Fiscal Policy

Obamacare sticker shock!

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Liberty, Macroeconomis, People, Philosophy, Politics, Taxes, U.S. Constitution, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obamacare sticker shock!

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Health_Care_gov

A spoof of the Obamacare website HealthCare.gov home page from the Daily Show.

Credit: http://www.taylormarsh.com/blog/

While gasoline prices may be going down, premiums, deductibles and co-payments for health insurance plans are skyrocketing.

Beginning Jan.1 all individual and group employer-provided health insurance must comply with the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

More than 156 million Americans have their health insurance plans provided by their employers and another 25 million purchase their health insurance in the individual market, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

More than 60 million people age 65 and older and those younger with disabilities qualify for Medicare, a social insurance program that pays on average less than 50 percent of their health care costs. The balance of their health care costs must be paid for by the individual or the individual’s supplemental insurance.

More than 60 million Americans who are poor qualify for Medicaid, a government insurance program jointly funded by federal and state governments for individuals of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care. Obamacare expanded Medicaid coverage to those earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line (about $15,000 for an individual and $32,500 for a family of four). Twenty-four states have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, including Texas.

Those who do not qualify for Medicaid because their earned income is higher than the federal poverty line may qualify for subsidies or credits paid for by taxpayers if they purchase a plan from one of the insurance companies offering them on the new health insurance exchanges.

Most individuals and small-group employers and their employees cannot keep their existing health insurance plans because of Obamacare.  They are shocked by the high premiums, deductibles and co-payments of the new plans offered by insurance companies to replace their existing health insurance plans.

Texas_Public_Policy_Foundation

Credit: Texas Public Policy Foundation

One reason the premiums and deductibles for non-grandfathered (not in existence on March 23, 2010)  individual and small-group employer (employers with 50 or fewer employees) health care insurance plans are significantly increasing is Obamacare requires the insurance companies to offer a minimum core package of items and services referred to as Essential Health Benefits (EHB). The only plans not required to have EHB are fully insured large group plans, self-funded administrative services only plans and grandfathered plans.

These essential health benefits fall into 10 categories: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity and newborn care, mental health services and addiction treatment, rehabilitative services and devices, pediatric services, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease treatment. These EHBs must be included for plans offered both outside and inside the Health Insurance Marketplace such as those plans you find on the website HealthCare.gov.

A second reason the premiums, deductibles and co-payments for non-grandfathered health insurance plans are increasing is that individuals with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage and the plans cannot have a maximum lifetime limit for medical expenses.

Millions of Americans, because of their age, gender, lifestyle, marital status and religion, do not need maternity care and newborn care, mental health services and addiction treatment, pediatric services, abortions and contraceptives. These Americans were satisfied with and could afford their existing health insurance plans and wanted to keep them.

Americans believed Obama when he repeatedly said, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

While in theory they could keep their plans under the Section 1251 “grandfather” provision of the Affordable Care Act, the regulations from the Obama administration interpreted this provision so strictly as to prevent most plans from being grandfathered.

Now the American people are learning from various news reports that the Obama administration officials knew in July 2010, when it was published on page 34,522 of the Federal Register, that “The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small-employer plans and 45 percent of large-employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.” This represents about 93 million Americans facing cancellation of their existing plans because of Obamacare.

A sure way for a president to lose the trust of the American people is to misinform them about something they must pay for, such as the premiums, deductibles and co-payments for their health insurance plans.

Obama broke his promise to the American people and as a result his presidential job approval poll numbers have plummeted from an all-time high of 68 percent in Jan. 22-24, 2009 to a recent low of 39 percent on Nov. 5, according to Gallup.

Instead of making health insurance more affordable, Obamacare has made it more expensive for more than 181 million Americans who are now in sticker shock.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

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Obamacare: trick, treat or tax?

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Business, Congress, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, People, Philosophy, Politics, Taxes, U.S. Constitution | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obamacare: trick, treat or tax?

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

halloween-haunted-house-pumpkin-lights-free-hd

Credit: http://www.wallcg.com

If you think Halloween is scary, you should see the HealthCare.gov website. It is frightening.

When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he made a firm pledge to the American people.

“If you who make less than a quarter of a million dollars per year which includes 98 percent of small business owners, you will not see your taxes increase one single dime under my plan — not your payroll taxes, not your income taxes, not your capital gains taxes, nothing. It is time to give the middle class a break. That is what I will do as president of the United States,” Obama said. This was captured in a YouTube video titled “Not a Dime in Tax Increase for Those Earning Less than $250,000.”

Once he was elected, Obama made another promise to the American people.

Obama said, “No matter how we reform healthcare, we will make this promise to the American people; if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what. My view is that healthcare reform should be guided by a simple principle, fix what is broken and build on what works.” This statement was captured in a YouTube video titled “Obama to AMA keep your doctor and insurance we will build economy.”

On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Before Obamacare was enacted into law, Obama was interviewed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. He asked the president, “You were against the individual mandate during the campaign. Under this mandate the government is forcing people to spend money and fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?”

Obama said, “…For us to say that you have to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it is saying is that we are not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you.”

Stephanopoulos responded, “I do not think I am making it up. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, tax, a charge usually of money imposed on persons or property for public purposes.”

Obama replied, “George, the fact you looked it up Merriam’s dictionary, that a definition of tax increase,   indicates to me that you are stretching it right now.” The entire exchange was captured in the YouTube video titled “Obamacare : FLASHBACK President Obama said Individual Mandate Is Not a Tax (Sept 20, 2009).”

