V.P. Pence Is Floating His ‘Healthy Indiana 2.0’ Program To Replace Obamacare

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEWS SITE POLITICO)

When former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence embraced Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion with conservative twists — such as requiring enrollees to contribute to their care — critics lamented poor people would be locked out while backers cheered the program’s focus on personal responsibility.

Neither side’s expectations were quite borne out. Two years later, as the program emerges as a national model thanks to Pence’s role in the Trump administration, the reality on the ground shows what happens when political philosophy collides with the practical challenges of providing health care to tens of thousands of people, many of them in crisis.

Advocates for the poor in Indiana argue that liberal fears of depressed enrollment were overblown. More than 400,000 Hoosiers are enrolled, despite state requirements that low-income residents make nominal monthly contributions to their care or face stiff penalties.

Likewise, Republicans’ contention that the system would promote personal responsibility and prod beneficiaries to ration their care and make better decisions about what treatments to seek also turned out to be overly optimistic.

By all accounts, the expansion — known as the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 — has made a difference. Health officials in Scott County, Ind., a poverty-stricken community about 30 miles from Louisville, Ky., paint a picture of a program that’s bolstered a patchy social safety net — especially during a major HIV outbreak triggered by the opioid epidemic — without bankrupting the Hoosier State or punishing enrollees.

To be sure, the program isn’t perfect, they say. But they overwhelmingly give more positive reviews than not.

“I feel that it has been a good success,” said Dawn Sanders, an outreach worker for Covering Kids & Families of Indiana, a statewide consumer group working in Scott County. “It’s working.”

Healthy Indiana’s influence is expected to increase in the months ahead whether or not Obamacare survives, as state officials and the Trump administration look to replicate some of its conservative features, potentially unleashing a wave of new state restrictions on how non-disabled adults get coverage without any action from Congress.

“The Healthy Indiana Plan has long been, and continues to be, a national model for state-led Medicaid reforms,” HHS Secretary Tom Price wrote in response to senators after his confirmation hearing.

“It is important that Medicaid’s design helps its members to transition successfully from the program into commercial health insurance plans, as [Healthy Indiana’s] consumer-driven approach and underlying incentive structures encourage,” he told lawmakers.

Seema Verma, meanwhile, a Pence ally who helped design the program before she was tapped to run CMS, now has the power to give states greater flexibility to reshape their own programs according to conservative principles.

Kentucky and Arizona have already borrowed aspects of Indiana’s plan while others, including Wisconsin, could move to enact new limits that resemble the approach.

Indiana’s plan also provides a measure of political cover to lawmakers in red states where supporting Obamacare’s coverage expansion is still deeply controversial. Republicans across the country have found it easier to back an expansion of government-funded health care for the poor if it more closely resembles a private insurance market. Yet liberals remain deeply skeptical because of the way the system is designed to cut people off who don’t make monthly payments, at least temporarily.

Both sides could find their assumptions challenged based on the experience in places like Scott County.

The Indiana plan does punish people above the poverty line who stop making monthly contributions by locking them out of coverage for six months. But because most enrollees have incomes below the poverty line, lockouts have been rare, according to state evaluations of the first year of the program. Instead, those below the poverty line who don’t pay are bumped from plans with more generous benefits — including coverage of vision and dental care and better prescription drug benefits into skimpier plans with higher out-of-pocket costs.

“It sounds like, ‘Oh my gosh, people are going to have to pay.’ But people that were uninsured were paying for it already,” if they go to the doctor, said Beth Wrobel, who runs a federally qualified health center in Valparaiso, in the northern part of the state.

Diabetic patients who visited Wrobel’s clinic before the start of Healthy Indiana incurred significantly higher costs paying for their regular medical supplies and routine testing, she said. Now, under the more generous benefit package, “the most you have to pay is $26 a month, and that’s at the high end. Most of our patients pay between $1 and $10 a month,” Wrobel said.

“For the same amount that you were paying at that moment for your diabetic care, you could get medical, dental, behavioral health, optometry and pharmacy. [Healthy Indiana] treated the whole body,” she said.

Randy White, CEO of Fayette Regional Health System in Connersville, in the east-central part of the state, agreed that Healthy Indiana “is not harsh.”

If the liberal specter of a punitive system pushing out enrollees hasn’t quite materialized, neither has conservatives’ vision of a market-like system where patients with “skin in the game” make hard choices about their own health spending. That’s because family members, health workers and nonprofits are helping cover their out-of-pocket costs.

