Henninger: America’s Two Economies
With Barack Obama, the competition between the private economy
and the public economy is clear.
by Dan Henninger at the Wall Street Journal:
For a long time, the United States had one economy. Now we have two economies that compete for America’s wealth: A private economy and a public economy. The 2012 election will decide which will be subordinate to the other. One economy will lead. The other will follow.
How the U.S. arrived at the need to choose between two competing economies reveals a lot about the political polarization in the country. Any history of the Democratic Party in the 20th century will recognize its roots in the American labor movement. The party was defined by the names of those unions. The United Mine Workers. The United Auto Workers. The Brotherhoods of Teamsters and Railroad Workers. Consider what those names represented: Both Democrats and Republicans were rooted in the private economy. Unionized workers knew then that this private economy was where they made their living. The arguments were over dividing the productive fruits of that economy. That was your father’s Democratic Party.
From the 1960s onward, the professional Democratic Party began to lose its relationship with the private economy. Democratic politicians drew closer to a rising public-sector union movement and its campaign financing, while the private unions declined. This meant the party itself was slowly disconnecting from the machinery of the private economy and becoming part of a rising parallel economy, the public economy of government.
There was one other big event that convinced Democrats that their public economy was equal to or better than the private economy. It has to do with the Democratic Party’s moral identity. After JFK’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson passed the building blocks of the Great Society, notably Medicare and Medicaid. But most importantly came the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The legislative events of that period (no matter that they passed with bipartisan votes) convinced the Democratic Party once and for all of government’s moral efficacy. Public spending, conclusively, was now a public good.
Today the private and public economies are in head-to-head competition for the nation’s wealth—with the private economy calling that wealth capital or income, and the public economy calling it tax revenue and making moral claims for spending tax revenue.
Until recently and except for the Reagan years, the Republican Party has largely been a confused onlooker, uncertain how to embrace the private economy. In the 1990s, the party embraced the private sector mainly as a source of contributions via K Street lobbyists. In short, crony capitalism.
With the Obama administration, the tensions between the country’s two economies clarified. The $831 billion spending bill in 2009 was intended to stimulate hiring of public-sector workforces but also among the satellite businesses that are subsidiaries of the public economy. Barack Obama’s routine use of the traditional private-economy term “investment”—in energy, education and such—is the public economy claiming capital for its needs.
President Obama is telling the private economy it must subordinate itself to the public economy’s moral efficacy. The passage in 2010 of the Affordable Care Act, with no Republican support, was justified as a 1960s-type act of moral necessity. The private economy, in his view, can’t compete on that basis.
In the November 2010 elections, the private economy pushed back. Two years into the financial crisis and amid tea-party insurgencies, Democrats were swept out of office at every level of government.
These are not small events. Powerful belief systems are in motion today, and they are slamming into each other. Rep. Paul Ryan in the first sentence of his now-famous Roadmap budget said, “Rarely before have the alternatives facing America been so starkly defined.” President Obama, announcing his ideas on taxes on July 9, said, “What’s holding us back . . . is a stalemate in this town, in Washington, between two very different views about which direction we should go in as a country” (emphasis added).
Those are the two poles in an historic battle over who runs the American economy.
For about 40 years before 2008, spending as a percentage of GDP was around 20%. In 2009, it rose to 25% and has remained at 24% of GDP. This isn’t just spending data. These numbers are a proxy for the standoff between the public economy and the private economy.
Some in the Democratic Party argue that this higher, “normal” spending level (the White House projects 22+% of GDP going forward) is necessary to fulfill the commitments our politics have made to retiring baby boomers and others. The role of the private economy in the U.S. will be to support the long-term wants and needs in the public economy.
President Obama is right: This is a choice between two paths into the American future, the clearest choice since the end of World War II. It is a mandate election.
Barack Obama is explicitly seeking a mandate to make the public economy pre-eminent. That is the unmistakable meaning of “You didn’t build that.” His opponent so far is talking about, but not seeking a mandate for, the other economy. One expects that in time Mitt Romney will seek a mandate equal to Mr. Obama’s.
“Limiting The Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples” is the English language which Minnesota’s Very Left of Center, Mark Ritchie, has chosen to title the “Support for Marriage” here in Minnesota.
