Bill for health care is coming due

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Caterpillar may have been first to announce that funds that might have gone to create jobs will instead go to finance ObamaCare, but others are ‘fessing up, too. AT&T takes a $1 billion charge, Deere & Co. $150 million, 3M $90 million, and officials of a host of other companies declare that they’ll be transferring tens of millions from the private to the public sector to finance ObamaCare. As the Obama administration would reassure us, nobody earning less than $250,000 will be affected. Unless, of course, they eat or purchase goods and services in America. The end result may be that some companies stop funding drug benefits for retirees, thereby shifting them to Medicare Part D.

● Marietta is wisely developing guidelines on naming the new parks and recreation facilities to be financed by $25 million in bonds approved by the city’s voters last November. The first rule should be this: Name nothing for living politicians or for those whose contribution is to solicit public money or debt. Don’t buy public recognition with the public’s money.

● No policy issue in Georgia in the past 30 years has been more race-baited by politicians and street activists or made polarizing by the media than public transportation. Case in point: C-Tran, the Clayton County bus service that county commissioners decided had become too costly. By pointing out that Clayton bus riders pay taxes to subsidize GRTA service for wealthy suburbanites in Gwinnett — though it also serves Clayton — the allegation is implied that the state is discriminating on the basis of class or race. I hate that line of argument that somebody’s got something you don’t and it’s because of discrimination.

● For Georgia, a milestone in racial politics: Clayton Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell describes the decision to discontinue subsidizing bus service in the county (to the tune of $8 million) as “classism.” Heretofore, it was “racism.”

● As the two-parent family has disintegrated, as evidenced by the alarming rise in unwed births, public schools become the government substitute for the absent parent(s) in raising children. The Georgia House proposes that from kindergarten through 12th grade school teachers are responsible for policing child speech and relationships. Man, you could not march me to the head of a public school classroom at gunpoint. How does government grow? Just like this.

● The sad thing about the Obama presidency is his habit of saying things that turn out not to be true — the promise of transparency in developing health care legislation, for example. It’s therefore impossible to respond quickly to what he says — a proposal to permit some off-shore oil exploration, for example — because it may not be meaningfully true and it may be an inconsequential enticement to something more objectionable, a cap-and-tax scheme on carbon emissions.

● Those who run Head Start preschool programs in Georgia spent “stimulus” money to provide raises of up to 8.5 percent for employees. Those will be counted as jobs saved or created by the $1 billion allocated to Head Start under the $862 billion “stimulus” bill. “This is how we maintain the high-level and well-trained staff in our programs,” defended a spokesman. These are the people who will be managing your national health care program.

● Meals don’t buy politicians, though they certainly should be subject to ethics disclosure. Legislators expect some lobbyist or interest group will pick up the tab. They always eat free if they choose, so they tend not to feel obligated to those who pay. Politicians are “bought” when they or their relatives are hired into an industry or interest group seeking influence or when they earn fees or commissions on services they sell.

80 comments Add your comment

Rafe Hollister

April 1st, 2010
9:04 pm

Elections have results. Clayton County you elected these morons who have been running your county and school system down the drain. Sometimes we should vote for those best able to perform rather than those, that like Obama talk a good game, but are light on experience.

Obama has no intention of ever allowing any drilling, he is just buying time with his delays. After all the broken promises, it amazes me that anyone believes anything Barry says.

It scares the heck out of me to think that the Gov Schools are bringing up our future. How will these kids ever learn anything about individual responsibility or self discipline? The Gov schools only preach entitlements and collectiveness. Who will be the producers and leaders of the future?

Jon

April 1st, 2010
9:06 pm

My weekend doesn’t start until I get my weekly fix of Wooten’s fear mongering!

Bill

April 1st, 2010
9:09 pm

Jim, glad to see your typical Friday hatred. I guess it really is hard to be the sole “owner of the truth”. We common people really appreciate the insight that you provide. I guess it really is that solid UGA Journalism education you received!!

