Epic, Mega, Ultra, Apocalyptic Levels of Sucking
Quoting Frank J.:
Now let’s look at what led us to the political situation we’re in. During the second term of the Bush presidency people just got fed up with Republicans. They were idiots, they were no good at the whole fiscal conservatism thing (which is sort of the whole point of them), we had these wars that seemed to be going nowhere, and the economy was beginning to fail. They sucked, and people were sick and tired of them.
Thus people turned to the Democrats. And Obama.
Let’s just say they also sucked.
AMERICANS: "So, the economy is pretty bad and there’s high employment. You think you can do something about that?"
DEMOCRATS AND OBAMA: "We can spend a trillion dollars we don’t have on pork and stuff."
AMERICANS: "No ... that’s not what we want. We’d really like you not to do that."
DEMOCRATS: "You’re stupid. We’re doing it anyway."
AMERICANS: "That’s not going to help us get jobs!"
DEMOCRATS: "Sure it will; millions of them ... though they may be invisible. You’ll have to trust us they exist. And guess what else we’ll do: We’ll create a giant new government program to take over health care."
AMERICANS: "That has nothing to do with jobs!"
DEMOCRATS: "We don’t care about that anymore. We really want a giant new health care program. We’re sure you’ll love it."
AMERICANS: "Don’t pass that bill. You hear me? Absolutely do not pass that bill."
DEMOCRATS: "Believe me; you’ll love it. It has ... well, I don’t know what exactly is in the bill, but we’re sure it’s great."
AMERICANS: "Listen to me: DO. NOT. PASS. THAT. BILL."
DEMOCRATS: "You’re not the boss of me! We’re doing it anyway!"
AMERICANS: "Look what you did! Now the economy is way worse, we’re even deeper in debt, and we have a bunch of new laws we don’t want!"
DEMOCRATS: "You’re racist."
AMERICANS: "Wha ... How is that racist?"
DEMOCRATS: "Now you’re getting violent! Stop being violent and racist, you ignorant hillbillies! And remember to vote Democrat in November."
The Job Creation and Small Business Relief Act of 2010
Quoting John Hayward:
ObamaCare is the most powerful job-killing force unleashed against our economy in decades. It dramatically increases the cost of labor, and applies huge fines against companies that resist its mandates. Companies such as Caterpillar, John Deere, Prudential, and AT&T responded by announcing thousands of layoffs. This is a perfectly rational reaction to a bill that dramatically increases the cost of labor, especially when the legislation keeps mutating and producing expensive new horrors, such as the nationalization of student loans that wiped out thousands of jobs at Sallie Mae.
Small businesses that depend on flexible work forces were mauled with particular ferocity by ObamaCare. For example, New Hampshire ski resorts employ hundreds of seasonal workers, who put in just enough hours to attract ObamaCareís merciless hellfire eye. The resorts will face millions in additional cost if they comply with the health-care mandate, and millions in fines if they do not. Dramatically scaling back the work force, and attendant services to their customers, is the only way for them to escape.
How Government Unions Became So Powerful
Or, How the Unions Begat the Ruling Class:
Quoting Amity Shlaes:
This weekend we celebrate Labor Day in a country divided between two kinds of workers. The first is the private-sector worker, the vulnerable one who rides the business cycle without shock absorbers. The second worker, who works for the government, lives a cushioned existence in which terminations take years, pension amounts are often guaranteed, and recessions are only thunder in the distance. Yet worse than this division is the knowledge that the private-sector worker will pay for public-sector comfort with ever higher taxes.
The New Racism
This week on the Factor, Bernie Goldberg made this comment about the new "racism":
George Bush was a racist because of Katrina. A prominent liberal magazine online said if Obama doesn’t win the election in 2008, it was because of white racism. If you’re against Obamacare, you’re a racist. If you’re against affirmative action, you’re a racist. If you have anything to do with Fox News, you’re a racist.
