(h/t Hot Air)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, ladies and gentlemen (on the must-pass health care bill):
Youve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I dont know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, preventionits about diet, not diabetes. Its going to be very, very exciting.
But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.
The Democrats need to pass this bill so that you can find out what is in it, because obviously all these Republicans haven’t been telling you the truth. Got it. Just one problem with this though — if this is such a great bill and we are just too stupid to realize all the benefits of the health care bill, that’s the Democrats’ fault. The job of selling this belongs to the majority party, and to President Obama. It’s their failure to do that that could ultimately save us from this health care bill or anything like it.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is willing to sacrifice the political futures of her fellow House Democrats in order to get the health care bill passed. That’s generous of her, and the Republicans will absolutely accept that result. I just wonder how many left-leaning true believers are left in the Democratic Congress. The answer to that question will determine the future of this health care bill. Sure, there are a few like Nancy Pelosi who would sacrifice the rest of their political life to get this country-changing reform passed. But I’m willing to bet that at the core, most Washington politicos value self-preservation over ideology. They have seen the writing on the wall with the recent Republican victories and are considering future votes more carefully than they would otherwise.
Most Democrats will choose their jobs over following the Speaker over the political cliff. That’s my prediction.
Even though our side seems to be winning the argument on health care reform, there’s still no reason to be overconfident. There is still work to be done, and when the current legislation goes down in flames, we need to be ready to take advantage of that failure with our own vision and solutions.
This was on the Investor’s Business Daily editorial page:
Not since a misguided piece of legislation imposed tariffs that turned a recession into a depression has there been a piece of legislation as bad as Waxman-Markey.
The 1,000-plus-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is being rushed to a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before anyone can seriously object to this economic suicide pact.
It’s what Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, might call a “man-caused disaster,” a phrase she coined to replace the politically incorrect “terrorist attack.” But no terrorist could ever dream of inflicting as much damage as this bill.
Its centerpiece is a “cap and trade” provision that has been rightfully derided as “cap and tax.” It is in fact a tax on energy everywhere it is consumed on everything it is used to make or provide.
Fair to assume that cap-and-trade doesn’t have the support of these guys. Even though the intro suffers a bit from some dramatic overstatement, they are right to oppose Waxman-Markey, because this legislation would inflict serious damage on our economy at a time when we can’t take any more financial chaos. A tax on energy affects everyone, and as IBD points out, this includes that fictitious 95% of Americans who weren’t supposed to see any increased taxes under the Obama administration. A tax of this kind directly and indirectly raises the price of everything we buy. It affects farmers and truckers and car companies and soccer moms, and all the rest of our fellow working stiffs. Eventually all this “hope and change” will end up costing the taxpayers a fortune, and there won’t be much payoff for our involuntary donations.
If you want to know if Waxman-Markey would have any significant impact on climate change relative to its cost, read more here.
Please don’t let this issue fade into the background with all the other distractions on the news right now. This is important to the country’s future and we need to let our legislators know that we oppose this bill.
Here’s a few things we might want to know about this new and fabulous grand government scheme, more commonly known as a national health care plan. Reason Online breaks it down here.
First, that the proposed national health care plan won’t cover everyone.
Second, that the subsidized lower plan premiums on a government-run / public plan would provide an almost irresistible incentive for employers to switch their employees’ coverage from private plans. This doesn’t exactly promote or support the promise of increased choices for people, and it can be fairly assumed that any private insurance companies left competing with the feds for customers will have a difficult time making it profitable to stay in business. The solution is not, and is NEVER, more government control or federal tax dollars to support a system that doesn’t operate as efficiently and effectively as it should.
*I’m not at all saying that there aren’t fixes and solutions that we can implement to make the current system work better for patients and those in the medical field. I just think that President Obama has the wrong fix to what ails our health care system.*
The most important point is that it will become harder and harder to keep private health care plans. The linked Reason Online article actually predicts that the ability to opt out of public health care will eventually disappear, because the private insurers will be out of business. I’m not going to go that far here, but I do think it’s something we should be very concerned about, because once there is only one choice of health care plan and it’s the government plan, we all lose.
We need to consider carefully the next steps in any possible reform of health care in this country. This isn’t something Congress should rush through and pass without reading it first and thoroughly discussing all options and alternatives. Yes, the Democrats gained power and have the ability to pass whatever junk bill they support, but I believe that this requires more care and attention that any other piece of legislation they will ram through Congress this year. Make no mistake about this — once the American people start to figure out what’s happening to them (and there are a few encouraging signs that this is the case), the support for many of President Obama’s grand schemes could end up backfiring on the Democrats.
This guy Alec Dubro (never heard of him before either) writes in The Progressive that we won’t make any significant progress toward addressing climate change until we get rid of all the cars.
