greater Threat to America Than Putin” (For more from the author of “The Left Is a Greater Threat to America Than Putin” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

5 Ways to Keep a Tax Farm (Citizens) Producing

The government depends on the citizens to produce, to create value from which the ruling classes can leech. They need to keep us working and spending in ways that they prescribe in order to insert themselves into transactions which would otherwise have nothing to do with them. Here are five ways that they keep the tax farm going.

1. Credit Cards and Debt

Credit cards, student loan debt, home loans, and car loans all represent an obligation to work full time. Once you have been saddled with debt, you cannot make the choice to take time off to pursue a business endeavor you are passionate about. You are on the hamster wheel.

The more debt you have, the more you have to earn, and the more taxes you will pay on those earnings. The less freedom you have to be productive in an alternative way.

The housing bubble was no accident; the government doesn’t care if you can afford it, they want you to “own” a home–or rather own a mortgage.

Of course, debt has its place, for instance taking on a home loan in order to have lower monthly payments than rent, and put that money into an asset.

But the problem comes when people take on an expensive home loan because they currently have a great job, ignoring the possibility that the job may not always be there. There are people who take out loans for a car–a clever trick GM started back in the day–in order to keep up with their neighbors or squeeze some momentary satisfaction out of the purchase.

And, of course, credit cards give us a dangerous “solution” to depression: shop therapy! Just like a drug, it can give a momentary high, replaced by an anxious desperation when the bill comes. And all the while you are paying sales tax on almost every purchase.

That is why we must avoid debt at all costs. Spend within your means. Delay gratification by saving before purchasing rather than paying interest after a purchase. And really consider whether a purchase is going to make your life easier, or make you happier, or if you are using it like a drug for a momentary high.

When it comes to college debt, the thing to do is spread awareness of alternatives to college if you think someone you know may be making a big mistake.

2. Full-Time Corporate Employment

Corporate employment is a cycle in itself; it keeps you going for the next raise, for the next promotion, and for all the benefits. Corporations are a creation of government, and would otherwise not exist in their current structure.

Health insurance through work was once an extra incentive to make a job attractive; now it is necessary to avoid a government fine. Better work more than 29 hours to make sure your employer has to cover it!

And when you are self-employed, the government punishes you by making you pay twice the Social Security contribution, since technically you employ yourself.

A corporate job alone is not always a bad thing, it works for some people. But there are plenty of people who push themselves into a job which cannot allow them to reach their full potential. People get a job in order to pay off student loan debt, or in order to get a nice car or to spend more on clothes, alcohol, and novelties.

The government likes this because the entire tax extraction process is designed around this system. Even bonus pay is taxed at a higher rate, like lottery winnings.

But there is a way to use a corporate job as an out. If you can manage to get a nice-paying job, not rack up debt or long-term obligations, and save, then you have the freedom to turn that saved capital into freedom.

This doesn’t work if you save up just to travel or buy a house on the beach to pursue the #SurfLife. It works if your capital is used to create value.

Here’s an example from my own life. My sister worked a corporate job in Massachusetts and took out a home loan to buy an undervalued house. By improving the property, selling it, and moving to an area with a much lower cost of land, she was able to buy a nice chunk of property without needing a loan.

That piece of property is now being used as a mini-farm with various avenues for making money. She is now her own boss and can pursue more personally fulfilling ways of earning a living, which does not always involve fiat currency.

3. Regulations and Laws

Okay, so let’s say you have managed to avoid debt, and have saved up enough from your corporate employment to start your own enterprise. The government creates barriers to competing against their corporate lovers.

I’ll continue with the example of my sister’s mini-farm. An easy way to start earning money would have been to sell the delicious hard cider she and her husband were already producing as a hobby. But the law said that they could not produce it on their own property, they could not distribute it without paying about $10,000 for entry into the market, and a host of other tight regulations.

Okay, they also wanted to run a hot dog cart. They already owned the cart from toying with the idea in Massachusetts. Well, you can’t do a cart, come to find out. In that area, all food trucks must be enclosed. They already had a cart, they did not have a food truck.

They are powering through and creating a great business based around the farm, but her husband had to continue to work instead of being able to immediately pursue the business dreams.

