Obama Undermining America: 2010 Archives

YES, OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST

Stanley Kurtz new book "Radical-in-Chief" about Obama's socialist upbringing and world today is riveting. It must be read. This interview with Kurtz provides the flavor. Get it at Amazon.

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CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS? OR, "WHAT, ME WORRY?"

Everything is going so well for America, Obama just might as well bask in the warm glow from his admirers. click to enlarge picture

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: GOVERNMENT DEFICIT SPENDING GOES DOWN THE TOILET

Is stimulus and deficit spending by the Obama administration a good idea to keep the economy growing? No, says the world's biggest bond manager.

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross said deficit spending by governments that seek to maintain artificial levels of consumption “can be compared to flushing money down an economic toilet.”

The best thing the government can do is to begin rolling back entitlements, cancel Obamacare as a rotten idea and cut spending.

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UNDER OBAMA, THE UNITED STATES IS "GOING THROUGH A SPASM OF PARANOID HOSTILITY TO BIG BUSINESS"

How does Europe assess America's business climate today in the aftermath of the BP Gulf blowout disaster, not just for oil companies but for all businesses?

Major oil companies, with BP prominent among them, have spent 20 years trying to demonstrate their social responsibility. For the moment negative images will predominate, particularly in the United States, a country going through a spasm of paranoid hostility to big business, and foreign oil companies in particular, comparable in intensity to the campaign that broke up Standard Oil a hundred years ago. Many companies, not just in the oil industry, are now nervous of doing business in the US. Just as BP has replaced its British CEO with an American, so another major player is reconfiguring its top team to ensure it has a more friendly American accent. Others are reconsidering routing their global profits through US companies, given the risk that a single accident could put such funds in jeopardy. (emphasis added)

This British observer is right: Obams has created a "spasm of paranoid hostility to big business" that is further endangering our economy. The negative attitudes he is projecting on the public will do damage just as surely as will his tax increases, his vastly increased bureaucratic reach and the explosion of national debt he is creating to pay off public unions and bestow increased or new entitlements on grateful recipients who do now or will in the future support his form of totalitarian socialism.

There is no question that the White House almost daily attacks big business in vitriolic terms for divisive, political advantage. Obama was doing so before the Gulf oil spill: blaming "fat cat bankers on Wall Street" rather than his fellow socialists Barney Frank and Chis Dodd who triggered the subprime bubble and collapse. Attacks on the insurance industry. Attacks on businesses of all kinds that he claims are ripping off consumers to justify ever more government regulation and more unionized government employees.

Every Congressional election this fall is vitally important. Obama's destructive attack on our American way of business and life can only be halted if Republicans regain control of Congress.


The era of global oil giants is over
By Nick Butler in the Financial Times
July 28, 2010

Three months on, the consequences of the Deepwater Horizon disaster are becoming clearer. BP has a new leader – a quiet American who, as head of TNK-BP, a joint venture in Russia, has already held one of the world’s toughest jobs. The company is emerging from weeks of crisis conscious that much still needs to be done to clean up the gulf, and its damaged reputation. But the value of its assets, likely to be confirmed by Tuesday’s announcement of $30bn (€23bn, £19bn) of planned disposals, suggests a company worth more than its depressed share price implies.

For the industry the immediate impact will be more regulation, and a requirement for detailed (and perhaps pre-funded) plans to deal with accidents. Costs will rise, but more importantly new deepwater developments – seen as the salvation of international companies squeezed between declining old resources in the North Sea and elsewhere, and inaccessible new resources in much of the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela – will be constrained. Market power will shift back to the Opec states, the only available and relatively low cost source of new oil to meet growing global demand.

The more profound conclusion from the past few months, however, is that the cool long-term rationalism and global mindset of oil company boardrooms is inadequate in the face of the rough and tumble of short-term local politics. Companies such as BP wanted to see the world as a single market, but in reality national interests still predominate. We are entering a new world in which success will go to those who move beyond old visions of monolithic, centralised global enterprises towards new approaches built on partnerships and joint ventures attuned to local needs.

Strategy at this level must start from reality. The industry must face up to renewed public and political hostility. There will be greater scrutiny, not just of its environmental record, but also pay and bonus levels, and its use of influence to win access to developing countries. The immediate focus has been BP’s moves in Libya, but the spotlight could turn to Nigeria, Angola or Kazakhstan. The oil sector is now an easy target for any politician with a microphone.

Major oil companies, with BP prominent among them, have spent 20 years trying to demonstrate their social responsibility. For the moment negative images will predominate, particularly in the United States, a country going through a spasm of paranoid hostility to big business, and foreign oil companies in particular, comparable in intensity to the campaign that broke up Standard Oil a hundred years ago. Many companies, not just in the oil industry, are now nervous of doing business in the US. Just as BP has replaced its British CEO with an American, so another major player is reconfiguring its top team to ensure it has a more friendly American accent. Others are reconsidering routing their global profits through US companies, given the risk that a single accident could put such funds in jeopardy.

