Why the Fiscal Lunacy?

Monday, April 19, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

One of my favorite living historians is Victor Davis Hanson.  I have read every book he has written and most of his articles.  Trained as a classicist and historian of antiquity, he has written on a broad range of topics, from the hoplites of ancient Greece, ancient Greek agriculture, a searching examination of the Peloponnesian War, the farming crisis of the 80’s, the history of warfare and culture, the teaching of the classics and the debacle of our non-policy on immigration, and I have been astonished at how skillfully this man writes and with what intelligence, and very dry humor, he cuts to the essence of whatever subject he addresses.  He moonlights as a pundit on current events and in that capacity I have found a recent column of his intriguing on the question of just why the Obama administration is hellbent on compiling such huge annual deficits.  Here is a portion of the column:

We are going to pile up another $3 trillion in national debt in just the first two years of the Obama administration. If the annual deficit should sink below $1.5 trillion, it will be called fiscal sobriety.

Why, when we owe $12 trillion, would the Obama administration set out budgets that will ensure our collective debt climbs to $20 trillion? Why are we borrowing more money, when Medicare, Social Security, the Postal Service, Amtrak, etc. are all insolvent as it is?

What is the logic behind something so clearly unhinged?

I present seven alternative reasons — some overlapping — why the present government is hell-bent on doubling the national debt in eight years. Either one, or all, or some, or none, of the below explain Obama’s peculiar frenzied spending.

1) Absolutely moral and necessary?

The country is in need of massive more entitlements for our destitute and near to poor. Government is not big, but indeed too small to meet its moral obligations. Deficits are merely record-keeping. Throwing trillions into the economy will also help us all recover, by getting us moving again and inflating the currency. And we can pay the interest easily over the next 50 years. Just think another World War II era — all the time.

So big spending and borrowing are genuine efforts of true believers to make us safe, secure, and happy.

2) “Gorge the beast”

The spending per se is not so important, as the idea of deficits in general will ensure higher taxes. Nationalized health care, cap and trade, new initiatives in education, more stimulus — all that and more is less important than the fact that huge defects will require huge new taxes, primarily from the upper-classes. I see no reason why the total bite from state income, federal income, payroll, and health care taxes cannot soon in theory climb to 70% of some incomes (e.g., 10% state, 15.3% FICA, 40% federal, 3-5% health care). In other words, “redistributive change” is the primary goal. This aim is premised on the notion that income is a construct, if not unfairly calibrated, then at least capriciously determined — requiring the more intelligent in the technocracy to even out things and ensure an equality of result. After all, why should the leisured hedge-funder make all that more after taxes than the more noble waitress?

So big spending and borrowing mean big deficits, and that means taxing the greedy and giving their ill-gotten gains to the needy.

3) Big Brother?

Or does rampant borrowing for government spending reflect our despair over the inability of millions to know what is best for themselves? For democracy to work, all of us must fully participate. But because of endemic racism, sexism, class bias, and historical prejudices, millions of Americans do not have access to adequate education and enlightenment. Therefore, a particular technocratic class, with requisite skill and singular humanity, has taken it upon themselves to ensure everyone gets a fair shake — if only government at last has the adequate resources to fix things. If it proves problematic for one to register and vote, then there will be a program to make 100% participation possible. If some of us are too heavy and too chair-bound, we can be taught what and how to eat. If some of us do not study, we can adjust academic standards accordingly. In one does something unwise, like buying a plasma TV rather than a catastrophic health care plan, then we still can ensure he is covered. In other words, an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-moral guardian class requires resources to finish the promise of participatory America. After all, why would we allow the concrete contractor to “keep” 70% of his income only to blow it on worthless things like jet skis or a Hummer in his garage or a fountain in his yard — when a far wiser, more ethical someone like Van Jones could far more logically put that now wasted capital to use for the betterment of the far more needy?

