The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's a Wonderful Bill!

iowahawk updates a Christmas classic!

(after the last couple of days I needed the laugh)
DiscerningTexan, 12/22/2009 10:11:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, December 14, 2009

For those who have forgotten

Watch this again.  It is critical.
DiscerningTexan, 12/14/2009 03:27:00 AM | Permalink | |
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Mark Steyn at his most astute.
DiscerningTexan, 12/13/2009 03:12:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, October 12, 2009
When even the left of left BBC starts to "get it" about the Global Warming fraud, well...
DiscerningTexan, 10/12/2009 08:28:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday, October 09, 2009

Fork in the Road

DiscerningTexan, 10/09/2009 10:02:00 AM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Eric Scheie on the distortion by the media of "free markets" and "deregulation". Good stuff.
DiscerningTexan, 10/07/2009 01:19:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Glenn Reynolds on Hollywoood, Roman Polanski and defending the indefensible.
DiscerningTexan, 10/04/2009 02:09:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, September 21, 2009

Separating Art from "Artist": “Hope and Change” = “Sieg Heil”?

Many of my more "progressive" friends have long argued that the desirability of public funding of "the Arts" outweighs the risks. Invariably they conveniently overlook the dangers that public finding brings with it...if the wrong people are in power. Like NOW for example...

Hmmm. I wonder what they think of this development:

Most likely, you're generally aware of the story. It was broken by Patrick Courrielche at Big Hollywood. Courrielche received an email invitation from Yosi Sergant of the National Endowment for the Arts to participate in a conference call to discuss President Obama's "United We Serve initiative." Courrielche did participate, along with a number of other artists and representatives of arts groups. He found the experience disconcerting, and wrote about the call on Big Hollywood:

Backed by the full weight of President Barack Obama's call to service and the institutional weight of the NEA, the conference call was billed as an opportunity for those in the art community to inspire service in four key categories, and at the top of the list were "health care" and "energy and environment." The service was to be attached to the President's United We Serve campaign, a nationwide federal initiative to make service a way of life for all Americans. ...

We were encouraged to bring the same sense of enthusiasm to these "focus areas" as we had brought to Obama's presidential campaign, and we were encouraged to create art and art initiatives that brought awareness to these issues. Throughout the conversation, we were reminded of our ability as artists and art professionals to "shape the lives" of those around us. The now famous Obama "Hope" poster, created by artist Shepard Fairey and promoted by many of those on the phone call, and's "Yes We Can" song and music video were presented as shining examples of our group's clear role in the election.

More here , here and here.

This is sort of the equivalent of a government taking the tax money of "progressives" and its President deciding to that money to fund a feature-length “Triumph of the Will II” from the "artistically-inclined" within in the KKK. Coming to a museum or theater near you soon.

And speaking of “Will”.

So what is next from these people: government funds for a new Michael Moore flick? Or perhaps an Oliver Stone homage to Republicans in general? The mind boggles.

But why stop with “the arts” (quotes intentional), when you can bankroll your press coverage” too…

I’m sure that will lead to “objective” coverage…. circa 1934:

DiscerningTexan, 9/21/2009 12:14:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Excellent visual journey through the 'Cult of Iconography', courtesy of Bill Whittle.
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2009 01:59:00 AM | Permalink | |
iowahawk GOLD: Lion of Leinenkugel laid to rest.
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2009 01:16:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Great read here about the cesspool of lies and corruption that Rep. Charles Rangel is swimming around in.

Once upon a time men like Dan Rostenkowski could not get away with this kind of illegality, even in a partisan Democrat administration. But that was then.

Is real justice a thing of the past in this 'era of Obama'? Is "political justice" (i.e. justice for thee but not necessarily for me) all that remains? Before you answer those questions, answer this one: just which one of Barack Obama/Eric Holder's US Attorneys do you think will be "greenlighted" to go after Rangel full bore?

I hate to say this, I really do: but from here this borders on sociopathic behavior; for what morality can there be where a purely political end justifies any means used to get there?

