Democratic senators up for reelection in 13 months are now embracing, in their calls to delay Obamacare, the same themes as did the House Republicans and a few senators a few weeks ago—hoping to preempt mounting criticism. In this surreal landscape, three weeks ago Obamacare was unquestioned “settled” law (despite the fact that the president himself unsettled the law by suspending the employer mandate) that only dead-ender “anarchists” and “hostage takers” wished to stop or amend. Continue reading “Obamacare Redefines the Shutdown”→
Washington has a bad habit of naming laws by what they are not.
These euphemisms usually win temporary public support. After all, who wants to be against anything “affordable”? But on examination, such idealistically named legislation usually turns out to be aimed at special interests and the opposite of what voters were promised.
The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010,” otherwise known as Obamacare, frontloaded for immediate enactment some popular freebies. Who would oppose keeping children on their parents’ health coverage until age 26, or prohibiting denial of insurance for those with pre-existing illnesses?
Then, three years later and with two elections out of the way, the tab for all the perks suddenly came due. The law turns out neither to protect patients from rate hikes nor to make health care affordable. In fact, the administration promises of 2009–10 are becoming the nightmare of 2013. Continue reading “Beware of Beautifully Misnamed Laws”→
The president has compared the rollout disaster of Obamacare to temporary tech glitches with a new-model iPhone. But a better comparison is the disastrous 1985 campaign to replace Coca-Cola with “New Coke,” a new sweeter formula that was supposed to stop Pepsi from gaining more market share. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars in slick ad campaigns, and all sorts of sales strategies, the public simply revolted at even the idea of the new formula, and a few years later, after all sorts of face-saving measures, the Edsel-like effort quietly was dropped.
The problem with Obamacare is that the few things the public liked — kids covered until 26 on their parents’ plans, no coverage problems with preexisting medical conditions, etc. — were all front-loaded and still unpaid for; and all the things people will dislike — higher premiums, more taxes, bureaucratic red tape and incoherence, higher deductibles, higher costs to businesses, fewer doctors and less choices, more government borrowing to pay for the program, exemptions for pet constituencies, etc. — are all on the horizon. Continue reading “New Coke Health Care?”→
The defunding wars are over. The accusations are fading. We are back to reality. Of course, America’s long-term prospects, at least in comparison with other countries’ futures — whether in terms of demography, military power, food-production constitutional stability, energy sources, or higher education — are bright.
But short term, we are walking over landmines that threaten to blow up the normal way of doing business, and pose far more harm for Democrats than for Republicans.
The real story about the debt is that by the end of Obama’s eight years, he will have matched the borrowing of all previous presidents combined. Yet incredibly, the present huge sum of $17 trillion in debt is serviced at the same cost that we paid over 15 years ago. Such free use of money without raging inflation is almost historically unprecedented — and it won’t last.
Indeed, we are paying today about the same amount in aggregate annual interest payments, in non-inflation-adjusted dollars no less, as in 1997 — even though the 2012 figure of $17 trillion in debt is about three times larger than it was a decade-and-a-half ago. That anomaly is possible only because today’s interest rate of about 2.2% is only a third of what it was back then. Continue reading “The Democratic Disasters to Come”→
The government gridlock is, to use now politically incorrect metaphors, only one lost battle in a long campaign, and we are now back to the original proposition of watching the administration try to implement Obamacare. We know the president does exceedingly well when he can campaign against the forces of darkness, but when attention, even for a moment, turns to his own efforts — Obamacare; the stimulus; Solyndra; cash for clunkers, Benghazi; the AP, IRS, and NSA scandals; gun control; Syria, etc. — as it will now for a few weeks until the next psychodramatic “war” against someone, he flounders. Continue reading “Where Now?”→
In the globally connected and affluent world of the 21st century, we thankfully have evolved a long way from the elemental poverty, hunger, and ethnic, religious, and racial hatred that were mostly the norm of the world until the last century.
Yet who would know of such progress — and the great sacrifices made to achieve it — from the howls of our postmodern oppressed? In fact, the better life has become, the more victimized modern affluent Westerners seem to act. Continue reading “Our Postmodern Angst”→
Until last week, Chief Justice John Roberts was vilified as the leader of a conservative judicial cabal poised to destroy the Obama presidency by overturning the federal takeover of healthcare. But with his unexpected affirmation, Roberts suddenly was lauded as the new Earl Warren — an “evolving” conservative who at last saw the logic of liberal big government. Continue reading “Supreme Court Hypocrisies”→
Accepting inevitable national decline is the new pastime of both the media and government elite. Some of the pessimism revolves around current federal financial insolvency. Continue reading “‘Exceptional’ America”→
Rush Limbaugh has got the progressives pitching a fit over some remarks on his radio show about a Georgetown University law student named Sandra Fluke. Fluke had made the preposterous claim, while addressing House Democrats over President Obama’s rule forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, that the cost of birth control was prohibitive for Georgetown law students. Continue reading “The Real Point of the Left’s Uproar over Limbaugh”→