American Elephants

In a Difficult Climate, Republicans Have Some Stellar Accomplishments! by The Elephant's Child


I wrote a couple of days ago:

Conservatives everywhere constantly wonder what is the matter with the left, and try to find a satisfactory answer. We just had what can fairly be called a “wave” election.  Republicans will control the House of Representatives by 247 to 188 Democrats. They will control the Senate, by 54 to 44 with 2 independents. The GOP controls the governorship and the legislature in 23 states compared to 7 states for the Democrats. Legislative power has slipped from the hands of the American left.

This is a marvelous accomplishment. Even if you give all the credit to Obama’s policies (He did say that his policies were on the ballot) instead of to the Republicans, it is something to celebrate. Yet what I am reading and hearing is how awful John Boehner is, and that the Republicans should dump him. This is not the people’s choice, it’s the choice of the members of the House about who they choose to lead them.

Back in October, the House had passed more than 200 bills, which Harry Reid promptly tabled, and the Senate passed a mere 59 bills. That’s possibly a record low. I think the Senate ended up passing 111, and the House over 400, but I’m not sure of those numbers. The point is that bills do not become law with just the vote of the House.

Much has been made of the fact that we won the election, and how come they didn’t repeal ObamaCare, slash the national debt and stop Obama’s executive illegal immigrant amnesty? Doesn’t work that way. Even with both House and Senate, a bill does not become law without the president’s signature, or enough votes to override his veto.

Did you notice that John Boehner outsmarted Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations and because of John Boehner federal spending has declined over a five-year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. The sequester has decreased total federal spending 1.5%-2.0% in real inflation-adjusted dollars, and it will do the same in 2014.

Largely because of Boehner, and also the much maligned Mitch McConnell, the unfolding catastrophe of ObamaCare is fully a Democrat disaster. There has not been a single Republican vote for any part of it. They own it! That may be the reason Republicans regained the House and Senate.

Obama has told our enemies publicly just what our strategy will be and when we will leave the battlefield, which has made every military person cringe. John Boehner does not reveal Republican strategies in advance. His job is not to lead the nation, nor to act as a cheerleader for the conservatives or the establishment — but to weld a bunch of fractious politicians into a political band that can accomplish as much as possible in difficult circumstances. That means accepting losses where they are inevitable, horse trading, and trying to squeak some important stuff through in spite of the odds.

Nearly two million fewer Americans are receiving jobless benefits than a year ago, in part due to the elimination of an extended benefits program last December. Economists on both left and right agree that generous jobless benefits keep people from looking for work and discourages employers from offering work. Businesses have to pay higher wages to urge people away from benefit programs, and taxes go up to pay for the benefits.

The Cromnibus bill, that 1,603-page bi-partisan $1.2 trillion federal funding bill prevents the EPA from regulating farm ponds under navigable waters legislation. Not a big deal? Andy Johnson received a state permit to build a little dam to create a watering hole for his cattle along the Six Mile Creek that crosses his property. He did not get a separate permit from the Army Corps of Engineers because the creek flows into the Black Forks River which flows into the Green River which the EPA had designated under the 1972 Clean Water Act as a “navigable interstate water of the United States.” Fine from the EPA — $75,000 per day! The EPA’s attempted power grab is both far-reaching and outrageous.

The EPA can’t implement a White House proposal to cut dairy industry methane emissions by 25% by 2025. Their attempted listing of the greater sage grouse and the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered can’t be done until studies prove it necessary. There’s the poultry poop posse attempting to regulate chicken poop, and  an order to limit cow plop to eliminate 500 liters of individual cow emissions of methane. Reined in.

Obama promised $3 billion to poor countries in retribution for climate damage caused by our fossil fuel pollution — that got cut. Even Michelle Obama was reined in — school lunch programs will not be restricted by standard low-sodium and whole-grain menus. Kids will be relieved.

I complain a lot that this regulation business is getting out of hand. Credit John Boehner tor reining them in and for doing some hard bargaining.

7 Comments so far
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In so many words, short term funding for Obamacare and amnesty programs amounts to betrayal of the base.


Comment by atmsafetypin

I don’t understand what you are trying to say. ObamaCare has to be dealt with slowly and carefully. You can’t suddenly cut off people’s health insurance completely. Yes. ObamaCare is a dreadful program that is unaffordable among other things, but you cannot just eliminate health insurance. You’ve got people scheduled for urgent operations. They stuck us with a mess and it has to be carefully picked apart, not defunded precipitously. Part of the bill has just been shelved until March, but I’m not sure of the details. Nobody is “betraying” anyone.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Actually, “suddenly” is the only way to do it. Once it’s entrenched, it can’t be undone at all. And no, that would not be “eliminating health insurance” that would be reverting to the status quo. The only sensible thing to do would be to eliminate the trade barriers that the states set up to marketing health insurance. If the same requirements were imposed on auto insurance or home insurance, those things would be insanely expensive also. Consider this. If an out of state corporation wants to come to your state and sell health insurance, they must establish a health insurance company in your state, with its own funding, it’s own board of directors, its own secretaries, agents, headquarters building etc. Your home insurance doesn’t have to do that. Why? Wasn’t the interstate commerce clause supposed to prevent exactly that kind of thing? Eliminate those barriers to trade and you have cheap insurance once again. Whether you agree with that argument or not, Boehner is viewed as a traitor. The longer Obamacare gets to run, (and the longer the illegals get to stay) the harder it is to fix the problems they create.


Comment by atmsafetypin

But there is no status quo. You can’t give the insurance they had back to people who no longer work at the employer who provided their insurance. The insurance companies have gone through huge changes to adapt to ObamaCare. It is a stupid program that the country cannot afford, and won’t work. BUT there is no status quo. That’s gone. Making sure that everyone enrolled in ObamaCare has the new insurance is a hugely complex task. Republicans have lots of new ideas for reducing costs, but it is far more complex than you seem to think. You misunderstand what the Republicans have been able to do, and what they can’t. Boehner could not just “defund” ObamaCare. Use the search function just above Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar, and enter Oklahoma Surgical Center. I think that will bring up an article about a very successful surgery center that is saving all sorts of money for the people of that state. Each state has an insurance commissioner who has to approve insurance plans for their state. It’s not about eliminating barriers to trade.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Thing is, Obamacare will have to be repealed as it was passed, in one big package. Now, to keep the very few actual benefits of the law will be a simple fix… just pass new bills to support them. But the thing that has to be kept in mind about any Obamacare repeal is this; whenever it happens, the mechanisms and funding will remain in place for a minimum of two fiscal years. That’s the time it would take for insurance companies and healthcare systems to make the changes necessary, and it will most likely be a mess. But, if coupled with some reforms of the industry (such as interstate sale of health coverage and easier access to pre-existing condition pools (which existed prior to Obamacare, contrary to what the law’s supporters say)), it will be a long-term improvement.


Comment by Lon Mead

Is is possible, to get the federal government out of the mix? It seems to me that we need a major conference bringing those who are working on reforms together. Every one of the major think tanks has people working on health care, and there are some really good ideas there. Congress has their own ideas, but it would seem very desirable to get HHS and the FDA out of the mix along with all the subsidiary agencies. The worst medicine in the country is that most closely controlled by the feds — the Indian Health Service, Medicaid, and the VA. Experts have said that Medicaid, currently, is worse than having no insurance at all and the Indian Health Service is supposed to be worse than that.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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