Minnesota Democrats interested in joining the state’s Leftwing Government management teams go to special conspiratorial sessions to learn how to be Obama Marxists, these days. That is relatively new in our state. It is a political remembrance of that cuddly little lefty sprite, Paul Wellstone, who was so well loved among the entitled.
Please read the following statement from Minnesota for Marriage:
Dear Friend of Marriage,
Imagine if the New York Yankees got to pick an umpire who was an avowed Yankees’ fan to call balls and strikes when they played the Twins. Of course, people everywhere would protest that the fix was in, because the umpire is supposed to be impartial and call the game fairly. That’s what the Secretary of State – the umpire of elections — is supposed to do as well when it comes to implementing election contests. Unfortunately, Mark Ritchie is our Secretary of State and he’s trying to tilt the election playing field on the marriage amendment toward our opponents
“Limiting The Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples” – Mark Ritchie
That’s what Mark Ritchie wants people to think the marriage amendment would do even though it makes absolutely no change to existing law other than to put it in our state constitution. It’s as if he just called a pitch that landed two feet in front of the plate a strike. No wonder a lot of us think the fix is in when it comes to Mark Ritchie.
Ritchie’s actions are so far out of bounds that “foul ball” doesn’t come close to describing what he’s up to.
Richie was elected to office with the help of George Soros and gay billionaire Tim Gill. Soros and Gill oppose traditional marriage and are leading efforts across the nation to redefine marriage. Ritchie is calling the game just like our opponents want, and it doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots.
Think about it. Marriage in Minnesota is already defined as the union of one man and one woman. The marriage amendment does not “limit” marriage – it takes our existing definition of marriage and puts it in the state constitution (where it will be safe from meddling by politicians like Ritchie).
But it gets worse.
A member of Ritchie’s own political party, Senator Scott Dibble (who is himself a gay activist!), was the person who wrote the title of the Marriage Amendment. Senators on both sides of the marriage debate agreed that what Dibble wrote was a fair title for the amendment:
“Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman” Click here to see Gay Activist Sen. Scott Dibble propose and pass this title.
Dibble’s proposed title passed with 49 votes in the senate – nearly 75% of Senators from both parties supported this fair and impartial title of the Marriage Amendment.
That should have been the end of it. Until Mark Ritchie got behind the plate and started yelling “strike” when pitches are falling short of the plate or over the catcher’s head.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is claiming that when liberal Governor Mark Dayton issued a symbolic “veto” of the Marriage Amendment (the Governor plays no role in putting constitutional amendments on the ballot) this freed Ritchie up to substitute a dishonest and misleading title for the impartial title that nearly 75% of the senate agreed upon.
It’s no wonder people are sick of politicians like Ritchie and their despicable antics. Never can I remember an act so blatantly one-sided and biased than what Ritchie is trying to do — tilt the election toward our opponents.
It’s crystal clear that the fix is in with Mark Ritchie. He’s abandoned all pretext of attempting to call a fair election. But we’re not going to take it lying down.
Minnesota for Marriage has joined seventeen lawmakers petitioning the Supreme Court to enforce the will of the legislature, which is to ensure that the voters see a fair and impartial title for the Marriage Amendment – one that was actually drafted by a gay marriage supporter but agreed to by both parties and both sides of the marriage debate – because it is fair and impartial.
But fighting “city hall” is not cheap. We’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers to bring our case before the courts. Ironically, Mark Ritchie gets lawyers paid for by taxpayers like you – and billionaires like George Soros and Tim Gill are laughing in the dugout. It’s outrageous.
We have great confidence in our legal team and we have confidence in our legal system that it will overturn this partisan act by Mark Ritchie. Unfortunately, we have already spent over $30,000.00 in lawyer fees, instead of on voter contact, grassroots organizing, and producing yard signs, bumper stickers, and buttons. Mark Ritchie can sit back and relax while you and other taxpayers foot his bill for trying to tilt the election.
Please, even $10.00 will help us preserve marriage as we know it by ensuring that voters see a fair and impartial title for the amendment on the ballot.
Marriage between one man and one woman is worth preserving; it is worth the $30,000 we have spent so far in legal fees related to Mark Ritchie’s despicable attempt to tilt the election.
