Archive for February, 2017

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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