Archive for July, 2009

Who ‘Acted Stupidly’? The Cop, The Professor, Or The President?

July 24, 2009

We have a situation in which a police officer placed a man who turned out to be a Harvard professor of African-American Studies under arrest for disorderly conduct.  And then we have a situation in which the President of the United States of America decides to directly involve himself in his role as Racial-Arbiter-in-Chief.

The best place to begin is with the facts.  A neighbor saw two men attempting to force their way into a home that had already sustained an attempted break-in previously that week.  The police arrived.

And then, from excerpts of the police report (the full actual report is available in PDF format here):

On Thursday July 16, 2009, Henry Gates, Jr. – -, of Ware Street, Cambridge, MA) was placed under arrest at Ware Street, after being observed exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place, directed at a uniformed police officer who was present investigating a report of a crime in progress. These actions on the behalf of Gates served no legitimate purpose and caused citizens passing by this location to stop and take notice while appearing surprised and alarmed.

When I arrived at Ware Street I radioed ECC and asked that they have the caller meet me at the front door to this residence. I was told that the caller was already outside. As I was getting this information, I climbed the porch stairs toward the front door. As I reached the door, a female voice called out to me. I looked in the direction of the voice and observed a white female, later identified {} who was standing on the sidewalk in front of the residence, held a wireless telephone in her hand arid told me that it was she who called. She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of• Ware Street. She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry. Since I was the only police officer on location and had my back to the front door as I spoke with her, I asked that she wait for other responding officers while I investigated further.

As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of {} Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied “no I will not”. He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was “Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police” and that I was “investigating a report of a break in progress” at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed “why, because I’m a black man in America?”.   I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen’s call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller was outside as we spoke. Gates seemed to ignore me and picked up a cordless telephone and dialed an unknown telephone number. As he did so, I radioed on channel I that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative. I then overheard Gates asking the person on the other end of his telephone call to “get the chief’ and “what’s the chiefs name?’.   Gates was telling the person on the other end of the call that he was dealing with a racist police officer in his home.  Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was “messing” with and that I had not heard the last of it.  While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me.  I asked Gates to provide me with photo identification so that I could verify that he resided at Ware Street and so that I could radio my findings to ECC. Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification but then did supply me with a Harvard University identification card. Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with Harvard, I radioed and requested the presence of the Harvard University Police.

With the Harvard University identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared to leave. Gates again asked for my name which I began to provide. Gates began to yell over my spoken words by accusing me of being a racist police officer and leveling threats that he wasn’t someone to mess with. At some point during this exchange, I became aware that Off. Carlos Figueroa was standing behind me. When Gates asked a third time for my name, I explained to him that I had provided it at his request two separate times. Gates continued to yell at me. I told Gates that I was leaving his residence and that if he had any other questions regarding the matter, I would speak with him outside of the residence.

As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates again demanding my name. I again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units. His reply was “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside”. When I left the residence, I noted that there were several Cambridge and Harvard University police officers assembled on the sidewalk in front of the residence. Additionally, the caller, Ms. Walen and at least seven unidentified passers-by were looking in the direction of Gates, who had followed me outside of the residence.

As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk, Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates’s outburst. For a second time I warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case. Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was under arrest. I then stepped up the stairs, onto the porch and attempted to place handcuffs on Gates. Gates initially resisted my attempt to handcuff him, yelling that he was “disabled” and would fall without his cane. After the handcuffs were property applied, Gates complained that they were too tight. I ordered Off. Ivey, who was among the responding officers, to handcuff Gates with his arms in front of him for his comfort while I secured a cane for Gates from within the residence. I then asked Gates if he would like an officer to take possession of his house key and secure his front door, which he left wide open. Gates told me that the door was unsecurable due to a previous break attempt at the residence. Shortly thereafter, a Harvard University maintenance person arrived on scene and appeared familiar with Gates. I asked Gates if he was comfortable with this Harvard University maintenance person securing his residence. He told me that he was.

And then there’s the President of the United States, feeling the need to directly involve himself in a report of a break-in and a disorderly conduct arrest:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Recently, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you? And what does it say about race relations in America?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I — I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here.

I don’t know all the facts. What’s been reported, though, is that the guy forgot his keys, jimmied his way to get into the house; there was a report called into the police station that there might be a burglary taking place.

So far, so good, right? I mean, if I was trying to jigger into — well, I guess this is my house now, so — (laughter) — it probably wouldn’t happen.

(Chuckling.) But let’s say my old house in Chicago — (laughter) — here I’d get shot. (Laughter.) But so far, so good. They’re — they’re — they’re reporting. The police are doing what they should. There’s a call. They go investigate. What happens?

My understanding is, at that point, Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in. I’m sure there’s some exchange of words. But my understanding is — is that Professor Gates then shows his ID to show that this is his house, and at that point he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped.

Now, I’ve — I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.

And number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcing disproportion ately. That’s just a fact.

As you know, Lynn, when I was in the state legislature in Illinois, we worked on a racial profiling bill because there was indisputable evidence that blacks and Hispanics were being stopped disproportionately. And that is a sign, an example of how, you know, race remains a factor in the society.

That doesn’t lessen the incredible progress that has been made. I am standing here as testimony to the progress that’s been made. And yet the fact of the matter is, is that, you know, this still haunts us.

And even when there are honest misunderstandings, the fact that blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently, and oftentime for no cause, casts suspicion even when there is good cause. And that’s why I think the more that we’re working with local law enforcement to improve policing techniques so that we’re eliminating potential bias, the safer everybody’s going to be.

We find out in addition that the police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, actually teaches courses on racial profiling at Lowell Police Acadamy, and has been teaching the course there for five years.  We find out that Sgt. Crowley receives no pay for teaching the class, and that he drives from Cambridge to Middlesex Community College in Lowell.  And we find out that he is an incredibly well-respected police officer.

Okay.  So here’s your test: WHO was “acting stupidly”?

For the record, it is black men like Henry Louis Gates who make the charge “racist” utterly meaningless to me.  Because the only way I could be any more racist than Gates is if I went to weekly meetings wearing a white robe and a pointy hat.

Personally, I have to give a tie to Professor Henry Louis Gates and President Barack Obama.  Gates is clearly an arrogant hard-core racist jerk who deserved to be seriously beaten with a baton, let alone arrested.  And Barack Obama is clearly an arrogant, hard-core fool who should have kept his stupid mouth shut rather than join Gates in throwing around charges of racism.

Mouthing off to police officers is a bad idea, and Henry Louis Gates officially disqualified himself from the roles of reasonable and intelligent people for having so remarkably mouthed off with so little provocation.  And Harvard University is clearly an inferior academic institution for having such pathetic, angry, bitter, nasty, racist psychos on its payroll as “faculty.”

I am a law-abiding citizen, yet I have had several similar encounters with the police.  On one occasion, I was ordered off my motorcycle (back when I had one), and ordered to interlock my fingers behind my neck and drop to my knees on the side of a highway.  I hadn’t mouthed off in any way, or given any cause to believe that I was a threat when the black police officer gave me the order.  And the officer’s tone had been, “Do it now or I will shoot you.”  He inspected me for weapons and inspected my bags, before clearing me to stand up.  When I asked why he had treated me this way, the officer curtly answered, “You matched the general description of a robbery suspect.”  No, “Gee, I’m really sorry.  It must have been kind of embarrassing kneeling on the side of the road with your arms over your head like that and all them cars driving by.”