There are a million other examples of government throwing roadblocks in the way of unique self-employment or starting a small business.

Let me know in the comments if you have run into these issues in your own business endeavors.

4. A Fiat Currency

Here is an easy way to extract money from the population: continue to print money. The Fed says openly they aim for an inflation rate of 2%. What does that really mean? It means they aim to steal 2% of the value from all cash and saved dollars every year.

The Fed prints the money, and therefore it is they who gets to spend the value they rob from our savings. It is just another back door tax, a harvest, to reap the products of our labor.

On the flip side inflation is a little gift to those citizens who are behaving properly, according to the government, and taking on debt. They get to pay back their debt in inflated dollars.

But the best part for the government is they don’t have to deal with any resistance to raising tax rates. Most people don’t even understand what inflation is, they simply think stuff just gets a little more expensive each year.

Having a currency with no true value means whoever controls it has the ultimate power.

The old standby strategy to mitigate inflation is to hold reserves in tangible assets such as silver or land.

But cryptocurrencies are another promising innovation. They aren’t where they need to be yet, but there is reason to be hopeful for their development in divorcing us from the Federal Reserve system.

You’ll want to subscribe (and get our free metals report) to hear more about the difference between investment, speculation, and currency when it comes to crypto-coins–our discussion on the topic is about to heat up.

5. Advertising to Promote Consumerism

Just like GM encouraged car owners early on to trade in their vehicle each year for the newest model, citizens are now conditioned to trade in their expensive iPhone for the newest model.

TV programming has long highlighted the lifestyle of the rich and famous, encouraging ridiculous spending on wedding dresses and birthday parties, and glorifying rich spoiled brats.

This article does a nice job summing up the disease of consumerism:

Under our current working conditions, people are forced to build a life in the evenings and their days-off. We find ourselves more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because we rarely have any free time. When we do have time to ourselves, it’s usually fleeting, and we eventually find ourselves neglecting those activities which are free—walking, exercising, reading, meditating, sports, hobbies, etc.—because they take too much time.

While having extra money comes at the sacrifice of personal time for some, for others they not only are robbed of their personal freedom, but they struggle to make ends meet on top of it. The “perfect” consumer works full-time, earns a fair amount of money, indulges during their free time, and somehow just makes it by each month. However, even those who don’t earn fair wages sometimes find themselves wasting small increments of money on unnecessary items for the wrong reasons—a cup of Starbucks here, a McDonald’s cheeseburger there, and those really cool fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view of your 1993 Honda Civic.

Any way you look at it, we have become an unhappy, mindless, over-worked society. We buy silly items for a few moments of happiness before getting bored and moving on. We feel a need to keep up with fads, or to fulfill our childhood vision of what adulthood would be like. We hide our insecurities, avoid issues, and replace psychological needs with material items. By keeping society’s free time scarce, people will pay more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy.

But at the end of the day, the choice is still our own. With a little mental toughness, we can train ourselves to psychologically exit the system, which is the first step to bringing it down. (For more from the author of “5 Ways to Keep a Tax Farm (Citizens) Producing” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Democrats Hate Blacks and Hispanics

Not all, not all, not all, but most Democrats today do not respect black people, or anyone else. Rather, they use blacks to push their own agenda.

We all know that black “leaders” exploit the people – I’ve talked about Maxine Waters (“Auntie Maxine“), John Lewis, Barack Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP (no different from the KKK), Black Lives Matter (worse than the KKK), Louis Farrakhan (modern-day Hitler) and false preachers, including T.D. Jakes and Michael Eric Dyson (not called by God but by their mama).

But let’s not forget about “white” politicians and others who also take advantage of foolish black and “minority” people who don’t know better.

Because blacks are brainwashed to believe in “racism” (which doesn’t even exist, and never has), they support phony “anti-racist” efforts. They blindly support Democrats who never had their best interests at heart. Around 95 percent of blacks supported Barack Obama, the worst president in American history; the same supported the second-most corrupt president, Bill Clinton, impeached for lies and obstruction of justice.

