Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Health Care Debate: Why Won’t Ignorant Conservatives Realize They Need Their Government Savior?

September 2, 2009

The Los Angeles Times can’t understand why conservatives refuse to embrace “one nation under Government.”  After all, James Oliphant points out in his article, conservatives would stand to benefit by bending the knee to their big government masters and embracing the socialist system.

Have you ever tried to help a wild animal that simply couldn’t understand you would only seek to free it or help it?  That’s the elitist and patronizing tone Oliphant takes in his article.

States most likely to win under healthcare overhaul are home to its biggest foes
Rural states have more uninsured and lower-income people who stand to benefit from legislation, but it’s there where the effort faces the most vocal resistance. It’s a factor that stymies legislators.

By James Oliphant
September 2, 2009

Reporting from Washington – Wyoming, with an economy marked by farming, ranching and small businesses, has a disproportionate number of people without medical insurance. And by that measure and others, its people are among the likely winners if Congress approves a healthcare overhaul.

But if Republican Sen. Michael B. Enzi was expecting a pat on the back from his constituents for working with some of his fellow senators to seek bipartisan agreement on the issue, he was disappointed.

Last week, Enzi held a town hall meeting in his hometown of Gillette. And when he told the 500 people in the audience that he believed both sides could eventually strike a deal, it turned out that wasn’t a popular thing to say.

A state legislator even stood up and demanded that Enzi pull out of the congressional talks altogether, and was widely applauded by the audience.

The scene in Gillette was replicated in towns across the U.S. last month, as screaming taxpayers filled TV screens with criticism of healthcare proposals. The clashes dramatized a conundrum faced by lawmakers such as Enzi who are seeking compromises.

As you can see, Oliphant begins his article by presenting a narrative of a Republican politician who wants to seek bipartisan agreement on health care.  What he doesn’t bother to do is explain how one seeks bipartisanship when none of the Republican ideas have even been considered.  He certainly doesn’t bother to tell you that Republicans have been shut out of the “bipartisan” process nearly completely.  Rep. Tom Price – who happens to be a medical doctor – writes to Barack Obama and points out that:

several Members of Congress from your party have publicly admitted that Republicans have been shut out of House negotiations on health care reform.

H.R. 3200 is 1017 pages long.  How many of those pages have been written by Republicans?  What Republican representatives have contributed?  What’s that, Mr. Oliphant, you don’t give a damn if Republicans haven’t been allowed to contribute?  You don’t want to believe that big, bad Republican Tom Price, who is probably one of the doctors ripping out kids’ tonsils and sawing off diabetics’ feet that Obama warned us about?  How about paying attention to the centrist Blue Dog Democrats, who claim that they, too, have been shut out?

Let me point out to you that those hicks and hayseeds in Wyoming understand something that you clearly don’t: WHAT BIPARTISANSHIP?

“Compromise” is not bowing the knee to the liberal agenda.  When Republicans are treated as equal partners, then we can talk about bipartisanship and compromise.  Until then, such claims as writers like Oliphant are making are simply factually untrue.

Oliphant drones on – er, I mean, continues:

Some of the most vociferous opposition to the proposals before the House and Senate comes from residents of rural states that could benefit most if the present system is revamped.

“The states that tend to be more conservative have a higher rate of people who are uninsured,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of FamiliesUSA, which backs a healthcare overhaul. “As a result, healthcare reform is going to provide a disproportionate amount of resources to those states.”

In Wyoming, for example, nearly 1 in 3 people younger than 65 went without health insurance at some point during the last two years, according to Pollack’s group. A huge majority of the uninsured have jobs, but work for employers who don’t provide coverage.

Fewer options

The problem pervades other rural states as well, where a high percentage of employers are small businesses. Although there is a consensus in Congress for keeping the current employer-based system of medical insurance, that system is riddled with holes in coverage that disproportionately affect rural states.

Well, again, those hicks and hayseeds in Wyoming seem to know something that James Oliphant – for all of his liberal elitist arrogance – doesn’t seem to know.  They know that ObamaCare would be a disaster for the small businesses that they depend on for their jobs and their livelihoods.  They understand that many businesses that DO provide health care for their employees would be discouraged or even forced to stop doing so under the Democrat plan, with the result being shoving people into the “public option” or the “co-op” (or whatever the hell they’re going to call their government option).  And they know that,  Democrat protestations and hand waving dismissals aside, that ObamaCare is ALL about rationing.

