And What Does David Warren Think?
Do you know David Warren, Canadian journalist, now writing what he calls “Essays in Idleness“? If not, you should. His is a different voice, cranky and frank and always knowledgeable and interesting. Read the ‘About’ to get a sense of the man who is writing, and the first piece titled “Neil Reynolds” which is a fond obituary for two men who once hired him. It is a charming reminiscence.
The paragraph below is from an essay titled “The yairs chronicles,”which is his reaction to scandal central here in the adjacent nation. I wanted to call this bit to your attention, for I think it is worth your notice. If you should happen to wander around a bit and read the whole piece or others, you will only be the richer for it.
People might think a man like Barack Obama would know something about politics, since he has been bathing in them most of his life. He does in fact know something about them, but not much. This is because his acquirements were all in a specialized area of politics — that of getting oneself elected. … Once outside that specialization, poor Obama is at sea. He was never exposed to the craft of governing, only to the craft of getting power. His ideas of how things work, of what can & can’t be done by government agency, are absurd & laughable. To be fair he is, in this respect, a typical politician. They all studied the same specialty; not one in a hundred studied anything else.
But leave all this aside. We still assume that, since he has the power that goes with the office, Obama must have influence over what falls out. On democratic theory, he could be held accountable. He could be replaced by someone who knows what he is doing, or is more likely to do what the people want. His replacement would then be judged by the same criteria.
Oh, go on, read the whole thing. There are some utterly delicious bits there, even if you disagree.
The Liberal Faith In the Perfectibility of Politics
May 19, 2013, 6:15 pm
Filed under: Capitalism
, Democrat Corruption
, Health Care
, Media Bias
| Tags: Imperfect Human Nature
, Liberal Illusions
, The Internal Revenue Service
Perhaps it all starts with a childish whine “It isn’t fair.” Some mothers respond that life isn’t fair, and set their offspring on the path of conservatism, and others ignore the whiny brat or give the kid a hug and a cookie (rewarding the child for the whine) and tell him yes, that’s really too bad and raise a little liberal. That may be a bit fanciful, but what is clear is that a goodly portion of young people have grown up with the idea that America is not fair, and needs fixing.
Irving Kristol once wrote “In every society the overwhelming majority of people live lives of considerable frustration and if society is to endure, it needs to rely on a goodly measure of stoical resignation.”
Liberals have never been ones for stoical resignation. They want to fix things. Republicans are inclined to oppose Big Government, and ascribe most of our country’s problems to Liberals’ fondness for Big Government. I think this is incorrect. Liberals want desperately to be in charge. They want to win. They want to defeat Conservatives utterly and so completely that they will never again be strong enough to annoy or compete. But Big Government or burgeoning bureaucracy is a result of their policies, not their initial aim.
I saved this quote from a 1999 Wall Street Journal editorial.
The error behind all these failures is the liberal faith in the perfectibility of politics. Liberals believe that the next law, or next federal agency, will somehow make up for imperfect human nature. But America’s founders understood that politics could never be perfected precisely because men weren’t perfect. So they designed a system with a minimum of bureaucratic and legal control in which disputes could be settled by political debate. They did not want to rely on lawyers or experts who could maneuver around or through a maze of campaign and ethics laws. It’s taken us twenty years of picking through the ruins of liberal reform to relearn how right they were.
The next law will make up for imperfect human nature. One of liberals’ most persistent desires is to eliminate poverty. They worry a lot about the gap between the rich and the poor. They have earnestly tried to fix that ever since Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and his War on Poverty. We have spent $15 trillion of other people’s money and currently have more people on food stamps than ever before in the nation’s history. The EBT card is a combination of food stamps and cash benefits. The Tsarnave brothers apparently bought their bomb supplies with their EBT cards. We could give each person in poverty a yearly check for $69,000 and save money.
We need fixes for fat people, fixes for standard lightbulbs, fixes for cars not getting high enough mpg, or just using gasoline, fixes for home appliances, fixes for fat kids, fixes for unaffordable college, fixes (again) for infrastructure, fixes for bullies, fixes for transgendered people’s bathroom needs, fixes for women who don’t want to pay for their own contraceptives, fixes for people who try to capture rainwater, fixes for farm dust. So many, many annoyances.