When Obamacare was enacted, 26 states, along with several individuals and others challenged the constitutionality of Obamacare in the courts. They argued that the law was a violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government the power to regulate commerce between the states. The Supreme Court ruled that the law could not be upheld under the Commerce Clause. This was the primary argument of the government in arguing for the constitutionality of the law. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority said, “The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.”

However, the Supreme Court did accept the government’s tax argument that the individual mandate represented a tax on individuals who choose not the buy health insurance. The Court said, “going without insurance” is “just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.”

Americans are not required to buy health insurance under the individual mandate, according to the Supreme Court in its ruling. However, if you elect not to buy one of Obamacare’s individual metal (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) plans through a state or federal health insurance exchange, you may be subject to a tax penalty or fine by the Internal Revenue Service.

For 2014, the fine is the greater of 1 percent of income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child up to $285 per family. For 2015 the fine is the greater of 2 percent of income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975 per family. For 2016 the fine is the greater of 2.5 percent of income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child up to $2,085.

Millions of Americans are now finding out from their insurance companies that as a direct result of the passage of Obamacare, they can no longer keep their existing individual plans or doctors. Instead, they have the choice of either purchasing one of the Obamacare metal health insurance plans with much higher premiums and deductibles or pay the IRS fine.

Thanks to Obama the American people believed their taxes would not rise and they could keep their existing health insurance plans and doctors. Obamacare is not a treat, but a trick or tax.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

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Obama’s SAD Deal

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Business, Congress, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, War | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obama’s SAD Deal

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

sad-face

Presidents like to make deals with the American people that supposedly will fix things.

Theodore Roosevelt had his Square Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt had his New Deal, Harry Truman had his Fair Deal, and President Barack Obama has his SAD (Spending Addiction Disorder) deal.

The most recent developments in Obama’s SAD deal are the federal government will be completely open for business and funded through Jan. 15, 2014 under yet another continuing resolution passed on Wednesday by Congress and signed by the president. The gross national debt ceiling was suspended until Feb. 7, 2014. By then the national debt will be approaching $17.5 trillion and will exceed the entire gross domestic product for 2013 estimated to be about $16 trillion.

In other words the SAD deal means more government spending and taxes, more massive budgetary deficits, more government debt and more money and credit creation by the Federal Reserve System to finance the SAD habit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to open the government until Jan. 15, 2014 and extend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7, 2014.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare. The deal that has been cut provides no relief to all the young people coming out of school who can’t find a job because of Obamacare. It provides no relief to all the single parents who have been forced into part-time work, struggling to feed their kids on 29 hours a week.”

Unfortunately, the SAD deal will continue the annual massive budgetary deficits that over the last five years have averaged more than $1.2 trillion per year and will increase the burden of debt on existing and future generations of the American people. Under Obama’s SAD deal the gross national debt has been increased over $6 trillion to fund the fiscal year deficits from 2009 through 2013. The White House has optimistically estimated that the fiscal year deficit for 2014 will be only $750 billion!

The SAD deal has resulted in the worse post-World War II economic recovery with unemployment rates exceeding 7 percent for the 56 months of the Obama’s presidency. Tens of millions of Americans are searching for a permanent full-time job.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) at the Republican conference meeting on Oct. 16 said, “We all agree Obamacare is an abomination. We all agree taxes are too high. We all agree spending is too high. We all agree Washington is getting in the way of job growth. We all agree we have a real debt crisis that will cripple future generations. We all agree on these fundamental conservative principles.”

The American people agree that the Washington ruling elite of both the Democrat and Republican parties are simply incapable of controlling their SAD habit.

Cruz is right. The ruling elite are not listening to the American people.

The American people want federal spending and taxes to be cut, a balanced budget, the national debt paid off and Obamacare repealed. The American people can no longer afford to pay for Obama’s SAD deal.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

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Political junkies overdose

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Business, Congress, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Political junkies overdose

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

us_debt_ceiling_cartoon

The ruling elite in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, are addicts with a bad habit.

The ruling elite share many of the common addictions of the American people to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, gambling, games, pornography, television, sex and surfing the Web.

Yet the ruling elite have a unique habit that the American people can no longer pay for or support. The name of this habit is SAD — Spending Addiction Disorder.

The primary symptoms of SAD are massive annual federal government budget deficits, raising the national debt ceiling and blaming others for their addiction problem.

Like most habits that turn into addictions, the ruling elite can no longer control themselves. They are hooked on spending other people’s money.

How bad is the SAD habit? For the past five fiscal years the federal government forced the American people to support their habit by collecting more than $12 trillion in taxes. However, the ruling elite’s habit is much worse. Besides the $12 trillion in taxes, the federal government spent in excess of $6 trillion by running annual budget deficits averaging more than $1.2 trillion per year.

This required the ruling elite to order the Department of the Treasury to issue more new Treasury debt securities in the form of Treasury bills, notes and bonds to finance these deficits that exceeded $6 trillion. As a result the total gross national debt now exceeds $17 trillion.

To put these amounts in perspective, the total U.S. real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2013 is estimated to be about $16 trillion.

President Barack Obama and Congress fear the American people will finally wake up and demand they kick their SAD habit and live within the means of the American people. This would require real cuts in the fiscal year 2014 federal budget spending with the aim of balancing the budget within three or four years.

The ruling elite SAD junkies are lashing out and demonizing American taxpayers who support their habit by calling them anarchists, arsonists, extremists, hostage-takers, kidnappers, terrorists or worse, Tea Party Republicans.

