Betsy McCaughey from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 26 Aug 2016 05:11:15 -0700 Betsy McCaughey from Creators Syndicate 249f3fe3649da33817b3f9dcb705f28b Zika's Threat to a City Near You for 08/24/2016 Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Health officials are bowing to political correctness instead of taking obvious steps to protect residents in most of the United States from the Zika virus. For example, New York has more Zika cases &#8212; some 579 &#8212; than any other state. Officials warn pregnant women and their sexual partners not to travel to Zika-infested regions, because the virus causes horrific birth defects. But babies are not the only ones in danger. New research suggests adults may also suffer permanent brain damage after being bitten by a mosquito carrying Zika. </p> <p>That's reason enough to avoid travel to and from the Dominican Republic, the source of more than half the cases, or Puerto Rico, also Zika-infested.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 24, 2016</p> 539ef7f650041a2d28cadf9ad0292bf2 How to Escape Obamacare for 08/17/2016 Wed, 17 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>"You get what you pay for," the adage goes. Not with the Affordable Care Act. When open enrollment starts Nov. 1, the public will see they're going to be paying lots more for health insurance in 2017 and getting less. Across the country, state insurance departments are announcing double digit premium hikes, often as high as 20 percent and occasionally even 40 percent.</p> <p>People who earn too much to qualify for a subsidy will be forced to pay as much as a fifth of their income for health insurance. And they'll get less choice of doctors and hospitals and less prescription drug coverage. </p> <p>Annual enrollment begins eight days before voters go to the polls. Donald Trump is vowing to repeal Obamacare. Hillary Clinton is doubling down on keeping and expanding it. Democrats are worried Obamacare sticker shock will have an 11th hour impact on the election.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 17, 2016</p> 8cc1dc719599e378ed0ec09a187602dd Voters Get to Choose Envy or Growth for 08/10/2016 Wed, 10 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Monday, Donald Trump stopped the wisecracks and laid out a serious plan to jumpstart the nation's limping economy. He proposed tax cuts, regulatory relief, unfettered development of coal, oil and natural gas and fairer trade pacts. One item in his plan will do more than all the others to get the nation working again: cutting corporate taxes. Trump pledged, "Under my plan, no American company will pay more than 15 percent of their business income in taxes."</p> <p>Immediately, Hillary Clinton pounced on Trump's "tax breaks (for) large corporations." Her classic warfare rhetoric reminds us that in this election voters have to decide between Clinton's politics of envy or Trump's agenda of economic growth for all.</p> <p>First, the facts: The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35 percent &#8212; the highest in the developed world. Even with deductions, companies here pay on average 27 percent, which is more than in most other countries. Since 2000, nearly every industrialized country has cut corporate taxes to compete for business &#8212; except the U.S.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 10, 2016</p> 1833ad101eaef08bc5cd23ad5dc98a0c The Tax-Shaming Trap for 08/03/2016 Wed, 03 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Hillary Clinton and the media are goading Donald Trump again into releasing his tax returns, suggesting he's unwilling to pay his "fair share." Sadly, even a few of Trump's fellow Republicans are piling on. Their crazy premise: Paying the IRS more than you legally owe makes you a better person. That's nonsense. </p> <p>Donald Trump is wisely resisting calls to publicly air his tax laundry. He knows releasing his returns would suck him into a media feeding frenzy dragging on right up until Election Day, as opponents and reporters make a federal case out of every line of his returns and clobber him for paying anything less than the maximum rate.</p> <p>Call the assault "tax shaming" &#8212; demonizing high earners who take advantage of perfectly legal opportunities to lower their taxes. It's part of the Democratic Party's class warfare tool kit. <p>Updated: Wed Aug 03, 2016</p> c94d723cb611784ef81497fa04fda1ca Dems Busting Airbnb for 07/27/2016 Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The battle over Airbnb is taking center stage at the Democratic National Convention. The fight is emblematic of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats over who should steer the economy: government regulators on the one hand, or consumers and business innovators on the other.</p> <p>Democrats are attacking Airbnb and similar internet sites that enable people to earn cash renting their homes out. Senator Elizabeth Warren and several like-minded lawmakers are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to crack down. They're determined to regulate everything. They claim to be for the little guy, but they're protecting a rigged economy that favors hotel unions and the real estate industry. To heck with the budget traveler who needs a temporary place to stay or the home sharer who needs to make extra cash. </p> <p>Airbnb is fighting back, running ads defending its service. Meanwhile, in New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo is still mulling over whether to sign a bill that would make it illegal for most New Yorkers to advertise their apartments on the sites.