The year that was 2013: America's economic, political and social demise

Benghazi to Obamacare to the acronym scandals (IRS, NRA, ATF or AP) 2013 has been Photo: 60 Years later, still blowing things up - The BADGER explosion on April 18, 1953, as part of Operation Upshot-Knothole

ANDERSON, Indiana, December 26, 2013 — This year is almost over, and it’s about time. Although Washington claims the economy is roaring back, Americans in the streets haven’t seen it.

The Benghazi coverup started the year, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s whitewash, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

SEE RELATED: Did anything happen this year? I can’t remember

She gave us a false choice: “Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night, who decided they’d go kill some Americans?” Neither was what happened, and she knew it. She left the State Department soon after to study her FBI files and conjure up her strategy for her appointment to the presidential throne in 2016.

Loose cannon George Zimmerman was acquitted, even though Trayvon Martin, who attacked him, looked like Obama’s son, and Eric Holder’s Justice Department bused protesters to key protests.

Sanford, Fla., Police Chief Bill Lee was fired for not arresting Zimmerman. Judge Debra Nelson kept her finger on the scale through the trial, and prosecutor Angela Corey fired whistleblower Ben Kruidbos and worked behind the scenes; nothing has happened to them, either.

In a democracy, George would have been figuratively hanged, which is why we don’t run courts like a democracy

SEE RELATED: Obamacare’s Pussy Riot and the perks of power

The IRS was caught breaking the law in various ways in 2013. Whether it was its employees’ spying on their girlfriends, or delaying applications for pro-Constitution groups’ 501c3 status, releasing donor lists of conservative groups to Obama supporters, or targeting others for audits based on their politics, the IRS did what it always does: It hid, lied, and waited for the stories to go away.
The IRS scandals were quickly buried by subsequent scandals, real and manufactured.

The NSA provided a number of those scandals. Even as Director James Clapper was lying to Congress about the NSA’s collection of metadata, a contractor named Edward Snowden was gathering files that proved Clapper and his minions engineered and employed just such massive unwarranted spying. Snowden subsequently went to China for a time and then to Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum.

Snowden says the data he copied has not been shared with the communist countries…

While President Obama was making another campaign speech, Aaron Alexis, known to be a dangerous troublemaker that was brought directly, and pointedly, to the Navy and law enforcement attention, was shooting up the Navy yard a couple miles away. Obama prefaced his planned speech with two minutes of platitudes.

SEE RELATED: How did Murray - Ryan agree? They did not ask President Obama

Obama’s war on Syria was well-thought-out, until it looked possible. For months, the President did not equivocate. “Assad must go.” He drew a red line. “A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around.”

Assad used chemical weapons. Then Obama said: “I didn’t set a red line; the world set a red line.”

The world, even Britain, wouldn’t back him up. He was going to ask Congress for permission to go to war, but he reserved his “right” to do it anyway, Congress be damned.

Judge Pirro summed it up: “So we should go to war so you can save face after making a dumb statement that you now say you didn’t make?” An unscripted remark by SoS John Kerry and help from Russia’s Vladimir Putin saved the day, and Assad agreed to give his chemical weapons to the good guys for destruction, as his forces, outside al-Qaida operatives, and Syrian civilians continue killing, and being killed, with conventional weapons.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz spent 21 hours in September, all alone on the Senate floor, trying to delay Obamacare, for which he was roundly criticized — by his fellow Republicans. After October 1, when Obamacare was supposed to be open for enrollment, the president took Cruz’s advice several times, rolling back deadlines, ordering insurance companies to issue illegal policies, and promising retroactive coverage to anyone who still believes him.

Cruz hasn’t received his well-deserved vindication in the press, nor his well-deserved apologies from his fellow Republicans. The Democrats haven’t even given him credit for their new strategy.

The mystery and nightmare of Obamacare has yet to take effect, but its stench has already rolled over the entire healthcare industry and will soon descend to blanket everyone who needs hospital care. Already, the “29-ers” (those working fewer than 30 hours per week) and the “49-ers” (companies that will never grow to the Obamacare-inclusion size of 50 employees) are straining.

As the restrictions are tightened, these will be stressed further. Insurers pretend to be upset, but they’re covered by the taxpayers under Obamacare’s “risk corridor” policy of reimbursement.

