How many of you are following the financial news? Did you see that the feds had to revise the 1st quarter GDP numbers from up 3% to -2.9%? Yep....no Barack Obama trotting down the steps of the White House back portico, arms swinging, to mount his little backyard podium and boast of a vibrant economy? Nope, seeing how the news was bad, seeing how the news was pretty damn catastrophic, all we heard from the White House was Obama's mouthpiece press secretary blaming the poor economic performance on the weather.
Well, not more than an hour later a score of economists popped up on CNBC and pronounced that as nonsense. They offered that even severe weather generates robust economic activity, the purchase of space heaters, snow blowers, snow shovels, rain gutters and winter coats and sweaters and rain coats and snow tires, and on and on.
Fortunately, for anyone who was interested in those dismal GDP numbers, a think tank and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had been running the numbers since January. And the culprit for the weakest GDP numbers since World War II? Yep....Obamacare.
You see, the problem was that Americans had been listening to Obama and the Reid/Pelosi team championing all those Obamacare signups and how lovely that so many were getting medical care for free or for chump change. But, sadly, they took their eye off the ball of all those poor middle class chumps who were footing the bill for the freeloaders with staggeringly high medical premiums! In many cases Obamacare premiums had quadrupled the costs they had been paying for medical insurance before.
So blue collar America pulled in their horns and didn't buy momma a Valentine's Day card, didn't take little Suzy out for her 10th birthday, forced little Timmy and Billy to wear last year's winter coat, stopped planning trips to Disney World, decided to keep driving the 2000 Chevy Impala instead of buying a new car, cancelled their cable and downsized their cell phone plan and cancelled plans for a night out at the ball game.
The Chamber of Commerce study totaled it all up and calculated that $150 billion dollars of consumer spending went "unspent." Well, even for the American economy that's a huge chunk of change that didn't change hands! Even the $11 billion dollars returned to illegal aliens for child tax credits were socked under the mattress! Welfare queens, usually ebullient at getting that big IRS check in March, cancelled their annual trips to Las Vegas and stayed home.
I wish that was the worst of it...but it's not. The financial editor at CNBC ran an article today about how the Obamacare will suck the life out of the economy. The Fiscal Times, Ed Morrissy, says with all the Obamacare waivers and delays (holding the hurt back until after the 2014 elections), we are going to see a massive drag on the economy as those Obamacare delays and waivers go away.
Over 400 of America's largest businesses are already taking steps to head off the worst of Obamacare. They are downsizing employee staffing, reducing work hours to fall below the 29 hour per week threshold where Obamacare enrollment is not required. And if 70% of all business activity comes from small business how much more will the hurt be as these small business concerns opt not to hire, or cut back employee hours as well? Morrissy says as the Obamacare mandate nears in 2015, watch for a severe drop in employee hours worked as businesses cut back to avoid the employer mandate.
Like everything else, when Obama implements one of his crazy programs it touches the lives of so many others, not just the Obamacare fiasco. Imagine what the GDP will be with another ten million losing their jobs or working only part time. Little Timmy may be wearing that old winter coat for a long, long time. Suzy's gonna have to live with crooked teeth cause her parents just can't afford the braces. There's gonna be a lot of shiny new cars sitting on the dealer's lot, and wifey can forget about a box of candy and a Valentine's card until well after Barack Obama is out of the White House.
Meantime, the Bureau of Economic Affairs is projecting a huge deficit between what was paid in premiums and the actual costs of care. With the employee mandate put on hold, Obama cannot expect to receive the $200 billion from business that the mandate might have generated had business kept the same number of employees and maintained the same weekly work hours.
Morrisey says sometime after January 1st (after the mid-term elections) Obama will be coming to Congress for an emergency appropriation of some $80 billion in taxpayer dollars to pay for all those free and subsidized premiums. Even worse, all the health insurers have said they miscalculated their premium numbers and expect to raise premiums by an average of 25% during the fall healthcare signups.
And yes, worse, try to imagine working Americans trying to pay those enormous Obamacare premiums while being dunned by the IRS for some $80 billion dollars for this year's shortfall. If you think this year's GDP numbers are scary, just wait until next year folks.