Posts Tagged ‘deficits’

Member Of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board Attacks ObamaCare

January 4, 2010

Harvard University professor Martin Feldstein, adviser to both Republican and Democrat administrations, and currently serving as a member of Obama’s President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, has come out strongly against ObamaCare.

Unfortunately, Feldstein failed to see the folly of Obama’s stimulus porkulus.  Perhaps because of his “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” realization, he is now dead set against Obama’s healthcare porkulus.

Feldstein once served as an adviser to Ronald Reagan.  Perhaps he finally thought about what Ronald Reagan said about the liberals attempt to seize health care and socialism.

From a speech Reagan gave:

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We had an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.

And sure enough, and as Reagan predicted so many years ago, the American people – measured by every single poll across the board – have firmly rejected ObamaCare.

Kevin Price has written an article detailing Feldstein’s objections:

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (aptly titled “ObamaCare’s Crippling Deficits”), Feldstein states that “the higher taxes, debt payments and interest rates needed to pay for health reform mean lower living standards.”Feldstein has been an advisor to both Republicans and Democrats, but is known as a proponent of huge “stimulus packages” during economic decline. In spite of this, Obama probably did not make a particularly smart choice in picking the fiercely independent Feldstein. The one time advisor to Ronald Reagan publicly warned that president of the negative implications of the deficits in the 1980s. Those deficits were nothing compared to those provided in Obama’s budget. His deficits would last years after the recession is over and in spite of the massive tax increases that promise to accompany them. The Democrats correctly criticized Bush’s deficits. Feldstein notes that Obama’s deficits, because of its expensive health care agenda will reach $9.3 trillion — more than twice the amount of the previous administration.

In an earlier article in the Washington Post, Feldstein noted that “For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or early retirement.” Feldstein also notes that the price of the program is enormous and would cost more than $1 trillion and would raise the current maximum tax rate from 35 to 45 percent.

Barack Obama has fundamentally been dishonest when it comes to the health care debate. Consistently he has been arguing that his agenda would lower cost and expand coverage. The reality is, his agenda would dramatically reduce the quality of coverage for those who currently enjoy the best health care system in the world and would be accompanied by the excessive costs so common in bureaucratically driven programs.

I thought it would be a good thing to acquaint people as to what a member of Obama’s President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board – who initially supported Obama’s ideas – has to say about Obama’s approach to health care.

I find this particularly interesting in light of Obama’s vile demagoguery against those who protest his plan.  If you oppose his takeover, you are an ideological slave to the GOP, or a minion of the private health insurance companies.  And yet here is a man whom Obama personally selected to be an adviser, presumably for his wisdom, saying that ObamaCare will be an unmitigated disaster.

From The Wall Street Journal:

ObamaCare’s Crippling Deficits
The higher taxes, debt payments and interest rates needed to pay for health reform mean lower living standards.

By MARTIN FELDSTEIN

While the deficits caused by the fiscal stimulus package will end in 2011 and will help to sustain a fragile recovery in 2010, the deficits projected for the longer term are a threat to our economic future. The starting point for controlling those future deficits is for Congress to abandon the administration’s health-care plan—a plan that will cost more than $1 trillion.

The deficits projected for the next decade and beyond are unprecedented. According to an assessment released in March by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the president’s budget implies that deficits will average 5.2% of GDP over the next decade and will be 5.5% of GDP in 2019. Without the president’s proposals, the budget office forecasts a 2019 deficit of only 2% of GDP.

The CBO’s deficit projections are based on the optimistic assumptions that the economy will grow at a healthy 3% pace with no recessions during the next decade; that there will be no new spending programs after this year’s budget; and that the rising national debt will increase the rate of interest on government bonds by less than 1%. More realistic assumptions would imply a 2019 deficit of more than 8% of GDP and a government debt of more than 100% of GDP.

Such enormous deficits would crowd out productivity-enhancing investments in new equipment and software as the government borrows funds otherwise available to private investors. The result would be slower economic growth and a lower standard of living.

In the nearer term, the projected deficits could cause interest rates on bonds and mortgages to rise sharply if bond investors fear that the government will not prevent inflation. This is a greater risk now that more than half of the U.S. government debt is held by the Chinese and other foreign investors. Such an interest rate rise could kill a recovery in 2010 or 2011 and depress growth in the years that follow.

Dropping the Obama health plan would significantly reduce fiscal deficits over the next decade and help restore public confidence in the ability of Congress to control spending. The CBO estimates that the House committee versions of the Obama health plan would add more than $1 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade. But the actual costs would be much higher.

For starters, $1 trillion of extra debt-financed spending would cause the government to pay about $300 billion of extra interest in the next decade. Moreover, the CBO’s method of estimating the cost of such a program doesn’t recognize the incentives it creates for households and firms to change their behavior.

The House health-care bill gives a large subsidy to millions of families with incomes up to three times the poverty level (i.e., up to $66,000 now for a family of four) if they buy their insurance through one of the newly created “insurance exchanges,” but not if they get their insurance from their employer. The CBO’s cost estimate understates the number who would receive the subsidy because it ignores the incentive for many firms to drop employer-provided coverage. It also ignores the strong incentive that individuals would have to reduce reportable cash incomes to qualify for higher subsidy rates. The total cost of ObamaCare over the next decade likely would be closer to $2 trillion than to $1 trillion.

The administration’s claim that the health-care plan would be “self-financing” is both false and irrelevant. It is false because it would only be self-financing if one counts a variety of President Obama’s proposed tax increases—and even those would produce much less revenue than is assumed in the budget calculations. The claim is irrelevant because those tax increases have nothing to do with health care and could be used instead to reduce other projected deficits.

For example, the administration and the congressional designers of ObamaCare say they would finance a substantial part of health reform with the revenue from new taxes on corporate foreign profits and on high-income individuals. The likely revenue from these tax changes would be much less than the official estimates because of the induced changes in taxpayer behavior that the estimators ignore.

Previous experience with changes in the marginal tax rates of high-income individuals implies that the current proposal to raise the marginal tax rate to about 50% from today’s 40% would produce only about half of the official revenue estimates. No one knows how much of the estimated extra tax revenue on foreign profits would be lost as the resulting fall in international competitiveness reduces profits, and as businesses sell their overseas subsidiaries or shift their profits in other ways.

While abandoning health reform would be an important step, it would not be enough to limit the exploding level of future deficits and debt. That requires substantial reductions in existing spending programs, if large tax increases are to be avoided. Since Medicare is the largest contributor to the explosive growth in government spending, a good way to start shrinking government outlays would be by restructuring Medicare to shift more of its costs to supplementary private insurance, perhaps on an income-related basis.

Given the perceived need for significant additional tax revenue to shrink future fiscal deficits, there is now talk in Washington of introducing a value-added tax (VAT), the kind of national sales tax that European governments use to finance their welfare states. That would be a triply bad idea. Although it is a tax on spending, a VAT effectively raises marginal tax rates. Like the income tax, it reduces the reward for work and entrepreneurship by adding a tax to the prices of all goods and services. A VAT would also be grossly unfair to those whose lifetime savings would now be subject to a new tax when they start to spend those savings.

A VAT would open the door to an explosion of new spending programs. That’s because, no matter how low the initial rate, the tax rate would be drawn inevitably to European rates of more than 15%—on top of existing income and payroll taxes.

The key to raising revenue without raising marginal tax rates or creating a new tax is to reduce or eliminate some of the “tax expenditures” that now lower tax revenue by special deductions and exclusions. Ending the current exclusion from taxable income of employer payments for health insurance would increase income tax revenue by more than $1 trillion over the next five years and nearly $3 trillion over the next decade. Eliminating this subsidy would also lead to a restructuring of private health insurance that would give patients the incentive to seek more cost-effective care and thereby bring down the overall cost of health care.

Restructuring Medicare and reforming tax rules would be politically difficult. But a failure by Congress to address the exploding path of fiscal deficits would be morally irresponsible.

Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal’s board of contributors.

From the Washington Post:

Obama’s Plan Isn’t the Answer
By Martin Feldstein

For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or early retirement.

President Obama’s primary goal is to extend formal health insurance to those low-income individuals who are currently uninsured despite the nearly $300-billion-a-year Medicaid program. Doing so the Obama way would cost more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. There surely must be better and less costly ways to improve the health and health care of that low-income group.

Although the president claims he can finance the enormous increase in costs by raising taxes only on high-income individuals, tax experts know that this won’t work. Experience shows that raising the top income-tax rate from 35 percent today to more than 45 percent — the effect of adding the proposed health surcharge to the increase resulting from letting the Bush tax cuts expire for high-income taxpayers — would change the behavior of high-income individuals in ways that would shrink their taxable incomes and therefore produce less revenue. The result would be larger deficits and higher taxes on the middle class. Because of the unprecedented deficits forecast for the next decade, this is definitely not a time to start a major new spending program.

A second key goal of the Obama health plan is to slow the growth of health-care spending. The president’s budget calls explicitly for cutting Medicare to help pay for the expanded benefits for low-income individuals. But the administration’s goal is bigger than that. It is to cut dramatically the amount of health care that we all consume.

A recent report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers claims that the government can cut the projected level of health spending by 15 percent over the next decade and by 30 percent over the next 20 years. Although the reduced spending would result from fewer services rather than lower payments to providers, we are told that this can be done without lowering the quality of care or diminishing our health. I don’t believe it.

To support their claim that costs can be radically reduced without adverse effects, the health planners point to the fact that about half of all hospital costs are for patients in the last year of life. I don’t find that persuasive. Do doctors really know which of their very ill patients will benefit from expensive care and which will die regardless of the care they receive? In a world of uncertainty, many of us will want to hope that care will help.

We are also often told that patients in Minnesota receive many fewer dollars of care per capita than patients in New York and California without adverse health effects. When I hear that, I wonder whether we should cut back on care, as these experts advocate, move to Minnesota, or wish we had the genetic stock of Minnesotans.

The administration’s health planners believe that the new “cost effectiveness research” will allow officials to eliminate wasteful spending by defining the “appropriate” care that will be paid for by the government and by private insurance. Such a constrained, one-size-fits-all form of medicine may be necessary in some European health programs in which the government pays all the bills. But Americans have shown that we prefer to retain a diversity of options and the ability to choose among doctors, hospitals and standards of care.