Of course, that’s only a partial list. If you believe that everyone should pay taxes, you’re a racist. If you think America should have secure borders, you’re a racist. If you think that states should be able to enforce their borders, you’re a racist. If you think that alleged political corruption should be investigated even when the politicians in question are black, you’re a racist.
Let’s just stop beating around the bush here: if you’re anything other than a political liberal, you might as well be a card-carrying member of the KKK because obviously you’re a racist.
And all of this under our first "post-racial" president. The fact is, too many liberals see everything through the lens of race, and until those kinds of people grow up, any talk of a post-racial America is just wishful thinking. Of course, those kinds of people are dishonest by definition, so don’t hold your breath waiting for them to admit the fact that most Americans -- including most conservatives -- are not racist.
Feeling Insufficiently Crushed by Tax Burdens?
Quoting Doc Zero:
We’ll suffer again when massive tax increases slam into a recessionary economy, pulverizing everyone except their ostensible targets. Contrary to the drivel pushed by increasingly nervous liberals, the fatal flaw in our current system is uncontrolled spending, not insufficiently crushing tax burdens.
The doctor is commenting on Art Laffer’s piece documenting the fact that raising tax rates on the rich results in less tax revenue for the government, while also hurting the middle class by damaging the economy. He includes this quote from JFK in 1963:
Quoting John F. Kennedy:
Tax reduction thus sets off a process that can bring gains for everyone, gains won by marshalling resources that would otherwise stand idle -- workers without jobs and farm and factory capacity without markets. Yet many taxpayers seemed prepared to deny the nation the fruits of tax reduction because they question the financial soundness of reducing taxes when the federal budget is already in deficit. Let me make clear why, in today’s economy, fiscal prudence and responsibility call for tax reduction even if it temporarily enlarged the federal deficit -- why reducing taxes is the best way open to us to increase revenues.
If JFK could understand this concept fifty years ago, you’d think that the liberals in the current administration could understand it too.
Quoting Glenn Reynolds:
Personally, I believe that "fairness" consists in the fruits of my labor not being taken by corrupt hacks to redistribute to their cronies in exchange for votes.
The Ruling Class, Their Heels, and Our Throats
America is struggling with a sputtering economy and high unemployment -- but times are booming for Washington’s governing class.
The massive expansion of government under President Barack Obama has basically guaranteed a robust job market for policy professionals, regulators and contractors for years to come. The housing market, boosted by the large number of high-income earners in the area, many working in politics and government, is easily outpacing the markets in most of the country. [...]
As a result, there is a yawning gap between the American people and D.C.’s powerful when it comes to their economic reality -- and their economic perceptions.
A new POLITICO poll, conducted by market research and consulting firm Penn Schoen Berland, underscores the big divide: Roughly 45 percent of "Washington elites" said the country and the economy are headed in the right direction, while roughly 25 percent of the general population said they felt that way.
Great Daily Kos Piece on Protecting Second-Amendment Rights
Quoting Kaili Joy Gray:
Liberals can quote legal precedent, news reports, and exhaustive studies. They can talk about the intentions of the Founders. They can argue at length against the tyranny of the government. And they will, almost without exception, conclude the necessity of respecting, and not restricting, civil liberties.
Except for one: the right to keep and bear arms.
When it comes to discussing the Second Amendment, liberals check rational thought at the door. They dismiss approximately 40% of American households that own one or more guns, and those who fight to protect the Second Amendment, as "gun nuts." They argue for greater restrictions. [...]
Those who fight against Second Amendment rights cite statistics about gun violence, as if such numbers are evidence enough that our rights should be restricted. But Chicago and Washington DC, the two cities from which came the most recent Supreme Court decisions on Second Amendment rights, had some of the most restrictive laws in the nation, and also some of the highest rates of violent crime. Clearly, such restrictions do not correlate with preventing crime. [...]
The Bill of Rights protects individual rights. If you’ve read the Bill of Rights -- and who among us hasn’t? -- you will notice a phrase that appears in nearly all of them: "the people." [...]
