Daily Wisdom

March 20, 2010

Obama Health Care Lies

Inspired by an e-mail from Hankmeister...

The fact that President Obama can lie about this health care bill with a straight face shows just how devious, deceptive and dangerous this man really is...

--"You can keep your doctor" (unless your doctor is one of the 33-50% who threaten to leave medicine if this bill passes)

--"You can keep your insurance if you like it" (unless your health insurance company goes bankrupt or your employer dumps your plan)

--"premiums will fall by 14 to 20 percent", or "premiums will fall by 3,000 percent" [take your pick]

--"this plan will reduce the deficit by $138 billion over 10 years" (if you use 'fuzzy math')

--"taxes won't go up on ANYONE making less than $250,000" (but taxes will go up on health insurance companies, medical device makers, etc. and they will pass their costs on to you the consumer)

--"We're going to save Medicare by cutting $500 billion out of the program" (and get rid of the Medicare Advantage program that seniors like)

--"We're going to cut waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiency out of Medicare" (don't hold your breath)

--"Health care won't be rationed" (yeah, right... trust me)

--"Quality of service won't deteriorate" (while we provide coverage for 30 million more people, lose 33-50% of doctors, and government bureaucrats tell us what services we can or can't have... OK, if you say so)

--"We're not going to kill Granny" (we're just going to stand by and watch her die)

--"Doctors perform too many tests", yet... "Tort reform isn't important"

--"It's just like car insurance" (except that you don't need to buy car insurance as a condition of being a U.S. citizen)

--"Illegal aliens won't benefit from this" (except that health insurance companies won't have any capability to prove an applicant is illegal)

--"Health care costs won't go up" (are you on drugs man!)

I'm beginning to think Obama is a pathological liar.

March 17, 2010

Think Paine

I have heretofore likewise mentioned the necessity of a large and equal representation; and there is no political matter which more deserves our attention. A small number of electors, or a small number of representatives, are equally dangerous. But if the number of the representatives be not only small, but unequal, the danger is increased. --Thomas Paine, COMMON SENSE

Thomas Paine penned these words before the Declaration of Independence was even framed, but they are no less valid today. He suggested the need for a balance in government, where the "electors" (ie, the populace) are represented in Congress by a large number of delegates. In fact, he thought that a House of Representatives should be composed of at least (390) delegates, no less than (30) for each of the (13) colonies. If Paine's ideas had been instituted, that would mean that today's (50) United States would be represented by no less than (1500) House members versus the paltry (435) we have today.

Paine likewise envisioned that every law that was passed would require a 3/5th majority. In today's Congress, that would mean (60) out of (100) Senators, and (261) out of (435) House members would need to vote in favor of every piece of legislation. NO law could be passed with a simple majority.

The rationale for Paine's thinking is obvious. A "large representation" reflects greater accuracy of sentiment among the electorate. A 3/5th majority vote reflects greater consensus on any proposed legislation. Paine, and many others of his day, were concerned with the possible concentration of power in the hands of a few. They were likewise concerned that laws might be enacted without "the consent of the governed".

When the First Congress was inaugurated in 1789, there were Thirteen Colonies, (26) Senators, and (65) House members. The first U.S. census of 1790 recorded 4 million Americans. Today, America's population is over 308 million represented by only (100) Senators and (435) House members. In other words, while the country's population has increased by a factor of 77, the number of Senators has increased by a factor of less than 4, and the number of House members has increased by a factor of less than 7.

I am sure that Thomas Paine would have argued that the First Congress was already inadequate to represent the electorate. Conditions have not improved since then. The situation which Paine and others feared, has come to pass. That is, that power is being concentrated into the hands of a few. The number of representatives per number of electorate is smaller than ever, and therefore "the danger is increased".

Paine goes on to describe an event in the colony of Pennsylvania where, "A set of instructions for their delegates were put together, which in point of sense and business would have dishonoured a school-boy, and after being approved by a few, a very few, ...were carried into the house, and there passed IN BEHALF OF THE WHOLE COLONY" (emphasis in original). That a few people in the legislature should use tactics that would "dishonor a school-boy" in order to effect their views over those of the majority was repulsive and offensive to Thomas Paine, as it should be to us.