At a time when medical science offers the hope of major improvements in the treatment of a wide range of dread diseases, should Washington be limiting the available care and, in the process, discouraging medical researchers from developing new procedures and products? Although health care is much more expensive than it was 30 years ago, who today would settle for the health care of the 1970s?

Obama has said that he would favor a British-style “single payer” system in which the government owns the hospitals and the doctors are salaried but that he recognizes that such a shift would be too disruptive to the health-care industry. The Obama plan to have a government insurance provider that can undercut the premiums charged by private insurers would undoubtedly speed the arrival of such a single-payer plan. It is hard to think of any other reason for the administration to want a government insurer when there is already a very competitive private insurance market that could be made more so by removing government restrictions on interstate competition.

There is much that can be done to improve our health-care system, but the Obama plan is not the way to do it. One helpful change that could be made right away is fixing the COBRA system so that middle-income households that lose their insurance because of early retirement or a permanent layoff are not deterred by the cost of continuing their previous coverage.

Now that congressional leaders have made it clear that Obama will not see health legislation until at least the end of the year, the president should look beyond health policy and turn his attention to the problems that are impeding our economic recovery.

Martin Feldstein, a professor of economics at Harvard University and president emeritus of the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research, was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.

George Will pointed out something interesting on ABC’s This Week yesterday:

WILL: When this campaign started a year ago, 87 percent of the American people had some form of health insurance. If this is signed into law, 94 percent will. So a 7 percent increase is what this war is about. And we read this morning in the paper that, in 2018, there will still be 23 million uninsured people.

So this massive takeover is all being done under the guise of providing coverage to a mere 7% of Americans.  We’re literally going to drive the entire health care system right off a cliff to “improve” health care for a tiny minority of people.

Reagan was right, even speaking to us from the grave, that Americans would reject medical socialism.  And Martin Feldstein – who wrongly joined Obama in supporting the stimulus (possibly because he failed to realize just how incompetent and corrupt and unforgivably partisan the Democrats would be with the stimulus) – is right about the unacceptable costs ObamaCare will ultimately impose on an already debt-ridden government.

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Note To Democrats From Founding Fathers: ‘Please Stop Making Us Spin In Our Graves’

January 3, 2010

(CNSNews.com)When CNSNews.com asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance–a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill–Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a “serious question.”

“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”

I can’t help but be reminded by something Thomas Jefferson said:

“The Tenth Amendment is the foundation of the Constitution.”

And what does the 10th Amendment say?  Only this:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”

You can understand why Nancy Pelosi couldn’t care less about the Constitution, or its limitations on the exercise of government power.  Thomas Jefferson also said, “Let’s hear no more about the confidence in men but to bind them down by the chains of the Constitution.”  That phrase was intended to underscore the role of the Constitution as chains to any who would try to impose more government on the people.  But Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat Party have thrown off the “chains of the Constitution.”  They believe that confidence in men is just fine – as long as those men are liberals and socialists who impose massive government and massive bureaucracies through which they seek to empower themselves and control the people.  And everything they are trying to do makes a mockery of the Constitution.

And, after all, Nancy Pelosi’s president — a man liberals believe is greater than Jesushas pronounced that the Constitution is deeply flawed.

“I think we can say that the Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day, and that the Framers had that same blind spot. I don’t think the two views are contradictory, to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now, and to say that it also reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”

One wonders how Barack Obama could swear to uphold and defend a document that he himself has publicly held to have deep flaws and reflect an enormous blind spot.  It would seem that his oath amounted to “just words.”

Under Barack Obama and the Democrat-dominated Congress, we are seeing government spending, government debts, and government deficits soar beyond anything ever before seen in the history of the human race.

The excellent work on the Constitution and its history by W. Cleon Skousen entitled The 5000 Year Leap has an amazing thesis in light of what we are seeing from our government today:

Since the genius of the American system is maintaining the eagle in the balanced center of the spectrum, the Founders warned against a number of temptations which might lure subsequent generations to abandon their freedoms and their rights by subjecting themselves to a strong federal administration operating on the collectivist Left.

They warned against the “welfare state” where the government endeavors to take care of everyone from the cradle to the grave.  Jefferson wrote:

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”

They warned against confiscatory taxation and deficit spending.  Jefferson said it was immoral for one generation to pass on the results of its extravagance in the form of debts to the next generation.  He wrote:  “…we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves;  and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life [expectancy] of the majority.”

Every generation of Americans struggled to pay off the national debt up until the present one.

Let us see what the founding fathers who wrote our Constitution said that liberals so eagerly and so cavalierly wish to dismiss from the people’s attention:

“I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple, applying all the possible savings of the public revenue to the discharge of the national debt, and not for a multiplication of officers and salaries merely to make partisans, and for increasing, by every device, the public debt on the principle of its being a public blessing.” — Thomas Jefferson letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

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“To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” — Thomas Jefferson

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“As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible.” — George Washington, Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

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“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” — Thomas Jefferson, to Thomas Cooper, January 29, 1802

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“[W]ith all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?

Still one thing more, fellow citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.” — Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

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“He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.”  Benjamin Franklin, from his writings, 1758

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“We are endeavoring, too, to reduce the government to the practice of a rigorous economy, to avoid burdening the people, and arming the magistrate with a patronage of money, which might be used to corrupt and undermine the principles of our government.”– Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mr. Pictet, February 5, 1803

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“With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison

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“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” –Thomas Jefferson

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“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” –Thomas Jefferson

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“I go on the principle that a public debt is a public curse.” — James Madison letter to Henry Lee, April 13, 1790

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“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” — Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23

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“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin

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“Experience has proved to us that a dollar of silver disappears for every dollar of paper emitted.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1791. ME 8:208

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“If the debt which the banking companies owe be a blessing to anybody, it is to themselves alone, who are realizing a solid interest of eight or ten per cent on it. As to the public, these companies have banished all our gold and silver medium, which, before their institution, we had without interest, which never could have perished in our hands, and would have been our salvation now in the hour of war; instead of which they have given us two hundred million of froth and bubble, on which we are to pay them heavy interest, until it shall vanish into air… We are warranted, then, in affirming that this parody on the principle of ‘a public debt being a public blessing,’ and its mutation into the blessing of private instead of public debts, is as ridiculous as the original principle itself. In both cases, the truth is, that capital may be produced by industry, and accumulated by economy; but jugglers only will propose to create it by legerdemain tricks with paper.” –Thomas Jefferson to John W. Eppes, 1813. ME 13:423

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“It is a [disputed] question, whether the circulation of paper, rather than of specie [gold,silver], is a good or an evil… I believe it to be one of those cases where mercantile clamor will bear down reason, until it is corrected by ruin.” –Thomas Jefferson to John W. Eppes, 1813. ME 13:409

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“To contract new debts is not the way to pay for old ones.”– George Washington letter to James Welch, April 7, 1799

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“The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pockets to pay for it would make of our country one of the happiest on earth.” — Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Donald, 1787. ME 6:192

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The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. — Thomas Jefferson

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“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” — Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766

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“Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.” — Benjamin Franklin letter to Collinson, May 9, 1753

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“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.” — Thomas Jefferson

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“I hope a tax will be preferred [to a loan which threatens to saddle us with a perpetual debt], because it will awaken the attention of the people and make reformation and economy the principle of the next election. The frequent recurrence of this chastening operation can alone restrain the propensity of governments to enlarge expense beyond income.” — Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1820.

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“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare… they may appoint teachers in every state… The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.” — James Madison

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“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” –Thomas Jefferson

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“The same prudence, which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public monies.” — Thomas Jefferson letter to Shelton Giliam, June 19, 1808

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“It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. … They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society.” — Adam Smith, “Wealth of Nations,” Book II, Chapter II

“Every discouragement should be thrown in the way of men who undertake to trade without capital.” — Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Tracy, 1785. Papers 8:399

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“It is a miserable arithmetic which makes any single privation whatever so painful as a total privation of everything which must necessarily follow the living so far beyond our income.” –Thomas Jefferson to William Hay, 1787. ME 6:223

Barack Obama and the Democrats have been offering a disingenuous and dishonest thesis: that they are spending insane amounts of money to save money.  They touted their massive $787 billion (and really $3.27 trillion!!!) stimulus as an “investment” in jobs.  Jobs that never came.  And now a solid plurality of Americans agree that massive stimulus pork bill HURT the economy.  That realization is coming even as the facts are increasingly emerging that the Democrats have been using the stimulus to reward themselves in pork-style politics EXACTLY AS THOMAS JEFFERSON WARNED.

And now they are touting their health care bill – and the gimmickry they have played to make it appear “deficit neutral” over the long haul – and their cap-and-trade legislation, to say that their massive spending is really an “investment” in the future as well.

Don’t buy their spin.

Stop the madness.  Stop the depraved and insane spending.  Stop the Democrats from imposing a socialist agenda that will take away our freedoms and tax us into oblivion all in the name of helping us.

Stop the founding fathers from having to spin in their graves.

It has often occurred to me these past months that the founding fathers were willing to fight in order to throw off tyranny that were virtually nothing compared to the onerous ones we are being fitted with today.

Mayo Clinic Realizes ObamaCare A Total Disaster, Stops Accepting Medicare

January 1, 2010

What we have here is a very cute and clever title for a very disastrous development.

Mayo Says: Hold The Medicare
By Ed Carson
Thu., Dec. 31, ’09

The Mayo Clinic will stop accepting Medicare patients at one of its primary care clinics in Arizona. Why? The government doesn’t pay enough:

More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” Mayo’s move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This is nothing compared to what might happen under Democratic health overhaul plans, which would slash Medicare spending by nearly $500 billion over 10 years. As Medicare actuaries recently pointed out in understated fashion, such cuts “may be unrealistic.” But, if Congress actually carried them out, about one in five hospitals, nursing homes and home care agencies could lose money, they warned in their report.

As a result, such providers could drop Medicare, leaving seniors with less access.

This is now only going on at one Mayo clinic – but it is going to spread.