The most evident case is, of course, the best health care system in the world. It must be fixed because government regulation is driving up the cost. (Never mind that the cost was declining). The British have National Health Service, which is socialized medicine. Horrible system, but it’s “free” at the point of service, and people are afraid to lose it and apt to continually vote for Labour to keep it. Note the important phrase. So they kill off a lot of their older people with neglect and denied care, but it’s “free at the point of service.”
Lots of new regulations, so providers have to expand their bureaucracies. And on top of the expanded health care system, comes a vast federal bureaucracy to control, deny, regulate, manage and expand. Liberals look at this diagram of the needed new bureaucracy with thousands of highly paid, unionized employees, and are absolutely convinced that President Obama’s promises about keeping your own doctor if you like him and keeping your own insurance and it will all cost less— “bend the cost curve down” was the phrase— are absolutely true and will come to fruition just as he says. It is and was an enormous lie.
So Democrats don’t go into a political campaign saying they want bigger government. Republicans accuse them of it, but it is obviously not true. We will get Big Government because that is the inevitable result of liberal faith in the perfectibility of politics. You have the perfect example before you this week in the machinations of the Internal Revenue Service. Mark Steyn recounts the travails of Frank VanderSloot, whose offense was that he decided to donate money to the Romney campaign. After audits of his return, his business return, and a Department of Labor investigation of his cattle ranch , the government could find nothing on Mr. VanderSloot, but it has cost him $80,000 in legal fees to fend off the bureaucrats. A big bureaucracy thinks it’s fine to demand that an evangelical group report in writing what they pray about. Anybody have relatives running for office?
It has often been said that every Liberal has a tyrant inside, struggling to get out. They don’t like studies. They’re uninterested in consequences and baffled by the idea of incentives. They need to be in charge so they can fix the things that aren’t fair.
Pay No Attention to the Excuses. There Is No Excuse!
May 18, 2013, 4:23 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption
, Domestic Policy
, Election 2012
, The Constitution
, The United States
| Tags: A Crooked Agency
, Partisanship Gone Rogue
, The IRS Scandal
I don’t think I have ever heard anything quite a shocking as Steven Miller’s testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday on the targeting of organizations that might have been able to raise money to oppose the reelection of Barack Obama.
” I do not believe that partisanship motivated the people who engaged in the practices described in the Inspector Generals’ report. …Foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection. …We provided horrible customer service. It’s my belief that what happened here is not illegal, but it was unappropriate. It’s my belief that what happened here was not illegal, but I suppose that there are some facts that might come out that would indicate otherwise, but it’s not my area.”
So he said he is accountable and pushed up his previously announced retirement by a couple of weeks. Mistakes were made. Always the passive voice. In an earlier day he might have been run out of town on a rail.
So the United States Treasury Department is crooked. The agency within that department that collects taxes and has the legal power to investigate citizens’ and businesses’ financial affairs believes that they are free to conduct their investigations in a manner which will determine the results of a national election. But that’s not illegal, it’s just trying to be more efficient. Not inappropriate. You cannot trust the Internal Revenue Service. They are not only untrustworthy, but they do not understand what is wrong with what they have done.
The President of the United States, in complete defiance of manners, custom, and the separation of powers defined by the Constitution, which he took an oath to defend, called out the Supreme Court of the United States in the middle of a State of the Union Speech to tell them they were wrong in their Citizens United decision that said corporations has the same right to donate money as unions did. So it starts right at the top, in spite of any allegation of innocence.
Targeting of pro-life groups began in 2009. An IRS agent told the Coalition for Life of Iowa that approval of their application for tax-exempt status was withheld. They were told to send a letter to the agency signed by the entire board—under perjury of the law—stating that they do not picket, protest or organize any other groups to picket or protest any Planned Parenthood clinic.
The Obama administration was aware of the IRS scandal five months before the election. Ace of Spades notes that it’s about a union: the National Treasury Employees Union (NETU). Anything indicating conservative leanings like “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” were not only denied tax exempt status to which they were entitled, donors to right-leaning think tanks names were illegally given to their opponents, but other agencies were directed to investigate such groups. The Tax Professor’s blog includes a long list of links for those who want to understand what the IRS is up to more clearly.
Meanwhile, you might want to investigate the Cayman Islands or other tax sheltering venues.
The Obama Administration Continues To Destroy Jobs.