Next Oliphant points out what will happen if “bipartisan” Republicans don’t properly “compromise”:

Given that reality, it may not be surprising that senators from these states have been the most active in the effort to salvage a bipartisan compromise on healthcare. Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who hold top posts on the Senate Finance Committee, are part of a group of senators still talking about a deal, along with Enzi, Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine).

If they fail, the Democratic leadership in the Senate has threatened to ram a bill through without GOP backers.

So now we get to the essence of the Democrat vision of “bipartisanship” and “compromise”: “Do it our way or else.” This amounts to a mobster coming into your store and threatening to break your knee caps if you don’t purchase his “protection.”

And in this case, the mobster is literally blaming the store owner for the broken knees.  After all, if the stupid store owner had just played ball, his knees would have been fine.

And what Oliphant doesn’t understand is that the Wyoming hicks and hayseeds hear these threats and just get all the more enraged and all the more distrustful – as they should.

What follows next is a section in which Oliphant fundamentally misrepresents the actual dynamic.  He presumes the pseudo-narrative that Republicans are blocking health care when in actual fact Republicans have virtually nothing whatsoever to do with it (having been shut out, and lacking the votes to impose anything on anybody).

Although Enzi has said that he wants to find common ground on healthcare, his public remarks have become more polarized during the congressional recess.

“The Democrats are trying to rush a bill through the process that will actually make our nation’s finances sicker without saving you money,” Enzi said in the GOP’s weekly radio address Saturday.

Eric Wedell, a Wyoming physician and governor of the state chapter of the American College of Physicians, applauded Enzi’s efforts to broker a compromise. Enzi “is continuing to work hard on healthcare reform because he knows we need it,” Wedell said.

But another Wyoming physician, Timothy Hallinan, disagreed, saying it would be better to have no bill than to have the kind Enzi is negotiating.

It was Hallinan, a state representative, who demanded at the meeting in Gillette that Enzi stop working with Democrats.

“Perhaps Sen. Enzi will get the most egregious — in his and my view — items dropped through compromise. Nonetheless, the compromised bill will be going in the wrong direction and must be seen as a down payment on where the current majority plans to go — a complete takeover of medical practice by the federal government,” Hallinan said.

“I would rather see no bill than that. I suspect that a large percentage of the American population agrees,” he added. “I know that a big majority here in my district agrees with me.”

You might as well blame the dinosaurs for causing global warming as blame the Republican Party over blocking health care.  Nancy Pelosi is running the House of Representatives with an bejeweled iron fist (made by Tiffany); and Harry Reid has a filibuster-proof majority.

The reason health care hasn’t passed is because the American people are overwhelmingly against it.  The reason health care hasn’t passed is because it is such a bad bill that even Democrats can’t support it.  The reason health care hasn’t passed is because a lot of Democrats know they will lose their seats if they vote for it.  Not because of Republicans.

Let me be clear: any scintilla of a hint that Republicans are “blocking health care reform” is a fraud.  All Democrats have to do if they want Republican support for reform is yank out the public option and replace it with tort reform.  But to blame Republicans for not supporting a philosophy and a system that they are diametrically opposed to is simply saying that we should be a fascist system where everyone does what Big Brother wants or else.

Oliphant continues:

Potential benefits

Although much attention has been focused on whether the ultimate legislation will provide for a government-run insurer or a series of private health cooperatives to help cover the uninsured, the bill is also expected to increase eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid, which could provide a lift to states like Wyoming.

“Things that are enormously important are getting less attention,” lamented Pollack of FamiliesUSA. Rural, conservative states, he said, “are going to get the influx of new federal dollars.”

But those opposed to the proposals, such as Hallinan, point to the cost. Even at current coverage levels, Medicare and Medicaid spending is expected to vastly increase the country’s debt.

Others are simply nervous about more government involvement in healthcare. Although centralized government can often deliver healthcare services more efficiently, “it runs counter to perhaps the rugged individualism on which America is built — where everything is available for everybody,” said Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the nonprofit Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Oliphant states as an assumed fact that “centralized government can often deliver healthcare services more efficiently.”  But based on what does he say that?  Does he not know that Medicare is about to go bankrupt?  Does he not know that the U.S. Post Office – which Obama used as a metaphor for his health care plan – is about to go bankrupt?  Does he not know that government is the home of the $435 hammer, the $640 toilet seat, and the $7,600 coffee maker?  Does he not know that the government only recently showed how inefficient it is by paying nearly twice as much for canned ham as they could have paid simply by going to a grocery store?