Don’t think for a second that this isn’t directly related to the disaster known as ObamaCare.  Democrats are gutting Medicare reimbursements and blocking the essential “doctor fix” from their bill to create the contrived and bogus illusion that their boondoggle will provide “deficit neutrality.”  They are playing all kinds of games and gimmicks, such as taxing for ten years and only providing benefits for five, to support that illusion.

It will fail, and a lot of people will die.

Alan B. Miller, an expert in the field of health care, wrote:

Medicare reimbursements to hospitals fail to cover the actual cost of providing services. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent congressional advisory agency, says hospitals received only 94.1 cents for every dollar they spent treating Medicare patients in 2007. MedPAC projects that number to decline to 93.1 cents per dollar spent in 2009, for an operating shortfall of 7%. Medicare works because hospitals subsidize the care they provide with revenue received from patients who have commercial insurance. Without that revenue, hospitals could not afford to care for those covered by Medicare. In effect, everyone with insurance is subsidizing the Medicare shortfall, which is growing larger every year.

As much as Obama and the Democrats have demonized private insurance (before co-opting them in the current version of ObamaCare – what is it, ObamaCare version 6.0 by now?), the higher prices paid by private insurance have been all that has allowed doctors and hospitals to continue to accept Medicare and Medicaid at a loss.

And so, what do you think will happen when Democrats cut the reimbursement rates?  People who have commons sense know: hospitals and doctors will begin to see fewer and fewer Medicare patients, as a matter of simple economic necessity.

That isn’t a “reform,” but a disaster.

And this stuff is why the dean of the Harvard Medical School gave ObamaCare a failing grade.  It’s why the California Medical Association recently came out strongly against the bill.  It’s why more and more state governors – Democrats as well as Republicans – are beginning to scream that ObamaCare merely turns Medicaid into a giant deficit-creating unfunded mandate on the states (again, to create the illusion of being “deficit neutral”).

Enough with illusions.  This bill is absolutely terrible.  It’s more than 2,000 pages long, nobody understands it, and it has changed again and again, yet actually seems to be getting worse and worse.

With Eyes Finally Wide-Open, Reconsider Why The Economy Collapsed In The First Place

December 31, 2009

We are now able to see that from the very beginning of the Obama administration, the Republican Party has again and again demonstrated that they were completely right and Democrats were completely wrong.  Whether you look at the stimulus, cap-and-trade, bogus climate change claims, health care, or terrorism, Americans now solidly agree that Republicans were represent the people; and that Democrats do NOT represent the people.

Right now, a solid plurality of Americans thinks the stimulus (that 99% of Republicans voted against) harmed the economy.  And the people are starting to realize what an ideological partisan slush fund the stimulus was (also predicted by Republicans).

When Obama was elected, unemployment was at 6.6%.  He promised that his stimulus would prevent unemployment from reaching 8%.  And now it’s at 10%, and it’s going to get higher.

Obama demagogued Bush’s spending.  But Bush deficits -bad as they were – were only 2-3% of GDP.  Obama’s deficits are 12.8% of GDP – which is five to six times higher.

Now that your eyes are finally beginning to open wide and see Obama and the Democrats for who and what they truly are, let me point out a few things about the past collapse.

What Americans – and particularly Americans who actually vote – need to realize is that Democrats were trying to do this kind of crap and play these kind of games all along.  They were trying to do it throughout the Bush years, when George Bush tried 17 times to regulate the out of control and Fannie-Mac-and-Freddie-Mae-dominated housing mortgage markets – and Democrats thwarted him over and over again.

Why do I mention the Government Supported Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Because they were at the very heart of the mortgage meltdown.

The LA Times writes on May 31, 1999 that:

Lenders also have opened the door wider to minorities because of new initiatives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–the giant federally chartered corporations that play critical, if obscure, roles in the home finance system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages from lenders and bundle them into securities; that provides lenders the funds to lend more. . . .

LaVaughn M. Henry, Ph.D. Director, U.S. Economic Analysis The PMI Group, Inc. December 9, 2008, pointed out:

The Role of the GSEs is to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. Step 1 Banks lend money to Households to purchase and refinance home mortgages Step 2 The GSEs purchase these mortgage from the banks Step 3 GSEs bundle the mortgages into mortgage-backed securities Step 4 GSEs sell mortgage-backed and debt securities to domestic and international capital investors Step 5 Investors pay GSEs for purchase of debt and securities Step 6 GSEs return funds to banks to lend out again for the issuance of new mortgage loans.

It was steps 3-5 that messed us up.  Fannie and Freddie bought mortgages – including many mortgages that poor and minority homeowners couldn’t begin to afford under the mandate of the Community Reinvestment Act – bundled them such that no one could assess their risk, and then sold them to private companies such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.  Fannie and Freddie were exempt from SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] regulations.   The GSEs could bundle up mortgages, which would then be rated AAA, with no requirement to make clear what was in the bundle.  Private companies believed that the bundled securities were guaranteed, since they were essentially being sold by the federal government.

But there were many who predicted that this system – created and maintained by Democrats – could explode.

From the New York Times in September 30, 1999:

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.“

”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,”
said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.” . . .

And that is precisely what happened.  There was a downturn (and there will ALWAYS be downturns, won’t there?), and Fannie and Freddie were so leveraged that they collapsed and caused the collapse of the entire industry.  Financial experts anxiously pointed out that a decline of only 1.3% would bankrupt Fannie and Freddie because they were leveraged to the tune of 60%? to 78%.

Democrats were the priests and acolytes of the GSE system.  They protected it, and they were the ones who pressed all the buttons and pulled all the levers.

Keven Hasset concludes an article titled, “How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis“, concludes by saying:

Now that the collapse has occurred, the roadblock built by Senate Democrats in 2005 is unforgivable. Many who opposed the bill doubtlessly did so for honorable reasons.  Fannie and Freddie provided mounds of materials defending their practices.  Perhaps some found their propaganda convincing.

Watch this video showing how Goerge Bush and John McCain repeatedly warned of the economic collapse (length=4 min):

Watch this video of Democrats protecting and covering for Fannie Mae (length=8 min):

Here’s a video entitled “Burning Down the House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?” (length=11 min)

And then we find that Barack Obama was in bed with Fannie and Freddie and their shockingly risky policies:

Who really exploded the economy in 2008, liberals or conservatives? Who do you think?  The liberal mainstream media allowed Democrats to blame George Bush simply because he was president at the time, never mentioning that the Democrats who controlled both the House and the Senate relentlessly opposed everything Bush tried to do; and it allowed Democrats to not have to account for the fact that they’d been in complete control of both the House and the Senate.  But remember that the economy went from outstanding to collapsed during the two years (2006-2008) that the Congress was under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  The unemployment rate was 4.4% when Republicans last ran Congress.  What is it now, three years of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid later?

Few people understand how huge Fannie and Freddie are, or how deeply burrowed they are in the mortgage industry.  But let me put it to you this way: the federal government now underwrites 9 out of 10 residential mortgages.

John McCain tried to warn us in 2006:

I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

But he was ignored.

When George Bush first tried to regulate an already out-of-control liberal bastion of Fannie and Freddie, Barney Frank led the united Democrat opposition and said:

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

And just before Fannie and Freddie collapsed and brought down the entire housing mortgage industry with it creating the economic meltdown, Barney Frank – continuing to stop any regulation of Fannie and Freddie – said this:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went completely bankrupt, and had to be bailed out by the government.  It had been Fannie and Freddie which had the sole authority to buy mortgages, bundle them into the mortgage-backed securities which ultimately exploded, and sell those securities to private companies (as I have already shown).  Just as it was Fannie and Freddie which had been the seller of subprime loans.

Democrats demonized and demagogued Republicans by blaming them for a mess that DEMOCRATS created.  And Republicans were to blame primarily because they didn’t do enough to stand up and courageously oppose the disaster that Democrats had created

A couple weeks ago the New York Times reported that Fannie and Freddie would get a whopping $800 billion to cover losses incurred under the Obama administration (and see another article on this $800 billion fiasco here):

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy and resell mortgages, have used $112 billion — including $15 billion for Fannie in November — of a total $400 billion pledge from the Treasury. Now, according to people close to the talks, officials are discussing the possibility of increasing that commitment, possibly to $400 billion for each company, by year-end, after which the Treasury would need Congressional approval to extend it. Company and government officials declined to comment.

But it turned out that that was wrong.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac weren’t going to get $800 billion.  That won’t be nearly enough.  They are going to get an unlimited amount of funding (potentially in the trillions):

From the Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2009:

The Obama administration’s decision to cover an unlimited amount of losses at the mortgage-finance giants Fannie MaeFreddie Mac over the next three years and stirred controversy over the holiday.

A Newsbuster article, entitled, “Relief Without Limits,” provides an excellent resource of facts and commentary on this incredible and terrifying development.

Remember the righteous outrage of Democrats and the Obama administration over the compensation of CEOs of private banks?  The Democrats don’t seem to mind when Fannie and Freddie execs get huge compensation packages.

The monster rises yet again, and larger and uglier and more dangerous than it has ever been before.  And just like the first time it collapsed, Democrats are in total control of it.  Fannie and Freddie stock went up significantly as the news was announced.  Watch it dwindle back to zero by the end of 2010.

We’re facing another tsunami of foreclosures in 2010.  And three mortgages get worse for every single one that improves.

And even uber-liberal sources like the Huffington Post are acknowledging that Obama’s policies have utterly failed:

Anatomy of a Failed Foreclosure Program (dated 12-07-09)

Just how badly is President Obama’s $75 billion foreclosure program working out? Consider these newly-released numbers: Out of every 100 homeowners who came to JPMorgan Chase for help under the program, just 15 have or will likely receive a permanent payment reduction.

What happened to the other 85? For every 100 trial plans initiated from April through September 2009 under the Home Affordable Modification Program:

  • 29 borrowers did not make all required payments under their trial plan;
  • 20 borrowers did not submit all documents required for underwriting;
  • 31 borrowers submitted all required documents but the documents did not meet HAMP underwriting standards, due to such things as missing signatures or nonstandard formats;
  • 4 borrowers were or are likely to be rejected for undisclosed reasons;
  • 1 borrower will not or is not likely to get their payment lowered.