Regards,

Lawrence

April 1st, 2010
9:19 pm

Jon and Bill….

If you disagree so much, why do you wait on his column?
Just to Bitch?

Cutty

April 1st, 2010
9:31 pm

“Meals don’t buy politicians, though they certainly should be subject to ethics disclosure. Legislators expect some lobbyist or interest group will pick up the tab. They always eat free if they choose, so they tend not to feel obligated to those who pay.”

That’s fine and good. But then the daily taxpayer-funded per diem that legislators receive should be spent elsewhere.

Rafe Hollister

April 1st, 2010
9:48 pm

Hey Bill, what is YOUR version of the truth or do you just make baseless allegations about Mr. Wooten? Is it Fear Mongering to report that someone is coming for your disposible income and you had better watch out?

TW

April 1st, 2010
10:06 pm

C’mon, Jim, at least try to be a Christian for once.

A good start might be an apology for spending eight years in ‘w’s rectum…

JDW

April 1st, 2010
10:12 pm

“The sad thing about the Obama presidency is his habit of saying things that turn out not to be true”

Now Jim be fair…he has not missed on anything big like…

“WMD’s”
“Mission Accomplished”
“Great job Brownie”
“We don’t torture”

I could go on but it is late

JW's worst nightmare

April 1st, 2010
10:18 pm

Wow. You really do drivel on with total crap. I visit this blog very rarely – and each time I remember why that is….

B-fan

April 1st, 2010
10:29 pm

Jim, enjoy your retirement, and the fact that HCR will close the donut hole for perscription drug coverage.

BW

April 1st, 2010
10:40 pm

Wooten did you take a financial hit in the downturn…are you retired or not?

oldtimer

April 1st, 2010
11:03 pm

Good ideas here..Jim. We finally left Clayton County. It was a mess. We now live in a state with NO income tax. Our retirement money is going further.

Dirty old man

April 1st, 2010
11:18 pm

If Deere, AT&T, & Caterpillar didn’t screw people out of decent benefits with inefficient PPO plans, Obamacare wouldn’t have even been necessary. Those 3 companies have outsourced jobs and imported engineers, fired loyal workers for no reason under restructuring (AT&T was Bellsouth just a few years ago), and have no intention to create jobs. As corporations, by law, they are required to create profits, not jobs.

Chris Broe

April 2nd, 2010
12:18 am

“Man, you could not march me to the head of a public school classroom at gunpoint.”

I think it’s detestable that Wooten is proposing to disarm the students.

“The sad thing about the Obama presidency is his habit of saying things that turn out not to be true”.

I love the way Obama lies to conservatives. Truth is wasted on wingnuts anyway.

“Meals don’t buy politicians…”

Meals don’t buy politicians, yet strangely, politicians don’t buy meals. I love the commutative property of truth. If meals could buy politicians, I’d love to hear the waiter recite the menu: ” Yes, today’s special is blue dog democrat, with wingnuts and mushroom clouds and yellow cake uranium…” for ala carte we have fried filibuster and crispy caucus.

“I hate that line of argument that somebody’s got something you don’t and it’s because of discrimination”. Didn’t Thomas Paine say that? Wasn’t that line in the first draft of the Preamble written by Thomas Jefferson? Wasn’t this the line Lincoln scratched out on that envelope he wrote the Gettysburg Address on?

” …..proposal to permit some off-shore oil exploration, for example — because it may not be meaningfully true and it may be an inconsequential enticement to something more objectionable, a cap-and-tax scheme on carbon emissions.”

Kill the drill! Kill the Drill!!! Un-f’n-believa-f’n-ble. Yeah, Obama’s proposal may invite Martians to drill our wives like intergalactic incubi. (twilight zone music here)

I just finished watching “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” and I have an impulse to filibuster this blog. To start this filibuster, I’ll need things, lets see, I’m going to have to make sandwiches……

96 SC

April 2nd, 2010
12:30 am

Jim, please for the sake of all Georgians, put a rocker on your porch, sit in the rocker, and daydream to your ultimate delight. If you consider Obama a Liar then certainly you view Boy George as permanenntly allergic to the truth.

