Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 2

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The “Affordable Care Act” (ACA), commonly known as “Obamacare”, does exactly the opposite of what its title claims, as is typical of many government initiatives.  It promotes evil more than most legislation: it violates several provisions of the Constitution, and it fails to achieve even its most basic objectives.

It violates the Constitution in several ways.  First, it contains provisions by which a taxpayer has to prove to the IRS that he has purchased health insurance; that is a violation of the right to free entry into contracts because the government is forcing a citizen to buy something even if he would rather not.  Under the Tenth Amendment, contracts issues reside solely within the power of the States.  Secondly, every IRS employee has access to these records in violation of the Fourth Amendment freedom from arbitrary searches.  Third, by failing to provide the proof of insurance, the citizen is liable to pay a penalty, later ruled a tax by the Supreme Court.  That apparently innocuous ruling made the entire section unconstitutional since the ACA originated in the U. S. Senate, whereas all tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives.  This proves, if it proves anything, that even members of the Supreme Court cannot or will not respect the Constitution.  Fourth, the ACA requires the citizen to buy coverage for a product which may violate his religious beliefs, since every insurance package meeting the ACA requirements must provide coverage for abortion and birth control expenses.  Thus, since insurance is merely pooling risk, everyone has to share in the cost risks of abortion in violation of the First Amendment respect for religion.  Fifth, doctors are permitted to ask patients about firearm ownership and include their responses in their permanent medical history; another clear violation of the Fourth Amendment as well as being prejudicial to the Second Amendment.  In the future, said records may constitute the basis of an arbitrary sweep to confiscate all privately owned firearms.  Sixth, it does not apply to every citizen equally since many exemptions, exclusions, and benefits have been given to some categories of individuals and groups while depriving the other citizens; this violates the equal protection portion of the Fourteenth Amendment.

It should come as no surprise the ACA has and will continue to fail in achieving its claimed objectives.  It contains the seeds of its own destruction the same as every other welfare legislation.  In typical welfare legislation, a non-working citizen and politicians decide how much a third person, the working man, is to pay in taxation to support those who are not working.  There is no end to demands made by the non-working, and welfare benefits have traditionally increased over time, with commensurate tax obligations.  Likewise, ACA has no effective cost containment: the doctor and patient decide how much a third entity, the insurance company, is to pay, nor a fourth entity, the working person with health care is to pay in taxes to provide subsidies to the others.  Secondly, there is no requirement for doctors and hospitals to publish their prices for routine procedures, or even room costs; hence the costs are different depending on what type of insurance one has. Secret pricing will always tend to increase costs.  Third, it restricts competition because a citizen can buy insurance only from those companies operating within a State despite the fact that the mandate itself is of federal nature.  Restricting competition will always increase costs.  Fourth, some people simply cannot afford to buy health insurance, and they must (and should be) be treated at public expense; the ACA does not eliminate the charitable and publicly-funded institutions and the costs thereof.   The combined effects of these came about as expected: fewer choices of plan as insurance companies exit the program; constantly increasing insurance premiums, steadily increasing deductibles, and fewer choices of doctors and hospitals.  The ACA is on the cost and quality death spiral; some claim that it was done deliberately in order to make the excuse for universal government-run health care.  If you like what has been happening at the Veterans Administration, you’ll like universal care.

But the most pernicious aspect of the ACA is that it can never be repealed or significantly modified.  History shows that once a welfare provision is granted, it cannot be taken back.

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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 1

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I believe Barack Obama’s legacy, when finally written by the historians, will not be flattering to our 44th President.  This is my opinion of how he should be judged.

The Constitutional requirements to hold the office are simple: to be aged 35 years, a native-born citizen of the U. S., and been a resident for 14 years.  In the absence of any other requirements, every President brings to the office only his own experience and his own moral values to the office.  Mr. Obama has been denounced as a non-citizen (for failing to produce a birth certificate until he had been in office nearly two years), as a Moslem (having been raised in Indonesia and having a Moslem father), and being generally anti-American.  What is certain as a minimum is that he spent twenty years listening to the preaching of Jeremiah Wright; as such it is fair to say that Mr. Obama embraces Black Liberation theology, which consists of 40% socialist ideology, 40% grasping for political power, 10% animosity toward white people, and 10% nod-to-God-marry-and-bury Christianity.  Socialist theory claims that it is the only system that will usher in peace, harmony, and prosperity, although it has never so far done so, mostly because it ignores both economics and human nature, but demands allegiance as if it were the only religion.  Socialism requires the growth of governmental power through force or regulation so that the “experts” can guide the unwashed lowlifes (like you and me) into doing what is best for our own interests.  It seems to me that Mr. Obama’s actions as President reflect the values of Black Liberation politics.

