American Elephants

Just Repeal the Damn Thing and Have Done With It. by The Elephant's Child

Real Clear Politics average of polls of Congressional Job Approval shows only 14 % approve of the job Congress is doing, while 80% disapprove. That may head South even more when people discover what Congress is up to now. Bipartisan consensus has emerged in secret conflabs over the unsuitability of ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges that they are mandated to join under ObamaCare. (We don’t like them either).

The talks are said to involve Harry Reid, John Boehner, other top lawmakers and the Obama administration. Politico has pointed out the obvious when it notes the political risks involved in exempting congressional lawmakers and thousands of staffers from a key component of ObamaCare. The rationale for such an exemption makes this even clearer. The astonishing fact that Congress is contemplating such a hypocritical move demonstrates the mess that is the law that they have imposed on America.

The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere.

And Congressmen are concerned about the hit on their own wallets. Possibly this concern should have extended to ordinary Americans?

John Boehner has a ready-made rationale for considering a congressional exemption. His spokesman says:

The speaker’s objective is to spare the entire country from the ravages of the president’s health care law. He is approached daily by American citizens, including members of Congress and staff, who want to be freed from its mandates. If the speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from ObamaCare, he will.

Seth Mandel has a marvelous article at Commentary:

Congress started by trying to pass a massive bureaucratic overhaul of nearly one-fifth of the American economy, stared blankly at thousands of pages of regulations they wouldn’t even consider reading, and voted to make it the law of the land. Along the way, the treated the amendment process like a game of frat house beer pong, and their personal pride determined which amendments got through. Unsurprisingly , they passed amendments that made a hash of the law, because they didn’t read the law before enacting it.

When Nancy Pelosi suggested that it would just be tremendously exciting if no one looked at the bill and then we all found out together afterward to what extent Congress had just wrecked an entire industry, she was speaking for members of Congress as well as the public. So when Congress found out what Congress had wrought, they got to work trying to undo part of what they had done (the part, naturally, that affected them the most).

So now that they’ve been discovered, Reid has turned it over to the Office of Personnel Management. Always helps when Congress has got themselves in an embarrassing conundrum if it can be  placed ‘out of their hands’ so they don’t have to vote on the record. Wouldn’t be a surprise if their job approval rating dropped even more. Perhaps we should even consider replacing them.


You Can Keep Trying to Blame Bush, But the Truth Will Out. by The Elephant's Child

The ironymeter just overheated and burst. According to the invaluable Byron York, eighteen Democrat U.S. Senators have asked to delay the Obamacare medical device tax because raising taxes on manufacturers will cost jobs. Oh ho ho.


President Obama has admitted — in detailed print with his signature — that the Bush tax cuts worked.

The 2012 Economic Report of the President —the official government document on the economy published by the Obama Administration and signed personally by Obama himself, admits the Bush tax cuts caused government revenue to go up not down. So the President knows perfectly well that all his “tax the rich” rhetoric, his claims are factually untrue:

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do very well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

Some, however, still advocate going back to the same economic policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years.”


“So when you put it all together, what you need is a package that keeps taxes where they are for middle-class families; we make some tough spending cuts on things that we don’t need; and then we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. And that’s a principle I won’t compromise on, because I’m not going to have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me, get to keep all our tax breaks, and then we’re asking students to pay higher student loans. Or suddenly, a school doesn’t have schoolbooks because the school district couldn’t afford it. Or some family that has a disabled kid isn’t getting the help that they need through Medicaid.”

This was yesterday at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant in Redford, MI.  If taxes are not increased on the wealthy, schools will suddenly be unable to afford schoolbooks (paid for with local taxes) disabled children will be denied Medicaid. (Obama was perfectly happy to cut $110 billion from Medicaid during the fiscal cliff negotiations of 2011.

The federal debt is more than $16.3 trillion and it increases on average by nearly $4 billion every single day. If Obama taxed 100% of the income of the wealthiest, it would pay for about 8 to 10 days of government spending.  Nothing left over for the kids’ schoolbooks. You will notice that Obama variously needs that extra money because it’s “fair,” to lower the deficit, to have a new stimulus for the economy, help the disabled, end the war, and buy those schoolbooks. It’s only politics, and fairly clumsy politics at that.

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