Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
One of the many absurd fictions that the elite media let Obama get away with is the notion that the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is happening because Obama promised it would. Not only do Obama’s press allies let him get away with this lie, they actively take part in pushing it and always make sure to point out that The One’s rise to power was in large part due to his opposition to the war in Iraq and his dedication to ending it.
The reality, of course, is almost completely the opposite of the Obama/Democrat media machine narrative. Less than two weeks after Obamessiah’s election, the Bush administration and Iraq signed off on a Status of Forces Agreement that required U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009 and to be out of the country entirely by the end of 2011. The withdrawal was required whether Obama rode his anti-Iraq war wave to power or not. It was baked into the cake when Obama came into office. For he and his PR press cohorts to try to pass off the withdrawal as some fulfillment of campaign promises is the height of absurdity.
What makes the narrative even more ridiculous is that Bush’s troop surge, which created the conditions that make the withdrawal possible, was opposed by Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton. Of course, it was clear well before the 08 election that the surge had worked. In a sane world, that alone should have ruined Obama’s chances of winning — he and his running mate were on the wrong side of the war, which had been the most contentious issue for at least the two preceding years. But when you’re a Democrat in the midst of an “historic” campaign, facts and reality don’t matter.
Buried in a NYT story on rising violence in hospitals and poor health care in China is this gem of an economics lesson:
Some experts fear that the newly opened spigot of government insurance money will inspire further excesses, rather than reduce the financial risk of illness for most Chinese.
Wait…health insurance (specifically, government-funded health insurance) leads to excesses? In this case excesses refers to people utilizing health care resources far beyond what they actually need to get well.
Primary care is scarce, so public hospitals — notorious for excessive fees — are typically patients’ first stop in cities, even for minor ailments. One survey estimated that a fifth of hospital patients suffer from no more than a cold or flu. Chinese health experts estimate that a third to a half of patients are hospitalized for no good reason.
Primary care is becoming increasingly scarce in the U.S., and thanks to Obamacare, millions more people will be pushed into the system without a reciprocal increase in health care providers — doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc. This is a simple increase in demand with no offsetting increase in supply. For those of you with a basic understanding of economics, such scenarios, regardless of where they occur in the economy, result in higher costs and higher prices.
Part of the reason health care costs (and, thus, prices) have continued to increase in the U.S. is because of health insurance. Insurance works to insulate individuals from the costs of risks. In the case of health insurance, it also insulates people against the cost of using a good or service. We are all more likely to use a good or service if we don’t really feel like we’re paying for it. When health insurance premiums come out of our paychecks, we’re less aware that we’re actually paying for something. Then when we go to a doctor or buy prescription drugs, we only have to plop down a $10 or $20 copay, assuming any deductible has been met. Our insurance picks up the rest. This buffer between individuals and the cost of health care leads to more people using more and more goods and services, which pushes up the prices. There are only two possible solutions to change this dynamic: make people feel more of the burden of having to pay for health care, thus forcing them to make wiser choices; or, have some other entity (say, government) make these choices for us. Guess which way we’re headed?
My prediction: Obamacare will result in more people clamoring for fewer health care resources, which will push up prices and increase insurance premiums. Democrats will then complain about the “excess profits” of health insurance companies and force them to lower their prices, even while their costs continue to increase. (Actually Medicare already uses price controls and Obamacare makes them even more draconian.) Soon enough being in the health insurance business won’t make sense to anyone who actually wants to put food on their table. So who will step in? Why, government, of course. The “public option” will live to see another day. And all of this is by design.
Remember Armstrong Williams? He was the columnist and radio host allegedly paid by the Bush administration’s Education Department to write columns in support of No Child Left Behind legislation. Other columnists were also found to be getting paid to support Bush admin policies.
Is Ellie Light Barack Obama’s Armstrong Williams? Light has gotten letters to the editor published in papers across the country recently that slavishly spout Obama propaganda. Is she getting paid to do this by the Obama administration? At the very least, this episode shows the laziness of reporters and editors across America who are so willing to print pro-Obama talking points they don’t even care to verify who’s writing them.
Obama says the Senate shouldn’t take any more health care votes until Brown is seated. He seems to be acknowledging that the American people don’t want this garbage in its current form…but I’m skeptical of his motives.
Ultimately Obama may be trying to appear bipartisan and conciliatory so that the bills are modified to the point that maybe a Collins or Snowe (or Brown?) can be picked off to support them. Remember, Snowe voted to advance the bill out of committee, while voting against it in the full Senate. Not sure how much modifying would need to be done to get her or another Repub to cross over, but whatever the final product is it would likely still be bad.
