Filed under: Economy, Freedom, Health Care, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Progressivism | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Healthcare, Liberal lies, Politics
President Obama has made it clear that reforming the American health care system is one of his top priorities. Unfortunately, it is not the public’s top priority. The public’s top priority is reducing the deficit. To say that the two are not compatible, is simply a truism. Obama does not plan to give up.
Progressive groups plan to spend $82 million to push government-run health care. This is to be “the crowning achievement of a new era of progressive politics.” The issue is not about health care, it is about power. If they can get control of your health care, then you become dependent on them for your life and health, and you must always vote to return them to power, lest they take it away.
They are rounding up all the “Progressive” groups to lobby, demonstrate, push and demand that their health care ideas are passed quickly, before you can object. What is the rush? Why not take time to figure out the best remedies for health care flaws, and improve the system?
- You are being told that 46 million people in America are uninsured. That is not true. The actual number is closer to 8 to 10 million.
- You are being told that government-run health care will be free. That does not pass the smell test. The government has no money except your taxes and it will be far more expensive.
- You are being told that a government-run health insurance plan will compete with private plans. It is being designed to eliminate private insurance plans so that everyone is forced into the government plan (undoubtedly excepting members of Congress and the administration — they like their coverage).
- You are being told that taxpayer-financed health care will save money. This is not true.
- You are being told that electronic medical records will save vast sums of money. This is not true. And under current technology your private medical records would be open to pretty much anybody, and you would be wide open to identity theft.
- You are being told that health care organizations have promised to reduce their costs by 1.5 % every year. This is not true. They said they would try to reduce costs by 1.5% by 2015.
- You are being told that health care reform is entitlement reform. This is not true. The idea that Congress can cover the uninsured and use the same measures that pay for the health reform to fix the broader budget problems is simply false.
- You are not being told that voters put more emphasis on deficit cutting over health care reform. But it is true.
A group named “Conservatives for Patients’ Rights” recently bought time on Washington D.C.’s NBC Channel 4 to air a 30-minute broadcast on Sunday after “Meet the Press.” The group described it as a documentary in the style of “60 Minutes” that would “let people see the real consequences of letting the government take over their health care decisions.”
The program has run on other channels, and focuses on the “stalling, wait lists, rationing and withholding of care because of red tape, politics, and bureaucratic foot-dragging that are typical of government-run health care everywhere, especially in Britain and Canada.
Most Americans are unaware of the rationing and other factors that lead to poor health, and even fatalities in socialist health care systems. SEIU (the Service Employees International Union) quickly contacted NBC, claiming that CPR’s program “will be false, deceitful and a distortion” and asked the station to refuse to run the program.
The administration that promised “transparency” is hiding their real intent behind platitudes and promises that don’t stand exposure to the clear light of day. They are playing politics with your life and your health, and excellent care for you and yours is not what this is about. It is about power — not yours — but theirs.
Republicans have many ideas for reducing the cost of health care and making it more efficient, but like tort reform, the ideas sometimes are not favorable to groups like trial attorneys that are core Democrat supporters. The Obama administration is not receptive to Republican ideas.
People who are healthy don’t have much contact with the health care system, nor readily grasp its problems. It is the people in need who encounter the rationing, the doctors who are leaving medicine, the denial of service, the dirty hospitals, the too-expensive machine, the inability to get a drug or treatment that is too new, too expensive in spite of its promise. And the one who decides what is too expensive, unneeded, not useful is not you and your doctor, but some bureaucrat in Washington.
Your choice. You can be passive and let the bureaucrats decide, or make yourself heard.
Today’s news is full of automobile company bankruptcy. The Judge approved the Chrysler Bankruptcy proposal and General Motors filed for bankruptcy. This is not ordinary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which normally takes as long as 18 months, but a quickie version that abuses bankruptcy law to benefit a favored constituency, the United Auto Workers union.
The new agreement simplifies some work rules and job descriptions, but nothing changes about hourly pay, health care or pensions for workers who are retained. Another 20,000 workers or so lose their jobs. The union also got the administration to bar small-car imports from overseas. The administration has gone to great lengths to see that retired workers pensions and health care are protected, but retirees from other companies who had secured G.M. bonds in their retirement plans get something like 29¢ on the dollar. This is not empathy, but politics, and illegal as well.
