Thursday, August 20, 2009
There's a dirty little secret about ObamaCare the Left and their media minions are immorally hiding from the public: the plan in its current form will definitely harm senior citizens.
Of course, it's understandable politicians are comfortable not telling such a large voting bloc the truth. Just ask Machiavelli.
But the facts revealed by the Wall Street Journal Friday would be in virtually every report about this issue if we indeed had an honest media as opposed to advocacy journalists misrepresenting reality in order to advance an agenda they support (h/t Keith Rasmussen):
The real problem holding back the poor in the world today is not discrimination and racism; it is the tax bite and the regulatory bite and the credentials bite of the liberal welfare/regulatory state
The minute that you propose to touch a penny of the trillions of our money that liberals spend on their patronage state, the cry from the modern Tapers and Tadpoles goes up: You are balancing the budget on the backs of the poor! Everyone knows that the poor are helpless, and that without government programs the poor would go to the wall, or worse.
But are they?
We have seen James Tooley in The Beautiful Tree describe how the Third World poor pay for the education of their children when the government schools are no good. Then there is Dr. Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh and his Off the Books: The Underground Economy and the Urban Poor. He describes the urban poor African-Americans of Maquis Park on Chicago's South Side.
They appear to be anything but helpless. [snip]
The big problem of the modern poor is that they can't afford to go legit. The system is set up to force them outside the law. For the employer, it's the tax bite that cranks up the costs of labor. For the would-be employee, a legitimate job in the private sector would terminate welfare or disability payments.
The same problem was faced by the school entrepreneurs in James Tooley's Beautiful Tree. The only way they could keep their schools open was by bribing the city inspectors.
The poor are resourceful and they have the will to make it. But they can't afford to pay full freight on all the bells and whistles that the modern state hangs onto every product sale and every employee labor hour. When you insist on all that stuff then the poor have to go off the books.
Then they become victims of the police, the politicians, and the gangs.
Yet our liberal friends are even now straining every sinew to increase taxes, regulations so they can give us health care. It's a pity that the increased bite will make it even more difficult for the poor to go legit.
Here's a mad conservative vision. Imagine a world in which the poor got a few breaks. Imagine an America where the cost of government was radically smaller, and they didn't have to go off the books to hide from the tax bite, the regulation bite, and the credentials bite.
Then maybe they could support themselves instead of living as wards of the state on the liberal plantation.
Not everyone on the left is in denial of the town hall protests and propagating the notion that any opposition to ObamaCare is manufactured "Astroturf" from the right.
Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, now a Bloomberg TV contributor, said that the issue of public sentiment isn't settled.
"I think it's still a toss-up ball quite frankly. I think everybody is looking to see who gets to be on the offensive and there is a critical effort on both sides to do that.
Whoever is usually on the offensive as you go into the legislative fight is the winner. And so, that's really the key - who can be on the offensive as we go through the next critical weeks."
Daschle said on Bloomberg TV Aug. 11.
Two interesting GOP proposals have been offered from opposite ends of the Republican ideological spectrum -- conservative and moderate.
They differ in one major way. Conservatives would end employer-based health care, while moderates would keep it. But both are aimed at using free-market competition to lower costs and make private insurance more affordable to businesses and individuals.
The conservative health care proposal has been offered in the House by Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and in the Senate by Richard Burr (N.C.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.).
The moderate plan has been proposed by Reps. Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Charlie Dent (Pa.) and reportedly will form the basis of a full-blown GOP alternative developed by the GOP Health Care Solutions Group headed by Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.), but not yet unveiled.
- The Ryan-Burr proposal would allow employees to opt out of their employer-based insurance plan and get a $5,000-per-family tax credit to buy health insurance or pay medical bills.
- It would also allow individuals and businesses to form pools and buy insurance anywhere in the country, not just in the state where they live.
- This will greatly expand the choices of coverage available to consumers and will also encourage broader competition and diversity among insurers.
- Along with practically every other plan, Democratic and Republican, the conservative plan would require insurance companies to offer insurance regardless of a person's pre-existing medical condition.
