18 Democratic senators revolt against Harry Reid on Obamacare tax

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Eighteen Democratic U.S. Senators and senators-elect sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week calling for a “delay in the implementation” of the medical device tax in Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The provision was an integral part of the version of the Obamacare law, which was passed in the Senate under Reid’s stewardship in 2009. It is set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

An effort to repeal the provision failed in Congress in June. At the time, Reid characterized the proposed repeal as a Republican attack on Obamacare.

“The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. … With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax — causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses,” according to the letter. “We urge you to support delaying enactment of this provision in a fiscally responsible manner.”

The provision’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers has sparked panic within the medical devices industry. Indiana-based Zimmer Holdings, which manufactures hip replacement implants, laid off 450 workers in anticipation of $60 million in taxes in 2013. Michigan-based Stryker Corp., which also produces hip implants, laid off 5 percent of its workers in a bid to compensate for the $100 million it will pay in taxes next year.

The provision has proved to be problematic for Democratic senators from states with large numbers of medical device companies. Indiana Senator-elect Joe Donnelly and Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow signed the letter alongside the next Massachusetts Senate delegation, Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry, whose state is home to more than 400 medical device companies.

Democrats sent their letter to Reid less than three weeks after dozens of medical device industry executives “swarmed” Capitol Hill in a lobbying push that resulted in more than 60 different meetings with legislators. The trade groups Advanced Medical Technology Association, Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, and Medical Device Manufacturers Association led the lobbying effort to delay the provision.

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Mass layoffs Planned as Obamacare becomes reality

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Here’s a list of companies planning layoff’s because of Obamacare, compliled by Freedom Works.

Welch Allyn

Welch Allyn, a company that manufactures medical diagnostic equipment in central New York, announced in September that they would be laying off 275 employees, or roughly 10% of their workforce over the next three years.  One of the major reasons discussed for the layoffs was a proactive response to the Medical Device Tax mandated by the new healthcare law.

Dana Holding Corp.

As recently as a week ago, a global auto parts manufacturing company in Ohio known as Dana Holding Corp., warned their employees of potential layoffs, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses”.  After laying off several white collar staffers, company insiders have hinted at more to come.  The company will have to cover the additional $24 million cost somehow, which will likely equate to numerous cuts in their current workforce of 25,500 worldwide.

Stryker

One of the biggest medical device manufacturers in the world, Stryker will close their facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs in December.  Worse, they plan on countering the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 5% of their global workforce – an estimated 1,170 positions.

Boston Scientific

In October of 2009, Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott, warned that proposed taxes in the health care reform bill could “lead to significant job losses” for his company.  Nearly two years later, Elliott announced that the company would be cutting anywhere between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while simultaneously shifting investments and workers overseas – to China.

Medtronic

In March of 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that Obamacare taxes could result in a reduction of precisely 1,000 jobs.  That plan became reality when the company cut 500 positions over the summer, with another 500 set for the end of 2013.

Others

A short list of other companies facing future layoffs at the hands of Obamacare:

  • Smith & Nephew – 770 layoffs
  • Abbott Labs – 700 layoffs
  • Covidien – 595 layoffs
  • Kinetic Concepts – 427 layoffs
  • St. Jude Medical – 300 layoffs
  • Hill Rom – 200 layoffs

Beyond the complete elimination of a significant number of American jobs is another looming problem created by the health care law – a shift from full-time to part-time workers.

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Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts, “I’ll Be Damned If I Want To Have Obama Lecture Me”

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On the Tuesday broadcast of the nightly Nevada political program “Ralston Reports,” Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts sat down with host Jon Ralston to discuss the presidential election.

Wynn, an outspoken critic of President Obama, didn’t hold back in his latest criticism of the incumbent president seeking a second term.

“I’ll be damned if I want to have him lecture me about small business and jobs. I’m a job creator. Guys like me are job creators and we don’t like having a bulls-eye painted on our back,” Wynn said about Obama to Ralston. An excerpt of the interview is below.

WYNN: I’ve created about 250,000 direct and indirect jobs according to the state of Nevada’s measurement. If the number is 250,000, that’s exactly 250,000 more than this president, who I’ll be damned if I want to have him lecture me about small business and jobs. I’m a job creator. Guys like me are job creators and we don’t like having a bulls-eye painted on our back.