Democrats hurt blacks more today than during slavery – supporting abortion, destruction of the family, LGBT madness, removing God from public life, creating ghettos and favoring criminals over the innocent. (Read more from “Democrats Hate Blacks and Hispanics” HERE)

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The World Is Now $217,000,000,000,000 in Debt and the Global Elite Like It That Way

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and through the mechanism of government debt virtually the entire planet has become the servants of the global money changers. Politicians love to borrow money, but over time government debt slowly but surely impoverishes a nation. As the elite get governments around the globe in increasing amounts of debt, those governments must raise taxes in order to keep servicing those debts. In the end, it is all about taking money from us and transferring it into government pockets, and then taking money from government pockets and transferring it into the hands of the elite. It is a game that has been going on for generations, and it is time for humanity to say that enough is enough.

According to the Institute of International Finance, global debt has now reached a new all-time record high of 217 trillion dollars…

Global debt levels have surged to a record $217 trillion in the first quarter of the year. This is 327 percent of the world’s annual economic output (GDP), reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

The surging debt was driven by emerging economies, which have increased borrowing by $3 trillion to $56 trillion. This amounts to 218 percent of their combined economic output, five percentage points greater year on year.

Never before in human history has our world been so saturated with debt.

And what all of this debt does is that it funnels wealth to the very top of the global wealth pyramid. In other words, it makes global wealth inequality far worse because this system is designed to make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

Every year the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows, and it has gotten to the point that eight men have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on this planet combined…

Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam today to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.

This didn’t happen by accident. Sadly, most people don’t even understand that this is literally what our system was designed to do.

Today, more than 99 percent of the population of the planet lives in a country that has a central bank. And debt-based central banking is designed to get national governments trapped in endless debt spirals from which they can never possibly escape.

For example, just consider the Federal Reserve. During the four decades before the Federal Reserve was created, our country enjoyed the best period of economic growth in U.S. history. But since the Fed was established in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by approximately 98 percent and the size of our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

It isn’t an accident that we are 20 trillion dollars in debt. The truth is that the debt-based Federal Reserve is doing exactly what it was originally designed to do. And no matter what politicians will tell you, we will never have a permanent solution to our debt problem until we get rid of the Federal Reserve.

In 2017, interest on the national debt will be nearly half a trillion dollars.

That means that close to 500 billion of our tax dollars will go out the door before our government spends a single penny on the military, on roads, on health care or on anything else.

And we continue to pile up debt at a rate of more than 100 million dollars an hour. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt once again in 2018…

Unless current laws are changed, federal individual income tax collections will increase by 9.5 percent in fiscal 2018, which begins on Oct. 1, according to data released today by the Congressional Budget Office.

At the same time, however, the federal debt will increase by more than $1 trillion.

We shouldn’t be doing this, but we just can’t seem to stop.

Let me try to put this into perspective. If you could somehow borrow a million dollars today and obligate your children to pay it off for you, would you do it?

Maybe if you really hate your children you would, but most loving parents would never do such a thing.

But that is precisely what we are doing on a national level.

Thomas Jefferson was strongly against government debt because he believed that it was a way for one generation to steal from another generation. And he actually wished that he could have added another amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would have banned government borrowing…

“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”

And the really big secret that none of us are supposed to know is that governments don’t actually have to borrow money.

But if we start saying that too loudly the people that are making trillions of dollars from the current system are going to get very, very upset with us.

Today, we are living in the terminal phase of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet. Every debt bubble eventually ends tragically, and this one will too.

Bill Gross recently noted that “our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”. One wrong move and the whole thing could blow sky high.

When everything comes crashing down and a great crisis happens, we are going to have a choice.

We could try to rebuild the fundamentally flawed old system, or we could scrap it and start over with something much better.

My hope is that we will finally learn our lesson and discard the debt-based central banking model for good.

The reason why I am writing about this so much ahead of time is so that people will actually understand why the coming crisis is happening as it unfolds.

If we can get everyone to understand how we are being systematically robbed and cheated, perhaps people will finally get mad enough to do something about it. (For more from the author of “The World Is Now $217,000,000,000,000 in Debt and the Global Elite Like It That Way” please click HERE)

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Consider Obama’s Legacy and Democrats’ Obamacare Arguments WRECKED

The rate of uninsured Americans is ticking up again, and some of the explanations offered fall somewhere between the failures of Obamacare itself and the failure of Republicans to repeal it.

