Monday, August 13, 2012

The Democrats are trying to end Medicare as we know it.

Yes the headline is demagoguery and sensational, but it was meant to prove a point.  No, I don't think that Democrats are really want to end Medicare, but rather than engage in a fact based debate, the Democrats keep leveling this charge about Paul Ryan's proposal to bring Medicare back from the brink of fiscal ruin.

The left has been trying to paint Paul Ryan's medicare plan as something that will "destroy medicare as we know it."  The irony and hypocrisy in this statement is simply startling.  In fact I am absolutely sick and tired of the left's continual demagoguery of virtually every Republican's proposed solution to the very real fiscal problems that are combining to form a real threat to the future of the Republic. Rather than have a real debate where both sides can discuss how to solve problems, the left simply use scare tactics and vitriolic rhetoric in an attempt to just squash real debate, but I digress.

There are a few things that need to be pointed out, before a serious discussion can ensue about what needs to be done to salvage a dying program:

1)If nothing changes, Medicare will become insolvent in 12 years.  Now this is not some talking point from the Right, but rather this is the assessment and prediction of doom comes from the Department of Health and Human Services own report.  HERE is a link to an NPR story from last year detailing the when Medicare will become insolvent.

2)Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal in his budget (a budget that got more votes in both houses than President Obama's own budget proposals) does not change the benefit structure to anyone 55 an over.  This means that people who are either in the program already or are going to be entering the program in the next 10 years, will see no changes to Medicare, or will get exactly the same care that people already in the program currently enjoy.

3)President Obama and the Democrats have already cut Medicare by more than $700 billion dollars.  Well, I should not say cut, but rather they have raided medicare in an attempt to paint ObamaCare (The Affordable Care Act) as deficit neutral.  This accounting gimmick was used in the run up to the passage of ObamaCare so that the Democrats could say that ObamaCare would not add to the deficit.  Never mind that this has now been proven false, but one must wonder why the press has simply ignored this fact.  Had a Republican cut medicare like this, the press and the left would have eviscerated Republicans and claimed that they were trying to kill granny.  Obama cuts medicare and all we hear are crickets.

So, to play the Dem's game, one must ask two questions.  Why are Democrats trying to end Medicare as we know it and why are Democrats trying to kill seniors?  They have cut medicare by more than $700 billion, and by doing nothing, to fix the program's coming insolvency, the program is doomed.

Do I think this type of rhetoric is stupid? Yes. And I hate to even stoop so low, but I am so frustrated that the left, rather than have a debate on Obama's record and the differences in philosophy and the direction for this country, they have descended into demagoguery and distortions, the likes of which I have ever seen.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Monopolies are not just a problem in the Private Sector

"The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly — whether private or governmental."--Milton Friedman

As I have become a recent disciple of the late great champion of capitalism, Milton Friedman, my mind has been abuzz with the ideas of true capitalism and its power to lift people out of poverty.  There is a reason why the USA has been the greatest economic success story Earth's history has ever seen. It is because the constitution protects peoples' right to pursue their own self interest.  The pursuit of self interest is the driving force behind capitalism.  I would venture to guess that very few successful entrepreneurs ever started a business with the idea of providing benefits or charity to the masses as said entrepreneur's primary goal. A company opens its doors because the person or people who start that business want to, at the very least, earn an income that gives them financial independence without having to answer to someone else.  It is why, when one finds pockets of capitalism that are somehow shielded from government intervention, these sectors explode.  That is until government feels the need to extend its constricting tentacles and choke off the innovation that comes only when a person is able to pursue his or her own self interest.

Unfortunately since power is so enticing, the nature of most people is to consolidate that power.  The logical result of this within business is the monopoly, which almost everyone believes is a bad thing.  But, Is not an all powerful central government another form of a monopoly and just as dangerous as a private sector monopoly? Why is it that liberals, who will be the first to rightfully condemn private monopolies, are so blinded by their ideology to not recognize that centralized planning of any portion of the economy is a monopoly?  Do we not have numerous examples within the brief history of our own country that illustrate this point perfectly?  For every "Ma Bell" (which was broken up by the US government) there is a myriad of examples within the government where power has been consolidated, and the result is mismanagement, ineffectiveness and corruption.  There are anti-trust laws that allow government to regulate and break up monopolies as they get too powerful.  Now I am not arguing the efficacy or prudence of such laws (I personally think that the market will eventually take care of itself in these matters), but ask this question:
What recourse do citizens have when a portion of government has grown to big and unwieldy and has become a public "monopoly?"  Where can we go to break up such a monopoly?

People may try to argue that government will somehow be "fairer" as it takes care and provides for the  people.  First, who defines what is fair?  I certainly will have a different view of what is fair in comparison to someone else. Second and more importantly, History shows us that this notion is flawed anyway.  In almost every case government entities waste millions, if not billions of dollars, are unwieldy, and continually grow larger and larger, while providing fewer and fewer benefits to the masses and almost always at a greater expense to the public.

One can look at Public Education, Social Security, Medicare, The US Postal Service, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (just to name a few) and acknowledge their abject failures, or worse the ticking economic neuclear bomb that will go off if not defused, and wonder why do so many seemingly smart people  think that with something like health care, government will be able to finally do it right.

History tells me that the outcome of Obamacare (and subsequently single payer health care) will be no different than what we have gotten with some of the things I have named.

Someone once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result."  Insanity indeed.

No, there is no anti-Israel Bias at the NY Times.

Recently the New York Times published an Op-Ed of a Palestinian who describes the deplorable conditions that he says exist in Israeli prison...