Continue reading "UNDER OBAMA, THE UNITED STATES IS "GOING THROUGH A SPASM OF PARANOID HOSTILITY TO BIG BUSINESS""

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BOBBY JINDAL LEADS HIS PEOPLE IN WAR

Is there any governor who has impressed the nation more over the past few months than Bobby Jindal of Lousiana? He has been leading the fight against the dead hand of the Washington bureaucracy blocking the efforts of Louisianians to save their waters, their marshes and their beaches. He has been at the forefront denouncing the irrational Obama shutdown of all drilling in the Gulf, costing coastal states economic growth and jobs. They're not looking for unemployment checks, they want to go back to work.


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OBAMA IS TRASHING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

Says who?

Professor Thomas Sowell of Stanford's Hoover Institution is raising the alarm.

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What the Obama administration is doing is nothing less than dismantling the U.S. Constitution. They are taking unconstitutional actions and getting away with it.

Why does no one sue in protest? Is it fear of the heavy hand of the national government, of intimidation? When the automobine industry was taken over Obama forced secured lenders entitled to preference in bankruptcy to take second place behind the powerful Democrat supporting unions. Obama bludgeoned BP to give him $20 billion for a slush fund for him to use as he saw fit. What about due process, what about Congress' right to appropriate money?


Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

By THOMAS SOWELL
Posted 06/21/2010 06:13 PM ET

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

"Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

Continue reading "OBAMA IS TRASHING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION"

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WHY ARE WE DRILLING IN SUCH DEEP WATER ANYWAY?

Charles Krauthammer explains how years of Democratic opposition to onshore and coastal drilling have pushed exploration and drilling into deeper and deeper waters where the risks are greater. We talk a good game about reducing dependence on oil from foreign countries, especially hostile and unstable ones in the Middle East and Africa, but the fact remains that the U.S. uses 21 million gallons a day and only 6 million is produced domestically. The International Energy Agency estimates that in 2030 the U.S. will still be using oil for at least 30% of energy needs, despite all the new emphasis on renewables and solving the shale extraction of natural gas problem.

National security demands that we open up onshore and coastal areas which hold great promise to exploration and drilling. They involve far less risk than deepwater Gulf of Mexico. But we need to drill in deep water, too. Obama's declaration of a six-month moratorium on all offshore exploration and development is nonsensical, is meant to indulge the ideological left and is harmful to national security.


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THOSE DARK CLOUDS OBAMA IS PUSHING AMERICA INTO

Michael Ramirez is on a roll in describing where Obama is pushing this country. Overwhelmingly, citizens loudly say they don't want to go there. We like the America of independence and opportunity, not government control and dependency.


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A HELPING HAND INDEED!

This is where Obama Nation is headed if we don't win in November.


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Click on picture to enlarge.

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TAKE BACK AMERICA -- MEETING THIS MONDAY NIGHT

Join us Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Chatham Community Center to discuss plans for the November election. This can be the election that saves America. All concerned about the out of control spending of America, the state and the town are welcome.

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WHAT YOU HAVE IS MINE

How close is Obama to making Americans dependent on handouts from the state the permanent voting majority?

It's closer than you may think. About 47% of Americans pay no income tax. With the Obama tax plans that number may soon past 50%.

So the have-nots will be able to vote to take more and more from the haves until there are no haves to feed the have-nots. Impossible?

Read what Mark Steyn has to say.

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"APOLOGIZE FOR AMERICA, ABANDON OUR ALLIES AND APPEASE OUR ENEMIES."

Liz Cheney got it right.

Speaking Friday at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, in just a few words she captured the Obama foreign policy that deeply concerns Americans.

Obama believes America is the problem in the world and wants us weak. Inspired by Pentagon bomber Bill Ayers, one might say.

Obama acts as if he wants Israel destroyed. Inspired by Jeremiah Wright and Edward Said, one might say.

Obama is making Islam's war of world conquest easier by pretending it doesn't exist. Inspired by Rashid Khalidi, Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour and Ali Abunimah, one might say.

Obama is attacking the Constitution and destroying our economy to turn the citizenry into welfare dependents of the state as The Communist Manifesto would have it. Inspired by his mentors communists Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky, one might say.

Obama is undermining America in every way he can.

Obama is weakening America and making us less safe.

He is going through the motions in Afghanistan, needlessly exposing our soldiers to death in a war he had no interest in winning.

He is on the verge of throwing away the victory we won in Iraq by his insistence on his timetable for troop withdrawal regardless of the facts on the ground. Iran will fill the vacuum he is creating.

He is allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

He cannot be allowed to succeed. Americans must take back control of this country in November.

Update: America's leading expert on Iran Michael Ledeen sees it the way we do:


Not Inadvertent at All
by Michael Ledeen

Victor Davis Hanson says there is neither rhyme nor reason to our foreign policy. Obama has no idea what he is doing and wings his way from one embarrassment to another, he says. Victor lists the embarrassments: dissing the Brits; pulling the carpet out from beneath the feet of the Czechs and Poles; rewriting Islamic history to make them look good; kissing up to the Russians and Saudis while insulting Karzai; and so forth.

But what if Obama does know what he’s doing? What if Victor has it right when he says that we are being transformed into a much larger version of the E.U.? (Actually, it’s a somewhat smaller version, but no matter.)

