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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The nation’s biggest employer has abruptly shut itself down.

It’s difficult to describe the ramifications of suddenly taking $300 million a day out of an economy where millions of Americans are already out of work. But this graph from Gallup shows the immediate effect the shutdown has had on consumer confidence, which is now 14 points lower than it was the week before the shutdown. This means consumers haven’t been this pessimistic since December of 2011.

In the mid-1990s — during the last government shutdown — the economy was far healthier, which may explain why Americans already view this shutdown as more serious than the last one.

Gallup Shutdown Compared to 1995

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • charleo1

    The message of the Right Wing echo machine is uncharacteristically muddled.
    One school of thought holds that the shutdown is actually no big deal. Referring
    to the shutdown as a slowdown, or slim down. And an opportunity to demonstrate
    to the American people, how little an impact a much smaller government has on
    American’s daily lives. Airheads like Marsha Blackburn, (R. TN) and Michelle
    Bachmann, (R. MN) saying such things as, we’re very excited, and we have never
    been so happy, as now! While bloviator Sean Hannity, delivers his usual load of
    mindless drivel, in front of a graphic declaring it, “Obama’s Shutdown!” Taking
    the GOP hard line, thuggish contention, that President Obama, and Harry Reid
    could end the shutdown tomorrow. If they would only, “negotiate.” Presumably,
    with those negotiations resulting in first crippling, defunding, and finally repealing
    The Affordable Healthcare Act. But, say President Obama agreed to such a
    bargain. Unwisely breaking the cardinal rule whenever dealing with kidnappers,
    extortionists, and mobsters offering to, “protect,” your small little business here.
    (As in, it would be a shame to see anything happen to a nice place like this, So,
    me and the boys thought we’d become partners, you know, to make sure nothing
    bad happens to you, and your family. If you know what I mean?) Then, what else,
    to raise the debt limit? The Keystone pipeline? Cut, cap, and balance? We’ll do
    the cutting, and capping. You do the balance? Listen, Mr. President. Ted really
    likes that Presidential jumbo jet.

    • Mike Jones

      Remember Boehner saying that Obamacare was the law of the land after the election? What happened to that? LOL If they give in to the GOP’s demands they will think they can threaten to shutdown the government or destory the economy at every turn even making new demands to things they have already agreed to the last time they threatened to destroy the world’s economy. We should call the GOP’s actions what it is “Treason”

      • charleo1

        Yes, I do remember Boehner saying that. And if he had strong
        leadership abilities, he would have told his group of thuggish
        T-Baggers, he wasn’t going to lead them into a fight they would
        eventually lose. That the healthcare bill was law. Obama had
        no intentions of dismantling it. And without the votes, neither
        could they. And if they wanted to be real politicians, they would
        need to learn how to tell their constituents the truth once in a
        while. Even if they didn’t want to hear it. As far as Obama. He
        learned the hard way about what happens when you deal with
        blackmailers, and terrorists. They’ll be back, and next time,
        demand even more. That government simply cannot be run
        by threat.

    • Independent1

      Charle, you may have seen this, but since you mentioned Obamacare, and in case you haven’t seen it, I thought you might appreciate seeing someone that has really been helped by ACA – and a Republican to boot!!

      Here’s an excerpt from a ThinkProgress article about a Republican (Butch Matthews) in Arkansas, who will be saving $13,000/year because of Obamacare: (How many stories like the one below do you think the GOP needs to hear before they wake up??)

      Matthews was self-employed between 1997 and 2010, meaning he had to purchase his own plan on the individual market. After retiring, he chose a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for himself and his wife that charged a $250 per month premium and had a $2,000 deductible. But the price of that policy kept rising even as it covered fewer of his costs, eventually devolving into his current rate of $1,069 per month with a $10,000 deductible. At this point, it doesn’t even cover his medication or doctors’ visits — a particular concern considering he had to have two stents placed in his heart in 2006.

