International Forecaster Weekly

A Long Overdue Raise In The Minimum Wage

A long overdue raise in the minimum wage... Saddam to hang...George and the Neocons slammed by the electorate... Americans are sick for medicare, and sick of the costs... Uncovering the corruption of the Iraq invasion...

Bob Chapman | November 11, 2006

A number of states overwhelmingly approved higher minimum wages. The Democrats have won the House and they will immediately pass legislation for a federal rate of $7.25 an hour.

Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death by hanging. He is on appeal and we should know by March if he will be hung. We say, of course, he’ll be hung. The elitists want to teach an object lesson. You screw with us and you get dead. While this transpires a commission of Iraq’s Shiite-led government said it is preparing a draft law that could return tens of thousands of former members of Saddam’s Baath Party, who were complicit in what Saddam did, back to their jobs. These are the same group that Bremer, under neocon orders, threw out of their jobs after he arrived to take over the government in Iraq. As you can see this was another idiotic decision by the neocons so they could loot the country. Those out of work became insurgents. Such is the result of our invasion, occupation and the terrible result of our foreign policy.

There is no question that the recent mid-term election results showed George and the neocons that their wars, occupations and policies have been totally rejected by the electorate. The elitist corporate fascist state has been soundly rejected. The Democrats have a 23-seat edge in the House, which is a very powerful neutralizer of neocon policies. George is now officially a lame duck. As we write two Senate seats are undecided. If they are both won by Democrats that would seal the fate of the former Republican dominated government.

We, as stated for four months, we see an Iraq and Afghanistan withdrawal initiated by elitists from behind the scenes. They control both parties and their plans supersede all others. Foreign policy will change dramatically over the next 20 years and the elitists will stick to business and make their inroads for world government in that manner, not by war.

The government of arrogance is over. Patience on Iraq and Afghanistan has reached their limit with the public. What Republicans failed to do defeated them. They failed to pass Social Security reform and tried to pass unacceptable immigration reform. Those are practicalities never mind the orgy of self-indulgence, narcissism and scandal. Their production of pork projects was colossal. It put the Democrats to shame and that did not go unnoticed by the voters. Republicans proved their virtue was for sale. We now ask have they learned their lesson, did they get the message?

Many Americans are paying more for health care then rent for their businesses. That is why 46 million Americans are uninsured and 40% of Americans have no insurance through their employer. This, while wages fail to keep up with living costs. In the past six years, health care premiums have risen 87%. If costs continue to increase at 10%, they will double again in seven years.

Only 4% of the 155 million enrolled in employer-sponsored plans have high-deductible policies, compared with 60% in preferred-provider organizations. Bush administration consumer driven plans have increased costs to workers since employees do not get the benefit of large, group discounts when they bargain individually for health services.

The Medicare drug prescription plan, Part D, will cost the elderly $53 billion next year and it’s nothing more than a cruelly contrived “doughnut benefit”, which offers no coverage when your total drug expenses range from $2,250 to $3,600. Instead of getting the lowest price on drugs, Medicare is perversely forbidden from doing that – by law. It became law to enrich the drug companies.

If all of this were not bad enough, premiums are soaring for the drug plan for 2007. The cheapest policies will cost Americans 44% more as private insurers are boosting premiums.

Built into the Medicare boondoggle are $4.6 billion in payments to Medicare Advantage providers, private managed care companies, and $10 billion for a PPO stabilization fund to encourage the growth of new regional PPO’s. It is all funded by taxpayer dollars through the Medicare Modernization Act.

Overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans and regional PPO’s could easily cost more than $60 billion over the next ten years.

The Medicare law is a poster child for what not to do if you are going to reduce health care costs.

This is all headed in the wrong direction and we cannot afford it. In time only the rich will get health care, the rest will die.

There is a consensus of opinion that a national public or private program must be established to ensure protection against very high out-of-pocket medical costs for everyone.

The administration behind the mask posing as conservatives and right-wingers, but governing as national socialists on spending, illegal immigration and judicial appointments, has proven to be an unmitigated disaster at the polls. Distaste regarding Iraq, an ebbing economy, falling house prices, falling living standards, an illegal immigration morass and record debt and the concentration of wealth has hit the Republicans and many other incumbents with a staggering blow.

Let the investigations begin. First Iraq and all the missing billions and Halliburton, Bechtel, Parsons and all the other crooks who stole from us in Iraq.

Finally after years of exposing government statistics as a fraud we have Wall Street and the Fed admitting that they are a fraud. Desperate for reelection, the Republicans went too far this time with the unemployment reports. Changes are on the way.

The government is expected to spend at least $31 billion this year on the Medicare drug benefit. Next year it’s expected to cost $50 billion or almost 20% of overall American drug spending.

Democrats will change that in 2007 and by law that will allow directly negotiating with drug makers that will save billions of dollars for the elderly annually, some $200 billion over the next ten years.