RTCS

Views on the News

September 25, 2010

Views on the News*

While the Democrats were running wild in Washington, a virtual third party was being born, and nobody organized it, but the Tea Party is not a wing of the GOP but a critique of it. The Tea Party Patriots, which extends to thousands of local groups and literally countless activists, there is no chain of command, no hierarchy. Individuals "move the movement" and popular issues gain traction and are emphasized, unpopular ones die. The Tea Party can be characterized as "angry, "antiestablishment," "populist," "anti-elite" and all are true to varying degrees. The feeling is that if we don't get the size and cost of government in line now, we won't be able to. Unfortunately when Republicans are in charge, even when they're dominant, government has always gotten larger and more expensive. We may be teetering on the brink of some vast, dark new world—states and cities on the brink of bankruptcy, the federal government too. The issue isn't "big spending" anymore; its ruinous spending that they fear will end America as we know it, as they promised it to their children. Dramatic action is needed, and a sense of profound urgency. The Tea Parties are Reaganism reincarnate, and then some. The two-party system is a popular scapegoat among those who feel disenfranchised. Yet 2010 shows that our two-party system works. Disenchanted conservatives have rediscovered they have the power to change a political party if they commit themselves to the electoral process. They are addressing their concerns by actively campaigning in Republican primaries for candidates who support their ideals. Tea Party activists, working through the GOP, have accomplished far more for the cause of liberty than the Constitution and Libertarian Parties have in their combined fifty-six years of existence, and we’re not even to the general election yet. It’s all there in the Contract from America: Limited government; individual liberty; economic freedom; Defund ObamaCare; No tax-and-nationalize energy scheme; Stop the tax hikes and move to a flat-tax system; No special favors and subsidies; and No crony capitalism. The Tea Party revolt is against runaway government spending and debt-creation: No TARP; No stimulus; No ObamaCare; and No Bailout Nation for GM, Fannie, Freddie, and AIG. Instead of federal spending running up to 25, 26, or 27% of GDP, look for our new Tea Party representatives to move it back to 20% of the economy, or even less. Politicians from both parties need to realize that the ambition of the Tea Party is not short-term. The goal is not merely the removal of liberals, but the election of people of courage who will return us to the Constitution. The movement which demands nothing less than constitutional government is farsighted. Even if a particular race is lost, it is of no significant consequence to have a liberal Democrat in office as compared to a liberal Republican. To the establishment Republican leadership, elections are about mathematical calculations and compromising core values to win elections. To the Tea Party, elections are about electing people of principle to return the government to its founding principles and not stop where we were prior to Obama, but where we must be under the Constitution.

(“Why It’s Time for the Tea Party” by Peggy Noonan dated September 17, 2010 published by The Wall street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703440604575496221482123504.html?KEYWORDS=peggy+noonan

A bullish tea-party revolt” by Larry Kudlow dated September 18, 2010 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/17/a-bullish-tea-party-revolt/

It’s a Long Way Back to the Constitution” by Monte Kuligowski dated September 19, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/its_a_long_way_back_to_the_con.html

Why the Tea Parties Aren’t a Third Party” by Adam Graham dated September 20, 2010 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/why-the-tea-parties-arent-a-third-party/ )