I thought the officer was a complete jerk.  But it never even occurred to me to think that this black authority figure was a racist out to get even with whitey.  Primarily because I’d already had three earlier unfortunate wrong-place-wrong-time situations with rude police officers who were white.  Once I’d been loudly cursed at by a police officer who was manning a perimeter check point when I tried to tell him I’d just seen the man they were probably looking for and noted the direction he was running.  Another time I was ordered out of my car at literal gunpoint out in the desert.  I had gone out there to walk my Rottweiler, and the officer was treating the situation as a possible stolen car incident.

It’s partially because police officers are always potentially about to be shot at, and partially because law enforcement just too often attracts men and women who get off exercising authority, that civilians often feel like they are being treated rudely.

In the particular case of Sgt. James Crowley and Professor Henry Louis Gates, it seems clear to me that Crowley was in the former category of “potentially about to be shot at,” while Gates was in the latter category of “get off exercising authority.”

Blacks often talk about racism being about an unequal power relationship.  Well, the racists in this particular situation are the powerful men in society: a privileged Harvard University professor, and a President of the United States.  And the victim of racism is an honest, blue collar working man.

How dare you accuse such a man of racism, Professor Gates?  How dare you, President Obama?  You were the two men who acted stupidly, and you are the two men who should feel ashamed of yourselves.

Is Barack Obama a racist? As far as I’m concerned, he’s now got three strikes.  Strike one was belonging to a thoroughly racist church under Jeremiah Wright for 23 years.  Strike two was his appointment of a “wise Latina judge” who had imposed a racist ruling penalizing white firefighters just for being white.  And strike three is standing up for a racist bigot like Gates – who apparently becomes the next thoroughly racist extremist bigot Obama would no more disown than his own white grandmother – and associating Sgt. Crowley with racism and racial profiling when he didn’t know the facts of the case by his own admission is strike three.

It’s not the police officer who should be defending himself against allegations of racism.  It’s Henry Louis Gates.  And it’s Barack Obama.  Obama should be asked every single day, “How dare you defend the kind of racist behavior your good friend Henry Gates exhibited toward that poor white police officer who was just trying to do his job?”

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Obama Loses On ‘Don’t Think, Just Vote’ Health Care: Grandma Gets A Reprieve

July 24, 2009

Barack Obama gave a national presidential news conference on July 22.  And he did such a great job selling his Obamacare that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put the kibosh on Obama’s imperious August deadline the very next day.

Even the New York Times turned on Obama’s presentation and faulted his “facts.”  And in the lexicon of liberal heresies and heretics, that’s almost like the Apostles turning on Jesus.  The Associated Press also found plenty of Obama’s “facts” to be somewhat deficient of truth content.  The biggest gripe of all about Obama’s news conference is that he didn’t actually tell us anything.  When you’re talking about taking over 1/5th of the US economy, a few details would have been nice.

That said, it would have helped Mr. Obama if he had bothered to actually bother to read the legislation before calling a national infomercial to sell it.  Eventually Democrats are going to have to actually read the provisions of the major legislation they ram down the country’s collective throat, after all.

But no, it was a lot easier to just go out and demonize the Republicans as being the fearmongering forces opposing reform instead.  Campaigning on vague notions of “hope” and “change,” without ever bothering to really describe what “hope” and “change” actually meant – and at the same time demagoguing against those opposing said amorphous “hope” and “change” – has worked wonderfully for Obama thus far.  So it’s really no surprise that he would go back to that same magician’s hat again.

The good news, though, is that the Frankenstein monster of health care has been driven back into the castle for at least the time being.  Grandma and grandpa have a reprieve.

Obama’s answer to a question that a woman asked about her mother’s health care is incredibly illustrative as to the bullet the elderly dodged today:

Member of the audience. Jane Sturm: “My mother is now over 105. But at 100, the doctors said to her, ‘I can’t do anything more unless you have a pacemaker.’ I said, ‘Go for it.’ She said, ‘Go for it.’ But the specialist said, ‘No, she’s too old.’ But when the other specialist saw her and saw her joy of life, he said, ‘I’m going for it.’ That was over five years ago. My question to you is:  Outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, a quality of life, or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?”

Obama: “I don’t think that we can make judgments based on people’s ’spirit.’ Uh, that would be, uh, a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that, uh, say that, uh, we are going to provide good quality care for all people. End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we’re going to have to make. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they’re not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they’re being made by private insurers. At least we can let doctors know — and your mom know — that you know what, maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.

You can watch the exchange for yourself:

What is remarkable is the fact that this woman Jane Sturm was seeking reassurance that Obama would clearly and unequivocally affirm the elderly mother’s right to life, and Obama responded by telling her that maybe mom should just take a painkiller and die as a drugged-out zombie-veg due to government-sanctioned medical neglect.

This is nothing new: Democrats have been pursuing rationing as an antidote to the costs of their government system all along.

It is simply a fact that the vast majority of health care resources are consumed at the end of life.  And as costs explode – and the CBO director has already told us the ugly truth that the cost of the Democrats’ plan WILL EXPLODE – it’s going to be the “resource-hogging” and “unproductive” senior citizens who are going to start seeing the short end of the health care stick.

U.S. Vs. North Korea: Who’s Winning The War Of Pissy Rhetoric?

July 23, 2009

As we know, liberals and leftists are incredibly sophisticated people.  Foreign policy, being a grown-up’s game, should be reserved for wise, mature, intellectuals who understand the intricacies of diplomacy.

At least until they start sticking their tongues out at one another.

Hillary Clinton is “engaging in a substantive foreign policy discussion” with the People’s Republic of Korea:

A 2007 six-party agreement in which North Korea began dismantling its nuclear complex at Yongbyon in return for fuel oil deliveries broke down in April this year, when North Korea threw out UN inspectors and restarted its weapons programme. It has since raised tensions by conducting an apparent nuclear test (some experts say it could have been a hoax using huge quantities of high explosive) and a series of missile tests.

In an interview on Monday, Clinton said the US should not over-react to North Korean provocation. She told ABC television: “Maybe it’s the mother in me, the experience I’ve had with small children and teenagers and people who are demanding attention: Don’t give it to them.”

Pyongyang’s reaction took three days to come, but the delay did not lessen its evident fury.

“We cannot but regard Mrs Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community,” a foreign ministry statement said. “Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.”

Yes, this certainly might seem childish.  But only if you are a Republican or a conservative who simply lacks the profound erudite sophistication necessary for the intricacies of diplomatic negotiation.

The funniest or most frightening thing (depending on your point of view) is that one could actually imagine World War III starting this way.

Health Care Bankruptices: More Liberal Lies

July 23, 2009

What was that line from Mark Twain?  “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.”

In the course of the last two days – and watching mostly Fox News, no less – I have at least four times heard an advocate for the Democrats’ health care boondoggle recite the crap statistic that “60% of bankruptcies are due to health care costs,” with nary a reply by the journalist who should be able to separate fact from fraud.

If you’re going to interview a liberal, be aware that lies tend to accompany the movement of their lips.  When you have the latter, you almost certainly have the former.

It’s not that this hasn’t been repeatedly refuted.  It’s that the lies are piling up far faster than the refutation can keep up with them.  Democrats know from Hitler and Goebbels that if they keep telling a lie over and over again, people will eventually believe it.  So we just keep hearing about this massive number of bankruptcies over and over again.

It’s not true.

From ABC News:

Medical Bankruptcies: A Data-Check

March 05, 2009 12:37 PM

(3 p.m. update: See italicized items with responses from the lead author of the Harvard study, Dr. David Himmelstein.)

President Obama’s kicking off his health care reform today in the worst possible way: with a mischaracterization of data.