“With some people, I think [personal responsibility] might be a little bit lost,” Sanders said in her office at the Scott County Partnership, a nonprofit. “We try and do what we can in the little bit of time we have with them. But you can only give them so many pamphlets.”

About 2,100 of the enrollees who gained coverage through Indiana’s expansion live in Scott County, a poor, sparsely populated area that gained notoriety where an HIV outbreak took off two years ago, fueled by needle sharing and opioid abuse.

Sanders recalled how a man with substance abuse problems signed up for health coverage in the small town of Austin, Ind., which had set up a “one-stop shop” to get people enrolled and provide medical services like HIV screenings and vaccinations.

“He knew he had hit rock bottom. And he knew he needed help,” Sanders said. “He no longer lives in the area, but he had to be able to get away from this. He has stayed clean this whole time. He now has his children back. We have quite a few success stories, as far as that’s concerned.”

As of early April, there were 216 county residents with HIV, according to Scott County Health Department Administrator Michelle Goodin, but roughly three-quarters of the patients don’t have enough of the virus in their blood to spread it to others. New cases are still being diagnosed.

“We’ve got about 30 to 40 people usually that are HIV-positive in our facility,” said Sheriff Dan McClain, whose staff helps prisoners apply for Medicaid so that they can receive benefits, including mental health and substance abuse treatment, as soon as they are released. “We offer them a test for HIV and … we offer to sign them up for HIP 2.0,” he said.

With an ad-hoc support network fortifying the safety net, some liberal groups and Democratic lawmakers question whether the conservative tweaks are really adding value or simply burdening enrollees with unnecessary complications. Without those hurdles, they say enrollment would be even higher.

Progressives also fear that if the Indiana model is embraced in states that initially did traditional expansions of Medicaid, it would erode enrollment gains.

“Work requirements, lock-out periods, time limits and imposition of onerous premiums and cost-sharing on Medicaid families, who are generally living on a budget of roughly less than $15,000 per year, are not only punitive but also counterproductive in the long-term,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) wrote in a letter to HHS last month to discourage it from approving additional restrictions, many of which would be program firsts. “Requiring poor families to pay more than they can afford for care makes them less likely to access the care they need and less likely to maintain their coverage.”

State surveys of how Healthy Indiana is working present a fragmentary picture, and despite the program’s popularity in Indiana, there are some signs of hampered enrollment because of its complex structure and broader concerns about affordability. For example, roughly half of the enrollees in the more comprehensive benefit package worried about being able to afford their monthly payments. Left-leaning groups have used the data to raise flags about harmful implications for other states.

The first-year report also estimated that roughly 1,240 enrollees received financial help from nonprofits to pay their premiums, a paltry slice of overall enrollment. But residents here believe many more enrollees likely rely on family members, friends and others sources undetected by official surveys. Sanders and others pointed out that the premium cost of keeping someone covered in the program’s more generous benefit package — which includes vision and dental benefits as well as more robust coverage of prescriptions — is as little as $12 for an entire year.

“We’ve paid it out of our pocket many times at the office just to get them hooked up,” said Jeanni McCarty, a nurse at Foundations Family Medicine in Austin. McCarty said she has four family members affected by HIV and five relatives who have passed away from drug abuse-related problems.

Indiana officials by the end of the month will send CMS two more reports, including one that specifically examines the use of health savings-like accounts to help beneficiaries cover their costs. Pence’s successor, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, has already asked the Trump administration to extend the program through January 2021 with a handful of tweaks — though notably absent is a request to institute a work requirement as a condition of receiving benefits.

“We don’t want to put policies and programs in place that are not member-centric,” said Jennifer Walthall, secretary of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration. “Increasing barriers is not the name of the game.”

The West’s largest coal-fired power plant is closing. Not even Trump can save it

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

The West’s largest coal-fired power plant is closing. Not even Trump can save it

February 14 at 6:51 PM

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to help revive the struggling coal industry.

It’s looking like a tough promise to keep.

In the past three weeks, owners of two of the nation’s biggest coal-fired power plants have announced plans to shut them down, potentially idling hundreds of workers. One plant in Arizona is the largest coal-fired facility in the western United States.

“[We’re] bringing back jobs, big league,” President Trump said Tuesday after signing legislation that would scrap requirements for natural resources companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. “We’re bringing them back at the plant level. We’re bringing them back at the mine level. The energy jobs are coming back.”