May 3, 2013, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Capitalism
, Health Care
| Tags: 12 Million Missing Jobs
, 63.3% Participation Rate
, Regulatory Burden on Business
The preliminary April jobs number has come in at +165,000, on expectations of +140,000. March numbers were revised upward from 88,000 to 138,000. This brought the unemployment rate down from 7.6% to 7.5%.
The number of unemployed — 11.7 million — didn’t change over the month, and the labor participation rate remains flat, only 63.3% — the lowest since 1979. This is the sour spot in the jobs picture.
The rate at which entrepreneurs create new jobs is down significantly. The U.S,lost 8.8 million jobs during the ‘great recession’, we have gained back about 6.8 million leaving a gap of about 2 million. Even if job gains average 180,000 a month to reach a high in about a year, private sector jobs will still be way below the 1990-2007 trend line. That shortfall is nearly 12 million missing jobs.
The numbers of those involuntarily employed part-time increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million. That’s a direct result of ObamaCare. President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment.
National Journal expresses concern about the “missing workers”:
So, who are these “missing workers?” Frustratingly, no one knows exactly who they are, why they left, and if they’ll ever return. The size of the pool there and the gap between the potential labor force and the actual working force represents a huge loss of potential productivity.
The answers also have deep political and policy implications over the next decade for the economic and budget outlook: Do we want to pay for the missing workers through programs that help to spur job growth, or through an increased cost in federal benefits?…
Political leaders and policymakers must weigh the economic implications versus the budgetary ones. If no one attacks the jobs crisis with gusto and addresses the issue of the long-term unemployed and the missing workers now, the United States essentially consigns people to rely on government benefits. That will only hurt the budget.
And, if lawmakers decide to attack the problem of the missing workers now, they’ll need to spend more money on job-training programs or infrastructure projects—anything that puts people back into a job, even a temporary one.
Regulatory costs skyrocketed during the first term of the Obama Administration, which added nearly $70 billion to the already excessive annual burden of government do’s and don’ts. Every aspect of American’s lives is controlled to a varying extent by regulation, including how we light our homes, wash our clothes, fuel our cars, feed our families, and obtain our health care.
That’s 131 new major regulations. $1,800 has been added to the average cost of buying a new car. In 2012 alone, we added $23.5 billion to the burden on business with 25 new major rulemakings. Only two rules last year decreased the burden, in spite of initiatives to weed out unnecessary regulations. There are hundreds of rules in the pipeline from Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and from ObamaCare.
The small business organizations have told us over and over that uncertainty is the villain. Nobody knows what the government is going to do next, or how they are going to cope with the added costs, and the added regulations. The federal government does not understand the effects of their grasp for power. The EPA is the source of most of the regulation and most of the cost, yet they have said specifically that they have no need to consider the cost or effect of their rulemaking. When uncertainty is this high, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are more reluctant to take on the risk of a new business, or a major expansion.
The National Journal reporter above quite accurately portrays the leftist response. What new program should government issue? What new job-training programs should we try— if I remember correctly there are some 45 job-training programs duplicating each other and managing to be totally ineffective. What the government needs to do is get out of the way. Stop raising fees, issuing rules and regulations and drastically raising the cost of doing business.
Central planning does not work now, nor has it ever worked. Those “experts” doing the central planning are not expert but just the same old political hacks. They don’t know what they are doing, and they are making a mess of things. Just stop!
Illinois’ Mythological Transportation Scheme
If these deadbeat states are expecting the rest of the nation’s taxpayers to bail our the stupidity of their governments, they are going to be out of luck. California, dead broke and utterly unable to stop themselves from digging their hole even more deeply, cannot release its grip on the fantasy of a high speed railroad running from San Francisco to Los Angeles. They’re already in it for millions, nobody wants it, nobody would ride it, and unless they build new track all the way, it won’t be high speed.
Illinois, casting about for “good ideas,” has fixated on a super-fast, super-clean, super-cheap locomotive that has not yet been invented. The sight of California slowly sinking in the West does not deter them. The Federal Railroad Administration has placed Illinois in charge of buying 35 new “next generation” locomotives to serve the to-be-built-someday high-speed rail lines in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, California and Washington, even though the locomotives do not exist.
