Archive for January, 2014

State of the Youth

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

Enduring the pomp and circumstance of the State of the Union can be an ordeal in and of itself. For those of us inherently skeptical of the president being presented in too king-like a fashion, Barack Obama’s latest exhibition did nothing to moderate our doubts. In fact, we were fed a vision of the president as supreme legislator, in which a compliant Congress enacts his schemes or is cut out of the governing process. In the second year of his final term, as his signature legislation unravels before the nation’s eyes, it appears that Barack Obama cannot abide the divided government the American people intentionally installed. And so we contend with his agenda.

When one listens to Barack Obama, it’s hard to dismiss the unsettling feeling that he believes government is the economy. That any cut to federal spending chips away at growth potential. That progress is achieved through “investments” made by politicians with assets they stole from us. Surely, without the benign hand of government directing our resources toward commitments it deems laudable, we peasants would drown in a sea of decentralized incompetence. You and I cannot be trusted with the fruits of our own labor, lest the bureaucratic machine miss an opportunity to regulate more of our voluntary interactions with one another.

Naturally, it’s terrifying to think that the leader of the free world could even hint at subscribing to such an authoritarian outlook. It is especially troublesome for those of us under thirty, who will bear the consequences of policies crafted under this vision. We are already inordinately burdened by a government keen to enact new “youth jobs training programs,” but never considers reforming the regulatory regime that strangles would-be Millennial entrepreneurs. Just so, Obama’s address doubled down on the debt-fueled policies that have contributed to the 15.9 percent unemployment rate 18-29 year olds currently face.

The manner in which the President chose to discuss issues like the minimum wage, Obamacare, and income inequality clearly demonstrates his inability to see solutions implemented outside of Washington as viable. His command-and-control approach is tiresome to young people who have heard this rhetoric before, yet feel disempowered due to the lackluster economic results it yields. Ultimately, words don’t create jobs, and results do matter more than intentions.

(more…)

The Obamacare Enrollment Campaign’s Fuzzy Millennial Math

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

You’d better keep a close eye on your wallet this month, because the government’s spinmasters and money-grabbers are out in full force. They’re working to simultaneously placate and extort an Obamacare-weary public in the wake of dismal signup numbers.

But fear not, citizen! All you need to know about the demographics of Obamacare enrollment is that everything is fine, and there’s nothing to see here. Except that it’s unclear how many people have actually paid their premiums, 3.9 million people have been added to the already troubled Medicaid rolls, and only 21 percent of enrollees are paying their premiums in full without government assistance. Oh, and there’s the pesky little fact that more people have had the insurance they liked banned by Obamacare than signed up through the exchanges — by a figure of 2.5 million. But no big deal, right? Just ignore all of the lies used to sell Obamacare, and trust that politicians and their cronies have your best interests at heart. Ah, if only life were that simple. Here in the real world, the economic and social costs of Obamacare cannot simply be written off.

As this chart from CNN shows, only 24 percent of the 2.2 million Obamacare enrollees are between the ages of 18 and 34. What remains unclear is how many 18-25 year olds were added as dependents to family plans — thus contributing less in premiums than their peers who purchased individual coverage. And even if you assume everyone in that 24 percent bought a plan on their own, it’s important to remember that the White House originally had a goal of wrangling 2.7 million people in that age bracket – ostensibly to offset the costs of the sicker Americans who would surely sign up due to guaranteed issue.

At this juncture, they’ve only managed to bait about 648,000 into the Obamacare trap; some of whom are dependent “adult children.” So naturally, they’re hoping to lure more of us with desperate gimmicks like Youth Enrollment Day. This post-Valentines Day extravaganza – during which we can only hope we’re spared frantic “free” birth control pitches — is expected to consist of the White House partnering with their resident Millennial mouthpieces at Young Invincibles – the group that’s taking shady Obamacare math to newly disingenuous heights. In response to this data, Young Invincibles stated that 30 percent of new enrollees are under 35. Their implication is that all 660,000 of the people between the ages of 0 and 34 counted in the new enrollment statistics purchased their own individual plans – a claim that’s simply inaccurate.

(more…)