The Democrats in Congress today are not only a small group of people who represent a large electorate, but they have become "unequal" as well. They control not only the House and the Senate, but the Presidency. While this may be legitimate under U.S. law, it is nonetheless "dangerous" as Thomas Paine would attest. An even smaller group of liberals within the ranks of those Democratic legislators appear poised to impose their views on the entire nation. Hence, "If the number of the representatives be not only small, but unequal, the danger is increased."

If Thomas Paine were alive today, he would no doubt decry the situation in which we find ourselves. He would argue that the people are not adequately represented. He would argue that power has been concentrated in the hands of a few. He would argue that this situation is "dangerous". He would argue the need for a 3/5th majority vote on each and every law. He would denounce the tactics being employed in the Congress. He would denounce "reconciliation" whereby a major piece of legislation affecting 1/6th of the U.S. economy can be passed with only a simple majority. And he would vehemently denounce the "Slaughter Solution", whereby the House can "deem" a bill to be passed without even voting on it.

What has America come to? Have we no COMMON SENSE? "There is no political matter which more deserves our attention."

March 06, 2010

Stimulus Spending And Job Growth: Update 9

Well, as promised, I was more timely this month in my update of Obama's stimulus-driven job creation results. With that, let's look at the picture for February. Barack Obama said his stimulus package would create approximately 4 million "new jobs" over two years. In order to create 4 million jobs in 24 months, the Obama administration would have had to create approximately 166,667 jobs per month to reach this target, assuming linear job growth. That scenario is shown as violet in the following graph.

I developed a curve showing what I thought might be a more "Likely" scenario -- plotted as light blue in the following graph. As you can see from the graph, the actual trend of job losses is somewhat worse than I had predicted -- plotted as yellow and red. While the jobless rate continues to generally follow the trajectory I had originally envisioned, it now seems to be diverging at a greater pace. The gradual uptick in job growth I anticipated has not occurred.

I have revised the December and January job figures according to the latest data from the US Dept of Labor. In December, 109,000 jobs were lost. In January, 26,000 jobs were lost. And in February, 36,000 jobs were lost.

Instead of having to create 166,667 new jobs per month to reach his original target of 4 million new jobs, President Obama now needs to create 566,083 jobs per month -- in order to make up for the nearly 2.9 million jobs that have been lost since the stimulus bill was signed.

Don't hold your breath.

March 04, 2010

Obama: A Man of Class

I couldn't help but notice a recurring pattern in the words and actions of Barack Obama which led me to the following thoughts...

In the world of Barack Obama, nearly everything seems to be a "class struggle". It's the poor against the rich, the haves against the have-nots, the exploited against the exploiters. It's labor versus management, consumers versus the capitalists, and sometimes even blacks against whites. You can see it in nearly every speech or statement he makes. It's the little guy on Main Street versus the Fat-Cats on Wall Street. It's the innocent patient versus the devious, tonsil-removing, limb-amputating doctors. It's the sick and dying versus the greedy, inhuman, health insurance providers. It's the educated black college professor against the brutish white Cambridge Police thugs. It's the affluent, West-Coast, politically correct, urban elite versus the average, Mid-Western, gun-toting, Bible-clinging small-town xenophobes. It's the dedicated national teacher's union versus the destructive school voucher advocates.

In the world of Obama, there are very few individuals if any. For him, there are only classes of individuals. When Obama refers to an individual by name, it is generally to define what class of people he wants to talk about. For example, he might say: "Mr. So-and-so wrote to me to tell me how he was getting screwed over by the such-and-such evil bastards." Or, he might say: "I was talking to Jane Doe the other day, and she told me how upset she was because some other evil bastards were screwing her over." By describing the individual's situation, Obama establishes a class distinction, puts a warm fuzzy face on it, and then pits that class against the "bad guys".

I would even dare to say that Barack Obama may perhaps categorize Sasha and Malia in the "children" class and Michelle Obama in the "wife" class. I believe that in Obama's world, there is really only one individual, and that individual is Obama himself. He is "the one" that America has been waiting for. He is "the one" that the world has been waiting for. He was destined to "remake America". He was the one who would "fundamentally transform America". (As if America needed "remaking" or "transforming".)

Of course, the concept of "class struggle" is a Marxist proposition, and it should come as no surprise that Barack Obama embraces it. He was raised in part, by a mother who was at the very least a Progressive Secular Humanist (but more likely a Communist sympathizer). He was also raised in part by his maternal grandparents who were themselves Communist sympathizers. He was mentored throughout his youth by a self-avowed Communist and labor activist. In college he admits to choosing his friends "carefully", which included "Marxist professors". He admits to attending "socialist conferences" and becoming despondent over the rifts he encountered among varying Marxist factions.