Certainly, no good liberal would argue that any of these rights are collective rights, and not individual rights. We believe that the First Amendment is an individual right to criticize our government. [...] And yet, despite the recent Heller and McDonald decisions, liberals stumble at the idea of the Second Amendment as an individual right. They take the position that the Founders intended an entirely different meaning by the phrase "the right of the people" in the Second Amendment, even though they are so positively clear about what that phrase means in the First Amendment. [...]
But it’s different! The Second Amendment is talking about the militia! If you want to "bear arms," join the National Guard! Right? Wrong.
Aside from the fact that the National Guard did not exist in the 1700s, the term "militia" does not mean "National Guard," even today. The code clearly states that two classes comprise the militia: the National Guard and Naval Militia, and everyone else.
Everyone else. Individuals. The People.
The Founders well understood that the militia is the people, for it was not only the right but the obligation of all citizens to protect and preserve their liberty and to defend themselves from the tyranny of the government.
Obama's Foremost Goal for NASA
What do you suppose President Obama would specify as the foremost goal of NASA? Something related to space, perhaps? Don’t be silly.
Quoting NASA Administrator Charles Bolden:
When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- [Obama] charged me with three things ... perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science...
Obviously, what NASA really needs to do is find ways to boost the self-esteem of Muslim nations.
Is it too much to ask for junior-senators-turned-presidents to know what NASA actually is?
The Purpose of Government
Quoting Jerry Pournelle:
The purpose of public education, in theory, is to teach skills that will make the next generation productive. Productivity is the key to wealth. Does anyone seriously suppose that this is the purpose of public education now? Or that, if it were the purpose, that is being accomplished? The purpose of public education is to support the employees of the public education system. Anything else is a long way secondary to that.
I could continue, but surely the point is made? The purpose of government is to hire and support government workers. Anything else is a long way secondary to that.
Hyundai Says FU to PC BS
If you’ve watched any TV during the past 20 years, then you know the rule of political correctness in advertising: in any disagreement, confrontation, or conflict between a white person and a non-white person, or a man and a non-man, the result must be that the person who is white and/or male is the "loser" in the situation, with bonus points for portraying the white/male as an utterly incompetent fool.
Which is why this Hyundai Sonata commercial shocked and
appalled delighted me.
Misstatement of the Year
Quoting Dudi Cohen:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei ... is considered a close affiliate of the Iranian president and has previously caused a stir by saying that Iran was "a friend of the Israeli people". He later retracted this statement and issued a contrary one saying Israel should be destroyed.
I, too, always mix up "friend" and "destroy".
Our Congress is a disgrace
Have you seen this video?
A visiting head of state insults the laws of a member of our union that borders his, and Federal lawmakers stand to applaud him.
Every one of these applauders should be voted out next election. This is a disgrace.
Gulf disaster on level of Three Mile Island
Well that’s certainly the absurd headline of the day. The TMI partial meltdown resulted in no deaths, no injuries, and no significant release of radiation; it was about the best possible outcome you could hope for in the event of a nuclear meltdown. So how exactly is the Deepwater Horizon disaster "on the level of" TMI, considering that it’s killed 11 people and leaked several million gallons of oil into the gulf?
Or perhaps by "on the level of" he means that it will result in a decades-long stagnation of another vital energy industry within the US, while other countries move ahead with the technology?
But this article’s stupidity isn’t limited to its headline:
"Creating an independent blue-ribbon panel on this oil spill will help provide the recommendations to ensure that similar disasters do not happen again," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
No, it won’t. Anyone with half a brain knows it won’t. You can’t prevent accidents; all you can do is plan better responses to them. And since the federal government has proven that it cannot or will not respond effectively to these kinds of issues -- from Katrina to Deepwater Horizon to the southern border -- it’s clear that relying on any such federal response is a recipe for further disaster.