We are there. How do we get out?
DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2009 11:47:00 AM | Permalink | |
Airbrushing (out) Mary Jo: a Mark Steyn "must read":
You can’t make an omelette without breaking chicks, right? I don’t know how many lives the senator changed — he certainly changed Mary Jo’s — but you’re struck less by the precise arithmetic than by the basic equation: How many changed lives justify leaving a human being struggling for breath for up to five hours pressed up against the window in a small, shrinking air pocket in Teddy’s Oldsmobile? If the senator had managed to change the lives of even more Americans, would it have been okay to leave a couple more broads down there? Hey, why not? At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo “would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history . . . Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.” What true-believing liberal lass wouldn’t be honored to be dispatched by that death panel?
You will want to read the entire thing.
DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2009 11:38:00 AM | Permalink | |
Thursday, August 27, 2009
What works (and what doesn't).
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2009 10:07:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, August 24, 2009
An absolutely sensational exploration into morality, economics, and political theory. This is a must read.
DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2009 07:17:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, August 17, 2009
Props to Tim Pawlenty for issuing two of the best lines I have heard in a while (emphasis mine). I think these should be added to the repertoire of every Republican on the stump:
Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty took an aggressive line against President Barack Obama’s proposed health care overhaul Friday and insisted that a rejection of the Democratic plan could usher in a Republican resurgence.

“It appears that President Obama is making great progress on climate change, he is changing the political climate in the country back to Republican,” ears Pawlenty said during a speech to the second annual GOPAC conference in Chicago.

“He went around the country last fall promising ‘change we can believe in,’ but now we see it’s about changing what we believe in,” said Pawlenty, an anticipated 2012 Republican presidential contender. “We need to be calling out the flaws and misguided decisions of the Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration.”

DiscerningTexan, 8/17/2009 11:59:00 AM | Permalink | |
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'm glad I am not the only one who gets irked by this stuff. Message to the GOP: Elections are serious matters; is it too much to ask the Republican Party to treat its potential donors seriously?
DiscerningTexan, 8/16/2009 11:26:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Ah, sweet irony.

Introducing Eugene Green: Texas Democrat who voted against a law that would require a valid Photo ID to vote for him--as I recall it was something about making sure all those constituents who were "too poor" to "afford" photo ID (translation: ACORN members voting in multiple districts and/or Illegal Aliens...) could exercise their "right" to vote...

All well and good, but do not think that you are ABOUT to get into one of his Town Hall meetings to actually express your concerns about his Health Care vote without...a valid photo ID.

The naked desperation of the flailing Dems is like blood in the water... The earth is moving; don't let up now.
DiscerningTexan, 8/11/2009 11:48:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, August 10, 2009
Why allow the "newly-formed Stasi" the pleasure of turning us in to when we can write our own "confessions"; and this particular case in point may be a worthy example for all.
DiscerningTexan, 8/10/2009 10:09:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Iowahawk: a Public Service Message from your Federal Government Mob Watchdogs.
DiscerningTexan, 8/09/2009 12:40:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Mark Steyn: the Mob is restless.
DiscerningTexan, 8/08/2009 11:44:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, August 06, 2009

White House Solicitation for "Snitches" probably Broke Federal Law

Even as the Obama Administration was busy trying to create a sequel, i.e. "The Lives of Others II: Taking Names" -- or something along those lines, their propensity to continue to conduct business "the Chicago Way" apparently has brought the White House afoul of the law:

The Obama White House may be breaking the Privacy Act of 1974 by asking citizens to report “fishy” political speech.

On Tuesday, Macon Phillips, President Obama’s Director of New Media, wrote on the White House blog asking citizens to rat out fellow citizens who are spreading “disinformation” about Obama’s plans for more government control over the health care system. Phillips wrote:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to

One wonders, what constitutes “fishy” speech or “disinformation”? Is it anything that runs counter to what the White House wants you to think? And what, precisely, is the White House planning to do about someone who’s speech has been “flagged”?

It turns out, even asking for citizens to report on each other may be illegal. According to the Department of Justice, “the purpose of the Privacy Act is to balance the government’s need to maintain information about individuals with the rights of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy stemming from federal agencies’ collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personal information about them.”

Further, anything is considered a “personal record” if it identifies an individual (an e-mail address would qualify), and “federal agency” specifically includes “the Executive Office of the President.”

I’m no lawyer, but it sure sounds like the White House is violating the law by asking people to snitch on their friends and neighbors for engaging in “fishy” political speech. Anyone want to try this one in court?

In the meantime, I’m going to report myself. I’m obviously not thinking the way our Dear Leader wants...