Obama held a press conference on Oct. 8 and warned that if the national debt ceiling is not raised by Oct. 17, the U.S. could default on its national debt and put the U.S. into another recession. Political junkies with the SAD habit have been known to lie in order to get another fix for their habit. On average the American people are currently paying the ruling elite about $225 billion each month in taxes which would more than cover the $35 billion monthly interest paid on Treasury debt, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) report. The last thing the U.S. government will do is default on the national debt by not paying the interest when due.

Mandatory spending makes up about 66 percent of all government spending and is required to be paid under existing authorization laws. Currently the federal government collects enough taxes to pay for mandatory spending including interest on the national debt, entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), and income support programs (unemployment compensation, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], Supplemental Income for the blind and disabled, earned income and child tax credits).

Discretionary spending makes up about 33 percent of government spending and includes spending for all federal departments, agencies and programs. Discretionary spending must be authorized each fiscal year and funded through appropriation bills.

The reason the political junkies with the SAD habit are panicking is they need to raise the national debt ceiling imposed by Congress by an additional $1 trillion above the existing national debt of $17 trillion to pay for discretionary spending for fiscal year 2014.  In order to get another debt raising fix, Congress must raise the debt ceiling once again.

Cutting federal government spending to balance the budget over a period of three or four years is never an option for the ruling elite junkies hooked with SAD. More and more government spending and taxes is the default solution for SAD political junkies.

The time has come for the American people to put the political junkies hooked on SAD in a rehab job in the private sector. The American people need to elect representatives, senators and a president that are fiscally responsible stewards of the general welfare and insist that all federal government budgets be balanced.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

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Government Shutdown, Obamacare Launch, Internet Working!

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Congress, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Government Shutdown, Obamacare Launch, Internet Working!

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Get_Well_Obamacare

Credit: Drudgereport.com

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …”1 so began Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.”

The best of times in America in 2013: the Internet is up and running.

The worst of times in America in 2013: President Barack Obama ordered a partial shutdown of federal government with about 800,000 nonessential government employees furloughed and sent home and launched Obamacare on Oct 1. A shutdown takes place when Congress fails to authorize funds for government operations.

Since 1976 there have been 18 partial and full shutdowns of the federal government lasting usually a few days to three weeks. The last shutdown occurred 17 years ago under President Bill Clinton when the government was closed for 21 days over the budget deficit.

First, a recap of the congressional funding fight to keep the government open and funded including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

In round one the Republican-controlled House passed a continuing resolution on Sept. 20 to fund the government at a level of $986 billion and keep it open for 11 weeks until Dec. 15 but would have defunded Obamacare.

In round two the Democrat-controlled Senate on Sept. 27 passed a continuing resolution by a vote of 54-44 along party lines that would have funded and kept open the government through Nov. 15 including Obamacare.

In round three the House early Sept. 29 passed, in a near party-line vote of 231-192, another continuing resolution to fund the federal government for 11 weeks until Dec. 15, but instead of defunding Obamacare, it would delay implementation of some key provisions, including the individual mandate for one year. The resolution would also repeal a new tax on medical devices.

The House also passed a bill to fund the troops and some Defense Department workers and contractors in the event of a government shutdown. The Senate passed the bill without dissent on Sept. 30 and the president signed the bill.

In round four the Senate twice rejected on Sept. 30 the House resolution to delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year and sent back to the House a clean resolution without the one-year delay in Obamacare and with funding for six weeks. The Senate also rejected Oct.1 the House call for a conference meeting to reconcile the House and Senate continuing resolutions (CR).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to designate anyone as negotiators and send them to the meeting. Reid said, “The government is closed because of the irrationality of what’s going on the other side of the Capitol.”

Reid also said, “The bottom line is this: House Republicans should pass the Senate’s clean CR.”

House Speaker John Boehner said in a news conference on Sept. 30, “That’s not going to happen.”

The blame games begin.

Obama blames Congress. In a video message released midnight Monday and broadcast on Armed Forces television, Obama said, “Unfortunately, Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility. It has failed to pass a budget and, as a result, much of our government must now shut down until Congress funds it again.”

Republicans blame Democrats for the government shutdown.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said, “None of us want to be in a shutdown. And we’re here to say to the Senate Democrats, come and talk to us.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a leader of the Tea-Party Republicans and who spoke on the Senate floor for over 21 hours in an effort to defund Obamacare, said, “The House has twice now voted to keep the government open. And, if we have a shutdown, it will only be because when the Senate comes back, Harry Reid says, ‘I refuse even to talk.’”

The implementation of Obamacare could easily put the slow-growing U.S. economy into another recession with even higher unemployment rates. Also, if Obamacare does not live up to its expectations and results in higher health insurance premiums with less plan benefits and coverage, the American people may take out their dissatisfaction not only with the Democratic Party, but with the president.

Heads could roll come Election Day, Nov. 4, 2014.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

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Count down to government shut down

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Business, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Health Care, Law, Liberty, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, War | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Count down to government shut down

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Senate_Must_Act

House votes to fund federal government but defund Obamacare                Credit: http://www.ktvu.com

The nonessential parts of the federal government may be shut down on Oct. 1 until Congress passes either a fiscal year 2014 budget appropriations bill or a continuing resolution.

Fiscal year 2014 begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2014. Since the Democrats want to increase government spending and taxes and the Republicans want to decrease government spending and taxes, neither party will agree to a budget appropriations bill.