“Currently these are not being manufactured,” said Joe Schacter, high-speed rail point man for the Illinois Department of Transportation. “We are fully confident that such a locomotive can be manufactured and will be manufactured.”
Illinois has $175 million to spend. $5 million per locomotive. “It may end up being more expensive, Schacter added.The $175 million comes from federal grants, but Illinois will end-up owning the high-speed trains when they are delivered. Kristina Rasmussen of the Illinois Policy Institute said that should worry anyone who knows anything about Illinois and its current fiscal state.( $9 billion in unpaid bills). If anything, they should be selling off assets.
Both the Republican governors of Ohio and Wisconsin have opted out of wasting any more taxpayer money on high speed rail boondoggles. The Obama administration announced they would take those dollars and give them to California, where even Democrat legislators have dubbed the project a Super Train to Nowhere. Some have compared it to chasing Unicorns. I prefer another mythological beast from the Norse Eddas: Odin’s horse Sleipner.
This portrait of Odin’s stallion — “the best horse among gods and men:”— is attributed to John Bauer, 1911. You will notice that he has eight legs, and a rather remarkable mane. Like Obama’s high-speed rail network, entirely mythological.
The Life Of Julius: How Unions Hurt Workers
April 29, 2013, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Capitalism
, Democrat Corruption
| Tags: How Unions Hurt Workers
, Individual Liberty
, The Ugly Side of Labor Unions.
Here’s the sequel to Obama’s “Life of Julia,” the poor soul who is utterly dependent on the government for life. Or rather, an invitation for you to become dependent, so the wise people in government can help you until you can go to work for the government. A sad tale of the loss of individual liberty and a wasted life.
Julius is a fictional character like Julia, but his aspirations, hopes and values are shared by every American. He wants opportunity and economic security. He wants his years of hard work to mean some level of comfort in his retirement. As Iain Murray writes:
Unfortunately, labor-union bosses, and the politicians and laws they support, continually frustrate Julius’s prosperity in ways both large and small, both obvious and subtle. Labor unions have a political stranglehold on the economy in hundreds of ways that affect every single worker, whether they are union members or, like Julius, never belong to a union in their entire life. …
What we’ve tried to do with ”The Life of Julius” is to illustrate how the way unions are run today hurts workers at every stage of their working life — even if they are never a member of a labor union.
Political Correctness Strikes Again, In Politically Correct Washington State.
April 29, 2013, 9:13 pm
Filed under: Capitalism
, Democrat Corruption
, Domestic Policy
, Media Bias
, The United States
| Tags: Cultural Marxism
, Politically Incorrect
I’m so embarrassed. Washington State is in the news again, and the lightweights in the state capitol in Olympia, having nothing better to do in a time of economic downturn and vast unemployment, have secured our new governor’s signature as the final piece of a six-year effort to rewrite state laws using gender-neutral vocabulary. No more crass use of terms such as “fisherman” to describe those hardy souls who head off for northern waters to bring in a load of our iconic salmon. They are now “fishers”, the gender-neutral replacement.
Our colleges and universities will no longer have “freshman classes”, but only “first-year students.” Elementary schools will no longer teach “penmanship” but only “handwriting.” That last is a lie, because our schools aren’t teaching handwriting either. Now that computers are ubiquitous, our education establishment has concluded that cursive writing is no longer necessary, and once kids can print they abandon the penmanship effort entirely. You have probably noticed if you’ve been around kids — they can’t write.
“There’s no good reason for keeping our legal terms anachronistic and with words that do not respect our current contemporary times,” Kohl-Welles, the 475-page bill’s sponsor, told Reuters.
They won’t change “airman” or “seaman” because of objections by the state’s Washington Military Department. They couldn’t find substitutes for “man hole” and “man lock”. We apparently have a 40-
man person Washington Code Reviser’s Office to get all such vocabulary changes into the Washington State Code. The people will go on using the same vocabulary they’ve always used.
This, of course, has nothing to do with “sexism” or “gender-neutrality,” it is political correctness run amok. Or even more accurately — it is cultural Marxism, an effort that has been going on since World War I. It is a tale of the perpetually discontented, the victims in our world. The victims are feminists, gays, blacks, Hispanics, and they rewrite history, invent statistics, embroidered with lies and demands. Americans must be fearful of what they say, of what they write and what they think. If they use the wrong word, they may be denounced as offensive, insensitive, racist, sexist and/or homophobic.