In theory, the government should be able to use its purchasing power to benefit from bulk discounts.  But in actual fact that never happens.  There are simply so many layers of bureaucracy and so few incentives for the government to save money (they’re not using their money, remember; they’re using yours) that waste and abuse is rampant.  Often the very system itself – exemplified by governmental budgeting systems which perversely encourage government employees to consume their entire budgets so they can get more money in the next budget cycle – actually make the very idea of savings counterproductive to their agenda.

The assumption that “the government can do it faster, cheaper, and better than the private sector” has kept complete fools in government for generations.

What follows is a summation of the overall tone of the article: conservative hicks and hayseeds are frankly just too stupid and ignorant to understand that they are acting counterproductively to their own obvious interests:

In Iowa, where almost 70% of those who are uninsured have jobs, Grassley has faced combative audiences in a series of town halls, to the extent that speculation has risen that he will pull out of negotiations.

But Jack Hatch, a Democratic state senator from Des Moines, said that much of the anger and uncertainty in Iowa was directed at Wall Street bailouts, the stimulus and other government spending.

“I’ve been to a half a dozen of these,” Hatch said. “There are maybe 15 to 20% of the people who are just angry with everything. They’re angry with their economic situation.

“They’re afraid of any kind of deficit spending,” said Hatch, part of a White House-led effort to enlist state lawmakers to promote the legislation. “When we shift to healthcare, there’s a lot less noise and a lot more questions.”

But he admitted that opponents of the plans had succeeded in making Iowans nervous — and that supporters would have to sharpen their message in states such as his.

“All we have to do is get the people to listen through the screams of this small minority,” he said. “We have to be more vocal and fight back.”

James Oliphant – like Democrat Iowa state senator Jack Hatch – either doesn’t bother to look at the polls (which show a people overwhelmingly opposed to the Democrat’s health care agenda), or simply assumes that most Americans (even the non-hicks and hayseeds) are stupid.  They simply aren’t capable of “listening through the screams of this small minority.”

The people who oppose the massive new Democrat takeover of health care will cost money that the country simply doesn’t have.  Obama’s deficits are simply shocking, out of control, and utterly unsustainable.

The people who oppose health care understand that there is always a trade off to a massive government program.  They understand that what the government giveth, the government can taketh away.  They understand that more government power means less individual liberty.  They understand that the Democrats plan to take away about half a trillion dollars from Medicare and redistribute that money to younger people and even illegal immigrants who don’t have health insurance.  They understand that horror stories abound in countries that have embraced government health care systems.

The people who are opposing ObamaCare are not only not stupid, they are actually a heck of a lot smarter than James Oliphant.

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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.

Reuters’ Nine Reasons Democrats’ Healthcare Surtax Is Dangerous

July 16, 2009

Our republic is in the worst kind of danger.  No enemy could do to us from without what Obama and liberal Democrats are doing to us from within.

9 reasons Pelosi’s healthcare surtax is disastrous

by: James Pethokoukis

So what explains the crazy, cockeyed optimism of House Democrats? Maybe they still believe Team Obama’s rosy-scenario forecast that shows the stimulus package a) keeping unemployment under 8 percent this year and b) launching an economic boom next year and beyond. For some reason, though, they think the battered U.S. economy is so strong that politicians can pile tax upon tax on it with no fear of further harm. Less than three weeks after passing a costly cap-and-trade carbon emission plan, Pelosi & Co. have giddily unveiled a $1.2 trillion healthcare plan partially funded by a $544 billion surtax on the work and investment income of wealthier Americans, including small business owners.

[See why Obama’s economic gamble is failing.]

The ten-year proposal calls for a 1 percent surtax on adjusted gross income — including capital gains — between $350,000 and $500,000; a 1.5% surtax on income between $500,000 and $1 million; and a 5.4% surtax on income exceeding $1 million. (Interestingly, the House fact sheet on the surtax forgets to mention the highest tax rate. Hey, they were in a rush.) How bad an idea is this? Let me count the ways:

It’s not the first Obama tax hike. This tax would be in addition to the $1 trillion in new taxes that Obama called for in his budget released earlier this year. (And then there’s cap and trade, remember.) And if healthcare reform costs more than expected — what are the odds of that, you think? — the surtax would go up.

[See 5 economic stimulus plans better than the one we’ve got.]

It pushes income tax rates above a key threshhold. Once you take into account state income taxes, the top tax rate would sneak above 50 percent. Research by former White House economist Lawrence Lindsey has found that rates above 40 percent really start to hit economic growth especially hard.