- Kirk and Dent's Medical Rights and Reform Act is designed to lower the cost of insurance policies through legal reform -- which will reduce the expensive practice of "defensive medicine" -- and also create interstate pools.
Both the conservative and moderate plans would allow low-income Medicaid patients to get vouchers to buy private insurance and encourage states to experiment with insurance market reforms.
Source: Mort Kondracke, "GOP has health care ideas. Why not fight for them?"
"SUPPORT RYAN-BURR, KIRK-DENT PROPOSALS "
YOUR Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
YOUR Congressman: https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml
or: Speed Message them with your personal distribution list...
image toon - hcare = patient v doctors broken legs over healthcare law suits
THE Pentagon yesterday unveiled a sweeping overhaul of its weapons priorities to prepare the US military to fight unconventional conflicts such as those in Afghanistan rather than against China, Russia or other major powers.
[Exactly what China, Russia or other major powers don't need to hear.]
"China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese."Former French President Charles De Gaulle.
When George W. Bush was in the White House, one of the leading anti-war voices in the nation was the ultra-liberal website Daily Kos.
Now that Barack Obama is President, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are mysteriously no longer of such great concern to the Nutroots.
I guess the anti-war movement was much more about getting Bush out of office than getting our troops out of harm's way.
Such was reported by the Washington Examiner's Byron York Tuesday (h/t Paul Chesser):
The political platform formulated at the Fatah General Assembly in Bethlehem, combined with unrest in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, ''has buried any chance of coming to an agreement with the Palestinians in the next few years,'' Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday.
''the Palestinians' uncompromising, extremist positions on Jerusalem, right of return, and settlements are making a gap between us that can't be bridged.''
According to President Obama's vision of a two-state solution, Israel must conclude a peace agreement with Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
But Fatah, at this week's party convention, took a leaf from Arafat's playbook and decided that it wouldn't even start negotiations until Israel completely withdraws to the pre-1967 lines, releases all Palestinian terrorist prisoners, and imposes an absolute construction freeze not only in West Bank settlements, but in Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. And Fatah went on to give its full support to its terrorist wing, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, launched close relations with Iran, and demanded an absolute "right of return" to Israel for millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
As if this weren't enough of an obstacle in the peace process, Hamas -- dedicated to Israel's total elimination -- has been ruling Gaza for the last two years and is not about to change its spots or its grip on half of what is supposed to become the state of Palestine.
And to complicate things even further, a Qaeda-offshoot group, known as the "Warriors of God," has emerged in recent weeks in Gaza, intent on folding all Palestinian areas into an Islamist Caliphate across the entire Middle East. At week's end, this group fought a pitched battle with Hamas from a mosque in Rafah, Gaza, which according to latest dispatches left two dozen people dead and 100 injured.
So, President Obama, with whom exactly is Israel supposed to reach a two-state agreement?
"The quickest way to end a war is to lose it".- George Orwell
image toon gwot israel - Hamas truce = reload
Congress increased the federal tax on cigarettes by 61 cents per pack and raised the tax on other tobacco products.
According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the resulting tax increase was much higher on some forms of tobacco:
- For large cigars, the federal tax increased 725 percent per cigar, from about a nickel to 40 cents.
- For loose tobacco, the tax increased 2,160 percent.
- For small cigars, it increased 2,653 percent
S-CHIP will now cover up to four million additional children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence that not only will these tax hikes harm poor consumers and small businesses, they will fail to deliver the promised government revenues or public health benefits.
Using excise taxes to fund S-CHIP is especially problematic, since the percentage of the population using tobacco products is shrinking, while the number of children eligible for S-CHIP coverage is growing.
According to Heritage Foundation projections, the federal government will need 22.4 million new smokers by 2017 to pay for the S-CHIP expansion.
This means that Congress will likely have to raise other taxes to cover the $33 billion estimated annual cost of the S-CHIP expansion...
[It's call 'hook-&-reel'; Start a program on the backs of a demonized minority, and when that funding dries up you're now in a much better position to get general funding to foot the bill to avoid 'loosing' what's in hand.