According to the latest Gallup/Sharecare index, the percentage of American adults without health insurance has increased from 10.9 to 11.7 percent since the end of last year, which translates to almost 2 million people without coverage.

And the researchers at Gallup aren’t even bothering to hide the reasons why.

“Several marketplace factors could be contributing to the uptick in the uninsured rate since the second half of 2016 […] Rising insurance premiums could be causing some Americans to forgo insurance, especially those who fail to qualify for federal subsidies. Furthermore, some insurance companies are leaving the ACA marketplace, and the lack of competition could be driving up the cost of plans for consumers,” the report states.

The report goes on to suggest that uncertainty about Obamacare’s future could also be causing people to stay away from the markets — at least until they know what they’ll be dealing with once a bill is passed.

Such hesitation would make sense. Given last year’s rampant premium increases, the ever-increasing number of insurers disappearing from the individual market, and GOP leadership hesitant to repeal the worst portions of the law, naturally people are casting a wary eye at the insurance market.

The goal of Obamacare was to increase coverage with greater government control of the insurance industry, forcing Americans to buy into the industry, and then offset the rest of the cost with a mixture of subsidies and entitlements.

But, as the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon explains, throwing everybody into the same health insurance pot and expecting things to somehow balance out is precisely why Obamacare has been so disastrous.

The dire state of the insurance market strikes a blow against the liberals’ narrative that Obamacare is somehow the only thing holding down the current insurance rate, as millions of Americans are also going without insurance with the current law in place. It also serves as a stark reminder of what Americans will still be dealing with, should the GOP fail to deliver on a substantive repeal.

As a counterpoint to the woes of the millions of people losing or going without insurance under the current system, Obamacare boosters in the policy world have been pointing to a recent study that shows how the insurance markets are “stabilizing.” However, stable doesn’t always mean good for consumers, as Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz explains:

“The insurance market has indeed stabilized … the same way a dead body is ‘stable’ and no longer in critical condition, the same way someone in a free fall has stabilized at the bottom of the trajectory. There is no longer any private sector left in the insurance market. The few remaining insurers have stayed in the market through a guaranteed flow of government subsidies — a regulation-controlled monopoly that has driven out competitors lacking economies of scale and tripled premiums, with endless rate hikes in sight.”

“When, thanks to insolvent government regulations but endless government subsidies, only a handful of insurers are left with a monopoly on the market, they will find a way to make a profit,” Horowitz writes.

But when that profit has not been earned on a level playing field, but through government manufacturing, he states, “Consumers are left holding the bag.” (For more from the author of “Consider Obama’s Legacy and Democrats’ Obamacare Arguments WRECKED” please click HERE)

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Is Mike Pence Betting It Will All Come Crashing Down on Trump?

Vice President Pence is spending considerable time cultivating big-money Republican donors at small, private events, including hedge fund managers and executives from brokerage houses, chemical giants and defense contractors, Kenneth P. Vogel reports at the New York Times. Many of these events, whose participants are kept secret from the media and are omitted from Pence’s public schedule, have been taking place at the vice-presidential residence at the Naval Observatory, as well as other nongovernment venues.

While cultivating support from deep-pocketed business interests is nothing new in GOP politics, Pence’s activities raise the question of whether he is doing this for Trump-Pence 2020 — or for himself. As Vogel’s piece points out, Pence’s intimate confabs with wealthy donors and conservative power brokers “have fueled speculation among Republican insiders that he is laying the foundation for his own political future, independent from Mr. Trump.”

All of this suggests something important about President Trump. Despite Pence’s protestations to the contrary, the vice president looks to be preparing for his own political future. Beyond this clear signal about his own political ambitions, Pence’s actions raise the question of whether he has lost confidence in Trump’s ability to come out of the Russia investigation unscathed.

This is not the first time that Pence, in his short tenure as Trump’s vice president, has sparked chatter about his political ambitions — unyoked from Trump. In May, Pence filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, forming his own political action committee, the Great America Committee, marking “the first time a sitting vice president has formed such a separate political arm,” NBC News reported at the time. (Read more from “Is Mike Pence Betting It Will All Come Crashing Down on Trump?” HERE)

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