Instead of a stalemate, Congress could pass a joint continuing resolution that appropriates funds for government departments, agencies and programs at current, expanded or reduced levels until a formal appropriations bill is signed into law or until the resolution expires. A continuing resolution would have to be passed by both the House and Senate and then signed into law by the president.

The House passed a continuing resolution on Sept. 20 that would fund the federal government at current levels for the first 11 weeks of the fiscal year 2014 and keep the federal government open. If this continuing resolution is not passed by the Senate, some nonessential parts of the federal government would need to be shut down.

The House resolution had two amendments. The first would strip out funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare and thereby stop its implementation. The second would direct how federal government spending is prioritized in the event the Treasury hits the borrowing debt ceiling limit in the near future.

The 230-189 vote was mainly along party lines with 228 Republicans and two Democrats voting in favor and 188 Democrats and one Republican voting against the continuing resolution.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) held a victory rally after the resolution passed and remarked, “The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare. The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.”

House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor put several Democratic Senators, who are up for re-election in Nov. of 2014, on the spot. Cantor called out Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Cantor said, “It’s up to Senate Democrats to follow House Republicans and show some responsibility.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Sept. 19, “I will do everything and anything possible to defund Obamacare.” Cruz promised to filibuster any attempt to strip out the language of the House continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare. A filibuster is the use of irregular or obstructive tactics by a Senator to prevent the adoption of a measure.

Cruz began his filibuster by saying: “I rise today in opposition to Obamacare. I rise today in an effort to speak for 26 million Texans and for 300 million Americans. All across this country Americans are suffering because of Obamacare. Obamacare isn’t working and yet fundamentally there are politicians in this body who are not listening to the people. They are not listening to the concerns of their constituents. They are not listening to the jobs lost, the people forced into part-time jobs, the people losing their health insurance, the people who are struggling. A great many Texans, a great many Americans feel that they do not have a voice. So I hope to play some very small part in helping to provide that voice for them. …I  intend to speak in opposition to Obamacare. I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare, until I am unable to stand.”

Cruz delivered on his promise by standing and speaking for more than 21 hours on Sept. 23-24.

According to a Sept. 15 NBC/WSJ poll, 44 percent of respondents call Obamacare a bad idea and 31 percent believe it’s a good idea.

In a national survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on Sept. 14-15 by Rasmussen Reports, 51 percent favor a government shutdown until Congress cuts health care funding. The Rasmussen survey also found that “58 percent favor a federal budget that cuts spending, while 16 percent prefer one that increases spending. Twenty-one percent support a budget that keeps spending levels about the same.”

According to Rasmussen, “74 percent of Republican and 62 percent of unaffiliated voters would rather have a shutdown until the two sides can agree on what spending to cut,” while “63 percent of Democrats agree with the president and would prefer to avoid a shutdown by authorizing spending at existing levels.”

“Republicans are simply postponing for a few days the inevitable choice they must face: pass a clean bill to fund the government, or force a shutdown. I have said it before but it seems to bear repeating: the Senate will not pass any bill that defunds or delays Obamacare,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).

The Democrats are determined to fund Obamacare, shut down the government on Oct.1 and blame it on Republicans.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

 

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Obamacare’s Employment Consequences

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, People, Philosophy, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Obamacare’s Employment Consequences

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

obamacare-logo_full

Credit: http://www.bhvcpa.com

One of the unintended consequences of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is employers attempting to avoid the costs and penalties of the law by hiring mostly part-time employees and cutting the number of hours worked per week to less than 30 and to less than 120 per month. Businesses are also attempting to avoid the Obamacare employer-mandated health insurance for full-time employees by not hiring their 50th full-time employee.

Under the employer mandate provisions of Obamacare, businesses with more than 50 employees that do not provide a federal government qualified health insurance plan, must pay a penalty of $2,000 per year for each full-time employee minus 30. In the United States, less than 4 percent of businesses have more than 50 employees with less than 0.2 percent of these businesses not offering health insurance, according to a Forbes online article titled “Is The Affordable Care Act Really Bad For Business?”

Under Obamacare colleges are required starting in 2014 to provide health insurance coverage to employees who work more than 30 hours a week.  Most colleges have strict limits on the number of hours part-time instructors can work in a pay period so the college can avoid paying employee-benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

Colleges across the nation are reducing the number of full-time faculty and hiring mostly part-time instructors, known as adjunct professors or jokingly as “road scholars”. According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), “In 1975, only 30.2 percent of faculty were employed part time; by 2005, according to data compiled by the AAUP from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part-time faculty represented approximately 48 percent of all faculty members in the United States.”

Obamacare will only accelerate this growing trend toward part-time faculty with strict limits on the number of hours worked, especially at community colleges like Richland.

Starting with this year’s fall semester, “an adjunct faculty member may only teach a workload of nine credit hours or less each week (less than 20 clock hours per week) according to Teachers Retirement System guidelines,” as set forth in the online Part-Time Employment Guidelines of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD).

Furthermore, “part-time hourly, adjunct faculty-credit, adjunct faculty-continuing education (CE) and substitute faculty employees may work a maximum of 1,014 hours per fiscal year (hours include the cumulative total of all positions worked at all District locations),” according to Dallas County Community College District’s online document, Extra-Service Guidelines for Instructional Delivery.

