Nov. 15, 2012
Employer mandate will not only hurt job growth among small businesses, it is already resulting in fewer hours and less income for workers at larger companies.
America's Governors are set to make a decision on whether to implement an ObamaCare exchange. ObamaCareWatcher.org's John Vinci explains what Americans for Limited Government thinks they should do.
The Marcellus Shale cuts across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and could potentially to help transform the world's energy portfolio. But this will require public policy decisions that rooted in sound science not unsubstantiated alarmism.
Does Harry Reid want to restrict Republican use of the filibuster in the Senate?
Obamacare Mandate To Cut Worker Hours, Leaving The Poor Worse Off
By Howard Rich
In Barack Obama's first term the U.S. labor force shrank to a 30-year low. Job growth lagged behind population growth as millions gave up their search for gainful employment. Income levels receded, productivity sputtered and deficits soared - all in the name of "recovery."
So what does Obama have planned for an encore? How does he intend to further "stimulate" the economy during his second term?
In his victory speech, Obama pledged he would continue pursuing "the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one."
That's a truly frightening thought. In fact if left unchecked, Obama's "bold, persistent experimentation" could very well wind up making this crisis every bit as bad as that one.
For example, atop Obama's second term "to do" list is the full implementation of his signature first term accomplishment: ObamaCare.
Having secured another four years in the White House, Obama can now block any effort to overturn his socialized medicine law - although states can (thankfully) still stop much of its new spending if they reject ObamaCare's "exchanges" and refuse its Medicaid enrollment expansions. For the sake of our future deficits, let's hope they do so en masse.
One provision of ObamaCare that can no longer be stopped, however, is its "employer mandate." While nowhere near as infamous as the "individual mandate" compelling citizen participation in the health insurance market, ObamaCare's requirement that companies provide coverage to all employees working more than 30 hours a week will be a job killer nonetheless.
Not only will this mandate prevent job growth among small businesses, it will also result in fewer hours and less income for workers at larger companies. These are people struggling to make ends meet on limited income - people who cannot afford to lose these hours.
Last month Darden Restaurants - which employs 185,000 people at nearly 2,000 Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster restaurants - revealed that it was scaling back many of its employees' workweeks to 28 hours. Ordinarily such a move would result in high turnover and an influx of less-competent employees - but not in Obama's economy.
ALG Is Urging Governors Not To Implement ObamaCare Exchange
Video by Frank McCaffrey
Get permalink here.
New York Misses Out on Natural Gas Revolution as Junk Science Carries the Day
By Kevin Mooney
With President Obama back in the White House next year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to roll out a new regulation to control drilling techniques used to access natural gas. Even so, the expected surge in U.S. oil production will likely outpace political paybacks to green groups that can be uprooted over time.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) all anticipate the U.S. becoming less dependent on foreign oil sources as the natural gas revolution takes hold. Current forecasts show that the U.S. could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer by 2020.
At issue is a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), that makes use of pressurized water and chemicals to break open rocks to access natural gas. Green groups have worked successfully to block industry from development natural gas resources in New York by arguing that fracking could lead to groundwater contamination. In 2010, former Gov. David Patterson issued an executive order that prevents new drilling permits from being issued until after the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issues a new impact statement. With the public comment period now over, the DEC is expected to release an updated impact statement and a regulatory plan before the end of 2012.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a former chief economist with the U.S. Department of Labor, has a recommendation.
"For fiscal health, New York should emulate Pennsylvania and develop its natural gas reserves," she suggests. "If New York were to permit fracking, the Empire State would see new jobs, a surge of economic activity, and more tax revenues."
At a time when New York's budget deficit exceeds $8 billion, the economic rationale for natural gas development cannot be dismissed. But it is possible to cajole politicians and frighten the public on basis of junk science. The environmental organizations opposed to fracking incessantly claim that it opens the way to water contamination. Here are some key facts:
In a regulatory statement, the Texas Railroad Commission said "Though hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 60 years in Texas, our Railroad Commission records do not reflect a single documented surface or groundwater contamination case associated with hydraulic fracturing.
In Pennsylvania, Scott Perry, director of the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Oil Management has told members of the press "There has never been any evidence of fracking ever causing direct contamination of fresh groundwater in Pennsylvania or anywhere else."
Get full story here.
ALG Editor's Note: In the following featured column from U.S. News and World Report, Peter Roff warns that Harry Reid wants to do away with the filibuster:
GOP Senators Need to Radicalize
By Peter Roff
Over the last two years, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has ruled over the United States Senate like some kind of 19th century potentate.
A ruthless political operative, Reid has single-handedly blocked legislation, prevented the Senate from voting on healthcare repeal, and led the effort to keep his fellow Democrats from having to go on record voting for a budget-as they are by law required to do-for each of the last three years. He has also, by doing what is known on Capitol Hill as "filling the tree," prevented his Republican colleagues from offering amendments on crucial pieces of legislation.
Reid decides what amendments will be offered and by whom, leading to an increase in the number of times the GOP has had to resort to the filibuster. Under Reid's autocratic rule it is the only way they can make their voice heard.
Now Reid says he wants to limit the voice of the GOP even further by restricting the ability of senators to block or slow the passage of legislation. He has not yet put forward an explicit plan for doing so but the intent is clear: to give him even more authority to determine what can be brought to the Senate floor and to further muzzle the opposition.
In order to remain effective, perhaps even in order to survive, Senate Republicans need to be radicalized-much as members of the House were by the Conservative Opportunity Society under the leadership of a then-obscure backbencher named Gingrich. Without a change in attitude, they may be relegated to the status of a permanent and ineffective minority-as hard as that may be to conceive.Get full story here from U.S. News and World Report.