The data comes from the prepared remarks bank officials plan to make Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee. The testimony was posted Monday on the committee’s website.

It adds up to a brutal illustration of just how the HAMP program, which is supposed to reduce troubled homeowners’ monthly payments to 31 percent of their income, is failing.

Failing.  As in “failing grade.”  As in failed Obama presidency.

You still don’t know the half of it.  Obama’s $75 billion mortgage modification bailout is costing taxpayers an average of $870,967 PER HOUSE when the average house is worth only $177,900.

Famed analyst Meredith Whitney predicted that unemployment would rise to 13% or higher primarily due to the failure to contain the failure to deal with the mortgage industry:

Unemployment is likely to rise to 13 percent or higher and will weigh on the economy for several years, countering government efforts to stabilize the banking industry, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC. […]

“We underestimate how much the whole economy is dependent on the mortgage industry, and that has to change,” Whitney said. “This is what happens when you delay the inevitable. We’re buying time here, but we’re not restructuring the economy.”

Under the radar, and against the objections of Republicans that was primarily covered only by C-SPAN, Democrats implemented and then fiercely protected policies that were almost guaranteed to doom our economy.  When the meltdown finally occurred, the same Democrats who created the black hole in the first place flooded the airwaves and blamed George Bush – whom they had already vilified and brought down through unrelenting attacks using the Iraq War as their main foil.

The propaganda worked, and Barack Hussein Obama – a politician who is more beholden to corrupt and frankly un-American entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ACORN, and the SEIU than any president in history.

And now we’re truly paying for our stupidity.

Obama is taking the same policies that imploded our economy, and multiplied them by a factor of ten.  It’s only a matter of time before his policies create a rotten floor for our economy to plunge through all over again — only this time far, far worse than before.

Someone might say, “But look, Obama is rebuilding the economy.  He’s brought back the stock market, and things are getting better.”

First of all, they really aren’t getting better, and the Dow can drop a lot faster than it can rise (history lesson: there were several rises and crashes of the stock market during the Great Depression).  And second of all, if you loan me a few billion dollars to spread around, I can temporarily bring up the production of my local economy, too.

Just don’t expect either me or Barack Hussein to repay the loan when it comes due.

Obama has been compared – and has compared himself – to FDR.  We now know that for all of FDR’s popularity, his “reforms” during the Great Depression were massive failures which actually kept the United States in depression for seven years longer than if he’d done nothing at all.

Henry Morganthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, said in May 1939, after nearly seven years in office:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises… I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!”

In believing the propaganda and lies of the Democrats and Barack Obama, Americans may have well placed the nation in a hole that it very may well not be able to climb out of.

Copenhagen Falls Apart Under Obama’s Hollow Rhetoric

December 18, 2009

Hot Air swings for the bleachers, and sends a lot of liberal pitches soaring over the center field wall.  Here’s another home run:

Breaking: India, China walk out of Copenhagen
posted at 10:49 am on December 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama came, he spoke, and no one concurred:

India and China have taken a united stand and walked out of the climate summit as Copenhagen talks fail.

Tensions prevailed at the climate talks at Copenhagen today, as Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and China premier Wen Jiabao walked out of the summit along with their respective delegations, as talks failed.

Obama feted Singh just this month, saying that they should be impressed that India got first crack at Obama’s state dinner agenda.  Apparently, Singh was less impressed than Obama presumed.

Meanwhile, Obama is getting some pretty bad reviews for his intervention in Copenhagen … from his once-adoring admirers.  Since this comes from the Left’s major newspaper in the UK, where political biases are openly acknowledged in the media, this may seem like good news for those worried that Barack Obama would give away the store in Copenhagen.  We needn’t have worried; Obama turned out to be just as effective on the world stage as he has been in finding compromises here at home.  The Right has no illusions about Obama, but the disillusionment from the Left is rather amusing:

Barack Obama stepped into the chaotic final hours of the Copenhagen summit today saying he was convinced the world could act “boldly and decisively” on climate change.

But his speech offered no indication America was ready to embrace bold measures, after world leaders had been working desperately against the clock to try to paper over an agreement to prevent two years of wasted effort — and a 10-day meeting — from ending in total collapse. …

Many reactions were strongly critical of Obama. Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, described Obama’s speech as “ridiculous” and the US’s initial offer of a $10bn fund for poor countries in the draft text as “a joke”.

Tim Jones, a spokesman for the World Development Movement, said: “The president said he came to act, but showed little evidence of doing so. He showed no awareness of the inequality and injustice of climate change. If America has really made its choice, it is a choice that condemns hundreds of millions of people to climate change disaster.”

Friends of the Earth said in a statement, “Obama has deeply disappointed not only those listening to his speech at the UN talks, he has disappointed the whole world.”

The World Wildlife Fund said Obama had let down the international community by failing to commit to pushing for action in Congress: “The only way the world can be sure the US is standing behind its commitments is for the president to clearly state that climate change will be his next top legislative priority.”

Honestly, have these people paid no attention to Obama’s performance all year?  He doesn’t do the hard work.  Obama has spent all year outsourcing his work on domestic policy to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, refusing to get involved in negotiations.  Even now, progressives on Capitol Hill wonder if Obama ever wanted a public option in his signature domestic policy priority at all — a rather strange gap, considering the high-profile cheerleading coming from Obama all year long.  That’s all he does: campaign.

The one issue that he could not outsource was Afghanistan.  As Commander in Chief, the decision on resourcing and strategy was his alone … and it took him almost four months to make it.

The truth is that Barack Obama would make a much better Secretary-General of the UN than an American President, and even the Left is beginning to see it.

As for Copenhagen, Obama was already redeploying over the event horizon before news of the walkout hit, according to ABC News, which had reported optimistically on Obama’s efforts for most of the morning:

“We’ve done what we can here,” a senior White House official in Copenhagen, Denmark, tells ABC News. “The Chinese are dug in on transparency and are refusing to let people know they’re living up to their end of the agreement.”

After landing in Denmark early this morning, President Obama met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a bilateral at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to press the case that China needs to allow for transparency.

“The President’s priority is to make our economy far more focused on a clean energy economy that creates jobs,” the official said. “He is here to work constructively and participate in hoping to get an international accord. But not getting one here won’t change wanting to transform our economy to create the new foundation he’s talked about.”

Well, he’s been there one whole day.  Who can argue with his commitment after giving one speech and holding one meeting?

As to Afghanistan, Obama boldly claimed he had the right strategy in place back in May, picked his own general to implement it, and then spent four months angsting over that general’s urgent recommendation.  When Obama finally made a decision after four months of what the Pentagon described as dithering, it was accompanied with a withdrawal date that left even his own supporters unable to explain his policy, in addition to grave uncertainty and fear in the minds of our allies.

Not to mention the ridiculous joke of Obama finally making the announcement to send more troops to fight in Afghanistan, then jetting off to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize.  “Ridiculous” because the only way he could reconcile the massive hypocrisy from the leftist prism was to invoke what was tantamount to the very Bush doctrine he had previously personally demonized (see also here).

We arrive at something that should have occurred to the left when they were decrying Sarah Palin’s lack of experience.  Namely, that she actually had far more leadership experience than Obama did.  Sarah Palin had been a chief executive of a state; Barry Hussein had led exactly squat.  And so when the left was pointing out Sarah Palin’s lack of substantial executive experience, they were literally pointing out the splinter in Palin’s eye, while refusing to see the giant redwood log in Obama’s.

Well, they’re seeing that great big giant log now, aren’t they?  On virtually every front (e.g., the economy, health care, global warming, Afghanistan, unemployment, soaring deficits, Iran’s nuclear program, Gitmo, cap-and-trade, the Olympics), Obama is an utterly failed leader even according to the left.

Conservatives were loudly declaring that Obama would be a failure all along.  Rush Limbaugh was demonized for his prediction, but now far leftists such as Howard Dean have joined him.

The left-leaning world swooned over Obama’s speeches.  Now they know that, rather than being an eloquent man expressing a great vision, Obama is merely an incoherent gibberer who needs to read the word-for-word sentences of others off of two teleprompter screens.

This was the man who actually had the unmitigated and arrogant gall to say:

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

Obama says here, “It’s not all about me; it’s about you under my inspired divine messiahship, too.”  I mean, why was “this” “the moment”?  Why wasn’t it the moment when either Bush was president, or when Clinton was president, etcetera?

Michelle Obama cut through the vain hypocrisy of Obama’s vain rhetoric at a UCLA speech delivered on February 18, 2008:

“Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

I think Spike Lee summed up Obama’s delusional mindset best:

“It means that this is a whole new world. I think…I’ve been saying this before. You can divide history. BB Before Barack. AB After Barack.”

It was always all about Obama.  And we, tiny little near-mindless proletariat ants that we were, would be stimulated into action by the exalted greatness of Obama’s wonderfulness.

And of course, it’s STILL all about Obama.  Only now it’s about what a colossal failure he is, rather than how he is somehow going to heal the planet.

Now because of America’s delusional foolishness, we’re going to have to suffer through the dismal malaise of three more years with a failed, dithering, appeasing, demagogic, pandering weakling in the White House.

But enough about the failure and fraud of Obama and his “hype and chains” movement.

Getting back to the abysmal failure and fraud of “Hopenhagen,” do read the absolutely blistering UK Telegraph piece by  Gerald Warner.

Note To Democrats: Throttle Back Or Go Off Cliff

November 3, 2009

Obama won Virginia by 6 points.  Virginia hadn’t had a Republican governor for 12 years.  Both Virginian Senators are Democrats.

Now there’s change.  McDonnell wins by 18 points, in a 24 point turnaround since Obama’s win last November.  And McDonnell had a 66-30 lead among independent voters.

Obama won New Jersey by 16 points.  Blue state through and through.  Governor Corzine spent $23.6 million of his own money on his campaign; by contrast, Republican challenger Chris Christie had a total of $8.8 million.  President Obama made five trips to New Jersey, and the administration put more effort into this off-year election than any in history.  But in spite of all the advantages, Christie benefited from a 60-30 advantage in independent voters showing up to vote for the Republican.

No matter.

Now there’s change.  Christie wins by 5 points, amounting to a 21 point turnaround from Obama’s win last year.

