Monthly Archives: August 2009

Why not uncouple health insurance from employment?

President Obama has the healthcare train barreling down the tracks loaded with promises of health insurance for all and no knowledge of the tracks that lie ahead. He has hired Congress to stoke its engine with the wealth of the American people, while burning through trillions of dollars on other efforts to nationalize the private sector.

If real healthcare reform is what the President desires, there is a better way to make health insurance affordable than socializing 15% of the US economy. Continue reading

Fiscal epiphany for Ritter & Bennet? Unlikely

Impending mortality tends to focus the mind, and looming elections tend to focus politicians’ ears on vox populi. But just as theologians debate the sincerity of “deathbed conversions,” voters should be skeptical of lawmakers who find religion as elections near.

Although 15 months remain until the 2010 elections, Democrats are learning — just as Republicans discovered after their 2004 victory tour — how quickly the political winds can shift for the party in power. Continue reading

America’s spiritual core awakens

The secular progressive movement has been effective in limiting the spiritual component of issues from being more significant in popular discourse. In fact, spiritual aspects of issues have been ignored completely by the mainstream news and most political office holders. But the passion of the crowds and the grassroots nature of the opposition to President Obama’s health care overhaul is I believe derived from our nation’s spiritual core as much as it is from intellectual evaluation.

The spiritual question we face as a nation is simple and comprehensive, it is: “Is there enough?” Continue reading

Temper fear with facts on ‘fracing,’ Bidgood urges

Prof. Thomas Bidgood of the CCU science faculty, an officer of the American Association of Professional Geologists, draws our attention to an open forum on the contentious issue of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas development in Colorado, convened by AIPG in Glenwood Springs this Saturday, August 8. Details and registration here.

This Denver Post ran this major story on hydrofracing last week. Media coverage of the technique, said Bidgood, has tended to be “alarmist and ill-informed—as is most coverage of resource (hydrocarbon or mineral) issues. Continue reading

My two cents on health care

How about Nancy Pelosi ranting against health insurance companies, calling them “immoral” and “the villains” in opposing a government takeover of health care (while of course keeping up their saintly and righteous campaign contributions to her). Details here. This is the “big lie” style of demagoguery that Democrats are adopting more and more.

The big lie in this case is Pelosi’s and Obama’s misdirection of blame. The biggest villains in our massively screwed-up health insurance industry are the federal and state governments and their lobby-driven tax policies, mandates and restrictions regarding what kinds of coverage the insurance companies are permitted and not permitted to offer, plus the market distortions resulting from Medicare and Medicaid and the requirement that coverage not cross state lines. The politicians have assaulted health care economics on all fronts for decades, and now they want to finish it off. Continue reading

Fear of entitlement ‘third rail’ impedes fiscal rescue

When it comes to the outrageous expansion of the federal debt, neither political party comes out unscathed. In January of 2001, the debt was $5.7 trillion. Now, after 8.4 years of a Bush-Obama spending spree, it stands at $11.4 trillion, with Congressional Budget Office estimates putting it at 82% of GDP by 2019 if the current course is sustained. The threat of fiscal calamity is now undeniable, revealing to every American, with stark clarity, the necessity to address the nation’s fiscal crisis. Continue reading

Redistributive US tax code would shock Founders

How much of America’s total tax burden is now borne by a tiny fraction of our total population? An astonishing and disturbing amount. Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation reports on recent IRS data about the rate of tax receipts in the United States:

… 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. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago. Continue reading

Lonely liberal luminaries marooned in ‘stupid America’

Entertainer Bill Maher commented this week that America is a stupid nation. Of course he is correct: any nation that pays well for this type of comedy is stupid. But this gives reasonable observers a real insight into the liberal mindset. An aphorism I often use is, “liberals are sure they are smarter than we, conservatives are sure they are more moral than we.” The former is obviously not true and the latter is for a different discussion. But Maher illustrates the former in action. Continue reading

Will car tax undo Dems?

Or will they undo it? Enroute to a defeat for governor of Virginia, the Democrat blamed his loss on “the slogan from hell: ‘No Car Tax.’” That was Don Beyer when Jim Gilmore beat him in 1997.

Unseated as governor of Arkansas, the Democrat realized he had “unwisely raised the state motor vehicle tax,” writes biographer Nigel Hamilton. A visitor “found him on the floor, bawling like a baby,” and railing at Jimmy Carter. That was Bill Clinton after Frank White humiliated him in 1980. Continue reading