Regarding his domestic policy, Mr. Obama will be remembered for four things: a) acceptance of the status quo among the financial institutions that put the economy into serious recession just before he entered office; b) the “Affordable Care Act”; c) the racial and political bias within the federal departments; d) opposition to the rights of the people; and e) the doubling of the national debt.

It should be remembered that Mr. Obama did face a severe recession upon entering office.  To his credit, he did not make it any worse, but did nothing to correct its causes.  It was caused by the collapse of the housing industry, which was caused by many delinquencies on mortgages, which was caused by too-liberal credit policies in which mortgages were given to people that the banks knew, or should have known, could not repay.  It was made worse by large-scale leveraging of obscure “securities” tied to mortgages, fraudulently assigned as “low-risk” by the ratings agencies (who were paid by the banks) and sold to investors all over the world; and then by bankers betting against those very securities by taking out insurance policies against their default.  In other words, it was caused by banks operating the financial system the way the mafia operated gambling casinos, except the banking mafia was able to call on the taxpayers to bail them out.  It was under President George W. Bush that the large banks and insurance companies were bailed out with taxpayer money. That was Bush’s mistake: the correct policy was to let capitalism do its work of destruction to those who abuse the system.  Mr. Obama, confident that capitalism is a failed system, but appreciating the tax contributions and election donations coming from Wall Street, allowed the banking system to continue with the same potential for abuse as before, simply adding more regulation in the form of Dodd-Frank (signed 21 Jul 2010).  The correct policy would have been to break up the banks that had too much influence or potential for contagion to the credit system should they fail to accurately assess risk.  Dodd-Frank only ensured that the government gained power while limiting the ability of small businesses, essential to the growth of the economy, to obtain the credit they needed.  The banks are bigger than ever, the government is more influential than ever in the financial sector, and there is still no personal liability to those in the financial industry who corrupt the system.  So we see socialism in the restriction of business activity and the grasping for power in the growth of the government.

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Review of the 2016 Election, Part 5: The Future

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The last topic to be considered is the future trend in our elections.  The next twenty years will determine which way America goes in the long run.

It seems to me that the activists favoring socialism will gain power in the long run, simply because their main selling point is that socialism can truly provide a better life for everyone.  Socialism has always looked good on paper, so long as the voting public is unable, or prevented from, observing the consequences of socialist policy.  It is easy to point to the immediate effect of a given policy; it is much harder to explain, or to understand, the second-order consequences.  For example, the “Great Society” programs of the 1960’s encouraged young women to start families without marriage: it looked great on paper, and some women were aided in the short run.  But it has led to a great undermining of the family in America, starting first with the poorest people in the inner cities, and now spreading to the suburbs.  The dismantling of the family unit has not returned any benefits.  Some will claim that the “Great Society” programs no longer exist.  It is true that they no longer exist as specific initiatives, but only because they are now fully ingrained and integrated into the functioning of the government.  They now have a life of their own, and can never be repealed, no matter how detrimental they are in the long run.

The fact that an open socialist like Bernie Sanders actually gained some traction is most alarming indeed.  He gained a great deal of support mostly among young people, with his promise of free college tuition and health care for all.  The rallying point was the notion of free tuition, no student loan debt, and a free and fair society for all.  Senator Sanders received about 11.9 million votes in the course of the Democratic Party nominating process.  Of the 11.9 million Sanders voters, about 10% of them have enough common sense to realize that tuition cannot really be free: their cherished liberal professors will still demand a paycheck; the lab equipment isn’t free; the heating and electricity isn’t free; the dorm maintenance isn’t free; everything involved in running an institution has to be paid for somehow.  It is these 1.2 million or so who understand enough basic economics to know that the government will have to pay those costs.