Without divine intervention which seems to be the basis for most energy reduction schemes there is simply no way to maintain both the atmosphere and personal transportation. Even if the population were frozen at its present level, even if economic growth stopped the sheer number of people wanting and under the present regime, need personal transportation makes any plan to reduce car pollution by increasing efficiency is futile. The personal automobile must be abandoned, and quickly.
It would be better to do this in a measured and humane way, easing both automobile workers and users into a post-car world. It needs a societal consensus, requiring major shifts of goals and expectations, and few of us will take these steps on our own. But this change will eventually happen to us whether we like it or not, perhaps in time to stave off climactic disaster.
That’s some kind of fantasy world. Maybe the Europeans will calmly surrender their cars and use public transportation, but Americans aren’t so easily persuaded. Getting rid of our cars would be much more of a sacrifice than recycling or using cloth bags at the grocery store. I seriously doubt that there will ever be a “societal consensus” to ditch our cars for government transports, but there’s something quite refreshing about a liberal who is honest about his desires / intentions for public policy.
The left should be grateful to this president for all the money they have made off of his presidency. Criticism of President Bush is a very profitable business. We have numerous examples of this, from former WH aides and former military personnel to talk show hosts with no greater purpose in life than to criticize the Bush administration for every single thing it does. Why else would MSNBC give Olbermann millions of dollars for no noticeable talent other than saying inflammatory things about Bush and our military? Say what you want about Iraq. There’s nothing wrong with voicing opposition to the war, but those who watch the news recognize bias when they see it. Unfortunately, it’s less clear when the media lies to the public to boost its own standing with their colleagues — whether it’s to fatten their wallets or increase their reputation with the popular anti-war people.
Scott McClellan is not blazing any new ground here with his tell-all book. Has he gained any more credibility than he had when he was fired as Press Secretary? Doubtful. Why is that the left suddenly finds him to be a credible source? Could it be because he now agrees with them on the Iraq war? If you didn’t believe him before, why believe him now? What Scott McClellan will soon find out is that the left will use him for their own ends, and then go back to laughing at him behind his back. If he was really disallusioned by his experience in the Bush administration, I think it’s fair to let him know that his new friends may not be around very long — hope the publicity and some indirect money from George Soros was worth the price he paid for them.
And BTW, even arch-enemy David Gregory isn’t buying McClellan’s anti-Bush spin (h/t Townhall).
On Wednesday’s edition of “Today,” “NBC Nightly News” reporter David Gregory, who covered the White House while McClellan was spokesman, said, “There was never any indication that Scott McClellan, either publicly or privately, held these kinds of views about what was happening at the time on the war, on Katrina, on the leak case — which was his most difficult hour in the White House. He never expressed anything like this.”
I don’t share the opinion of those who believe that McClellan’s book will have a significant impact on the presidential race. Those who aren’t intimately acquainted with campaign minutia like this (the average voter, for example) won’t pay much attention to what McClellan says. To them, it’s just another WH tell-all that doesn’t add much to the discussion of where we are now and what to do next in Iraq.
They might want to remember what happened last time we imposed a windfall profits tax.
Interesting findings from a 2006 Congressional Research Service Report (quoted here). Full PDF here.
This is the most interesting part:
Reinstating the windfall profit tax would reduce recent oil industry windfalls due to high crude and petroleum prices but could have several adverse economic effects. If imposed as an excise tax, the WPT would increase marginal production costs and be expected to reduce domestic oil production and increase the level of oil imports, which today is at nearly 60% of demand. Crude prices would not tend to increase. Some have proposed an excise tax on both domestically produced and imported oil as a way of mitigating the negative effects on petroleum import dependence. Such a broad-based WPT would tend to reduce import dependence, but it would lead to higher crude oil prices and likely to oil industry profits, potentially undermining its original goals.
Because the pure corporate profits tax is relatively neutral in the short run few, if any, price and output effects occur because marginal production costs are unchanged in the short run a possible option would be a corporate income surtax on the upstream operations of crude oil producers. Such a tax that would recoup any recent windfalls with less adverse economic effects; imports would not increase because domestic production would remain unchanged. In the long run, such a tax is a tax on capital; it reduces the rate of return, thus reducing the supply of capital to the oil industry.
So US oil companies would have reduced profits if a windfall profits tax was ever enacted, but according to this study, production costs would go up and the level of imports would also increase. In other words, it would cost more to produce domestic oil, and we would end up importing even more oil than we do now. Great solution.
If we tax both our own oil production as well as the imports, it might level the playing field (and by that, I mean punishing everyone equally). It also could lead to higher crude oil prices and keep those oil company profits high. These aren’t the best solutions to high gas prices. Congress needs to figure out that high taxes discourage production, and if they really want to increase domestic oil production, they should allow domestic drilling and let the oil companies build more refineries.
The Democrats are just saying what they think people want to hear. That’s common enough for politicians. What annoys me more than anything is that I don’t see much fight in Republicans to challenge the Democrats on any of their stupid proposals.