The president is trying to put himself between me and my employees. By class warfare, by deprecating and calling a group that makes money ‘billionaires and millionaires who don’t pay their share.’ I gave 120% of my salary and bonus away last year to charities, as I do most years. I can’t stand the idea of being demagogued, that is put down by a president who has never created any jobs and who doesn’t even understand how the economy works.

Wynn on a scrapped business plan: “I’m afraid of the president. I have no idea what goofy idea, what crazy, anti-business program this administration will come up. I have no idea. And I have to tell you Jon that every business guy I know in the country is frightened of Barack Obama and the way he thinks.”

Sept. jobless report labeled ‘a setup’

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As you read this be aware that the Household surveys are more like a poll of 60,000 people (been done for years) , but the business survey is more reliable. Also what isn’t being reported is 582,000 of these 873,000 household jobs are part time/temporary jobs. The U6, which is a better indicator of unemployment is still over 14%.

CNBC calls the numbers “tame,” but also notes the “contradictory” numbers.

Hotair.com says:

Something’s odd with this report.  Either the household survey (one of the two surveys the BLS uses to compile this report) is way off, or the BLS is underreporting job growth in the overall numbers.

A Christian financial expert is reacting to Friday’s unemployment rate report out of Washington, calling the alleged drop “deceptive” and indicative of why Americans are losing faith in their government.

The federal government says the unemployment rate fell sharply from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent last month — the same unemployment rate as when Barack Obama took office. According to the report, 114,000 jobs were added in September – many of them part-time.

Last month, Dan Celia of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries predicted the jobless rate would fall to 7.9 percent in the October jobs report — which is due out just days before the November election. But the drop reported today, according to Celia, is not the result of a massive number of jobs being created.

“I said it was a setup. This was more smoke and mirrors and deception,” he said Friday on American Family Radio. “And I also said that I’ve lost all confidence and faith — what little I had, and I didn’t have a lot — in the Department of Labor Statistics.

“Well, this number that we got today, going down below eight percent leading up to the election, is confirmation of everything that I’ve been saying. And I’m sad to say that because this is our government that we’re losing faith in.”

Celia calls it “very interesting” that in this latest report, the labor participation rate did not change.  “[But] what did change dramatically were the household surveys,” he stated. “Now let me tell you a little bit about the household surveys.

“[That's] something that has been going on for many, many years — since the 70s — where the Bureau of Labor Statistics picks up their dial-up phone, which I think they still have, because they don’t do real-time data and they haven’t come in to the technology of the 21st century yet, and they pick up and they make surveys. They call numerous people, people that are on their ‘list,’ and they ask them: Has anybody in your household found a job?

According to those surveys, 873,000 people reported finding a job — the largest number since 1983.

“Let me just tell you about 1983,” Celia offered. “In 1983, we were creating well over a million private sector jobs on average — a million. We created 114,000 this month, with an average this year of somewhere around 140,000.”

That number – even if it were half-a-million jobs a month – is not enough, says Celia, to maintain what he terms a “stagnant inflation.”

“But somehow, in the midst of creating 114,000 jobs this month, we see an unemployment rate go down because of the households surveys, which is an archaic way of doing anything when we have real-time data available – do you understand that?….”

“… What I’m saying is, you call household surveys and you have more positive household surveys than you have had since 1983 when we were creating over a million jobs per month? You figure it out.”

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Magically the Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.8% Just Before Elections

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Well just as I suspected, right on cue, after the poor debate performance and before the elections in November, we get the largest leap in home survey jobs in nearly 30 years. The last time we had that many added in the household survey, the GDP growth rate was around 9%, and it’s currently 1.5%.

That’s why people who understand data and surveys look skeptically at the result of the household survey.  It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier  (an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data)  especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data.  If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report.  That’s not “trutherism” or denial, but straightforward data analysis. Just to remind everyone, the next report comes out before the election — the Friday before, actually. The employment rate drops to 7.8% …wow ! While the U6 which is a better indicator magically stayed the same at 14%. I’m sorry but I just don’t believe those figures. Even the Wall Street Journal warns that these numbers should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

So somehow in September, in addition to all the other discrepancies in the labor report, we have one more to add: that of the Schrodinger Student: one who is both in college and piling up student loans on one hand, yet on the other hand entering the work force in the month of September, a time when historically every single month in recorded history has seen an exit from the labor force for the 20-24 year old cohort.