It’s risky in a weak economy. Democrats love the “consensus view” when it comes to climate change, so how about the economy? The consensus view is for unemployment to hit double digits this year and stay high throughout 2010 and beyond as the economy staggers to its feet. Even Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said “it seems realistic to expect a gradual recovery, with more than the usual ups and downs and temporary reversals.” In a “long recession” environment, do we really want a policy that, according to research that current White House economic adviser Christina Romer conducted at Stanford University, is “highly contractionary.”

It actually makes America’s healthcare problem worse. Entitlements, including Medicare, will eventually bankrupt the economy unless action is taken. Agreed. But lowering the potential U.S. growth rate will only make those problems worse by generating lower tax revenue and making the overall pie smaller than it would be otherwise. Yet many economists think government interventions in finance, housing, autos, energy and now healthcare will do just that. And adding layers of additional new taxes helps how?

It makes the tax code more lopsided and inefficient. As it is, the top 1 percent of Americans in terms of income pay 40 percent of taxes. Not only would this plan exacerbate this imbalance, it adds further complexity to the tax code. Most tax reformers favor a simpler system with fewer brackets and deductions matched by a lower rate. Indeed, Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center points out the following:

Many of the uber-rich are unlikely to pay much more in taxes than they do now, despite the rate increase. Since we’d be returning to pre-1986 rates, we shouldn’t be surprised when the very wealthy reprise their pre-1986 sheltering behavior. The hoary financial alchemy of turning ordinary income into capital gains, morphing individuals into corporations, and deferring compensation will return. Remember, the targets of these tax hikes are the people who can most easily manipulate their income. The bad old days of bull semen partnerships may not return, but I suspect the financial Merlins are already cooking up new shelters for what promises to be a booming new market.

It hurts U.S. competitiveness. America already has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. Under the House plan, the top U.S. income tax rate would be higher than the OECD (advanced economies) average of 42 percent. France and Germany, by contrast, are looking to keep rates stable or lower them. Pro-growth China doesn’t even tax investment income.

It ignores the lessons of Clinton. Democrats love to point out how the Clinton tax increases didn’t tank the economy back in the 1990s. Oh, you mean the economy that was expanding for more than two years before he signed his tax increases? The economy is far weaker today and may be anemic for some time given the history of economies that suffered a banking crisis.

It ignores the lessons of 1937. The slowly recovering 1930s economy weakened again in 1937 and 1938. Again, Christina Romer tells all:

In this fragile environment, fiscal policy turned sharply contractionary. The one-time veterans’ bonus ended, and Social Security taxes were collected for the first time in 1937. … GDP rose by only 5% in 1937 and then fell by 3% in 1938, and unemployment rose dramatically, reaching 19% in 1938. The 1937 episode is an important cautionary tale for modern policymakers. At some point, recovery will take on a life of its own, as rising output generates rising investment and inventory demand through accelerator effects, and confidence and optimism replace caution and pessimism. But, we will need to monitor the economy closely to be sure that the private sector is back in the saddle before government takes away its crucial lifeline.

Except in this the case, Uncle Sam is not taking away a lifeline but tightening the noose.

It pays for a wrong-headed healthcare reform plan. Health exchanges, a public option, subsidies, taxes … well, we could go on and on. Or we could try to create a simpler consumer-driven market. Harvard Business economist Regina Herzlinger recommends reforming the tax system by making the money spent by employers on health insurance available as cash, tax-free, to employees. “Insurers would then compete for customers with policies that offer better value for the money,” she wrote in an analysis for consultancy McKinsey. Not even on the Obamacrat radar screen, though.

All in all, it’s another sign from the Obama administration and the Obamacrats in Congress that their top priority is redistributing existing wealth — at least what’s left of it — rather than creating new wealth. That, I guess, explains those ear-to-ear smiles on Capitol Hill.

Small businesses – widely recognized as by far and away the biggest job- and wealth-creating engines for our economy – are about to get hit with a massive double whammy.  Since most file as “S corporations” by which they are taxed on their total earnings, they will fall under the Democrats plans to “tax the rich.”  More than 1 million of our most successful small businesses which employ the most workers will be hit by this tax.  And at the same time, all but the very smallest small business will be hit with Obama’s additional 8% payroll tax unless they provide health care insurance that passes liberals’ scrutiny.

Meredith Whitney, who gained a great deal of credibility after predicting much of the economic calamity that has since come to pass, has predicted that unemployment will surpass 13%, and continue to harm the banking industry and the overall economy for years to come.  What fool thinks it’s a good idea to impose job-crushing policies while our unemployment rate is already soaring?

We are facing deficits and debts that dwarf anything ever seen in human history.  And we are about to reach a critical mass, a point at which the entire house of cards comes crashing down.  And America is going to experience suffering on a scale never even imagined before.