Obama sure rhymes, even if we find it unreasonable. He is not an admirer of America. He believes that America’s past behavior is the root cause of the world’s problems, and he wants to bring America under control by making it just another European country: impotent in world affairs (except for spreading the wealth) and stripped of its traditional exceptionalism at home.

That’s what his latest initiatives are all about, the new nuclear policy and the removal of clarity from our national-security doctrine by banning words like “jihad” and “Islam.” Since he considers us the problem, he imposes a nuclear doctrine that reins in America — the root cause of evil in the world. And since he wants to turn America into a weak country that will accept the political correctness of the feckless “international community,” he adjusts our language to bring it into line with the U.N.’s version of Newspeak.

It’s worse than you thought, Victor. It’s not confusion at all. It’s a campaign to cut America down to size.

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THE CONSEQUENCES OF OBAMA'S MAKING AMERICA A EUROPEAN-STYLE WELFARE STATE LIKEWELFARE STATE

So what's wrong if Obama and Congressional Democrats succeed in making us Europe-like? What's wrong with long vacations and long lunches? Jonah Goldberg sketches some of the problems not only for America but for Europe, too.

If We Europeanize, Europe Is in Trouble

We can’t become Europe unless someone else is willing to become America.

By now you may have heard: America is on its way to becoming another European country.

Now, by that I do not mean that we’re moving our tectonic plate off the coast of France or anything, but rather that a century-long dream of American progressives is finally looking like it might become a reality. The recently passed health-care legislation is the cornerstone of the Europeanization of America. And to pay for it, the White House is now floating the idea of imposing a value-added tax (VAT) like the ones they have throughout most of Europe.

In the egghead-o-sphere, there’s been an ongoing debate about whether America should become more like Europe. The battle lines are split almost perfectly along left-right lines ideologically. Liberals like Europe’s welfare states, unionized workforces (in and out of government), generous benefits, long vacations, etc. Conservatives like America’s economic growth, its dynamism and innovation.

From what I can tell, everyone agrees that you can’t have Europeanization without European-size governments. Hence, America’s government outlays (pre-Obama) have tended to hover around 20 percent of GDP (the average of the last 50 years), while Europe’s are often more than twice that. In France, government outlays are nearly 55 percent of GDP. In 2009, the bailout and the Obama budget sent America’s government outlays to 28 percent of GDP, but that should decline a bit over the next decade, unless Democrats have something else in mind.

To be fair, liberals insist conservatives are wrong to think that Europeanizing America will necessarily come at any significant cost. New York Times columnist and Princeton economist Paul Krugman says that, in exchange for only a tiny bit less growth, Europeans buy a whole lot of security and comfort. Economists such as Stanford’s Michael Boskin say Europeans have a standard of living about 30 percent lower than ours and are stagnating. Others note that the structural unemployment rate in Europe, particularly for young people (it’s over 20 percent in many countries), is socially devastating.

Obviously, I’m in the conservative camp. But I think the debate misses something. We can’t become Europe unless someone else is willing to become America.

Look at it this way. My seven-year-old daughter has a great lifestyle. She has all of her clothes and food bought for her. She goes on great vacations. She has plenty of leisure time. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t look at her and feel envious of how good she’s got it compared to me. But here’s the problem: If I decide to live like her, who’s going to take my place?

Europe is a free-rider. It can only afford to be Europe because we can afford to be America.

The most obvious and most cited illustration of this fact is national defense. Europe’s defense budgets have been miniscule because Europeans can count on Uncle Sam to protect them. Britain, which has the most credible military in NATO after ours, has funded its butter account with its gun account. As Mark Steyn recently noted in National Review, from 1951 to 1997 the share of British government expenditure devoted to defense fell from 24 percent to 7 percent, while the share spent on health and welfare increased from 22 percent to 53 percent. And that was before New Labour started rolling back Thatcherism. If America Europeanizes, who’s going to protect Europe? Who’s going to keep the sea lanes open? Who’s going to contain Iran — China? Okay, maybe. But then who’s going to contain China?

But that’s not the only way in which Europeans are free-riders. America invents a lot of stuff. When was the last time you used a Portuguese electronic device? How often does Europe come out with a breakthrough drug? Not often, and when they do, it’s usually because companies like Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline increasingly conduct their research here. Indeed, the top five U.S. hospitals conduct more clinical trials than all the hospitals in any other single country combined. We nearly monopolize the Nobel Prize in medicine, and we create stuff at a rate Europe hasn’t seen since da Vinci was in his workshop.

If America truly Europeanized, where would the innovations come from?

Europhiles hate this sort of talk. They say there’s no reason to expect America to lose its edge just because we have a more “compassionate” government. Americans are an innovative, economically driven people. That’s true. But so were the Europeans — once. Then they adopted the policies they have today and that liberals want us to have tomorrow.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

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INDIA, ANOTHER U.S. ALLY TURNED AWAY BY OBAMA

Diss your allies, cozy up to your enemies.

This is the Obama Doctrine.

Britain, Poland, France, Germany are just some of those who wonder where the U.S. went.

Now it's India, the largest democracy in the world, which until George Bush was in the Soviet/Russian orbit.

Read the most recent bad news of Obama Undermining America. And it's in Newsweek, that left wing wing of the left wing Washington Post.