Of those 1.2 million, maybe 10% of them know enough about government financing to understand that governments do not really have anything except what they can extract from the taxpayers.  Those 120,000 realize that taxes on some other set of taxpayers have to be raised so they can get the free tuition.

Of the 120,000, maybe 10% of them understand that there will be considerable resistance to an increase in taxation, especially if those paying the taxes do not have college-age children, or whose children choose not to attend college.  Shall they get a rebate?  Shall those future young people not attending get a cash grant to start their own business, or to spend as they choose?  Anything else would be unfair, would it not?  This last 12,000 also knows that any such provisions in the tax code will come too late for them: they will be out of college, working, and paying taxes to send other people’s kids to college.

Senator Sanders was selling the same old “free lunch” theory that socialism is built upon, conveniently forgetting that government policies can turn the rich into the poor only once.  After that everyone is poor.  In order to manage what is left, and to ensure that everyone gets their “fair share”, it will then become necessary for the government to regulate everything, and the government gains absolute power.  Which explains why no socialist country has any free citizens except for the ruling class, and the U. S., if it fails to understand the history of socialism, will fall victim to its false theories like every other nation that has tried it.  Unfortunately, this is the thing that Sanders’ voters either cannot understand or choose to ignore:  if the government gives with one hand, it takes more with the other.

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Review of the 2016 Election, Part 4: The Media

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The so-called “mainstream” media is still in shock over the Presidential election; it is impossible for them to understand how their chosen queen, Hillary Clinton, could lose the election against such an unconventional and defective candidate like Donald Trump.  The best explanation they have come up with is that every half-baked retarded irredeemable deplorable in the nation suddenly sobered up on Election Day and decided to vote against their own best interests.  Their constant harping over the popular vote vs. the Electoral College vote only proves their unlimited power to make excuses.  It the Electoral College, dummies, as it has been since the founding of the republic.

We hear a lot about the “liberal bias” in the mainstream media.  It is actually a socialist bias, and it comes from several sources.  First, most journalists and commentators happen to be socialists or at least raving 1960’s liberals; convinced that their platform and ideology is the only correct one, it imperative (they think) to educate/indoctrinate all the unwashed ignoramuses as to benefit of arbitrary government power (except against them).  Underlying this attitude is the assumption that they are uniquely qualified to determine who should have political power and who should not.  Secondly, many in the media would rather create or shape the news rather than report it, partly to advance the cause, partly to widen their audience to justify higher compensation, and partly to get closer to the powerful as a means to gain influence for their own benefit.  The mainstream media has given up on checking the growth of government power; they are now actively endorsing it. The members of the media have become powerful by association with the powerful.  Third, their embrace of socialism requires that they believe in their own moral superiority; the causes they endorse are righteous because they are righteous; they are correct policy because they are correct policy, and nothing more need be said about it.  Fourth, in this day of 24-hour news channels, there is an enormous amount of airtime to fill.  It is now possible to provide time to those with the most extreme views as a way of making garden-variety socialism seem reasonable.  Fifth, the quest for revenue causes the news and opinion shows to have a great many commercials, and the “interviews” (I am using the term loosely), are so short as to be useless for an honest examination of facts or claims.  There is barely enough time between commercial breaks for the moderator deliver a sermonette disguised as a question and for the guests to shout their slogans or talking points over each other.  The long-suffering public learns nothing.  One tunes into ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and PBS to be entertained, not informed.  FNC is only marginally better.  When you read The New York Times editorials, it suddenly occurs to you that Jayson Blair was the most logical writer they ever had.

Socialists in general are ignorant of history: they actually believe that paradise on earth is possible, which ignores the nature of mankind.  The only thing missing is enough government power to enforce paradise: so the media, probably without realizing it, promotes tyranny in the interest of freedom.  But it will never tolerate unfreedom for itself, only for you.  They are identical in function to the corrupt medieval Catholic church.

But the one thing the socialist mainstream media is most angry about is that Mr. Trump found a way via social media to bypass their filtering function.  He was able, using his formidable name-recognition, to take his message directly to the public (not to mention he had the right message for this election cycle).  I don’t think policy by 140-character spontaneous random neuron-firing is a good way to govern.  Unfortunately, the modern mainstream media is simply not up to the task of performing the important function of examining the government’s actions.  It is either too ideologically biased, too ignorant of history, too partisan, or too lazy.

 

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