Monday, October 28, 2013

Obama Care A Mess? Liberals Say Go Single Payer

More suspicious voices on the right warned that the Left would use a collapsing Obama Care as an excuse for a single payer medical care system. The “train wreck” of the Obama Care roll-out has underscored its incredible complexity, contradictions, and peccadilloes, and we are just beginning to scratch the surface. Who knows what horrors lie buried in the thousands of pages of regulations that no one has read?

The warning that the Republicans will be blamed for the crash of Obama Care is already coming true. As ueber-Liberal Robert Reich writes from his Ivory Tower of Berkeley (Don’t Blame Dems. We Wanted Single Payer):

“Had Democrats stuck to the original Democratic vision and built comprehensive health insurance on Social Security and Medicare, it would have been cheaper, simpler, and more widely accepted by the public.”

The Left is champing at the bit to go single payer, even before Obama Care has begun. The employer mandate has been delayed and thousands of exemptions have been granted. Of the major provisions, only the individual mandate and fines remain, and even they may be delayed. But the liberals say:  Let’s change the venue and the rules before the game even starts.

The oracle of the Left, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (The Big Kludge) explains that Obama Care, as constituted, is too complicated a mix of  the private and public sectors. (Why did he not say that when the bill was before Congress?)  Krugman explains that Obama Care was given to us by the Republicans in cahoots with Big Insurance, Big Pharma, and Big Hospital. Poor Obama and the Democrats had to take what was possible not what was best because of the rascally Republicans.
Krugman then issues his siren song for the single payer system:

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True Patriots Stop Train Wrecks

Ted Cruz’s filibuster and the House Freshmen’s battle against Obama Care have drawn media derision and establishment Republican “I told you so’s.” Suicide-vest, unhinged, insane, extortionist, and Astroturf metaphors dominated political discourse as Democratic Schadenfreuders cited polls that Americans blame Republicans more for the government shutdown and debt ceiling near miss.

The Charge of the Light Brigade, led by Lord Cardigan as ordered by his commander Lord Raglan against an entrenched Russian artillery battery (and immortalized by Tennyson six weeks later),  has been pounced upon as the historical analogy for the “failed” Tea Party attack on Obama Care. Pundits say the Light Brigade, which symbolizes gratuitous loss (of life) for a futile cause exacerbated by poor planning and confusion, exemplifies the Tea Party’s huge political losses in pursuit of an impossible cause – the defunding or delay of Obama Care.

A more appropriate analogy is found in Jimmy Stewart’s 1951 classic film “No Highway in the Sky.” In it, Stewart plays an aeronautical engineer whose wind tunnel tests predict that a newly-introduced aircraft will break apart in mid air. Jimmy deliberately sabotages a doomed flight and is branded a mental case. His daughter even pleads to skip school because of teasing. Jimmy Stewart turns from goat to hero when the plane he sabotaged loses its tail section as it rolls down the runway for its next take off.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Krugman On Austerity: How About Looking At The Facts For A Change?

New York Times economist and editorial writer, Paul Krugman, has headed the Left’s crusade against austerity, both in the United States and across the industrialized world. To Krugman, “austerity” does not denote a careful husbanding of government money. Rather austerity denotes unwisely large cuts in government spending that, he claims, threaten economic growth and recovery. Krugman bases his opposition to austerity on an empirical assertion that we can test; namely: “Across the advanced world, big spending cuts have been associated with deeper slumps.”

Krugman’s testable hypothesis, therefore, is: Countries that experience large reductions in government spending grow more slowly (or not at all or worse).

Just as some people speak before they think. Krugman seems to believe his asserting something to be true makes it true. The scientific method does not work this way, however. It requires that we first gather the facts on government spending and growth. Second, we must use these facts to test the Krugman hypothesis of a positive relationship between government spending and growth.  

The scientific method, so applied, shows Krugman’s facts to be wrong (where are the “big spending cuts”) and it refutes his hypothesis. Not a good day for Mr. Krugman. Next time, he should gather and test the facts before he writes.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Tea Party Victory

We cannot see the forest because of the trees. The prevailing wisdom “from the trees” is that the Tea Party lost. The Tea Party “kamikazes” in the Senate and Congress donned their “suicide vests” and fumbled the partial federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling negotiations.

I see it quite differently “from the vantage point of the forest:” The Tea Party has denied President Obama his long term goal of creating a positive-rights European-style entitlement state.  The Tea Party changed the conversation from fundamental change, massive second stimuli, investment banks, national value added, fuel, and carbon taxes to sequestration and haggling over nickels and dimes of federal spending, and forced the Obama administration to gamble its second term (and legacy) on the unlikely success of Obama Care, which every Democratic member of Congress now personally owns.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Obama's Pre-existing Conditions Whopper

How to Lie with Statistics was a standard college statistics textbook in the 1960s. It became one of the best-selling statistics books in history by showing how to lie, intentionally or unintentionally,  with statistics.  We need a new edition with a new title: How politicians lie – and lie big time —  with statistics.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Obama's Fatal Mistake on Social Security

In a speech in Rockville, Maryland today, President Barack Obama blew up the Democrat’s social-security “third rail” in eighteen words.  Usually, Obama’s gaffes come off-the-cuff. Today’s remarks were, however, prepared; namely:

“In a government shutdown, Social Security checks still go out on time. In an economic shutdown — if we don’t raise the debt ceiling — they don’t go out on time.

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We are Shutting Down Only Thirteen Percent of the Government (At Most)

Eight cents out of every federal non-defense dollar represents a transfer from taxpayer to recipient. Entitlement transfers do not require annual Congressional approval. They can be changed only by entitlement reform, which is not on the table. We cannot, therefore “shut down” a federal government whose primary business is income redistribution.

go to forbes,com