Archive for 23 mars, 2010

Obama Care 14

23 mars, 2010

Now it’s personal

America’s coming for you, Congress!

Vote Liberals out in 2010!

We the people…

This billboard is on I-75 just south of Lake City, Florida. Paid for by the local people ($6,500).

And there is this one in Grand Junction, CO.

Anyone who thinks Americans are going to lie down and roll over for the liberals/socialists in the White House and Congress is seriously mistaken.

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Obama Care 13

23 mars, 2010

Abuses Stir A Constitutional Awakening


Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

If there is anything good to say about Democrat control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, it’s that their extraordinarily brazen, heavy-handed acts have aroused a level of constitutional interest among the American people that has been dormant for far too long.

Part of this heightened interest is seen in the strength of the Tea Party movement around the nation. Another is the angry reception that many congressmen received at their district town hall meetings.

Yet another is seen by the exchanges on the nation’s most popular radio talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and others. Then there’s the rising popularity of conservative/libertarian television shows such as Glenn Beck, John Stossel and Fox News.

Cost Of Office

While the odds-on favorite is that the Republicans will do well in the fall elections, Americans who want constitutional government should not see Republican control as a solution to what our founders would have called ”a long train of abuses and usurpations.”

Solutions to our nation’s problems require correct diagnostics and answers to questions like: Why did 2008 presidential and congressional candidates spend over $5 billion campaigning for office? Why did special interests pay Washington lobbyists over $3 billion that same year? What are reasons why corporations, unions and other interest groups fork over these billions of dollars to lobbyists and into the campaign coffers of politicians?

Don’t Believe It

One might say that these groups are simply extraordinarily civic-minded Americans who have a deep and abiding interest in elected officials living up to their oath of office to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Another response is that these politicians, and the people who spend billions of dollars on them, just love participating in the political process.

If you believe either of these explanations, you’re probably a candidate for some medicine, a straitjacket and a padded cell.

A far better explanation for the billions going to the campaign coffers of Washington politicians and lobbyists lies in the awesome government power and control over business, property, employment and other areas of our lives. Having such power, Washington politicians are in the position to grant favors and commit acts that if committed by a private person would land him in jail.

Here’s one among thousands of examples: Incandescent light bulbs are far more convenient and less expensive than the compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) that General Electric now produces. So how can General Electric sell its costly CFLs? They know that Congress has the power to outlaw incandescent light bulbs.

General Electric was the prominent lobbyist for outlawing incandescent light bulbs and in 2008 had a $20 million lobbying budget. Also, it should come as no surprise that General Electric is a contributor to global warmers who helped convince Congress that incandescent bulbs were destroying the planet.

The greater Congress’ ability to grant favors and take one American’s earnings to give to another American, the greater the value of influencing congressional decision-making. There’s no better influence than money. The generic favor sought is to get Congress, under one ruse or another, to grant a privilege or right to one group of Americans that will be denied another group of Americans.

On The Edge

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, covering up for a corrupt Ways and Means Committee chairman, Charles Rangel, said that his behavior was ”a violation of the rules of the House” but it ”was not something that jeopardized our country in any way.” Pelosi is right in minimizing Rangel’s corruption. It pales in comparison, in terms of harm to our nation, to the legalized corruption that’s a part of Washington’s daily dealing.

Hopefully, our nation’s constitutional reawakening will begin to deliver us from the precipice. There is no constitutional authority for two-thirds to three-quarters of what Congress does.

Our Constitution’s father, James Madison, explained: ”The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined … (to be) exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce.”

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Obama Care 12

23 mars, 2010

Madam Pelosi’s House Of Ill Repute

Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

The Vote: Conned by the promise of an ephemeral executive order, the last holdouts cave and ObamaCare advances. It doesn’t add a single doctor or hospital room, but needs 17,000 new IRS agents to enforce it.

Congressman Bart Stupak, D-Mich., spent months spelling out in minute detail how the Senate version of the health care overhaul permitted federal funding of abortion through its failure to expressly prohibit it.

In the end, he cashed in his principles for an unenforceable executive order that is trumped by the Senate bill he voted to pass.

An executive order is not the law of the land. Neither can you amend a law via executive order. The Senate version of socialized medicine will be the law of the land. It trumps any executive order, a ruling every court will make every time. As Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., reminded Stupak before the vote, this executive order can also be erased by another executive order at any time. It has the strength of gelatin and the life expectancy of a fruit fly.

Stupak was had. So was a bare party-line majority of the House of Representatives, in the face of bipartisan opposition, which proved the adage about everyone having a price, whether it be increased water rations for California’s San Joaquin Valley or a bank in Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s North Dakota that’s now the only one in the country that can still issue student loans.

Such bribes were necessary because the Democrats’ ”reform” doesn’t improve care, expand coverage or reduce costs. As GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin recently stated, ”If you take all the double counting out of the bill, which the (Congressional Budget Office) can’t do because that’s the way it’s put in front of them, this thing has a $460 billion deficit in the first 10 years, a $1.4 trillion deficit in the second 10 years.”

