President Obama at his most recent town hall was mystifyingly quoted saying that, “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” Aside from the fact that the president has, in pitching his government-run health care initiative, presented one of the best examples of myopic government-run programs, another thought sprang to the forefront of this conservative’s conscience. The presidents remarks didn’t stir deep within my soul the desire to nationalize our medical industry, as it might for some of my neo-marxist friends within the left-er nether regions of the Democrat Party. In fact, it actually brought to mind the opposite notion. The United States should privatize the U.S. Postal Service. Read the rest of this entry »
Liberals were up the their usual tricks this past fall—no, not habitually stealing inter-generational candy from babies not yet born through historically high deficit spending—that had to wait till January. Many an American face matched their stock portfolios in October as 401k savings accounts were reduced to ashen shells of what they formerly were. The liberal elite quickly went about blaming the “free-market” in an effort aimed to, as only a short time’s passage would reveal, do more re-shaping of the American economic system than Ashlee Simpson has done to her face.
Truth be told (would I lie to you?), this has been a pretty common theme liberals have employed over the last century, so as to convince other-wise freedom loving Americans that they need to be protected from themselves. Unlike their feeble attempts to have us believe that the 75 year old American Legion vets lambasting squishy Congressmen in health care town halls across the country of late are simply on the payroll of evil corporate America (who are ironically on board with national health care, which benefits their bottom-lines), this technique has been rather successful. Read the rest of this entry »
It is with great trepidation today that I reveal the dirty little secret about the Democrats’ health-care ‘reform’ bill, languishing in mark-up, that neither Democrats or Republicans want you to know. This is a secret so great, that even greater lengths have been gone to in order to make sure you never know about it. That secret, is of course, that the thousand page leviathan snaking its way through Congress will never pass. It will not become law, at least during Obama’s presidency.
There was some question, prior to his inauguration, as to how moderate an Obama Administration would be. Obama tacked to the center in the later stages of the presidential campaign and many expected that he had learned the hard lessons of Clinton’s ill-advised lurch leftward in the early days of his own presidency and would take a more centrist approach early on. Obama cleared up any of those debates within days of his inauguration, signing radical executive orders regarding abortion and terrorist detainees, and by pushing through the massive American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The AERR (probably better spelled ERROR– Economic Retardation and Redistribution for Obama’s Re-election) has thus far been a colossal disaster.
Obama’s leftward lurches were noted by this author as early as January, and upon passage of the stimulus, I declared definitively that as a result of the stimulus battle:
“The Democrats stand to potentially be hammered in the 2010 mid-terms, if only Republicans in the Senate hold their ground and let the Democrats have their win now. It is costly for both sides, but Obama will have spent his political capital on a project only 37% of Americans support. You and I can kiss goodbye the notion of socialized medicine or other hair brained plans hatched 50 years ago by pseudo-socialists.” (Feb. 7, 2009).
Republicans largely stood their ground against the wasteful spending in the stimulus bill, and though it was not evident at the time, this helped to harden Americans against any more socialist-leaning legislation. It was to me evident then, that no plan for the nationalization of health-care could ever pass muster. However, I, like many others, was reticent to point this out and risk the disinterest and dis-involvement that would likely emanate from those activists who would otherwise be speaking out against this bill by calling their Congressmen and generally stirring the pudding. We’ve seen this phenomenon occur most recently during the cap and trade debate in the House, where a highly unpopular and dangerous bill somehow managed to squeak into a position dangerously close the Federal Register.
So why come out now at such a pivotal time in the legislative process and chat up how the bill is doomed? Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) recently stated that Obama’s health-care initiative is like his Waterloo. If Obama is defeated here, that may very well spell the end of Obama’s endeavors to reshape the American social and political landscape in his own very liberal image. While the analogy is imperfect, as all analogies are, it is important to note that if Obama can be stopped on health-care—and he almost certainly will be stopped—Republicans can salvage what is left of America.