Dave

April 2nd, 2010
5:04 am

BW – Jim’s doing just fine, he just like to write this column every once in a while to watch you “haters” pee all over each other.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
8:10 am

Good morning all. Based on all of the opinion surveys, I don’t think anyone has any illusions about the substantial hidden costs of ObamaCare. Even our leftist friends know.

Here, here, on the wrongfulness of naming parks after politicians. I would add to that list buildings, highways, airports, sports facilities, flowers, desserts, and celestial bodies. In fact, the only things that ought to be named after politicians are sewage treatment plants and landfills. I would except from that rule anything personally paid by the politician from his cumulative graft, which should, of course, include the nature of the source of the funds.

When I hear anyone aver racism, I first assume he/she is a liar. Please note that “liar” is a term I do not use on blogs, nor even in personal discourse, as I deem it the ultimate pejorative. But I confess my deepest, darkest belief. The charge of “racism” has no credibility with me. Overuse. Too bad, I suspect racism still exists, but since the loonies so-frequently charge truly innocent and good people, I disbelieve all.

“Teacher” was once an honored profession, until the nanny state converted the duties to match those of “prison guard.” Funny line – and this will offend some, reasonably – but Gordon Liddy always called prison guards the stupidest people on the planet. “Who else would intentionally sentence himself to 30 years in prison?”

Lawyer-Politicians are a consistent breed. How do you know when a politician is lying? ….

I know I’m stimulated by the efficacy of the central government spending spree. Cannot wait for November, to let them know what I think.

If the nanny state did not spend, politicians could not be bought.

The Tar and Feathers Party

April 2nd, 2010
8:20 am

Jim, how many free meals did the lobbyists buy for you when you actually worked for a living? I am betting the number is in excess of 1,000 – A good comment in the ajc could help advance the agenda of the lobbyist, right?

abc

April 2nd, 2010
8:20 am

We need to shutdown more public transit systems. Every day they are open we are wasting money that could be used to support our SEX OFFENDER Registries and all the rest of the illegal laws that they have enabled. We’ve got people to retroactively harass and punish and we can’t do it without piles of money. Instead of those people riding buses to work or whereever they dream they need to go, they can sit at home and review the Registries that they are paying for and plan how to add harassment to the people on it.

Someone should ask Clayton County how much they have to spend every year in order to retroactively harass and punish people who have already completed their legally prescribed sentences. Also ask the Criminal State of Georgia what their budget is. We’ve already spent billions and they will continually need more and more.

Did you know you are paying to incarcerate people for years because they neglected/forgot/whatever to tell the Criminal State about an e-mail address that they have? That was the felony “crime” of which they were convicted, nothing else. They weren’t actually doing anything wrong. BTW, a federal court recently ruled that it was illegal for the Criminal State to even require that information so expect that you’ll be paying for even more legal action very soon.

Our idiotic, immoral, illegal, counterproductive, anti-religious, un-American SEX OFFENDER Registration, etc. laws have cost us billions and given us completely negligible benefits that we could have easily continued to get elsewhere. Thank your moronic legislators and the huge majority of completely uninformed, hateful “Americans” for that. And we apparently don’t have enough sense to stop it. So get used to your government money being taken away from useful things and used to pay for the SEX OFFENDER harassment/punishment/propaganda campaign.

Peter

April 2nd, 2010
8:40 am

HA HA HA HA Jim…….The sad thing about the Obama presidency is his habit of saying things that turn out not to be true………

Where are the WMD’s Jim…..you know the reason America almost fell apart all that spending and waste ?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
8:44 am

Dear Peter@ 8:40, are you agreeing that Obama is as bad a Bush?

Peter

April 2nd, 2010
8:57 am

Hey Jim…..Perhaps this should be called thinking stupid !

