Holy Fools

Holy Fools
By the Editors

Sen. Harry Reid has been a kind of reverse Houdini with a talent for getting into traps. To appease Democratic moderates, he proposed to drop the public option, which made liberals furious. To get back in their good graces, he suggested expanding Medicare by letting people as young as 55 participate in it — but that led Sen. Joe Lieberman to threaten to join Republicans in a filibuster. If Reid manages to cobble together a deal that gets 60 votes, he may find that it cannot win majority approval in the House. The Senate and House do not, for example, see eye to eye on abortion funding. And if Reid and Nancy Pelosi somehow squeak something through Congress, they may walk into the biggest trap of all. They will have pushed through a major, unpopular piece of legislation on a party-line vote.

Democrats seem to be reconciling themselves to losing seats in order to achieve their health-care ambitions. A few ended political careers will be the price of progress. This attitude would be admirable were it not delusional. This legislation will not reduce health-care costs; the Obama administration’s own actuaries have just reported that it will increase them. It is unlikely to make Americans healthier: The evidence tying extensions of insurance to improved health outcomes is surprisingly weak. Insurance will reduce the financial anxiety of some people; but others will find theirs increased. Some will still lack insurance, but now have to pay a fine for the privilege. Some will be paying higher premiums and taxes.

The Medicare buy-in that Reid proposed is the perfect distillation of the Democratic approach. It would expand a program that is already facing insolvency. Similarly, the bill attempts to achieve cost control by empowering the Medicare and Medicaid bureaucracy to drive hard bargains — a policy that has been tried, and has failed, for decades.

Ramming through complex, far-reaching, and unpopular legislation on a party-line vote would be unprecedented, and if it happens it should call forth an equally unprecedented response. Federal programs tend to last regardless of their results. This time, Republicans should commit themselves not to let that happen. If anything resembling the current health-care legislation passes, Republicans should spend the next two election campaigns vowing to repeal it. We should both deny liberals their cause and give them their martyrdom.
  


National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OGMwMDk4YmIzZjYyOTMwNDRlMTA5YWE4NDEyZWVjZDM=

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Who Do You Think We Are, Mr. President? Subjects or Citizens?

Who Do You Think We Are, Mr. President? Subjects or Citizens?

December 16th, 2009

By Vince Hayley, FoxNews

 My Subjects do what I say!

Put aside all the serious fights over the climate science, the astronomical costs associated with capping carbon emissions, the endless demands for carbon reparations, compliance and verification, etc., the only question that really matters this week at the Copenhagen Conference on climate change is whether President Obama is really going to end up corrupting the American constitutional system in front of the entire world.

Who will President Obama heed? The American people and our constitutional system of checks and balances, or the collection of dictators, tyrants, and mostly undemocratic heads of government convened by the United Nations in Copenhagen this week? They are tempting the American president to do what he wants to do and what they mostly do: ignore the will of their own people and sign a political agreement based on an unconstitutional sham.

Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution is crystal clear: “He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”

In 1997, the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 to tell President Clinton that it was the view of the Senate that the United States should not sign any international agreement on climate change that either did not mandate all countries to limit emissions or which would otherwise result in serious harm to the U.S. economy.

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There Is No War on Terror In the Obama White House

There Is No War on Terror In the Obama White House

December 16th, 2009

By Michael Goodwin, FOXNews

 Obama refuses to recognize the War on Terror

There was much to like in President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech, including admitting his achievements are “slight” and others are more deserving. Candor becomes him.

Other welcome passages defended the “just war” in Afghanistan and sang the praises of America as a peacemaker in ways that contradict his misbegotten apologies.

Whether these sentiments are one-offs or herald a new and improved Obama remains to be seen.

For me, the most important part of the speech came in the one paragraph where he invoked two Republican predecessors as models for international engagement. It’s got to be driving the lefties nuts, both in Europe-istan and at home.

“In light of the Cultural Revolution’s horrors, [Richard] Nixon’s meeting with Mao appeared inexcusable — and yet it surely helped set China on a path where millions of its citizens have been lifted from poverty and connected to open societies,” Obama said. And later: “Ronald Reagan’s efforts on arms control and embrace of perestroikanot only improved relations with the Soviet Union, but empowered dissidents throughout Eastern Europe.”

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Emperor Obama’s Healthcare Bill Has No Clothes

Emperor Obama’s Healthcare Bill Has No Clothes

December 16th, 2009

By Dick Morris, Newsmax

 Emperor Obama’s bill has no clothes

Because of pressure from enraged Americans, the most pernicious features of Obama’s healthcare legislation have been stripped from his bill — for now at least. This is no time for complacency, however, because the liberals are trying to push back and get the provisions back in.

As the bill stands, it doesn’t have any teeth: Without the public option, the government does not have the financial clout to enforce the decisions of the new secretary of health about the care protocols to be followed. The left had hoped that the federal public option insurance company would put the private firms out of business and leave a single, governmental payer in place. This single payer could slice reimbursements to providers at will and bring them into line offering low cost, long waiting lists, and rationed medical care.

But with no expansion of Medicare to those older than 55 and no federal public option, the health secretary won’t have the power to force bad medical care down the throats of the American people.

Relatively few new people will get health insurance. The costs of coverage are too high, the subsidies too shallow, and the punitive fines too low to force people to buy policies they don’t want and think they don’t need.

What young, childless couple is going to pay 8 percent to 12 percent of their income for insurance rather than just pay the $1,000 fine for not having coverage. Oddly, this bill is really just a tax on the uninsured.

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