With accounting tricks that would make Bernie Madoff blush, revenue and savings from the feds taking over student loans is counted as medical savings. A $250 billion dollar ”doctor fix” to compensate for $500 billion in Medicare cuts is not counted as an increased cost.

This legislation will cause doctors to flee in droves. The New England Journal of Medicine just released a survey, confirming our own polling, finding that 46% of primary care physicians would consider quitting medicine under this bill.

House Subcommittee on Oversight ranking member Charles Boustany, R-La., said the Internal Revenue Service provision in the bill ”dangerously expands, in an ominous way the tentacles of the IRS and its reach into every American family.”

The IRS now can make sure everyone buys health insurance acceptable to the federal government and collect the fines of up to $2,250 per family or 2% of income if it doesn’t.

The CBO expects the IRS will need roughly $10 billion over the next 10 years and nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under socialized medicine. The American people will be faced with fines, even possible imprisonment, if they don’t comply with this unique federal mandate. Now an IRS agent will come between you and your doctor.

These IRS agents will have the job of enforcing a new and unconstitutional mandate. The Constitution specifically enumerates the powers given to each branch of government and says that any power not mentioned revert to the states and to the people. Nowhere does it say the feds can compel you to buy health insurance.

A swarm of state attorneys general is ready to march into federal court to defend the Constitution and the 10th Amendment in particular from this assault on democracy and freedom. The law officials have behind them the support of an American electorate overwhelmingly opposed to this expansion of government power being rammed down their throats.

They will remember in November.

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Obama Care 11

23 mars, 2010

Kill It In Court

Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

Constitution: Republicans vow to repeal health care reform. But no social entitlement, once signed into law, has ever been overturned. The way to stop this federal overreach is through the courts.

Fox pundit Bill Kristol predicts that Republicans will repeal the law in 2013. Rep. Jim DeMint and other GOP leaders have already pledged to do so.

But that assumes a lot. Republicans must first regain control of both houses of Congress, which will require sustaining the current level of public outrage for six months after the fact.

That won’t be easy. While additional negative details about the 2,074-page bill will come out over the coming months, the worst parts won’t go into effect for years. And the White House is already reselling the few positives, such as covering pre-existing conditions, which go into effect right away.

Yes, Republicans won Congress for the first time in 50 years after Clinton tried to socialize medicine. And yes, this bill is arguably worse, with 732 more pages, 109 more bureaucracies and just as many new taxes.

But HillaryCare failed, and was cast as a major Democrat defeat. ObamaCare, on the other hand, will be hailed as a big Democrat win. Even in the off chance that they do take back Congress, Republicans seeking repeal will have to fend off all the lobbyists who will cement around new health care rules, programs and benefits.

Then they’ll have to override President Obama’s veto.

The nation’s best chance to kill this monstrosity before it can ruin the best health care system in the world is to get the courts to declare it unconstitutional.

The ”individual mandate” is a violation of the 9th and 14th amendments. The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate the health care industry on issues of interstate trade. It does not give it the authority to force individuals to buy a service from private industry. This is unheard of. Even in World War II, the feds did not make citizens buy war bonds, for instance.

Already Virginia, Florida and South Carolina are preparing constitutional challenges.

The high court — which thankfully (for now) is led by strict constructionists — will not let stand this violence against the Constitution, which the framers designed to limit federal powers.

If the bench were to uphold mandated universal participation in a federal health system, it would give Congress license to do anything it wants under the Commerce Clause. Nothing would be out of bounds.

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Obama Care 10

23 mars, 2010

Enacting A Lie

Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

Health Overhaul: Sunday’s vote exposed the ugly truth that ObamaCare is not really about health care at all. It’s all about who pays for it and who controls it — in effect a massive wealth-redistribution scheme.

Those who believe this will lead to some medical nirvana will likely be disappointed. Fact is, this poorly designed monstrosity will lead to lower-quality care, higher costs, fewer practicing physicians, higher taxes and fewer jobs.

We’ve done more than 150 editorials in the past year or so documenting these problems. Democrats surely understand them. Yet, despite a recent CNN poll showing that 59% of Americans oppose ObamaCare, Congress approved it anyway.

Why? Because it’s not really about health care. It’s the largest wealth grab in American history, masquerading as health care ”reform,” another step in the socialization of Americans’ income in the name of ”fairness” and ”spread(ing) the wealth around,” as Obama himself has put it.

That’s why we call the program a lie.

The idea behind all this, simply put, is control. This is a vast expansion of government that will require as much as $3 trillion in added spending over a decade. All claims of deficit neutrality are a joke.

This is socialization through the tax code. That $3 trillion has to be paid for. As we showed last week, the health care bill levies $569.2 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years alone.

At the same time, as noted by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, it will increase U.S. budget deficits by $562 billion.

Who’ll pay all these taxes? Those deemed ”rich” by Democrats, and businesses. Specifically, the bulk of the money comes from a special 3.8% Medicare tax on 5 million people earning more than $200,000 a year. That tax is imposed on capital gains, dividends, rents, royalties and interest — that is, investment income.

