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  1. #1
    bicycle in airplane hangar Pesqueeb's Avatar
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    The great Fiscal Cliff face off thread.

    All ur jobs r belong to us.


    WASHINGTON--Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Mark Bertolini, who is among a dozen chief executives meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama later this week, on Monday warned that companies are preparing backup plans that include layoffs if the White House and congressional leaders are unable to reach a deal to avoid the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."

    "The American people are going to suffer because we'll lay them off--because we know how to respond to these kinds of situations," Mr. Bertolini warned at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council event.

    The comments come seven weeks before the Jan. 1 date on which spending cuts and tax increases take effect. Mr. Obama and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) last week each defended their competing plans for resolving the budget fight, even as they opened the door to a potential compromise. Mr. Obama meets with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders next Friday--after he has received input from executives and labor leaders.

    The Congressional Budget Office has warned of a recession if leaders fail to act. Mr. Bertolini--who said in an interview that he is presenting contingency plans to his own board in two weeks--used Aetna as an example of how real-world layoffs could be set in motion.

    "We have contingencies built in and as we watch the economy develop, we make decisions along the way: Do we release capital expenditures? Do we open up hiring?" he said. "Our goal so far is to freeze headcount until we know where the economy is headed."

    But a contraction in the economy could set in motion a damaging chain of events. Mr. Bertolini said that a 1.7% contraction in gross domestic production translates into a 1% increase in unemployment--and an increase in medical costs of 100 basis points. That is because workers simultaneously receive layoff warnings and notifications of their right to stay with their current health plans for a certain amount of time. The result is that people rush to the doctor before they lose health insurance, driving up health insurance costs.

    "It's a huge issue," Mr. Bertolini said. So far, Mr. Bertolini said that monthly reports on the number of people in group health plans that it offers has reflected "slow leakage, less employment--but it's been pretty steady, so it hasn't been like 2008, 2009."

    He said that if Congress and the White House dawdle, "meanwhile the economy is going to react." He said that "a lot of companies are going to pull out their contingency plans and start taking action." He said that businesses are different from politics, where accountability comes only with election cycles and not from boards of directors.

    "If I'm not acting on those contingencies, I get fired. No election, I get fired," Mr. Bertolini said.

    Mr. Bertolini said that Mr. Obama "needs to improve his relationship with the business community in order to get the economy growing again." He also said that Mr. Obama needed to expect that "a lot of people get angry at first because they don't want to hear the bad news that's coming their way. But if they hear it and they see a plan that you're making progress along the way...they get it."

    He said that businesses were still mindful of the lessons of the financial crisis.

    "Businesses have never sat on so much cash as they're sitting on now--and there's a reason for that: they're worried about where the economy's headed. What we don't want to be is caught in a situation like we were caught in 2008 where we're worrying about where the economy is going and how to keep our businesses afloat."

    Mr. Bertolini is part of a group called "Fix the Debt," which has supported the 2010 deficit-reduction package designed by Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, which called for a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to reduce the deficit. He said that changes to Medicare and Social Security had to be a part of any solution.

    "The solutions are--it's the retirement age; it's means-testing Social Security and Medicare; it's a whole host of things that are known; understood all part of Simpson-Bowles work. We just need to get the leadership."

    Mr. Bertolini said he was concerned that Congress and the Obama administration might come up with plan to deal with the automatic spending cuts that take effect next year by pushing off a solution until the end of 2013.

    "What scares me a little bit...if we just say by the end of 2013, we'll get something done relative to the debt, then we're going to have a 2013 that looks a lot like 2012, and maybe worse...so we kick the can too, which is holding back" on spending.

    He said that "it's a bit like the 21st century version of the castle gates getting closed during the plague: We'll just close it up and we'll hold on until we find out were the economy's headed and then we'll make our decision."
    Quote Originally Posted by stoney View Post
    Pesqueeb is a hippie trapped in jesus-land.
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  3. #2
    unique white person stevew's Avatar
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    barry has been re elected.

    rainbows/unicorns aren't far behind.

  4. #3
    Unabomber dante's Avatar
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    But a contraction in the economy could set in motion a damaging chain of events. Mr. Bertolini said that a 1.7% contraction in gross domestic production translates into a 1% increase in unemployment--and an increase in medical costs of 100 basis points. That is because workers simultaneously receive layoff warnings and notifications of their right to stay with their current health plans for a certain amount of time. The result is that people rush to the doctor before they lose health insurance, driving up health insurance costs.
    Riiiiiiight, because "100 basis points" sounds so much more scary than "a 1% increase in medical costs".

    And that dipsh!t is just panicking because the "fiscal cliff" will reduce government payouts to health care providers, which Republicans insisted on. He couldn't care less about the resulting loss in GDP or rise in unemployment...

    So basically he wants Simpson Bowles which will keep his lips firmly attached to the government teat, but just screw everyone else.