Obama seems to be re-positioning in order to salvage his prized initiative, even if it means giving up more than he (and Congressional leftists) would have had to give up before Brown’s win. Not sure that any of this will work out in the end, but one thing’s for certain: the bills in their current form are dead.
UPDATE: If Obama is re-positioning, it isn’t by much. This WP story on the same Obama/ABC interview seems to emphasize that it’s still full-steam ahead. He still wants something to get jammed through, probably with some minor changes that he and other Dems can tout as big-time compromise and bipartisanship.
“We can cut and run, which I think will be devastating to the country,” O advisor David Plouffe said. “Or we can get this done, and instead of having a caricature of a health-care plan we can get it done and go out there and explain it.” (Yes, he said “cut and run.” And isn’t it interesting it needs to be explained afterward? How about explaining it before it’s passed?)
They still are in denial that the Bay State Backlash was driven primarily by the health care issue. It’s not that we want your health care “reform” but only in a slightly different configuration, morons. We want the whole think obliterated and a do-over with narrow, targeted measures that actually focus on the main problem: rising costs. A few modifications to the current plans won’t sufficiently stifle the anger that led to last night’s election result.
Interesting piece by Jay Cost over at RealClearPolitics about what Obama does now after getting b—- slapped by the Bay State last night.
Does he continue to do the same thing, hoping against hope that somehow, someway doing the same-old same-old will yield a different result? Or does he recognize that he has made mistakes, try to learn from them, and ultimately make adaptations?
Early White House response indicates a “stay the course” tack. Funny, wasn’t Bush lambasted by libs for a similar posture? Not the same issue at stake, I know, but still.
Cost says that at this point, there’s no way to know what Obama will do since he has such a puny political history. His advice?
Let’s hope that this untested, young, inexperienced fellow the country elevated to the highest office in the land has the good sense to recognize the message the Bay State sent last night, to understand that messages of similar intensity will be sent in November, and to direct his staff to make necessary changes.
I actually hope none of this happens because Obama would likely be toast in 2012 if he continues on his current path. Part of me thinks that this administration, from The One on down, is so deeply entrenched in a left-wing view of the world and this country, they really still believe that the electorate is leftist and wants his big-government statism. They are so firmly encased in the idea that the country is still mad at Bush and that it’s their job to be the anti-Bush at every turn, they will fail to notice that the country is shifting to anti-Obama. If they want to survive, it’s time for the hardliners in the White House to turn off the M(es)SNBC echo chamber and take a peek at the real world. But, again, if Scott Brown’s victory won’t breach their cocoon, nothing will.
Among many other things, Scott Brown’s stunning Senate victory in Massachusetts underscores The One’s fading glory. Obama has made very public pushes for three Democrats in the past several months and lost all of them (Va. and NJ govs and now Mass. Senate).
Only a year ago, we were being told that conservatism was dead, that the country had moved permanently to the left and that the GOP was becoming an increasingly marginalized minority party with support only among white Southerners. It certainly didn’t take long for this administration and the corrupt congressional leadership to blow whatever mandate they really had (which was much, much less than what they thought they had).
Part of the Dems’ education from losing Teddy’s seat ought to include distancing themselves from an increasingly unpopular president and his deeply unpopular agenda. November is a long way away, but from where things stand today, I wouldn’t want Mr. O campaigning for me this fall if I were a Dem congressman.
At the same time, a word of caution to the Republican party. Many people, particularly the tea party crowd, still don’t feel comfortable with you. Being out of power in Congress for only 3 years and out of the White House for only 1 apparently hasn’t been long enough to convince people that you are truly shifting back to the conservative principles that a majority of Americans want and expect from you. Right now, you are riding an anti-Obama, anti-Pelosi, anti-big-government-madcap-spending wave. Don’t get cocky or comfortable, thinking that that alone will carry you for long. If health deform (sic) dies, Dems will be less unpopular this fall than if they ram it through. So while killing it would truly be a victory for the nation, don’t think that the anger will continue burning till November.
Going into his second year, Obama is going to focus first on jobs. What? I thought that’s what he’d been focused on. Well, not really, but that was the White House message. Apparently focusing on jobs means passing pork-loaded stimulus bills that do nothing to keep the unemployment rate from going up to 10+ percent (and the actual rate, when factoring in those who have given up looking, is much higher). The only way to continue that focus is to pass more pork-loaded bills, I guess.
But in all honesty I don’t even want elected leaders focusing on jobs. Why have we gotten to the point where we expect government to be the job-creating machine? Government can’t create jobs because it has to remove wealth and job-creation from other parts of the economy to do it. Government should focus on doing less, not more. That might actually create the breathing room for real, net job creation.