DiscerningTexan, 8/06/2009 08:54:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tyrannical Narcissists are "Stubborn Things"

Just when you think you have seen it all, THIS comes out today on the WHITE HOUSE BLOG:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to
So what is next? Gestapo roundups in the middle of the night of anyone who dissents with Der Fuhrer? This guy really does think he is Al Capone--or Ahmadinejad, Castro, Chavez or Putin... The arrogance and narcissism of these people is beyond belief... and very dangerous.

Next they will be teaching kids in school to rat out At what point do the United States become one totalitarian a police state? It sounds crazy, I know; on the other hand I am beginning to believe that there is almost nothing that this "regime" would not resort to hold onto power. For example, if we are so unfortunate that is a large scale terror attack on the US, do not expect Islamic Jihadists to necessarily be the first to "disappear" under martial law.

This is so infuriating, so counter to EVERYTHING this country is about... I believe in the end that it is going to be stunts like the White House pulled today that will arouse the public to even greater LAWFUL activism against the Statists.

There are very good reasons why a large majority of the public is (and should be) turning against the President on this proposal. But I am guessing that this veiled threat on the White House blog will not help. Thus far, the only misinformation I have seen recently seems to be coming from the White House and the Socialists in Congress.

As for "end of life care", what say you try this on for size as an example of what is coming soon to a clinic near you if these Marxist Statists get their way on health care.

We must defeat this bill. And we must defeat these traitors to the First and Tenth Amendments at the ballot box. The noblemen who drafted our Constitution intended that our Government should be responsible to We the People, not the other way around. The American Revolution occurred to rid the Continent of tyranny, not to empower it. Wars have been fought by better men than us and blood has been shed by many to keep it that way. Do we not now owe all those who came before us our own resolve and determination to fight for what is rightfully ours?

Mark Levin nails it quite well.

It is high time that we show our Representatives, Senators--and even the White House--who reports to whom here.
DiscerningTexan, 8/04/2009 01:58:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, July 27, 2009
Bill Whittle: The Destruction of Sarah Palin.

A must read.
DiscerningTexan, 7/27/2009 09:55:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, July 26, 2009
ACORN has been busy organizing their forces to stop any anti-Obamacare protests, or any other protests by their perceived political opposition. This looks to be very organized and coming from the very top of the Angry Left.

Don't allow this to dissuade you; if anything it should encourage you to become more active and visible. The President and the Left may not understand this, but we have this thing called the First Amendment. Let's show them what that means.
DiscerningTexan, 7/26/2009 09:17:00 PM | Permalink | |
It was impossible not to chuckle when I saw this from Mark Steyn.
By common consent, the most memorable moment of Barack Obama’s otherwise listless press conference on “health care” were his robust remarks on the “racist” incident involving Prof. Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police. The latter “acted stupidly,” pronounced the chief of state. The president of the United States may be reluctant to condemn Ayatollah Khamenei or Hugo Chávez or that guy in Honduras without examining all the nuances and footnotes, but sometimes there are outrages so heinous that even the famously nuanced must step up to the plate and speak truth to power. And thank God the leader of the free world had the guts to stand up and speak truth to municipal police sergeant James Crowley. ...

Read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 7/26/2009 12:59:00 AM | Permalink | |
Monday, July 20, 2009
Surprise! Obama delays the release of his 2009 budget performance-to-date numbers which were expected today. Ahhh... not so much.

Think we'll see those numbers before Cap and Tax or Health Care comes up for a vote?
DiscerningTexan, 7/20/2009 10:27:00 PM | Permalink | |
RINO hunter Mark Levin defends his book and Liberty itself.
DiscerningTexan, 7/20/2009 01:32:00 PM | Permalink | |

Hey Ted: Ration This...

Headline today: Ted Kennedy suggests "rationing" health care. You mean like he "rationed care" for Mary Jo Kopechne? That was forty years ago this week.

If rationing care to save money is such a great idea--with the elderly obviously being less "worthy" of special care because of shorter life expectancy, greater expense, etc; then perhaps--as an example to us all--any "rationing" of care should start with Mr. Kennedy himself, considering the advanced stage of his cancer and the unlikelihood of his living much longer. After all, this is how they do it in the other Socialist Utopias which he, Obama and Rahm Emanuel's brother seem to feel we must so "urgently" emulate with all possible speed.