Four races called, four Republicans elected.  Oops.  Make that five. Republican New York Mayor Bloomberg is about to hold on to win reelection.

We can also add the Maine defeat of gay marriage.  That’s a thirty for thirty smackdown of liberal activists trying to foist gay marriage onto states.  Gay marriage is supported only by Democrat politicians, activist judges, and of course Beelzebub.

Some are calling this a referendum on Barack Obama.  Others aren’t.  I don’t particularly even CARE about that, given the fact that we can’t get Obama out of the White House for three more years.

But there’s little question that this IS a referendum on hard-core liberal agenda items such as health care and cap and trade.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid drink their Kool-aid by the barrel.  But any moderate Democrat who votes for any kind of leftist health care package has to know that they will be dead meat when their next turn to face the voters comes up.

Democrats won the NY-23 seat.  But that is like a drop of spit in a bucket compared with what happened in Virginia and New Jersey.  The Democrat taking NY-23 would have been big if Jon Corzine had held on to New Jersey.  But only a nut wouldn’t see that losing a district is little compared to losing a state.

Democrats and mainstream media “journalists” are portraying the Conservative Party candidate Hoffman losing NY-23 as evidence of a civil war within the Republican Party.  And maybe it is.  But as usual, Democrats are looking at the speck in the Republican Party’s eye, and ignoring the giant log in their own.

MoveOn.org is sending out emails today seeking more contributions for its campaign to defeat any Democratic senator who does not fully  support Obamacare. Yesterday the left-wing activist group asked members to contribute “to a primary challenge against any Democratic senator who helps Republicans block an up-or-down vote on health care reform.” Today, MoveOn reports that it has received $2 million in pledges in less than 24 hours. “It’s a clear sign of how angry progressives would be at any Democrat who helps filibuster reform,” MoveOn executive director Justin Ruben writes in the new email.

I’d be worried about what’s going on inside the conservative movement, if it weren’t for what I see going on inside the liberal movement.

I hate to tell you, Democrats.  But if you’re counting on the Republican Party to self-destruct, you’re a fool.

I’m very happy, and maybe that happiness gives me a little more of the sense of graciousness and humility that I would much prefer to have over any attitude of bitterness or vengeance.

There’s room for Democrats.  There’s even room for a Democrat majority.  Just be sane in how you govern.  This is a center right country.  If you can’t govern to the center-right, at least shoot for the center.

Our spending has been insane.  The deficits this administration and this Congress are building is insane.  The nearly 2,000 page health care boondoggle the Democrats are trying to impose on the nation is insane.  And the cap-and-trade legislation that was being prepared this week for another legislative effort is insane.

Stop the madness.  Please.

Republicans and Democrats can and should come together on a host of issues.  Some of them might surprise a lot of people.

John F. Kennedy was a supply-side tax cutter who understood that the economy grew and improved when people were allowed to keep more of their own money.  Rather than constantly “looking forward,” Democrats might look back and learn a few lessons from their greatest president in the last half-century.

We all want jobs, regardless of our party affiliation or lack thereof.  We can and should agree that the only jobs that are truly sustainable must come from the private sector.  Do the math: government sector jobs are funded by taxes.  And taxes are paid by people who earn money from … that’s right, from the private sector.

Republicans were right about the stimulus.  To the extent that the giant $787 billion (actually $3.27 trillion) “porkulus” created jobs or growth, it was the result of inflating the size and scope of government.

Republicans and Democrats alike ought to agree: we can and should do better.  We should either refund that stimulus to our foreign lenders, or at least redirect it to non-partisan private sector job creation.  I would much prefer the former, but doing the latter would at least take away some of the anger I’ve been carrying around for the last nine months.

Health care?  There have been zero Republican solutions considered.  And zero solutions that involved trying to actually lower the cost of health care.  That needs to change.  Dramatically.

We don’t need European-style socialized medicine in this country.  In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “With all the defects in our Constitution, whether general or particular, the comparison of our government with those of Europe, is like a comparison of Heaven with Hell.”  And his view is as true today as it was 222 years ago.

Government has never been America’s savior.  And it shouldn’t try to become our savior now.

As for job-killing cap-and-trade, it is a simple fact that fewer and fewer Americans believe in man-caused global warming.  Polar bears have increased their numbers fivefold while global warming alarmists have predicted their extinction.  It’s time to stop the madness, and focus on creating more jobs rather than creating more carbon offset credits.

Republicans and Democrats alike should both want to see less waste and corruption in our government.  Democrats promised to deliver both, but neither has come anywhere close to happening.  We need to end the waste and fraud that comes from too much government, and not enough common sense.  Not only did Democrats appoint a tax cheat to be the Secretary of the Treasury, but as we speak, the man in charge of writing our tax laws, Charles Rangel, is in all kinds of trouble over a whole host of felonious tax-related activity.  Deal with him.  Deal with all of them, regardless of their party or their position.  Drain the swamp.

Stop marginalizing conservatives and listen to them.  Quit calling tea party rallyers “tea baggers” and realize that their anger isn’t good for you.  Or for anybody.  Don’t try to ram a radical agenda down their throats and then demand that they either support it or be branded as “racist.”

Do you want a war, Democrats?  Do you want an amped-up conservative majority (and conservatives ARE the majority) out to utterly destroy you?  Fine.  I think what happened tonight proves that you’ll lose that war.

Democrats are willing to negotiate with terrorists and the leaders of rogue regimes.  If you’re going to do that, you should at least be consistent and be willing to genuinely negotiate with Republicans and leaders of conservative movements.  If you don’t agree, you have been drinking out of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s Kool-aid.

As a conservative, traditional family, religious Republican, I understand that Democrats think differently about a bunch of things, and that as the party in current control of all three branches of government, this is their chance to have their shot at showing what their philosophy will accomplish.

But don’t be stupid about it.  Because if you are, you are going to end up paying dearly.

Even New York Times Pointing Out Democrats Lying Over Cost Of Obamacare

October 31, 2009

When the Gray Lady says that Democrats are lying, you can rest assured that they are not only lying, but lying their weaselly little heads off.

From the New York Times:

In a news release shortly before House Democrats held a rally to unveil the bill, Ms. Pelosi’s office wrote: “The legislation’s coverage cost will be $894 billion over 10 years, fully paid for.” And in her speech at the event, Ms. Pelosi said: “It reduces the deficits, meets President Obama’s call to keep the cost under $900 billion over 10 years, and it insures 36 million more Americans.”

But…

… a closer look at the budget office report suggests that the number everyone should have reported was $1.055 trillion, which is the gross cost of the insurance coverage provisions in the bill before taking account of certain new revenues, including penalties by individuals and employers who fail to meet new insurance requirements in the bill.

According to the budget office, the overall cost of the bill is more than offset by revenues from new taxes or cuts in spending by the government, resulting in a reduction in future budget deficits of $104 billion.

All of these figures cover a 10-year period from 2010 to 2019.

And how do Nancy Pelosi’s aid justify themselves?  By pointing out that, since Democrats in the Senate lied, House Democrats have a right to lie, too:

Aides to Ms. Pelosi defended their decision to focus on the $894 billion net figure. They also pointed out that in an “apples to apples” comparison — $1.055 trillion for the House bill vs. $829 billion for the Senate Finance measure — the House bill is projected to insure 7 million more people.

The cost of the health care legislation is incredibly significant these days.  It turns out that even Democrats are beginning to understand that -gasp – soaring deficits actually matter.

The fact of the matter is, the CBO – even when they’re trying to be honest – aren’t very good at counting the costs (which Jesus said was kind of important as a fundamental undertaking before starting something major).  The fact of the matter is that the government has historically underestimated the costs of their projects by an average factor of seven.  And some of their worst miscalculations of all have been in the category of health care.

The Wall Street Journal provided this handy-dandy little illustration of that sad history:

It’s certainly not the CBO’s fault, mind you.  Not when Democrats have been routinely and blatantly playing numbers shenanigans to hide the real costs of their massive government takeover from the American people.

Harry Reid actually made a staggering admission while trying to prevent the Democrat-special-interest-anathema tort reform.  He said:

HARRY REID: “He talked about CBO saying that there would be $54 billion saved each year if we put caps on medical malpractice and put some restrictions — tort reform — $54 billion. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it, Mr. President? The answer is yes. But remember, were talking about $2 trillion, $54 billion compared to $2 trillion. You can do the math. We can all do the math. Its a very small percent.”

[Youtube]

And I would love to bet any Democrat that the ultimate cost of this monstrosity will be far greater than $2 trillion.

The cost of the Democrats’ health care “change” will become yet another giant anchor stopping the forward momentum of our economy.  And as it leads to economic collapse, it will increasingly lead to medical rationing and the deaths of senior citizens by government-mandated medical neglect.

Update, November 2: Oops.  Did I say $1.055 trillion?  I’m sorry.  It’s now $1.2 trillion.

The health care bill headed for a vote in the House this week costs $1.2 trillion or more over a decade, according to numerous Democratic officials and figures contained in an analysis by congressional budget experts, far higher than the $900 billion cited by President Barack Obama as a price tag for his reform plan

The actual deficit figure is dramatically higher.  For instance, we’re STILL waiting for the cuts in Medicare that Bill Clinton and the Democrats promised in 1993.  In fact, we’re STILL waiting for ANY cuts in Medicare.  So you can safely add a minimum of $500 billion to the actual deficit that Obamacare will create; because there is no way that Democrats will do what they are claiming they will do and slash the Medicare budget.

Obama’s Cloward-Piven Redistributionism Shaping The Future Collapse

August 28, 2009

There is a bizarre conspiracy afoot that most Americans are simply unwilling to comprehend, much less believe.

Obama and ‘Redistributive Change’
Forget the recession and the “uninsured.” Obama has bigger fish to fry.

By Victor Davis Hanson

The first seven months of the Obama administration seemingly make no sense. Why squander public approval by running up astronomical deficits in a time of pre-existing staggering national debt?

Why polarize opponents after promising bipartisan transcendence?

Why create vast new programs when the efficacy of big government is already seen as dubious?

But that is exactly the wrong way to look at these first seven months of Obamist policy-making.