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OBAMA INSULTS AMERICA'S FRIENDS, COZIES UP TO DICTATORS

Obama Slights Our Friends, Kowtows to Our Enemies

Michael Barone
Monday, March 29, 2010

Barack Obama's decision to postpone his trip to Indonesia and Australia -- to a democracy with the world's largest Muslim population and to the only nation that has fought alongside us in all the wars of the last century -- is of a piece with his foreign policy generally: attack America's friends and kowtow to our enemies.

Examples run from Britain to Israel. Early in his administration, Obama returned a bust of Churchill that the British government had loaned the White House after 9/11. Then Obama gave Prime Minister Gordon Brown a set of DVDs that don't work on British machines and that Brown, who has impaired vision, would have trouble watching anyway.

More recently, Obama summoned Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, permitted no photographs, laid down non-negotiable demands and went off to dinner.

Some may attribute these slights to biases inherited from the men who supplied the titles of Obama's two books. Perhaps like Barack Obama Sr., he regards the British as evil colonialists. Or perhaps like his preacher for 20 years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he regards Israel as an evil oppressor.

But the list of American friends Obama has slighted is long. It includes Poland and the Czech Republic (anti-missile program cancelled), Honduras (backing the constitutionally ousted president), Georgia (no support against Russia), and Colombia and South Korea (no action on pending free trade agreements).

In the meantime, Obama sends yearly greetings to (as he puts it) the Islamic Republic of Iran, exchanges friendly greetings with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, caves to Russian demands on arms control and sends a new ambassador to Syria.

What we're seeing, I think, is a president who shares a view, long held by some on the American left, that the real danger to America often comes from America's allies.

This attitude goes back to Gen. Joseph Stilwell's feud against China's Chiang Kai-shek in World War II. As Barbara Tuchman writes in her definitive biography, Stilwell thought Chiang was undercutting the U.S. by not fighting hard enough against the Japanese. He may have shared the view common among some "old China hands" -- diplomats and journalists like Edgar Snow -- that the Chinese communists were preferable.

After China fell to the communists, the old China hands got a fair share of the blame, and liberals who opposed military support of Chiang were vilified. This lesson was not forgotten.

In his first book on Vietnam, David Halberstam argued that the Diem brothers were not fighting hard enough against the communists. I remember him telling a group at the Harvard Crimson at the time how the U.S. needed to replace the Diems in order for liberals to avoid a political backlash like that against the old China hands.

The idea that allies can cause you trouble is not totally without merit. The Cold War caused us to embrace some unsavory folks. Democratic administrations supported military takeovers in Brazil in 1964 and Greece in 1967, just as a Republican administration supported one in Chile in 1973.

But liberals tend to forget the first two examples and remain fixated on the third. They see history as moving inevitably and beneficially to the left and bemoan American alliances with what they see as retrograde right-wing regimes.

They want us to look more favorably on those like Chavez and Fidel Castro, who claim they are helping the poor. Somehow it is seen as progressive to cuddle up to those who attack America and to scorn those who have shown their friendship and common values over many years.

And so Obama, the object of so much adulation in Western Europe, seems to have had only the coolest of relations with its leaders. The candidate who spoke in Berlin is now the president with no sympathy for the leaders of peoples freed when the wall fell. They are seen as impediments to his goal of propitiating Vladimir Putin's Russia, where Joseph Stalin is now an honored hero.

Obama's concessions to Russia have not prevented Russia from watering down sanctions against Iran. And Obama's display of scorning Netanyahu has not gotten the Palestinians to sit down face-to-face with the Israelis, as Netanyahu has promised to do.

Obama proclaims that through persistence he can make the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Russia, China and the Palestinians see things our way. The evidence so far is that they are making him do things their way -- and that our friends are wondering whether it pays to be on America's side.

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WHITE MALES DESERT OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS

Defection of white males from the Democratic Party right now is higher than it was in the Republican landslide of 1994. Obama's support among white males has sunk because he is focused on big government, not the man out of work.

Today, among whites, only 35 percent of men and 43 percent of women say they will back Democrats in the fall election. Women's preferences have remained steady since July 2009. But white men's support for a Democratic Congress has fallen eight percentage points, according to Gallup.
Obama's brand of liberalism is exactly the sort likely to drive such voters away. More like LBJ's than FDR's, Obama-style liberalism favors benefits over relief, a safety net over direct job programs, health care and environmental reform over financial reform and a stimulus package that has focused more on social service jobs -- health care work, teaching and the like -- than on the areas where a majority of job losses occurred: construction, manufacturing and related sectors.

The Obama socialist agenda is not the American agenda and Americans have the chance this November to get back control of their country. Ramming a massive government entitlement bill through Congress such as the health care bill against the opposition of a substantial majority of voters shows the disdain Democrats in Congress and Obama have for working people who pay the bills. They don't want their tax dollars used to build a Democratic constituency with government handouts.

Read it all.



White men shun Democrats


By DAVID PAUL KUHN

David Paul Kuhn is chief political correspondent for RealClearPolitics and the author of "The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma." He wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.