Toward the end of the year, some people started noticing that Obamacare is completely unaffordable, as the “affordable” Bronze plans carry enormous deductibles and impossible co-pays.  Worse, and still unexamined, is the idea that the IRS is in charge of collection, which means that a health problem can’t be worked out with a hospital; it will lead to garnishments, raids on bank accounts, seizure of homes, and the utter destruction of whoever gets sick and can’t pay their $4000 deductible plus 40 percent of the hospital bills.

Obamacare has dominated the final months of 2013.

Even though the president said and continues to say that if we liked our doctors or our insurance plans, we could keep them, “period,” he was lying, and he knew it. Internal Revenue Bulletin 2010-29 pointed out that 40-67 percent of those who were counting on being grandfathered into Obamacare under their existing policies would lose that protection.

“Reliable data are scant,” says the bulletin, “but a variety of studies indicate that between 40 percent and 67 percent of policies are in effect for less than one year. Although data on changes in benefit packages comparable to that for the group market is not readily available, the high turnover rates described here would dominate benefit changes as the chief source of changes in grandfather status.”

Obama knew that in July of 2010, but he never changed his tune. And no one in the media read or reported on the public documents.

Though the president continues gloating over his pet’s “accomplishments,” he won’t answer questions, any one of which should be enough to send anyone voting for anyone but a democrat:

  • How many of those enrolled were simply enrolled in Medicare? 
  • How many who enrolled, didn’t pay yet, and won’t? 
  • How many of those who enrolled are receiving subsidies? 
  • Where are the families that are saving $2500 a year? 
  • And why, if this is all “private” health insurance, where you have to find, pay, and follow up with private institutions, are we using any federal resources on it, at all?

Selections from the rest of the world, as pertain to us:

China is barking about some little islands. Our reaction will show whether we’re about to give China whatever she wants. And whether Japan, Sourh Korea, and all our allies in the Pacific Rim and Far East can count on us.

Korea’s ruling nutcase will kill anyone he pleases, except possibly Dennis Rodman.

Brazil had a brief flirtation with sanity, but socialists have again taken over.

A Pope hasn’t left office under his own steam in centuries, but we saw it happen in 2013.

Britain saw one of her soldiers beheaded on a public street. Political correctness prevented appropriate reaction.

The U.S. backed Egyptian Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood in its coup against Hosni Mubarek, and lauded his eventual election; in 2013, Morsi was himself deposed by a military junta, and the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood is now declared a terrorist group.

Current U.S. policy is unknown.

Iran was given permission in Geneva to continue its nuclear program, and the US and some allies have eased some sanctions in gratitude for amiability. Israel? No official comment.

Court stuff. 2013 was weirder than most. Some examples:

Dzokar Tsarnaev: Defense attorneys will claim it’s impossible to get a fair trial for the surviving Boston bomber, because everyone already knows what he did.

Jodi Arias: She shouldn’t go to prison, because her hair is so beautiful.

NSA metadata collection is unconstitutional: Though the federal court has ruled it so, President Obama doesn’t care, and his lieutenants are authorized (ordered?) to lie about it under oath before Congress.

Affluenza: It’s OK to drive drunk and run people over if your parents are rich enough. How could you possibly know what’s wrong, if you can do no wrong?

What’s up for 2014?

With the Senate’s having exercised the “nuclear option,” Obama’s appointments will now stand through confirmation and we can expect them to be increasingly radical. Unless the Senate swings against Obama in 2014, the damage to the Republic will be permanent; even if it swings, it’s a close call at best.

Republican leaders will continue to pretend to stand for something, even as they continue to refuse to take stands. Democrats will continue to vote straight party line, while moaning that the Republicans won’t go bipartisan.

Both right-winger Peter Schiff and left-winger George Soros agree that 2014 will see a continued lousy economy. Though the reasons they mention vary, they both tie into U.S. policies. In other words, the ruling class will be cashing out. 


The next time some politician talks about some multi-billion-dollar mistake he’s about to make by stating, “It isn’t perfect, but …” I’m going to scream.

If I were spending a few billion dollars on something, I’d be damn sure it was perfect in every way. Waste of one’s own money is stupid; waste of others’ money is criminal.

Full disclosure: Tim Kerns owns a leveraged ETF that bets against the DOW.

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Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.

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