“The Republican party itself is a big part of the problem,” said Brown, who now operates a website called ExposeObama.com. “It’s controlled by Washington DC-based operatives that are out of touch with normal people. It’s an establishment-led party.”

Brown—best known for his role in helping to craft the infamous Willie Horton ad that proved instrumental in George H.W. Bush’s defeat of Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis in 1988—noted that “a lot of big donors have just stopped giving, as I have also stopped giving to the RNC.” (Indeed, in a follow-up report earlier this week, the Daily Caller took note of this very trend.) Brown now contributes on a candidate-by-candidate basis, he says. “When you send money to DC, you’re sending money directly to the same rat hole that created the problem in the first place

Can't wait til 2012

April 2nd, 2010
9:01 am

Bush told what all the intel told as true as did the MAJORITY of the congress and senate DEMOCRAT and Republican.

Obama just flat out LIES.

JKL2

April 2nd, 2010
9:17 am

Dirty old man

I know you’re probably long gone, but man are you wrong. I spent most of my life in catapillar country and my brother is an engineer there. They have never found a benefit they didn’t like. They are so high on the cattilac plan list it isn’t even funny. To say they are screwing people is a joke.

That’s right up there with the employee’s going on strike because they were only making $27/hr.

Exporting jobs had more to do the fact they export 60% of their equipment rather than cheaper labor. It’s just easier to build some things where they are used rather than shipping everything.

HDB

April 2nd, 2010
9:17 am

●” No policy issue in Georgia in the past 30 years has been more race-baited by politicians and street activists or made polarizing by the media than public transportation. Case in point: C-Tran, the Clayton County bus service that county commissioners decided had become too costly. By pointing out that Clayton bus riders pay taxes to subsidize GRTA service for wealthy suburbanites in Gwinnett — though it also serves Clayton — the allegation is implied that the state is discriminating on the basis of class or race. I hate that line of argument that somebody’s got something you don’t and it’s because of discrimination.”

Question: How do you know that it was/was NOT the basis for such a decision? Historically in the South, political decisions were based SOLELY on race/sex/class; are you sure this wasn’t the case??? The more things change, the more things stay the same!!

“When I hear anyone aver racism, I first assume he/she is a liar. Please note that “liar” is a term I do not use on blogs, nor even in personal discourse, as I deem it the ultimate pejorative. But I confess my deepest, darkest belief. The charge of “racism” has no credibility with me. Overuse. Too bad, I suspect racism still exists, but since the loonies so-frequently charge truly innocent and good people, I disbelieve all.”

Ragnar, as one who HAS been affected by racism…having been born and bred in the South…..I can understand your skepticism; it is true, however, that many political decisions in Georgia are solely race or class based. Look at how the City of Atlanta fares under the Capitol Dome; look at the policies that Republicans pursue……

JKL2

April 2nd, 2010
9:25 am

Obama’s proposal is to study the environmental impacts of drilling (like nobody has ever done that before, as Sarah Palin said). If they really want to let people drill, they could have oil in 6 months-2 years. They are saying it will take 8-10 years because they have to pay off more friends to do studies that have already been done so they can recommend cap and tax. Once we have cap and tax in place to “stick it to big oil” then they will be allowed to drill.

They, of course, miss the whole point about businesses passing costs onto the consumer. (the last I checked, most people need gas so it isn’t an option) I guess this is how you get to that $7/gallon price that Obama is hoping for.

RetiredSoldier

April 2nd, 2010
9:29 am

Jim-

I’m shocked, shocked I tell you at the vemon so many left wingers have towards your excellent articles each week. I was led to believe by the lame street media that only conservatives were vile and uncouth. My shock has me laughing in my boots.

Keep up the good work Jim. This nut and many more like me look forward to you each Friday. Happy Easter!

DannyX

April 2nd, 2010
9:33 am

Of course not one of you came up with an answer. If not racism, why?

Why is the state subsidizing the Gwinnett bus system and not Clayton’s? Or MARTA?