The Department of the Treasury announced on its website on July 2 that the employer mandate would be delayed one year from Jan. 1, 2014 as required under Obamacare until Jan.1, 2015. Now that Obama has delayed implementation of the Obamacare employer mandate, 56 percent of American voters favor delaying for a year the individual mandate as well, with only 26 percent opposed according to the July 13 Rasmussen Reports. While American voters oppose the individual mandate by a 2-to-1 margin, most voters favor the employer mandate for businesses with 50 or more employees, 59 percent to 34 percent, according to Rasmussen.

During the first six months of 2013, about 963,000 more people were employed and about 936,000 were part-time jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aug. 2, Household Survey.

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,” said Keith Hall, a senior researcher at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and former head of the US Bureau of Labor (BLS) Statistics from 2008 to 2012.

Unlike members of Congress in Washington who receive taxpayer subsidies to pay for their health insurance under Obamacare, ordinary Americans are not exempt from pay and/or employee-benefit cuts resulting from the implementation of Obamacare.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

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King Obama Decrees Subsidies to Congress and Staff for Obamacare: The Ruling Class vs. The American People

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Business, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Health Care, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, People, Philosophy, Politics | Tags: , , , , , |

King Obama Decrees Subsidies to Congress and Staff for Obamacare: The Ruling Class vs. The American People
By Raymond Thomas Pronk

United States Capitol Building

United States Capitol Building, Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.       Credit: blog.timesunion.com

Only the ruling class in Washington, both Democrats and some Republicans, not believe in the proverb, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

The The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 and commonly known as Obamacare, requires members of Congress and their staffs (currently about 11,000 people) to purchase their health insurance plans through new states-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) originally proposed this requirement as an amendment to the Obamacare bill, said at the time he wanted “members of Congress and Congressional staff to get their employer-based health insurance through the same exchanges as our constituents.”

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) revised the Grassley amendment when the Obamacare bill was rushed to a vote on Christmas eve December 2009. The resulting 2,500 page bill failed to include legislature language that would continue premium contributions for members of Congress and their staffs that the federal government makes for its employees and requires them to purchase Obamacare mandated plans through the exchanges.

Currently members of Congress and their staffs obtaine their health insurance plans through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that covers more than eight million people including government employees and their families, provides dozen of competing plans and is the nation’s largest employer-sponsored health insurance program. This will soon end as the state insurance exchanges begin operation on Oct.1.

Individuals without qualified health insurance coverage through their employers or covered by Medicare or Medicaid are required by law to purchase health insurance coverage by January 1, 2014 and may qualify for federal subsidies. Low-income individuals and families above 100% and up to 400% of the federal poverty level will receive federal subsidies on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange. For 2013 the federal poverty guideline level for an individual is $11,390 and for a family of four is $23, 550 (see Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/01/24/2013-01422/annual-update-of-the-hhs-poverty-guidelines)

Starting in 2014 Members of Congress and their staffs by law must purchase their health insurance through the exchanges and no longer through FEHBP. United States senators and representatives have earned $174,000 per year starting in 2009. The Speaker of the House and the House Majority and Minority Leaders earn $223,500.Senate majority and minority leaders earn $193,000 as do other House leadership. Members of Congress and their highly paid staff would not be eligible for any subsidies under Obamacare.

Reid has made it very clear that “There are not now, have never been, nor will there be any discussions about exempting members of Congress from Affordable Care Act provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care.”

However, those who work for Congressional committees and leadership offices, such as  Senate Majority leader Reid’s office, are apparently exempt from requirement to obtain their health insurance coverage through the exchanges and can continue to obtain their subsided health insurance plans through the FEHBP.

Obama’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on Aug. 7 issued regulations that members of Congress and their staffs will continue to receive premium contribution subsidies based on the FEHBP’s defined-contribution formula that covers about 75 percent of the cost of the average health insurance plan or about $5,000 for an individual and $11,000 for a family for fiscal year 2014 that begins Oct.1, 2013.

“These proposed regulations implement the administrative aspects of switching Members of Congress and congressional staff to their new insurance plans – the same plans available to millions of Americans through the new Exchanges,”  said OPM Director of Planning and Policy Jon Foley.

The OPM claims that a legal loophole in the Obamacare law, the phrase “notwithstanding any other provision of law”, is legal justification and authority for continuing Member of Congress and staff keeping their employee subsidies. This proposed regulation simply ignores  the fact the Obamacare law “prohibits an employer from providing a qualified health plan through an Exchange as a benefit under its cafeteria plan.”

Furthermore, most Congressional staff employees will most likely remain under FEHBP and not be forced into the mandated health insurance exchanges because the term “official office” of a Member of Congress does not have an existing statutory definition under Obamacare.

The ruling class in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, will continue to be subsized by the American taxpayer. While more than 30 million individuals and small businesses will be forced to purchase health insurance plans that do not want and many cannot  afford.

Now that Obama has also delayed implementation of the Obamacare employer mandate for those with 50 or more employees until Jan.1. 2015, 56 percent of American voters favor delaying for a year the individual mandate as well with only 26 percent opposed according to the July 13, 2013 Rassmusen Reports. While American voters oppose the individual mandate by a 2 to 1 margin, most voters favor the employer mandate for businesses with 50 or more employees by 59 percent in favor and 34 percent oppose, according to Rassmusen Reports.

The House of Representative controlled by the Republicans has passed legislation to repeal Obamacare in its entirety 40 times. The Democratic controlled Senate has blocked such legislation from becoming law. However, tea-party Senators lead Mike Lee (R-Ut.), Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), Rand Paul (R-Ky), Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and eight other Senators and 60 House Republicans have signed a letter urging the Republican leadership to defund Obama by passing a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government for fiscal year 2014 in its entiretly except for Obamacare.