Yet even with his efforts to roll back Obama-era energy regulations, a lot of coal jobs won’t ever return, mainly because of harsh economic realities.

Case in point: The decision this week by the utilities that own the Navajo Generating Station outside Page, Ariz., to decommission the plant at the end of 2019, decades earlier than expected.

The 2,250-megawatt plant has faced increasing financial pressure in the face of record-low natural gas prices, which have made it more expensive to produce electricity at the facility than to purchase it from cheaper sources.

“The utility owners do not make this decision lightly,” said Mike Hummel, deputy general manager of Salt River Project, which operates the plant and owns it along with several utility companies and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

“NGS and its employees are one reason why this region, the state of Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area have been able to grow and thrive,” he added in a statement. “However, [its owners have] an obligation to provide low-cost service to our more than 1 million customers, and the higher cost of operating NGS would be borne by our customers.”

Environmental activists welcomed the prospect of closing the plant, one of the biggest polluters in the country. The Navajo Generating Station was third on a 2014 Environmental Protection Agency list of major carbon-emitting facilities.

But its closure would deal its community a significant economic blow. Between the plant itself and the Kayenta Mine — located roughly 80 miles away, it provides all the coal for the generating station — nearly 800 workers could find themselves out of work. Many are members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes, which also receive royalties from the plant. In their announcement, the plant’s owners said the tribes or others could still step in to operate the facility beyond 2019.

Less than three weeks ago, Dayton Power and Light reached an agreement with the Sierra Club to close its Killen and Stuart coal-fired power plants in Ohio due to economic reasons. The plants would close in June 2018, the company and nonprofit said.

The Stuart plant, built in the early 1970s, has a capacity of 2,440 megawatts. The Killen plant, built-in 1982, has a capacity of 666 megawatts.

Dayton Power and Light submitted a closure plan for approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The utility said it would develop solar and wind projects generating at least 300 megawatts of power no later than 2022. It also proposed a variety of energy-efficiency steps and grid improvements.

The Sierra Club applauded the moves, which it said would save $37 million a year in health-care costs by avoiding more than 1,200 asthma attacks, 100 heart attacks and nearly 100 deaths linked to the two plants’ emissions. Both facilities are among the largest sources of pollution in the United States, affecting residents as far away as the Atlantic coast.

“The economics of coal are increasingly bad,” said Bruce Nilles, a Sierra Club lawyer. State governments and utilities commissions “will do a lot to prop up” ailing plants, he said, but “it gets increasingly expensive.”

Dayton Power and Light is a subsidiary of Virginia-based AES Corp.

Trump’s ability to save the Navajo plant and others like it is limited, despite his rhetoric. Even if his administration follows through on its promises to relax regulations on the coal industry, those changes aren’t likely to change coal’s fading market.

And if the owners of coal-fired plants lose money when they operate their facilities, keeping them running makes little economic sense.

Recent Immigration Raids in U.S. Cities

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS AGENCY)

What to Know About Recent Immigration Raids in U.S. Cities

10:26 AM Eastern

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants were arrested in raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in cities across the U.S. this week — the first widespread enforcement of President Donald Trump’s policy aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

Trump campaigned on a promise to take action against illegal immigration, pledging to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants by targeting those with criminal records. Notably, experts have challenged Trump’s estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.

The raids took place at homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina and South Carolina, the Washington Post reported, citing immigration officials.

Here are some key details to know:

This action follows Trump’s executive order on immigration
Trump signed an executive order last month aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. It set a priority of deporting any undocumented immigrant who had been charged with a crime, convicted of a crime or had “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

But immigration officials said the recent raids were a “routine” enforcement practice.

“These are existing, established fugitive operations teams. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately,” said Gillian Christensen, acting press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, according to CNN. “ICE only conducts targeted enforcement of criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation’s immigration laws.”

Raids caused panic in immigrant communities
Recent arrests and deportations have affected people who were not considered a priority for deportation under the Obama administration.

Protests broke out in Phoenix this week over the deportation of a mother who had lived in the U.S. for 21 years and was arrested during a routine meeting with ICE on Wednesday. She had been convicted of a felony in 2008 for using a fake social security number to gain employment, but she was not previously considered a deportation priority.

Officials conducted similar raids during Obama’s presidency but prioritized immigrants who were deemed a threat to national security or public safety. Still, more than 2 million people were deported under Obama, leading some critics to label him “Deporter in Chief.”