      “I do not work now, I’m 61, and we do have assets saved up. But still, to
      come up with that $1,069 per month….” he said, trailing off. “I went to Blue
      Cross Blue Shield, and they don’t even sell that plan anymore, but I could not
      change it to anything else. So I was locked in with it.”

      That all changed once Obamacare’s state-level marketplaces opened
      to the public on Tuesday. Matthews knew that, at his income level, the law
      would help him pay for insurance. But even he might not have expected just how good of a deal he could get: his new coverage will cost him absolutely nothing in monthly premiums after factoring in federal subsidies, and has a deductible of $750.

      So what would Matthews tell other Americans who are skeptical about Obamacare? “I would tell them to learn more about it before they start talking bad about it,” he noted. “Be more informed, get more information, take your time and study and not just go by just what you hear on one side or the other. Actually check the facts on it.”

      “I still am a very strong Republican, but this… I’m so happy that this came along,” he continued. “Our home is paid for, vehicle’s paid for, this is our expense that we have. We have more expense on medical care than everything else put together, so this is going to be a great help for us.”

      • charleo1

        First, thanks for sharing. I had not seen the article. But it’s story is
        a common one. For me, my similar story began in 1994. I was 40
        years old, and had always dreamed of starting my own business.
        And, thought, if not now when? Of course, my insurance stayed at
        the old job. And even though I held multiple insurance licenses, my
        niche had been estate planning, and it did not dawn on me how
        even a mild chronic condition could upset all my best laid plans.
        However, I had no serious concerns with my health, and passed
        the physical, and purchased a modest HMO, with a major medical.
        Again, I had hardly had a sick day in my life. And it just didn’t
        appear on my radar, that if I did get seriously ill, this policy would
        be the one that I’d be married to, until death do us part. Or, I
        qualified for Medicare. It was in 2004 a series of abnormal signs,
        I just didn’t feel very well, sent me to my doctor. This is just how
        it happens. The next day I was in the hospital where oncologists were looking for the primary source of the cancer they were pretty sure had metastasized from one of the major organs. But, damned
        if they could find which one. Labs were inconclusive. They were
        guessing! Multiple Myeloma, one said. No Non Hodgkin’s, most likely. Well, this would indicate a Lymphoma, for sure, this German doctor,
        I could hardly understand said. Did you know, there are more than
        20 kinds of Lymphomas? Some are very rare, and that is worse.
        Because, even though they probably know how to make the cure,
        they won’t make a special batch for just you. Just no money in it.
        Well, I was released in the fall of 2004, without a diagnosis. Then, began my fight with my HMO. The endless waits for their precious permission to see the doctor that could tell me what kind of cancer
        it was, that was eating me alive! Back to the PCP for test results.
        And always the two to three week wait for authorizations. They were
        hoping I would die! I was sure of it. Then, they would be off the hook
        to pay for the treatments. We were stuck together, my insurance
        company, and me. Like a miserable couple. They hated me for
        becoming the profit, turned liability. I hated them for the miserly way they were dribbling out my care, and perhaps, in the process, ending my life. Fortunately for me, and the insurance company, it was not
        cancer. But, it took me the better part of two years to find out. A lot
        of that due to the way my insurance stood between me, and my
        doctors. And the days, and endless nights of my wife, and family’s needless worry, I can never get back for them. I’m angry, and I’ll always be angry at the insurance company, and the system that allowed a corporation to treat a human being in such a cold callous, manner. That’s why this issue is so personal to me. Why I know how important it is, we have healthcare reform in this Country of ours. Why, when I heard Mitt Romney say, if I don’t like my insurance company, I can fire them. I like firing people. The press picked up on the last line. Completely missing the single most important reality that puts to ruin, all the contentions about private insurance companies, and their relationship to freedom, and liberty. I thought no, Mr. Romney. I can’t fire my insurance company!

