Author Archives: Quincy

Reagan v. Obama: The quote-tacular showdown

Over at Pajamas Media, Roger Kimball offers up a nice compare and contrast of quotes between a great president and our current bumbler in chief.  Here’s an example:

Reagan: “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.”

The current President of the United States: “As President, I will sign a universal health care plan into law by the end of my first term in office.”

The full piece is worth a read.

Stimulus vs. Stability

In Barack Obama’s first press conference, he says the following:

“It is absolutely true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector…But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life.”

This shows a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the crisis. The economy is driven to prosperity by those who plan for the present and the future, those who produce wealth today and deploy capital to continue producing wealth in the future.

The US Government has a role to play in this production of wealth, even though it is utterly incapable of producing wealth on its own. It provides, at least it is supposed to provide, the stable foundation upon which an economy can thrive. The US Constitution provides for the post office, post roads, the defense of the nation, the commerce clause, and a common currency–the physical foundation, the legal foundation, and the financial foundation.

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Who must suffer so others may profit?

One of my favorite TV shows is Babylon 5.  It offered interesting plots and much to think about.  The episode “Deathwalker” comes to my mind when thinking about the stimulus.  Jha’dur, a scientist from a vanquished enemy species, has become known as “Deathwalker” for her terrifying bioweapon experiments.  Now, she appears on Babylon 5 with the promise of immortality.  The price, it is revealed, is that for every life extended another must end.  Jha’dur knew that once this discovery was available, people would turn against each other, seeking to exploit each other for their own immortality.

The stimulus strikes me as being similar to this.  Obama, Pelosi, and the other Democrats selling this plan are focusing only on the gains certain parties will see.  No one is talking about where the wealth to fund this package will come from.  Notice I said wealth, not money.  While it is easy for the government to conjure money out of thin air, it cannot do so with wealth.

So, where will the wealth for this come from?  It will come from you, me, and anyone else who holds US dollars.  All our wealth stored in dollars will be diminished via the inflation tax.  Those who have saved, invested, and otherwise sought to provide for themselves in the future will be punished.  These are the people who have provided economic stability and prosperity for the nation for two centuries.

In addition, the productive workers of the future will also be punished, as they will be the ones paying back the interest on the wealth redistributed.  The current generation of people under 35 will spend their entire working lives paying the price for the excesses of the Obama stimulus plan.

This plan is a declaration of war on those who produce wealth and live responsibly, now and into the future.  Who must suffer so others may profit?  We do.

Democrats’ love of dependency on display

One of the most galling moments for hard-left Democrats in the last two decades was Bill Clinton embracing welfare reform. Gone were the days that welfare acted as a black hole that sucked people in and kept them there. The spirit of the law was changed from one of dependence to one of independence, removing from the law books a set of incentives that created a permanent underclass.

To most Americans, this was a victory and a reinforcement of the principles of self-determination upon which this nation was founded. To the far left, this was a stinging rebuke of their core beliefs. Now that they’re in power, they seek reinstate dependency as a core value of the federal government. The rhetoric has been clear for months. They want dependency on the state for health care, jobs, mortgages, and banking. They want each of us to have no choice but to live an life inexorably entangled with bureaucrats.

Now, the stimulus package sees the first implementations of those desires. Mickey Kaus points to a line item intented to increase the number of welfare recipients:

A State meets the requirement of this clause for a quarter if the average monthly assistance caseload of the State for the quarter exceeds the average monthly assistance caseload of the State for the corresponding quarter in the emergency fund base year of the State.

States are rewarded for keeping their welfare numbers up. Get people off welfare and back to work? Lose the grant. Get more people on welfare? Get a bigger grant.

On the health care front, Democrats are acting like dope dealers, pushing the first hit of Medicaid on people who’ve lost jobs:

Under “stimulus,” Medicaid is now on offer not to just poor Americans, but Americans who have lost their jobs. And not just Americans who have lost their jobs, but their spouses and their children. And not Americans who recently lost their jobs, but those who lost jobs, say, early last year. And not just Americans who already lost their jobs, but those who will lose their jobs up to 2011. The federal government is graciously footing the whole bill. The legislation also forbids states to apply income tests in most cases.

House Democrat Henry Waxman was so thrilled by this blowout, it was left to Republicans to remind him that the very banking millionaires he dragged to the Hill last year for a grilling would now qualify for government aid. His response? A GOP proposal to limit subsidies to Americans with incomes under $1 million was accepted during markup, but had disappeared by final passage. In this new health-care nirvana, even the rich are welcome. CBO estimates? An additional 1.2 million on the federal Medicaid dime in 2009.

Even the tax “cuts” reek of dependency. Instead of implementing tax rate cuts, the Democrats are proposing one-time refundable tax credits. These are transfer payments granted by the beneficence of the current congress and administration. True tax cuts allow people to keep the money they’ve earned. These payments allow the government to give money to those they think deserve it.

This fundamental mindset, that people should depended on government for wealth and health, is incompatible with a free society. The patriotic thing for all Americans to do is to oppose this mindset and all actions that flow from it, including the stimulus bill.

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