The United States Air Force Academy removed words that stood at the base of a ramp that cadets walked up on their first day at the academy — a symbolic threshold between an old life and a new one. The words had stood for 39 years; 10 letters, each of them two feet tall” “Bring Me Men” — the first words of a poem written in 1894 by Sam Walter Foss, “The Coming American” — “Bring me men to match my mountains, Bring me men to match my plains, Men with empires in their purpose, And new eras in their brains.” Those words were taken down in 2003, so the academy could be more “gender-neutral.” Uni-sex bathrooms? Women in combat? It is all of a piece.
John Steele Gordon recently wrote about the politically correct effort to remove Christ from the calendar and replace the terms AD and BC with CE and BCE. CE stands for ‘common era’ and BCE for ‘before common era,’ since roughly half the world’s population is non-Christian, we shouldn’t use loaded terms such as AD (Anno Domini) and BC (Before Christ).
Mostly we just laugh at this stuff, or are embarrassed when some guy in the office is hauled down to Human Resources for a lecture because he had the nerve to compliment a woman. Or a first-grader is suspended from school for chewing his Pop Tart into a shape that resembles a pistol. The examples are all around us. Officialdom descends on us and tells us that we are — offensive, insensitive, racist, sexist and/or homophobic. Police have been called to deal with little kids that have water-pistols or plastic army-men. People are fired for being politically incorrect. Then it’s no longer a laughing matter.
Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, or Marxism translated from economic terms into cultural terms. It is a totalitarian ideology, and nowhere is the totalitarian nature of political correctness revealed more thoroughly than on our college campuses, where speech codes triumph and legal organizations have been created to protect the civil rights of students and faculty (F.I.R.E.).
Cultural Marxism says that all of history is determined by power, by which groups are defined in terms of race, sex, etc, and have power over other groups. Nothing else matters. Power? When a white student is denied admittance to a college in favor of a black or Hispanic who isn’t as well qualified, the student is expropriated. When a contract is denied to a white-owned company because the contract is reserved for a company owned by a Hispanic or a woman, that’s an example of power. When a bankruptcy denies the legal rights of bondholders to first claim on a company’s assets and instead gives a third of the ownership of the company to the unions (whose excessive benefits were largely the cause of bankruptcy) — that’s power, and the goal of political correctness, gender-neutrality, deconstruction of our great books, and the last obstacles to the creation of a Marxist paradise — the end of capitalism and of Western civilization itself.
An Accuracy in Academia address by Bill Lind explains the origins of political correctness clearly and in depth. (It’s not long) Or Bill Whittle explains it, he calls it “the narrative,” in the following video.
More Taxes, More Spending — Not The Way To Grow The Economy
President Obama used his weekly address this last weekend to talk about his priorities and misstate every available fact. Does anyone listen to these weekly utterances? He said:
Our top priority as a nation, and my top priority as President, must be doing everything we can to reignite the engine of America’s growth; a rising thriving middle class. That’s our North Star. That must drive every decision we make.
Now, yesterday, we learned that our businesses created 95,000 new jobs last month. That’s about 500,000 new jobs this year, and nearly 6.5 million new jobs over the past three years.
There were 88,000 new jobs in March, but 660,000 more people left the labor force. When you subtract 660,000 from 88,000, you don’t get North Star quality job growth, nor any job growth at all. Mr. Obama insists on counting only the pluses and ignoring anything that might reflect badly on him. He claims that he has already reduced the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion (smoke and mirrors) and his budget will reduce our deficits by nearly $2 trillion more (also nonsense). He speaks of “the investments that a growing economy needs” — a euphemism for more Obama spending directed to his cronies.
Jobs that are created by taking more in taxes out of the private economy, which is spent on some business promoted by his supporters, don’t grow the private economy. He is simply campaigning again, not governing. When the president says “investment” he’s talking about having more money to spend. A government job is not growth, it is a cost for America’s taxpayers. Americans are glad to support necessary services, but that threshold was left far behind many years ago.
Obama’s budget request will be formally released on Wednesday. It is supposedly an ‘olive branch’ to Republicans on entitlement reforms. Mr. Obama will accept changes in the Social Security cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) to reduce the growth of benefits over time, but to get that Republicans would have to accept higher taxes for Obama to “invest.” The growth in cost of Social Security and Medicare needs reform, but simply taking it out of seniors’ benefits, and paying medical providers less is not a solution. It is quite possible to reduce expenditures without harming seniors and without depriving them of needed medical care, but Obama is never interested in making anyone less dependent.
In tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, William Poole says that ‘journalists, commentators and policy makers should ignore the projection of reductions in the budget deficit. To do otherwise is to be complicit in fraud.”
For 50 years or so the federal government has deliberately and to an increasing extent misstated probable future budget deficits. Democrats and Republicans are guilty. The White House is guilty. And so is Congress. Private firms that deliberately misrepresent their financial statements in this fashion would be guilty of a crime.
The magnitude of the misrepresentation is breathtaking. For one example, the bitterly contested “fiscal cliff” legislation (the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) raised the top income tax rate to 39.6%. However, the Congressional Budget Office’s latest (early February) deficit projection for 2013-22 is now $4.6 trillion higher than the baseline deficit it projected in mid-2012. After the tax increase, how can that be? …
Fortunately, some years ago the CBO began to present “alternative scenario” budget projections, in which differences from current-law projections are explained in detail. In its early February update, one example is that the 25% cut in physician Medicare reimbursements scheduled for next Jan. 1 will not occur. That adjustment increases the projected deficit in 2023 by $16 billion, and cumulatively by $138 billion from 2014-23. Congress has overridden the scheduled cut in physician reimbursements every year since 2003, in a legislative provision known as the “doc fix.”
Mr. Obama’s attempts to paint a rosy picture of his accomplishments, and to demand more taxes so he can do more of the same “investment” that he has been doing for the last four years should be rejected. It is hooey, political posturing, confirmed by the participation of Americans in the labor force. The rate of participation has fallen to 63.3%, which is the lowest level since May of 1979 when the country was mired in stagflation under the administration of President Jimmy Carter.
That means that 9,460,000 people have given up looking for work since Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009, when 80, 507,000 Americans were out of the labor force. That’s nearly 90 million people (89,967,000) who have stopped looking for work and dropped out of the workforce altogether. The climbing numbers of people on welfare, Social Security disability, receiving food stamps are disturbing, but compassionate people believe in a safety net to protect those in trouble, while we resent those who game the system. But the number and the percentage of the population of those who have simply given up hope of finding a job is a record of real despair.
About That Wage Gap For Women…
Don’t let mere facts get in the way of good propaganda. There are an amazing number of phony statistics out there. Half of all marriages don’t end in divorce either. Be a skeptic.
A Pretty Face and A Sexy Body Just Aren’t Enough!
Fisker Automotive has furloughed its U.S. workers. Now they have hired a law firm for a potential bankruptcy filing. Fisker has not produced a car in about eight months and is losing the interest of two prospective China-based buyers.
Fisker has raised $1.2 billion in equity, and has also had about $336 million of its $529 million line of credit with the federal government frozen because of its failure to meet certain production mandates. A payment on the government loan is due this month.
In March, co-founder Henrik Fisker resigned as executive chairman of the company. Mr. Fisker and Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz were believed to have disagreed over whether the company could feasibly grow with its current cash situation.
Another government effort to pick winners and losers appears to bite the dust. You can see why those with all sorts of government money to spread around might fall for the sexy lines of this car, but one would think the $100,000+ price for the car would cause some hesitation. I thought we looked upon the 1% who could write a check for this car with some disfavor— so why is it the government’s business to provide them with toys?
So The Karma and Fisker Automotive may join Solyndra and the long, long line of green failures — inspired by the need to “reduce our dependence on foreign oil” — a need eliminated by our own plentiful natural resources, if Obama would just stop blocking our access. And they were supposed to save the planet from global warming, but the planet isn’t warming and hasn’t been for nearly 20 years.
The free market does a much better job of picking winners and losers. Hard-nosed investors who are putting up their own money do real investigation and analysis before they invest a single cent, and in spite of their expertise they have some failures. I’m sure investing in a new start-up is exciting. I bet Obama even got to drive one. But it’s not his own play money that Obama is investing. And it is not the government’s job to decide what goods our economy is going to produce.
ObamaCare: Worse Than Your Worst Dreams!