See if you can spot the outlier (an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data)  in this chart on employment of the 20-24 yr. old category below:

The official rate dropped from 8.1% unemployment in August. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics added 86,000 more jobs in July and August as more hard data became available.

Fox News:

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The rate fell because more people found work, a trend that could impact the presidential election.

The Labor Department says employers added 114,000 jobs in September. The economy also created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first estimated. Wages rose in September and more people started looking for work.

The revisions show employers added 146,000 jobs per month from July through September, up from 67,000 in the previous three months.

The unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent in August, matching its level in January 2009 when President Obama took office.

The decline could help Obama, who is coming off a disappointing debate against Mitt Romney.

As usual with this number, the real unemployment data is hidden away inside the BLS report. We’ll update this blog as deeper analysis becomes available.

Update from Thomas Lifson:

Jack Welch is tweeting what many are thinking: that “these Chicago guys” are fudging the numbers. In the short run, there is probably no way to determine if there has been corruption of the BLS data.If this is a top-down effort to manage the data, then if next month’s data goes below the level when Obama took office, that would fuel a powerful media narrative that we’re back ont he way up. The old “stay the course” argument.

Bruce Johnson adds:

Ta da!  Magically, after the poor debate performance, we get the largest leap in home survey jobs in nearly 30 years.  The employment rate drops to 7.8%.

Now the “no President has ever won reelection with unemployment over 8%” rule is out the window.  Additionally, this short circuits all the small business and jobs points made by Romney on Wednesday night.

What wonderful timing.

873,000 people found work, at home. Shazzam.  Voila!

(Of the 873K surge in employment in the Household Survey 582K was in temp jobs and 187K was in government jobs..that’s all you need to know.)

Why does something of this magnitude not appear in the GDP calculations?  GDP calculations are hard fact compilations.  Home job surveys over the phone are what, exactly?

File this with the Nobel Peace Prize.  Remarkable events surround Mr. Obama.

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Colorado Tim: Yep… You know this is a lie. I own a business myself. I see the vacant businesses on the street of my shop. FedEx and UPS are driving around with emptier trucks. The economy is going off a cliff, and Obama’s people are playing with the numbers.

DavidinCorpus

I sold my business off years ago (when he was elected) and got a govt. job. ; )

poowg

I’ve said it here before, but I’ll repeat it now in light of this latest release of questionable data: We have reached a sad point in our history when NOTHING released by our federal government can be taken at face value.

Question: How can unemployment go from 8.1 to 7.8 % magically by only adding 114K jobs.?

My guess: They changed the last three jobs reports to increase the job numbers forecasts and even more Americans have fallen off the unemployment line and stopped looking for work.

To get this kind of drop you would have to employ about 875,000 people in the past month. (Which by coincidence is the number the gov’t says found work in their home last month) I guess Obama team can’t stand losing graciously.

Here is the critical sentence in the report: “still many of the jobs added last month were PART TIME. The number of people with part time jobs who wanted full-time work rose 7.5% to 8.6 MILLION”

And it goes on and on and on…………..

Jobs Outlook Seen Weak as U.S. Companies Reporting Cost Cuts

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Weakening demand is forcing new and accelerated cost reductions at companies from Bank of America Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) to Staples Inc. (SPLS) and Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ), dimming the outlook for an already struggling U.S. labor market.

Even as consumer confidence and housing show signs of recovering, sales for businesses in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.9 percent from a year earlier in July through September, the second consecutive quarterly drop and biggest decline since 2009, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. A 1.2 percent gain projected for October-December still is smaller than the 5.4 percent rise in this year’s first three months.

A global slowdown triggered by Europe’s debt crisis is exacerbated by the potential impact of the impending U.S. fiscal cliff of changes in taxes and government spending. All this is pushing finance chiefs back to the drawing board, with some limiting hiring and investment and others slashing more jobs than originally announced. Such belt-tightening will dominate employment prospects for the rest of the year.

“These cost controls are one of the key reasons job growth remains relatively weak,” said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer at Advisors Capital Management LLC in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, and former head of monetary analysis at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Companies will avoid hiring until orders have strengthened and “they cannot meet demand with their existing workforce.”