Gerald Celente, CEO of the highly regarded Trends Research Institute, predicted that we will have food riots and tax revolts by 2012.  He said “America’s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for.”

Obama and his giant nest of liberal snakes have already imposed shocking levels of debt on this nation that will almost certainly result in hyperinflation in coming years.  And he is hard at work poisoning our economy with stupid and immoral health care legislation and even more stupid and immoral cap-and-trade legislation that will kill our economic output without even slightly reducing overall global warming gasses.

What is going to happen in the next few weeks is the difference between whether this nation has any chance whatsoever to recover, or whether we are destined to become a banana republic spiralling down a cyle of violence and repressive government regimes.

Obama Health Care Plan Is Backdoor To Nationalized Health Care

June 16, 2009

This is SO not surprising:

[Youtube Video]

I came across this by watching Glenn Beck.  He credited Verum Serum for the video, and then improved it.  Only for some reason my browser doesn’t access Fox News video.  Just to give full credit to where it is due, and to direct attention to what may be an even better damnation of the liberal-Obama agenda on health care.

Some great quotes:

“A public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer” – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (to wild applause).

“Someone once said to me that this is a Trojan horse for single-payer, and I said, ‘Well it’s not a Trojan horse, right?  It’s just right there!  I’m telling you!  We’re going to get there.  Over time, slowly, but we’ll move away from reliance on employment-based health insurance – as we should – but we’ll do it in a way that we’re not going to frighten people into thinking they are going to lose their private insurance” – Dr. Jacob Hacker, New America Foundation.

“This is not a principled fight.  This is a fight about a strategy for getting there, and I believe we will” – Rep. Jan Schakowski

We see that there is no intention of telling the American people the truth; rather, the idea is to keep the American people from realizing what is happening until it is too late.  And the people who are running this deception-campaign don’t give a damn about principles, but only about the ends they are trying to impose.

Verum Serum is on top of this: they also have videos revealing that prominent Senator Russ Feingold sees the ultimate goal of the health care plan to be a single-payer universal health care system.

They have a very good article to show that there is a clear agenda to sell a “public plan option” while smuggling in universal health care by poisoning the health insurance industry.  That article includes this statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky with a corresponding video.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and co-sponsor of HR-676 answered criticisms from single-payer advocates. She said the public option is not a compromise, but a strategic step toward the single-payer system and the elimination of the private insurance industry

schakowskyThe public option is simply the opening salvo against the private sector, Schakowsky and other speakers said.

Both Schakowsky and McNary stressed the need for solidarity among health care reform activists, in order to build mass support and momentum toward the goal of a single-payer system.

Liberals such as Schakowsky are literally boasting at liberal rallies for Obama’s healthcare initiative that their government-provided healthcare plan will put private insurers out of business – ending any privatized system.

The American people need to wake up and realize that they are NOT choosing any sort of compromise between a private system and a more government-controlled system, but that the Democrats are determined to usher in a total-government controlled nationalized socialized healthcare system based on the failed European model.

We have frankly known this was coming since the so-called “Stimulus” bill was passed.  And even back then, we learned that the bill would ultimately create a rationing system that would result in the premature death of senior citizens as bureaucrats determined that their care was too expensive.

Aged-based health care rationing will be the cornerstone of any Democrat universal healthcare plan.  You can count on it.  Bottom line: it is a fact that the largest consumption of health care resources occurs in the final six months of one’s life.

The problem is that there is no way to know exactly when that “final six months” actually is.  Take a 75-year old woman with cancer: she may very well die in six months without treatment; but she might well live another 20 years if she HAS treatment.

What you need to do is decide RIGHT NOW whether you want a bureaucrat making that assessment based on a chart in some office in Washington, rather than you and your physicians.

D. James Kennedy made a prophetic statement:

“Watch out, Grandma and Grandpa: Because the generation that survived abortion will one day come after you.

And that day of reckoning is coming under the first president to come from that very generation.  Unless we stop him.

As a PS, Obama in his speech today claimed that 46 million Americans are uninsured.  That claim is false, and in fact is an implicit statement as to his intention to cover illegal immigrants.

My mother – who is nearing her mid-70s – has been undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer.  The oncologist repeatedly said that the chemotherapy mortality studies did not even include women in her age group.  In hindsight, I reflect on those words and realize how easy it would have been for some bureaucrat to deny her lifesaving treatment.

And when I realize that my mother – who I would throw myself under the path of an oncoming bus to save – might well someday be denied essential treatment so that someone who doesn’t even belong in this country can gave full access to our medical system, I am enraged.