“The cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds,” Obama said at the opening of his White House forum on health care reform. The problem: That claim, based on a 2001 survey, is simply unsupportable.

The figure comes from a 2005 Harvard University study saying that 54 percent of bankruptcies in 2001 were caused by health expenses. We reviewed it internally and knocked it down at the time; an academic reviewer did the same in 2006. Recalculating Harvard’s own data, he came up with a far lower figure – 17 percent.

A more recent study by another group, approaching it another way, indicates that in 2007 about eight-tenths of one percent of Americans lived in families that filed for bankruptcy as a result of medical costs. That rings a little less loudly than “one every 30 seconds.”

The extrapolation of Harvard’s data to “a bankruptcy every 30 seconds,” which Obama also mentioned in his address to a joint session of Congress last month, comes, per the White House, from a 2005 Washington Post op-ed by Prof. Elizabeth Warren, a co-author of the Harvard paper. Fact-check.org has noted that even using Harvard’s numbers, it’s more like a bankruptcy every minute; indeed if you add up all bankrputcies in a year you barely get one every 30 seconds. (I’ve e-mailed Warren for comment.) But more to the point is that the Harvard data are clearly inflated, or at best, mischaracterized.

Himmelstein tells me that the reason for the difference is a change in federal law that sharply reduced the number of bankruptcies. In 2005, the year he and Warren wrote their op-ed, there were just over 2 million bankruptcies. Data out just today say that in 2008 there were 1.1 million (up sharply, by the way, over 2007). So this error in the White House claim stems simply from the fact that it’s using out-of-date information. The next question is whether the estimate of “medical bankruptcies” is reliable in the first place.

A good part of the problem is definitional. The Harvard report claims to measure the extent to which medical costs are “the cause” of bankruptcies. In reality its survey asked if these costs were “a reason” – potentially one of many – for such bankruptcies.

Beyond those who gave medical costs as “a reason,” the Harvard researchers chose to add in any bankruptcy filers who had at least $1,000 in unreimbursed medical expenses in the previous two years. Given deductibles and copays, that’s a heck of a lot of people.

Moreover, Harvard’s definition of “medical” expenses includes situations that aren’t necessarily medical in common parlance, e.g., a gambling problem, or the death of a family member. If your main wage-earning spouse gets hit by a bus and dies, and you have to file, that’s included as a “medical bankruptcy.”

When I asked the lead author, Dr. David Himmelstein, about his definitions of medical bankruptcy back in 2005, he said, “It’s a judgment call,” and added that any death, for example, “to our mind is a medical event.”

A last problem was sampling: The Harvard researchers surveyed bankruptcy filers in five federal court districts accounting for 14 percent of bankruptcies nationally; projecting this to the other 86 percent is sketchy. Said Himmelstein: “Obviously the extrapolation is rough.”

Of such rough extrapolations are presidential pronouncements made. […]

“It stinks to be uninsured. I don’t want to be quoted saying anything else,” Dranove says. “But there are correct studies, and incorrect studies. For academics, the validity of the research methods matters.”

It should for the rest of us, too.

So you see a horrible study – absolutely horrible – that is clearly biased and filled with faulty assumptions and questionable definitions.  But it’s from Harvard, so it must be true.  Let’s run with it.  I noticed CBS and NBC news articles that did just that.  Factchecks?  We don’t need no stinkin’ factchecks.

ABC took that Harvard study, did their own review simply by recalculating the Harvard leftist professor’s own data – and came up with 17%.  But they were also able to find another study that concluded: “about eight-tenths of one percent of Americans lived in families that filed for bankruptcy as a result of medical costs.”

A professional named Steve Elias who specializes in bankruptcy cases comes to a similar conclusion regarding his own practice — that health care costs are at best a very minor part of our bankruptcies.

So every time I hear someone say “sixty percent of all bankruptcies are the result of health care costs, so we need to pass Obama care right now!” I know I am dealing with an ignoramus, or an ideologue, or both.

And every time I see that comment uttered to or in front of a journalist who doesn’t respond by correcting the record, I know that there’s yet another journalist out there who isn’t good enough at his or her job to pass muster.

Now, I could have stopped here.  But let me go on – because there are WAY too many lies being told by Democrats.

(CBS) Today the President again insisted that his health care reform won’t force you to switch plans or doctors.

“What I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change your plans under health reform,” said Mr. Obama.

That’s technically correct – but what the president didn’t say is that reform could lead your boss to change your health care plan, reports CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. Here’s how: 160 million people are insured through work and their employer actually picks up most of the cost. Under the president’s plan, Americans would be required to carry a certain level of coverage, which means many people would have to increase their insurance.

“Employer premiums will go up, and employers might respond by dropping coverage entirely,” said Michael Cannon, with the Cato Institute. “So if you’re one of those unfortunate workers then it will be a government policy that ousted you from your health plan.”

And if you do choose a public plan, you may want to keep your favorite doctors but they may not want to keep you. Under government health care, they could be paid 20 to 30 percent less.

Here’s another gargantuan Obama lie.  And – while I’m surprised and grateful that CBS took a swipe at it – I fear they didn’t go far enough, and won’t come back to the truth often enough.

A Wall Street Journal article absolutely destroys any claim to credibility Obama has in claiming that his plan won’t force tens of millions of people out of their private health care.

The last thing Obama and his Democrat allies have repeatedly lie about is that “Republicans are opposing reform.”

I would confront Obama by saying, “Name one.  Name one single Republican who is on the record opposing any kind of health care reform.”  It is demagogic rhetoric.  And the president is clearly becoming unhinged to rely on such demagogic attacks to force a clearly unpopular agenda down the country’s throat.

President Obama went after Senator Jim DeMint for his “Waterloo” remark.  DeMint, to his credit, fired right back, and pointed out that as a Senator Barack Obama voted against every Republican effort to reform health care.  So, in point of fact, who’s really against “reform” here?  And why doesn’t anybody remind Democrats how THEY were the party of “no” when Republicans were in charge prior to 2006 (which I might point out was prior to when our economy tanked).

There are way too many lies masquerading as truth claims going on.  It’s time to recognize who is lying to you, and to demand a fair presentation of the facts.

Obama News Conference: We Need A Government Program To Save Us From Government Programs

July 23, 2009

President Obama’s July 22nd presidential news conference amounted to largely incomprehensible answers from softball press questions.

Obama began by congratulating himself for pulling “our economy out of the brink” with his massive stimulus legislation.  He conveniently omitted the fact that the Obama administration – after Obama himself repeatedly fearmongering the economy by repeatedly comparing it to the Great Depression – claimed that unemployment would not rise above 8% if his stimulus passed.  He was so incredibly wrong it is absolutely unreal: it is now around 10%, and respected Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney is on the record predicting 13% or higher unemployment.

Obama also conveniently omitted the fact that he has delayed releasing his midsummer budget update because the figures are so bleak it would kill his trillion-five health care bill he’s so desperate to pitch:

WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday it was delaying the release of the annual midsummer US budget update, but refuted charges it was trying to put distance between its own optimistic predictions and the sour state of today’s economy. […]

The delayed midsummer update is expected to reveal the executive branch’s financial outlook for the United States clouded by rising unemployment and growth figures less favorable than earlier in the year. […]

An administration official speaking on condition of anonymity said the figures had rattled the government…

Maybe it’s just me, but I would say it’s WAAAAAAAYY too soon for your self-administered back-patting session, Mr. Obama.  It’s a shame you don’t give a fig about church (although at least you’re not still going to that “God damn America” church), because you seriously should be in one every single morning on your knees praying about your economy.