I don’t know how the courts will rule on our challenge, but I do know this: It’s wrong for the Secretary of State to try to tilt the election and we are honor-bound to try to stop him.
And here’s something else I know: most Minnesotans believe as we do that God created marriage between one man and one woman. That’s why, no matter how hard Mark Ritchie and his allies might try to tilt the election field against us, voters are going to adopt the Marriage Protection Amendment in November.
Chairman, Minnesota for Marriage
Prepared and paid for by Minnesota for Marriage, 2355 Fairview Ave N, Box 301, Roseville, MN 55113, in support of the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment.
Comment: The American gay movement of the past quarter of a century is one of the ugliest arrangement of political and cultural misfit collectives and individuals every to trample upon the nation’s shores. Perhaps someday very soon a responsible American will write a true history of one of the movement’s seediest of its seedy political action groups, ”Act Up”, to understand better the more depraved in the nation.
When the expression of one’s sexual behavior becomes the one and only or the overwhelming powerful goal in life, perhaps some people, especially decent people, should pause about oozing love, understanding, and comradeship to win votes, to a group that so befouls human decency far beyond sexual adventure.
Dishonesty among the Wellstone educated Minnesota Democrats isn’t quite as endemic as it is total with their hero, the perpetual con-artist, Barack Hussein Obama, in my view, however.
Dick Armey: Obama “Biggest Threat To Our Liberty” In Our Lifetime
“We are all aware that the greatest threat to constitutionally-limited small government and personal liberty that we see active in politics in America today is President Obama. I mean, this guy is — in n fact, we see him clearly. He is obsessed with controlling the distribution of income, the distribution of product, the behavior of people, the allocation of capital resources to goofy social causes that are inspired by bad science and bad finance,” Fmr. Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) of FreedomWorks said on CNN this morning.
“And I tell you, the grassroots activists across this country known as the Tea Party activists will work diligently for Romney because a 180-degree turn-around is a big change, and we will have removed what we perceive to be the biggest threat to our liberty in the history — in our lifetime in the presidency of Barack Obama,” he added.
8 WAYS BLACKS PERPETUATE RACISM AND THE ONLY WAY TO THWART IT
by Walter Hudson from pajamas media:
It shouldn’t matter that I, an author with the audacity to select such a title, am black. The arguments presented should stand or fall on their objective merit. Nevertheless, I declare my racial identity at the outset to defuse any prejudice readers may bring regarding the motivation behind this piece. Indeed, it is in part because I am black that the following must be said.
All things considered, blacks and the civil rights culture surrounding them are the most open and prolific purveyors of racism in America. This is an ironic travesty which spits upon the graves of history’s abolitionists and offends all who are committed to a dream of equality under the law and goodwill among men.
Surely, such a claim is provocative. Unfortunately, it is also demonstrable.
In a recent interview with National Public Radio host Michel Martin, the Oscar-winning black actor Morgan Freeman made the odd declaration that President Barack Obama is not America’s first black president. NPR reports:
“First thing that always pops into my head regarding our president is that all of the people who are setting up this barrier for him … they just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America,” Freeman said. “There was no argument about who he is or what he is. America’s first black president hasn’t arisen yet. He’s not America’s first black president — he’s America’s first mixed-race president.”
This is a new take on Obama’s racial identity from Freeman, who has previously cited Obama’s blackness as the chief motivation behind political opposition from both Republicans in Congress and the Tea Party movement. From an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan:
… Morgan asked the actor, “Has Obama helped the process of eradicating racism or has it, in a strange way, made it worse?”
“Made it worse. Made it worse,” Freeman replied. “The tea partiers who are controlling the Republican party … their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What underlines that? Screw the country. We’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here.”
Apparently, Obama is black enough to trigger baseless charges of racism, but not black enough to qualify as the first black president. If that makes your brain hurt, you might be rational.
Freeman’s comments are not anomalies. He channels long-held, broadly accepted ideas regarding what it means to be black, the relevance of race, and the claim of blacks upon the rest of society. These ideas are horrifically racist, yet uniquely tolerated.
The tolerance of racist ideas openly expressed by blacks and the larger civil rights establishment is informed by sloppy thinking regarding both race and the role of government in society. True reconciliation requires confronting these ideas with reason. Here are eight ways in which blacks are perpetuating racism, and the one true way to effectively thwart it.