The Obama administration has been telling the press that it could start selling its stake in GM within a year to 18 months, and expects to be out of the car business entirely in five years. The consequences of this slipshod, hasty government intrusion will be around for years.
The administration did an end run around U.S. bankruptcy laws by selling Chrysler to a shell corporation (the new Chrysler) for the purpose of denying lenders their legal rights, with aggressive lawyering, coercion,and intimidation. The administration’s favoritism towards auto unions may encourage other unions to make more aggressive demands in their dealings with faltering corporations. After the way that lenders have been treated in this case, who will loan money to auto companies and what rates will they have to pay?
Andrew M. Grossman, Senior Legal Policy Analyst for the Heritage Foundation, explained in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee the serious consequences threatened by this bankruptcy.
When the rule of law is cast aside, for whatever seemingly pragmatic reason, it impairs the machinery of private ordering, such as contractual rights, that are at the core of our economic freedom and prosperity. The broad enforceability of contracts…makes it possible to conduct economic affairs with strong assurance that other parties will keep their promises or be held liable for failing to do so.
Rasmussen found that by a 67 to 21 percent margin, voters “oppose a plan for the federal government to give General Motors an additional $50 billion to buy 70% of the company.” Only 18 percent thought the government would do a good job of running GM. These are brutal numbers. Voters may like Obama, but they don’t think much of his policies.
It is amazing how many bad policies are being driven by fraudulent concerns about carbon and global warming, and the support environmental organizations have provided for Obama’s election. As a little thought experiment, count up the policies that are based on the fallacy that anthropogenic CO2 is causing an alarming warming of the planet. Scary, and all for nothing.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Freedom, Science/Technology | Tags: Economy, Gas Prices, Politics
Did you wonder where our oil comes from? Here are the sources of all that “foreign oil” that is so often declaimed. [ Click on the image to enlarge]
Aside from the (erroneous) belief that “global warming” is a threat to the life of the planet, there is a widely held belief that we have reached and passed “peak oil,” and it’s all downhill from here on out. So we have no choice but to move to smaller, more efficient cars, hybrids, electric cars, alternate fuels and clean renewable energy. “Sustainable” is the euphemism of choice. And the Obama administration doesn’t like coal.
So-called “clean renewable energy” has nothing to do with transportation. Wind and solar produce some electricity, but do not power automobiles. Peak oil advocates point to declining oil production in Mexico as a sign of an imminent global peak, but ignore indications that the Mexican government has been starving the national oil company of capital. Many academics assume that once prices retreat that they will continue to decline, or conversely, ignore the effects of price controls, tax changes or other economic changes.
A new study by the energy consultancy IHS-CERA (formerly Cambridge Energy Associates) notes that in 2000, Canada’s oil sands produced just 600,000 barrels of oil a day, while today they produce 1.3 million barrels. By 2030 they could be producing as much as 6 million barrels. If we have not antagonized our neighbors too much, perhaps we can buy some of it.
Only a very minor role for alternative energy over the next three decades is predicted by any reputable major forecaster. Fossil fuels will continue to be the source of our transportation energy. The United States government has removed more than 31 billion barrels of oil, 154 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 11 billion tons of coal from the market by laws that make it difficult if not impossible to prospect or produce energy on federal lands. To keep our economy healthy and growing, we must have more oil.
But lawmakers in Congress have gone after our most important supplier with “buy American” provisions in the stimulus plan. Officials have suggested perhaps Canada’s oil is too “dirty”, and would increase our “carbon footprint.” And Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, is suggesting that we need a wall and fences on our Northern border so that our Southern neighbors will not feel discriminated against.
I hope our friends to the North will forgive our foolishness when we are freezing to death in the dark.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom | Tags: Culture War, Democrat Demagogues, Politics
A week ago, President Obama told the National Academy of Sciences in Washington about his vision of a new era of research and inquiry in which “discovery” is a national priority.
Obama cited the space race as an example of what can be accomplished with large infusions of money. If we can go to the moon, the theory goes, then we can do anything. But this is a flawed vision of creativity. Apollo was a pretty difficult, but straightforward engineering problem.
Creativity is often portrayed as a lightbulb going off over the head, or a bolt of lightening striking. It isn’t like that. All leaps forward are built on the shoulders of others. Insight consists of bits and pieces of other people’s work that come together with a connective idea in the creative person’s mind. Or not. And there is much more “not” than breakthrough. You can’t just order it up.
