Views on the News
Views on the News*
June 20, 2015
Now that “states’ rights” is no longer a code word for protecting racist statutes in the South, it is emerging as the key way to take our country back from the big government collectivism Obama has sought to impose. Chief Justice John Roberts was the first to open the door and point the way to a federalist strategy for conservatives by ruling that states could decide, for themselves, whether to opt into the Medicaid expansion decreed in the ObamaCare Law. It was up to each state to decide, and while some red state governors folded and opted in to the ObamaCare program, most held firm. Now conservatives are pushing the idea that if the Supreme Court rules against Obama in King v Burwell and holds that federal ObamaCare subsidies can only go to those who enrolled through state exchanges, the proper Congressional response is to let each state decide whether or not to opt in. Most states will likely opt to collect some of the ObamaCare taxes and use the money to provide tax credits for people who need insurance to buy it. Together, these changes will place huge tax and spending burdens on blue states that will be largely absent from red ones. The resulting competitive advantage for red states will tilt the map of the United States even further to the red states, draining their liberal countrymen of wealthy people, money, and employment opportunities. Higher taxes in blue states will drive out income earners, pushing them into lower tax areas. Medicaid won’t drain state coffers of funds in the red states, their schools will improve and their public universities will enjoy a competitive advantage in tuition. Blue state governors and legislators will have the choice of watching their states descend into Detroit-like status as they are forced to raise taxes on an ever decreasing tax base. Blue states will see the meaning of Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum that socialism does not work because “sooner or later, you run out of other peoples’ money.” By forcing states to decide for themselves on ObamaCare, the courts have deployed the ultimate weapon, federalism, to curb the Presidents left wing program; just as checks and balances and federalism were designed to work in our amazingly prescient Constitution!
(“Federalism Will Destroy Obama’s Program” by Dick Morris dated June 14, 2015 published by Dick Morris at http://www.dickmorris.com/federalism-will-destroy-obamas-program/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports )
America has reversed direction from its origin of limited government and unlimited economy. Today, America is increasingly defined by an expanding government and a retreating economy. James Madison in Federalist No. 45 summed up the approach to government: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." The federal government was to be held in check internally by its three branches and externally by the Constitution on one side, and the state governments on the other. Contrasting with this very narrow view of federal power was an expansive vision of economic power. The Constitution is as notable for its lack of economic control over the young country as its intended restraint of the new federal government. Taxes were minimal, with the government financed almost completely by tariffs and land sales. America's model of limited government and unlimited economy prevailed until the 20th century. It was occasionally interrupted, even seriously by World War I, but would resume. However, with the Depression and World War II in quick succession, the altered relationship between government and economy did not fully revert. Both America's government and its economy had begun the migration from their opposite poles. In 1930, with the country just entering what would become the Great Depression, the federal government spent just 3.4% of gross domestic product (GDP). In 2014, the last full fiscal year, the federal government spent 20.3% of GDP. Federal outlays are simply the most quantifiable area of the government's reach, but that reach has also greatly expanded in the areas of taxation and regulation. As unquestionably limited as the federal government was at its origin, it is equally undeniable that its limits have been eroding. If we cannot agree as a nation that a growing government has had a role in our shrinking economy, then current circumstances should at least prompt this discussion. How far and for how long must government expand before it has a negative economic impact? Where once there was a limited government and unlimited economy, today there is a comparatively unlimited government and a limited economy. At what point do we seriously measure, regulate and mitigate the impact of government's increasingly destructive impact upon the economy?