The raids this week caused fear and confusion in immigrant communities, and immigrants’ rights advocates argued it was different than typical law enforcement action. Some groups issued guidance for dealing with ICE officials. In Austin, Texas, teachers handed out flyers to students, explaining “what to do if ICE comes to your door,” the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Democratic leaders and lawmakers spoke out about the arrests
“Angelenos should not have to fear raids that are disruptive to their peace of mind and bring unnecessary anxiety to our homes, schools, and workplaces,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday. “The Administration should take a just, humane, and sensible approach that does not cause pain for people who only want to live their lives and raise their families in the communities they call home.”

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro confirmed there was a “targeted operation” taking place in the state and said he was “concerned” about the raids.

“I am asking ICE to clarify whether these individuals are in fact dangerous, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state,” he said in a statement.

The Land: Israel And The Palestinians: And The U.S. And The Native Indians

 

Most people in the ‘wired’ world of today know about the struggles in the Holy Lands of Israel between the Nation of Israel and the displaced Palestinian population. For those of you who do not know the back story of this issue I will try to condense this issue into just a few sentences so as to not make a book out of this article. When World War Two broke out the Ottoman Empire ruled the current land of Israel. After the war the British took control of that region but in the U.N. in 1947 a resolution was passed to recreate the Nation of Israel so that the displaced Jewish population could have a Nation of their own again, and this came about in 1948. Because of all the turmoil in the U.N. about this issue the Jewish people were only given a small sliver of the land that they used to call home for over 2,000 years. The British had made an agreement with the U.N. that they would pull out of Palestine in May of 1948 and then give this land to the Jewish people for their homeland. It is sad that the people who lived there were displaced, these folks years later became known as the Palestinians, refugees, a people with no ‘home’. These ‘Refugees’ were eventually taken in by Jordan but were kicked out in 1967, again making them homeless. The Islamic people of the Middle-East own about 99% of the land in this region of the world yet none of them (except for the short stint in Jordan) would let them into their countries. Either this issue shows that the ‘Palestinians people’ are very lousy guests, and/or the Islamic countries of the region are really lousy hosts, or possibly both? I say that because a brother is suppose to take in and to help when their brothers and sisters are in need but the Islamic Nations have not done that.

 

In 1948 on the day that the British completed their pull out the tiny newborn Nation of Israel was attacked by all of their Arab neighbors in an attempt to push all of the Jewish people into the Mediterranean Sea. To make a long story shorter, the people of Israel won that war but just 19 years later the Arab Nations of the Middle-East attacked Israel once again in what has become know as the Six Day War. In this war which Israel won they captured a lot more land from the Arab population who had attacked Israel. Among the lands captured was the Golan Heights in the north and they captured the rest of Jerusalem, to the south they also captured the West Bank and Gaza all the way down to the border with Egypt. The people who started the war who were in the lands that Israel recovered were also now displaced adding to a lousy situation for the Islamic people who caused the war. By my understanding it is the land that Israel recaptured in that six-day war of 1967 that has been causing the biggest conflict with the U.N. (among others). It is this land that has become known as the “occupied territories”. Some world leaders think that Israel has no rights to this land and should not build anything on it.

 

Israel was given a much larger piece of the land by God Himself somewhere around the human year of 1,800 B.C.. They lived on this land until about the year 630 A.D. when Mohammad’s army murdered their way through many countries including the land that belonged to Israel. So, here is where I want to start making some comparisons with land issues inside the U.S.. The Islamic people in Palestine had lived in what is now Israel for about 1,400 years before the U.N. gave some of it back to Israel, it is easy to understand why the ‘displaced’ people are mad at the people who now live on that land. Yet they refuse to accept the fact that there was ever a Nation of Israel before the time of Mohammad no matter how much evidence they are shown. What I am saying is the people of Israel simply took back some of what was their own in 1948 and then again in 1967. In 2005 the Israeli government in an attempt for peace gave back the ‘West Bank’ and the Gaza Strip so that the Palestinian people could have a home of their own since none of the Arab countries would ever allow them to settle in any of their countries. Land for peace is what this event was called, that concept failed, all it did was to give Israel’s haters closer Bases in which to attack Israel from. I have often wondered why if there is going to be a ‘two nation’ reality why can’t the ‘West Bank’ be given “Statehood” status? With Hamas ruling the Gaza Strip there is no way to allow them to become a State. So, who’s land is it in your eyes?