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 27, 2016</p> e204bc32107eee8cab74d68515a5e41f Clinton Destroys Medicare for 07/20/2016 Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Hillary Clinton is taking a sledgehammer to Medicare. In a move calculated to fire up the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledges to open Medicare to people 55 to 64, and make a "public option" insurance plan for all ages. The 65-and-overs are already having a hard time finding a doctor willing to accept Medicare's stingy payments. Clinton's proposals will suddenly invite in millions more patients competing for the same doctors. Seniors, brace yourselves for long waits to see a doctor.</p> <p>Medicare is stretched so thin to meet the needs of today's seniors that expanding enrollment is like inviting the neighborhood for dinner when you don't have enough to feed your own kids. </p> <p>Over a fifth of doctors currently are turning away new Medicare patients, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Clinton's scheme would add a massive segment of the population to Medicare's ranks. It's likely &#8212; a sudden 20 percent increase in patients knocking on doctors' doors for appointments. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 20, 2016</p> c68d0b2578eab08b8952eb88e83eb172 Sanctuary Hospitals: Who Pays the Bills? for 07/13/2016 Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Medical bills are pushing more Americans into severe financial distress, even if they have insurance. That's the grim news from a top medical journal. These bills force hundreds of thousands into bankruptcy each year. What's so galling is that while Americans struggle to pay their bills, freeloaders from other countries get the same care at no cost by gaming our generous open-door hospital policies. They take a flight to the U.S., go straight to an emergency room, and get pacemakers, chemotherapy and other expensive care, leaving U.S. taxpayers to foot their bills. </p> <p>Evan Levine, a cardiologist at a Bronx, New York, teaching hospital, recently treated a Trinidad resident who had learned his pacemaker battery was about to give out. He came to New York to avoid paying for cardiac care back home. Cost to him? Zero, aside from airfare.</p> <p>It's a common practice, according to a medical device salesman who services hospitals in the New York area. He gets calls for pacemakers destined for patients from South or Central America who fly in and take a bus directly to the hospital. The bill for one pacemaker patient can reach $96,000. John Q. Public gets stuck with it. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 13, 2016</p> 17f07747b25b54321f885fb6c34b71c6 Dem Platform Follies for 07/06/2016 Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Friday, the Democratic Party unveiled its 2016 national platform, promising to put "a middle-class life within the reach of more Americans." Unfortunately, the party's proposals will do the opposite. They will slow economic growth, prevent millions of people from advancing up the economic ladder and hold back their children, too.</p> <p>Democrats claim America's gravest problem is extreme inequality. That misses the target. Americans who are stuck on the bottom rungs of the ladder are justifiably angry. Not because the rich have more, but because the system seems rigged to prevent them from succeeding.</p> <p>The American dream promises that no matter how humbly you start, you should be able to work your way up and see your children go even higher. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 06, 2016</p> 1384dffff26de8b26ff9c7679abf61f3 The Plot Against Trump for 06/29/2016 Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The knives are out to sabotage Donald Trump's nomination, defying the wishes of the record number of Republican primary voters who chose him. </p> <p>Pols who backed losing candidate Ted Cruz are mounting a sour-grapes campaign to rig the Republican National Convention rules. Their goal is to deny Trump the nomination. Meanwhile, in Virginia, a state where Trump came in first in the primary, a lawsuit filed Friday by an anti-Trump pol claims he and fellow delegates should be free to ignore the voters and follow their own "conscience" when they choose a nominee at the Convention. </p> <p>Be prepared for more whining and skullduggery ahead, as an embittered minority of Republican insiders tries to derail Trump's unorthodox candidacy.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 29, 2016</p> a523ea2f0f311952dfab30c236493e69 Dems Destroy Medicare for 06/22/2016 Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Under the guise of "reform," President Obama is dismantling Medicare &#8212; dooming seniors to needless pain and disability and shortening their lives. </p> <p>The stakes are high, because Medicare and the access it allows to medical innovations have transformed aging. Before Medicare, older people languished in nursing homes or wheelchairs with crippling illnesses. Now, seniors dodge that fate, thanks to hip and knee replacements, cataract operations, heart procedures &#8212; all paid for by Medicare. </p> <p>Stunning findings just published in the American Journal of Public Health show that a man turning 65 can expect to live almost five years longer than his counterpart in 1970. Five years of extra life, and almost all of it in good health. What a priceless gift. <p>Updated: Wed Jun 22, 2016</p> b649d0e5afcaf707900f3bc94af8becc Zika's Nasty Facts for 06/15/2016 Wed, 15 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This week, mosquitoes capable of transmitting Zika start biting in Florida, the Gulf States, and Southern California. It's the "virus from hell," warns Peter Hotez, Dean of Baylor University's School of Tropical Medicine. He's urging women to delay getting pregnant. Hotez worries expectant mothers in these states are already being bitten, and next spring they'll "start giving birth to brain-damaged infants." Doctors are investigating whether infants &#8212; up to age 1 &#8212; also could be impaired by these mosquito bites because their brains are still developing</p> <p>Meanwhile, New Yorkers face a different threat: sexual transmission. It's unknown whether local mosquitoes will spread the virus. But even without mosquitoes biting, New York already has more than any other state. The virus is being brought here by immigrants and travelers exposed in infested areas like Puerto Rico, Brazil, Honduras and El Salvador. Their sex partners need to know the virus can survive in semen for six months or longer and also possibly spread through deep kissing.