Health care moment of truth
So, the big question facing America right now is: Which is better, a watered-down version of a health care bill that is totally misguided in its underlying premises as well as its proposed remedies, or no bill at all? It looks like Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats are determined to push through some kind of patched-together ugly compromise health care bill before Christmas, come hell or high water or perhaps even high snow. (Yikes!) The fate of our nation now seems to rest in the hands of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), the lone Democratic holdout. (I thought Joe Lieberman was going to vote "no.") See politico.com. To their credit, leftists such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, Howard Dean, and MoveOn.org are calling for the rejection of the bill as being pretty much useless without the public option. From the leftist point of view, they are absolutely right. In the New York Times, however, usually reliable left-liberal Paul Krugman tries to argue in favor of the half-assed bill that Harry Reid is pushing. Krugman claims that "Whereas flawed social insurance programs have tended to get better over time, the story of health reform suggests that rejecting an imperfect deal in the hope of eventually getting something better is a recipe for getting nothing at all. " (Hat tip to Connie.)
Another Times columnist, David Leonhardt, argues that failure to fix the problem will undercut America's competitive edge in the world economy, as health care costs swallow up small firms. He quotes Mr. Roeding who laments, "Health insurance ... is distorting the decision-making." Well, duh!!! Why is it so hard for people to understand that the problem is TOO MUCH INSURANCE!!?? Oh, now I remember. Because that's how politicians grab more votes from the clueless constituents back home.
Coincidentally, Steve Kijak picked up on this theme, ridiculing the notion that Congress must take care of people who are too irresponsible to look out for themselves: "We must provide them universal health care for it is their "Right"... " To which I replied,
Good point, and it ought to be obvious to everyone by now. How long can this folly go on? As long as there are enough people in other countries who are willing to sneak across our border and do the work that lazy-ass Americans should be doing.
Have you seen the movie "Idiocracy"? That's where we are headed. (imdb.com)
What we need to do is get some of those obese, excessively fertile morons from the Jerry Springer or Judge Judy shows to testify before Congress. Maybe that would be enough to shame the Democrats. But probably not.
How Obama can save jobs
It was a pleasant surprise this week when an editorial writer for the Washington Post named Charles Lane hit the bulls-eye with a critique of President Obama's misguided approach to creating more jobs. Lane writes, "Instead of trying to 'create' jobs by tweaking this tax break or increasing that spending program, why not stop doing things that destroy jobs?" He is exactly right, and lays out three examples of job-killing policies that ought to be abolished ASAP:
- End federal protectionism and price supports for sugar
- Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act (1930)
- Reduce the federal minimum wage
A noble sentiment, but in Washington that's easier said than done. The entrenched forces defending the filthy rotten status quo can be very hard to overcome. Still, Mr. Lane is to be commended for making such a frank, blunt suggestion about a crucial problem that is going to get worse before it gets better.
Tea Party anniversary
I was too busy with school to make a proper recognition on this blog of the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, on Wednesday. I did make brief mention of it on Facebook, however:
On Dec. 16, 1773, a large group of American patriots dressed as Indians boarded three ships in Boston harbor, seized the cargo of tea crates and heaved them into the water. This was a "grass-roots" protest against the Tea Act, which gave preferential tax treatment to the nearly-bankrupt East India Company, stirring outrage in the colonies. Coincidentally, the IRS just gave preferential tax treatment to Citigroup... (Washington Post) Time for a "change" in Washington, perhaps??
That deal fell through, however, after which Citigroup shares fell sharply. Ha!
2nd Amendment rights
I recently came across a blog piece on an upcoming Supreme Court case that illustrates the constitutional theory of "incorporation" with regard to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Most people assume that the Constitution guarantees all Americans equal protection under the laws, but that amendment was traditionally interpreted to apply exclusively to the Federal government. During 20th Century it was gradually extended by court rulings to apply to state and local governments as well, except with regard to the Second Amendment, which is why they can ban handguns in certain states. Fortunately, however, that may be changing, at long last. Read Jeff Schreiber's lengthy, thoughtful piece at America's Right.