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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Why Hasn't He Spoken Out?

This comes as a real shocker. That vote that took place yesterday evening in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that sends Obama's health care bill on for an eventual floor vote included one interesting Democrat's name on the NAY side.

Rick Boucher.

Congressman Boucher (D-Abingdon) sided with every Republican on the committee (as well as four other Democrats) in an effort to kill it.

The question is WHY?

An answer comes from his website, perhaps:
I am skeptical of a government operated health care plan.* I prefer the creation of a health care cooperative, owned and operated by its members, which would compete with private, for-profit health care plans. As a non-profit, the cooperative would effectively serve as a check on the cost of health insurance generally.

Use of a cooperative instead of a public plan would also enhance our prospects of obtaining bi-partisan support for the reform effort. On a matter of this scope and importance to all Americans, I think that every reasonable effort should be made to enlist our Republican colleagues in drafting and passing the bill.

If there's going to be a public plan, its reimbursements for health care services should not be based on Medicare reimbursement rates. [link]
Is this why he voted against the Democrats' plan?

Most experts find his idea of creating a government-run cooperative that would compete with private insurers to be nothing more than pie-in-the-sky. A government-financed health care cooperative is still government-run health care and when the government gets into the business of competing with private insurers, the private insurers necessarily lose. And fold. The government, after all, has a bit of an advantage in that it prints the money and has a lot of experience at operating at a loss. Which it's prepared to do until the country collapses. And when all the private insurers cease doing business, we're left with ObamaCare, with all that that implies.

So we'd be right back where we started.

But Boucher voted NO on this awful, awful bill. And God love him for it.

Now if he could just lead the fight to bring actual competition to the health care industry, which is guaranteed to drive down costs, Southwest Virginia would really benefit from his actions.

- - -

* Boucher: "I am skeptical of a government operated health care plan." I'll make him eat those words if he turns around and votes in favor of ObamaCare when it reaches the floor.

** It should be noted that there is nothing preventing the creation of health care cooperatives now. get together with your friends and neighbors and create one, should you choose to. There is no need for the government to create the opportunity for you.

The reason that idea doesn't get off the ground, though, comes down to an issue of CASH. As always when dealing with health care. Thus the government steps in ...

Ah, Democrats

It looks like Virginia's Tom Perriello isn't the only person in Congress who finds constituents to be a nuisance. It seems California's Dianne Feinstein had a handful of them removed from her West Los Angeles office after they refused to leave before she spoke with them. Senior citizens no less:
Cops Bamboozle Old Timers to Leave Feinstein's Office
By Olsen Ebright, NBC Los Angeles

The healthcare debate really is getting ugly.

Police tricked a group of retirees who refused leave Sen. Dianne Feinstein's West Los Angeles office on Thursday.

The protesters demanded Feinstein talk to them about healthcare reform.

She wasn't having it, so police lured the seven protesters outside somehow and then locked the doors behind them, said Los Angeles police Sergeant Rich Brunson. [link]
A United States senator locking her doors to keep voters out. Doors that are owned by those voters, by the way. A metaphor of the times we live in.

A Note To The Elderly

There is no escaping these facts:

The largest bloc of government spending today for health care involves Medicare.

And fully a quarter of that government spending on health care is made in a patient's final year of life.

And Obama has made a commitment to reduce the cost of government outlays for health care.

It doesn't take a genius to see where the cuts are going to be made.

Just how long did you plan on living?

And don't count today.

I Chuckle

The New York Times heaps lots of praise this morning on Congress's freshman Democrats (see "In House, Freshman Democrats Make a Stand") for helping "not only to postpone a floor vote but also to spur concessions on cost and regional disparities" on that increasingly despised health care bill that those same freshmen Democrats on the energy and commerce committee rolled over and voted for anyway yesterday.

Praised for postponing a vote.

To "spur concessions on costs."

And on regional disparities.

Oh, the heroism.

What kind of courage it might have taken to vote NO on raising the national debt by an additional $1,400,000,000,000 isn't addressed.

What kind of courage it might have taken to vote NO on destroying the finest health care system ever devised by humankind isn't mentioned.

What kind of courage it might have taken to vote NO on a bill that will certainly bring about the rationing of care - particularly for the elderly - so as to "reduce costs" isn't touched.

What kind of courage it might have taken to vote NO on a measure that will force us to have a system comparable the much-maligned and universally hated British universal health care system isn't even noted.

No, the freshmen Democrats - including Virginia's Tom Perriello - are lauded for spurring concessions on regional disparities. And for delaying a vote that each fully intends to participate in eventually. A vote that most assuredly will be in favor of all the above, eventually.