Several other things leaped out of a few key paragraphs from Obama’s opening statement that need to be pointed out and laughed at:

“And health-insurance reform is central to that effort.

This is not just about the 47 million Americans who don’t have any health insurance at all. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage, if they become too sick or lose their job or change their job.

It’s about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage, because it became too expensive. It’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.

So let me be clear. If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket.”

Let’s start with Obama’s “47 million Americans” claim.  It’s false.  Unless you agree with the statement, “Illegal immigrants are as American as you and me.”  The fact of the matter is that Barack Obama is expecting the American taxpayer to shoulder the costs for at least 12 million illegal immigrants as part of that “47 million Americans.” The Census Bureau lists 10.2 million of the 47 million Obama demands we insure under the description, “NOT A CITIZEN.” And realize that 10 million is the lowest estimate of our illegals; the figure could actually be as high as 22 million.  And Barack Obama wants you to pay to cover every single one of them.

If you think that Obama can cover all these people AND lower your cost, please contact me: because I’ve got all kinds of land and bridges to sell you, and I promise to give you a great deal.

Obama then says “Its about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage.” Which is truly amazing, considering the fact that small businesses are screaming bloody murder that it will be Barack Obama’s OWN health care plan that will force them to lay off employees or cut back on their health coverage.

The Obamacare agenda will – and this is an easily documentable fact as the Wall Street Journal has already exposed – kick employees out of their health care plans and stick them in government plans.

It’s like I slap you and your family repeatedly across the face, and then proclaim, “It’s about families being slapped in the face.”

Then Obama provides us with my favorite line: “It’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.”

This one is HI-Larious.  Because Medicare and Medicaid are both government programs.  And Obama in effect is saying, “We need government health care to save us from the massive crisis created by government health care.”  Or, “If we don’t have another government health plan, the cost of our other government health plans will bankrupt us.”

Medicare has a total unfunded liability of $61.6 TRILLION.  And Obama thinks we need another government health care plan to save us from the first one?  It’s like learning that the Italian mob has put a contract out on your life, and then figuring the best way out of your crisis is to get the Mexican mafia to put a contract out on your life, too.  What will happen, of course, is that you’ll end up dead twice as fast.

Obama has repeatedly assured us that we desperately need his health care agenda in order to lower the cost of our health care.  He is in fact completely wrong.  The Congressional Budget Office has gone on the record to tell us that the exact opposite is true:

CBO Director Doug Elmendorf: No, Mr. Chairman. In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.

Obama repeatedly bloviated about “waste” and his government plan lowering cost due to the increased efficiencies of large-scale government planning.   Obama talked about the need “to eliminate waste and inefficiency in Medicare.” Note to the sane:  AGAIN , MEDICARE IS A FREAKING GOVERNMENT PROGRAM!!!  IT’S THE GOVERNMENT WASTING THE MONEY!!!

Wise man say, “If man rape you, do not let him back in your house.”

If Obama believes that government can become a paradigm of efficiency, he has his challenge before him: rather than socialize 1/5th of the economy under a government program, perhaps instead he could focus on actually making the government programs we already have more efficient.  Just sayin’.

It makes sense as a hypothetical matter to argue that the government in the abstract, with its vast size and enormous purchasing power, can save money by lowering unit costs.  But in actuality, it just doesn’t happen – EVER – because the government is inherently inefficient.  Governments are NEVER as efficient as private businesses.

We’ve got a marvelous example that just came out the other day, with the government spending money on pork – literally.

When it was discovered that the federal government was spending millions on pork, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak said:

The references to “2 pound frozen ham sliced” are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 million to buy “2 pounds of ham” are wrong. In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound. In terms of the dairy purchase referenced, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) purchased 837,936 pounds of mozzarella cheese and 4,039,200 pounds of processed cheese.

But sliced ham costs $.79 per pound at Food Lion.  And that isn’t even taking advantage of bulk sales, much less the kind of huge discount you’d expect with a federal government-sized “bulk sale.”

So your hard-at-work tax dollars spent easily twice as much as they needed to.

President Obama tells us that we need to control health care costs.  And, well duh, who would possibly argue with that?  And yet he sets up a rhetorical straw man in which anyone who wants to control costs has to support his cost-increasing socialized agenda.  Wrong.  If we would just do something that Barack Obama – who is owned body and soul by the trial lawyers – fundamentally opposes, we could massively lower the cost of health care immediately.  Two words: tort reform.

Another measure that would immediately lower our health care burden: stop covering illegal immigrants.  Just stop.  We clearly don’t have enough resources for our own citizens, so why should we cover everyone else’s citizens?  We need to systematically remove the incentives that lure illegals across our borders, and let them consume their own nations’ social support resources.  St. Paul said, “The man who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an infidel.”  Let’s stop being infidels and start providing for our own.

And, yes, reform our system to cut out waste and fraud.  And start with the government programs that are CREATING most of that waste and fraud.

If we do just these three things, the rest of the problem will be a WHOLE lot smaller, and a WHOLE lot easier to solve.

Democrats are assuring us that a massive transfer of liberty and property inherent in government medicine will increase our care and simultaneously reduce our cost.  But what will certainly happen – based on the history of virtually every single government program we have ever had – is reduce our care and increase our cost.

Obama is trying to tell the American people that they desperately need a government program to save them from a runaway government program.  But what we truly need right now is for someone to save us from Obama.

Taxpayers Now On Hook For $23.7 TRILLION In Bailout Money

July 22, 2009

I don’t know if I should be more scared than angry or more angry than scared.  Suffice it to say, I’m both angry and scared as hell.

The Obama presidency is just one giant nightmare.  And just like most nightmares, it’s going to keep getting scarier and scarier and crazier and crazier the longer it goes on.

While Obama has promised us unparalleled transparency, we have had the truth concealed from us, and we have been lied to.  And the TARP Inspector General’s report should wake up every American and

U.S. Rescue May Reach $23.7 Trillion, Barofsky Says (Update3)

By Dawn Kopecki and Catherine Dodge

July 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. taxpayers may be on the hook for as much as $23.7 trillion to bolster the economy and bail out financial companies, said Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The Treasury’s $700 billion bank-investment program represents a fraction of all federal support to resuscitate the U.S. financial system, including $6.8 trillion in aid offered by the Federal Reserve, Barofsky said in a report released today.

“TARP has evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale and complexity,” Barofsky said in testimony prepared for a hearing tomorrow before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said the U.S. has spent less than $2 trillion so far and that Barofsky’s estimates are flawed because they don’t take into account assets that back those programs or fees charged to recoup some costs shouldered by taxpayers.

“These estimates of potential exposures do not provide a useful framework for evaluating the potential cost of these programs,” Williams said. “This estimate includes programs at their hypothetical maximum size, and it was never likely that the programs would be maxed out at the same time.”

Barofsky’s estimates include $2.3 trillion in programs offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., $7.4 trillion in TARP and other aid from the Treasury and $7.2 trillion in federal money for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, credit unions, Veterans Affairs and other federal programs.

Treasury’s Comment

Williams said the programs include escalating fee structures designed to make them “increasingly unattractive as financial markets normalize.” Dependence on these federal programs has begun to decline, as shown by $70 billion in TARP capital investments that has already been repaid, Williams said.

Barofsky offered criticism in a separate quarterly report of Treasury’s implementation of TARP, saying the department has “repeatedly failed to adopt recommendations” needed to provide transparency and fulfill the administration’s goal to implement TARP “with the highest degree of accountability.”

As a result, taxpayers don’t know how TARP recipients are using the money or the value of the investments, he said in the report.