While your at it tell us why the Georgia legislature specifically added Gwinnett to the list of “poor” school districts that enabled Gwinnett to claim an extra $33 million in state funds last year.

Ragnar? Tar? Jim?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
9:37 am

Dear Danny @ 9:33, the same impetus that gave us ObamaCare – “power politics.”

DannyX

April 2nd, 2010
9:41 am

That’s all you have? After the book you wrote at 8:10?

You give us a big lesson on race then nothing?

Rafe Hollister

April 2nd, 2010
9:49 am

It might be that Gwinnett has a proven ability to manage and properly control their affairs. Clayton County has a horrible track record of operating most everything involved with the county. Maybe it would be wise for Clayton to elect some leaders with high morals and character, instead of Victor Hill and Chm Bell.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

Dear Danny @ 9:41, in the famous words of Gertrude Stein, “there’s no ‘there’ there.”

retiredds

April 2nd, 2010
10:30 am

Jim, you’ve taken the bait and run with it as usual. The charges you speak of by Caterpillar and AT&T are accounting charges and when the real dust settles will result in less than 1% of their bottom line profits. Ford said it won’t affect them and won’t do the write down bit. You will see other companies follow suit, some taking the write down and others not. Your conclusions from this are absurd which is typical of your biased writings. Here’s the real scoop: as stated above, no WMD’s, Medicare drug costs over $400 billion when your favorite commander in chief said it would only cost $144 billion, your wonderful past VP stated that “deficits don’t matter” EXCEPT if the Democrats are in power. Jim, as usual, you play to the 15%-20% base. Now here’s another reality, Dow near 11,000 (leading indicator, bud), consumers are buying (70% of economy) albeit cautiously, as the economy grows deficits will narrow, this administration is reversing the debacle in international relations handed to it by Bush/Cheney and company, etc., etc. Jim we are moving forward while you remain stuck in some time warp wherever it is you’ve retired to. I hope your cave is cool because it’s going to be a hot summer for you and your conservative base. Republicans will do marginally well at best come November.

retiredds

April 2nd, 2010
10:55 am

Jim, I though I would pass on to you a few excerpts from this morning’s Wall Street Journal regarding the jobs data for March. Good news for the economy and Americans, bad news for you and other conservatives who don’t want this to happen until after November.

“For financial markets, the data reaffirm a sense that the labor market is slowly recovering, though it wasn’t the breakthrough number that many in the markets were looking for. Nearly one-third came from hiring for the 2010 Census, indicating the labor market still has some way to go to recover. Analysts say the data won’t likely alter expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for many months to come.”

“There were clearly encouraging nuggets in the data. The jump in private-sector hiring of 123,000 jobs was bigger than many analysts expected, offering an upbeat affirmation that the Census was not the principal factor behind the gains. Health care, education and construction all added jobs.”

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
11:00 am

Good morning Retiredds @ 10:55, I suppose you would be disappointed if I did not read the statistics differently than you. The AP article in the AJC notes that the unemployment rate remained stable @ 9.7%, and at twice the rate of Dec 2007 (pointedly a time fully one-year after the democrats took control of Congress.) Hope and change indeed.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
11:06 am

joan

April 2nd, 2010
12:20 pm

Jim, I am not sure how you can stand all the liberal, politically correct, crowd showing their true viciousness and small mindedness all the time. They excuse Obama for lying constantly, because Bush lied. If I shoot someone, can I excuse myself because someone else shot someone? The logic of the libs eludes me. About costs of Obamacare–close to a trillion a year added to the deficit, every year…how long can that last? About Caterpillar and other companies who have provided benefits for their employees and will not “eat it” for Obamacare, I wish others had come forward as forthrightly. And about corporations being profit centered. Well, that is capitalism, and capitalism is a motivator for accomplishment. Liberals actually hate the accomplished because it makes them feel inferior. They want everyone in olive drab.