Odd definition of courage, if you ask me.

Scientists Are Stepping Up

Real scientists. Not former vice president, Nobel winning, faux scientists:
Climate change? Not so fast say Scientists
By Diana Cotter, Portland Examiner

Its become a mantra on the left…

"Manmade Global Climate Change!"

"We must HALT it!"

"We're DOOMED!"

Good grief, many of us are old enough to recall the last time the public consciousness was assaulted with this utter nonsense. Then it was all about global COOLING. Today it’s Global WARMING. Those who have been chanting this mantra have simply switched sides of the mantra fence they are chanting on, and have been at this for decades. The surprising part is; masses of gullible people still believe them!

Liberals have enjoyed this particular niche for decades. For them it has become that comfy pillow and blankie they just can’t give up.

Thankfully real scientists are now fighting back. Successfully! [link]
Read the whole thing. Those "scientists" who declare the subject to be settled and beyond debate - as Professor Al Gore does - are finding themselves being criticized mightily by their colleagues.

There is, in fact, plenty of room for debate. The statistical data that pours in doesn't support the notion that the planet is warming at all. Nor has any scientist proven that the increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (which are occurring) means humans have brought that increase about, or even that it's necessarily a bad thing.

Computer modeling is fine. But only for the purpose of developing postulates. Scientists - real scientists - will want to test those propositions against real world circumstances at some point. To germinate a theory and then declare it to be inviolable is at least stupid, and at worst dangerous.

So, scientists, unless you want to be accused of being Scientologists, be scientists!

How Much More Progressive Can It Get?

This is nothing to cheer about:
Tax Burden of Top 1% Now Exceeds That of Bottom 95%
By Scott A. Hodge, The Tax Foundation

Newly released data from the IRS clearly debunks the conventional Beltway rhetoric that the "rich" are not paying their fair share of taxes.

Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history.

Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined.

To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined. [link]
I have two reactions:

1) It won't be enough to satisfy those bigots in this country who hate the rich. They will demand more wealth confiscation from those who actually make this country work, until those who had wealth have no more wealth, and this country no longer works.

2) The USA is running the risk of being like California, where the state depends so heavily on tax revenue from the wealthiest citizens thereof - a very finite number of people. When a downturn in the economy forces the rich to cut back, or the tax burden forces them to move to Idaho, California suffers a monumental budget shortfall. The inharmonious nature of progressive taxation makes for gross instability.

But who cares about instability? Americans demand more free stuff from their government and don't care where it comes from. (They don't even care if it simply comes from a printing press and has never been offset by tax revenue). Cash for clunkers? Bring it, baby. "Free" health care? Tomorrow won't be soon enough.

We'll soak the rich until we can't. And when it all comes crashing down, we'll blame them for having ruined the America we knew and loved.

For the love of God.

On 'Cash For Clunkers'

I read the news that informs us that the government program in which $4,500 is being paid out to anyone who buys a new car and uses an old one as a trade-in is in complete disarray and ran out of cash in a matter of hours after the program began.

And I think about the fact that it'll be the same government bureaucrats running this fouled-up program in charge of telling surgeons how they'll be performing heart transplants in the not too distant future when ObamaCare is thrust upon us.

Why am I not enthused by that?

A separate thought: Any bets on whether we find out in months to come that people took advantage of the easy federal cash (that would be your cash, ahem) for their trash that had been under a tarp out back of the shed ($4,500!) in the same way Americans took advantage of those silly and misguided gun buy-back programs in which non-functioning and worthless firearms were traded for government moola?

Personally, I have no doubt. Americans aren't stupid. Some fool offers me $4,500 for a car that I couldn't get $75 for on eBay is getting my car.

Happiness To Go Around

I'm hearing that the "cash for clunkers" program, even though it has just gotten off the ground, is benefiting a lot of auto mechanics at America's dealerships.

The cars being traded in for federal cash are designated for termination. (See "Dealers Race to Get Their Clunkers Crushed") for details on how that is supposed to work). And enterprising mechanics are stripping everything from tires to wheels to seats to hoods and fenders from them before the junkers are sent off to the scrap heap.

Expect eBay to get a real workout from the Democrats' latest brainstorm.

The owner benefits.

The dealer benefits.

The mechanic benefits.

The eBay bidder - and new owner of that deluxe Chevy Caprice front driver's side quarter panel benefits.

Call it the Trickle Down Theory of Economic Prosperity.

Oh, did I forget to account for the taxpayer in the hug fest?

Uh, well, you don't benefit. You get screwed. But try to understand that you're helping the environment. And the fella who owned that piece of shit. And the dealer who took that piece of shit off his hands. And the mechanic ...