The only way this tea party initiative can succeed is for the American people to rise up against the ruling class in Washington. Senator Cruz said, “The most important Constitutional check that Congress has on an overreaching President is the Power of the purse. If Republicans stand together, we can actually succeed in defunding it.”

During the August Congressional recess the tea party Senators and Representatives will be mobilizing the support of the American people to defund Obamacare.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

 

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Conservative savior of UK’s economy, Margaret Thatcher dead at 87

Posted on April 10, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Columns, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy | Tags: , , , , , , |

Conservative savior of UK’s economy, Margaret Thatcher dead at 87

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Margaret_Thatcher

“Some Socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals. We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.”

~Margaret Thatcher, Speech to Conservative Party Conference, October 10, 1975

Ceremonial funeral services with military honors for Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, known as Maggie to her friends and the “the Iron Lady” to her opponents, will be held this Wednesday at St Paul’s Cathedral, according to Prime Minister David Cameron’s office.

Her legacy was to change her country’s dominant ideology from collectivist state socialism implemented in decades of Labour Party policies to an individualist market capitalism implemented in Conservative Party policies. In the process she returned the U.K. to eight years of economic growth and prosperity in the 1980s.

Thatcher supported President Ronald Reagan and the United States in defeating communism in the Soviet Union and winning the Cold War.

Thatcher had been in declining health for a number of years and died peacefully in her sleep the morning of April 8 following a stroke.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said of Thatcher, “As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds and the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country, and I believe she’ll go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister.”

President Barack Obama said, “The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty and America has lost a true friend.” Obama said she had taught “our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.”

John Boehner, speaker of the house, said, “The greatest peacetime prime minister in British history is dead. Margaret Thatcher, a grocer’s daughter, stared down elites, union bosses and communists to win three consecutive elections establish conservative principles in Western Europe and bring down the Iron Curtain. There was no secret to her values – hard work and personal responsibility – and no nonsense in her leadership.”

Nancy Reagan, widow of former President Ronald Reagan said: “Ronnie and Margaret were political soul mates, committed to freedom and resolved to end Communism. As Prime Minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to ‘rock the boat.’ As a result, she helped to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of millions of people.”

In 1975 Thatcher was elected leader of the Conservative Party. She was subsequently elected prime minister of the United Kingdom on May 4, 1979. Thatcher served three terms from 1979 to 1990 becoming Britain’s longest-serving prime minister in over a century as well as the most dynamic, inspirational and controversial.

When Thatcher took office, the British economy was in shambles and in recession, inflation was rising and the government faced possible bankruptcy. This was a direct result of many years of Labour Party socialistic policies of out-of-control government spending, confiscatory taxation and the nationalization or state control of many industries including coal, steel, railways, gas, electricity, water, trucking, airlines and telecommunications.

The writings of Austrian economist and political philosopher, Fredrick A. Hayek, winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Economics, in particular his book, “The Road to Serfdom”, inspired and guided Thatcher’s economic policies.

Thatcher turned the economy around and made Britain governable again by taking on and taming the trade unions with labor reform legislation. No longer were the unions able to dictate the nation’s economic policies. Under Thatcher the British government pursued a policy of selling state assets with privatization of industry, thus reversing the Labour Party’s nationalization of industry.

When the Argentina government under the fascist junta invaded the British protectorate of the Falkland Islands in April 1982, she led the U.K. to victory. The Argentinians soon toppled the military junta.

In October 1984 there was an assassination attempt on her life when a hotel in Brighton where she and her husband and other members of her cabinet were staying was bombed by Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorists.

Thatcher supported Reagan in opposing communism and confronting the “evil empire” of the Soviet Union. She was instrumental in the introduction of cruise missiles in Britain to counter the Soviet military threat. She allied the United Kingdom with the United States against the communist expansion and subversion in the West and the winning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

A concise biography of her life can be found at the Margaret Thatcher Foundation web site http://www.margaretthatcher.org/essential/biography.asp. An excellent multi-part documentary about Thatcher produced in 2008 by the conservative paper, The Daily Telegraph, can be viewed on YouTube as well as an entertaining movie about her early political career titled, “Margaret Thatcher – The Long Walk To Finchley.”

Her husband of more than 50 years, Denis Thatcher, died in June 2003. She is survived by her twin son, Mark, and daughter, Carol, born in 1953.

Thatcher remains a controversial figure in Britain. She was loved and revered by many as well as loathed and reviled by some. She will be remembered by all who value economic freedom and individual liberty.

“Freedom to choose is something we take for granted—until it is in danger of being taken away. Socialist governments set out perpetually to restrict the area of choice, Conservative governments to increase it. We believe that you become a responsible citizen by making decisions yourself, not by having them made for you.”

~Margaret Thatcher, Speech to Conservative Party Conference, October 10, 1975

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Republican Party Presidential Candidates Race to Win 1,144 Delegates–Updated Delegate Count–Videos

Posted on January 12, 2012. Filed under: Business, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Tax Policy | Tags: , , , , , , |

Revised, Updated and Expanded January 22, 2012

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Republican top-tier Presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul

Credit: http://inlandpolitics.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Mitt-Romney+Ron-Paul.jpg

GOP Presidential candidates, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum

Credit: http://img.ibtimes.com/www/data/images/full/2011/12/09/202865-mitt-romney-ron-paul-newt-gingrich.jpg

Republican Party presidential candidates race to win 1,144 delegates

Are the Republican Party presidential candidates running a 440-yard dash or a 26-mile marathon?