</p> <p>Dating tip: Ask to see his or her passport.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 15, 2016</p> 7dcc009a61087405153b9f7908b093b6 A Builder or a Blabber in the White House for 06/08/2016 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen gave a somber assessment of the current jobs market, throwing cold water on President Obama's election-year messaging. President Obama has been bragging that America has "the strongest" economy in the world. </p> <p>Right, and pigs can fly. GDP growth under Obama has averaged a stagnant 1.7 percent a year. Meanwhile, Ireland is growing at nearly 8 percent, and India at 7 percent. </p> <p>And the Obama economy isn't only a loser when compared with other countries. Compared with what Americans enjoyed for decades, this is "the worst economic-growth record of any president" since the Great Depression, says Stanford economist Michael Boskin. <p>Updated: Wed Jun 08, 2016</p> c2b1c5a39cedab0546101582c3fdec2f Germs Multiply While CDC Fiddles for 06/01/2016 Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Federal officials are predicting doom because a Pennsylvania woman became infected with a germ that can't be stopped by most antibiotics. "The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients," warned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden last week. You'd think the CDC was finally ready to get serious about drug-resistant infections. Think again. The CDC watched "super-bugs" spread across the nation, and dawdled. Centers for Denial and Confusion is more like it.</p> <p>The Pennsylvania woman's infection is resistant to a last-resort antibiotic called colistin. This is the first case, as far as we know, of an infection resistant to colistin in the U.S., but thousands of patients die every year from infections resistant to more commonly used antibiotics.</p> <p>As antibiotics lose their punch, medical care becomes riskier, especially in hospitals. Patients who need chemotherapy or surgery rely on antibiotics. Without them, even a routine procedure &#8212; bypass surgery or C-section &#8212; could turn deadly.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 01, 2016</p> f6af0daf2b41e509f619b7bb8f113e1f Obama's Deadly Globalism for 05/25/2016 Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Federal officials are warning that mosquitoes carrying Zika virus will start biting and infecting U.S. residents in the next month. Key trouble spots are southern Florida, Louisiana, Texas and southern California, but the risk could extend north to New York and San Francisco. The virus inflicts horrific brain damage on unborn children as well as neurological disorders in adults. The Obama administration's bungled response is increasing the danger. </p> <p>Americans are being told to "drain, dress and DEET," meaning drain water lingering in their yard, wear long pants and sleeves, and use bug repellent. In short, avoid mosquito bites. Imagine the health of your unborn child depending on that. </p> <p>That makes as much sense as "Duck and Cover" did in the 1950s to keep safe from a nuclear attack. <p>Updated: Wed May 25, 2016</p> 24a0e80eea38a3e4c0a36c9c362cb8f0 How the Clintons Cashed In for 05/18/2016 Wed, 18 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When Bill and Hillary Clinton moved out of the White House 15 years ago, they were "dead broke," said Hillary Clinton. Today, they're worth up to $150 million. A new documentary, "Clinton Cash," reveals how they went from broke to filthy rich, with an emphasis on filthy. </p> <p>The Clintons have made out like bandits compared with another political couple, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The McDonnells were convicted of accepting over $150,000 in gifts while in office from a businessman. The Clintons raked in seven hundred times that amount &#8212; $105 million &#8212; under the pretext of speaking fees while Hillary Clinton was in public office. Yet the McDonnells face time in the big house, while the Clintons are aiming for the White House</p> <p>"Clinton Cash" is based on a book by former Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer that has withstood a year of intense scrutiny by critics. It's fact, not fiction, and the facts are compelling. <p>Updated: Wed May 18, 2016</p> 4d632dcfe519406c7627f9138e0baf37 Medicare Cuts Killing Seniors for 05/11/2016 Wed, 11 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>President Obama's Medicare cuts are killing seniors. His health law changed Medicare, adding bonuses for hospitals that spend the least per senior. The result? Hundreds of hospitals are skimping on care to win bonuses. Seniors at these hospitals aren't getting the right antibiotic or other treatments they need. They're dying from pneumonia, heart attacks and heart failure at higher rates than patients in other hospitals that provide more care. </p> <p>So much for Obama's promise that cutting Medicare wouldn't harm seniors. </p> <p>News of the deaths at low spending hospitals, reported in Health Affairs, comes just as GOP front-runner Donald Trump meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Medicare cuts are on the long list of policy disagreements between the two Republicans. Trump pledges not to cut Medicare. Ryan and GOP members of Congress are pushing to repeal Obamacare but want to keep Obama's Medicare cuts. Trump is right on this one.