        • Independent1

          Sorry to hear that you had to go through so much stalling by an insurance company before they figured out that you didn’t have cancer – but sure glad that was the final diagnosis. I agree 100% that it makes no sense for an insurance company to dictate to healthcare professionals what tests they can and can’t run to make a diagnosis and at what pace they can make tests. Hopefully the Obamacare legislation addresses that problem, as well as, preventing insurance companies from covering only the medical procedures, that they in all their magical wisdom deem “necessary”. It’s amazing how insurance companies have somehow coralled all the medical experts in the world who seem to know just what’s best for you so they can dictate to hospitals and doctors what they will and won’t cover as they try to provide the best care for you they can.
          Let’s hope that Obamacare includes guidelines that keep insurance companies out of getting in the middle, thinking that THEY KNOW WHAT’S BEST, so our doctors and hospitals can in fact provide all Americans with the best healthcare possible.

          • charleo1

            Well, thank you so much. I read your posts religiously.
            And always learn something new, I didn’t know. Or see a
            perspective I’d overlooked, or failed to appreciate! My problem turned out to be a fairly common malfunction of
            my auto-immune system. The root cause of many types of
            arthritis. Which is what it eventually was found to be. Actually
            the result of the technology of MRIs, and CAT scans, giving
            doctors the ability to look much deeper into the body. And
            discovering a heretofore, most likely benign congenital, mass on my cervical vertebra. Combined with the same technology not being able to discern a cancerous lesion, from a simple
            inflammation. So they were forced to keep cutting pieces of
            me out, to send to the lab. I mean, who hopes their lab test for cancer comes back positive? I can say I did. Just to get past the not knowing. I thought about suing the insurance company. But, found a clause in the policy that prevents it. Leaving arbitration as the only path to recourse. So, even as you apply for coverage, you give up your Rights to have your case for redress heard in a real court of law. And studies of this process show, the insurance company prevails 90% of the time. However, that may be just the beginning of your
            troubles. Because the arbitration process opens up another
            insurance company practice known as rendition. Where
            they scrutinize your original application. Any discrepancies,
            or errors, even of their making, becomes grounds for
            the company’s unilaterally voiding the contract. And suing
            you to recoup the monies they were not legally obligated
            to pay in the first place. The Affordable Care Act abolishes
            this practice. So, for that alone people should support the
            law. But unless they’ve lived it like I have, they have no

      • CooofNJ

        Very interesting post. One of the key differences that I see between Republicans (hard line) and pretty much everyone else is that they simply have no empathy. Unless and until something happens to them personally they simply can’t FATHOM why there is a problem. Their only response is that “this person wants a freebie”, not “this person has a problem they couldn’t fix on their own”. So, if you eat right and exercise, you will never get sick, right? I guess you chose your parents well (me, personally, I had no say in that matter) and don’t live someplace where you could get run over by a bus, hit by a car, fall off a ladder, catch an autoimmune disease, etc.

        This lack-of-empathy issue was driven home to me some time ago by Megyn Kelly of Fox News. She is famous for ridiculing people who want all kinds of “privileges” from the government, etc. Fast forward to her having a baby. When she returned to work, she RAILED against how the US is so backward that we don’t have good parental leave policies – “Don’t you know that bonding with your baby is CRITICAL? That giving parents leave provides all kinds of benefits down the road!?” etc., etc. Okay Megyn, NOW that you experience the BS that everyone else has had to put up with, it becomes an important issue?

        Argh! They drive me crazy…..

    • DowneastDiva

      Compromise? I remember Boehner saying he ‘rejects the word’ now he’s interested? Where has he been the last 4 years? Maybe they should consider working more than 109 days a year if they can’t get their job done. Not interested in their bullchit negotiations. That ship has sailed.

  • George Allegro

    In this video, communistic liberal democrat Louis Michael Seidman viciously attacks the Constitution of the United States:

    • jointerjohn

      I watched the video, twice. He did not attack the Constitution. He raises the same questions about the appropriate application of it that legal scholars have debated for years. You’re trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    Fun fact: The last US Government budget bill passed the Senate on April 29, 2009. Since then, Senate democrats have obstructed every single budget passed by the House.