The finish line is the Republican National Convention scheduled to meet in Tampa, Fla. starting on Aug. 27 for the purpose of nominating the party’s 2012 presidential candidate and adopting the party platform. The Republican Party has a total of 2,286 delegates with 1,144 votes (50 percent plus 1) needed to win the party’s presidential nomination. The first candidate to receive 1,144 delegate votes becomes the party’s presidential nominee, who then selects a vice-presidential candidate as their running mate. The convention delegates must approve this selection by giving the vice-president candidate 1,144 votes.

The Republican candidates for the nomination are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Four of the Republican candidates have already dropped out of the race race. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry suspended their campaign before the South Carolina primary. Huntsman endorsed Romney and Perry endorsed Gingrich. Bachmann suspended her campaign after the Iowa caucus. Cain suspended his campaign prior to the Iowa caucus.

By March 7, the day after Super Tuesday, the field should be narrowed to at most two or three candidates.

Both Romney and Paul have the money, organization and message required to make it a two-man marathon race for the 1,144 delegates needed to win the party presidential nomination. Most, if not all, of the remaining candidates are expected to drop out of the race by then.

Each state receives a number of delegates based on the following rules:

  1. Each state Congressional district gets three delegates.
  2. Each state gets 10 at-large delegates or five delegates per senator.
  3. Each state gets three party leader delegates for the state party chairman, state national committeeman and national committeewoman.
  4. Each state gets bonus delegates for each elected Republican senator, governor, legislative chamber with a majority and for electing 50 percent or more of the House congressional delegation.
  5. President bonus delegates: States casting a majority of their 2008 electoral votes for the Republican candidate receive 4.5 + 0.60 × the Jurisdiction’s Total 2012 electoral vote in bonus delegates.

For example, Texas receives 34 bonus delegates as follow:

  • 2008 presidential election (28): 4.5 + (0.6 × 38 [2012 electoral votes]) = 27.3
  • Governor (1): Rick Perry (re-elected 2010)
  • U.S. Senate delegation (2): Kay Bailey Hutchison (re-elected 2006); John Cornyn (re-elected 2008)
  • U.S. House delegation (1): January 2009: House 20 of 32; January 2011: House 23 of 32
  • Republican control of state legislature
  • One chamber (1): January 2009: House 76 of 150
  • All chambers (1): January 2009: House 76 of 150, Senate 19 of 31

Texas has a total of 155 delegates consisting of 108 district delegates (36 congressional districts times three), 10 at large delegates, three party leader delegates and 34 bonus delegates.

Voters may register to vote in the April 3 Texas primaries by going to the Texas Secretary of State website: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqvr.shtml.

Each state’s Republican Party decides whether they will use either a primary or caucus to determine the number of candidates’ delegates, whether this event will be open to all registered voters or closed to only Republican registered voters and whether it is winner-take-all delegates or a proportional allocation of the delegates based upon the number of votes cast for each candidate.

In primary states registered voters select the candidate they want to be the party’s presidential nominee by secret ballot. Voters select from registered candidates on the ballot or can write in a name. In closed primaries, only registered voters of the Republican Party can vote in primary elections. In open primaries, registered voters can vote in the primary of either party but can vote in only one primary. Most primary states have closed primaries.

Also, most primary states have the presidential candidates’ names on the ballot. A few states have the name of the delegates that are committed to a candidate as well as the name of any uncommitted delegates on the ballot. In some states the delegates are pledged or bound to a candidate. In other states the delegates are unpledged and can vote for any candidate.

In caucus states, registered voters of the party attend a meeting to select candidate delegates. At the start of a caucus meeting, voters divide into groups for each candidate, as well as a group for undecided voters. Then spokesmen for each candidate give brief speeches in support of their candidates in order to try to persuade other voters to join their candidate’s groups. At the end of the meeting, votes are counted by party organizers for each candidate group to determine how many delegates to the county convention the candidate has won. The delegates selected can be either pledged delegates bound to a candidate or unpledged or uncommitted delegates.

In both primary and caucus states, the Republican state party chooses either a “winner-take-all” or a proportional method to determine how many delegates are awarded to each candidate. In a winner-take-all state, the candidate that receives the most votes in the primary or caucus receives all of the state’s delegates to the national convention. In states that use the proportional method, candidates above a certain threshold of votes cast receive a proportion of the convention delegates based on the number votes cast for a candidate to the total number of votes cast.

Texas is an open primary state because it does not have voter registration by political party. A registered voter can vote in either a Republican Party primary or a Democratic Party primary, but can vote in only one primary. A voter becomes a Republican by voting in either a Republican primary or Republican primary run-off. Voters who did not vote in a Republican primary may vote in a Republican primary run-off.

Presidential candidates are allocated national convention delegates in direct proportion to the statewide popular vote they receive in the Texas Republican primary originally scheduled for Mar. 6 but now changed to April 3. Each of Texas’ 36 congressional districts gets three delegates for a total of 108 delegates. The 44 at-large and bonus delegates are selected by a nominating committee at the convention, three delegate spots are reserved for Texas’ National Committeeman, National Committeewoman and State Chairman.

Who is winning the Republican Party Presidential candidate race for 1,144 delegates as of January 21, 2012?