Though the stimulus plan has severely debilitated America by plunging us into nearly irreparable debt and by burdening future generations with a crushing tax, we may someday be thankful that the Obama Administration pressed for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ERROR, when they did. In doing so, the Obama White House lurched far to the left, and this bacchanalian spendthrift left America not just with a hang over, but a terrible after-taste, and has ignited opposition to further leftward power grabs. National health-care, which would destroy innovation, hinder care, raise costs, institutionalize a culture of death, deprive us of our liberties and relegate America to European style mixed-economic socialism, would be far worse.
The blows dealt by Obama’s stimulus package are severe, but not insurmountable. National health-care would radically transform America. With calls to Congressional offices running fifteen to one against the plans as they stand, Obama is on the ropes. A resounding defeat here would diminish Barack Obama’s future political capital and neuter the march toward a Fabian-styled social order. To utilize another imperfect, boxing analogy; now is not the time to relent. If this is truly destined to be a defeat for the Obama Administration, we should not be content to win by T.K.O. Just as the Duke of Wellington and allied forces saved the continent of Europe from Napoleon’s forces, we should not see Obama’s weakened state and let our guard down. Republicans and conservative Democrats should press Obama all the more fiercely. Let’s make health-care Obama’s Waterloo.
David Teesdale, is particularly fond of analogies. Mr. Teesdale is to rice pilaf as Steve Irwin is to: __________. Comment here or e-mail him at email@example.com for the answer.
Are Americans finally coming off the prolonged binge of spending and government intrusion characterized by the first six months of the Obama administration? Recent polls indicate that as the nation tackles a host of policy issues, with health-care at the forefront, perhaps we have entered a collective hangover with the noticeable symptoms of guilt and utter confusion. Far be it from this timid conservative to triumphantly declare victory. But let’s hope that last night – or the past six months of trillion-dollar spending sprees, rather – was simply a one-night-stand, and that the next time we’re feeling a bit drunk and lonely – or we as a nation confront uncharted economic and political territory – we don’t resort to the same failed tactics of government encroachment and spending.
Curiously, despite the political weakness of the Republican Party as well as the sheer popularity of the President, Americans are heavily skeptical of another supposed “fix” that contradicts fundamental principles of equity, fiscal prudence, and free market economics. A $787 billion stimulus bill, hundreds of billions in TARP funds, and billions more in auto bailouts have taken their toll on the American public. They have been burned by this administration’s penchant for spending now while asking questions later.
A Wall Street Journal poll from last week found 58% of respondents believe government should keep the deficit down even if it slows economic growth. Unfortunately for those advocating a massive health-care restructuring, Americans understand any type of restructuring will likely be permanent. It will also grow as benefits are added and costs skyrocket, as has been the case with nearly all public programs.
Health-care reform emanating from both the Senate finance and health committees do not meet the Congressional Budget Office measurements of being revenue neutral over the course of the next decade or reducing country’s long-term health care burden. Even bi-partisan plans such as the Wyden-Bennett plan, which would eliminate the tax exemption on employer-provided health benefits (it is worth noting that Obama has reversed his campaign rhetoric that denounced McCain’s support of such a plan as the largest middle-class tax hike in history) have met political resistance. Unions are feeling mighty after their electoral triumph in November and subsequent financial triumph in the Detroit bailout/bankruptcy. They are not quite ready to relinquish hefty benefits packages that would be affected by the Wyden-Bennett plan.
While compelling, many other arguments against liberal health-care reform have fallen flat. Nevermind that 17 million uninsured Americans live in households with income greater than $50,000; or that 40 percent of the uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 34 (a demographic where health care is not a necessity); or that nearly 14 million uninsured Americans are already eligible for taxpayer-funded insurance. Similarly hollow are the calls from the nation’s leading health-care experts such as the American Medical Association. They have opposed aspects such as the public option due to glaring shortcomings in Medicaid and Medicare, which they fear would be duplicated. Under those programs, which like the current debate began with promise of a hybrid public-private model – private plans were engulfed by government plans. Reimbursements have also shrunk as bureaucrats look for ways to trim the bloated operating costs of a government monopoly.
