e-News October 8, 2010

1) The Week Just Past: Where are the jobs?

2) Noted with Interest: Businesses on the Sidelines

3) Counter-terrorism Efforts ‘Hamstrung’

4) Obamacare: The “fallout” from Somerset Hills AARP!

5) Obamacare: Missing Deadline after Deadline

6) Obamacare Claims Another Health Care Victim

7) Quote of the Week:  Barack Obama on our “Fiscal Situation”

8) Rodney Honored for Small Business Support


The Week Just Past: Where are the jobs?

“Another disappointing jobs report was published by the Department of Labor this morning.  Overall, the unemployment rate held steady at 9.6 percent, but the nation's economy lost 95,000 jobs in September and private sector growth remained sluggish. 

“This week’s report is simply not good enough for the American people.

“And, these days, many economists are growing increasingly concerned that a Lame Duck Congress and President Obama will fail to strike a deal on the fate of Bush-era tax cuts by the end of the year, a stalemate which will threaten to cause significant damage to the US recovery.

“While the concern among economists is mainly focused on the potential impact of less spending power for Americans starting next year, some also worry that any U.S. recovery could also be hurt by the uncertainty surrounding tax policy, as consumers hold back on shopping in anticipation of a tax increase. 


“It’s clear: we should have extended all the Bush tax cuts before Speaker Pelosi adjourned Congress for the political season.  Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said last weekend that Democrats in the House and Senate did not hold a vote on whether or not to extend the expiring tax cuts because they were ‘too scared.’

“Well, they better get over whatever fears they have.  The economy, including New Jersey family budgets, hangs in the balance.”


Noted with Interest: Businesses on the Sideline

The reasons behind the poor jobs outlook are myriad, experts say: the tax climate remains uncertain as November's election prospects hang in the balance; the government is continuing to peel off public employees who worked for the Census; and while double-dip recession fears are coming off the table, belief that the recovery will be slow and painful is not.

"As far as corporate America hiring again it's basically dependent on what happens in Washington," says Peter Cardillo, chief economist at Avalon Partners in New York. "If the opposition party should gain enough seats to perhaps reverse the present administration's policies somewhat, then I think you'll see a big pickup in employment." 

Read the CNBC story here:


Counter-terrorism Efforts ‘Hamstrung’

Former Governor Tom Kean, co-chair of the National 9-11 Commission, tells the Los Angeles Times that counter-terrorism analysts still lack the data-search tools they need and probably won't have them any time soon. “The president's got to make this a top priority and right now it doesn't seem to be,” he said. Read about Governor Kean’s frustrations here:


Recommended Reading: Gary Schmitt, writing in Wednesday’sWall Street Journal,The Demilitarization of Europe: Our NATO allies aren't spending enough to be credible security partners anymore.” This should be a wakeup call to some who want the Administration to further cut defense and intelligence spending as terrorist alerts are raised across Europe and American travelers are warned by our State Department!  Read the article here.


Obamacare: The “fallout” from Somerset Hills AARP!

An excerpt from the recent AARP Somerset Hills Chapter #5275 newsletter:

“Health Advocacy”– by Dorothy Zufall, Ed.D.

“Obamacare – isn’t all about the first payments to close the donut hole (it affects about 1 out of 9 or 10 seniors), allowing dependents to stay on parents’ policies through age 26, or requiring plans to cover (at no charge) preventive care.

“Did you know that in 2011:

  • Medicare Advantage cuts begin
  • Medicare cuts to home health care begin
  • Wealthier seniors ($85,000-$170,000) being paying higher Part D Premiums
  • Medicare reimbursements cuts for diagnostic imaging begin (MRIs, CT scans, etc.)
  • Medicare cuts begin for ambulance service, diagnostic labs, and durable medical equipment
  • Employers will be required to report the value of your health benefits on W-2 forms
  • Medicare cuts to Hospitals, nursing homes, and in-patient rehab facilities begin

“Did you know that in 2012:

  • Medicare cuts to dialysis treatment begin;
  • Medicare cuts to hospitals with high readmission rates begin;
  • Medicare cuts to hospice begin;

“2013 to 2018 will bring more! Such as a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, more cuts to home health services, an increase of .9% in Medicare wage tax, a new 3.3% tax on unearned income (an individual’s income derived from sources other than employment, such as interest and dividends from investments, or income from rental property), etc.

“We are now beginning to see that the bill has many unanticipated consequences. Since the law was signed, the nonpartisan CBO (Congressional Budget Office) has predicted that it will cost an extra $115 billion to implement. It looks as if subsidized health insurance for some will mean more expensive health insurance for all.”

                   AARP Somerset Hills Chapter #5275 newsletter


Obamacare: Missing Deadline After Deadline

In a development that does not bode for the federal government’s ability to run the national health care system effectively and efficiently, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service has determined that the Department of Health and Human Service has already missed seven deadlines mandated by the new health care law.  Read the story in The Hill here.


Obamacare Claims Another Health Care Victim

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that 3M will stop offering health insurance to its retirees in 2013 because of Obamacare. 

In a memo to its employees 3M said, "As you know, the recently enacted health care reform law has fundamentally changed the health care insurance market."  

3M is the latest company to announce that Obamacare has forced it to drop the health insurance plans.  Last week, Harvard Pilgrim told seniors in the northeast they would have to find a new health insurance plan, and the Principal Financial Group announced it was terminating all its health insurance business because of the new health care law. 

Less than a week after President Obama signed Obamacare, 3M had to record a $90 million on its earnings because the new law changed a tax provision for companies that provide prescription drug benefits to their employees.  Several other large employers, including AT&T, Medtronic, Caterpillar, Valero Energy, and Deere & Co, were affected by this same provision and took charges up to $1,370,000,000.

Read the Wall Street Journal story here.


Quote of the Week: Barack Obama on our “Fiscal Situation”

President Barack Obama on Monday said the United States was facing an "untenable fiscal situation" and would have to get serious about tackling its federal deficit.

Of course, this is after he signed a failed trillion dollar “stimulus” into law, boosted other discretionary spending and exploded the national debt to record heights!

For the record, the U.S. budget deficit is forecast at a record $1.47 trillion for the fiscal year that ended on September 30.


Rodney Honored for Small Business Support by NFIB

Rodney has been awarded the “Guardian of Small Business Award” from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for his support of legislation and policies critical to ensuring the success of small businesses across the country.

“Small business men and women are the backbone of our American economy.  They create seven out of every ten jobs in the nation,” Rodney said. “During tough economic times, we must to do everything we can to ensure that small business owners have the tools and resources they need to succeed.  If they succeed, America succeeds!”

In announcing the award, NFIB President Dan Danner said, “Small business owners pay close attention to how their lawmakers vote on the issues affecting their businesses. The Guardian award is a symbol of sincere appreciation from the small business community for votes that supported their ability to own, operate and grow their businesses.”