Personally, I preferred National Socialism in its original German (or Italian, take your pick...).
DiscerningTexan, 7/20/2009 09:14:00 AM | Permalink | |
Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cartoon by Chip Bok (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/19/2009 03:29:00 PM | Permalink | |
Are doubts drifting into the Magic Kingdom?
DiscerningTexan, 7/19/2009 03:05:00 PM | Permalink | |
WTF?? Obama's Commerce Secretary is now saying that the US should pay for China's greenhouse emissions (in addition to our own, of course)...

Et tu Brute?
DiscerningTexan, 7/19/2009 11:42:00 AM | Permalink | |
BHO wants to NEGOTIATE with these monsters?? I don't want to hear any more whining, wailing or moaning about "human rights" or "women's rights" from the Obama Democrats--ever; their credibility is pulp.
DiscerningTexan, 7/19/2009 09:37:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Victor Davis Hanson: Why Obamanomics is failing. A must read.
DiscerningTexan, 7/18/2009 11:05:00 PM | Permalink | |
Betraying Eastern Europe.

Mr. President, have you no shame?
DiscerningTexan, 7/18/2009 10:53:00 PM | Permalink | |
RIP California (1849-2009). Iowahawk provides the obituary.
DiscerningTexan, 7/18/2009 10:39:00 PM | Permalink | |

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/18/2009 01:03:00 AM | Permalink | |
Obama v. Obama
DiscerningTexan, 7/18/2009 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday, July 17, 2009
Mark Steyn on Canadian Health Care: "Why Do you Leave the one you Love?"
DiscerningTexan, 7/17/2009 11:15:00 PM | Permalink | |
I guess they like their new digs: Freshman Dems revolt against heath care tax increase.
DiscerningTexan, 7/17/2009 11:03:00 PM | Permalink | |
Terror in St. Louis. The horror... the horror....

(Coming soon to a Thought Police Station near you.)

More on PJTV.
DiscerningTexan, 7/17/2009 10:45:00 PM | Permalink | |
Whoa. Watch out: you are on NOTICE now.
DiscerningTexan, 7/17/2009 10:16:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, July 16, 2009
DiscerningTexan, 7/16/2009 03:41:00 PM | Permalink | |

White House Extorts Kyl for Health Care Vote

The Chicago Way.
DiscerningTexan, 7/16/2009 01:12:00 AM | Permalink | |

New Deal Delayed Recovery--Article

There is a reason why things are getting worse. He is sitting in the White House.

The definition of insanity is following the same course twice and expecting a different result.
DiscerningTexan, 7/16/2009 12:44:00 AM | Permalink | |

New Democrat HC Plan: Tax the Uninsured

Doing their fair share.
DiscerningTexan, 7/16/2009 12:21:00 AM | Permalink | |

Democrat Health Bill leaves out the Illegals

Yeah right.

Trust me, it is the "player to be named later". And that "player" is going to completely demolish all of the Senate's cost estimates. Let's just say that for the Obama Administration, there is no such thing as a salary cap.
DiscerningTexan, 7/16/2009 12:12:00 AM | Permalink | |

Hillary to Iran: Let's Talk!

So what if you have murdered a few thousand innocent students... We want to give you the legitimacy you so richly deserve!
DiscerningTexan, 7/16/2009 12:07:00 AM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Iowahawk for Car Czar

An idea whose time has come.
DiscerningTexan, 7/14/2009 04:38:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, July 09, 2009

Hating Sarah Palin

Outstanding commentary from SMU's own Ben Voth:
A public figure openly called for Palin to be raped during the campaign. Months after the losing campaign was over, a major comedian joked about the fictitious rape of one of her daughters. Immediately after the election, her church was burned. It's fairly difficult to reconcile this 'heat' as something conventional in politics. In fact, there might be some good reason to collectively indict Palin critics for their silent complicity.

This would go a long way to explain why many in the public seem more drawn to Palin after the resignation and the absurd media reactions to it. Keep in mind that these incidents remain unrepented public attacks. The media refused to offer much comment on the burning of Palin's church -- a silence which conveyed an implied endorsement of that attack. Imagine if Obama had lost the election and Jeremiah Wright's church had been burned. Where would the punditry be?