April 1, 2013, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption
, Election 2012
, Health Care
, United Kingdom
| Tags: Inexorably Rising Costs
, ObamaCare Exposed
, Understanding Insurance
There has been a flood of articles recently on the forecasts of increasing costs for healthcare. The Society of Actuaries has said that health claims will shoot up an average 32% under ObamaCare. Some states will see claims rise as much as 80%, while only five states could see them drop a little. The reason is that millions of the uninsured will get coverage, or be forced to get coverage, and that will cause them to double their health spending. That will create upward pressure on premiums.
Many employers will dump their coverage for workers once ObamaCare kicks in, and those people will be more expensive to insure than people already in the individual market. In other words, higher premiums for almost everybody, and the “Affordable Care Act” will become much less affordable.
Back in 1960, people paid almost half the nation’s health care tab out-of-pocket. By 22012, that figure had dropped to just over 10% with the rest paid by government health programs or increasingly generous (tax subsidized) workplace health benefits. Natural reaction by ordinary people: when it’s free, you use more of it. And today there are far more inducements to use health care than there have ever been.
There have been campaigns for fitness, campaigns against obesity, with the intent of addressing “rising” health care costs, but is the awareness of fitness, good health, strength, diet, dental health, not to mention all the diseases that may strike that are causing the rising.
Saturday and Sundays on the radio are given over to paid programming for alternative medicine and alternative potions. “Health Food stores” offer goods free of any suspected unhealthy ingredient; and all things “natural,” and “organic” for you and your pets.
Each special ingredient is the one thing that, taken religiously, will give you a longer, healthier life. The latest seems to be green coffee beans, it was white tea for a while, and pomegranate seeds before that, and some Inca berry. And if all that weren’t enough, the First Lady of the United States and the Mayor of New York will remind you that they are keeping official tabs on what you do.
This intense focus on your potential health will drive you to ever-increasing use of the health care establishment. Increasing prices? The administration responds with a yawn. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in charge of administering ObamaCare and its mandates and waivers, said those who are paying more will get more generous coverage, so what’s the big deal.
“Some of these folks,” Sebelius said, referring to those hit by ObamaCare’s price spikes, “have very high catastrophic plans that don’t pay for anything unless you get hit by a bus. They’re really mortgage protection plans, not health insurance.”
Astonishing. The HHS Secretary, a former state Insurance Commissioner, does not understand the principle of insurance.
Insurance operates on the principle that you pool the cost of the big risks that don’t happen often, but would be difficult for most people to pay. It is the big catastrophe that makes insurance a good deal. Insurance for every little thing that you could reasonably easily pay for out-of-pocket raises the cost of everything because you are paying administrative fees in addition to the cost. If you expect to spend $10,000 for groceries next year, you wouldn’t buy grocery insurance, nor would you expect your auto insurance policy to pay for new windshield wipers or oil changes.
What Obama and his administration are attempting to force down everyone’s throats is not insurance, it is massively expensive prepaid health care.
Attempting to drive down all out-of-pocket spending simply pushes up the cost of health care in its entirety. At the same time it creates an incentive to use more health care. That’s not all the incentives though. As increasing use raises the cost of health care, the government will be forced to devote more effort towards cutting costs, and forcing doctors and suppliers to cut their costs — seeing more patients in less time, ordering fewer tests, using fewer supplies, cutting back on personnel, and destroying the quality of medicine.
The incentive for doctors and hospitals becomes not only cutting costs, but finding a way to be adequately reimbursed. This is where Britain’s National Health Services (NHS) find themselves. Old people die sooner because of inadequate care, linen not changed, drinking water not supplied. Doctors retire early, fewer of our best and brightest go into medicine. Doctors have to be imported from other countries. We are already seeing the effects of the tax on medical devices. They are laying off workers, cutting back. The United States leads the world in new technology in medical devices, but when they are forced to cut back, it is innovation that gets cut.
ObamaCare began with a lie, that medical costs were rising inexorably. Not true. Costs were declining as new diagnostic tools and new medicines saved lives and expense. Democrats, behind the closed doors where they were constructing the plan, were not concerned with improving American health care, they were concerned with gathering in more Democratic votes by more voters dependent on Democrat largesse. Their admiration for Britain’s National Health Service spoke of the ability of NHS to capture British votes for the Labor Party, while Democrats told themselves how wonderful it would be when poor people could get health care for free.