M. Newell: Obama is costing us dearly

Since Barack Obama became president, my husband and I (both of us are senior citizens) have seen our Medicare premium increase (we now each pay $99-plus a month, plus we pay for secondary insurance).

We have to pay for meds that were formerly covered and each of us has a $150 deductible that we never had to pay before.

We did not receive a cost-of-living increase for three years, and the last time we did, the Medicare premium went up and took it all.

We are paying $4-plus a gallon for heating oil, almost that much for gas and groceries are skyrocketing.

Everything costs more and the prices have kept going up since Obama became president.

I miss George Bush.

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 's picture

me too!

"I miss George Bush." Comedy is just not the same without him.

 's picture

You don't suppose...

...the Legislature had anything to do with this, do you? Last I knew, the President didn't pass laws, the Legislature does.


The cost of medicare

Lord knows I don't like seeing the cost go up but medicare is a form of health insurance. Do you know anybody who is paying for a private individual health care plan with comparable coverage? If you do ask them what they are paying? You will be stunned. The cost of health care determines what medicare will have to pay and that determines the cost of medicare. The cost of health care in this country is one of the highest in the world. There are many causes: the cost of medical school, the cost of malpractice insurance, the cost of elective surgeries, the cost of processing insurance claims and most of all the cost of the uninsured. As for the cost of oil. That would be an easy one to fix. A tax on the most outrageous oil company profits would bring the price down pretty fast. It has been done before but this congress is not in that frame of mind. As soon as the cost of fuel goes up you can be sure the cost of everything will go up with it. I'm not sure it is fair to blame Obama for everything. sometimes the causes are complex.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Claire, Perhaps a refresher


Perhaps a refresher class in economy 101 is in order here: “A tax on the most outrageous oil company profits would bring the price down pretty fast.”

Really, where did you get this hair brain idea?

The more likely behavior is that these oil companies would just pass the tax on to the consumer which would have the opposite affect than what you asset.

The only way to reduce cost is to shift the demand curve left, supply curve right, or both. Given that oil is a finite resource and the entry-level for new suppliers is high, don’t expect to see a reprieve in prices anytime soon.


economics 101

I think the supply-demand equation gets skewed when you are dealing with a monopoly and one that has as much control over government as oil does in this country. I don't have any data as to what happens when profits beyond a certain margin get taxed because the last time congress had a bill on the table to do this the oil companies lowered the price of oil before the bill even went to a vote. I actually got a rebate on my heating oil. The point isn't to raise money for the government but to lower the incentive to raise the price of oil. The catch is that oil is sensitive to international upheavals and crises. Our oil companies don't always have control over that. I don't think anything is going to stop the price of oil from skyrocketing when the world economies recover and start increasing demand.


Little of this, little of that

Actually a tax on profits might not help the price of fuel for the reasons stated, but- the tax itself might help the general economy. Can Big Oil pass it on? sure but the market place wouldn't stand for it and sales would go down. Prices get lowered to increase sales etc. You get the picture. Last I knew we were SUBSIDIZING Big Oil. Can you imagine subsidizing the largest business in the world Exxon Mobil. That predates Obama. He wants it gone but the Republicans won't let it happen. Imagine that. Big Oil contributes to both the Rs and the Ds but considerably more to the Rs. Ya suppose there is a connection?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

1. “Actually a tax on profits

1. “Actually a tax on profits might not help the price of fuel for the reasons stated, but- the tax itself might help the general economy.” – You’ll need to provide more background to support this assertion. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the personal savings rate for 2011 is below 5%, which is about twice as much as in 2010 – 2.5%. What does this mean? It means the most people have a propensity to spend 100% of their income. If your assertion is based on the amount of money in circulation, then taxing more will not yield you much here; it will simply redirect money to a non-optimal use. Moreover, the Federal has been injecting far more money into the economy than a tax increase on fuel can without substantive positive economic results.