The estimated total delegate count in the race for 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination is summarized in the table below:

Republican Party U.S. Presidential 2012

Estimated Delegate Count By Candidate and State

State

Gingrich

Romney

Paul

Santorum

Perry

Totals

Iowa

4

6

6

6

3

25

New Hampshire

0

9

3

0

0

12

South Carolina

23

2

0

0

0

25

Totals

27

17

9

6

3

62

Source: The Green Papers, 2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses and Conventions. www.thegreenpapers.com

These preliminary estimates will change as candidates drop out of the race and actual delegates are selected at state party conventions.

The estimated popular vote count is set forth in the table below:

Republican Party U.S. Presidential 2012

Estimated Popular Vote By Candidate and State

State

Gingrich

Romney

Paul

Santorum

Perry

Totals*

Iowa

16,163

29,805

26,036

29,839

12,557

121,479

New Hampshire

23,421

97,591

56,872

23,405

1,764

248,448

South Carolina

243,153

167,280

77,993

102,057

2,491

601,166

Total Popular Vote*

282,737

294,676

160,901

155,301

16,812

971,729

Popular Vote Percentage

29.09%

30.32%

16.55%

15.98%

1.73%

100.00%

Source: The Green Papers, 2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses and Conventions. www.thegreenpapers.com

*Total popular votes cast for all candidates including others not listed in the table.

On Jan. 21 the voters of South Carolina voted in the second open primary state where the candidate with the most votes statewide receives 11 delegates and the winner in each congressional district receives two delegates. Gingrich won statewide and received 11 delegates and won six congressional districts for additional 12 delegates for a total of 23 delegates. Romney won one congressional district and received two delegates.

Results for South Carolina Republican Primary

U.S. Presidential Jan. 21, 2012

Candidate

Popular Vote

Percentage

Delegates*

Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich

243,153

40.45%

23

Willard “Mitt” Romney

167,280

27.83%

2

.Richard J. “Rick” Santorum

102,057

16.89%

0

Ronald E. “Ron” Paul

77,993

12.97%

0

Hermain Cain

23,405

9.42%

0

James Richard “Rick” Perry

2,491

0.41%

0

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.

1,161

0.14%

0

Michele M. Bachmann

494

0.08

0

Totals

601,166

100.00%

25

Source: The Green Papers, 2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses and Conventions. http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P12/SC-R#0121

*South Carolina would have had a total of 50 delegates consisting of 21 congressional district delegates, 10 at-large delegates, 3 party leader delegates and 16 bonus delegates. However, the state rescheduled the state primary to Jan. 22 and under the Rules of the Republican Party forfeited 50 percent of its delegates. Also, the three state party leader delegates attend the national convention as guests.

On Jan. 10 the voters of New Hampshire voted in the first state primary where the states 12 delegates were bound proportionally to presidential contenders based on the primary vote statewide.

Results for New Hampshire Republican Primary

U.S. Presidential Jan. 10, 2012

Candidate

Popular Vote

Percentage

Delegates*

Willard “Mitt” Romney

97,591

39.28%

9

Ronald E. “Ron” Paul

56,872

22.89%

3

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.

41,964

16.89%

0

Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich

23,421

9.43%

0

Richard J. “Rick” Santorum

23,405

9.42%

0

James Richard “Rick” Perry

1,764

.71%

0

Michele M. Bachmann

350

.14%

0

Available

3

Totals

248,448

100.00%

15

Source: The Green Papers, 2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses and Conventions. http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P12/NH-R

*New Hampshire would have had a total of 23 delegates consisting of 6 district delegates, 10 at-large delegates, 3 party leader delegates and 4 bonus delegates. However, the state rescheduled the state primary to Jan. 10 and under the Rules of the Republican Party forfeited 50 percent of its delegates. Also, the three state party leader delegates attend the national convention as non-voting delegates.

On Jan. 3 the voters of Iowa met in 1,774 precinct caucuses to vote for their choice for the Republican presidential candidate by electing delegates to their county conventions. The 99 county conventions then select delegates to the Iowa Congressional District Convention and the State Convention on June 12. This convention determines the delegates to the Republican National Convention. In 2012 Iowa will send 28 delegates to the nominating convention including 10 base at-large, 12 for the four congressional districts (three per district), three party and three bonus. However, unlike other states where delegates are usually bound for the first vote, Iowa delegates are soft-pledged or not bound to vote for a particular candidate.

Results for Iowa Republican Caucus

U.S. Presidential Jan. 03, 2012

Candidate

Popular Vote

Percentage

Delegates*

Richard J. “Rick” Santorum

29,839

24.56%

6

Willard “Mitt” Romney

29,805

24.54%

6

Ronald E. “Ron” Paul

26,036

21.43%

6

Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich

16,163

13.31%

4

Richard J. “Rick” Perry

12,557

10.34%

3

Michele M. Bachmann

6,046

4.98%

0

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.

739

0.61%

0

Available

3

Totals

121,479

100.000%

28

Source: The Green Papers, 2012 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses and Conventions.http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P12/IA-R#0103

*Iowa has a total of 28 delegates consisting of 12 district delegates, 10 at-large delegates, 3 party leader delegates and 3 bonus delegates. The 25 non party leader delegates were allocated to the candidates with more than 5 percent of the popular vote. This is an estimate that will change by the time of the state convention meets.

This first closed primary is in Florida on Tuesday, Jan. 31 for 50 delegates with the statewide winner being awarded all the delegates. Florida forfeited 50 percent of their delegates to the national convention for violating Republican Party rules by changing the timing of their primaries.

Register to vote and then go vote in the Texas primary on April 3.

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