 

Now I would like to talk about the Native American ‘Indians’ and their rights to the land that we call America. A little over 500 years ago Europeans discovered North America and started settling it as if the land was barren of other human beings. Most Europeans did not consider the Indian people who were already here, and had been for thousands of years, as being humans, they demonized them as nothing but Savages. For the next 400 years Europeans kept marching west, killing the Indian people and taking their lands. By the late 1800’s America reached from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and the Native Americans had almost been exterminated. When the newspapers in the east started showing and telling the people what was being done to the Indian people they raised such a ruckus that the extermination concept ended and the concept of Reservations began. The Indian people were ‘given’ the worst of the worst lands to be exiled upon, these were lands that the white man didn’t want, so the Indian people were forced to live there.

 

I am going to make a small example for the purpose of easy clarity. There is a large Navajo Reservation in southwest New Mexico and part of eastern Arizona. I am going to use them in this example. When Europeans discovered what is today the State of New Mexico less than 300 years ago they began ‘settling’ it by removing the Native Americans who had lived there for thousands of years. If today the Navajo people decided that they were tired of living on their Reservation and told the white, black and Mexican people to move off of their land or they would be removed by the Navajo Nation, what do you think would be the result? I know this would not happen, it’s just a conversation point, but what if the U.S. Government said, okay we agree with you so all non-Indian people have to leave the state of New Mexico, what do you think would happen? Now put that concept to all of the 50 States, if the United Nations and the World Court ruled in favor of the Native Americans and they told all of us non-indigenous people to pack up and get off of the Native Americans land, where would we all go? I honestly believe that the Native American people do have the right to tell us all to get off of their land, after all it was stolen by the end of a gun from them. Now back to Israel and the Palestinian people, the Islamic people stole the land  from the Jewish people at the point of a blade, they either had to leave their homes or die. What I am saying is that there is no such thing as Israel’s “occupation” of Arab lands, there is no such thing as Israel building on occupied lands. Just as the correct thing to do here in North America is to give back the occupied lands to its rightful owners because they were well established here long before Europeans crossed the Atlantic, the people of Islam should give back all of the land that was Israel before they were stolen from them. Here in North America there is an occupation” going on right now and has been for about 500 years. In Israel the only “occupation” going on is in the lands where believers of Islam are occupying land that belongs to Israel, it is not the other way around. I hope you liked the article, I am just trying to get people to think and to consider the truth of history.

IS YOUR MOM, YOUR WIFE, YOUR DAUGHTER, JUST ‘A THING’?

 

This morning I received a comment from one of the folks who follow this blog which made me think of the subject matter of this article. Their blog site is (thecomfortablecoop.wordpress.com). Their comment was about an article that I recently reblogged about the local and State standoff at Standing Rock North Dakota with the Indian folks there.  It was their view on how people view other people and about people in general not caring about or thinking about other people that made an old memory of mine come alive. This memory is what this article is about. This memory is about a real, true fact, there is nothing ‘made up’ in the article, I hope you enjoy the read. In fact, I have decided to simply do a copy paste of my response to her comment as I doubt that I could write it any better if I tried to do it again.

 

K.D., think about this one for a moment. I hate to say it is in our “white mans” culture still today, but I don’t know what else to call it. Still today we take care to relocate old grave yards of white folks if a city, county, or State government decides they need to build on that land or to even put a road through it but we still give Native Americans no such respect. I have an example for you of a case that has always bothered me. Just west of Wilcox Arizona is a small family owned business that was bought ‘as is’ just after WW-2 that has a small, old Museum, but with many very cool items in it, except for the ‘Main Attraction’. The big advertisements about this location is called (The Thing). It only cost $1 per person to walk through this Museum and it is well worth the cost. But, in the very last building is ‘The Thing’ which is under glass so that people can’t mess with it. What is this ‘Thing’? This business is located just a little east of Benson Arizona, between them is a beautiful rocky area called ‘Texas Canyon’, this is suppose to be where the Apache Chief Geronimo had his ‘hideout’. This (Thing) is basically a Mummy, it is a very crude Mummy, but still a Mummy. Of what? It is obvious at least to me that it is of an Indian woman who is holding a very, very small baby, as in a new born. To me it is obvious that this ‘woman’ must have died in child birth along with her baby. She must have been someone important in the Tribe for them to try to ‘Mummify” her, who knows, maybe even the wife or daughter of Geronimo? But really, the ‘Thing’? Can you just imagine the outcry if this had been a white woman and her newborn baby? This response is just my way of saying, I agree with you K.D.