First published: Saturday, March 27, 2010

Millions of white men who voted for Barack Obama are walking away from the Democratic Party, and it appears increasingly likely that they'll take the midterms elections in November with them. Their departure could well lead to a GOP landslide on a scale not seen since 1994.
For more than three decades before the 2008 election, no Democratic president had won a majority of the electorate. In part, that was because of low support -- never more than 38 percent -- among white male voters. Things changed with Obama, who not only won a majority of all people voting, but also pulled in 41 percent of white male voters.

Polling suggests that the shift was not because of Obama but because of the financial meltdown that preceded the election. It was only after the economic collapse that Obama's white male support climbed above the 38 percent ceiling. It was also at that point that Obama first sustained a clear majority among all registered voters, according to the Gallup tracking poll.

It looked for a moment as though Democrats had finally reached the men of Bruce Springsteen's music, bringing them around to the progressive values Springsteen himself has long endorsed. But liberal analysts failed to understand that these new Democrats were still firmly rooted in American moderation.

Pollsters regularly ask voters whether they would rather see a Democrat or Republican win their district. By February, support for Democrats among white people (male and female) was three percentage points lower than in February 1994, the year of the last Republican landslide.

Today, among whites, only 35 percent of men and 43 percent of women say they will back Democrats in the fall election. Women's preferences have remained steady since July 2009. But white men's support for a Democratic Congress has fallen eight percentage points, according to Gallup.

White men have moved away from Obama as well. The same proportion of white women approve of him -- 46 percent, according to Gallup -- as voted for him in 2008. But only 38 percent of white men approve of the President, which means that millions of white men who voted for Obama have now lost faith in him.

The migration of white men from the Democratic Party was evident in the election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. His opponent, a white woman, won 52 percent of white women. But white men favored Brown by a 60 percent to 38 percent margin, according to Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates polling.

It's no accident that the flight of white males from the Democratic Party has come as the government has assumed a bigger role, including in banking and health care. Among whites, 71 percent of men and 56 percent of women favor a smaller government with fewer services over a larger government with more services, according to ABC/Washington Post polling.

Obama's brand of liberalism is exactly the sort likely to drive such voters away. More like LBJ's than FDR's, Obama-style liberalism favors benefits over relief, a safety net over direct job programs, health care and environmental reform over financial reform and a stimulus package that has focused more on social service jobs -- health care work, teaching and the like -- than on the areas where a majority of job losses occurred: construction, manufacturing and related sectors.

This recession remains disproportionately a "he-cession." Men account for at least seven of 10 workers who lost jobs, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Nearly half of the casualties are white men, who held 46 percent of all jobs lost.

In 1994, liberals tried to explain their thinning ranks by casting aspersions on the white men who were fleeing, and the media took up the cry. The term "angry white male" or "angry white men" was mentioned 37 times in English-language news media contained in the Nexis database between 1980 and the 1994 election. In the following year, the phrases appear 2,306 times.

Tarnishing their opponents as merely "angry" was poor politics for the Democrats. Liberals know what it's like to have their views -- most recently on the war in Iraq or George W. Bush -- caricatured as merely irrational anger. Most voters vote their interests. And many white men by the 1980s had decided the Democrats were no longer interested in them.

Think about the average working man. He has already seen financial bailouts for the rich folks above him. Now he sees a health care bailout for the poor folks below him. Big government represents lots of costs and little gain.

Meanwhile, like many women, these men are simply trying to push ahead without being pushed under. Some once believed in Obama. Now they feel forgotten.

Government can only do so much. But recall the Depression. FDR's focus on the economy was single-minded and relentless. Hard times continued, but men never doubted that FDR was trying to do right by them. Democrats should think about why they aren't given that same benefit of the doubt today.

David Paul Kuhn is chief political correspondent for RealClearPolitics and the author of "The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma." He wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.

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WHAT'S BETTER THAN OBAMACARE? THE DANIELS PLAN.

States are said to be laboratories where new ideas can be tried out to see if they have broader applicability. RomneyCare was such an experiement and it doesn't appear to be working too well, since costs and premiums are skyrocketing.

The key flaw is that there is no personal financial accountability involved in healthcare decisions.

The Governor of Indiania tried another approach that shows exciting potential. If ObamaControl is to be reversed, it must be replaced with something else. The Daniels plan is providing wide coverage and costs are declining, not rising.

Read about it.

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FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS GONE WITH OBAMACONTROL

Compulsion by the government will make ObamaControl work for awhile, then rationing takes over and the "death panels" will indeed emerge. Already, there will be no freedom to choose. Can you opt out of ObamaControl? No. Does one size fit all? No, but that's what you'll get.

Where can you get an operation you're willing to pay for when the Obama decision-makers deny you the operation you need, but are perhaps too old for ObamaControl to let you have it? Brazil and Costa Rica are already emerging destinations, like the U.S. used to be for Canadians.

The reality of Obamacare

Obama and the Democratic leadership have nationalized healthcare by proxy.

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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LIES, LIES AND LIES -- OBAMA, PELOSI AND HEALTHCARE

Aiding those who lie to the American people on a regular basis is the Congressional Budget Office. So whatever Obama and Pelosi choose to lie about can be confirmed by the CBO because Pelosi gives the CBO the assumptions it must use in cranking out its numbers. So "savings" are made to appear when everyone with common sense knows huge deficits are being created. Amity Shales, who wrote the brilliant reexamination of the role of FDR in the Great Depression ("The Forgotten Man") explains how it all works.