According to a Tax Foundation study on the economic cost of high tax rates:
- Consider the combined effect of Obama's proposal to raise the top tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent and the new surtax; this means high-income households will receive 54 cents rather than 65 cents from every dollar they earn.
- That is, the after-tax reward from earning income falls by 17 percent.
- Based on the research mentioned above, with such large increases in tax rates, we can expect taxpayers facing the top tax rates to reduce their reported incomes by nearly 7 percent.
Moreover, this is a cautious estimate; thus, we might expect an even faster shrinkage of the federal tax base from these tax increases, says the Tax Foundation.
President Barack Obama wants Americans to believe that they can enjoy all of his proposed programs without paying for them because "the rich" will cover the cost.
But taxing "the rich" will only be the start. To get real money, the big spenders are going to have to tax the middle class as well...
image toon - 1st hcare mny = USam = rich to pay - & you're rich
Many people will buy "Why We Disagree About Climate Change," the new book by British socialist Mike Hulme, based on the promise that it examines the ideas and motives of both sides in the global warming debate.
But that's not what this book is about, says Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute.
In fact, the real purpose isn't revealed until far into it.
"The idea of climate change," Hulme writes, "should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identities and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us."
In other words, socialists like Hulme can frame the global warming issue to achieve unrelated goals such as sustainable development, income redistribution, population control, social justice and many other items on the liberal/socialist wish list.
But this notion is jarring for an American reader:
- Opinion polls show two-thirds of us do not believe global warming is manmade.
- More than 30,000 [31,478 and counting] American scientists have signed a petition saying there is no convincing scientific evidence that human activity will cause catastrophic global warming.
- The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) has produced an 880-page rebuttal of the latest IPCC report containing more than 4,000 references to peer-reviewed science.
The debate taking place about global warming in America is not the one described by Hulme as being between those who favor "cap and trade" and those who favor even more radical changes; it's about how much of the warming of the late 20th century was natural and how much was manmade.
This -- the real public policy debate -- is entirely missing from Hulme's book.
image toon - grn = Alarmists finding it harder to frighten citizens
Compulsory abortion and sterilization aren't youthful indiscretions
Earlier this month Obama's "chief science adviser," John P. Holdren, served as co-chairman when the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met for the first time. It's a disgrace that Mr. Holdren is even on the council. In "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," a book he co-authored in 1977 with noted doomsayers Paul R. and Anne H. Erlich, Mr. Holdren wrote:
"Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."
It gets worse.:
"A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men. The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control." [snip]
The question naturally arises why President Obama chooses to surround himself with extremists like Mr. Holdren.
No matter how much they claim their views have "evolved," health and science under Obamacare would be a frightening prospect with people like this 'advising' the president.
As we learned from Arthur Conan Doyle’s story, Hound of the Baskervilles, sometimes the most revealing piece of information is the dog that didn’t bark.
And so it was with an unheralded little piece by Ewin Hannan which appeared on page 7 of The Australian newspaper last Friday.
Hannan’s news report described a new initiative called Unionstart run by Unions NSW where unionists will go into NSW schools to 'educate' 14 to 18-year-olds about unions...
EAT your vegetables. Avoid sweets and fats. Never smoke. And do your calis thenics. Or be ready to pay a hefty tax.
Ridiculous? Sure. But under ObamaCare, Americans may well find themselves moving quickly toward a world of just those kind of mandates. Here's why.
As taxpayers start paying an ever-larger share of the nation's health bill (as they clearly will under the Dems' health reforms), pressure will mount for Uncle Sam to see that folks live healthy lives. There'll be two key rationales for broader sin taxes and other ways to control lifestyles:
- * They promote "wellness."
- * They make those living "unhealthy lives" bear the medical costs of their "reckless" behavior.
If the goal is to make each of us pay the health costs linked to our own indulgences, there's a more efficient way to do it: Simply make everyone pay his own medical bills -- and scrap nationalized health care altogether.