Take increased federal spending and the growing government absorption of GDP.  Given the resiliency of the U.S. economy, it would have been easy to ride out the recession.  In that case we would still have had to deal with a burgeoning and unsustainable annual federal deficit that would have approached $1 trillion.

Instead, Obama may nearly double that amount of annual indebtedness with more federal stimuli and bailouts, newly envisioned cap-and-trade legislation, and a variety of fresh entitlements. Was that fiscally irresponsible? Yes, of course.

But I think the key was not so much the spending excess or new entitlements. The point instead was the consequence of the resulting deficits, which will require radically new taxation for generations. If on April 15 the federal and state governments, local entities, the Social Security system, and the new health-care programs can claim 70 percent of the income of the top 5 percent of taxpayers, then that is considered a public good — every bit as valuable as funding new programs, and one worth risking insolvency.

Individual compensation is now seen as arbitrary and, by extension, inherently unfair. A high income is now rationalized as having less to do with market-driven needs, acquired skills, a higher level of education, innate intelligence, inheritance, hard work, or accepting risk. Rather income is seen more as luck-driven, cruelly capricious, unfair — even immoral, in that some are rewarded arbitrarily on the basis of race, class, and gender advantages, others for their overweening greed and ambition, and still more for their quasi-criminality.

“Patriotic” federal healers must then step in to “spread the wealth.” Through redistributive tax rates, they can “treat” the illness that the private sector has caused. After all, there is no intrinsic reason why an auto fabricator makes $60 in hourly wages and benefits, while a young investment banker finagles $500.

Or, in the president’s own language, the government must equalize the circumstances of the “waitress” with those of the “lucky.” It is thus a fitting and proper role of the new federal government to rectify imbalances of compensation — at least for those outside the anointed Guardian class. In a 2001 interview Obama in fact outlined the desirable political circumstances that would lead government to enforce equality of results when he elaborated on what he called an “actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.”

Still, why would intelligent politicians try to ram through, in mere weeks, a thousand pages of health-care gibberish — its details outsourced to far-left elements in the Congress (and their staffers) — that few in the cabinet had ever read or even knew much about?

Once again, I don’t think health care per se was ever really the issue. When pressed, no one in the administration seemed to know whether illegal aliens were covered. Few cared why young people do not divert some of their entertainment expenditures to a modest investment in private catastrophic coverage.

Warnings that Canadians already have their health care rationed, wait in long lines, and are denied timely and critical procedures also did not seem to matter. And no attention was paid to statistics suggesting that, if we exclude homicides and auto accidents, Americans live as long on average as anyone in the industrial world, and have better chances of surviving longer with heart disease and cancer. That the average American did not wish to radically alter his existing plan, and that he understood that the uninsured really did have access to health care, albeit in a wasteful manner at the emergency room, was likewise of no concern.

The issue again was larger, and involved a vast reinterpretation of how America receives health care.  Whether more or fewer Americans would get better or worse access and cheaper or more expensive care, or whether the government can or cannot afford such new entitlements, oddly seemed largely secondary to the crux of the debate.

Instead, the notion that the state will assume control, in Canada-like fashion, and level the health-care playing field was the real concern. “They” (the few) will now have the same care as “we” (the many). Whether the result is worse or better for everyone involved is extraneous, since sameness is the overarching principle.

We can discern this same mandated egalitarianism beneath many of the administration’s recent policy initiatives. Obama is not a pragmatist, as he insisted, nor even a liberal, as charged.

Rather, he is a statist. The president believes that a select group of affluent, highly educated technocrats — cosmopolitan, noble-minded, and properly progressive — supported by a phalanx of whiz-kids fresh out of blue-chip universities with little or no experience in the marketplace, can direct our lives far better than we can ourselves. By “better” I do not mean in a fashion that, measured by disinterested criteria, makes us necessarily wealthier, happier, more productive, or freer.

Instead, “better” means “fairer,” or more “equal.” We may “make” different amounts of money, but we will end up with more or less similar net incomes. We may know friendly doctors, be aware of the latest procedures, and have the capital to buy blue-chip health insurance, but no matter. Now we will all alike queue up with our government-issued insurance cards to wait our turn at the ubiquitous corner clinic.

None of this equality-of-results thinking is new.

When radical leaders over the last 2,500 years have sought to enforce equality of results, their prescriptions were usually predictable: redistribution of property; cancellation of debts; incentives to bring out the vote and increase political participation among the poor; stigmatizing of the wealthy, whether through the extreme measure of ostracism or the more mundane forced liturgies; use of the court system to even the playing field by targeting the more prominent citizens; radical growth in government and government employment; the use of state employees as defenders of the egalitarian faith; bread-and-circus entitlements; inflation of the currency and greater national debt to lessen the power of accumulated capital; and radical sloganeering about reactionary enemies of the new state.

The modern versions of much of the above already seem to be guiding the Obama administration — evident each time we hear of another proposal to make it easier to renounce personal debt; federal action to curtail property or water rights; efforts to make voter registration and vote casting easier; radically higher taxes on the top 5 percent; takeover of private business; expansion of the federal government and an increase in government employees; or massive inflationary borrowing. The current class-warfare “them/us” rhetoric was predictable.

Usually such ideologies do not take hold in America, given its tradition of liberty, frontier self-reliance, and emphasis on personal freedom rather than mandated fraternity and egalitarianism. At times, however, the stars line up, when a national catastrophe, like war or depression, coincides with the appearance of an unusually gifted, highly polished, and eloquent populist. But the anointed one must be savvy enough to run first as a centrist in order later to govern as a statist.

Given the September 2008 financial meltdown, the unhappiness over the war, the ongoing recession, and Barack Obama’s postracial claims and singular hope-and-change rhetoric, we found ourselves in just such a situation. For one of the rare times in American history, statism could take hold, and the country could be pushed far to the left.

That goal is the touchstone that explains the seemingly inexplicable — and explains also why, when Obama is losing independents, conservative Democrats, and moderate Republicans, his anxious base nevertheless keeps pushing him to become even more partisan, more left-wing, angrier, and more in a hurry to rush things through. They understand the unpopularity of the agenda and the brief shelf life of the president’s charm. One term may be enough to establish lasting institutional change.

Obama and his supporters at times are quite candid about such a radical spread-the-wealth agenda, voiced best by Rahm Emanuel — “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid” — or more casually by Obama himself — “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

So we move at breakneck speed in order not to miss this rare opportunity when the radical leadership of the Congress and the White House for a brief moment clinch the reins of power. By the time a shell-shocked public wakes up and realizes that the prescribed chemotherapy is far worse than the existing illness, it should be too late to revive the old-style American patient.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The term, “Cloward-Piven strategy” resounds in Hanson’s article without having ever once been used:

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

An American Thinker article provides flesh to the concept:

The Strategy was first elucidated in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation magazine by a pair of radical socialist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. David Horowitz summarizes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Cloward and Piven were inspired by radical organizer [and Hillary Clinton mentor] Saul Alinsky:

“Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

Newsmax rounds out the picture:

Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation’s wealth.

In their Nation article, Cloward and Piven were specific about the kind of “crisis” they were trying to create:

By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.

No matter where the strategy is implemented, it shares the following features:

  1. The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.
  2. The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.
  3. The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.

Nobody wants to believe that a large and influential group of our leaders would want to create a catastrophe as a means of having an opportunity to impose their will upon an ensuing “super-government” that would necessarily have to arise from the ashes.  The concept strikes many as madness.

Only it’s happened too many times in just this century to label as “madness.”  It is, in fact, the goal of virtually every revolutionary movement.  You have to tear down the old in order to create the new.

Consider the fact that the leftist organizers of the 1960s – like Barack Obama’s friend and mentor William Ayers, who was instrumental in Obama’s early career and his run in politics – are very much still around and still profoundly shaping the leftist agenda.  Take Ayers’ Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Jones, whose Apollo Alliance wrote a big chunk of Obama’s stimulus package.  Take Tom Hayden (who endorsed Obama), leader of the leftist group Students for a Democratic Society.  He proclaimed in a landmark 1962 speech that the youth must wrest control of society from their elders, and that to that end universities had to be transformed into incubators of revolutionary “social action.”  And his calls to use any means necessary to achieve that “social action” – certainly including violence and force – colored and in fact defined the entire 60s leftist radicalism.  Hayden was one of the writers of the “Berkeley Liberation Program.”  Some highlights: “destroy the university, unless it serves the people”; “all oppressed people in jail are political prisoners and must be set free”; “create a soulful socialism”; “students must destroy the senile dictatorship of adult teachers.”  And his “community outreach” fomented horrific race riots.

These people are still dictating the agenda of the left today.  They were trying to fundamentally transform society then, and they are trying to fundamentally transform society today.  Only their tactics have changed; the goal remains the same.

You don’t think Barack Obama – who was in turn mentored by communist Frank Marshall Davis, by radical organizer Saul Alinsky, by terrorist William Ayers – (the link is to a CNN story demonstrating that Obama’s relationship to Ayers was MUCH deeper than Obama claimed) – doesn’t value these people and share their values?  Then, to put it very bluntly, you are a fool.  The words of our current president:

“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.  The foreign students.  The Chicanos.  The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.  We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets.  At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy.  When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints.  We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure.  We were alienated.”

But of course, Obama really wasn’t alienated, by his own statement.  He was a member of a community–a community of far-far-leftist radicals.

Also, of course “the more politically active black students” were the violent, racist, and criminal Black Panthers.

Obama was always about “change.”

You may not believe me now.  I understand that.  But hear this: it is my contention that things are going to get seriously bad in this country.  And that there are liberals, progressives, socialists (as Obama’s climate czar Carol Browner is), communists (as Obama’s ‘Green jobs czar’ Van Jones describes himself) – or whatever the hell these people want to call themselves – who are manipulating and riding the current times in order to take advantage of the future collapse.

Things didn’t have to get as bad as they’re going to get.  It certainly won’t be George Bush’s fault (all of Obama’s efforts to turn him into the current version of Emmanuel Goldstein to the contrary).  It is not George Bush’s fault that Barack Obama’s budget accumulated so far in 2009 exceeds all eight years of Bush’s combined deficits.  It’s not George Bush’s fault that we have seen historic and completely unsustainable levels of red ink under Barack Obama.  It’s not George Bush’s fault that Barack Obama is essentially truing to nationalize wide swaths of our economy, such as health care and energy.  It’s all on Obama.