Health-Care Cost Lies Make Us Sing the Blues

Commentary by Amity Shlaes

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- “So lie to me, lie to me, I’d rather have it that way.”

Every historic moment has its soundtrack, and passing U.S. health-care legislation is no exception. The song for this bill is “Lie to Me,” recorded by blues singer Brook Benton in 1962.

Benton’s song is a plea to the woman who cheated on him to lie to him about it and instead say everything’s fine. The tune came to mind while watching some voters applaud Democratic leaders as they promise that the new law will reduce budget deficits by $1 trillion.

“Just lie, lie, lie.”

Everyone knows the bill will widen deficits over time. Entitlement and mandate expansions always do. And everyone knows that health-care reform isn’t about fiscal rectitude. As Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote last summer, the point of the proposal “was never to generate savings over the next decade.” It was to insure the uninsured. There’s a kind of masochistic consolation in the very improbability of the Democratic promise of savings.

“Because the truth would only hurt me

And that price is just too big to pay.”

The question is how can lawmakers get away with their misrepresentation? One answer lies in the structure of the Congressional Budget Office, the government’s official accountant. Its job is to establish an honest price: to tell legislators and voters what a policy will cost in the short, medium and long terms. That CBO work is important because Americans rightly sense that the politicians’ math is rigged.

“Nobody told me you were cheating.

Aww, it’s just a feeling I had.”

Flawed Assumptions

The CBO’s rules make it hard for the group to fulfill its own mandate. You’d think, for example, that the CBO would use its own parameters when it crunches numbers. Instead, the CBO must use the same mathematical assumptions supplied by the very lawmakers who wrote the bill the group is evaluating. No matter how improbable those formulas are.

Former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, writing in the New York Times, described the group’s process as “fantasy in, fantasy out.”

CBO rules often preclude common sense. Its forecasters can’t take into account any other legislation when studying the price tag of a proposed bill. That enabled the forecasters costing out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill to overlook this fact: Medicare spending increases will force tax increases, which in turn will hurt growth.

Political Salesmen

This dynamic is permitted because the answers the CBO supplies make it easier for politicians to sell their bills. They’re happy. And so, for the moment, are voters who are painfully aware that the U.S. federal budget can’t cover new entitlements, yet accept such legislation as a balm for that pain.

“So if I’m right, you got to lie to me

Then I won’t feel so bad.”

The CBO’s structural failure benefits the Democrats this week. Indeed, Pelosi is teaching Republicans something: the bigger the misrepresentation, the greater the credibility with voters. Croon to them a tune about entitlement, and they forget that you’re clearing a path for a tripling of the tax on dividends.

The CBO’s rules are bipartisan -- they hold for whatever legislation lands in its in box. Congressman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, recently put forward a new blueprint for the federal budget. Ryan’s plan is less questionable than Pelosi’s because it’s relatively honest about costs. Ryan points out that the current unfunded part of the Medicare liability is in the trillions.

No Traction

The tax cuts Ryan proposes allow for more possibility of growth than Pelosi’s health-care bill. When CBO studied Ryan’s plan using Ryan’s assumptions, however, it placed a question mark over the plan that wasn’t there before. Everyone knew the numbers came out the way Ryan wanted them to. His proposal, therefore, is having a hard time gaining traction.

How did the CBO get to play this role in the first place? Its start in the early 1970s was hopeful -- who can dislike a new bipartisan accountant?

Still, the group’s role in the budget process proved problematic early on. Democrats and Republicans spent the 1990s mired in a tedious quarrel about whether the office should use so-called static analysis -- the kind that assumes growth stays the same when you lower tax rates -- or dynamic analysis, which presumes that rate cuts generate extra growth. Time that could have been spent reforming Social Security or Medicare was instead spent fighting over who got confirmed as CBO director.

Wrong Turns

Every adult concerned about the future has pinpointed that moment in the past, when, he believes, the country took its fatal wrong turn. Some blame the introduction of Windows 95 and the dawn of the Internet age. Others trace it all to the launch of Fox News. Still others pick CBO’s creation. That’s because the accountants at CBO, unintentionally to be sure, have made obscene budgets look decent by garbing them in the sober costume of fiscal responsibility.

Of course, the CBO laws or rules can be rewritten at any point. But they won’t be, even if voters tire of the “Lie to Me” dynamic. That’s because lawmakers won’t give up the game. They would rather have it that way.

--Amity Shlaes, senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations, is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

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TYRANNY BY SEDUCTION IS THE OBAMA WAY

Can you imagine that the French philosopher Tocqueville envisioned the rise of Obama and the destruction of individual freedom? Read for yourself.

American Tyranny

Posted By Michael Ledeen On March 22, 2010

More than a year ago, less than a month after the Obama Inauguration, I wrote about the threat of an emerging American tyranny, quoting Tocqueville’s nightmare scenario of a slow seduction of the American people who would willingly abandon freedom to a soft dictatorship that would appear to be democratic. I was right about Obama’s intentions, but wrong about the reaction of the American people, which is central to the battle in which we are engaged.