Black Hole Government
In an interesting piece about how to get to space, Jerry Pournelle describes a dangerous feedback loop in our government:
Quoting Jerry Pournelle:
It isn’t strictly true that government always mucks things up, but it’s often enough so. A, if not the, major purpose of government is to extract money from non-government and use it to hire and pay government employees. This guarantees that government will always expand; and there inevitably comes a point at which the addition of people to a project has a negative impact. Almost all long-standing government agencies and projects have people who are worse than merely useless, they are in the way; and the more conscientious they are about earning their pay the more they tend to get in the gears and bring progress to a halt.
And this was written ten years ago, before the public pensions disaster came to a head.
Shocker: Obama's Claims on Bank Reform Don't Match Reality
Quoting NPR’s Adam Davidson:
We at Planet Money did an informal survey of economists and regulatory experts on the left and the right. We couldn’t find any who fully endorse the reforms backed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress. [...]
"A vote for reform is a vote to put a stop to taxpayer-funded bailouts," Obama said in his speech in New York on Thursday.
I cannot find any experts -- of any party -- who are willing to agree with Obama on this one.
Next thing you know they’ll be telling us that ObamaCare isn’t actually going to cut costs after all. Er, wait...
How to Fix the IRS: Nuke it From Orbit
While doing my taxes, I read something about the "EITC". I wondered what that was, so I looked it up. I arrived at the IRS website, on a helpful page that purported to tell me whether I’m eligible for this tax credit.
Ten minutes and several pages of questions later, I finally got to a page containing questions like these:
"Are you or your spouse younger than your relative?"
"Did you file only to claim a refund and neither spouse was required to file a refund?"
That’s where I gave up.
Taxpayers and Freeloaders
Nearly half of US households pay no federal income tax:
Quoting Yahoo Finance:
Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it’s simply somebody else’s problem. [...]
In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009 [...]
The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education.
Of all the ways in which this country is screwed up, this is one of the worst. Representation without taxation is no better than the reverse. If you don’t pay taxes, you shouldn’t be able to vote; and why don’t you go find some other country to be a parasite in?
Glenn Reynolds has it right:
Everyone should pay at least some income tax. And everyone’s tax bill should go up or down whenever federal spending does. Alternatively, we should abolish the income tax and replace it with a sales tax that varies in the same fashion.
Related: How to Cut Government Pay:
Government employees on average have higher pay and bigger benefits than the private-sector employees who support them with taxes. This has become a well known fact.
When private firms run extended losses -- spending more money than they take in -- their employees must share in the necessary adjustments. But how about when governments spend much more than they take in, running huge and extended deficits? What should happen then? This is something Americans who work in private companies might consider while they file their tax returns over the next week.
It’s outrageous that half the country pays no federal income tax, and equally outrageous that the government continually spends money it doesn’t have. I was going to say it’s outrageous that more people aren’t more outraged over these two issues, but it’s actually not: half the country believes this is unfair, and they’re the Tea Partiers; the other half is the half who are freeloading, so of course they don’t mind.
Right-Wing Nuts Plot Attacks Against Cops
Quoting Joshua Rhett Miller:
Nine suspects associated with Hutaree, which is purportedly a Christian-based militia group, have been charged with conspiring to kill police officers and then attack a funeral in hopes of killing more law enforcement officials, federal prosecutors said Monday. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because the militia members were planning an attack sometime in April.
Cue the left-wing nuts in the media and online, frothing at the mouth with their gleeful comments about this, claiming it proves that Christians are dangerous extremists. The nuts don’t care about facts, but reasonable people realize that these kinds of isolated incidents are exceptions, and that these conspirators are not typical Christians, nor do they represent what Christianity is about. As a Christian, I condemn the attacks that these conspirators were evidently planning, and most other Christians would too.