Given the peculiar failure of pundits to "understand" her July 3 statement, it is useful to return to the actual text of her statement. With such attention we can discover some of the possible confusion of pundits and reveal the largely ignored messages contained in Governor Palin's statement. Most interesting is the discussion about her children:
In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life -- my children (where the count was unanimous... well, in response to asking: ‘Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children's future from OUTSIDE the Governor's office?' It was four "yes's" and one "hell yeah!" The "hell yeah" sealed it - and someday I'll talk about the details of that... I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.) Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we ALL could learn so much from someone like Trig -- I know he needs me, but I need him even more... what a child can offer to set priorities RIGHT -- that time is precious... the world needs more ‘Trigs', not fewer.
The mocking of a disabled child, Trig Palin, must stand out as one of the most uniquely cruel and despicable contemporary trends of American politics. Could this be what Bill Clinton envisioned when he asked the nation to bring to an end the politics of personal destruction in the 1990s? It is clear that the entire Palin family would like to broaden their advocacy beyond the borders of Alaska. What is also clear is that pulsing at the center of Media contempt toward Palin is not simply stated positions on abortion but real life actions that are so striking and meaningful that they enrage a pretentious political community feigning interest in "women's rights."
You will want to read the entire thing.

It is quite obvious that the Democrats are scared to death of her; unfortunately so are too many Republicans. She is a great gift, yet many fools in our own party can only see through their thickly coated MSM/pop culture lenses. What a shame. What a commentary of where we are as a country.

Nero should have been so lucky.
DiscerningTexan, 7/09/2009 11:48:00 PM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Day by Day by Chris Muir (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/08/2009 10:03:00 PM | Permalink | |

"Getting" Sarah

Ann Coulter titled her column this week "Forgetting Sarah". But what I think what the column is really about is "Getting" Sarah:

Sarah Palin has deeply disappointed her enemies. People who hate her guts feel she's really let them down by resigning.

She's like the ex-girlfriend they're SO over, never want to see again, have already forgotten about -- really, it's O-ver -- but they just can't stop talking about her.

Liberal: Ha, ha ... Sarah who? She's over, she's toast, a future Trivial Pursuit answer, nothing more.

Normal person: Whatever. How about the North Korean missiles?

Liberal: Can you believe she just resigned the governorship like that? What a quitter!

Normal person: Speaking of quitting, how's work?

Liberal: Did you hear she might get a TV show? There's no way Sarah Palin's getting a TV show! No way! I can't believe stupid Sarah Palin could get her own stupid TV show now. Well, I'm sure not gonna watch it -- that's for sure!

Normal person: Have you seen all the Michael Jackson coverage on TV?

Liberal: How does she think she can run for president in 2012 if she can't finish her term as governor of a Podunk state? She's finished.

Normal person: OK, then! You won't have to vote for her.

Liberal: I was never going to vote for her! But now I'm not going to vote for her twice. And I will never watch her TV show. I am so over her.

Reporters had already written their stories on Palin's press conference -- "rambling!" "incoherent!" -- before she even stepped to the podium.

Whatever you think of Palin, her argument for resigning was the opposite of "rambling" and "incoherent."

Palin's basketball analogy couldn't have been clearer, even to prissy liberal pundits who get uncomfortable when the subject turns to sports: She decided to destroy the other team's game plan, which has been to obsessively focus on her, by resigning.

Read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 7/08/2009 09:45:00 PM | Permalink | |

California Screaming

Matt Welch goes yard over at Reason (h/t Glenn Reynolds):

That ugliness has made the California budget, like those in most of the other 49 states, less efficient and more bloated. Government spending, unlike spending in the private economy, is a zero-sum game—especially on the state level, since governors can’t print money. Every dollar spent gilding a pension is a dollar not spent funding an orphanage. Naturally, the same elite outlets that were busy blaming voters after the election spent even more time detailing the horrors of the “annihilating cuts,” as the Los Angeles Times called them in a news article, that were coming down the pike. (In early June, the paper invited readers to be shocked that a high school with 3,200 students would have to make do with just three guidance counselors.) Bloated pension costs and the increasingly inefficient provision of state services received a fraction of the coverage.

The federal government is now run by a president and Congress more responsive to union concerns than any in at least two decades. The same bloat currently bogging down statehouses and city halls is being duplicated in boomtown Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama even brought Andy Stern in to help warn Schwarzenegger that federal stimulus money would not be disbursed to California unless the governor rescinded some proposed state job cuts. Though that threat was later withdrawn, Schwarzenegger at press time was pushing for a measly work force reduction of 2 percent.

