American Elephants


So Once Government Gets Big, How Do You Get Rid of It? by The Elephant's Child
June 15, 2009, 11:49 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

Are Americans Apathetic?  Mark Steyn wrote this weekend about Margaret Thatcher’s deputy who once accused the Labour Party of going around Britain stirring up apathy.   Steyn suggests that Americans are sunk in apathy, and unwilling to struggle to understand the plans the Obama government is trying to foist on us, thereby allowing a government takeover of health care.  My dictionary defines apathy as lack of emotion or feeling, lack of interest in things generally found exciting,  uninterested, indifferent.

I don’t think that people are apathetic, but angry, frustrated and don’t know what to do.   The Obama administration is pulling out all the stops, investing huge amounts of money,  sending out armies of organizers to sell their health insurance plan.

It is billed as a plan to insure that everyone in America has health insurance.  This is not true, or only partly true.  It is a bait and switch plan.  You will be required to have a policy that meets government guidelines, and if your policy does not, you’ll have to get one that does.

Obama insists that if you like your current insurance plan, you can keep it.  He has clearly stated his own preference for government-run Universal Health Care.  His insurance plan will drive private insurance out of the market, and is specifically designed to kill off the private health insurance system.

Over 70 percent of people are happy with their health insurance.  America has the best health-care system in the world.  We also pay the most for it, but for the most part we do so because we can afford it.  We have better health outcomes.

Many statistics that are offered as evidence are false.  We are accused of having poor infant survival rates.  Most countries don’t count very premature babies if they don’t survive  at all.  We count them all, and so we have an international statistic of low survival rates for infants.

There’s the “46 million uninsured,” but 14 million of them are already eligible for other government programs and haven’t yet signed up.  Ten million are in households with incomes over $75.000 a year and could afford health insurance if they wanted to.   A big number are young healthy adults who just don’t feel that they need health insurance yet, and an enormous percentage of that 46 million are not American citizens.  Sixty percent of the uninsured in San Francisco are not citizens.  Only around 10 million are actually uninsured.

The discussion is not honest.  Lies, exaggerations and every kind of persuasive language is being used to influence you.  Universal Health Care with the government firmly in control has been a goal of the left for years, and with Obama in office they now see a chance of achieving their dream.  If they can offer you “free” health care (even though you and your neighbors pay for every cent of it through your taxes) then they own you.  You have to return them to office lest someone takes it away.

Health-care legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.  Asked if the cost of an overhaul wold cost more than $1 trillion, Rangel said “The answer is yes.”

That’s where the apathy comes in.  When the government controls too much of your life, when fewer opportunities are available in an economy that is too controlled, when risk is no longer rewarded, when the change and opportunity of a dynamic capitalist economy are no longer on offer, then what happens can be seen in Europe.

People cannot change jobs easily.  Governments eliminate unpleasant things like the ability to fire people who don’t measure up.  Vacations are ordered to be longer.  If you hate your job, too bad.  Taxes are huge because more people are on the dole and someone has to pay for all those vacations.  Ever wonder why the birth rates in Europe are under replacement rate?  The EU is bringing in immigrant workers because of those low birth rates; but the immigrants are not assimilating but clustering together in angry ghettos.  Civic life is all but dead.  Who wants to have a raft of kids when taxes are high, living standards are declining, and there’s not much hope of things getting better?  You live for the present. That is apathy.

And you have a government of bureaucrats who cannot keep from constant meddling, trying to fix all the annoying things so that your life will be ever more peaceful and orderly and you will be willing to return the bureaucrats to office.

Unruly capitalism is hard and things go wrong and there is risk and failure and disappointment, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative.



The Determined Application of Common Sense. by The Elephant's Child

The United States imports a large share of our consumer goods from China, automobiles from Japan, bananas from Central American nations, and 10 percent of our oil from Saudi Arabia and 7 percent from Venezuela. Yet reducing our “dependence on foreign oil” is supposed to be essential to our national security. Surely the 13 percent of our oil we get from Canada is not terribly worrisome, or the 8 percent we get from Mexico. Perhaps it is the 2 percent that comes from Algeria or the 3 percent from Angola that makes “reducing our dependence” such a huge national priority. ” Large oil revenues are not necessarily correlated with U.S. security concerns,” notes Jeff Bergner.

If decreasing our reliance on foreign sources of oil is the goal, aggressively developing our proven American energy reserves is one sure way to achieve it.  Arctic National Wildlife Reserve oil would take some time to develop, but there is offshore oil that is much more readily obtainable. But “reducing our dependence on foreign oil” is given as the major reason for passing a cap-and-trade energy plan. “Carbon footprints” and all that.

The cap-and-trade legislation supported by the Obama administration is simply a stealth strategy for a huge long-term tax increase on all American households, not just that small bunch of really really rich people making over $250,000. The costs of the cap-and-trade scheme are, according to Economist Martin Feldstein, equivalent to raising a family of four’s income tax by 50 percent.  But rather than your actual income tax going up, it will be in your cost of living. Hardest hit will be the folks whose taxes Obama promised not to increase.

Now we all are told that the planet is heating up, drought, floods, (common sense — these things don’t go together).  The latest addition to the list of things caused by “global warming” will be low birth-weight babies for the rest of the century.  Just how that works remains a mystery.

But the current level of 385 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is the lowest in the record, only equaled by conditions 300 million years ago.  The average level for the last 300 million years is 1000 to 1200 ppm.  The optimum level for modern plants is in that range.  That means that a doubling or tripling of CO2 is not anything to worry about.   In fact an increase would be desirable.  But?

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But then why the cap-and-trade, the whole carbon footprint thing?  It is not about global warming.  The planet has not warmed since 1998.  The planet has been cooling since 2002.  But “global warming” makes a good cover for the political class to do whatever it wants, and is a way to increase revenue to an increasingly powerful and hungry government.

Energy Panel Republicans are charging Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.) of witness intimidation. Markey wrote to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff asking FERC to investigate the actions of a major energy company on the same day that the company’s CEO was set to testify before the panel on the dangers of a carbon cap-and-trade system.

If they are that bullying about it,  the proposed legislation probably smells to  high heaven.  It doesn’t even have any affect on CO2.  Europe has a history of cap-and-trade rules.  They were and are a flop.  No reduction in CO2 levels, massive costs to the economy.  But we do not learn from consequences or history.

Martin Feldstein admits that scientific knowledge in the field of climate science is changing,  but suggests that “geo-engineering”, not mentioned in the Waxman-Markey bill might be a solution to increasing CO2, which is not the cause of “global warming”, is not a matter of concern, and since the globe isn’t warming—why of course we should try putting things in the atmosphere, spreading soot,  messing with the oceans.  That would be much easier than actually studying the science instead of taking the printouts from some computer programs and having someone tell you what they think is in them.

Representative Waxman (D-Hollywood) admits that he has not read the bill that bears his name, nor does he know what is in the bill.  It is really getting to be time to fire the whole bunch of them.  They are not doing the people’s business as they were hired to do.  They are uninterested in common sense or reality, they are only interested in separating us from whatever remnants of our wealth are left so they can continue with their vast schemes of how to get re-elected in perpetuity.  And that just won’t do.




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