American Elephants

The Despicable Fraud Perpetrated on The American People: by The Elephant's Child

Democrats have clearly demonstrated their desire to whip people into better order with a raft of government regulations, directives and plain old force. We focus on the regulation and the directives, but let’s face it. The problem is the people.

We are talking about millions of human beings, individuals with their own ideas, their own likes, their own prejudices, their own desires, their own sensitivities, their own knowledge, their own beliefs and their own general resistance to doing what they are told to do. That’s simple human nature. In repressive societies people learn to fear the government and hide their resistance lest they face punishing reprisal.We all know about the societies with the gulags, concentration camps, slave labor camps, where the choice is between facing punishment or facing death.

Democrats have long regarded free health care for the people as the biggest, most wonderful thing they could give to the people, which would endear their party to the people permanently. The problem, of course, was how to pay for it.

Well, nevermind, that can be figured out as we go along. Rich people will just have to pay more. That’s how it all started and bureaucrats started writing rules and regulations, and although there were pages and pages of them, they had three and a half years to finish it up.

Phase One was the big rollout, and the technical failure. It might have been avoided had there been some competence in the management, but it was never tested, the basic code for the back-end was never written, and there was no security for the customer at all. The rollout was a disaster and a great embarrassment for the administration. So they said they would postpone it till the first of December when it would all be fixed. Uh huh. The President ordered up a tech surge to get everything working, but that is apparently only 6 people. Experts say the security is worse than ever.

And it seems that that part for which the code has never been written was the part that told the insurance company that you had signed up and transferred the first payment. They are advising those who think they have signed up successfully to call the insurance company and see if they have confirmed your enrollment and received your payment.

Phase Two was the revelation that the entire ObamaCare enterprise is the largest deliberate fraud ever inflicted on an unsuspecting American public.  The promises of “if you like your plan you can keep it” have turned out to be not an accident, but a phony sales pitch that was deliberately deceptive. On top of that ObamaCare forces insurance companies to engage in dishonest practices like selling maternity coverage to men and postmenopausal women, and pediatric insurance to the childless. The worst case scenario could turn up on January 1, as insurance companies begin dropping people who formerly had their insurance through their employers, and there will be a lot of them.

Obama promised insurance that would cost $2,500 less that our previous policies. Another part of the fraud. Medical insurance comes in two kinds: there is indemnification against risk, which is true insurance; and there is pre-payment for expected costs. Risk is a heart attack, or a stroke, a broken arm or broken back. Insurance company actuaries are very well paid because they are very good at math. They get reports on the numbers of heart attacks or strokes in a year, and determine mathematically how many they are going to have to pay off on. The trouble arises when Democrats want to have lots of benefits for everyone, and want everyone to pay for it. Health insurance is usually age related, because the risks are different at different ages, but when everybody has to pay for maternity care, and pediatric vision care, Alzheimers and shingles, it gets very, very expensive.

That bit about people with pre-existing conditions was nice, but the President made it sound like there were thousands of them. Part of the sales pitch. Those who signed up in the first three years for this desperately needed insurance that they’d been denied 107,000 people out of a population of 330,000,000.  Looks like 10 million people will lose their employer-provided health insurance. The governments’ goal for next year is to sign up about 7 million people. It was the government that made sure that most insurance policies would get cancelled, not the insurance companies. It is written right into the law.

Everybody knew this, except for ordinary folks. And they’re just stuck. How will this play out? Will the whole thing collapse on its own? Will the people get their backs up and demand that it be repealed? The administration played the insurance companies, promising them many more customers in exchange for their cooperation. The health care industry? Scared? Unorganized? I don’t know. With the president spinning dramatic tales of the blessings of health care for all, and the media completely willing to play along with whatever he said, the evidence of industries destroyed, companies brought to heel, there was certainly in America a real fear of the government.

I think it will come close to collapse but they will tinker and lie and try to keep it afloat, and in the end try to enlist Republicans into saving it for the good of the country. It would be a lot simpler if they would just recognize it as a mistake that cannot be fixed.

The Office of the President of the United States of America. by The Elephant's Child

The office of the President of the United States has a long and complex history.  Over the past 220 years, it has been occupied by just 44 different men.  George Washington was the first and undoubtedly will remain the last to be elected unanimously.  He came to the office reluctantly.

He had been Commander-in-Chief long before he was elected President.  He was elected to that position by the Continental Congress in 1775 when he was forty-three years old.  There was not yet an army for him to command, only the militias surrounding Boston. And when he said he farewell to his troops in 1783, he was fifty-one. He had only a few years as a civilian before his country called upon him again.  His prudence and restraint set the country on a firm basis, and in his farewell address he said:

In the discharge of this trust, I will only say, that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious, in the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that, if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe, that while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

The office of the presidency, with its obligations of duty and commitment, takes a toll on the men who temporarily occupy the position.  They owe a debt to those who have held the office before them, and to the history left to them by previous occupants. Treaties and alliances have been laboriously created, relations with other countries, whether in trade or good will, carefully nurtured.  A knowledge and awareness of that history is essential.

Thomas Jefferson said:

Most bad government has grown out of too much government.  [and]
Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have…The course of history shows that as government grows, liberty decreases.

President James Polk remarked:

No President who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure.

President Harry Truman:

I have tried my best to give the nation everything I had in me.  There are probably a million people who could have done the job better than I did, but I had the job, and I always quote an epitaph on a tombstone in a cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona.  “here lies Jack Williams, He done his damnest.”

Dwight Eisenhower said:

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations.  To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.  Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict on us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Conservatives, independents, pundits and even many Democrats are trying to understand President Barack Obama.  There are so many questions.

He is clearly not the centrist that he portrayed during the campaign.  Is he a radical leftist? He has described himself as a communitarian, for whatever that is worth.

Barack Obama has never, we have been told, had much interest in history.  A knowledge of and respect for history are essential to the presidency. Without that you repeat the mistakes and failures of those who have gone before.  Depression, inflation, stagflation, debt, unpreparedness or trust in the wrong adversaries.  The demands of the office require humility, not hubris.

Nations have interests. Relations with other nations are not popularity contests.  Years of  carefully nurtured relationships based on fair dealing and fair trade are being discarded in the hope of deals with long-term antagonists who wish our destruction. Speeches, however charmingly delivered and meetings are unlikely to sway them from their purposes.

When a new president temporarily takes on the most important office in the world, he becomes the president of all Americans, not just the unions who supported his campaign.  He must suffer criticism and mockery in the understanding that it is the right of the American people and his role to bear it.

He takes on an obligation to preserve, protect and defend the nation.  The savings that represent the life’s work of its citizens cannot be spent wildly in some misguided attempt to achieve progressive goals that have been proven over and over not to work.  The American people, 38 percent, want the budget deficit cut in half in the next four years.  Only 23 percent think health care reform should be a top priority.

I just don’t think that Barack Obama understands the office of the presidency. Oh, he gets the prestige, and he clearly likes the perks and trappings, some of which he adopted before he was elected.  He keeps reminding us that “I won!” Yet he seems not to have understood the obligation, the duty, the sacrifice of the office and the weight of the burden that a president must bear. He and Michelle keep complaining about how hard he has to work.

There’s a lot more to it than being surrounded by admirers and sycophants attending to every need, than having AirForce One at one’s beck and call. I just don’t think he gets it.

(Reposted from 2009. Seemed appropriate in view of the debate tomorrow night)

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