The grassroots in the Republican Party now totally identify with the Tea Party movement and are sick and tired of the country club, establishment Republicans who offer watered-down liberalism and no longer want a choice that isn’t between statist and statist-lite. The Tea Party brings new blood to a party that had become an insipid, bloodless, thing that had forgotten its governing principles and was only concerned with power for its own sake. So the Tea Party, delivering the gospel of limited government, and founding principles is playing the role of the conservative insurgents of the 1960’s. These are not professional politicians, but ordinary Americans who are genuinely alarmed at the debt, the size of government, and the threats to our constitutional freedoms. The Tea Parties represent this country’s most consequential political movement in decades. Previously uninvolved citizens have been mobilized to take action and fight back against the establishment in both political parties. The Republican Party’s “leadership” needs to open its eyes and ears to the reality of the Conservative renaissance and support Christine O’Donnell and those like her or face the prospects of being out of power by alienating its conservative base. The election results on Tuesday night might prove to be the final nail in the political coffin of that insidious group, the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). If Republicans do not capitalize on this movement, they are doomed to failure. GOP voters are listening to their hearts and voting their pocketbooks. The GOP needs the Tea Party more than the Tea Party needs the GOP. Otherwise, the Republican Party has no reason to exist. If it is not going to offer a stark alternative to the Democratic Party, the GOP should fold its tent. A big tent party is a great thing as long as its tent posts are core values like life, liberty, private property rights, choice in education, 1st and 2nd Amendment rights as well as a love for this country and a strong foreign policy. Conservatives should encourage RINOs to leave the Republican Party to become Democrats and join their ideological brethren in deficit spending and the erosion of constitutional rights. The Tea Partiers are not splintering or otherwise threatening the Republican Party; they are making it more accountable, more conservative, more effective, and no longer will incumbents in either party be shoo-ins. It is important to note that the Republican Pledge to America has been heavily influenced by the grassroots Contract from America and includes many of the Contract’s planks including specifying the constitutionality of every bill, instituting spending caps, repealing Obamacare, stopping tax increases, rejecting cap-and-trade, and encouraging energy production. We're witnessing the healthiest paradigm shift in modern politics back to real accountability, and it is a positive development for Republicans.

(“Good riddance to Rove and the RINOs” by Jeff Crouere dated September 17, 2010 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/17/good-riddance-to-rove-and-the-rinos/

Tea Party Good for GOP” by Craig Chamberlain dated September 18, 2010 published by The Land of the Free at http://www.thelandofthefree.net/conservativeopinion/2010/09/18/tea-party-good-for-gop/

Vote for the Conservative because They Can Win” by James Allen dated September 19, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/JamesAllen/2010/09/19/vote_for_the_conservative_because_they_can_win

Paradigm Shift in Politics Lost on Establishment” by David Limbaugh dated September 21, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/DavidLimbaugh/2010/09/21/paradigm_shift_in_politics_lost_on_establishment

A Pledge to America” at http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/pledgetoamerica.pdf

Statement on the Republican ‘Pledge to America’” at http://www.thecontract.org/wp-content/uploads/PRESSRELEASE_PledgetoAmerica_09222010.pdf )

The midterm election of November 2010 almost certainly promises substantial victories for the Republican Party as more and more Americans wise up to the lies and deceptions, the political bullying and disregard for the voting public being perpetrated by the radical left Democrats now in power. The question is whether Republicans will be up to the task once the reins of legislative power are returned to them. Rules for Republicans have been written that have a twofold goal: to describe in unequivocal terms a state of affairs to defeat the current political regime and to provide practical action guidelines to bring about that defeat and make it stick:

·    The era of liberalism is over - Today there are no liberals in power; there are only radical leftists and they are the enemy, not the opposition.

·    It is impossible to be too cynical about the intentions, motives, and truthfulness of radical leftists - They will always exceed our most horrifying expectations.

·    Radical leftists are continually seeking to destroy America's historic foundations, particularly our Constitution - Their goal is to rebuild upon the rubble according to their own evil vision and to gratify their insatiable lust for tyrannical power.

·    Radical leftists are continually seeking to infiltrate and undermine American institutions - They are especially attracted to institutions where there are unearned wealth, sinecures, and ambiguous standards of accomplishment.

·    Our people must always be seeking to restore America's tested, historic, foundational principles and to guard and protect our Constitution and our cherished institutions.

·    Civility must never trump truthfulness - Civility is a highly commendable virtue; truthfulness is vastly more commendable.

·    Ideology must never trump truthfulness - Ensure our own ideological principles are, first and foremost, true, and ten proclaim them boldly and straightforwardly.

·    Never try to out-compassion a bleeding-heart radical leftist - Conservatism is the most compassionate, and most truthful, political philosophy there is.

·    Challenge radical leftists to live up to their own publicly proclaimed ethical principles - They never do; they just fake it.

·    Refuse to use the favorite language of the radical left - Language is used to spread lies and propaganda and to create confusion, fear, and retreat, not to convey the truth.

·    The language our people use should boldly convey real information accurately, precisely, and above all, truthfully.