‘Falling Short’

“This administration promised an ‘unprecedented level’ of accountability and oversight, but as this report reveals, they are falling far short of that promise,” Representative Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the oversight committee, said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The Treasury has spent $441 billion of TARP funds so far and has allocated $202.1 billion more for other spending, according to Barofsky. In the nine months since Congress authorized TARP, Treasury has created 12 programs involving funds that may reach almost $3 trillion, he said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should press banks for more information on how they use the more than $200 billion the government has pumped into U.S. financial institutions, Barofsky said in a separate report.

The inspector general surveyed 360 banks that have received TARP capital, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. The responses, which the inspector general said it didn’t verify independently, showed that 83 percent of banks used TARP money for lending, while 43 percent used funds to add to their capital cushion and 31 percent made new investments.

Barofsky said the TARP inspector general’s office has 35 ongoing criminal and civil investigations that include suspected accounting, securities and mortgage fraud; insider trading; and tax investigations related to the abuse of TARP programs.

We were sold the stimulus (more commonly known to people who actually knew what was going on as ‘porkulus,’ and more accurately known as the Generational Theft Act) as a $787 billion package.  But it was actually no such thing.  The media kept talking about billions; but the actual figure was $3.27 TRILLION.  That’s right.  $3.27 trillion.  We were lied to.  Costs that were clearly part of the legislation weren’t disclosed to us, and now on top of getting far less than what was advertised, we are paying far more for the privilege than was advertised.

Now we find out that Obama and his gang of thieves has done much the same with TARP.  Somehow, while we weren’t looking, “TARP evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale and complexity.”  And by the same people who promised us an “‘unprecedented level’ of accountability and oversight.”  And lo and behold, TARP has exploded under all the darkness into a mushroom cloud of government obligations that dwarf anything imaginable.

And all that’s coming out of the Obama administration is some stumbling excuse from the Treasury Department’s spin doctor that it really isn’t as bad as the inspector general scrutinizing TARP says it is.

What we are getting from the Obama administration is an unceasing projection of rosey-colored scenarios that have no connection whatsoever to reality.  When they are forced to offer some sort of excuse, they claim they didn’t realize the economy was so weak (even when they were fearmongering it into comparisons of the Great Depression to sell their stimulus package) – and then they immediately offer up yet another mindlessly and freakishly rosy scenario in their very next breaths!!!  And then, of course, based on these projections, they are racking up insane spending atop insane spending.

Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney, who gained a reputation of credibility after boldly predicting doom when everyone around her was seeing roses last year, is now predicting 13% unemployment and a very tough future for banks due to the continuing mortgage meltdown.

The White House is refusing to release its own annual midsummer US budget update because it doesn’t want the American people to see how bad things are until after they’ve passed their massive health care boondoggle.  Many now believe that budget release accounts for Obama’s frenzied push to pass health care before the August recessHow’s THAT for “unparalleled transparency”?

As said, Meredith Whitney is predicting 13% or higher unemployment.  What you may not know is that we are already at Great Depression levels of unemployment right now, and that our current 9.5% unemployment rate would be nearing 20% if it were calculated the way it was in 1980.

Unemployment

Note: The SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated “discouraged workers” defined away during the Clinton Administration added to the existing BLS estimates of level U-6 unemployment.

We face a future damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dilemma: the only reason interest rates aren’t shooting skyward is because the market is in such a doldrum.  But the moment recovery begins to rear its head in Barack Obama’s game of economic Whack-a-Mole (where he whacks down small businesses and private-sector employment), hyperinflation due to our massive indebtedness will likely attack us.  The prospect of a jobless recovery, followed by Zimbabwe-levels of inflation looms very large in our future.

We’ve set ourselves up for hyperinflation.  We have massively increased our money supply even as our GDP has plummeted.  We have an increasing lack of confidence on the part of investors that we will be able to maintain the value of our currency (and see here), forcing demand for higher and higher interest rate payments on future bonds.  Those were the conditions of the Wiemar Republic; those were the conditions of Zimbabwe; and those are the conditions in the Late Great USA.

Pretty soon, we will be facing the Sophie’s Choice prospect of whether we want massively high interest rates, or massively high inflation – or best of both worlds – both massive interest AND hyperinflation.  We’ve got experts such as Johns Hopkins Professor of applied economics Steve Hanke and National Bureau of Economic Research economist Anna Schwartz seeing the inflation bogeyman rearing its genuinely ugly head.  And we’ve got investors beginning to start betting big on a coming hyperinflationary economy.

The thing is, we have a giant mega-trillion ton anvil cued over our collective heads.  And it is just waiting to drop.

So you see massive debt exposure to US economic structures.  You see higher unemployment.  You see historically low levels of tax revenue.  You see terrible recent mortgage default rates now turning “markedly worse.” You see all kinds of indicators that our debts are getting larger and larger even as our ability to repay them becomes smaller and smaller.

And it is with that backdrop that we should contemplate the massive, mind-numbingly enormous numbers hanging over everything this administration has done, is doing, or is trying to do.  With the debt he’s accumulating going up by the trillions, Obama issued the petty promise to cut his spending by a measly $100 million.  And he couldn’t even fulfill that insignificant budget cut.  All he knows how to do is spend and spend and spend.

So get scared.  Get angry.  And get ready for the beast.

We voted for “No, no, no.  Not God bless America.  God damn America!”  And now we’re going to get to see what “God damn America” looks like.

Obama’s Lies About Health Care Being Exposed

July 21, 2009

Just this morning Obama continued to repeat the lie that Americans can keep their own health care plans if they want to under the House Democrat legislation.  But it is high time the nation finally came to understand something important: Barack Obama is a smooth talking (at least while reading his lines off a teleprompter screen) serial liar.  From The Wall Street Journal:

Repealing Erisa

JULY 20, 2009

One by one, President Obama’s health-care promises are being exposed by the details of the actual legislation: Costs will explode, not fall; taxes will have to soar to pay for it; and now we are learning that you won’t be able to “keep your health-care plan” either.

The reality is that the House health bill, which the Administration praised to the rafters, will force drastic changes in almost all insurance coverage, including the employer plans that currently work best. About 177 million people—or 62% of those under age 65—get insurance today through their jobs, and while rising costs are a problem, according to every survey most employees are happy with the coverage. A major reason for this relative success is a 1974 federal law known by the acronym Erisa, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Erisa allows employers that self-insure—that is, those large enough to build their own risk pools and pay benefits directly—to offer uniform plans across state lines. This lets thousands of businesses avoid, for the most part, the costly federal and state regulations on covered treatments, pricing, rate setting and so on. It also gives them flexibility to design insurance to recruit and retain workers in a competitive labor market. Roughly 75% of employer-based coverage is governed by Erisa’s “freedom of purchase” rules.

Goodbye to all that. The House bill says that after a five-year grace period all Erisa insurance offerings will have to win government approval—both by the Department of Labor and a new “health choices commissioner” who will set federal standards for what is an acceptable health plan. This commissar—er, commissioner—can fine employers that don’t comply and even has “suspension of enrollment” powers for plans that he or she has vetoed, until “satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur.”

In other words, the insurance coverage of 132 million people—the product of enormously complex business and health-care decisions—will now be subject to bureaucratic nanomanagement. If employers don’t meet some still-to-be-defined minimum package, they’ll have to renegotiate thousands of contracts nationwide to Washington’s specifications. The political incentives will of course demand an ever-more generous “minimum” benefit and less cost-sharing, much as many states have driven up prices in the individual insurance market with mandates. Erisa’s pluralistic structure will gradually constrict toward a single national standard.