Near-Record Cash

Partly because of the retrenching, companies in the S&P 500, excluding financial institutions and utilities, held near- record cash totaling $1.01 trillion in the first three months of 2012, S&P data show.

And even with the fragile labor market, the world’s largest economy is expanding. Gross domestic product has grown in each quarter since June 2009, when the worst recession since the Great Depression ended. Growth is weakening, however, with the second-quarter annual pace of 1.3 percent missing a prior estimate of 1.7 percent and below the first quarter’s 2 percent.

Payrolls, after slowing in five of the first eight months this year, rose 115,000 in September following a less-than- forecast 96,000 gain in August, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of a Labor Department report due Oct. 5.

Private employers added 130,000 workers, they predicted, and the jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in August. That would mark the 44th consecutive month exceeding 8 percent, the longest streak in records since 1948.

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Fed Sends Thank You Letters To Congress For Letting Them Destroy Our Economy In Secret

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It was Politico that first broke the story about the thank you letters that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent to five members of Congress back in July.  Bernanke acknowledged in the letters that there was never any worry that the “Audit the Fed” bill would actually get through Congress and be signed into law, but he was still extremely grateful that a number of members of Congress got up and publicly denounced the bill….

In July, the Fed chairman sent letters of gratitude to five Democratic members of Congress after they delivered speeches on the House floor urging fellow lawmakers to reject the “Audit the Fed” bill authored by retiring Texas Republican Ron Paul, the central bank’s chief antagonist.

Their efforts failed to defeat the bill, but they were not in vain, at least in Bernanke’s eyes.

“While the outcome of the vote was not in doubt, your willingness to stand up for the independence of the Federal Reserve is greatly appreciated,” Bernanke wrote in the letters, which were obtained by POLITICO through a Freedom of Information Act request.

So who did Bernanke send those letters to?

According to Politico, the thank you letters were delivered to U.S. Representatives Barney Frank, Elijah Cummings, Melvin Watt, Carolyn Maloney and Steny Hoyer.

By refusing to take action against the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Congress is silently endorsing their incredibly foolish policies.

Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize that the Federal Reserve has more control over our economy than anyone else does.  Most Americans that are actually concerned about politics are busy arguing over whether Obama or Romney will be better for the economy when it is actually the Fed that controls the levers of economic power.

Just think about it.

The Federal Reserve played a major role in creating the housing bubble which severely damaged our financial system a few years ago.

As the chart below shows, after 9/11 the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to historically low levels.  This allowed potential home buyers to get into much larger mortgages, and the big banks (which the Fed supposedly “regulates”) started making home loans to almost anyone with a pulse.

When interest rates started to go back up to normal levels in 2005, many home owners discovered that their adjustable rate mortgages started to become much more painful.  By 2007, we started to see a massive wave of mortgage defaults.  In 2008, the financial system crashed.

In response to the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to record low levels.  The effective federal funds rate is essentially at zero at this point, and the Fed has promised to keep interest rates at ultra-low levels all of the way into 2015.

But didn’t artificially low interest rates cause many of our problems in the first place?  The central planners over at the Fed are convinced that this is the right course for our economy, but can we really live in a zero interest rate bubble indefinitely?  Won’t this eventually cause even greater problems?….

The Fed is also destroying our economy by recklessly printing money.

Once upon a time, the U.S. monetary base rose at a very steady pace.  But since the financial crisis of 2008, Ben Bernanke has been flooding the financial system with money and this has caused an unprecedented explosion in our money supply.

It isn’t too hard to see from this chart what the foolish “quantitative easing” policies of the Federal Reserve have done to our monetary base….

Fortunately a lot of the money from previous rounds of quantitative easing is being stashed by the big banks as “excess reserves” with the Federal Reserve, but when that money starts flowing into the “real economy” (and it will at some point), we are going to have a major problem on our hands.

But more than tripling our monetary base was not enough for Bernanke.  He recently announced yet another round of quantitative easing which he says will last indefinitely.

Basically, Bernanke is taking a sledgehammer to the U.S. dollar.  Our currency is being systematically destroyed, and the U.S. Congress is standing by and doing nothing.

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