American Elephants

You Don’t Get Businessmen to Hire by Making it Hard for them to Conduct Business. by The Elephant's Child

This will be “Recovery Summer” they claimed.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wrote in early August, how the $862 billion government stimulus was still rolling out, business investment was booming, and the economy was poised for sustainable growth.  “Welcome to the Recovery,” he said.

Mr. Geithner and President Obama really believe that government spending can stimulate growth by boosting private “demand,” that tax-rates don’t matter to investment decisions, that scads of new regulations have no impact on costs or on hiring for business, and that politicians can badmouth capitalists without having any effect on the movement of capital.

This quotation from the late Walter Wriston, who was once CEO of Citibank, would be worth printing out and framing, or sending to your Congressman, since they don’t seem to get it.

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay where it is well treated.
It will flee from manipulation or onerous regulation of its value or use
and no government policy can restrain it for long.

The downward revision for the second quarter was expected, with a big drop in home sales, more jobless claims and weak corporate profits.  Many economists believe that third quarter growth could be negative.  The pace of growth is very sluggish, and will not create many new jobs.

If government spending stimulated growth, the economy should be booming by now.  Trillions of dollars of spending, loan guarantees, tax credits, grants and much more.  Even taking over whole industries and paying people to buy cars and appliances hasn’t worked.  Democrats always think anything can be fixed with more spending.

The 1982 recession is the last one with a jobless rate exceeding 10 percent.  The path to recovery was steady.  Companies will take the risk to invest and hire when they know what government plans to do to them — what costs, what regulations.

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay where it is well treated.  It will invest and hire.  Perhaps we need to start treating the people who actually create jobs well.  Free markets and free people have always worked for America.  We need to stop hoping that more spending will fix things,  and go for some real change.

Nancy Pelosi: “Now witness the power of this fully-armed and operational death panel.” by The Elephant's Child

If you are the Speaker of the House of Representatives (D-SF), all-powerful, really big cheese, who promised the “most ethical Congress in history,” and you learn that one of your really big donors is dying of bone marrow cancer, what do you do?

Fred Baron, the “King of Toxic Torts,” built a fortune by suing on behalf of asbestos victims.  A prolific Democrat fundraiser, he served as bagman for his friend John Edwards who also made a fortune with tort law. In 2002, Baron was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  By October 2008,  his doctors at the Mayo Clinic were telling him that he had just days to live.  But they offered a slight glimmer of hope.

Over the years, the Barons had donated about $1 million to Mayo.  The staff was especially  diligent, said Lisa Blue, Baron’s wife.  They tested a complete arsenal of drugs.  Baron’s cancer responded in the lab, to a drug called Tysabri.

Mayo had a supply, but the drug was approved only for treatment of multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.  Biogen, the manufacturer, refused to give permission, even under “compassionate use” rules that protect a drug-maker from a black mark in the case of an adverse reaction.

Blue worked Fred’s Rolodex calling every politician, and every celebrity pleading for help.  She hired a lawyer and prepared to sue Mayo.  She bought Tysabri online from Australia, intending to send her stepson to smuggle it into the country.  Bill Clinton, Senators Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Tom Harkin and even the head of the FDA had urged the company to reconsider.

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi “put her heart and soul” into the cause.  She “cajoled” the FDA to find a legal justification that let Mayo administer the drug, even without Biogen’s consent.

The drug beat back the cancer for a few days, but it wasn’t enough.  Baron died the week before election Day 2008 at the age of 61. As the Dallas News says:

Blue has no illusion that a typical family could pull such strings.

“There are so many cases like Fred’s” she said.  “One thing he taught me was politics matters.  What a personal experience for me to understand how politics matters.

And no, she added, “It’s not fair that other people can’t pick up the phone and make the government give them a drug. …It was just such an awakening about how the drug companies have so much power.

It is clear that ObamaCare will ration access to expensive new drugs.  The NHS has already banned Avastin for late-stage breast cancer patients, and is disallowing it for bowel cancer patients because it is too expensive.  There is already a drive here to have its FDA approval removed.  Drug companies are scared to death of — Tort lawyers — who drive up the cost of medicine and get away with it, because Democrat politicians refuse to rein them in.

Dallas’ biggest Democrat donors will sign big checks to have dinner later this month with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  It’s nice to know that if you give big money to a Democrat they will pull strings to get you an illegal drug.  But most of us can’t afford to buy a politician.

(h/t: Moe Lane)

500,000!!! by American Elephant
August 30, 2010, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Blogging, News | Tags: ,

Thanks to all of you, sometime earlier today, American Elephants hit half a million views! We are very excited and very grateful! Thanks to all of you for coming by and helping us grow! As always, keep the comments and suggestions coming, we love to hear from you! Now if only we can hit a million twice as fast! 😀

Obamacare Makes Health Care Rates Go UP — Way Up! by The Elephant's Child

In California, state regulators have allowed Anthem Blue Cross to move ahead with rate hikes, which average 14%.  Blue Shield of California is allowed by regulators to move ahead with rate increases — averaging 19% and as high as 29% — for 250,000 individual California policyholders.  Anthem’s original plan was to increase premiums as much as 39%, but they got a lot of criticism from consumers regulators and even President Obama.   A consultant found math errors.

Here in Washington State, we just got notification of a 16% rate hike.  Welcome to ObamaCare.  Eventually government insurance will begin to look cheap — but that was the plan all along. They promised that ObamaCare would save money, their ideas would make health care more efficient, everyone would be insured, preventative care would save money,  computerizing health care would save money.  All lies.  All Lies.  All Lies.

[ed: slightly altered headline ‘cus we like this one better]

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