Obama’s not black enough for this guy.
8 ) Seeking Racial “Purity”
Individuals or groups who seek racial “purity” are properly condemned as bigots — if they are white. Non-whites are routinely given a pass, and in some cases encouraged to “preserve their culture” through sexual segregation.
Morgan Freeman laments President Obama’s “white mama” and cites her as evidence that Obama is not truly black. This raises a few questions, the first of which is: what is “black”?
At the very least, by Freeman’s standard, having a white mother disqualifies one from being black. (That counts me out, too.) But not all blacks are equally so. Freeman himself is relatively light-skinned, certainly on a global spectrum. Many native Africans are far darker than Freeman, closer to ebony than brown. Indeed, the American black is invariably of mixed race, distinct from African cousins by breeding with whites over hundreds of years. Of course, the same can be said of any race over a long enough period of time. American whites are commonly a melting pot of Norwegian, Swede, German, Irish, Latin, Russian, and any of a dozen others.
That speaks to a critical truth. Race is a social construct of little objective value beyond efficiently communicating an amalgam of physical descriptors. President Obama is black, not because both parents were so, but because his physical characteristics are categorized as such in our thought and language. Beyond that, race means nothing. The notion of racial “purity” is inherently irrational, because race itself is subjective.
Why then should we distinguish Obama as the first black president, or argue over whether he is black enough to qualify as such? What rational value does such a distinction have? What is Freeman getting at?
Given the political context, it seems likely that Freeman desires a president whose blackness more dramatically informs public policy. Of course, a president so oriented would necessarily disenfranchise everyone else. And that’s the idea.
… unless we’re the ones doing it.
7 ) Cultural Segregation
Perhaps the most objective metric supporting the claim that blacks prolifically purvey racism is the astounding number of organizations which openly segregate. There are names we have all come to know, from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to Black Entertainment Television. And there are many others which are lesser known. Consider this list from one of many similar ones available on the web:
- American Association of Blacks in Energy
- The Association of Black Psychologists
- The Executive Leadership Council
- Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
- National Association of Black Accountants
- National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers
- National Association of Black Journalists
- National Black Business Council
- National Black Chamber of Commerce
- National Black MBA Association
- National Black Nurses Association
- National Council of Negro Women
- National Coalition of 100 Black Women
- National Medical Association
- National Newspaper Publishers Association
- National Urban League
- National Society of Black Engineers
- Organization of Black Designers
- United Negro College Fund
- 100 Black Men of America
Surely, blacks are not the only demographic group which chooses to associate together, and there is certainly nothing wrong with free association. The problem is the double standard. Substitute white for black in any of the above and you would have theatrical public outcry and claims of civil rights violations.
Segregation of blacks by whites is widely regarded as one of the banes of the civil rights movement. Yet segregation is widely tolerated when blacks choose to engage in it. Such an obvious double standard fuels racial animosity rather than soothing it. If the goal of the civil rights movement was and remains equality and inclusion, how does such prolific segregation advance that?
Little do they know one of them is responsible for the systematic oppression of the other.
6 ) Collective Responsibility
Comedian Chris Rock took this past Fourth of July as an opportunity to pimp antiquated racial hatreds. He tweeted:
Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks (sic)
Rock, of course, leads a life of distinguished privilege among the entertainment industry’s brightest stars. He has never lived in chains as the property of another human being. Nor has anyone he knows. Nor has any American in several generations. That the philosophical bias of emancipation was enshrined in the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 is as elusive to Chris Rock as the fact that the men who signed it were not made free by the stroke of a pen. Ideas proceed actions, and the process of crafting government which regards all men as equal under the law continues even today.
Nevertheless, Rock feels justified feigning indigence at a crime to which neither he nor any person alive was a party. How is that possible? He subscribes to and relies upon an irrational sense of collective responsibility.
He is black. The slaves were black. So he is as a slave.
There exist whites. Slave masters were white. So whites are as slave masters.
It’s an elementary logical fallacy which is nonetheless amplified by academics and entertainers alike. It has become a kind of racial gospel, quite literally in the case of black liberation theology. Popular culture is replete with black commentators, preachers, authors, and celebrities testifying to the injustice of slavery as if it happened to them personally and continues to this day.
