while the Fed has done everything possible to stimulate the economy, Washington has raised taxes (reducing free cash flow), increased regulation (making it more difficult for businesses), and passed what might be the most expensive piece of legislation in the history of America. I’m referring to the Affordable Care Act. This law has caused numerous businesses to eliminate coverage for thousands upon thousands of employees and their spouses, all in an attempt to avoid the added expense caused by this law. Although the idea of providing Americans with health insurance may be admirable, this particular law has created such a cloud of uncertainty that it has had a depressing effect on the economy. Even though this is difficult to quantify, there are countless stories about how corporate America is reducing employee benefits (and employees) as a result of this law. In short, business owners are reluctant to hire until they fully understand the cost and added regulation from the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, each political party is doing its best to spin the facts to suit its own agenda. Finally, individuals are holding their breath as they anticipate an inevitable premium increase. Personally, our monthly premium is going to double in December! Affordable? Perhaps for those who qualify for a subsidy. But for the rest, I suspect it is anything but affordable. I also expect Obamacare will cause a massive increase in entitlement spending and further damage an already fragile economy.