2. “Can Big Oil pass it on? sure but the market place wouldn't stand for it and sales would go down. Prices get lowered to increase sales etc.” – although demand ostensibly affects prices; since when does a tax increase on fuel influence demand in such a magnitude that the post-tax price per gallon is less than the pre-tax price per gallon? While higher prices may affect personal usage, it will have little effect on commerce. Take food distribution for example, increased gas prices will simply get passed on to the consumer. If taxes where increase in such excess that the post-tax price is cheaper due to significant demand reduction, I would say the economy has just entered a new depression.

In closing, I’ll second your motion to remove fuel subsidies, in fact, all business subsidies. I challenge you to show me data where a fuel tax increase affects long term fuel prices.


I can't quote you chapter and

I can't quote you chapter and verse because I don't keep all that stuff. FWIW I read in the late summer or fall of '09 that the demand for oil had fallen off substantially and that was the reason that prices were falling. Public relations may have had a bit to do with it as well. As for savings, I read yesterday that Americans have less debt than they have in years (I want to say decades but you will want me to prove it and I can't) The premise was they were paying off debt-that surely can be akin to savings. My take is that Americans are getting in better shape for another rainy day. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Jason Theriault's picture

Hey, drop the partisan bs for

Hey, drop the partisan bs for s few seconds.


Hope Haven needs help giving kids Christmas presents. Go make a donation. Help kids have a happy Christmas. Heck, if you want to wage a real war on Christmas, here is a chance to really make a difference

David  Cote's picture

Right on, Jason!

Through the wilderness that would be the land of poison keyboards comes a person with a worthwhile and totally beneficial idea for those in need of help, and for those in need of a positive focus. Thanks for reminding me, Jason. I will be stopping in to make a donation and to basque in the glory of doing the right thing. I hope others take a break from this cyber daycare and do the same. And Merry Christmas to all.

Jason Theriault's picture


BTW - I donated $20 bucks. Then, unbeknownst to me, had my performance review, which I aced. Then I got to go home early, as a perk.

So, donate and good karma will be yours!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dear Mary, While I empathize

Dear Mary,

While I empathize with your plight, many past Presidents have contributed to the current state of our economy. Given those practices of mismanagement continue under the current administration, such as deficit spending and lack of coherent energy policy, expect this trend of raising energy and food prices to continue unabated.

Jason Theriault's picture


Maybe Obama should go to his magic weather/world machine and turn the dial back down on oil prices.

Oh, and as a former insurance agent, I can tell you that the government does not directly have any part d plans, meaning and deductible and changes in the formulary are due to your part d plan, not the president.

 's picture

By the way. My folks worked

By the way. My folks worked and paid into SS and if you didn't get enough you got another job or cut back but there was no welfare to lean on back then either.

 's picture


Someone seems to be able to turn the dial up on oil prices. How many do you suppose in Congress have their fingers greased by oil? We went to the Gulf in '91 cause they said we have to protect our oil supply. Have you seen any changes except the price of it has gone through the roof. I didn't respond to any of these articles to lay blame but to say this country is heading in the wrong direction and something has to be done. We all have felt the economy going sour the past several years but we now have more millionaires then ever before. There is something rotten somewhere and must be corrected. Insurance is sky high and don't cover alot of things but instead of blaming the insurance companies its time to find out why the prices are so high and somewhere back there you will find that someone is making a profit and the rest are paying for it. I will settle for the coverage that Congress has and we can just forget part d. You can't watch big companies that pay a decent wage go overseas and expect to support a family working at Burger King or McDonald's and thats a fact.