 

Well, that is my little history lesson for the day I guess, I hope you liked the information. Most of my adult life was spent behind the windshield of a semi-truck driving all over the lower 48 States and all of Canada. I always enjoyed the scenery on interstates 10-20 and 40. This location is on interstate 10 on the south-side of the highway. It is a place that I stopped at several times throughout the years because they had a good amount of ‘truck parking’. They also have an excellent store of many different items that are made by ‘Indian’ people in the region, and their prices were always fair. It is a good ‘rest area’ plus they have a Dairy Queen inside. The reason I brought this location up is because I have always felt bad about this poor ‘unknown’ lady and her stillborn baby. Personally I do not know how such things can be legal in 21st Century America yet they obviously are. But my question to you is, if this ‘Thing’ was a white woman and her baby, would it be legal then?

 

I close my note to you today by coming back to the title of this article today. If this was your Mom, Sister, or Wife, and your Baby, how would it make you feel? Would it matter to you? Would you wrap your family member in a blanket, say she is a Mummy and sell her to the highest bidder? Folks, I’m just asking…. What’s your thoughts on this matter? Do the people at Standing Rock matter less because ‘their just a bunch of Indians’? Is it really true that here in the good ole USA that only big companies and big money really mean anything, or is it just because they are only a ‘bunch of Indians’? I think it is way past time for a new movement called “Red Lives Matter Too”!

What Is The Value Of The Dollar Inside The United States?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MICHAEL REAGAN REPORT)

Michael Reagan
Businesses Flee California

By Michael Reagan

It never occurred to me that one could do exchange rate calculations between U.S. states. I always thought exchange rates only applied to foreign countries.

For example: Does the 20-to-1 exchange rate for pesos and dollars make up for the risk of decapitation on a visit to Mexico? Or should I settle for the much lower 1.32-to-1 exchange rate for Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars and have a better chance of surviving my vacation?

The Tax Foundation has estimated the difference in purchasing power for a $100 bill in various states. The winner of the competition was Alabama where you get $115.34 in value for your Benjamin.

Right next door to my home state of California, my former home state (went to high school there) of Arizona nets you $103.73 for your hundred smackers.

While in California your $100 is worth $88.97. Only in New York, New Jersey and of course Washington, D.C. could you get less for your money.

Is it any wonder Spectrum Location Solutions found 9,000 businesses left California between 2008 and 2015 in search of pastures where their greenbacks had more impact.

Joseph Vranich, president of SLS, told the Dallas Business Journal “companies are leaving California to escape escalating costs and regulations can move to Texas or Nevada that have no income tax and high relative purchasing power. I even wonder if some kind of ‘business migration history’ has been made.”

In the same interview Varnish estimated that California escapees have enjoyed “astonishing” operating cost savings from 20 to 35 percent.

That’s what happens when nanny state government decides to put the golden goose on an Ex-Lax diet to pay for its “compassionate” big government.

Some states claim to be “open for business” while California has “opened up on business.”

The top ten states that have enjoyed to California’s government-induced business exodus are Texas at the top followed by Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

The California counties that have suffered the largest loss of businesses are just the ones you would expect: Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Diego, Alameda, San Mateo, Ventura, Sacramento and Riverside.

Proving that after a while business realizes California may have good weather, but you can’t take a climate to the bank.

Breitbart observed, “The Tax Foundation established a direct inverse correlation between purchasing power and the percentage level of state tax rate. California, with a 13.3 percent top state tax bracket, leads the nation.”

A dubious distinction that costs the remaining residents in lost employment opportunities.

Michael Reagan is the son of former President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the League of American Voters. His blog appears on reaganreports.com

 

 


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Trump, His Wall And Mass Deportations Of At Least 20 Million People

 

Most everyone here in the U.S. knows by now that a big part of Donald Trumps early popularity was when he started talking about building a huge wall between Mexico and all of the adjoining states namely California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. I wish to make a few things straight with you before I get into my commentary today and that is I am not a fan of Mr. Trump, or Ms. Hillary nor either of their political parties. I am a person that believes in law and order but the law and order I believe in is Scriptural laws. We are all told to obey mans laws unless they are contrary to God’s laws and this is the way I believe. In this article I am going to give my personal beliefs on how we here in the U.S. need to handle our border issues as well as how to address the issue of many millions of illegal immigrants that are already here in the States.