However, these arguments have not resonated with the American public. Thus far, opposition to health-care expansion and a public option has proven most effective when targeting Americans uneasy with any further deficit spending and the nation’s rapidly-expanding debt. It is certainly encouraging to see the nation responsibly recuperate from its spending hangover with a more modest approach to health-care reform. In addition to the stimulus package, bailouts of Wall Street and Detroit are costing Americans trillions for years to come. Many are finally ignoring the annoying friend who maintains “the only way to cure a hangover is to drink more,” or in this case the Paul Krugmans who insists “the only way to overcome a deficit or achieve any policy goal is to spend your way out.”
StairwaytoKevin hides behind his anonymity because he fears reprisals from tie-dye-wearing teacher’s Unions, and because he is a coward beyond measure. He can be reached by comment on this article.
The Following is an Open Letter to President Barack Obama:
My name is David Teesdale. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your historic election to the office of President of the United States of America, and upon your swift legislative victories in your first sixty days in office.
Among these victories, the economic stimulus bill, aimed, as the Congressional Budget Office states, to “boost economic activity during periods of economic weakness by increasing short-term aggregate demand.” This, the largest single government expenditure in American history, is intended to “save or create” 3.5 million jobs (your advisers only expect a 2.1 million increase in jobs), at a cost of $789 billion. This means the government is spending roughly $225,000 per job created or “saved.”
The public is poignantly aware that the government never comes in under budget. The Capitol Visitors’ Center was just completed at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., late and over budget. Ground was broken in 2000 and the project was slated to cost $71 million. Completed in late 2008, the building cost a stupefying $621 million. At this rate, the “stimulus,” programs expected to break ground in 2010-11 should begin somewhere around 2020 and should actually cost around $9 trillion.
Even if we use the conservative estimates of the Congressional Budget Office, which peg the true cost of servicing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (HR 1) at $3.27 trillion, the cost per job will ring in at $9.3 million per job.
I don’t mean– by any stretch–President Obama, to sound at all disrespectful, but this seems like a terrible waste of public tax dollars. I have the utmost regard for your desire for good stewardship of Americans’ dollars, so I have confidence you will find the following proposal much more palatable.
You’re a pretty smart guy, O. Can I call you O? Anyway, you’re pretty smart, and I am pretty smart too. I recently graduated with a degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and interned at the White House, before you took up residence there. I’m not Ivy bred, but I am strongly confident that I can create–yes, create, not save–jobs for you at a rate below $9.3 million per. In fact, I am confident that I could create jobs at a rate under one million dollars per.
In fact, O–I mean Mr. President–all I ask is to be provided with 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of the stimulus bill’s $789 billion dollar price tag. Roughly $79 million, tax-free, low-denomination, unmarked bills, preferably in little black briefcases. With this much tax money, I can assure the creation of hundreds or thousands of jobs, or I will pay back every red (no commu-puns intended) cent.
As a driven and hard working recent graduate, I feel I can bring youth and energy to the stimulus package. Even by any Keynesian measure, you’ll be getting more bang for your buck than the $600 million used on digital TV converters, $50 million for cemetery repair work, $1.7 billion for the National Parks Service, $2 billion for groups like ACORN and $300 million to fund cars for bureaucrats in the Federal government.
I assure you that the businesses that I create will be much more effective in creating lasting jobs, even if those jobs are as my housekeeper and butler (though, I will need a bigger house to accommodate more servants–which should probably cost no more than $1 million dollars–but will create one landscaping, and two housekeeping jobs at the very least). This plan is clearly what America needs right now, especially in my home city of Knoxville, TN, where unemployment is becoming a problem.
If I can’t, I won’t even ask for a bailout.
I am sure you, Mr. President, as a person who can see a great deal when it is presented to him, can see the virtue in my plan. I save the government money, I make a whole bunch of money, and I save the government further embarrassment when the public finally realizes that government cannot create wealth it can only spend it (First Law of Government Dynamics).
You may call my office (leave a message after the beep if you can’t get through, I screen calls from the ‘202’ area code) with any questions you or your 40 person economic team at Treasury may have, or if you wish to see a business model.
All the Best,
David E. Teesdale
David Teesdale, delights in poking at millions of dollars of sliced ham subsidies as part of the economic stimulus. Comment here or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org