But there’s another interpretation of California’s rebellion, one with far sunnier implications for those of us who prefer our governments constrained. Faced with a political class that ignored bureaucratic inefficiency, that demanded higher taxes, that filled the newspapers with scare stories about people who will literally die as a result of budget cuts, the citizens of one of the bluest states in the nation collectively said we just don’t believe you anymore. If even California’s famous fruits and nuts can call the statists’ bluff, there may be hope for the rest of the country.

That may be the most (genuinely) optimistic sentence of the year. Read the whole thing
DiscerningTexan, 7/08/2009 07:07:00 PM | Permalink | |

Banks to California: Take your IOU's and shove 'em

With apologies to the Governator and the aparatchiks in the rotten-to-the-core California Assembly: Back to the drawing board!

(Don't be surprised if Obama asks the rest of us to bail out his California unions... and don't be surprised if by next year Obama's approval numbers are in the teens...)
DiscerningTexan, 7/08/2009 01:07:00 AM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Meet the New Bill, Same as the Old Bill

The new, "improved" socialized medicine bill is advertised as less expensive--but in reality it is even more dishonest and equally destructive:

So how does the new, apparently leaner Kennedy-Dodd bill cut the subsidy costs?

Part of the answer is a scaling-back from an outlandishly expansive starting point. The original version of Kennedy-Dodd contemplated subsidizing households with incomes all the way up to 500 percent of the poverty line. Even House Democrats found that to be too much. So Kennedy-Dodd 2.0 now sets the income limit at 400 percent of poverty.

But, beyond the lower income threshold, Senate Democrats, including Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, have also discovered the budgetary virtues of heavy-handed government decrees. If you want to expand insurance coverage, you can simply make people sign up for a plan — whether they want to or not. And to keep costs down for the government, you subsidize only those who get insurance outside of the workplace — and then write rules that make it nearly impossible for anyone to fall into that category. Presto! Government-run health-care paid for with the hidden taxes of government mandates.

According to the Census Bureau, there are about 102 million Americans under age 65 living in households with incomes between 150 and 400 percent of the poverty line — the presumed target population for subsidized insurance in the Kennedy-Dodd bill. But CBO said only about 20 million people in 2014 would get the subsidies under the revised version of the legislation. That’s because the authors sought to create a so-called “firewall” to prevent most workers from getting insurance outside the workplace if their employer offered a plan. And, of course, the bill would also impose severe, per-worker penalties on any employer that didn’t offer approved coverage. Only workers who would have to pay more than 12.5 percent of their income for a job-based plan could opt to get their insurance through the subsidized insurance arrangements, which CBO apparently assumes will be a relatively small number of people.

What’s ironic is that mandating enrollment in job-based insurance is about the most regressive way possible to expand coverage. Despite the perceptions, employment-based health insurance is financed by workers, not firms. The premiums for coverage implicitly reduce the cash compensation workers take home. In most companies, workers pay the same implicit premium for health insurance regardless of their age or health status or salary. That means the cost of enrolling in job-based coverage falls more heavily on low-wage workers than higher-salaried employees, which is why such a large percentage of the uninsured are in households that have access to a plan but chose not to enroll.

Democrats used to be sympathetic to the financial strain these workers are under. But that was before CBO said their sympathy would be expensive. So now the emerging plan is to make tens of millions of Americans pay more than they do today for government-approved insurance organized by their employer. That’s really their only choice. If they don’t take it, they will face a large financial penalty. Great deal, huh?

Congressional Democrats are between a rock and a hard place. They desperately want to pass a bill they can label “universal coverage,” but they have no coherent plan for making health-care provision more efficient and less costly. Thus, expanding coverage with new federal subsidies for a large segment of the population in the current cost environment is prohibitively expensive. Presented with these facts, the lead Democratic Senators could have chosen to write a more sensible reform plan focused first on building a functioning marketplace in which cost-conscious consumers would drive out unnecessary costs. But, instead, they have decided to plow ahead with their “universal coverage” plan, only now they want to impose the high cost of it on struggling workers. Their only hope is that the bill will pass before the public discovers what they are up to.

This Congress is made up of perhaps the greatest single collection of con artists in the history of planet Earth. Here is hoping that the public is quickly waking up to that fact.
DiscerningTexan, 7/07/2009 10:50:00 PM | Permalink | |