Yet a computer programming firm, say, and a grocery store chain have very different insurance needs, and in any case may not be able to afford the same kind and level of benefits. Innovation in insurance products will also be subject to political tampering. Likely casualties include the wellness initiatives that give workers financial incentives to take more responsibility for their own health, such as Safeway’s. Some politicians will claim that’s unfair. High-deductible plans with health savings accounts are also out of political favor, therefore certain to go overboard. If you have one of those and like it, too bad.

The new Erisa regime will be especially difficult to meet for businesses that operate with very slim profit margins or have large numbers of part-time or seasonal workers. They may simply “cash out” and surrender 8% of their payroll under the employer-mandate tax. A new analysis by the Lewin Group, prepared for the Heritage Foundation, finds that some 88.1 million people will be shifted out of private employer health insurance under the House bill. If those people preferred their prior plan, well, too bad again.

The largest employers—though not all—may clear the minimum bar, at least at first. But in addition to the “health choices” administrative burden, the cost of labor will rise because the House guts another key section of Erisa. Currently, lawsuits about employee benefits are barred under the law, allowing large employers to avoid the state tort lotteries in disputes over coverage. No longer. As a gratuity to the trial bar, Democrats will now subject businesses to these liabilities in the name of health “reform.”

So when Mr. Obama says that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,” he’s wrong. Period. What he’s not telling the American people is that the government will so dramatically change the rules of the insurance market that employers will find it impossible to maintain their current coverage, and many will drop it altogether. The more we inspect the House bill, the more it looks to be one of the worst pieces of legislation ever introduced in Congress.

I hope you can see what a flat-out, whopping lie Barack Obama and his Democrat army of cockroaches have been telling you, and telling the American people.  They have been telling you what you wanted to hear.  The fact that what you want to hear is not in their damn bill is beside the point.  If they have to lie to sell you a boondoggle full of lies, then they will lie right up a blue streak.

This bill is a metaphor for the entire Barack Obama presidency: a gargantuan lie surrounded by attractive packaging and marketing.

Reject it.  And reject the man who has so deceitfully tried to sell it to you.

Democrat Position: We Have To Spend To Keep From Going Bankrupt

July 21, 2009

There’s stupid, really stupid, truly stupid, and Democrat stupid.

Try to follow Joe Biden’s argument (if you dare!):

(CNSNews.com) – Vice President Joe Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that unless the Democrat-supported health care plan becomes law the nation will go bankrupt and that the only way to avoid that fate is for the government to spend more money.

“And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said.

“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.”

Spend your way out of bankruptcy.  There you go.

It sounds really good.  But I’ve got a couple neighbors on my street who tried it – and it turns out that it doesn’t work out all that good.

You see things walking your dog every evening.  Like what kind of cars people own, and what kind of expensive “toys” they have in their garage, and whether or not they’ve had pools installed or not.

There are two homes that are now standing vacant on my street.  And both of them had two expensive luxury cars in the driveway, and a number of toys such as jet skis (in one) and quads (in the other) in the garage.  And one had put in a below-ground swimming pool.  Both couples were young enough that I wondered, “Where did they get the money to buy all this stuff?” up until the very day I saw the moving trucks and then the foreclosure signs.

Nope.  You don’t spend to keep from going bankrupt.  You spend to go bankrupt even FASTER.  And, for the record, it is invariably excessive spending that puts people on the racetrack to bankruptcy in the first place.

Now, in business, or even in homes, one might make a relatively expensive purchase that will so reduce costs during the lifetime of the “gadget” that it justifies the initial outlay.  A new computer system that will streamline and optimize the accounting system; a new refrigerator that replaces a worn-out, energy-wasting unit.

Now, no rational business owner or homeowner would make such major purchases if they are already deeply in debt: the best move for either would be to pay down their highest-interest debts, which would save FAR more money in the long run.  Buying more stuff would just add to your already-too-high payments.  Even a sound purchase is unsound if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for it.  I think budget experts such as Suze Orman (who offers such rare pearls of wisdom as “Saving is good; going into massive debt is bad”) would agree with me on this one.

But is Joe Biden talking about a big purchase that will save money down the road?

No.

Congressional Budget Office chief Douglas Elmendorf just got through telling Congress that the health care legislation at issue does not achieve “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”  And then he went on to say that, “And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.”

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports:

Answering questions from Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee today, Elmendorf said CBO does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress.

Conrad:  Dr. Elmendorf, I am going to really put you on the spot because we are in the middle of this health care debate, but it is critically important that we get this right.  Everyone has said, virtually everyone, that bending the cost curve over time is critically important and one of the key goals of this entire effort.  From what you have seen from the products of the committees that have reported, do you see a successful effort being mounted to bend the long-term cost curve?

Elmendorf:  No, Mr. Chairman.  In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.  And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.

Conrad:  So the cost curve in your judgment is being bent, but it is being bent the wrong way.  Is that correct?

Elmendorf:  The way I would put it is that the curve is being raised, so there is a justifiable focus on growth rates because of course it is the compounding of growth rates faster than the economy that leads to these unsustainable paths.  But it is very hard to look out over a very long term and say very accurate things about growth rates.  So most health experts that we talk with focus particularly on what is happening over the next 10 or 20 years, still a pretty long time period for projections, but focus on the next 10 or 20 years and look at whether efforts are being made that are bringing costs down or pushing costs up over that period.

As we wrote in our letter to you and Senator Gregg, the creation of a new subsidy for health insurance, which is a critical part of expanding health insurance coverage in our judgement, would by itself increase the federal responsibility for health care that raises federal spending on health care.  It raises the amount of activity that is growing at this unsustainable rate and to offset that there has to be very substantial reductions in other parts of the federal commitment to health care, either on the tax revenue side through changes in the tax exclusion or on the spending side through reforms in Medicare and Medicaid.  Certainly reforms of that sort are included in some of the packages, and we are still analyzing the reforms in the House package.  Legislation was only released as you know two days ago.  But changes we have looked at so far do not represent the fundamental change on the order of magnitude that would be necessary to offset the direct increase in federal health costs from the insurance coverage proposals.

In other words, the Obama administration is going to spend a ton of money in order to buy something that will cost even more money than the thing it replaces.

Not exactly a Consumer Reports “Best Buy” recommendation.

So we’re back to the young homeowners on my block who splurged and splurged and splurged on toys and luxery items and fancy cars until long after they were already broke.  And then they went “bye-bye.”

Don’t listen to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  They are genuinely clueless idiots who will quickly spend this country into bankruptcy all the while assuring us that they are somehow spending us out of bankruptcy.  It doesn’t make any sense in your small business, it doesn’t make any sense in your home, and even though the federal government has a giant printing press to “make money,” it doesn’t make any sense in the White House.

Would-Be Illegal Immigrants: Please Come To U.S. So We Can Give You Free Health Care

July 20, 2009

I sure hope illegal immigrants – in whatever countries you inhabit (and that certainly means you too, Mexico) – realize that we Americans love giving away free goodies to non-citizens.  Call it our “But wait!  There’s more!” introductory offer to would-be illegal immigrants.

Being “American” is really overrated anyway.  And to even CALL YOURSELF “American” is really just a prejudiced way of trying to separate yourself from all the “citizens of the world.”

Health care isn’t cheap.  So we should give it away to as many people as we can.  If we utterly bankrupt ourselves in the process, it’s no big deal, right?  We were going to do that anyway, after all.

We should change the inscription on the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your sick, your cancerous, your diseased masses yearning for free health care on the American taxpayer’s tab.”

Don’t worry.  Democrats are working on just such legislation.