<p>Updated: Wed May 11, 2016</p> 5dde03ea26e63146d0ad4d3332eaa308 The Trump Campaign Shows Its Policy Chops for 05/04/2016 Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The rap on Donald Trump is he's all bluster. The New York Times says he's offering "incoherent mishmash." GOP rival Ted Cruz claims Trump has "no idea" how to fix the economy. Don't' believe it. The Trump campaign is putting forward proposals to fix problems facing the nation, from the long waits for medical care at the VA to the impending collapse of Obamacare. Check out Trump's economic plan, for starters. Unlike Hillary Clinton's radical anti-business agenda, Trump's plan would actually help unemployed Americans get back to work. </p> <p>Trump slashes the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, down from the current 40 percent, the highest rate in the industrialized world. Not all American companies pay that staggering rate, but even after deductions and accounting maneuvers, companies in the U.S. end up clobbered with taxes nearly twice the global average (24 percent). In Ireland, a magnet for tax-weary companies, the rate is only 12.5 percent and their economy is growing about three times as fast as ours. Conversely, Japan and Argentina are stuck in the doldrums along with the U.S., partly because of their high corporate tax rates.</p> <p>Trump also proposes a one-time 10 percent repatriation tax on profits U.S. companies made overseas and kept there to avoid the 40 percent rate. That bargain could lure back as much as $2.5 trillion in capital urgently needed here. <p>Updated: Wed May 04, 2016</p> 80f4ec808c5e4daeec7a6e3b5e8bcb28 Obama's Killer Economy for 04/27/2016 Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Middle-aged people laid off and unable to find work are taking another way out. They're killing themselves. Suicide rates are soaring, according to federal data released last week. Especially in economically depressed states and job-starved regions like upstate New York. People in need of work are twice as likely to take their own lives as employed people, and people fired in their forties and fifties find it hardest to get hired again. </p> <p>That makes boosting economic growth a life and death issue. But you wouldn't know it listening to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. President Obama whitewashes reality, claiming the "American economy is pretty darn good right now." </p> <p>False. The Obama economy is stalled. It grew at a measly 0.7 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of this year. That's compared with the 3.5 percent rate the U.S. enjoyed for most of the 20th century. That's the growth needed to sustain employment and optimism.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 27, 2016</p> 1d09b3bfa8cc26dcba9afff1f1224f84 Obamacare's Teachable Moment for 04/20/2016 Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On Monday, House Republicans promised a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare within a month. It's not a moment too soon. </p> <p>Obamacare is collapsing. UnitedHealth will abandon most Obamacare markets, it said Tuesday. Giant insurers such as Aetna and the BlueCross Blue Shield Association are next. They warned last week that losses trying to sell Obamacare plans are "unsustainable"&#8212; $3 billion a year, S&P says &#8212; and they'll either stop selling the plans or significantly raise premiums. That's a scary prospect. Even Hillary Clinton's campaign admits the cost of Obamacare plans is already "crushing."</p> <p>As for the GOP alternative, the devil will be in the details. But six years of Obamacare have taught the nation lessons that Republicans should not ignore. <p>Updated: Wed Apr 20, 2016</p> 972836c6cfbb064d746370b5757a71c3 Legal Plunder for 04/13/2016 Wed, 13 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If you're employed, beware. An alarming attitude is sweeping the nation that your paycheck is fair game to fix any social problem. Left-wing legislators across the nation are mandating deductions from everyone's paycheck to fund paid family medical leave programs. The programs are used mostly by women to stay home with their newborns. Sounds warm and fuzzy, but looting your paycheck to fund it amounts to legal plunder. The left is using the law to take what you've earned and give the money to someone else. </p> <p>New York State lawmakers are savoring their 15 minutes of fame for passing the most "progressive" paid family leave law in the nation. "Reckless" is a more like it. The law empowers the state to deduct funds from every worker's paycheck to keep the new family leave program afloat. How big a payroll deduction? The law doesn't say. Each year, state officials will decide on a percentage deduction, and New Yorkers will see their paychecks shrink based on that decision. </p> <p>Descending to a new low in shoddy governance, New York lawmakers didn't crunch the numbers on the cost before voting to stick workers with the tab. Governor Andrew Cuomo guesses it will cost the average employee "roughly 70 cents a week the first year, and $1.40 a week by 2021." Experts say it could cost five times that much.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 13, 2016</p>