ObamaCare: The Aftermath
Democrats to America: Drop dead:
Quoting Washington Examiner:
Never before in American history has a measure of such importance been imposed on the country by the majority party over the unanimous opposition of the minority. Democrats have continually sought to create a halo effect for Obamacare by associating it with Social Security and Medicare. But the reality is that both of those landmark programs were approved with strong bipartisan support in both the Senate and House. ... Such bipartisan consensus was what the Founders sought with the Constitution. But Democrats made a mockery of bipartisanship by shoving Obamacare down the throats of Republican lawmakers and snubbing the popular majority that opposed it.
Senator Lamar Alexander’s response:
Quoting Lamar Alexander:
This is an historic mistake. And unlike Social Security, Medicare and civil rights legislation, the only thing bipartisan about it is the opposition to it.
The mistake is to expand a health care delivery system that is already too expensive instead of reducing its cost so more Americans can afford health insurance.
This taxes job creators in the middle of a recession. It means Medicare cuts and premium increases for millions of Americans. When you include the cost of paying doctors who serve Medicare patients, it will increase the national debt.
A warning and a reminder that Democrats haven’t cornered the market on slimeballery:
Quoting Megan McArdle:
Republicans and other opponents of the bill did their job on this; they persuaded the country that they didn’t want this bill. And that mattered basically not at all. If you don’t find that terrifying, let me suggest that you are a Democrat who has not yet contemplated what Republicans might do under similar circumstances.
And make no mistake about what the Democrats’ end-game is:
Quoting Jerry Pournelle:
The health care bill was ideological, transformational, unpopular, and not well understood -- indeed we still don’t know the details. It is almost certainly the beginning of the end for the private health insurance industry (although something called that may survive as a highly regulated, highly subsidized, public utility). Any "insurance" policy that requires the insurer to accept anyone regardless of their pre-conditions at the same premium it charges those without the conditions is not insurance, it is an entitlement; and no company can afford to do that. First they will have to raise premiums for everyone since the healthy will have to pay for the unhealthy. As those premiums rise fewer and fewer can afford them. Over time more and more will go to the "exchanges" and subsidies. Over time the system becomes the single payer system you see in other countries.
That may be all to the good, but the majority of the American people don’t think so, and the majority of taxpayers decisively don’t think so.
ObamaCare is the opposite of reform.
Quoting Jonah Goldberg:
Insurance companies are now heavily regulated government contractors. Way to get big business out of Washington! They will clear a small, government-approved profit on top of their government-approved fees. Then, when healthcare costs rise -- and they will -- Democrats will insist, yet again, that the profit motive is to blame and out from this Obamacare Trojan horse will pour another army of liberals demanding a more honest version of single-payer.
When it becomes obvious that ObamaCare has failed, having made healthcare worse yet more expensive, guess what the Democrats’ solution will be: more government spending and more government control.
President Obama: "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US"
From Obama’s Speech after the ObamaCare vote:
Quoting President Obama:
We proved that this government still works for the people
Really? By voting for a bill that most Americans oppose? A bill that, at 2700 pages, no American is likely to ever read in its entirety, let alone comprehend?
Quoting President Obama:
Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party
Odd, considering that only one party voted for the bill...
Quoting President Obama:
It will reduce our deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade, and more than $1 trillion in the decade after that
Noted for future reference. And not in a good way.
Quoting President Obama:
This is what change looks like
Yeah, I guess this must be the change; it sure ain’t the hope...
Quoting President Obama:
On Tuesday the senate will take up revisions to this legislation ... revisions that removed provisions that had no place in it
You mean like the government takeover of the student loan industry that you quietly snuck into this totally unrelated bill?
Why America Hates Universal Health Care: The Real Reason
Well, there are plenty of real reasons, but this is a good one:
I’m perfectly willing to provide subsidized health care to people who are suffering due to no fault of their own. But in those cases -- which, unfortunately, constitute perhaps a majority of all cases -- where the unwellness is a consequence of the patient’s own misdeeds, bad habits, or stupid choices, I feel a deep-seated resentment that the rest of us should pick up the tab to fix medical problems that never should have happened in the first place.