·    Ridicule is man's most potent weapon – When applying it to radical leftists the critique must be rooted in truth. Leftist ridicule flops because it's usually based on lies.

·    Attempting to reason with intractable, hardcore radical leftists will always end in futility - Leftists are incorrigibly anti-rational, so it is impossible to establish an authentic interlocutory interface with them. The only realistic way to engage them is to crush them politically, using any and all truthful and lawful tactics.

These Rules for Republicans are not a counterpart at all, but are diametrically opposed to Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, specifically in a moral sense. There is no place in Rules for Republicans for perpetrating Alinsky-like deceit or bullying to implement an agenda. Republicans must rule with truth and courage standing up to lies and deceit whenever it is encountered, and radical leftists must be defeated wherever they are found.

(“Rules for Republicans” by Paul Jacobson dated September 18, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/rules_for_republicans.html )

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finally declared that the Great Recession ended 15 months ago, in June 2009, lasting 18 months, or the longest on record since the 43-month plunge of the Great Depression. On the other hand, the Great Recession was only two months longer than the 16-month downturns of 1973-1975 and 1981-82, the two other most serious post-World War II periods of falling economic growth. The 2007-2009 downturn was painful but not extraordinary in historical context. What is different about this period is the relative weakness of the economic recovery. Even after a year of recovery through June 2010, real GDP remained 1.3% below its previous peak in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the NBER sages. This tepid growth has contributed to the sorry state of job creation, slow business investment and the overall sense of malaise. The private sector has lost 2.5 million jobs since Obama took office, making this a “job loss” recovery. The hyperkinetic government policies have done more harm than good, leading to uncertainty and higher costs that have undermined business and consumer confidence and slowed the economy's otherwise natural recuperative powers.

(“A Tale of Two Recoveries” dated September 21, 2010 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989304575504053230524906.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop )

 

On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a State of the Union address to Congress in which he declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America," but over 45 years of throwing money at this problem has made negligible progress reducing poverty.  In 1964, the poverty rate in America was around 19% and falling rapidly. Last week, it was reported that the poverty rate this year is expected to be roughly 15%, and is climbing. Between then and now, the federal government spent more than $13 trillion fighting poverty, and state and local governments added another couple of trillion, yet the poverty rate never fell below 10.5%. The federal government now has 122 separate anti-poverty programs (defined as either means-tested programs or programs whose legislative language specifically refers to their purpose as combating poverty). These range from Medicaid, the largest and most expensive anti-poverty program, to the tiny Even Start Program for Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations.  Combined, these 122 programs spent more than $591 billion in 2009, and are projected to cost even more this year. That amounts to $14,849 for every poor man, woman and child in America.  Given that the poverty line is $10,830, it would have been cheaper just to mail every poor person a check for $11,000. The Obama administration increased spending on welfare programs by more than $120 billion. The administration has also made conscious policy choices to ease eligibility and expand caseloads. For example, the stimulus bill included a provision that created a new "emergency fund" to help states pay for added welfare recipients, with the federal government footing 80% of the cost for the new "clients." This was an important change because it undid many of the incentives contained in the 1996 Clinton welfare reform for states to reduce welfare rolls. Under the new rules, states that succeed in getting people off welfare would lose the opportunity for increased federal funding. The end result is that one out of every six Americans is now receiving some form of government assistance. Of course all this welfare spending could arguably be justified, if we were actually reducing poverty, but, as the most recent numbers make clear, we're not. Government welfare programs have torn at the social fabric of the country and been a significant factor in increasing out-of-wedlock births with all of their attendant problems. They have weakened the work ethic and contributed to rising crime rates. Most tragically of all, the pathologies they engender have been passed on from parent to child, from generation to generation. The whole theory underlying our welfare programs is wrong-headed because we focus far too much on making poverty more comfortable, and not enough on creating the prosperity that will get people out of poverty and the program overall has been a dismal failure.