Obama’s massive debt is creating serious worries about the future of the U.S. dollar.  We are forecasted to be paying a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the debt by 2019; and it will very likely be a lot more a lot sooner.

What’s going to happen then?

Well, let me tell you what the Cloward-Piven proponents believe will happen: they think the coming complete crash of our economic system will result in the complete takeover of the economy and the society by the state.  They think that as panicked and hungry people look around at the disaster big government created, they will have no choice but to turn to government for help.  They think that they will finally have the socialist utopia they always dreamed of but American independence and self-reliance would never allow.

If by some miracle in defiance of all the laws of economics Obama’s economic policy actually doesn’t kill our economy, Obama and Democrats will win big.  If, far more likely, Obama’s economic policy causes a crash of the entire system, liberals believe that Democrats will ultimately STILL win big.

You can call me crazy if you like.  But mark my words.

As you see things getting worse, and liberals using the complete and catastrophic failure of big government to justify even MORE and even BIGGER big government, what might seem crazy to you now will make a lot more sense.

Politico Article Reveals Obama’s Cloward-Piven Strategy Backfiring

August 24, 2009

Allow me to refresh your memories concerning the infamous Cloward-Piven strategy, which was the brainchild of two leftist professors to take total control of America by overwhelming its social support structures to create a “crisis”:

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one.

I genuinely believe that Barack Obama – a follower of Saul Alinsky as well as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate when he belonged to it to go along with a long and deep relationship with leftist radicals – is pursuing a “heads we win, tails you lose” strategy. If the economy somehow miraculously picks up under all of this massive spending and even more massive debt, then Democrats win big and Republicans lose. If – far more likely – the economy crashes under its own massive weight due to hyperinflation as interest payments on the debt soar and the Obama Treasury devalues the currency by printing money, then a starving, terrified people will scream for help from their government. And Democrats will – in solving the “crisis” they themselves created – secure the pure-socialist totalitarian state they have always envisioned. Either way, Obama liberals believe they will win big.

Government by crisis is a tried and true fascist approach.  It is up to you to decide whether it is a coincidence or not that Barack Obama is using the same approach, as described by his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel:

EMANUEL:  “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.  This is an opportunity. What used to be long-term problems — be they in the health care area, energy area, education area, fiscal area, tax area, regulatory reform area — things that we had postponed for too long that were long-term are now immediate and must be dealt with.  And this crisis provides the opportunity for us, as I would say, the opportunity to do things that you could not do before.”

Obama began his presidency by fearmongering a crisis to get his way.  He fearmongered the stimulus through the Congress, predicting terrifying scenarios if it failed and hyping claims that have turned out to be completely false if he got his way.  Republicans were completely shut out of the stimulus, and the legislation was rushed through Congress so quickly that not one single Representative or Senator had any chance to read the bill that Obama then took leisurely four days to sign.

There was just one problem: Cloward-Piven depended for its success upon a death by incrementalism, as vividly depicted by a frog placed in a pot of water.  If you put the frog in boiling water, it will leap out immediately.  But if you put the frog in cool water and gradually turn up the heat, you can literally cook the frog to death.  Obama’s problem is that he turned the heat up too fast for the American people, and they are now leaping out of the boiling cauldron he created for them.

Or, perhaps another illustration will do to depict the American people-as-frog:

Defiance_Frog_Stork

Note that the article that follows is written from a clear liberal slant (e.g., “Then Obama lost control of the health care debate by letting Republicans get away with their bogus claims about “death panels.”). Nevertheless, the article clearly admits to the crisis-style mentality that Obama used to try to push through his entire agenda at once.

Obama’s Big Bang could go bust
By: Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei
August 21, 2009

Barack Obama’s Big Bang is beginning to backfire, as his plans for rapid, once-in-a-generation overhauls of energy, financial regulation and health care are running into stiff resistance, both in Washington and around the country.

The Obama theory was simple, though always freighted with risk: Use a season of economic anxiety to enact sweeping changes the public likely wouldn’t stomach in ordinary times. But the abrupt swing in the public’s mood, from optimism about Obama’s possibility to concern he may be overreaching, has thrown the White House off its strategy and forced the president to curtail his ambitions.

Some Democrats point to a decision in June as the first vivid sign of trouble for Obama. These Democrats say the White House, in retrospect, made a grievous mistake by muscling conservative Democrats in swing districts to vote for a cap-and-trade energy bill that was very unpopular among their constituents.

Many of those members were pounded back home because Democrats passed a bill Republicans successfully portrayed as a big tax increase on consumers. The result: many conservative Democrats were gun-shy about taking any more risky votes — or going out on a limb on health care.

The other result: The prospects for winning final passage of a cap-and-trade bill this year are greatly diminished. And, while most Democrats still predict a health care bill will pass this year, it is likely to be a shadow of what Obama once had planned.

“The majority-makers are the freshman and sophomores from conservative districts where there’s this narrative building about giveaways, bailouts and too much change at once,” said a top House Democratic strategist, who requested anonymity to discuss internal politics candidly. “There’s this big snowball building in those districts. That’s why those folks are so scared.”

David Axelrod, Obama’s political architect, said it was “very clear early in the transition” that Obama would have to attack a number of festering issues simultaneously.

“The times demanded it,” he said in an interview. “We didn’t have the luxury of taking things sequentially, year after year, and hoping we got there. That’s the reason that all these major issues had been deferred for decades: Change is hard.”

Axelrod said the president is “looking forward to an active fall” when he returns from next week’s vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, and is not as worried about the outlook as the denizens of Washington, where “every day is election day.”

But the “Big Bang” theory of governance, as some White House insiders called it, is not without risk and consequences.

By doing so much, so fast, Obama gave Republicans the chance to define large swaths of the debate. Conservatives successfully portrayed the stimulus bill as being full of pork for Democrats. Then Obama lost control of the health care debate by letting Republicans get away with their bogus claims about “death panels.” The GOP also has successfully raised concerns that the Obama plan is a big-government takeover of health care — and much of Middle America bought the idea, according to polls.

By doing so much, so fast, Obama never sufficiently educated the public on the logic behind his policies. He spent little time explaining the biggest bailouts in U.S. history, which he inherited but supported and expanded. And then he lost crucial support on the left by not following up quickly with new and stricter rules for Wall Street. On Friday, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman echoed a concern widely shared among leading liberals. “I don’t know if administration officials realize just how much damage they’ve done themselves with their kid-gloves treatment of the financial industry, just how badly the spectacle of government supported institutions paying giant bonuses is playing.”

By doing so much so fast, Obama jammed the circuits on Capitol Hill. Congress has a hard time doing even one big thing well at a time. Congress is good at passing giveaways and tax cuts, but has not enacted a transformative piece of social legislation since President Bill Clinton’s welfare reform of 1996. “There’s a reason things up here were built to go slowly,” said another Democratic aide.

By doing so doing so much, so fast, he has left voters — especially independents — worried that he got an overblown sense of his mandates and is doing, well, too much too fast. A Washington Post-ABC News poll published Friday found that independents’ confidence in Obama’s ability to make the right decisions had dropped 20 points since the Inauguration, from 61 percent to 41 percent.

Axelrod and others argue Obama had no choice but to tackle all of these issues at once. That might be true for a stimulus bill and the bank and auto bailouts — but that case is harder to make for energy and health care, which have been the focus of intense debate for decades past and probably will for decades to come.

Go-big-or-go-home isn’t the only theory of the case that a new president can adopt. The most promising alternative is to build public support over time by showing competence and success, then using that to leverage bigger things.

So imagine if Obama had focused on fixing the economy, and chosen presidential power over congressional accommodation and constructed his American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a true, immediate stimulus without the pork and paybacks.

He then could have pushed through tougher regulation of financial institutions, making it clear people were paying for their sins, and would have a much harder time doing it again. This would have delighted the left and perhaps bought Obama more durable support among independents. Instead, the left thinks he’s beholden to investment banks, and much of the public sees no consequences for the financial mess.

Add in some serious budget cuts, and Obama would have positioned himself as a new kind of liberal with the courage to tame Washington and Wall Street, as promised. Under this scenario, Obama might be getting more credit for the economic recovery that appears to be under way. This would have positioned him to win health care reform starting next year — a mighty achievement, and clear vindication against the doubters. Some White House officials said they are skeptical of moving controversial bills in an election year, when lawmakers are often more timid.

White House officials say they never seriously considered a more incremental approach to the year, though they did privately discuss trying to get regulation
of the financial sector done right after the stimulus bill. There was too much disagreement among Democrats at the time over how far to go with regulation to proceed.

If the current strategy fails, the same person who got much of the credit for the crisp first 100 days will get some of the blame: White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. It was Emanuel who has strongly advocated the big-bang approach, declaring during the transition: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. Now, what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do.”

The confidence of Obama’s aides was bolstered by their fresh memory that a similar approach had worked very effectively for then-President George W Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. With the public on edge, Bush was able to enact restrictive policies under the banner of protecting American soil, and build an entire new department of government that voters otherwise might have opposed. The economic meltdown would be Obama’s Sept. 11 — the predicate for sweeping legislation that he wanted to enact anyway.

Just past halftime in his first year, the president has won passage of a long list of bills that the White House points to as proof of their approach. In addition to the stimulus, Obama signed major bills on tobacco, pay equity, children’s health insurance, national service and the mortgage rescue. If he gets health care and either energy or regulation this year, it would be hard to argue the big-bang plan wasn’t a success.

Former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), now president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, cautions that any verdict on Obama would be “kind of like judging a major surgical operation in the middle of the operation.”

With Obama reaching the defining season of his freshman year, Hamilton said the current agenda reminds him of the scale of the Great Society programs Congress was tackling when he came to Congress in 1965. “This president thinks big but I also think he acts pragmatically,” Hamilton said. “So many things in a congressional session come together at the last few hours, the last few weeks.”

But sometimes they just come undone.

Zachary Abrahamson contributed to this report.