A National Priority of Investing 3% of GDP
Obama pledged to push public and private investment in research and development in the United States beyond it’s high point in 1964. It would take $420 billion a year to reach this level.
A paper by Austan Goolsbee, the President’s economic adviser, points out that the majority of R&D spending is actually just salary payments for R&D workers.
[G]overnment R&D spending raises wages significantly, particularly for scientists related to defense such as physicists and aeronautical engineers. Because of the higher wages conventional estimates of the effectiveness of R&D policy may be 30 to 50 percent too high.
Energy Secretary Chu is giving $30 million over five years to two professors at the University of California, Berkeley, for research on cleaning up power plant pollution. Professors Berend Smit and Donald De Paolo will get $2 million and $4 million a year to seek better ways to clean carbon out of the emissions from power plants and natural gas wells and put it underground.
A Naïve Belief In the Power of Government
Liberal faith in the efficacy of government is amazing to behold. They believe for scientific breakthroughs, they have only to supply the money and choose the correct scientist. They believe in bureaucracy and committees, and look with suspicion on the work of a lone individual.
The pharmaceutical industry used to be one of the country’s most innovative and successful, but excessive and erratic government regulation has pushed development costs into the stratosphere, according to the Hoover Institution’s Dr. Henry I. MIller. It has made outcomes uncertain and slowed approvals to a trickle.
The chemical industry is another favorite target of government regulators. The EPA has designated pheromones — natural chemicals which in small amounts, prevent male insects from locating the females, thus reducing the number of offspring — as pesticides, and requires expensive testing in order to use them commercially.
Carol Browner, environmental czar; Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator; Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of agriculture and Joshua Sharfstein deputy FDA commissioner are hostile to modern technology and the industries that use it. None of them, according to Dr. Miller, has shown any understanding or appreciation of science.
A Complete Lack of Confidence in the Private Sector
President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner recently announced a need to regulate venture capital firms, on the grounds that they pose a risk to the economy. Huh? Venture capital is focused on new technology in small startup companies. By giving these firms the startup money to develop their ideas they are providing the engine for innovation, job creation and growth. More than any other aspect of our economy, venture capital makes us the envy of the world.
Some have suggested that the Obama administration simply lacks understanding of the free market, that venture capital firms seek economic returns that are not aligned with the political objectives of the administration. Others suggest that venture capital can create huge fortunes outside of taxable income, which would also be unacceptable to the administration.
If the administration attempts to control decision-making in every industry in which it gets involved, we are in deep trouble. There are very few individuals capable of running large business enterprises successfully. It is a rare talent. Businesses simply want to keep government off their backs, so they can provide jobs and products and growth for the economy.
Most of the current crisis was caused by government, by too much regulation, by misguided regulation, by ill-conceived regulation. It will not be improved by more government control.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Liberalism, Progressivism | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Economy, Politics
Here’s another visualization of the enormous budget cuts that President Obama has asked his cabinet for. I suggested nixing the Kobe beef, the flown-in pizzas, and losing the full-time make up artist. A little here, a little there and it all adds up, just not very much.
Filed under: Freedom, Law, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: 9/11, Congress, Democrat Demagogues, Politics
Today’s tremendous, essential, must-read article is from Noemi Emery in the Weekly Standard.
Some Democrats, from the White House on down, are pushing the idea of a “truth commission,” à la South Africa, to deal with the “harsh measures” used by the Bush administration in interrogating al Qaeda detainees. Good. Let’s have lots of truthtelling. Please bring it on. [...]
Also dropped down the memory hole — along with the names of all the Democrats who thought Saddam was a menace who cried out for removal — is what the ambience was like in late 2001 and 2002, when fears of anthrax and suitcase bombs ran rampant, and people on all sides tried to seem tough. Let’s tell the truth about all the liberals who went on record supporting real torture, not to mention the Democrats in Congress, when it was cool to want to seem tough on our enemies, who couldn’t be too warlike. Then war and tough measures stopped being cool, and “world opinion” became more important. Nothing like statements under oath to revive ancient memories! And rewind the tapes.