(“The U.S. is Defined by Expanding Government, Retreating Economy” by J.T. Young dated June 16, 2015 published by Real Clear Markets at http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2015/06/16/the_us_is_defined_by_expanding_government_retreating_economy_101708.html )
A civilized society's first line of defense is not the law, police and courts, but customs, traditions, rules of etiquette and moral values. These behavioral norms, mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error. They include important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou-shalt-not murder, thou-shalt-not steal and thou-shalt-not cheat. They also include all those courtesies traditionally associated with ladylike and gentlemanly conduct. Behavior accepted as the norm today would have been seen as despicable yesteryear. When I was a youngster, it was unthinkable to use foul language to any adult. It would have meant risking a smack across the face. But years ago, parents and teachers didn't have "experts" on child-rearing to tell them that corporal punishment was wrong and ineffective "timeouts" would be a superior form of discipline. One result of our tolerance for aberrant behavior was that during the 2011-12 academic year, 209,000 primary- and secondary-school teachers were physically assaulted and 353,000 were threatened with injury. Nowadays baby showers are often held for unwed mothers. In the past such an acceptance of illegitimacy would have been unthinkable. Today there is little or no social sanction or shame for illegitimate births. There are no "shotgun" weddings to make the man live up to his responsibilities. Not to worry, taxpayers bear the financial burden of illegitimacy. Taxpayers have been forced to subsidize slovenly behavior. Today 72% of black children and 30% of white children are born to unwed mothers. For nearly three-quarters of a century, the nation's liberals have waged war on traditional values, customs and morality. Our youths have been counseled that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what's moral or immoral is a matter of personal opinion. So-called sex education classes are simply indoctrination that undermines family and church strictures against premarital sex. Lessons of abstinence were considered passe and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth-control pills and abortions. Further undermining of parental authority came with legal and extralegal measures to assist teenage abortions with neither parental knowledge nor parental consent. What are the government spending programs that threaten to bankrupt our nation in the future? The answer would have to be Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Over 50% of today's federal budget is spent on these programs. If it were only the economic decline threatening our future, there might be hope, but it's the moral decline that spells our doom.
(“What Were Once Pathologies Are Now Accepted As New Normal” by Walter E. Williams dated June 16, 2015 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/061615-757534-behavior-that-is-normal-today-was-despicable-in-previous-generations.htm )
Sometimes it seems President Obama lives in a parallel universe where facts are floating around to be plucked out of suspended animation. Never more so than on the effects of the Affordable Care Act, so the question is whether anything promised is actually working:
· No “adverse effect on people who already had health insurance.” In 2013, as ObamaCare’s policies were phasing in, nearly 5 million policyholders across 31 states and the District of Columbia were notified that their current coverage was being discontinued. This doesn’t include nearly 20 states that weren’t tracking these numbers so the total could have been several million more. The CBO estimated that ObamaCare will result in a total of 8 million fewer enrolled in employment-based covered by 2018.
· “The overwhelming majority of people are satisfied” with the new law. The major polling results find that only 43% of Americans support the law and 53% oppose it. A Gallup poll found more than twice as many respondents (24%) say the law has hurt their families than say it has helped them (10%).
· “Health care inflation overall has continued to be at some of the lowest levels in 50 years.” The costs to Americans for health insurance in the new ObamaCare era are soaring across the country. In California, approved rate increases are running up an average of about 10%. In Florida, 33 of 36 approved rate hikes were greater than 10%. In Ohio, the average rate increase request for 2016 is 17.8%. In Virginia, the AETNA Life Insurance Company small group plan proposed an increase of 59.71%. In Texas, more than half of the rate hike requests are greater than 20%. In Illinois, the popular Blue Cross Blue Shield Preferred Individual plan wants a 38% rate hike.
· “We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of ObamaCare because none of them have come to pass.” President Obama must not listen to young people. The arbitrary ObamaCare mandate increased premiums for young adults by one-third.
· “The costs have come in substantially lower than even our estimates about how much it would cost.” ObamaCare costs for the Medicaid expansion and the taxpayer subsidized exchanges will rise from about $35 billion last year, to $77 billion this fiscal year, and to an expected $116 billion in 2016. So in three years ObamaCare outlays will have tripled, and only in Washington would this be considered controlling costs.
The future of the ObamaCare law hangs by a thread, based both on the upcoming Supreme Court decision regarding the constitutionality of subsidies provided for coverage purchased on federally established exchanges. If these exchange subsidies are invalidated, Republicans need to prove to voters they can provide much better quality of care, with much more choices, and to more Americans, and in a way that doesn’t bankrupt the country. Given the fiasco of ObamaCare, that shouldn’t be hard.
(“The Fantasy That ObamaCare ‘Is Working’” by Steve Moore dated June 12, 2015 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemoore/2015/06/12/the-fantasy-that-obamacare-is-working/ )
Listen to propaganda from the EPA and MDE, and you would think “Climate Change” programs are about saving the environment, but you would be wrong. The fact is, exaggerated Climate Change has little to do with the E-word i.e. the Environment… but has everything to do with the C-words: Communism vs. free-market Capitalism. Climate has been changing since the beginning of time. The more relevant questions are these: Is change exceeding regular cyclical norms, and to what extent is it anthropogenic i.e. man-made? The real answer is revealed by the leftist “experts” who tell us in their own words:
· Ottmar Edenhofer, Vice-chair of the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change says, “One must say clearly that we… redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
· Harvey Ruvin, former Vice Chair of the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives, “Individual rights will have to take a back seat to the collective in the process of implementing Sustainable Development.”