Obama Health Plan to Cover 12 Million Illegals

Sunday, July 19, 2009

By: David A. Patten

On Friday, Democrats moved one step closer to giving free health insurance to the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens when they successfully defeated a Republican-backed amendment, offered by Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized health care under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and President Barack Obama.

The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines, and followed this action by passing the 1,018-page bill early Friday morning by a 23-to-18 margin, with three Democrats voting against the plan.

The Democratic plan will embrace Obama’s vision of bringing free government medical care to more than 45 million uninsured people in America – a significant portion of whom are illegal aliens
.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, costs under the Obama plan being proposed by the House will saddle citizens with $1.04 trillion in new federal outlays over the next decade [NOTE: The Associated Press revised that figure to 1.5 trillion].

Congressional Democrats and Obama have argued that their health plan is necessary to contain rising health care costs.

But, last Thursday, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Senate Budget Committee and warned lawmakers that the proposed “legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.”

A key factor increasing costs is that Democratic plan provides for blanket coverage to as much as 15 percent of the U.S. population not currently insured, including illegals.

Democrats had insisted throughout the health-care reform debate that illegals would be ineligible for the so-called public option plan that is to be subsidized by taxpayers.

“We’re not going to cover undocumented aliens, undocumented workers,” Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters in May. “That’s too politically explosive.”

Republicans, however, point out that the Democrats, by refusing to accept the Heller amendment, would deny health agencies from conducting simple database checks to verify citizenship. Many states give illegals driver licenses, which will be sufficient to get free health care under the plan.

Critics also contend that millions of illegals who already have counterfeit Social Security cards or other fraudulent documents. There is no enforcement mechanism in the legislation, experts say, to prevent illegals who use fake IDs to obtain jobs from also obtaining taxpayer-subsidized health insurance.

GOP representatives introduced the amendment to provide a way to weed out non-citizens from the program.

A description of the amendment on Heller’s Web site state it would “better screen applicants for subsidized health care to ensure they are actually citizens or otherwise entitled to it.”

The Web post added, The underlying bill is insufficient for the purpose of preventing illegal aliens from accessing the bill’s proposed benefits, as it does not provide mechanisms allowing those administering the program to ensure illegal aliens cannot access taxpayer-funded subsidies and benefits.”

The Heller amendment would have required that individuals applying for the public health care option would be subject to two systems used to verify immigration status already in use by the government: The Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS) and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program.

The two systems cross-reference Social Security numbers and employment information to establish whether an individual is a U.S. citizen.

Critics: Free Health Care Means More Illegals

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll found that an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans oppose covering illegals in any public health care bill.

Anti-immigration activists say the availability of low-cost benefits, including health insurance and in-state tuition, will only lure more immigrants to come to the United States.

Political analyst Dick Morris, in his recently released best-selling book “Catastrophe”, warns that giving illegal free health care will lead to a flood of new illegals who can take advantage of such a benefit not offered in their home countries.

William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, agrees with that sentiment, writing, “Each state and federal elected official must know that illegal aliens should not be given licenses, in-state tuition, mortgages, bank accounts, welfare, or any other benefit short of emergency medical care and law enforcement accommodations before they are deported.”

But a small fraction of illegals end up deported, as many make widespread use of fake IDs to easily gain access to government benefits programs.

“Experts suggest that approximately 75 percent of working-age illegal aliens use fraudulent Social Security cards to obtain employment,” wrote Ronald W. Mortensen in a recent Center for Immigration Studies research paper. Mortensen says one of the big misconceptions about illegals is that they are undocumented.

James R. Edwards Jr., co-author of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform, recently wrote on National Review Online that “it’s hard to envision how health reform can avoid tripping the immigration booby trap.”

Edwards says none of the legislation under consideration actually requires any state, federal, or local agency to check the immigration status of those who apply for the program. […]

One of the ironies of the proposed legislation is that it would fine American citizens who opt not to purchase insurance coverage, but would exempt illegals from such fines. This is presumably due to the fact that they are not supposed to participate in the program anyway.

Even if no illegals were likely to benefit from health care reform, Democrats have made it clear that amnesty is the next item on their ambitious legislative agenda.

“I’ve got to do health care, I’ve got to do energy, and then I’m looking very closely at doing immigration,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declared in June.

Reid explained the urgent need for amnesty in terms very similar to those that Democrats have used to press for health care reform. “We have an immigration system that’s broken and needs repair,” Reid said.

Immigration expert Edwards, for one, says health-care reform may itself need serious medical attention before it is healthy enough pass through Congress.

“The American people may soon realize how much health reform will benefit immigrants and cost the native-born,” he writes. “When that happens, the volatile politics of immigration could derail universal health care.”

If you oppose any of this, you’re a racist.  In fact, if you oppose allowing your children to go hungry so the food from your table can go to hungry illegal immigrants, you’re a selfish racist.  Why should YOUR children matter, you damned bigoted ego centrist?

Ten percent of the population born in Mexico now live in the United States – and the other ninety percent is knocking at the door.  And let’s not forget that there are a ton of Latin American countries behind Mexico.  YOU OWE THEM!!!  You owe them ALL, no matter how many come.  How DARE you hold out on these people???

There are millions and millions of people wanting to swarm across our borders, and they absolutely deserve every possible amenity we can provide them.  It’s just common “welcome, neighbor” courtesy, after all.

If you haven’t sold your car or, better yet, your house, so that you can provide complete free dental care to an entire extended family of illegal immigrants, you may not call yourself a “racist,” but it’s only because you are obviously too bigoted to know any better.

If there is anything else we can do to make it worth your while to cross our border, please let us know.  Because as long as Democrats are in charge, we will do absolutely anything we can to make it worth your while.

Let me say this one last thing to entice you.  As George Borjas, Harvard University economist and immigration expert at the Kennedy School of Government put it:

Being without work here [In the United States] is still far better for most people than being employed in Central America.

Come on in!  We LOVE being suckers here.

Thank God for Democrats.  After they bankrupt the United States, Mexicans will finally be able to take back New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas, and Colorado.  In fact, Mexico will probably be able to buy those states back for the same $15 million that we gave them for it – as long as its in pesos and not in the U.S. dollar which will of course be valueless by then.

Pretty soon liberals won’t have to feel guilty for living in a successful country.

I sure hope after the U.S. becomes a banana republic that Mexico and all the Central American countries are as willing to play the sucker for illegal American immigrants who try to flood across their borders.

Democrat’s Government Health Care Will Increase, NOT Decrease, Costs

July 19, 2009

We don’t have any idea how expensive Obama care will truly be.  You can bet your britches – and you may end up actually being forced to BET your britches – that it will cost a whopping load more than advertised.

First, some figures to show the invariable tendency of the government to dramatically underestimate the cost of its own programs:

– 2009 (January) CBO estimated that the bailout TARP plan would cost taxpayers $189 billion; instead, several weeks later the estimated cost was raised to $356 billion, and will eventually be much more by end of 2009.

– 1965 CBO estimated that Medicare Pt. A cost would be $9 billion by 1990; instead the cost was $66 billion in 1990.  They were wrong by a mere 633%.  Today the costs have exploded so incredibly that no one’s even bothering to go back now and try to figure out just how terribly wrong the forecasters truly were.

1965 CBO estimated that all (Part A plus Part B) Medicare cost would be $12 billion by 1990; instead the cost was $107 billion in 1990, and today it has a stratospheric total unfunded liability of $61.6 trillion.  Oops.

1987 CBO estimated that subsidy for Medicaid special hospitals would be $100 million by 1992; instead the cost was $11 billion in 1992There’s a nice 10,900% cost markup for you.  Better luck next time.