(“More Proof We Can’t Stop Poverty by Making It More Comfortable” by Michael D. Tanner dated September 17, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/547746/201009171932/More-Proof-We-Canand8217t-Stop-Poverty-By-Making-It-More-Comfortable-.htm )

 

A highly partisan Democrat-dominated Congress passed Obama's sweeping legislation in March to shift decision-making and authority to the government and fundamentally transform America's health care in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We know many of the important aspects of the legislation do not begin until 2014. With the expectation that Republicans will take back partial control of Congress, this might be the last chance for an agenda-driven Democratic Congress to push even more legislation onto an unwilling electorate. Watch for an overt use of brute force by the federal government to eliminate the viability of private health insurance. Watch for a new "public option" to be introduced after the massive shift of Americans into existing government insurance to further crowd out private insurance, as Democrats do their best to forge a single-payer, wholly government- controlled system. ObamaCare aggressively expands eligibility for Medicaid/CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), adding 25 million Americans in its first year into that failing public insurance program, a program in which patients can't find doctors because almost half already refuse patients because of low payment schedules. The plan's exchanges will screen all persons who apply for coverage and if eligible, they'll automatically be enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. Despite ObamaCare's furthering dependence on government insurance with its mandates, insurance exchanges, definitions of essential coverage and price-fixing, costs still will escalate. Because the government forbids sensible insurance pricing for higher-risk consumers and adds a litany of new coverage mandates such as "free" screening for all, insurance costs necessarily will increase. Congressional Democrats anticipate this and already have asked the Congressional Budget Office to price a more formal public plan for 2014. Watch for the federal government to restrict doctors from practicing, or possibly even criminalize them, unless they accept patients with insurance paying government-defined rates for medical tests and treatments. As more Americans are shifted into government insurance, prices for medical services will be forced lower and lower. The new health law is overtly configured to cut payments for Medicare services by 30% over the next three years; by 2019, payments for senior-citizen care will be even lower than Medicaid. Indications are that this Congress and administration may not care what the American public wants and Democrats may be prepared to commit political suicide in a last-ditch effort to push their unwanted agenda on the nation.

(“ObamaCare: The sequel” by Scott W. Atlas dated September 17, 2010 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/17/obamacare-the-sequel/ )

 

As the lies told to win passage of President Obama's national health care takeover are now becoming exposed, the Administration is resorting to authoritarian measures to cover them up. President Obama barnstormed the country for his health care takeover plan promising that despite adopting or sharply expanding three entitlement programs, it would actually reduce the deficit. He was not honest in failing to disclose that this was based on $5 trillion in Medicare cuts over the first full 20 years of ObamaCare. These are primarily cuts in Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals for the health care services they provide to seniors. Moreover, these are cuts for seniors that are already retired today, not future retirees. That policy will similarly create chaos in health care for America's seniors. If the government is not going to pay, then doctors and hospitals are not going to provide the health services on which America's seniors rely. Similarly, President Obama barnstormed the nation telling us over and over that his government takeover health plan would reduce health care costs and "bend the cost curve downward" for "our families, our businesses, and our government." Just last week, he was saying, "As a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that's going to increase our costs -- we knew that." One of the major impacts of ObamaCare is that individuals and families will see higher health insurance premiums. Obamacare imposes several costly new mandates and restrictions on health insurers and providers that will raise health care costs and therefore premiums:

·    Mandated Benefits - Obamacare mandates that insurance companies cover a minimum package of benefits.

·    No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Services - Preventive services are more likely to increase costs than reduce costs.

·    Limits on Cost-Sharing (on Covered Items) and Limits on Deductibles - Individuals who do not have co-payments or deductibles lack “skin in the game” and thus have less incentive to economize on their use of health care services.

·    Minimized Youth Discount - The average 60-year-old consumes about six times as much health care as the average 20-year-old, but ObamaCare mandates that insurers charge the oldest individuals in the risk pool no more than three times the lowest rate.

·    Elimination of the Good Health Discount - In order to charge individuals a fair premium, insurers in the individual market engage in underwriting to determine applicant risk.

·    No Annual or Lifetime Limits on Health Benefits and Mandated Coverage of Children Under 26 - These provisions are already taking effect, and they have already raised the cost of providing insurance.

·    No Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion and Guarantee Issue - Healthy individuals will be incentivized to remain or become uninsured, saving on premium expenditures since they would be able to purchase coverage if they need medical care.

·    Cost-Shifting Because of Low Medicare Reimbursement Rates - ObamaCare is set to reduce the reimbursements doctors and hospitals receive for Medicare.