Let’s get at the truth too about the word “torture,” which to different people, means different things. Some think “torture” means standing on the 98th floor of a burning skyscraper and realizing you have a choice between jumping and being incinerated. Some think torture is being crushed when a building implodes around you. Some think torture is not thinking you might drown for several minutes, but looking at burning buildings on television and knowing that people you love are inside them. They remember that being crushed, incinerated, or killed in a jump from the 98th story happened to almost 3,000 blameless Americans (as well as a number of foreigners), and that 125 Pentagon employees were killed at their desks, while many survivors suffered terrible burns. They think the choice between stopping this from happening again by slapping around or scaring the hell out of a cluster of brigands, or leaving the brigands alone and letting it happen again, is a no-brainer.
I remember the members of Congress standing, quaking, on the steps of the Capitol building and spontaneously singing “God Bless America” in quavering voices, a bipartisan moment not seen since. Nancy Pelosi has conveniently forgotten what she was told about interrogation, and many Democrats also conveniently suffer from selective memory. Lets have a truthtelling session. After all, this was supposed to be the most transparent administration in history.
Do read the whole thing. My excerpts don’t begin to capture the whole article. Noemie Emery is a gem.
If you need a good weekend chuckle, John Crace of The Guardian has a comment on the Obama visit to Britain, when the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson asked the One a question.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, The Constitution | Tags: Politics, The Constitution, The Law
I continue to be enthralled with the Uncommon Knowledge videos from the Hoover Institution. Peter Robinson is a marvelous host, and his stimulating questions make for enlightening conversations. His guests are very interesting people, and I learn so much by viewing the conversations that I unhesitantly recommend them. This week’s conversation is with Richard Epstein, extraordinary professor of law at the University of Chicago. Today’s segment discusses Barack Obama.
All of the recent Uncommon Knowledge videos are available here. Each segment is about 7 minutes long. Time well spent.
Filed under: Conservatism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Environment, Health Care, Politics | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Economy, Politics
Judd Gregg, R-NH, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, delivered the GOP Weekly Radio Address, and warns that President Obama’s budget spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much. Good address, important warning, devastating facts.
Here is the transcript:
Hello, I’m Judd Gregg, Senator from New Hampshire. We all know these are difficult times. People are worried about keeping their jobs, paying their bills, the value of their homes and the cost of sending their kids to college. It’s hard.
“Thus I appreciate, as do all Americans, the efforts being made by our President and his seriousness about addressing these issues.
“But what concerns many of us are his proposals in the budget he recently sent to the Congress that dramatically grow the size and cost of government and move it to the left.
“It is our opinion that this plan spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.
“You may have heard this before that the budget of the President spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.
“What do we mean? Well, let me give you a few examples.
“In the next five years, President Obama’s budget will double the national debt; in the next ten years it will triple the national debt.
“To say this another way, if you take all the debt of our country run up by all of our presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush, the total debt over all those 200-plus years since we started as a nation, it is President Obama’s plan to double that debt in just the first five years that he is in office.
“He is also planning to spend more on the government as a percentage of our economy than at any time since World War II.
“His budget assumes the deficit will average $1 trillion dollars every year for the next 10 years and will add well over $9 trillion dollars in new debts to our children’s backs.
“He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy. And further, he is proposing a massive new national sales tax on your electric bill. So that every time you turn on a light switch in your house, you will be hit with a new tax — and it averages over $3,000 per household.
“These are staggering numbers and represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.
“The President to his credit is not trying to hide this; in fact he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.
“Here of course is where we differ. We believe you create prosperity by having an affordable government that pursues its responsibilities without excessive costs, taxes or debt. That it is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.
“We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy, such as environmentally sound off-shore drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar while also conserving more.
“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.
“We believe that you run a sound and affordable government not by running up the national debt to historic levels and unsustainable levels while over-taxing working Americans and spending as if there is no tomorrow, but rather by working on limiting the growth of government in a manner that is affordable not only today but for the next generation through limiting spending and addressing core issues like the cost of entitlements.
“Our nation has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk. The dramatic move to the left and the massive increase in the size and cost of the government, proposed by the budget of President Obama, will lead to an immense national debt that not only threatens the value of the dollar and puts at risk our ability to borrow money to run the government. But it will also place our children at a huge disadvantage as they inherit this debt which will make their chances of success less than those given to us by our parents. It is not right for one generation to do that to another generation.
“Rather, we believe that if you properly steward the responsibilities of the government, if you do not spend too much, if you do not tax too much, if you do not borrow too much, we can leave our children a better nation where they will have even greater opportunity for prosperity, peace and freedom.
“Thank you for taking the time to listen, and have a great weekend.”
Transcript via Free Republic.