Tocqueville foresaw a slow death of freedom. He feared that the power of the central government would gradually expand, meddling in every area of our lives, and he was afraid that we would welcome it, and even convince ourselves that we controlled it.

Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their own will. Thus their spirit is gradually broken and their character enervated…

The tyranny he foresaw for us does not have much in common with the vicious dictatorships of the last century, or with contemporary North Korea, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. “The nature of despotic power in democratic ages is not to be fierce or cruel, but minute and meddling.” The vision and even the language anticipated Orwell’s 1984, or Huxley’s Brave New World. Tocqueville described the new tyranny as “an immense and tutelary power,” and its task is to regulate every aspect of our lives.

It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.

Tocqueville thought we would not be bludgeoned into submission; we would be seduced. He foresaw the collapse of American democracy as the end result of two parallel developments that would ultimately render us meekly subservient to an enlarged bureaucratic power: the corruption of our character, and the emergence of a vast welfare state. His nightmare vision is brilliantly and terrifyingly prescient:

That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Roger all that. Tocqueville had it right, and it’s exactly what has happened on his old continent. Europe has fallen under precisely that sort of tyranny, and our would-be tyrants thought they could do the same here.

But the scheme did not succeed, at least the way they planned it. Instead of embracing the tyranny, the American people unexpectedly rose up against it. To use Tocqueville’s metaphor, Americans acted like a recalcitrant child and refused to behave. At which point the tyrannical wannabes decided to slap us down and make us behave properly. They were forced to carry out a coup, a baldfaced seizure of power. Thus, the Demon Pass. Thus the two most memorable lines from the coup plotters: (Pelosi): “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it,” and (Hastings): “there are no rules. This is the U.S. Congress.”

That was not the way it was supposed to happen. We were supposed to go quietly. Instead we fought back, and the final outcome of this big fight–the one I foresaw more than a year ago–is still in doubt. The would-be tyrants may prevail; after all, they have the awesome power of the state. But we have the numbers and a superior vision.

Americans can be very tough in this kind of fight. Ask King George.

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GEORGE ORWELL IMAGINED OBAMA

How high are the stakes for the freedom of Americans under ObamaControl? They couldn't be higher.


Thomas Sowell: Is Obamacare a point of no return?
By: Thomas Sowell
Examiner Columnist
March 24, 2010

With the passage of the legislation allowing the federal government to take control of the medical care system of the United States, a major turning point has been reached in the dismantling of the values and institutions of America.

Even the massive transfer of crucial decisions from millions of doctors and patients to Washington bureaucrats and advisory panels- as momentous as that is- does not measure the full impact of this largely unread and certainly unscrutinized legislation.

If the current legislation does not entail the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington, it will take only an administrative regulation or, at most, an Executive Order of the President, to do that.

With politicians now having not only access to our most confidential records, and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?

Despite whatever "firewalls" or "lockboxes" there may be to shield our medical records from prying political eyes, nothing is as inevitable as leaks in Washington. Does anyone still remember the hundreds of confidential FBI files that were "accidentally" delivered to the White House during Bill Clinton's administration?

Even before that, J. Edgar Hoover's extensive confidential FBI files on numerous Washington power holders made him someone who could not be fired by any President of the United States, much less by any Attorney General, who was nominally his boss.

The corrupt manner in which this massive legislation was rammed through Congress, without any of the committee hearings or extended debates that most landmark legislation has had, has provided a roadmap for pushing through more such sweeping legislation in utter defiance of what the public wants.

Too many critics of the Obama administration have assumed that its arrogant disregard of the voting public will spell political suicide for Congressional Democrats and for the President himself. But that is far from certain.

True, President Obama's approval numbers in the polls have fallen below 50 percent, and that of Congress is down around 10 percent. But nobody votes for Congress as a whole, and the President will not be on the ballot until 2012.

They say that, in politics, overnight is a lifetime. Just last month, it was said that the election of Scott Brown to the Senate from Massachusetts doomed the health care bill. Now some of the same people are saying that passing the health care bill will doom the administration and the Democrats' control of Congress. As an old song said, "It ain't necessarily so."

The voters will have had no experience with the actual, concrete effect of the government takeover of medical care at the time of either the 2010 Congressional elections or the 2012 Presidential elections. All they will have will be conflicting rhetoric- and you can depend on the mainstream media to go along with the rhetoric of those who passed this medical care bill.

The ruthless and corrupt way this bill was forced through Congress on a party-line vote, and in defiance of public opinion, provides a road map for how other "historic" changes can be imposed by Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

What will it matter if Obama's current approval rating is below 50 percent among the current voting public, if he can ram through new legislation to create millions of new voters by granting citizenship to illegal immigrants? That can be enough to make him a two-term President, who can appoint enough Supreme Court justices to rubber-stamp further extensions of his power.

When all these newly minted citizens are rounded up on election night by ethnic organization activists and labor union supporters of the administration, that may be enough to salvage the Democrats' control of Congress as well.

The last opportunity that current American citizens may have to determine who will control Congress may well be the election in November of this year. Off-year elections don't usually bring out as many voters as Presidential election years. But the 2010 election may be the last chance to halt the dismantling of America. It can be the point of no return.