 's picture


This whole country is in a mess and needless to say it didn't start with Obama it just continued. We didn't get this way overnight and we won't get out of it overnight and starting with cutting spending on the ones that can least afford it is not the way. SS maybe a "benefit" to some but I worked all my life to pay into it and to see if cut and divvied up to those that never paid into it is not only unfair but stealing. We only got the raise this year so they could go up on Medicare and save face. Why don't they put a freeze on their perks and pork? Now Congress is trying to look good by stopping the payroll tax. Where do they think the money is coming from for this increase(which they are gonna quickly take back for Medicare) China? Why not everything else we have to buy comes from there. Companies are allowed to pack up and move to other countries and some because the rules and regulations here make them unaffordable to run along with greed for more money and cheaper labor. To those that are unemployed through no fault of their own as there are no jobs is so sad but there were jobs when I got mine and we still had the welfare lifers and those that have one child after another for as long as their is a check coming in. Why can't some of their "regulations" govern how many children a single mother on welfare can have? Oh darn I forgot the ACLU says its "their right to bear children" This country has not improved over the last 4 yrs for sure but I don't see ANYONE in the wings that will with the rules and laws as they are now. Gingrich is gonna straighten this country out? He has been part of the problem when he served and benefited himself and not us.

Jason Theriault's picture

The problem with SS

Call it a trust fund, call it whatever, the problem is that this isn’t separate from the government. Never was. And let me ask you this – where you concerned about those who never paid into it what they took out when your parents collected from it? It’s not a retirement account from T Row Price. This is a government program, a welfare program much like Medicare. You have been taxes all your life, and I don’t know about you, but my W2 has always called it a “Social Security Tax”.

It’s funny that most conservatives don’t trust government, nor expect it to do what it says it will except when it comes to social security. Of course they messed it up. Of course your going to see cuts.

 's picture


It is a trust fund or call it what you want to but how many trust funds can you draw from that you never paid a dime into? Anything that I collect from I paid into and I don't consider it to be WELFARE. Government is never gonna be trusted as long as its to their benefit to keep the status quo and keep their pockets lined. The new payroll tax is their way of offsetting the increase for the first time in 3 yrs to SS which they plan to take right back for Medicare. Didn't see anything about their benefits getting cut but then their cost of living went up and ours didn't I guess. Of course that increase will only be deducted from someone that earns a paycheck.

Mark Elliott's picture

Everything she is saying is

Everything she is saying is her own personal observation. One which many also share. Nobody can accuse her of lying or even exaggerating!

It is great to see our seniors finally speaking up publicly about the horrendous affects of the Obama administration on their lives. Many of which voted for his "hope and change". I hope this means they'll vote for a conservative next November. Real good "hope and change" will come.........it's either that, or 4 more years of much worse.

 's picture

It's the Truth!

Everything Mary says is true. I know first hand because I'm a senior too, and my Medicare was raised to, guess what, $99+ monthly. I can easily prove it but I won't bother. And she did not exaggerate at all about anything. In my book, calling people liars when they're telling the truth is over the top.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

There you go again Dan;

There you go again Dan; challenge someone’s assertions without providing a counter example.
What facts are not correct?

It is easy to just claim Mary’s facts are wrong without saying which facts are wrong.

Providing just one counter example would make for a better read.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I commend you for backing up

I commend you for backing up your claims with supporting facts. Thank you.

 's picture

Dan how can you say what she

Dan how can you say what she is saying is an exageration or a lie? I also find what she is saying to be exactly true. When Obama came into office gas was $1.88 a gallon or thereabouts. It is now in the vacinity of $3.30 a gallon. Our social security is just as she said with no increase in 3 years. It is now going to go up but so also is the medicare. Food costs increase at a weekely rate with everything I buy going up and the size of the packages becoming smaller. What part of the universe are you residing in? Obama spends his time on the campaign trail with no care as to what is happening except his re-election so he can finish his job of distroying this wonderful country as we know it.

 's picture

Yes the republicans have been

Yes the republicans have been on the campaign trail but they are not supposed to be running the country. He should be in Washington trying to get us out of this mess, not having photo opps all over the place at the expense of the taxpayers. Also I think you will find it was Jimmy Carter who had the inflation rate over the top with price controls and interest rates at 18%. I would agree that campaigns are way to long and I for one are sick of seeing all of them on TV-notonly Obama. He should be critized as he is trying to turn this country over to socialism and will if he is reelected. My opinion!!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan, The lack of a coherent

The lack of a coherent energy policy, both under the Bush administration and continuing under the Obama administration, have contributed to sharp increases in energy, which ripples throughout the economy and seen in such things as increased food, heating oil, and gas prices.

