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July 26, 2012


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AND THE BEAT GOES ON for Small Businesses.

It didn't take long for me to get kicked once again. Today the new free birth control and women exams began. My insurance rep estimated that our premiums will go up 15-20% for 2013. That is another $100,000 a year for our 40 employees. When the President told us about the benefits of the AHA I recall one of them was it would lower healthcare costs. He can put that one right next to transparency, 5 day waiting period for bill signing,50% reduced deficit,televised hearings on CSPAN, lower unemployment, new energy job creation and the long list of "not true" statements by this President. The clear objective is to drive employer prices so high as to make us eliminate our medical benefit and force the nation to a single payer system. Can you imagine the deficits if that happens?

HEALTHCARE and Small Business.

Just a coincidence that 180 days before the election out come the letters explaining to employees of small businesses that they may be due a windfall rebate on their insurance from their employers. I' not going to go through the myriad of rules defining the rebate and the calculations to figure out how much goes to the employee. I'm sure my 9,000,000 small business owner peers are already ready to hang their Congressman at the nearest tree. But, I will explain our situation: Last week we received $8,000 in the mail from our carrier. Now we pay about $16,750 per employee per year for medical. They pay on average about $1200. So after all the calculations are done each employee is due $13.33. But, it is taxable and if we give it to them we have to pay payroll taxes on it. Or we can choose to deduct it from their premiums next year BUT we must do this through the payroll system so they get taxed on it and we pay the payroll tax. Not a big thing for the tax but the accounting hassle is hardly worth $13. There are other options that will allow us to ignore it by for example imporving their benefits. How much do you think you can improve benefits for $13 a year? All I can say on behalf of my peers is what more paperwork can you give us Congress? And of course I'm sure the actuaries at my carrier are working overtime to figure out how to make sure the rebate is smaller next year and the premiums are higher as always. with the carriers and Congress working against the small business pearson who can hire anyone?

THE RETURN OF RUSSIA? While we hold Presidential elections and the President whispers in the international community's ear that he has all actions on hold an old adversary stirs. Consider this:

Assad is becoming a bigger problem in the sense that it appears to the world that the Russians are protecting him from US actions. This is magnified by Putin’s new aggressive actions such as offering the idea he might use Cuba as a military station. I guess he thinks Russia is back in the Cold War. If this is unchallenged then I suppose he’ll be proposing a base in Venezuela and a new Cuba,Venezuela,Russia block in the Americas. A new challenge to the Monroe Doctrine. It appears that Putin is consolidating power in Russia and that is not good as the new Democratic Russia could easily slip back into the KGB dominated nuclear power. All of this requires a US President who is willing to act despite the election year. Iran adds to the dilemma as they continue to buy time (aided by Russian intervention in the Assad situation) to enrich more Uranium and inch closer to the bomb. A nuclear, terror supporting Iran in alliance with a new antagonistic Russia can really create problems of the US in dealing with the terror groups throughout the Muslim world. I cannot imagine a weaker posture than we are currently presenting in this situation while the President tries to get re elected.

Bin Laden used inexpensive tools to force the US and the West to go to war. But, more importantly, he triggered a response ( financially )to protect our assets that has greatly weakened the entire Western world economically. Much of the economic trouble we face today stems from this response and the threat. Huge sums of money have been spent in the two wars, the intelligence improvements, the international bribes to military leaders in Egypt, Pakistan and others to try to keep them on our side, Homeland Security, border security, air line security and the movement of Federal Assets onto military bases for security. (Etc) Now, weakened we selectively choose to ignore the actions of weak adversaries like Russia, Syria,Iran and China. It will not be long before we are facing an international crisis caused by miss interpretation of our policies and willingness to act. I believe the best way to avert it is to take a strong stand somewhere and for me the least risky place to do so is Syria. Followed quickly by Iran if they interfere. The President forced Iran to the table with sanctions in January. Talks are now postponed until September. That is no progress except for Iran and their enrichment program.

THE 'RE-DO' LIST GETS LONGER; Now we've got 3 or 4 foreign countries to undo 'Obama's dippy plomices'. I keep thinking this is more about accumulating an 'arsenal' than day to day campaigning.
Scott Brown certainly 'hit the mark' and with the right 'tone'. Romney could do worse than adopt that campaign add title for the entire campaign theme.

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