· Naomi Klein of Nation Magazine, “So when [Commissioner Rothschild] reacts to… climate change as if capitalism itself were coming under threat, it’s not because [he’s] paranoid… It’s because [he’s] paying attention. … most leftists have yet to realize that climate science has handed them the most powerful argument against capitalism.”
· Third Annual Conference of the World Association for Political Economy in Lang Fang, China, May 2008: “…global ecological sustainability will be possible only with fundamental social transformations and a new global economic system organized on the principles of social ownership of land and other major means of production… only socialism and the global solidarity of all working peoples can free both humanity and the earth from the fatal threat of global capitalism.”
These not so subtle undercurrents of Marxism should be pretty obvious. The frontal attack on free-market capitalism is self-evident. They regularly change phraseology, so rebutting them is like playing a game of whack-a-mole… As soon as you knock down one of their hysterical arguments, an increasingly ambiguous replacement argument pops-up. A lack of conclusive evidence forced climateers to change their vernacular four times in three decades: first it was “Global Cooling;” then, “Global Warming;” next, “Climate Change;” and now they have adopted their most ambiguous term, “Climate Disruption.” Sufficiently ambiguous to allow every self-appointed pantheistic climateer to wave his/her hands hysterically and yell “climate disruption.” Every time there is a storm, hurricane, tornado, typhoon… you name it… hotter, colder, wetter, dryer, more snow, less snow… see, it’s exactly what they warned would happen. Their diagnosis is always the same. Climate Change is all about attempts to put a stake through the heart of America’s free-market economy, and replace it with a government controlled Marxist economy… all in the name of social justice… to save the world from the threat of free market capitalism.
(“Global Warming: Not About the ‘E’ Word” by Richard Rothschild dated June 15, 2015 published by American Clarion at http://www.americanclarion.com/global-warming-not-about-the-e-word-38538 )
There is almost a childlike innocence to the foreign policy initiatives of the Obama administration. These might be admired for their insouciance, were it not for the fact that they are contributing to worldwide instability and promising even greater disaster for the United States. President Obama acknowledges that there is no strategy for taking down ISIS (also known as the Daesh, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and ISIL). That's despite the fact that only a few months ago he announced he intended "to degrade and destroy ISIL" with a full-fledged strategy underway. At the same time, the Pentagon announced that it is sending another 450 trainers into Iraq to try to restructure Baghdad's badly tattered government military, joining another 3,000 or so American military already in-country. In a sense, it is a repetition of the President's initial strategy in Afghanistan where simultaneously he announced reinforcements and a future total withdrawal. It is no secret that the President does not want to admit that his 2008 campaign "strategy" proposal which he immediately implemented demanded a complete withdrawal from Iraq. It certainly helped bring on new regional disasters and, politically, suggested to the American people the huge sacrifices of the two Iraq wars had been for naught. Now it appears that he is not going to admit publicly that Washington has few options but to move back into Iraq with substantial forces. Whatever the shortcomings of ISIS, it has been on a roll. It places ISIS in a position to mount a continuing campaign of terror, including the almost unanswerable weapon of suicide bombings against the 2 million Iraqis inside the capital less than 60 miles away. It also has been instrumental in aligning Iraqi Sunni forces with it, or neutralizing them, and in a surprisingly successful campaign to enlist foreign volunteers, even some from the United States. Much has been made by our fellow talking heads of the American public's fatigue after the long years of seemingly inconclusive war in the Middle East. That is certainly true, but it is the primary obligation of leadership to examine current situations with more information than the average citizen and to anticipate the problems ahead. Then the necessary decisions, however difficult they are, have to be sold to the American people with whom this President still has considerable support.
(“Dribbling and drabbling toward defeat” dated June 14, 2015 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/14/editorial-obamas-foreign-policy-is-contradictory-s/ )
* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news. I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning. Updates have been made this week to the following sections:
· Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php
· United Nations at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/unitednations.php