    Fvck him.
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    "Dante is wise, and also loves bacon."

  5. #4
    bicycle in airplane hangar Pesqueeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevew View Post
    barry has been re elected.

    rainbows/unicorns aren't far behind.
    Awwwww yeaaa..........
    Last edited by Pesqueeb; 11-15-2012 at 08:04 AM. Reason: img post fail.
    Quote Originally Posted by stoney View Post
    Pesqueeb is a hippie trapped in jesus-land.
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  6. #5
    Harbinger of Doom Toshi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dante View Post
    And that dipsh!t is just panicking because the "fiscal cliff" will reduce government payouts to health care providers, which Republicans insisted on. He couldn't care less about the resulting loss in GDP or rise in unemployment...
    That's what I'm concerned about. I don't get why Aetna's non-MD CEO would care that much about Medicare reimbursement rates, though. If anything a cut to Medicare's rates would let him similarly slash his reimbursement rates.

  7. #6
    unique white person stevew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesqueeb View Post
    Awwwww yeaaa..........
    if you were watching the press conference yesterday he washed that grey right out of his hair and visited a tanning bed since election day.

  8. #7
    Unabomber dante's Avatar
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    Ooooh, joking about a black guy getting a sun tan. Where have I heard that one before?




    Oh right.

    Last edited by dante; 11-15-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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  9. #8
    unique white person stevew's Avatar
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    joking...no....observation as to the last time i saw him talking on the tv....probably election night.....amongst the crackers who were shucking and jiving like they were at a wedding.
    Last edited by stevew; 11-15-2012 at 01:51 PM.

  10. #9
    Ociffer Tackleberry manimal's Avatar
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    This is what I'm worried about should the two halves not come to an agreement by Jan 1:
    http://cis.org/kephart/3400-border-p...chopping-block
    .... could result in 3,400 Border Patrol agents losing their jobs. Also on the chopping block are 3,400 Customs and Border Protection inspectors, 932 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents, and 802 ICE deportation and removal officers.
    ..and my NC law enforcement certification just expired so I can't get my old job back without going through the academy again

  11. #10
    filthy rascist JohnE's Avatar
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    I am told my Illinois LE cert is a lifetime cert...accepted in all but 3 states. Which of course, are the 3 I would work LE in if someone wanted to hire me post AF.

    Good thing I plan on moving beyond this line of work.
    Someday, I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

  12. #11
    Space Monkey DaveW's Avatar
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    Come to an agreement?
    Not likely!

    If your very lucky they will come to another temporary workaround and pass the buck to the future again.
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    Monkey business........
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  13. #12
    bicycle in airplane hangar Pesqueeb's Avatar
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    If at first you don't succeed....
    It's the "law of the land," declared House Speaker John Boehner about Obamacare, telling Diane Sawyer that the election settled that. Of course, his spokesperson walked that back faster than the tea bagger caucus in the House could get to the phones, saying Boehner "remain committed to repealing the law, and he said in the interview it would be on the table."
    To prove just how committed he is to ignoring the will of the voting public and to making sure that millions of Americans don't have access to affordable health insurance, Boehner writes this op-ed in his hometown paper. In it, he explains how they're going to try to repeal it now: by gutting it.

    The president’s health care law adds a massive, expensive, unworkable government program at a time when our national debt already exceeds the size of our country’s entire economy. We can’t afford it, and we can’t afford to leave it intact. That’s why I’ve been clear that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation’s massive debt challenge.
    And if you think Rep. Darrell Issa's Oversight Committee has been a massive waste of taxpayer dollars with its endless investigations of the Obama administration, you ain't seen nothing yet.
    Over the past couple of years, I have noted there are essentially three major routes to repeal of the president’s law: the courts, the presidential election process and the congressional oversight process. With two of those three routes having come up short, the third and final one becomes more important than ever.

    Vigorous oversight of the health care law by the House can be expected and, in fact, is already under way.In other words, nothing's changed by the real gains Democrats made in this election and the Republican House's agenda hasn't changed one bit. It's going to be another two years of nothing but obstruction, abortion, and Obamacare repeal.

    That'll go over well with voters in two years.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/1...icit-reduction
    Quote Originally Posted by stoney View Post
    Pesqueeb is a hippie trapped in jesus-land.
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  14. #13
    Turbo Monkey chillindrdude's Avatar
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    I predict jack sh!t happening with those republican assholes in congress. Credit rating prob downgraded again. No recession but recovery stalled. Republitards rejoice.

  15. #14
    The Official Meat of Ridemonkey jimmydean's Avatar
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    I hope we can last 2 years longer with a do nothing congress because those assholes need to go.
    RIP DMG.

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtMcGirk
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  16. #15
    bicycle in airplane hangar Pesqueeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoney View Post
    Pesqueeb is a hippie trapped in jesus-land.
    www.ninerbikes.com

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