1988 CBO estimated that Medicaid homecare cost would be $4 billion by 1983; instead the cost was $10 billion in 1983.  But don’t worry; it’s only money.  And being off by a mere 150% is actually quite excellent by the “close enough for government work” mindset.

2003 White House estimate of Iraq War cost would be $60 billion; instead the cost so far has exceeded $600 billion.  Oh, well, if at first you don’t succeed, there’s always Afghanistan to screw up too.

Maybe you’d better sit down for this shocker: The U.S. government controls its costs the way Monty Python’s famous Mr. Creosote controlled his weight:

And like Mr. Creosote, it will be that extra tiny little bit of spending that finally causes the U.S. treasury to explode in a gory death.  Instead of the mint that blows up Mr. Creosote, it will be a dollar bill that blows up the U.S. government.

So when you hear the arguments over how much Obama’s health care “reform” will cost, realize that it isn’t a matter of whether it will cost $1 trillion, or $1.5 trillion, or $3.5 trillion; it’s a matter of whether it will cost one of those numbers times a factor of at least 10 or more.

The $1.5 trillion figure, which is currently being thrown around, is enough of a sticker shocker even without the realization that it will actually end up costing far, far more that even Democrats – fearing losing their seats – are beginning to bail out of it.

Still, the worse the plan looks, the faster Barack Obama wants it passed, before people know what a lemon they bought.  Obama has been claiming that we must immediately pass health care “reform” in order to save money in future years.  He has pounded away with that message again and again.

But that message is a complete lie.

Allow me to introduce Doug Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office.  And allow me to cite an article by Rick Moran from Pajama’s Media to describe the truly dire situation we face, and which we are ignoring to our literal peril:

ObamaCare Gets a Red Light from Congressional Budget Office

The Democrats’ plan not only won’t save a dime, it will cost us billions over the next decade. (Also see PJTV: Nationwide Protests Target ObamaCare)

Doug Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, was testifying before the Senate Budget Committee yesterday when he dropped a bombshell on the gathering that put a whole new spin on the effort by the Obama administration to reform the health care system.

The exchange with Democrat Kent Conrad was a shocker:

Conrad: Dr. Elmendorf, I am going to really put you on the spot because we are in the middle of this health care debate, but it is critically important that we get this right. Everyone has said, virtually everyone, that bending the cost curve over time is critically important and one of the key goals of this entire effort. From what you have seen from the products of the committees that have reported, do you see a successful effort being mounted to bend the long-term cost curve?

Elmendorf: No, Mr. Chairman. In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.

Conrad: So the cost curve in your judgment is being bent, but it is being bent the wrong way. Is that correct?

Elmendorf: The way I would put it is that the curve is being raised, so there is a justifiable focus on growth rates because of course it is the compounding of growth rates faster than the economy that leads to these unsustainable paths. But it is very hard to look out over a very long term and say very accurate things about growth rates. So most health experts that we talk with focus particularly on what is happening over the next 10 or 20 years, still a pretty long time period for projections, but focus on the next 10 or 20 years and look at whether efforts are being made that are bringing costs down or pushing costs up over that period.

As we wrote in our letter to you and Senator Gregg, the creation of a new subsidy for health insurance, which is a critical part of expanding health insurance coverage in our judgment, would by itself increase the federal responsibility for health care that raises federal spending on health care. It raises the amount of activity that is growing at this unsustainable rate and to offset that there has to be very substantial reductions in other parts of the federal commitment to health care, either on the tax revenue side through changes in the tax exclusion or on the spending side through reforms in Medicare and Medicaid.

Elmendorf made additional news yesterday by scaring the hell out of everyone when he released the latest CBO report on the long-term budget outlook that, in technical terms, says that we are in very big trouble:

Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, because federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds long-term fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law. Unless revenues increase just as rapidly, the rise in spending will produce growing budget deficits. Large budget deficits would reduce national saving, leading to more borrowing from abroad and less domestic investment, which in turn would depress economic growth in the United States. Over time, accumulating debt would cause substantial harm to the economy. …

Measured relative to GDP, almost all of the projected growth in federal spending other than interest payments on the debt stems from the three largest entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. For decades, spending on Medicare and Medicaid has been growing faster than the economy. CBO projects that if current laws do not change, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid combined will grow from roughly 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent by 2035. By 2080, the government would be spending almost as much, as a share of the economy, on just its two major health care programs as it has spent on all of its programs and services in recent years.

This double dose of doom has made absolutely no impact on Capitol Hill. Three House committees seem ready to report out a $1.5 trillion health care reform measure while the Senate Finance Committee appears close to a bipartisan deal on how to fund it — this, despite the fact that the CBO chief has told them there is no way to pay for it.

It is like being in a bad dream where there’s a fire in a room where a dinner party is being held and you’re the only one who notices. Everyone else is still playing cards, eating, or sitting around having witty conversations, all the while the fire laps closer and closer.

But it’s not a nightmare and lawmakers really are ignoring the fire. Elmendorf doesn’t come up with these projections to amuse himself and the wonks at CBO. He has outlined a recipe for catastrophe that will eventually make the United States a second rate economic power, not to mention impoverish the population.

The president and Democrats have been pitching this plan as a cost-saving measure. The president especially has been warning that we have to pass this reform bill quickly in order to get control of the spiraling deficits grimly outlined in Elmendorf’s long-term budget outlook.

But Elmendorf is saying that we can’t get there from here, that the numbers being used by Democrats to close the gap between what the bill will cost and how they plan to pay for it are simply not adding up.

There is another aspect to this reform measure that few are talking about: history. Every single entitlement program ever created by the federal government has cost the taxpayer more than advertised — in some cases, astronomically more.

Medicare is a perfect example. When the program was created in 1965, it cost taxpayers around $3 billion. At that time, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990 — and that number was adjusted for a predicted rate of inflation. The actual cost of the program in 1990 was $107 billion. And today, Medicare costs the U.S. taxpayer $440 billion.

At best, Congress is guessing. The fact is, no one knows how much this monstrosity is going to cost, no one knows how it is going to be paid for, and no one knows what effect it will have on the quality of care or on the private insurance industry.

The ideas being implemented are untried. And, unlike NASA testing a new rocket or the Air Force testing a new fighter where failure is expected, there is no room for error. However this thing works itself out, we are stuck with it. History is a telling guide here as well; there has never been an entitlement once created that was later rescinded.

Elmendorf’s testimony and budget outlook should be heeded. Yes, we need to reform the health care system — badly. But the Democrats’ plan is not the only game in town. There are many proposals left unexamined by the Democrats in their haste to give their president a triumph. The partisan nature of the debate, the deliberate closing off of alternatives that would cost far less and perhaps do as much as is being proposed, and the damnable rush to get it all done before anything is digested or weighed against the long term, is frightening.

The major justification for speed in passing this legislation just went out the window with Director Elmendorf’s admission that the health care reform bill will only add many billions to the record deficits we will already be running over the next decade. Is that reason enough to slow down or even stop what the Congress is doing in order to think this thing through and try to come up with alternatives?

Not when it’s easier to ignore the fire lapping at your toes in order to grant a political victory to a president in trouble with the voters.

They say elections have consequences, and since the country voted for total Democrat control, we should let the Democrats have their shot.  That may be true.  But what we did as a nation in November was vote to slash our jugular veins, so that the blood of the entire nation (measured in the red ink of crippling debts) would gush out until we are left with less than a banana republic.

It is my sincerely held belief that those who truly understand the real picture are not telling us how truly bad things are, lest the people bring the nation down in one massively giant “bank run.”