But a basic question we have to ask ourselves is: how much of this class struggle nonsense does Obama sincerely believe in, and how much of it has he made up along the way. I would posit that he genuinely accepted everything he learned from those around him during his childhood and youth. That formed the basis of his "class struggle" beliefs, and he is indeed a socialist at his core. But when he became a community organizer in Chicago, then everything changed. He read "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky and was trained in Alinsky's methods. One of his trainers, Mike Kruglik, said that Obama "was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation".

At the heart of the Alinsky method is the concept of "agitation" - making someone angry enough about the rotten state of his life that he agrees to take action to change it; or, as Alinsky himself described the job, to "rub raw the sores of discontent."
--Ryan Lizza, The Agitator, 19 March 2007

At this point in his life, he was no longer talking about the old Marxist "class struggle", but he was now creating new class distinctions on the fly in order to rile up specific individuals against specific institutions regarding specific situations. He employed these tactics to further the agenda of the organizations he then supported. Later, as a politician, he would employ those same tactics to further his own political agenda.

It was these tactics of agitation that Obama would use to rile up the nation in 2008 against George W. Bush and the Republicans to get himself elected President. On becoming President, he did not stop using those tactics. He started out blaming others for the situation our country was in, and continues to blame others to this day, even for his own mistakes. He continually pits one group against another in order to score political points.

It is the same in regards to religion. For Obama, it is the "Muslim" class versus the "Christian" and "Jewish" classes. He issued an unwarranted apology to Muslims for America's past behaviors. He praised Islam's culture and achievements during a speech in Egypt. He bowed before the Saudi king. He honored Muslim tradition by taking off his shoes when entering a Turkish mosque. Conversely, he felt no qualms about insulting America's 80%+ Christian population by stating that America is "not a Christian nation". He also had no qualms about demanding that all Christian symbols be covered before he made a speech at Georgetown University. Likewise, he demanded that Israelis unilaterally halt all construction activity in East Jerusalem in order to placate the Palestinians.

Foreign affairs is no different. For Obama, it is the "Authoritarian Enemies" class versus the "Democratic Allies" class. His foreign policy has consisted primarily of reaching out to our enemies who are ruled by authoritarians, while snubbing our allies which are democratic. He has reached out to Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro and Zelaya, while snubbing Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Benjamin Netanyahou.

The original Marxist "class struggle" was primarily vertical in nature: rich capitalists in charge at the top, and poor working stiffs at the bottom. Similarly, the American racial "class struggle" was likewise vertical: whites in charge at the top, and people of color reaching up for equality. But Barack Obama has created new class struggles that are diagonal: rich, white Republicans (upper right) against poor, Democrats of color (lower left); and rich, urban liberals (upper left) against poor, small-town conservatives (lower right). He has even created some that are horizontal: middle class labor union workers (left) against middle class tea party conservatives (right). And a few that defy easy identification: Doctors against patients, small businesses against bankers that won't give them credit, and the religious and foreign policy types mentioned above.

This process of continually creating new class struggles has resulted in some unfortunate dilemmas for President Obama. For example, he had to reach out to those mean, tonsil-removing, limb-slashing doctors so he could use them as props to help sell his healthcare reform legislation. And, after authorizing big bonuses for executives of banks and financial institutions, public backlash caused him to label them as greedy, Wall Street Fat-Cats in need of greater regulation. And, after labeling small-town, Mid-Western people as xenophobes, he used them as props to get his stimulus package approved because they were a good example of the "unemployed" class.

Continually fabricating new class struggles has also resulted in the unintended consequence of forcing Barack Obama to lie more often. Yesterday's "greedy doctors" are today's "respected medical professionals". The ACORN people that yesterday Obama stood shoulder-to-shoulder with and "worked along side of", he can no longer remember having much involvement with. Yesterday's military who were "air-raiding villages and killing civilians" are today's "honored heroes". The war in Iraq which was a disaster under George Bush will now be one of Obama's great success stories.

Since taking office, Barack Obama has flip-flopped on any number of issues, and at least once within mere hours. He has broken an untold number of campaign promises, and he has reversed himself on statements that he made long before he started to run for President. His actions have managed to offend almost everyone and have pleased almost no one.

This is the world of Barack Obama, and frankly... it's not a very classy place.