Another contributor is the devaluation of the US currency, which makes commodity imports more expensive and makes commodity exports more attractive. Commodity exports shift right the demand curve and drive up prices domestically.

That being said, the President can affect food prices. A coherent energy policy that includes increased natural gas usage in cars and heating, coupled with increased domestic energy production in addition to reduced borrowing would be a good starting point.

Mark Elliott's picture

Dan, his plan will not help

Dan, his plan will not help us prosper, therefore it is our duty to stop him.....then fire him in November!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"You have amazing powers of

"You have amazing powers of observation", burped the parrot after having just consumed a hamster and two goldfish.

Mark Elliott's picture

Dan, I'll tell you the same

Dan, I'll tell you the same thing I told your dad. You can't expect me to tell the truth AND tell you something different every time....they just don't go together!

Mark Elliott's picture

socialism doesn't work...it

socialism doesn't work...it hasn't worked in Europe either. Therefore it is our duty to stop him as our forefathers would expect us to. There is no need to "try to make it work" since many other countries have already tried and failed......

RONALD RIML's picture

Your turn for proof

Show where Socialism has never worked in Europe. Every country in Europe which has tried it is still around.

Germany was the first under Bismarck - they are now saving Europe's economy while still practicing socialism.

Mark Elliott's picture

any WHY do all the others

any WHY do all the others need a bailout? Which, by the way, Germany doesn't want to do because that will finish them off as well......

RONALD RIML's picture

And just

Who are "All the Others" that need a bailout?

C'mon, Mark. Tell us.

RONALD RIML's picture

And Mark

As your point is that 'Socialism' is causing the financial problems of these countries; I'll be looking for you to include quotes from sources you provide to back your hypothesis up.

RONALD RIML's picture


One uses links to reference what they've written or quoted.

So do your work, attribute it, then include the reference/link.

Damn, you're lazy!!!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I have to somewhat agree with

I have to somewhat agree with Ronald.

This is one of those posts I just pasted over – no clue to what point the writer is trying to make.

RONALD RIML's picture


We don't need a bailout???

A Communist country (China) is buying a Capitalist country's (USA) debt.

You're so full of B.S. Mark it's coming out those big ears you portray.....

Mark Elliott's picture

He will never admit it duh!

He will never admit it duh! His actions alone PROVE it!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Now, Now Dan; obstructionist

Now, Now Dan; obstructionist behavior is not all that one sided. Let’s take my comment about a coherent energy policy for example. President Obama is obstructing the Keystone pipeline, which would help our domestic energy consumption and help mitigate our dependency on Middle East oil.

Moreover, it would provide for desperately needed jobs in this country. Why would Obama be against this project? Perhaps he is cow towing to the environmentalist groups, which happen to be a big Obama contributor?

As you can see, obstruction is a two-way street.

While your propensity to blame Republicans for all problems and assume Obama has all the right answers is amusing, it is not grounded in fact, and you are really missing the bigger picture. Until you and many other people like you realize that, the political landscape will remain unchanged.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The US State Department,

The US State Department, which has to approve the Keystone pipeline because it crosses international borders, was scheduled to approve the project this month. The State Department suddenly decided to postpone their decision until after the 2012 presidential election.

That decision came after stark protests from a number of environmental groups that oppose the project. Obama stated that he would “oppose” any legislation that attempts to approve the project until 2013.

The opposition is purely political to appease one of Obama’s biggest contributors, environmental groups. No reason other than the need to explore alternative routes for the pipeline was given for the delay. The administration had plenty of time to comment during earlier environmental studies, but did not.

Obama has before him a turnkey project that would help the country’s energy and unemployment situation, and he obstructs it purely for political reasons.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

We have to get Mary credit.

We have to get Mary credit. She did ignite a pretty hot thread – 45 comments so far.


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