A number of points of order: Politico says that Congress…has not enacted a transformative piece of social legislation since President Bill Clinton’s welfare reform of 1996.” But Bill Clinton did not transform anything; it was the Republicans under the Contract with America who imposed the welfare reform of 1996 – and Bill Clinton was forced to sign the thing he subsequently took credit for.

Politico cannot stop itself from falling into blaming Republicans for their  health care demonizing.  But there is an admission that even before health care came up on Obama’s timetable, it was DEMOCRATS who were worried and frightened at the agenda: “There was too much disagreement among Democrats at the time over how far to go with regulation to proceed.” It would be nice if the mainstream media finally reported honestly and acknowledged that if health care doesn’t pass, it is because Democrats are worrying about their seats as an outraged electorate gets its revenge.

Another problem the Politico article glosses over is summed up in the statement: “By doing so much, so fast, Obama never sufficiently educated the public on the logic behind his policies.” But the issue isn’t that Obama never educated the public on the logic behind his policies; it’s that his policies don’t have any logic beyond the most superficial big-government liberalism that most Americans reject.  Other than the argument, “This is a naked power-grab intended to secure Democrat control for perpetuity,” there simply IS no argument.

There’s another point that the Politico article glosses over that emerges from the statement: “There’s a reason things up here were built to go slowly,” said another Democratic aide.” That reason is the Constitution.  We were never set up to be a fascist dictatorship or a totalitarian state disconnected from the deliberation of the people.  Our founders made us to be a nation of laws, and follow a tried-and-true process that would slow us down to avoid tyranny.

But liberals have trampled on the Constitution for years.  Too many leftist intellectuals regard it as the irrelevant product of a cadre of dead, white, sexist, slave-holding males.  Barack Obama has derided the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you.” The Constitution becomes a problem for Obama.

We have the right to assemble, but the government is not obliged to transport us to protest sites.  We have the right to speak, but the government is not required to provide us with a megaphone or a platform.  The “negative liberties” allow us our basic freedoms while preserving our individual liberties and responsibilities.  Obama wants to fundamentally do away with the Constitution in order to impose an entirely different system which creates a mega-state that will have innumerable duties to take care of us.

If he succeeds, the America that the founding fathers created will officially cease to exist.  The nanny state isn’t in the Constitution, no matter how many penumbras and emanations liberal justices might claim to see in their crystal-ball-gazing.

As for the “death panels” being a bogus claim, do you want to know where the death panels are?  They are right here:

Health-Care_Democrats-plan-Charted

The whole damn maze of bureaucracy is a “death panel.”  Anyone who thinks that the government will be able to expand their government health care – which is already about to go bankrupt – to tens of millions more people, and save money doing it, is a fool.  They are people who cannot see the facts through their ideology.

The Cloward-Piven strategy appears to be having a problem due to Barack Obama’s arrogance and unwillingness to continue to use the system to “get there” gradually.

The only question, given the massive debts Obama has already accumulated – deficits that literally are more than every president has accumulated from George Washington to George W. Bush, combined – is whether the Cloward-Piven strategy will yet have its chance to work.  It might already be too late.  When you look at our real national debt of more than $100 TRILLION and realize that we cannot possibly repay it, if you have any sense you should get more than a little bit concerned that our leaders simply WILL NOT control their spending.

The Democrats have an endgame: when the system collapses, the panicked people will turn to the very government that created the calamity and demand that it take care of them.  And that is precisely what big government liberals have always preached.

One thing is clear: if Obama wins his “public option” in any form, it will become the anvil that broke the camel’s back.

If Obama’s “Big Bang” doesn’t go bust, America will be the one that goes bust and ends up exploding in a big bang of debt.

Obama Lies About AARP Endorsement At Bogus Town Hall Event

August 12, 2009

Obama has told so many lies regarding health care that it is positively unreal.  But here’s yet another:

Rachel Martin and Jake Tapper report:

President Obama today suggested that the health care reform legislation for which he’s pushing has been endorsed by the American Association of Retired Person.

“We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors,” the president said.

At another point he said: “Well, first of all, another myth that we’ve been hearing about is this notion that somehow we’re going to be cutting your Medicare benefits.  We are not.  AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, okay?

The problem?

The AARP hasn’t endorsed any plan yet.

The country’s largest advocacy group for Americans over 50 issued a statement after the event saying, “While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate.”

AARP is a lot less likely to be rushing in to endorse anything after getting their heads bit off by their own membership:

Last week, AARP officials speaking at a forum in Dallas walked out after several seniors interrupted the meeting with critical questions and comments.

Some AARP members say they are so outraged that they’ve taken to tearing up their membership cards and firing off heated letters to the organization’s CEO.

Recent polling by FOX News shows seniors, many of whom are on Medicare, don’t want a major overhaul — 93 percent rate their current coverage as good or excellent, and 56 percent say they oppose the creation of a government-run option for all Americans.

Other groups representing seniors say they aren’t surprised by the recent backlash.

“We get letters every single day from people that are very upset about this bill and about the AARP supporting it,” said Stuart Barton, president of the American Seniors Association. “So I don’t blame them for coming back and saying they are going to tear up their AARP cards.”

It’s understandable that many members would get the mistaken impression that AARP is backing the ObamaCare plan, given their frankly weaselly behavior as they waffled one way under White House pressure, and then waffled the other under their memberships’ pressure.  But they don’t have a massive White House staff to sort out the actual facts, and they aren’t expected to be held accountable the way the President of the United States of America is to be held accountable.

President Obama is supposed to tell the truth; not advance falsehoods.

Obama is trying to say, “Seniors don’t have to be worried because AARP wouldn’t endorse a plan that hurts seniors.”

And number one, even AARP’s own members clearly don’t accord AARP that much integrity and good will.  And number two, AARP HASN’T endorsed Obama’s plan.  So I guess we’re back to, “Seniors should be worried.”

An older woman at Arlen Spector’s town hall today said:

I’m sick of the lies.  I don’t like being lied to.  I don’t like being lied about.

But the Democrats just keep lying, and keep lying about the people who they’re lying to.

We get Obama attending a phony, controlled, choreographed town hall filled with plants even as his attack dogs demonize protesters as being “plants” and saying things like:

“I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter”

when he is on record having said:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.”

and he is on the record as having said:

“The very first promise I made on this campaign was that as president I will sign a universal health care plan into law by the end of my first term in office.”

It’s one thing for a president to say one thing, admit his mistake, tell the American people that he has changed his mind, and then specifically tell us what he will do and what he will now not accept.  But that’s not what our weasel-in-chief does; rather, he lies about what he’s in fact said without ruling the previously-said thing out.  Instead, concerned citizens are left to worry about whether the president was lying earlier, or whether he’s lying now.  An they have every reason to believe he’s lying now.

Obama said:

Well, the — I’ve seen some of those signs. (Laughter.)  Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here.  The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for “death panels” that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t — it’s too expensive to let her live anymore.  (Laughter.)  And there are various — there are some variations on this theme.

But, again, Obama just dismissively laughs off something that is actually quite serious.

Maybe he shouldn’t have told a woman regarding her aged but healthy mother:

“Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller.”

He won’t pull the plug on grandma; he’ll just withhold lifesaving surgery and give her a pain pill.  It’s not active euthanasia – at least not yet; it’s passive euthanasia.  But grandma ends up just as dead.

During an October debate with John McCain, Obama said, regarding his foreign policy:

Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I’m interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.”

So when we want to know what Obama wants in his foreign policy, we have to look at who he is associating with, and who he is surrounding himself with in the White House.  And Barack Obama has surrounded himself with some people who hold some pretty terrifying ideas concerning health care.

Obama has to explain why he appointed Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel as both his health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and as a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.  Emanuel has said JUST THIS YEAR:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuatedThe Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

He explained:

Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years. Treating 65-year olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.”

Dr. Emanuel has said:

Many commentators note that 27 to 30 percent of the Medicare budget is spent on the 5 percent of Medicare patients who die each year.

“Many have linked the effort to reduce the high cost of death with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide…. Decreasing availability and increasing expense in health care and the uncertain impact of managed care may intensify pressure to choose physician-assisted suicide” and “the cost effectiveness of hastened death is as undeniable as gravity. The earlier a patient dies, the less costly is his or her care.”

And he has said:

Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.

Then there is Cass Sunstein, whom Barack Obama appointed to the position of Regulatory Czar.  Sunstein wrote in the Columbia Law Review in January 2004:

“I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

Barack Obama’s Regulatory Czar explained:

“If a program would prevent fifty deaths of people who are twenty, should it be treated the same way as a program that would prevent fifty deaths of people who are seventy? Other things being equal, a program that protects young people seems far better than one that protects old people, because it delivers greater benefits.”

Let us not forget Obama’s director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, who has openly advocated forced abortions and sterilizations as a population growth solution.  Seriously, is it a stretch that he likewise supports the passive euthanasia advocated by Emanuel and Sunstein to control population growth?

I am willing to entertain the notion that the final health care bill will not include “death panels.”  But, given the people Obama has appointed who are serving as architects of the health care legislation, he certainly shouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt.  Because these men whom Obama appointed have written some very frightening things that very much suggest a “death panel.”  Ezekiel,  Sunstein, and Holdren are just three very real Obama officials who have written some very real things that would entail the very real deaths of many very real American citizens.

And Obama’s mockingly laughing at “death panels” is not very funny given his appointments of Ezekiel Emanuel and Cass Sunstein.  Mr. Obama, don’t you dare mock us for being afraid over the writings of men that you appointed.

The prospect of bureaucrats having more power to make more decisions over more vital aspects of peoples’ lives is frightening.  It should not be glossed over.  Obama and Democrats assuring us that they won’t accept any plan that creates a deficit when the plan they left behind in August creates another trillion dollars in deficits (and probably many times that, given the CBO’s tendency to massively underestimate costs) is frightening.  And nonchalant promises don’t hold any water.  Assuring Americans that a “public option” won’t push people into government care when the bill in fact does the exact opposite is immoral.

And Democrat politicians who casually dismiss these issues and others are the reason for all the anger.  People are realizing that there lives may literally be at stake – and they are in absolutely no mood to be played with.