·    Taxes on Insurers, Pharmaceutical Companies, and Medical Device Makers - ObamaCare includes many new taxes, including a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices and annual fees on health insurance providers.

·    Difficulty of Enforcing the Mandate - Proponents of ObamaCare argue that the individual mandate is the glue that holds the legislation together.

·    Adverse Selection - Since heath plans will be required to extend coverage to any qualified applicant and will not be allowed to vary premiums based on health status, healthier individuals will likely wait until they are sick before they buy health insurance.

·    Increased Demand for Health Care - The expansion of coverage through ObamaCare will increase the amount of health care that previously uninsured people will demand.

One of the central promises Obama made during the Presidential campaign was that he would “sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of [his] first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” Despite this promise, President Obama’s wishes do not trump basic supply and demand or common sense. If government requires that a product be made more generous and be available to more individuals, its cost will increase. There is no way around the fact that the vast majority of Americans will be paying higher prices for their insurance because of ObamaCare. The plan doesn't even get 30 million additional people health insurance coverage, either. Moreover, before a national TV audience, President Obama scorned the idea that his health insurance mandate forcing all workers to buy the health insurance he chooses was a tax. Now his lawyers are in court arguing that it is constitutional because it is a tax. True, given the polls, the only people President Obama fooled with his health care dishonesty were Congressional Democrats. The American people expect their President to tell them the truth, and Congressional Democrats will learn that anew this fall.

(“The Disgrace of the Ruling Class” by Peter Ferrara dated September 22, 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/09/22/the-disgrace-of-the-ruling-cla

ObamaCare Increases Health Insurance Premiums” by Brian Blasé and Rea Hederman dated September 21, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/09/Obamacare-Increases-Health-Insurance-Premiums )

 

The push for so-called clean or renewable energy is a fiction to advance the use of the two worst, most unpredictable and unreliable forms of energy, solar and wind that exist solely because of government subsidies and mandates and produce a little over 3% of the energy used nationwide every day. If the EPA gains the authority to control carbon dioxide, it will literally control all business and industrial activity in the nation as well as the lives of all Americans. There is no scientific justification for controlling CO2 because it plays no role in the so-called “climate change”, the new language being used to avoid saying “global warming.” The environmental movement that has devoted decades and millions to perpetrate the greatest science fraud in the history of mankind has backed away from “global warming” for the obvious reason that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for the past decade, the result of a reduction in solar activity, a dormant period that has a long history of preceding periods of cooling. One of President Obama’s goals has been to secure legislation, known as “Cap-and-Trade” that would authorize a scheme by which “carbon credits” would be bought and sold by utilities and industry for the right to produce and use energy. It is part of the global warming fraud and its sole purpose is political power while enriching a few insiders betting on the expansion of alternative energy sources. The EPA has been attempting to exert authority over CO2, but has been doing so “cautiously” to avoid evoking a public outcry against it. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA does not have this authority as CO2 is exempt from such action. Moreover, there is zero need to control CO2 as a threat to the environment because, without it, all life on Earth would not exist. It is CO2 that is the vegetative equivalent of oxygen that maintains all animal life. The two are symbiotic and have been for billions of years. Americans and people worldwide have been deluged with fake science based entirely on computer models whose results have been deliberately skewed to produce results that affirm CO2 as a primarily factor affecting the Earth’s climate, when it is not. If all the CO2 produced by power plants and the use of coal, oil, and natural gas was reduced to levels the EPA and environmental groups deem “safe” it would have zero affect on the atmosphere. The EPA is lying to Americans using fake science. Indeed, more CO2 in the atmosphere would be extremely beneficial, aiding larger crop yields to feed Americans and others worldwide. It would improve the health and vitality of the planet’s forests. To sum up, Cap-and-Trade and any control of CO2 is in its simplest terms, a vehicle to destroy the nation’s economy.

(“No Science, Fake Science, and the Deliberate Destruction of the Nation” by Alan Caruba dated September 19, 2010 published by American Daily at http://americandaily.com/index.php/article/4475 )

 

* 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 issue sections:

·  Economy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/economy.php

·  Legal at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/legal.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com