This offends on two fronts. First, a son is not responsible for the sins of his father. Second, though overt slavery has been long abolished in America, there remain rampant intrusions upon fundamental liberties to varying degrees throughout the world. It is stunningly disingenuous to wring hands over distant history while at best saying nothing about and at worst advocating the many encroachments upon individual rights commonplace today.
In a piece examining black author Touré and the objects of prescribed “spiritual liberation,” PJM associate editor David Swindle asks:
What are his primary liberation concerns in the chapter he titles “Keep It Real is a Prison”? Liberating the black children trapped in inner city schools mismanaged by Democrats and teacher union bureaucrats? Liberating the law-abiding, black families struggling to keep out of the crossfire amidst the the astronomical rate of black-on-black violence? What about liberating the untold numbers of African blacks oppressed by dictators and Islamists? How about all the black women around the world today living as victims of female genital mutilation? What about the black women victimized by gang rape in the Congo?
No tweets on any of that from Chris Rock.
O.J. Simpson was all smiles after his acquittal. Many black onlookers saw it as a victory against racism.
5 ) Masquerading Vengeance as Justice
You can’t have justice without equal treatment under the law. Yet many policy prescriptions and attitudes relating to race explicitly call for the preferential treatment of minorities.
Perhaps the most egregious example is affirmative action. Rather than apply the same standard to all candidates for a given opportunity, affirmative action lowers or eliminates standards for favored groups. This is insulting to all parties concerned, making experience and qualifications inferior to irrelevant political considerations. It is by definition an injustice. Yet is is tolerated and even mandated. Why?
Building on the notion of collective responsibility, affirmative action is sold as social justice. The sins of white fathers deprived black sons of opportunity, it is argued. So white sons must cede their place to blacks. This is not justice in any objective sense. It is an irrational vengeance exacted upon the innocent on behalf of the un-wronged. It is at best a punishment of the son for the sins of his father, and never connected to a demonstrable wrong. What are the odds that a given white person’s ancestor committed a crime against a given black person’s ancestor? To the black racist, it doesn’t matter, because white guilt is collective, as is black entitlement.
Another common way in which vengeance is masqueraded as justice is the rationalization of specific black crime as justified by generalized white crime. Blacks celebrated as O.J. Simpson was acquitted, not because they believed he was innocent, but because he put one over on the Man. Consider this 2007 admission from the blogger of The Black Factor:
For more than a decade, O.J. Simpson has been the Negro that got away. To put it into historical context, O.J. Simpson is the ni**er Whites couldn’t lynch at noon. O.J. was one of the few Black people, who could afford to play the legal system the way Whites have longed played the legal system (Claus Van Bulow, anyone?). And, right or wrong, he walked free. And, many Whites got all beside themselves. As a result, Blacks have been listening to Whites play the crying game every since (sic).
Note no concern for justice. O.J. was a black man getting back at whites for the collective injustices of the past. The object of such a sentiment isn’t to obtain equal treatment under the law, but to turn the tables of history and subject whites to injustice as revenge.
4 ) Loose Accusations of Racism
Race is one of several factors which inform an observer’s subjective judgment, and is not particularly special. What a person wears, how they talk, their posture and demeanor — all have an effect upon what an observer presumes about them. This is particularly true when the observer has to make a quick judgment in an impromptu encounter.
The ability to make snap judgments about another is an integral part of our survival instinct and ought not be blunted by political correctness or cited as evidence of racism. Prejudice, or pre-judgment, is something we rationally inculcate in our children at a very young age. We teach them to beware of strangers. How a person looks is one of the first and most effective means by which we determine them to be strange.
In this sense prejudice is both innate to all persons and appropriate in many contexts. If a woman taking a turn down an alley suppresses her prejudice regarding a gang of motley young men, she risks much unnecessarily.
Prejudice is not inherently racist, and loose accusations of racism based on isolated perceptions of prejudice are premature. Words have meaning, and we have different words to describe distinct concepts. Prejudice, bigotry, and racism are not interchangeable. While prejudice can be innocent and even reasonable in certain contexts, bigotry is the irrational maintenance of a prejudice in light of evidence to the contrary. Bigotry can be informed by a multitude of factors, of which race is only one. Racism is what we call bigotry informed by race.