 

When it comes to politics I am a registered Independent because I agree with some of the things that each of the National parties trumpet and I very much dislike some of each’s platform issues also. Since my teen years I have found myself to be a person that would have been a good mediator by trade. I started realizing this when I had friends that were very different from each other and would get into fights with each other yet I liked both even though they were different. I could never understand why I could get along with these people just fine but they could not get along at all. I bring this philosophy to today’s headline, if you can please consider my thoughts on this issue before you get all ticked off at me because I may not agree with your set in stone ideas.

 

I agree that every country needs to have secure borders so that they can know exactly who is in their country. I am for putting up a high large Plexiglas see through wall as a border with Mexico and with Canada with multiple entry points in every border state. This would be for the purpose of making it easy for people who want to visit our country to be able to do so without any problem, legally. This type of border would make it to where Mexico and Canada could also know who is coming into their countries from the U.S.. Don’t be to shocked with this concept, there are quite a few Mexican politicians who want to have a wall built on their Southern Border so that they can control the influx of people streaming into their country from Latin America and South America. If Mexico did this it would be a good thing for the U.S. also as many thousands of people coming from those regions are simply going through Mexico on their way to the U.S.. I am not at all anti-immigrant whether it be Mexican folks or folks from countries south of Mexico but every country needs to try their best to keep gang members, drug smugglers and other terrorist from crossing into their country. I know that most of the people coming into the U.S. across our southern border are simply people who are trying to find work so that they can feed their families and or they are trying to flee the violence of gangs and drug cartels. The Democratic party seems to be in favor of just opening up our borders so that everyone and anyone can come in at will. The Republican party seems to simply be anti poor people and seem to consider all the poor people coming across our southern border as evil people trying to destroy our country. I believe that both of their philosophies are quite ignorant as both policies will destroy our country in the end.

 

The U.S. media has been saying for years now that there are about 11 million illegal immigrants within our borders, I most humbly disagree with that figure. I traveled the lower 48 states for over 30 years in a commercial truck making pickups and deliveries and stops in every state many many times. One of the things that I couldn’t help but notice was that all over the country in all the big cities and in thousands of small towns was the very high Hispanic populations in the work places and walking the streets of their town. I personally believe that there are probably at least seven or eight million illegal folks just in California alone. I honestly believe that the 11 million the media talks about is actually most likely double that figure.

 

Mr. trump has stated several times that he thinks it is a good idea to deport all of these folks that are here illegally and I do understand the argument for this but in the end, this would be a horrible human catastrophic mistake. This would be a worse mistake than what was done to the Japanese people during world war two. Think about it for a moment please, if our government did go through with such a removal policy we would tear the moral fiber of this country apart. We would be hunting down millions of people like they were rabid dogs, removing parents while leaving their children to fend for themselves or being but into the welfare system. This policy would cause hatred that would never be cooled off. This ignorant policy would destroy whole towns, businesses, Churches and families for generations. No matter who wins in the November elections we as a Nation must invent a good and fair policy concerning both our borders and the illegals that are here right now. We need a policy to help give the people who are here now a very direct path to citizenship as long as they have not gotten into any physical violence trouble while they have been here, do not have any felony warrants out for their arrest and are not gang members. We should deport these trouble makers or arrest them and put them into prison. Yet we must not treat the people who are here simply trying to earn a living to support their families as if they are terrorists. Many people who are here from countries in South America are here trying to flee the violence and the gangs in their home lands, we must not put them back into those situations. About a week ago I watched a TV program that was showing people taking the oath and becoming U.S. citizens and I believe the figure they gave was that about 780,000 people each year get their legal citizenship this way. The program said that the majority of these people were from Mexico. Since we allow 780,000 each year now I believe that we as a country should allow lets say about one million people per year this benefit with about 700,000 of those folks being people from Mexico and or people from Latin or South America. Well, so much for my attempt at being a fair mediator, what are your opinions?

Demonic Ignorant American Media: Israel Is Not ‘The Occupier’ You Idiots

 

                           Israel is not the occupier-First Published On 9-23-2013

 

The Hebrew/Jewish people are not the occupier of the Holy lands, saying they are is an ignorant statement in itself. That statement is about as intelligent as saying the Navajo people are the occupiers of the white man’s lands in New Mexico. The Jewish/Hebrew people had lived in the Holy Lands for about 2,200-2,300 years before the creation of the Islamic religion. If people would check the history books you would find that Islam began in/about 632 A.D.. You might also be surprised to find out that Christian and Jewish Peoples dominated the whole middle-east at the time of Islam’s inception. Israel is today only on a small sliver of the land that actually belongs to Her. If you look at the map of Israel that God Himself gave to the Hebrew people then you would see that it is not the Israelis who are living on Palestinian land.  By God’s orders all the land that the media is saying Israel is the ‘occupier’ of is totally a lie and they know it. In fact every inch of the ground that is currently Israel as well as all of Gaza and the West-Bank belongs totally 100% to Israel not the ‘Palestinians’.

