Posts Tagged ‘Max Baucus’

The Nuclear Option Defined: Just What IS ‘Reconciliation’?

February 28, 2010

We keep hearing about the term “reconciliation.”  What is it?  What effect would it have on the nation if it were employed?

Let’s see how it has been defined:

  • It is “a change in the Senate rules” that “would change the  character of the Senate forever.”
  • It is “majoritarian absolute power” which is “just not what the founders intended.”
  • It is “the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis.”
  • It evaporates “the checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic.”
  • It is “almost a temper tantrum.”
  • It is the abandonment of the concept of “a check on power” and an     abandonment of that which “preserves our limited government.”
  • It is something that “will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority.”
  • It “is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power.”
  • It “is a fundamental power grab.”
  • It “is a tyranny of the majority.”
  • It is “where the majority rules supreme and the party of power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.”
  • It is a “naked power grab.”
  • It is to “change the rules, break the rules, and misread the Constitution so that they will get their way.”
  • It is “The Senate … being asked to turn itself inside out, to ignore the   precedent to ignore the way our system has worked, the delicate balance   that we have obtain that has kept this Constitution system going, for immediate gratification of the present President.”
  • It is “the way Democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.”

If reconciliation is what these statements say it is, it is truly a fascist tactic that would only be employed by the most fundamentally unAmerican of totalitarians.

Only a genuinely evil and depraved political party would use such a despicable tactic.

Who said this about reconciliation?

Every single statement comes from Democrats as a result of Republicans merely discussing using the tactic to overcome a filibuster of a Bush judicial nomination.  Every single one.

This is how the Democrats themselves have defined what they are about to do in the coming weeks to ram health care down the throats of the American people.

Interestingly, Dianne Feinstein describes a progression which would start from a bad thing to an incredibly bad thing:

Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: The nuclear option if successful will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority. It begins with judicial nominations. Next will be executive appointments and then legislation.

The current batch of Democrats skipped the executive appointments and went straight for the legislation where they could most directly impose their will upon the American people.

That’s what reconciliation is.

When you think about absolute power; when you think about the arrogance of power; when you think about a naked power grab; when you think about the tyranny of the majority; when you think about a Constitutional crisis; when you think about the way democracy ends: when you think about these things, you think about the Democrat Party.

What’s Wrong With The Baucus Healthcare Plan?

September 17, 2009

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled his latest swing at healthcare legislation yesterday.  Let’s take a look at it.

First of all, according to Bloomberg:

In a bid to get Republican support, he’s offering a lower price tag compared with bills approved on party-line votes by the Senate health committee and three House panels, each of which would cost about $1 trillion over 10 years.

Well, that’s a nice goal and all, but his plan still costs $856 billion.  Which is 85.6% of a trillion.  And these estimates are invariably massively low (take Medicare as the closest analogy: it was estimated to cost $12 billion by 1990; it actually cost $107 billion by 1990 — a 791% increase over the projection).  Why on earth would the Democrats new plan now be better estimated than the Democrats old plan?

Thanks, Max, but I’ll keep shopping around, if you don’t mind.

Second, there’s this:

“Without support from a single Senate Republican…”

Now see, I remember this promise from the campaign:

In 2008, candidate Obama … assured us that we would transcend petty partisan bickering that has dominated Washington as long as anyone can remember. “In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people, Obama declared.Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”

Didn’t resist that temptation too well, did you, Barry?  No, instead, the most liberal senator in the nation prior to his newfound “post-partisanship” lived up to predicted rather than advertised form.  He rammed through a massive $3.27 trillion partisan stimulus plan that only 2 out of 218 Republicans voted for (counting Arlen Specter as a Democrat).  He sold his porkulus on the lie that he would be able to keep unemployment under 8% if it passed.  In similar form, Obama rammed through his Omnibus bill filled with nearly 9,000 earmarks in blatant violation of his pledge.

He is the most aggressively partisan “post partisan” who ever lived.  And that is a fact.

Did the man who won the White House with 52.9% of the vote win the right to unilaterally fundamentally transform 16% of the entire US economy?  Seriously???

Are Republicans seriously supposed to support a system that was shoved down their throats against their wills?

Third, there’s this:

Baucus dropped a plan to set up a government insurance program — the so-called public option — to compete with private insurers, steering clear of one of the most divisive issues in the debate. Instead, he proposed giving $6 billion in seed money to nonprofit cooperatives that could compete with companies such as Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna Inc.

Imagine if you were selling widgets at your widget shop and a competitor moved in next door who got his funding from your tax dollars.  That would suck for you.  And, of course, as needed, you could count on your own government to undermine you by writing the laws in a way that benefited your competitor while punishing you, and you could count on selective enforcement of the regulations just to make sure you knew who was wanted and who wasn’t.

Besides being unAmerican, there are a few other things wrong with this plan.

A pro-liberal, pro-single-payer proponent argues the following:

But this is not “change.” Nonprofit organizations have always had an important role in the financing and delivery of health care services in the United States. Nonprofit health care organizations are part of the U.S. economy’s “third sector,” the other two sectors are government and for-profit businesses. In the early 1900s the first health care prepayment/insurance plan was founded as a nonprofit organization—Blue Cross—by a nonprofit hospital in Texas.  Today, nearly 50 percent of people with private health insurance coverage are enrolled in nonprofit health plans.

Unfortunately, the strong and persistent presence of private nonprofit health insurance companies has not prevented any of the structural problems leading to our current health care crisis.

In other words, at the heart of the Baucus plan is the belief that you are simply too ignorant and too damn stupid to know the basic facts.  Non-profits and co-ops are nothing new.  And in fact, according to the Democrats who have repeatedly demonized health insurers, they represent HALF the damn problem.

This is rather like the Democrats whining about the lack of competition when there are actually 1,300 health insurers in the country and the only reason they can’t all compete for your business is because Democrats have prevented them from being able to compete for your business.

Dr. Mary Bufwack writes an article that concludes:

So history tells us that starting up co-ops would be a great challenge, and small state co-ops are likely to fail.  Should they be successful, there is little evidence that they act in ways that are different than private insurance companies.

So this is a bogus boondoggle bound to fail.  And we can know that before it starts, given the government’s ability to screw up nearly everything it touches.

For what it’s worth, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were essentially “co-ops” as well.  And they have been catastrophic boondoggles.

Then there are the individual mandates requiring every American to have a health insurance plan or pay up to $3,800 in penalties.  I wonder how many of the young people who voted for Obama are going to support having to buy health insurance or pay fines?  It’s always easier to require things when it’s someone ELSE’S money that’s getting spent.

When Obama promised you fifty thousand times that no one making less than $250,000 a year would see their taxes go up by one penny, he didn’t point out that the fine print is a bitch.

And while there’s no official employer mandate, businesses with over 50 workers will be hit with a $400 per worker tax penalty if they don’t provide – and keep providing – health insurance.  Sounds like a pretty solid reason for a lot of small business owners who are are already struggling to make ends meet to downsize.  You DO know what they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, right?

If you lose your job because of the cost of the health care mandates, and you voted for Obama, just remember that you voted for “change.”

The bill is considerably scaled down from the worst of the infamous House Bill H.R. 3200.  But it’s still bad.  Other than the fact that it is less heinous than previous Democrat-dominated bills, it is still heinous.  There is no reason for Republicans to support it beyond the reasoning of “having one eye gouged out of my head is better than having both eyes gouged out.”