I’m speaking specifically of medical problems caused by:
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol abuse
- Reckless behavior
- Criminal activity
- Unprotected promiscuous sex
- Use of illicit drugs
- Cultural traditions
- Bad diets
Now, I really don’t care if you overeat, smoke like a chimney, hump like a bunny or forget to lock the safety mechanism on your pistol as you jam it in your waistband. Fine by me. And as a laissez-faire social-libertarian live-and-let-live kind of person, I would never under normal circumstances condemn anyone for any of the behaviors listed above. That is: Until the bill for your stupidity shows up in my mailbox. Then suddenly, I’m forced to care about what you do, because I’m being forced to pay for the consequences. [...]
Do you want that? No. Do I want that? No. And that’s the point. Instituting a single-payer universal health-care system, or even a watered-down version as the government is now proposing, compels me to become a meddlesome busybody in your personal choices. [...]
That’s what socialized medicine does: it turns each of us into a little fascist. A nagging nanny who tells other people what to do and how to live.
The White House Kindly Requests You Do Not Refer to Its Health Care Budget Gimmicks as "Gimmicks"
Peter Suderman at Reason:
The issue with backloading spending isn’t that it hides deficit spending; it’s that it hides the full cost of the bill, thus making it politically viable. When early drafts of health care reform rang up at around $1.6 trillion, Washington underwent a massive freakout; it became clear that passing a bill with that kind of price tag was almost certainly impossible. So Obama gave Congress a target of "around $900 billion" for the bill, and one of the ways the lower figure was achieved was by starting the taxes revenue mechanisms immediately but holding off on implementing the benefits. That allowed for the Senate bill’s politically convenient $850 billion score while disguising the fact that the true cost of a full ten years of the bill’s programs is actually more like $1.8 trillion (and that’s not counting the trillion-plus in additional costs imposed by an individual mandate).
Ed Morrissey has more on these scumbag tactics:
This is why they’re delaying the start of the program, of course. If it kicked in right away, the decade-long estimate would obviously be well into the trillions. So they simply stalled it for four years, incurring just $17 billion in costs - or 1.8 percent of the total 10-year estimate - through 2013 so that wavering Democrats could go back to their districts and tell baldfaced lies to their constituents about the pricetag. A perfect ending to this travesty.
To call these "gimmicks" is to be extremely generous. They’ll start collecting the increased taxes right away, but the bulk of the benefits won’t kick in for years, just so they can lie and say it costs less than half of what it actually costs, since they’re only talking about the first 10 years. Despicable.
Why Even I Must Oppose My Cousin Barack's Health Care Plan
Milton Wolf on Obamacare:
Obamacare proponents would have us believe that we will add 30 million patients to the system without adding providers, we will see no decline in the quality of care for the millions of Americans currently happy with the system, and -if you act now!- we will save money in the process. But why stop there? Why not promise it will no longer rain on weekends and every day will be a great hair day? [...]
I believe there is a better way. The problems in the American health care system are not caused by a shortage of government intrusion. They will not be solved by more government intrusion. In fact, our current problems were precisely, though unintentionally, created by government.
World War II-era wage-control measures - a form of price controls - ushered in a perverted system in which we turn to our employers for insurance and the government penalizes us if we choose to purchase insurance for ourselves. You are not given the opportunity to be a wise consumer of health care and compare prices as well as quality in any meaningful way. Worse still, your insurance company is not answerable to you because you are not its customer. It is answerable to your employer, whose interests differ from your own.
Read the whole thing.
Meanwhile, the treasurer of Massachusetts, where they’ve already tried government-run health care, fears that Obamacare will bankrupt the country.
Sudden Acceleration Problems
Glenn Reynolds on the
Government Motors government inquiry into Toyota’s potential brake/accelerator issue:
Quoting Glenn Reynolds:
Personally, Iíd like to see some Congressmen forced to testify before a panel of car dealers, about the budget deficitís Sudden Acceleration Problem.