Obamacare: one picture is worth 20,000 pages of regulations

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**Posted by Phineas

And this is just the start.

And this is just the start.

Via Steven Hayward, this photo shows the stack of regulations released so far for Obamacare – a stack seven feet high:

Obamacare-Regs-copy

In his post, Hayward writes:

…the effectual truth of modern American government is that Congress no longer enacts laws in the meaningful sense of the word.  Instead, they pass wish lists, and delegate the actual lawmaking to unelected administrators.

Simple test: if Congress passes a statute–even one that is 1,600 pages long like Obamacare, but the law can’t go into effect as written, it is not really a law at all.  The simple proof is the photo here that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office has released, showing the 20,000-plus pages of regulations issued so far for the implementation of Obamacare.  ”Regulation” is just a multi-syllabic word for “law,” after all.  The point is, administrators–the slightly nicer term for “bureaucrats”–now govern us much more than our elected lawmakers do.  One almost wonders why we have elections at all.  (Actually, many bureaucrats actually do wonder this.)

(Emphasis added)

That bolded portion is the key. Since the advent of the administrative state under the progressives, beginning under TR and Wilson, but really taking off under FDR, only occasionally slowing since, and now in a full-throated roar under Obama, Congress has ceded more and more of its lawmaking power to bureaucrats, chasing the progressive dream of an administrative state free of messy democratic politics and that obsolete Constitution. And this is only the start, not only of regulations under Obamacare, but the avalanche soon to come via Dodd-Frank, too.

Of course, while Congress gives away their duties to unelected mandarins, they continue to enjoy nice salaries and tremendous perks.

Nice work, if you can get it.

(h/t Jonah Goldberg)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Obama aides: “Charm offensive is a joke”

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**Posted by Phineas

Gee, it must make their boss so happy to have his own aides mocking his latest strategy to deal with with congressional Republicans:

President Obama for the first time appears to be making a full-fledged effort to extend an olive branch to congressional Republicans, dining with a group of GOP senators last week and penciling in a lunch date with Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. His advisers are not pleased by the move, according to the National Journal’s Ron Fournier.

“This is a joke. We’re wasting the president’s time and ours,” a senior White House official told Fournier of the president’s outreach efforts. “I hope you all (in the media) are happy because we’re doing it for you.”

Other current and former administration officials made similar remarks to reporters and openly on Twitter.

In other words, the dinner, the lunches, all the “reaching out” are all for show, probably more due to his tanking poll numbers than with any real desire to reach a compromise solution to our nation’s fiscal mess. But, we all knew that, right? Obama’s overriding strategic goal is income redistribution, followed by the managed decline of the United States into a West European-style social democracy. Tactically, he needs to improve his poll numbers to give his side a reasonable chance of taking the House and keeping the Senate in 2014. Serious reform of the kind we really need on taxes, entitlements, and government spending, would endanger those goals. Hence, he’ll never agree to them.

So, really, these aides and former aides are just guilty of speaking the truth. But there’s no way Obama is thrilled to have his cynical strategy exposed so publicly, by his own people.

I bet the next staff meeting will be real fun.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

NC Five Guys franchise holder: ObamaCare costs will be passed on to consumers

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Gee, what a surprise. Not. Via the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard
(bolded emphasis added by me):

The fight over Obamacare, so far held at the 30,000-foot level, is about to hit home. The latest impact hot off the grill: prices of burgers and hot dogs at Five Guys, the national chain that started in Washington, are going to rise to cover the president’s mandated insurance coverage.

“Any added costs are going to have to be passed on,” said Mike Ruffer, a Five Guys franchise holder with eight of the popular restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. area. He will need all the profits from at least one of his eight outlets just to cover his estimated added $60,000-a year in new Obamacare costs.

What’s more, he’s iced plans to build another three restaurants until after the administration explains the exact rules and penalties employers will face. The law’s plan to have those available March 1 has been pushed back to October.

“I’m kind of in a holding pattern,” said Ruffer, a former Marriott executive who added that many franchise owners are in a similar situation.

Ruffer was the star witness at a Monday Heritage Foundation seminar on the impact Obamacare will have on small businesses. He is typical of many: Because he has enough full time employees to activate the law, he faces either coughing up the money to provide health insurance or paying a fine of up to $3,000 per worker.

Ruffer initially thought he would escape the law because he created each restaurant as its own company. But the law doesn’t recognize that distinction, so now he’s trying to determine if he can fire enough workers, or cut enough hours, to slide out of the grasp of Obamacare.

Neither of which he indicates he really wants to do, as the article made clear.

As I’ve pointed out here before on several occasions, he is far from the only franchise holder having to decide how much this will impact consumers, his bottom line, and the fate of his employees as a direct result of the implementation of the bloated monstrosity known as ObamaCare. He won’t be the last, either.

Ask a staunch proponent of ObamaCare how they feel about this disturbing trend amongst business owners both small and large to face the possibility of having to cut back hours, cut back on employees, and/or pass the costs of ObamaCare onto consumers, and they’ll snidely tell you that the owners can “afford to do with less money and should put more emphasis on keeping people employed than on the profitability of their business(es).” Ignorance of how to run a successful company is bliss, I guess – for pro-socialism leftists, anyway.

Don’t be surprised if you find out far left “activists” are calling for a boycott of the particular Five Guys establishments in question. Because in their warped minds, boycotting a restaurant to make sure they have less business and less customers for the existing employees to take care of is a sure fire way to reverse staggering negative unemployment trends and get employers to change their minds. Or something …

Phineas Butts In: Coincidentally, I read a short piece last night by Slate’s Matt Yglesias on Mr. Ruffer and his restaurants that essentially called BS on his need to pass on costs:

The only situation in which it would make sense for Ruffer to raise prices is if price increases will on net lead to higher revenue. And if price increases will lead to higher revenue (which they might) then it makes sense for Ruffer to raise prices no matter what happens with Obamacare.

Either from economic illiteracy or mendacity, Yglesias confuses gross revenues with net income. Sure, raising prices will raise revenues, up to the point at which customers decide it’s too much to pay. But, if operating costs go higher (thanks to ObamaCare, in this case), then net income (roughly, revenue minus operating costs) will either stay about even or go down, if he follows Yglesias-nomics and keeps raising prices. And it’s that net income that Ruffer needs to make his business worth running, in the first place, and to expand it and –think about it, Matt– hire more people.

Be sure to read it all for a textbook example of the Left’s fantasy economics, and check out my Elections Have Consequences category for other examples of businesses dealing with reality, instead.

Meanwhile, Matt Yglesias should put down his copy of The Nation and pick up a good book on microeconomics.