Obama already has proposed boosting these taxes in his budget. So the top tax take on dividends and cap gains will rise to 23.8% from 15%, an increase of nearly 59%, while top rates on interest and rents will soar from 15% to nearly 44%, a 193% jump.

About 50% of this higher-taxed group reports small business or partnership income. So don’t be fooled: These aren’t taxes on the ”rich,” but on small businesses and jobs.

In ObamaCare, the taxes will be ruinous. Unlike real insurance, where individuals pay to cover their risks, this program covers everyone — including 32 million uninsured — and pays for it by a ”mandate” ( read: ”tax” ) and by taking money from other people to subsidize those who can’t pay. And this just scratches the surface of the new taxes — we literally don’t have room to list them here.

Hmm. Taking money from one group, and giving it to another. That’s called welfare — or, perhaps, health-fare. It’s not insurance.

Once the new program is finished wrecking what remains of the private health insurance industry — as it ultimately will — we’ll be stuck with the government declaring that ”the market doesn’t work” and forcing all of us into a single-payer government plan.

That’s what those Democrats who back ”Medicare for all” want — to kill what’s left of the private market for health care, which has created the best medical system on earth, and use ”reform” to expand an already-bankrupt Medicare system.

The math behind this is ugly. Medicare’s long-term liabilities now total $89 trillion, according to the Government Accountability Office. Based on projected deficits, the just-passed health reform will take that to $136 trillion.

It will take a lot more than the ”rich,” as defined today, to make up such unfathomable tax shortfalls. That’s when they’ll come for the rest of us — poor, middle-class and rich alike — and we all will be paying vastly higher taxes for vastly inferior medical care.

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Obama Care 9

23 mars, 2010,0,6611246.column

The reality of Obamacare

Obama and the Democratic leadership have nationalized healthcare by proxy.

By Jonah Goldberg

March 23, 2010

First: Congratulations to President Obama and the Democratic leadership. You won dirty against bipartisan opposition from both Congress and the majority of Americans. You’ve definitely polarized the country even more, and quite possibly bankrupted us too. But hey, you won. Bubbly for everyone.

Simply, you have nationalized healthcare by proxy. Insurance companies are now heavily regulated government contractors. Way to get big business out of Washington! They will clear a small, government-approved profit on top of their government-approved fees. Then, when healthcare costs rise — and they will — Democrats will insist, yet again, that the profit motive is to blame and out from this Obamacare Trojan horse will pour another army of liberals demanding a more honest version of single-payer.

The Obama administration has turned the insurance industry into the Blackwater of socialized medicine.

That’s always what Obama had in mind. During the now-legendary healthcare summit, Obama, who loves to talk about ”risk pools,” ”competition,” ”consumer choice” and the like, let it slip that he actually doesn’t believe in insurance as commonly understood. The notion that Americans should buy the healthcare ”equivalent of Acme Insurance that I had for my car” seemed preposterous to him. ”I’m buying that to protect me from some catastrophic situation,” he explained. ”Otherwise, I’m just paying out of pocket. I don’t go to the doctor. I don’t get preventive care. There are a whole bunch of things I just do without. But if I get hit by a truck, maybe I don’t go bankrupt.” Apparently, people are just too stupid to go to the doctor — or maintain their homes — if they have to pay much of anything out of pocket.

The endgame was to get the young and healthy to buy more expensive insurance than they need or want. ”Expanding the risk pool” and ”spreading out the risk” by mandating — i.e., forcing — young people to buy insurance is just market-based spin for socialist ends. A risk pool is an actuarial device where a lot of people pay a small sum to cover themselves against a ”rainy day” problem that will affect only a few people. Such ”peace of mind” health insurance is gone. What we have now is health assurance. With health assurance, there are no ”risk pools” really, only payment plans.

Under the new law, all the exits from the system are blocked. You can’t opt out or buy cheap, high-deductible Acme Car-type insurance, even if that’s what you need. Ultimately, even that coercion won’t be enough to make the whole thing work because the ”cost curve” will not be bending.

Profit-hungry insurance companies were never the problem. (according to American Enterprise Institute economist Andrew Biggs, industry profit margins are around 3% and the entire industry recorded profits of just $13 billion last year, close to a rounding error in Medicare fraud estimates.) Rather, healthcare costs have been skyrocketing because consumers treat health insurance like an expense account. Putting almost everyone into one ”risk pool” doesn’t change that dynamic; it universalizes it. And eventually, the only way to cut costs will be to ration care.

In September, Obama got into a semantic argument with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who noted that requiring all Americans to pay premiums for a government-guaranteed service sounds an awful lot like a tax. ”No. That’s not true, George,” Obama said. ”For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is . . . that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you.” Stephanopoulos invoked a dictionary definition of a tax: ”a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.” Obama laughed off the idea that a dictionary might outrank him as the final arbiter of a word’s meaning.

”George, the fact that you looked up . . . the definition of tax increase indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.”

OK, put aside your dictionaries. The legislation allocates $10 billion to pay for 16,500 IRS agents who will collect and enforce mandatory ”premiums.” Does that sound like the private sector at work to you?

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