These distinctions are important in any intellectually honest discussion of race relations. When prejudice, bigotry, and racism are used interchangeably, it is evidence that the discussion is not honest.
3 ) Fighting Irrationality with Irrationality
The consensus that racism is bad does not seem to be informed by a consensus as to why. For many, it seems that racism is simply out of fashion, rather than an objective wrong.
Bigotry offends reason. Sustaining a prejudice about an individual in light of evidence to the contrary does not make sense. It is a rejection of reality, and that is what makes it offensive. Attempts by hand-wringing “progressives” to combat racism with equally irrational assertions compound the offense.
A recent example is the so-called Unfair Campaign, an initiative out of Duluth which was until recently supported by the University of Minnesota. The mission of the Unfair Campaign is to “to raise awareness about white privilege in our community.”
The notion of “white privilege,” as articulated by the Unfair Campaign in the above video, is itself a racist sentiment. To assume that all whites have an inherent leg up on the rest of society is as irrational as assuming all blacks are somehow inferior. Indeed, the sentiments are one and the same, a point raised in this response featuring yours truly.
The University of Minnesota has since quietly removed its support of the Unfair Campaign.
Liberty fosters respect and cooperation.
2 ) Treating Whites as Hostiles Rather Than Traders
All of the above fosters racism because it perpetuates irrationalism in the culture. At worst, irrationalism becomes institutionalized through public policy, wielding government’s monopoly on force toward subjective and therefore unjust ends. As the populace perceives such injustice, animosity is created where it may not otherwise exist, and accelerated where it might otherwise be benign.
The underlying principle is applicable beyond race relations. Under a condition of liberty, where each individual is protected against the initiation of force by another, trust is engendered and people deal peaceably with one another in trade, offering value for value. When strangers meet in the market, they begin with a greeting.
Conversely, when strangers meet in the wild, they begin with a threat or warning. Why? Because they are not otherwise protected from the initiation of force. Suspicion and hostility is fostered whenever public policy treats people unjustly, such as when one race is granted preferential treatment over another. It doesn’t matter whether it’s whites being treated preferentially under Jim Crow, or blacks being treated preferentially under affirmative action, the injustice and resulting cultural degradation are the same.
These civil rights would enslave producers to consumers.
1 ) Lifting Civil Rights Above Inalienable Rights
The term “civil rights” has become sacrosanct in the political discourse. It has become interchangeable with “correct” and a rhetorical bludgeon with which to bloody opponents of “social justice.” To call something “a civil rights issue” is to end the argument. Health care. Marriage. Education. Jobs. All have been evoked as civil rights. In so doing, proponents of a new affirmative action hope to paint their opposition as bigots, because popular sentiment holds that only a bigot would oppose a civil right.
This is another corruption of the language, most egregious because of its effect upon public policy and the way in which force is applied in people’s lives. Not all civil rights are good. In fact, when they are crafted in opposition to the inalienable rights recognized in the Declaration and protected by the Constitution, they are downright evil.
Civil rights are legal grants from the state which can be wholly arbitrary. The inalienable rights of the individual are objectively derived and exist independent of the state. Good civil rights support inalienable rights. For instance, voting is a civil right which compliments the inalienable rights of the voter. Bad civil rights oppose inalienable rights. Granting a civil right to health care or any other provision places a burden upon producers to supply their wares without trade, something which used to be called robbery.
Because the civil rights movement of the 1960s was in opposition to institutionalized racism, civil rights have since been associated with decency and justice in the public discourse. That association has been abused to promote all manner of wrong. The potential exists to make a civil right out of anything. In fact, the claim of a slave owner over his “property” in a state with legal slavery would be a civil right. A hammer might be used to bash in someone’s head as readily as it may pound a nail. Likewise, civil rights may be crafted for ill as readily as for good.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a world where people were treated equally under the law, and judged by one another according to the content of their character. Such a world requires the condition of liberty, where people may only deal with each other in trade, not by force. Absent the fear and distrust which manifest in a system of political favoritism, people are incentivized to deal with each other respectfully. Free association can never deprive anyone of anything. Force can, however, and therefore ought to be removed from human relationships. That’s what proper government does. True concern for racial equality can only manifest in a vigorous defense of individual rights. Those who mindlessly seek civil rights in opposition to objectively derived individual rights seek tyranny, not equality, and deserve to be regarded as the agitators they are.