Rafe Hollister

April 2nd, 2010
12:25 pm

Dr Drill and Fill, if the Koolaid tasted as sweet for most of us as it apparently does to you unemployment would not be at 9.7%. I can’t get on board because the arithmetic just doesn’t add up. Barry adds 30 M to the insurance rolls, demands ins compaines not deny anyone and yet premiums are supposed to go down and taxes are not to be raised. Can’t happen. 878B wasted on a stimulus that hasn’t worked. Say what you want about our first socialist president, GWB, but all his wars didn’t cost us 878B. Talk about throwing money into a pit. Our grandkids will be payng for this abuse for the rest of their lives.

Peter

April 2nd, 2010
12:27 pm

Hey Jim……Is the bill due for Bush’s made up WAR ?

Rafe Hollister

April 2nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Joan you are right about the olive drab. The goal for the true believers is a little coolie suit for you to wear while riding your bicycle from your file cabinet apt to your meaningless job. Every apartment will be the same except for those in the ruling class. All the left wingers think they will be in the ruling class and get special privilidges; we will see.

Peter

April 2nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Yes the Democratic Congress started Unemployment, the Iraq WAR, and caused housing to go down the tubes.

Funny the Republican’s were all at strip clubs, thus they didn’t pay attention !

Peter

April 2nd, 2010
12:40 pm

Jim would rather have Bushcare of America, Bilking, made up WARS, and Bankruptcy.

These are all Republican Values……….along with attending Strip clubs, another Republican Value !

Gosh don’t you love it when the country begins to turn around, and Republican’s can’t stand things getting better !

RetiredSoldier

April 2nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Peter-

Which made up war are you talking about? The one that Obama is still in or the one the vast majority of congressional democrats voted for? Oops, that’s the same war. Truth sure isn’t any fun is it Peter?

RetiredSoldier

April 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

Are times getting better? Not buy the performance of my business, but I’m positive they will get better. How many recessions have occured in the past that times didn’t get better? Come on man, it’s called the business cycle. Should have taken Econ 101 in college.

Peter

April 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

Gee the best unemployment numbers in 3 years……..Wasn’t King George leading us for two of those ?

Yup things are getting better, and the Republican’s are at the strip clubs getting theirs !

RetiredSoldier

April 2nd, 2010
1:10 pm

Great answer Peter, recess is over it’s time to head inside for 4th period.

You mean not to be confused with Dictator Obama?

retiredds

April 2nd, 2010
1:27 pm

Good afternoon Ragnar and thanks for your balancing my post. However I add the following to re-unbalance the equation. From the Bloomberg and WSJ:

“Employment increased in March by the most in three years and the unemployment rate was 9.7 percent for a third straight month, showing the recovery is broadening, Labor Department figures showed earlier today.”

While the numbers are bleak, and most any person whether Democrat, Republican, left, or right knows that the unemployment rate is unacceptably high, and will remain so for quite a while. The item to notice is that the direction seems to be pointing to a topping of the unemployment rate with the next move toward a gradual lowering. Very slow and painful for those who are most affected, the unemployed. But the die is cast as the economy recovers, and recover it is and will. Now I personally don’t think you are against that but I do believe that the Republican establishment that has been anti-everything for the last year is not happy about the timing. I will also add that had they been paying attention from the beginning and understood what the TARP and stimulus programs were designed to do, they could have been part of the solution that is beginning to take place versus standing on the sidelines criticizing everything. For me I would rather be proactive in making change happen rather than being a spectator who wants everything to remain the same. Again, I don’t think you fall into that category but many of the “yellers and screamers” do. I believe that has happened because they have either a limited or no knowledge of economic cycles.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
2:06 pm

Dear Joan and Retired Soldier, I have been following your posts. You both write well and stimulate thinking. My compliments.

RetiredSoldier

April 2nd, 2010
2:12 pm

Ragnar-

Thanks, you also are a voice of reason in this jungle of liberals. Have to fight the good fight the less informed will think what the libs post is the unvarnished truth. Happy Easter!

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 2nd, 2010
2:27 pm

Dear Retired @ 2:12, same to you sir.