Examiner Columnist Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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HAS AMERICA BEEN SHAKEN AWAKE?

A Colorado cowboy has his say.

Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation
Gary Hubbell
Aspen Times Weekly


Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That's why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

Obama is the symbol of a creeping liberalism that has infected our society like a cancer for the last 100 years. Just as Hitler is the face of fascism, Obama will go down in history as the face of unchecked liberalism. The cancer metastasized to the point where it could no longer be ignored.

Average Americans who have quietly gone about their lives, earning a paycheck, contributing to their favorite charities, going to high school football games on Friday night, spending their weekends at the beach or on hunting trips — they've gotten off the fence. They've woken up. There is a level of political activism in this country that we haven't seen since the American Revolution, and Barack Obama has been the catalyst that has sparked a restructuring of the American political and social consciousness.

Think of the crap we've slowly learned to tolerate over the past 50 years as liberalism sought to re-structure the America that was the symbol of freedom and liberty to all the people of the world. Immigration laws were ignored on the basis of compassion. Welfare policies encouraged irresponsibility, the fracturing of families, and a cycle of generations of dependency. Debt was regarded as a tonic to lubricate the economy. Our children left school having been taught that they are exceptional and special, while great numbers of them cannot perform basic functions of mathematics and literacy. Legislators decided that people could not be trusted to defend their own homes, and stripped citizens of their rights to own firearms. Productive members of society have been penalized with a heavy burden of taxes in order to support legions of do-nothings who loll around, reveling in their addictions, obesity, indolence, ignorance and “disabilities.” Criminals have been arrested and re-arrested, coddled and set free to pillage the citizenry yet again. Lawyers routinely extort fortunes from doctors, contractors and business people with dubious torts.

We slowly learned to tolerate these outrages, shaking our heads in disbelief, and we went on with our lives.

But Barack Obama has ripped the lid off a seething cauldron of dissatisfaction and unrest.

In the time of Barack Obama, Black Panther members stand outside polling places in black commando uniforms, slapping truncheons into their palms. ACORN — a taxpayer-supported organization — is given a role in taking the census, even after its members were caught on tape offering advice to set up child prostitution rings. A former Communist is given a paid government position in the White House as an advisor to the president. Auto companies are taken over by the government, and the auto workers' union — whose contracts are completely insupportable in any economic sense — is rewarded with a stake in the company. Government bails out Wall Street investment bankers and insurance companies, who pay their executives outrageous bonuses as thanks for the public support. Terrorists are read their Miranda rights and given free lawyers. And, despite overwhelming public disapproval, Barack Obama has pushed forward with a health care plan that would re-structure one-sixth of the American economy.

I don't know about you, but the other day I was at the courthouse doing some business, and I stepped into the court clerk's office and changed my voter affiliation from “Independent” to “Republican.” I am under no illusion that the Republican party is perfect, but at least they're starting to awaken to the fact that we cannot sustain massive levels of debt; we cannot afford to hand out billions of dollars in corporate subsidies; we have to somehow trim our massive entitlement programs; we can no longer be the world's policeman and dole out billions in aid to countries whose citizens seek to harm us.

Literally millions of Americans have had enough. They're organizing, they're studying the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, they're reading history and case law, they're showing up at rallies and meetings, and a slew of conservative candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. Is there a revolution brewing? Yes, in the sense that there is a keen awareness that our priorities and sensibilities must be radically re-structured. Will it be a violent revolution? No. It will be done through the interpretation of the original document that has guided us for 220 years — the Constitution. Just as the pendulum swung to embrace political correctness and liberalism, there will be a backlash, a complete repudiation of a hundred years of nonsense. A hundred years from now, history will perceive the year 2010 as the time when America got back on the right track. And for that, we can thank Barack Hussein Obama.

Gary Hubbell is a hunter, rancher, and former hunting and fly-fishing guide. Gary works as a Colorado ranch real estate broker.

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SINKING THE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM SO IT'S NO BETTER THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD'S

Michael Ramirez gets it right.

Obama wants nothing in America to be better than anywhere else. We don't deserve it.

HC INFAMY.gif

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20 WAYS OBAMA TAKES AWAY YOUR FREEDOM WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE CHOICES

20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms

By David Hogberg
IBD
03/21/2010 03:24 PM ET

If some reports are to be believed, the Democrats will pass the Senate health care bill with some reconciliation changes later today. Thus, it is worthwhile to take a comprehensive look at the freedoms we will lose.

Of course, the bill is supposed to provide us with security. But it will result in skyrocketing insurance costs and physicians leaving the field in droves, making it harder to afford and find medical care. We may be about to live Benjamin Franklin’s adage, “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”

The sections described below are taken from HR 3590 as agreed to by the Senate and from the reconciliation bill as displayed by the Rules Committee.

1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).

6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).

7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d)(1)(A))

8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).

9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).

10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).

11. If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))

12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you must be an owner and have a “Medicare provider agreement” by Feb. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didn’t have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A)).

13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a county where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).

14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)

15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).


16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).
The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 1405).

17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)

18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section 9014).

19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).

20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).

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AMERICA WILL REPEAL

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WE ARE THE PARTY OF LINCOLN.
WE STAND FOR FREEDOM AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL.



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