Videos: David Axelrod’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning
by Ed Morissey at HotAir:
Check out some up-to-date videos of the Marxist Pinocchio, David Axelrod……Obama god figure, from HotAir::
For shame, if you have not. There are those, mostly Obama Marxists, who claim Mormon’s, especially Mitt Romney, are not Christians.
The most profound and eloquent, thoroughly Christian speech I have ever heard regarding the coming of Obama’s State Church of Irreligion is the following spoken by Mormon Elder, Neal Maxwell, 34 years ago: Dare to listen to it.
Twila Brase Reports:
An Olympic-sized battle is happening — in the U.S. As spectacular as the 2012 Olympic winners are, they have nothing on the heros in today’s fight over the future of freedom in America. Since CNBC’s Rick Santelli suggested the need for a tea party, concerned citizens have been meeting regularly to engage in this must-win battle.
I have hope for the future. Emerging from many states is a new leadership attitude that emphasizes freedom. Governors and legislators are standing up to the “yes, we can” bureaucrats and saying, “No you can’t.” This exciting development may yet undo much of the Obama administration’s Supreme Court victory on Obamacare.
States are key. While a U.S. House committee just voted to defund huge sections of Obamacare in the Labor-HHS bill (check out my tweet) and while on July 11 the U.S. House voted again to repeal Obamacare — and actually called it by that name — it is up to State leaders to say “no” to Obamacare until the law is repealed.
And the beauty is, States can. Will Obama imprison Governor Bobby Jindahl for refusing to install the exchange? Can the administration take your state legislature to jail for standing on its Tenth Amendment rights? States must refuse to conform state law to any part of the unconstitutional federal law. (See my quote in The New York Times)
State must say “no.” Citizens must help their state-based stalwarts stand strong against the media, the lobbyists, and the billions in federal inducements.
Please send this eNews to your friends around the country. Ask them to subscribe. Help us share the information needed to equip the troops for this battle! No Olympic medals promised. Just freedom!
Action Item: Contact members of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee and tell them to keep the Obamacare funding cuts in the Labor-HHS bill, which currently cuts the ACA prevention fund and the ACA comparative effectiveness research fund (“death panel.”) It also eliminates the intrusive HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. If you would, please let me know you did it!
Now on to the news . . .
News to Know:
No Exchange; NO Penalties
The administration and Democrats in Congress call it a “drafting error” but Cato Institute calls it a deliberate choice. The ACA only authorizes tax credits and subsidies to be issued by government exchanges built by states. They are not authorized in the Federal Exchange. Thus, state legislatures that do not establish a state exchange will protect their employers from $3,000 per-employee penalties that face employers if even one employee buys insurance on the exchange and gets a subsidy or tax credit.
Cato’s Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler have written a well-researched paper opposing the IRS regulation that the administration is using to attempt to authorize tax credits and subsidies through a Federal Exchange (FE) even though Congress did not allow it. Likewise, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s attorney general, is urging states to do nothing to establish state exchanges.
Employers Will Drop Coverage: If the the ACA forces employers to offer more generous benefits, the Cadillac tax takes effect in 2018 or they find it worth just paying the penalty, a new study finds 33% will drop coverage. Expect more. McDonalds just reported the ACA could cost $420 million a year in additional costs. ACA Affordability Rule Leaves Children Uninsured: The ACA’s Affordability Rule as proposed by the IRS will deny coverage to children according to the GAO. The rule defines “affordability” for an employee’s family based on the cost of “employee-only” coverage being less than 9.5% of family income — even though the cost of family coverage might not be considered affordable under the rule. Another “we didn’t read it” glitch?
More Reason for States to Refuse
Individual premiums will increase by 2% and family premiums by $400, according to yesterday’s Congressional Budget Office report (more on this next week). And although the CBO says the cost of the law has decreased by $84 billion through 2022, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), now with American Action Forum, says if just six states refuse to expand Medicaid, the cost to the federal government to insure them all through federally-funded exchange subsidies and tax credits will be $72 to $80 million. If all 50 states revolt (unlikely), the AAF calculates that the federal government will have to pay $567 billion to $627 billion more. That would bring the federal taxpayer cost of Obamacare ever closer to $3 trillion over 10 years, giving Congress more reason for repeal. The national debt will balloon to $29 billion in 10 years, per the CBO.
