Obama's Great Big 2014 Problem
Never mind the propaganda media's barrage of epitaphs for conservatism and the GOP, the midterm elections are shaping up to heavily favor the purportedly down-and-out opposition to "fundamental change" in America.
Conn Carroll of the DC Examiner analyzes just which Senate seats will be possible pick-ups for the GOP:
...a total of seven Democratic Senators from states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012 are up for election in 2014. And six of those Senators (Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Max Baucus, D-Mont., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Jay Rockefeler, D-W.V.) hail from states that Romney carried by double-digits.
But it is not just the particular seats that will be up that makes 2014 a potential disaster for the Dems, it is the varying nature of midterm and general election voters:
As Thomas Schaller notes, this spells doom for Democrats in 2014:
It's no mystery why Democrats generally perform better in presidential years while Republicans tend to excel in midterm cycles: Lower midterm turnouts tend to skew the electorate toward older, white and/or more affluent voters. Given the growing cleavage in recent decades between partisan preferences of white and non-white voters, cyclic differences in racial composition are particularly important.
And, Schaller notes, this is particularly troublesome for Democrats at the state level, since "all but nine of the 48 governors with four-year terms are elected in non-presidential cycles, as are the substantial majority of state legislators."
Meanwhile, Nolan Finley of the Detroit News writes about the price the Dems will have to pay for Obamacare:
...I think 2014 will be a huge Republican year.
The reason: Obamacare will be in place by the time Americans next go to the polls, and they'll have tasted the true costs of a law they didn't want in the first place.
I'm more convinced of that after returning home to find an exhaustive memo from Bob Daddow, Oakland County's budget chief.
Daddow's litany of the possible consequences of Obamacare for local finances lists a formidable number of downsides.
Daddow is gloomy about lots of things, from how the new taxes in the fiscal cliff deal will impact small-business hiring to whether credit rating services will downgrade the national debt.
But mostly he's fretting about how the Affordable Care Act will raise costs for Oakland's taxpayers and the businesses that operate in the county.
"The potential cost impact on the county remains one of the more significant unquantifiable budget exposures," he writes.
Late in December, the government imposed a $63 fee on everyone enrolled in a health care plan. For Oakland, that amounts to an unbudgeted $488,000, unless it passes the cost onto its employees. And it very well may be passed along, since the county has to comply with a state law that caps its share of health insurance costs at 80 percent.
The new policy tax joins $24 billion in levies, mostly on high-income earners, that kicked in Jan. 1
"Several of these new taxes will place pressures on businesses trying to recover from the 'great recession' with the expansion having a dampening effect on the retention and creation of new jobs," Daddow writes.
He also believes uncertainty about Obamacare regulations will slow hiring and consumer spending. And it could double the cost of health insurance premiums.
He comes to that conclusion because he has no faith in Washington's promise that Obamacare will be paid for by rooting waste and fraud from Medicare and Medicaid, and by collecting a mandated tax from the currently uninsured.
Daddow wisely notes that imposing a tax is a lot easier than collecting one imposed on a population that doesn't file federal income taxes.
If those funding sources for Obamacare don't materialize, rates for insurance policies will soar.
Finley concludes from this that the number of people visibly hurt by Obamacare will be so great as to favor the GOP