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November 2009, Stupak Never Intended to Vote No on ObamaCare

Monday, March 22, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

Last November during a town hall meeting near the Upper Peninsula Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, an alleged “pro-lifeDemocrat that recently voted for government funding of abortion, made it clear that he was never going to vote “No” on ObamaCare.

Biretta tip to Sydney Carton and Alicia Colon.


The Wonders of Government Medicine

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

As ObamaCare goes through its death throes, my reaction is that the nation has dodged a bullet.  The whole purpose of this exercise was to bring closer the day when the country would have a single payer system.  I believe that if such a system had been achieved the results could well have been nightmarish.  The National Health Service in Great Britain I believe would have been a model of what the US health system would have become if completely controlled by the government.

A recent survey of 900 nurses in Great Britain revealed:

“A woman ‘barely coping’ after a miscarriage being sent to a ward with male patients.

Children left at ‘high security risk’ and a threat of infection when adults were put on their ward.

One overflow ward being so crammed a nurse could not reach the emergency buzzer when someone had a heart attack. She had to run into the corridor to yell for help.

One patient being left in a mop cupboard where there was only room for a chair, not a bed. At another hospital, a kitchen was set aside for two beds.

A hospital discharging elderly patients before they were ready.

Another using a ward which had been ‘condemned’ for patient use.

Up to three patients being crammed into a tiny office cluttered with staff belongings.

Eighteen patients being stuck on trolleys in the corridor of a medical assessment unit. “

“Maintaining single-sex areas was often impossible because of the sheer numbers of extra patients.

Nurses have to take blood samples in corridors and beds are sometimes placed in isolated corners, meaning nurses cannot see if a patient needs help.

Elderly patients are ‘parked’ in day rooms while waiting to be transferred to another hospital, and left ‘soiled and neglected’, and ‘needing fluids’.

Sometimes spare beds run out – and people have to sleep on chairs or mattresses on the floor.

Nearly half the nurses said patients in non-clinical areas did not have proper access to water, oxygen, suction and a call bell.

Four in ten said they did not have the screening to protect their dignity and privacy.

‘If a patient suddenly had a cardiac arrest, we would not be able to get the crash trolley to them,’ said one nurse at a hospital which squeezed extra beds into wards.

Others said cramming patients into wards put them at risk of cross-infection.

One added: ‘Urine bottles are not emptied, meals are missed as staff are not aware of the patient.’

Many nurses had complained to managers but the practice had stopped in only a handful of cases.

Last night, nursing leaders said poor standards meant ‘compassion fatigue’ set in, meaning nurses did not treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserved.”

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What Will ObamaCare Look Like

Friday, March 5, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]

If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?

Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.

The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphases mine]:

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget [imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

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Obama Believes in the Free Market

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

Enough said.


Ronald Reagan Warns Against ObamaCare

Sunday, February 28, 2010 \PM\.\Sun\.

This is a clip of Ronald Reagan warning us of socialized medicine, the very same bill that President Obama and the Democratic Party are trying to ram through congress.

Reagan warns us of how people such as six-time presidential Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas, and many others, explained how to move their agenda of achieving a socialist state by a Foot-in-the-Door policy of socialized medicine.  Which is eerily similar to what President Obama and the Democrats are doing, against the will of the people with their European socialized health care bill.


21st Century Conservatives, Ronald Reagan, and the Problem of Political Amnesia

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

This is not about the current political climate or the Obama Administration and its endeavors. I’m not arguing for or against the Obama Administration or its policies because that is not the point of interest. Let me repeat: the point is not who is promoting good or bad policies (Democrats or Republicans), the effects of those policies, or any thing of the sort.

On the contrary, the interest here is fundamentally a point of history. In George Orwell’s 1984, the “Ministry of Truth” rewrote history to match whatever “the Party” declared, no matter its objective truth. In a recent article, Peter Beinart notes that a number of conservatives refuse to be outdone by Orwell’s fictional group and this is manifest in the party’s historical revisionism of the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

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