When Mohammed came back to Mecca from Media he came as a conquering general, not as a Holy man. Soon thousands of uneducated violent men were ridding rampant across all of the Middle-East and then up into France and Spain until they were finally turned back by force, back across the sea into North Africa. Holy man, really? Their MO was the same then as it is now, murder everyone who refuses to bow to their God, then take all of their possessions as spoils of war.

The Quran is not the primary Holy book of Islam; it is the secondary book of their faith. The Quran is the “sayings of the prophet”. There is a book called the Hadith which is the book of “the works/actions” of the prophet. All “good” Muslims are required to “do as the prophet did, to imitate his works”. This is the book that Islam tries to hide from the rest of the world because it shows their “action plan for Jihad on the rest of all the nations”.  It is no secret to the 20% or so of their faithful male population that can read, nor to the 50% or so of their Iman’s who can read, that Islam is at war with the rest of the world, and that war will never stop until Gabriel sounds God’s trumpet.

The Western countries and America are to lazy and to ignorant of religious realities to understand that a billion people are at war with them. There is an old reality, when only one side of something is at war, that is the side that will win. If you know Scripture, you would know these things and you would be able to see this blueprint being followed.

About 98-99% of all of the earth’s people who follow the God of love/kindness/ and caring are going to be murdered for their faith and for their possessions. Those that conform to the evils that are now upon all the earth in the effort to just get along, and to survive for now, will be crushed like the grapes in the wine-press at the sounding of God’s trumpet. All I can do is to feel sorry for those shallow scared people, that and pray for them to wake up before they are also murdered by this “God” of hate. God is love, God is not hate. If you are a person who is following a God of hate, you will forever live in the fire with him.

When you begin to realize that in the Middle-East that with Islam and with Judaism their religion is their politics and their politics is their religion, maybe you will begin to understand reality a little more. Just like Hamas took over Gaza and next they will root out Fatah (because they consider them to be more liberal), in the West Bank. Fundamental Islam will not share any power longer that they feel is necessary to do so. ISIS is a Sunni group, among the things they are trying to eradicate is everyone who is not a faithful follower of Sunni Islam, that does include all Shiite Islamist believing people. Iran is Shiite as is the Government of Syria and Iraq. For now this is where ISIS is concentrating most of it military power, for now. People, the Middle-East is a total tender box, when it goes up the world economies are going to have the proverbial cow. This hell will soon be on our shores. Most folks in the world are totally unaware of it but many of the first shots have been fired in WW-3. If President Putin would wake up and realize where his and his country’s real enemies are and stop trying to act like a WW-2 thug it would be very helpful for world and Russian economies and their safety. We the people must have each others backs or we will all die.

Do you see how much good all the blood and money we poured into Iraq has done? Now we will have civil war there until one sect rules the others, then we get another cancer for their “Supreme” leader. Next, the President of Afghanistan is in talks with the Taliban to work out a government sharing plan “with American guidance”. Why did we “the West and the U.S.” put all the blood and money into this country, to get this result? It will not be long until their president is dead or living in exile, and the Taliban will again rule that country. The only way to put an end to terrorism is to completely eradicate the cancer that is trying/going to kill you. America and the West have to weak of a stomach for that though. This is why one of the three Demons/anti-Christ will be from the Americas’, and all who will not “submit” to them will die. Friends/people/brothers, the world IS at war, everyone, everywhere has a decision to make (doing nothing is in itself a decision). Are we going to live and die like free God-loving human beings, hoping and waiting on Gods’ trumpet, or will we die like animals on our knees before the ultimate tyrant?      

The people of Israel are well aware of all of these truths about their neighbors on all sides. The people of Israel know that they are hated by almost all of their neighbors people and their Governments. These people know that everyday they and their families are on the front lines of this war that all of the West seems to turn a blind eye to, as much as they can away with. If you pretend something isn’t there, it isn’t is it? The American Government doesn’t seem to understand the region. Our Governments Leaders all need to wake up, Israel is the best friend the United States has ever had. I just hope our current Leader isn’t going to try to give away Texas or Arizona like he has been trying to give Israeli land back to Islam.

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