American Elephants

In These Hands: Sollman Electric by The Elephant's Child

Barack Obama Has It All Backwards. by The Elephant's Child

Mr. Obama ignited a firestorm with his remark on small business —”If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.” It has become a major controversy. Small businessmen are indignantly telling their own stories. There have been rallies, billboards, cartoons, late-night jokes and all sorts of marvelous campaign commercials.

Mr. Obama is now claiming that his words were taken out of context. “Of course Americans build their own businesses” he said in a campaign video.  He meant that government prepares the way for business creation. It’s the old “roads and bridges” thing, that he has clung to for three-and-a-half long years.

That’s how he was going to rescue the economy, if you remember; the roads and bridges the government built would create all sorts of jobs. And all we heard about was guard rails on the road around a dry lake, and an addition to an airport in Pennsylvania that seldom received an airplane. And there was a bridge that only got about 3 cars a week. That ended with the grudging admission that there weren’t any “shovel-ready” jobs after all.

That’s not right either.. The roads and bridges of the nation have been built in response to business need. When Henry Ford developed the production line and began turning out Model Ts in quantity, some roads were already there. They had been created  often in the first place as game trails or Indian trails. The pioneers cut down trees and made crude roads with pick and shovel.  Increased travel, more wagons, herds of stock widened and improved them.

Business and their growing needs called forth roads. Private turnpike companies built thousands of miles of toll roads across the states. Henry Ford built the Model T to handle bad roads, because there were many of them. It was the growing automobile business that created roads and bridges, not the other way around.

Federal aid to highway building didn’t begin until 1916, and the Interstate highway system was built under the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s. Before that it was the business of state and local governments.

It’s only in modern times that developers will build an industrial park with the needed roads and facilities, hoping to attract tenants. That is usually private developers, not government built infrastructure. Of course there is the example of Solyndra, but the less said about that, the better. Has that place sold yet?

The Cato Institute suggests that federal financing has become an increasingly inefficient way to modernize America’s  highways. Federal spending is often misallocated to low-value activities, and the regulations that go hand-in-hand with federal aid stifle innovation and boost highway costs.

This is not an administration that is responsive to the needs of  business, small or large. Their thinking about business and jobs and the economy begins with the federal government, and deals with control and regulation and taxes. They are basically hostile. There’s nothing about what business might need in their approach.

Obama not only doesn’t understand how business works, he’s got it all backwards.

ObamaCare May Not be Unconstitutional, But It Is Very Bad Law. by The Elephant's Child

ObamaCare is much misunderstood. Its advocates talk about the free care they will receive, and fear that they might have a “pre-existing condition.” But ObamaCare is not about medical care or treatment. It is only about insurance.  It is designed to gradually funnel everyone into single-payer, government-run, insurance because that is the earnest intent of the liberals who designed the system. Government will control the entire financial end of the whole system — what you pay and what you get.

What the left is not good at, are the unintended consequences. They’re not good at thinking things through; at least that’s what the evidence seems to show. The costs of insurance will be far higher than estimated. Current estimates expect costs to be much higher than originally set out, and the program hasn’t even been put into effect yet. The only government program in history that has come in under the original estimates, is the Medicare Drug benefit, and Liberals removed the incentives that made thrift possible.

When the government says we’ll just pay for whatever you need, people don’t pay attention to how much something costs, and they go to the doctor for things they might well have treated at home. Result: soaring costs.

Great attention has been paid to rules and regulations, but physicians have been totally ignored, except for plans to hold down payments for their services. There aren’t enough doctors. There is a current shortage of thousands of physicians. Doctors hate ObamaCare and very large numbers plan to find some other occupation, or to retire. Medical schools and teaching hospitals, as they exist today, are incapable of turning out the numbers of doctors needed.

When all those folks who were uninsured are forced to buy insurance or pay a big fine, then the young healthy people won’t use medical care much, and will pay for the older folks who require more care. And you won’t have all those people with no insurance running up the costs for the nation’s emergency rooms. The uninsured are not signing up in droves. But the organization of emergency room physicians has pointed out that the greatest emergency room use is not by the uninsured, but by insured people who cannot find a doctor to care for them.

ObamaCare has taken $716 billion out of Medicare between 2013 and 2022, to pay for ObamaCare. That means a $260 billion payment cut for hospital services.  A $39 billion payment cut for skilled nursing services. A $17 billion payment cut for hospice services. A $66 billion payment cut for home health services. A $33 billion payment cut for all other services. A $156 billion cut in payment rates for Medicare Advantage programs. $56 billion in cuts for DSH Payments for low-income patients, and $114 billion in cuts in other provisions in Medicare,Medicaid and CHIP. What this means is that fewer doctors will be willing to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients. This is already a growing problem, and ObamaCare hasn’t even kicked in yet.

Should ObamaCare not be repealed, these problems will grow and fester. The government will have no option but to federalize the medical profession so doctors work for the government for a fixed salary. Otherwise there will simply be no doctors to serve patients. Where will they get those doctors? Medicine will no longer be an attractive profession, nor a rewarding one. Standards will necessarily decline, and the best students will no longer go into medicine. Where will the doctors come from?

Morning Cute III. by The Elephant's Child
August 1, 2012, 7:04 am
Filed under: Freedom, Humor, Politics | Tags: , ,

This little bundle of pure energy is a five-week old Nigerian dwarf goat from a farm in Maine. Doesn’t that make you feel like a sluggard? You could be up and …zzz-zz

Romney’s Triumphal Tour by The Elephant's Child

Mitt Romney has just returned from a triumphal tour from England to Israel, to Poland and home. The leftist media has tried to portray it as gaffe-filled, but the press has not often so exposed their bias. In England, NBC’s Brian Williams asked Mitt Romney—as someone who really understood the problems involved in putting an Olympics together — how he thought the British Olympics were stacking up. Mitt said that the reports that they had not been able to find enough security personnel was ‘disconcerting.’

This was what the British press had been reporting, but it was regarded as an insult and a terrible gaffe. The Economist hauled out a quote from Romney’s book in which he described England as a small island, with small houses and small roads… OMG. Another gaffe. Turns out Mitt was talking about the England of the late 16th and early 17th centuries and went on to  describe how with the most powerful Navy in the world they came to dominate the earth and build the far-flung British Empire. So Britain was just one great error on the part of Romney.

Mr. Romney was warmly welcomed in Israel. He and Bibi Netanyahu are old friends, but his speech was warm, thoughtful,  and well received.  He spoke passionately about the special relationship between the U.S and Israel. He supported Israel’s right to defend itself against the threat of a nuclear attack from Iran, and said that Iran must be kept from the capability of deploying a nuclear weapon. He noted that Israelis are more prosperous than Palestinians which he attributed to a culture of freedom. The Palestinians were furious that someone should mention the obvious, and called it racism. Israelis’ seven Nobel Prizes in science weren’t mentioned, nor their high-tech industries.

In Poland, Governor Romney delivered a barnburner of a speech, the full text is available here. He said:

“Free men and women everywhere, whether they have been here or not, already know this about Poland: In some desperate hours of the last century, your people were the witnesses to hope, led onward by strength of heart and faith in God. Not only by force of arms, but by the power of truth, in villages and parishes across this land, you shamed the oppressor and gave light to the darkness….

“And here, in 1979, a son of Poland, Pope John Paul the Second, spoke words that would bring down an empire and bring freedom to millions who lived in bondage. ‘Be not afraid’—those words changed the world.”

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