Lifestyle dictators will have none of that, of course. They'd rather end personal financial responsibility for health-care costs and then claim government has a right to mandate how we live -- since it pays the bills.
Which is why a vote for government health care is a vote for government-run life. Let's hope Americans understand that be fore ObamaCare goes to the floor.
[Recommended > ]
image toon - lbrty libs bdd fnn - Legalizing dope while taxing soda
POLL: 56% Favor Regulation of Campaign Contributions, But 88% Say Special Interests Likely To Get Around It
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling this fall that could loosen restrictions on contributions to political campaigns in a major way, but 56% of U.S. voters believe the federal government should regulate how much money [very wealthy] individuals can give to political campaigns.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% don’t believe the government should regulate campaign contributions. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure.
But 88% say it’s at least somewhat likely that special interest groups will find ways to get money to politicians and influence their votes even if the government places limits on how much individuals can give to campaigns.
There is very little partisan disagreement on the need for campaign finance regulation or over the ability of special interests to get around that regulation.
However, an unusually high number of voters (40%) don’t know enough about the subject to have an opinion one way or the other.
Exactly one week after the highly-publicized arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates stirred a national discussion on race relations, legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was detained by police officers in a "low-income, predominantly minority neighborhood" in Long Branch, New Jersey.
Makes one wonder why it took so long for this to get reported, and if news outlets that were convinced Gates's arrest was racially motivated will see the delicious irony in a white rock star being questioned by police just because he was "wandering around the neighborhood."
The Associated Press sure didn't - Here's the money quote:
The officers thanked him for his cooperation.
"He couldn't have been any nicer to them," Woolley added.
In fact, according to ABCNews.com, Dylan was quite gracious:
"He was really nice, though, and he said he understood why I had to verify his identity and why I couldn't let him go," Buble said.
Hmmm. So, Dylan was detained a week after Gates, was cooperative, and the issue was quickly resolved.
And we're hearing about this NOW?
How might this have impacted the Gates-Sgt. James Crowley affair if it had been reported at the time it happened rather than over three weeks after the fact?
I guess when a white rock legend is detained by police for having the nerve to walk around a minority neighborhood, and cooperates fully with the authorities to quickly resolve the misunderstanding, it's not a teachable moment.
image toon 1st fnn vals - Gates stopped after WH beers..
The two most prominent figures currently still in government who are implicated in the scandal are Democratic Senators Christopher Dodd and Kent Conrad, neither Senator was identified by Attkisson as a Democrat. Even while soundbites of the two Senators were shown, there was not even an on-screen label showing the party of either Senator.
But later, the CBS correspondent did more directly link one other figure to Republican members of Congress as she read documentation citing Countrywide’s interest in a former House committee counsel, Clinton Jones. Quoting an "internal Countrywide email," Attkisson described him as "‘an advisor to ranking Republican members of Congress responsible for legislation of interest [to Countrywide].’"
It was not until the end of the report, after a soundbite of Republican Congressman Darrell Issa – whose party was labeled on screen – complaining about Countrywide’s actions, that Attkisson finally hinted that Democrats may have more to fear from the scandal as she relayed that "Democrats are blocking a Republican effort to subpoena Countrywide documents."
Angry fans burned a U.S. flag in protest Sunday, a Cabinet minister suggested searching visiting Americans and an actress tweeted her outrage after Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan said he was detained for questioning at a U.S. airport.
While U.S. immigration officials noted he wasn't formally held, fellow Indian film stars and political leaders condemned what they called "humiliating" treatment given to Khan, a Muslim who is well-loved in a largely Hindu country. One Cabinet minister suggested a "tit-for-tat" policy toward Americans traveling to India.
Khan said he was detained Friday by U.S. immigration officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey because his name came up on a computer alert list. In India the ability to avoid being frisked at airports is seen as a status symbol. Politicians, sports celebrities and film stars often claim VIP status to avoid security checks.
The actor is in the U.S. to promote a new film, "My Name is Khan," which is about racial profiling of Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
[Just an ironic coincidence I'm sure.]