ACO – The End of Insurance
The author of “Seeking Alpha” calls Obamacare’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) an “insurmountable” risk to health insurance companies. The ACO is an organization created when hospitals and doctors join together to receive a lump sum (“bundled”) payment from insurers for the care of patients. The author notes that today insurers collect a payment based on your risk and pay doctors, hospitals and other clinicians for services provided. But Obamacare ended the need for risk-based premium adjustments (no pre-existing exclusions) and eliminated payment for services based on individual claims for care received.
The author notes, “The consensus in the hospital industry is that payment will be for period of one year to three years. The hospital or doctor will get a fixed sum of money for each patient per year from the insurance company out of which to meet all the medical needs of the patient. There’ll be no need to submit a claim to an insurance company…The insurance company becomes merely a shell transferring the collected premium from insured to the ACO.” [Emphasis added]
As the author writes, “The insurance company will no longer need actuaries, risk analysts, claims processing, sales people, even executives and management…And since they would just be collecting and handing over the premiums to the ACO without doing anything further of value, there would be no need for health insurance companies to exist at all, and I predict that health insurance companies will cease to exist by 2017-2018 as the ACO model becomes widespread. The ACO model means local hospital will become the insurance company and care provider in one.” [Emphasis added] In other words, a major conflict of interest. On July 9, HHS announced 89 new ACOs, bringing the total to 154 ACOs, with 400 more organizations planning to apply for ACO status in August.
No “Right” to Doctor’s Life
The controversial “commencement speech” that radio host Neal Boortz never gave is making its way around cyberspace. He wrote it in response to never being asked to give a speech. It’s a bit harsh, but his comments on health care are worthy of your consideration: “You’ll be disappointed to learn that you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.You may think, for instance, that you have a right to health care. After all, the president said so, didn’t he? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time – his life – to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that’s his choice. You have no ‘right’ to his time or property. You have no right to any portion of his or any other person’s life.”
Stats of the Week:
(pdf with detailed descriptions of tax)
$19.0 billion – Individual mandate penalty-tax
$36.7 billion – Prescription Drug Fee
$4.0 billion – Health Plan Fee for Comparative Effectiveness Research
$30.8 billion – Medical Device Excise Tax
$106.8 billion – Annual Fee on Health Insurers (higher premiums)
$121.9 billion – High-Cost Employer-Provided Coverage
$1.7 billion – Indoor Tanning
$19.1 billion – Change Itemized Deduction for Medical Expenses from 7.5% to 10%.
$4.2 billion – Disallows HSA/FSA reimbursement for over-the-counter meds
$4.6 billion – Raise tax on HSA funds not used for medical care from 10% to 20%.
$25.4 billion – Decreases maximum amount allowed in FSA to $2,500
$337.2 billion – New 0.9% Medicare tax and 3.8% tax on unearned incomes
$55 billion – Employer mandate to purchase health insurance
News Release of the Week:
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Commends States that Have Refused Health Exchange Implementation
ST. PAUL, MN – Though the Supreme Court has ruled the taxes and Medicaid expansions within the Affordable Care Act constitutional, many states are left wondering how to effectively pay for and manage components of the law, such as healthcare exchanges, which are estimated to add $340 billion to the nation’s deficit and create $17 trillion in long-term, unfunded liabilities and cost each individual state millions each year.
In response, some have come out publicly and refused implementation of these state-based portals that will be used to funnel patient information and health records to the federal government . The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom commends this action and urges others to do the same, while looking for more effective and efficient means to reform healthcare, like defined contribution health insurance rather than defined benefits insurance. Continue reading
Featured Health Freedom Minute:
A new Obamacare lawsuit will be heard in October. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and 10 other Mississippians have challenged the federal requirement that citizens disclose medical information to a health insurance company. They say it violates their rights to medical privacy established by the controversial 1973 Roe v Wade case. Continue reading
Twila Brase broadcasts a daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which brings health care issues to light for the American public. Health Freedom Minute airs on the entire American Family Radio Network, with more than 150 stations nationwide in addition to Bott Radio Network with over 80 stations nationwide.
Click here to listen to this week’s features.