David Leonhardt’s March 24 front-page
Economic Scene column, “In
the Process, Pushing Back at Inequality,” suggests that there was
no legislation “worth its own section in the history books” since
Medicare’s creation in 1965.
Really? That forgets the Reagan tax
cuts that reignited the economy and led to nearly 20 million new jobs;
the 1996 welfare reforms producing historic declines in dependence and
poverty; the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, creating the successful S-Chip
program while yielding the first balanced budgets in a generation; and
the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, which added a valuable
prescription-drug benefit for the elderly at far below the projected
Maybe your history book doesn’t include chapters on those
successful reforms, but it should.
Washington, March 24, 2010
The writer, a
Republican of Michigan, is ranking member of the House Ways and Means
Note from KBJ: Progressives read their own values into the history books. If something is not in accordance with those values, it didn't happen.
Here is a column about the constitutionality (vel non) of the recently enacted health-care law. If the federal government has the power to force individuals to purchase health insurance, then ours is no longer a limited government. Expect massive civil disobedience when the so-called mandate takes effect. Americans do not take kindly to totalitarianism. Progressives love civil disobedience when laws they dislike are disobeyed. They will condemn civil disobedience when the health-care mandate is disobeyed. Have you ever known a principled progressive? The very idea is laughable, for, to a progressive, the end justifies the means. If the rule of law stands in the way of egalitarianism, then the rule of law must be dispensed with. If a clear constitutional provision stands in the way of egalitarianism, then the constitutional provision must be ignored. If the Senate filibuster rule prevents passage of an egalitarian bill, then the filibuster rule must be revised. If the Electoral College benefits Republicans, then the Electoral College must be abolished. See the pattern?
Here is a fascinating New York Times story about the gap between climatologists and meteorologists with respect to global warming. The former are more likely to believe that the globe is warming and that the cause of the warming is humanity. Climatologists are concerned about the gap, because they have less contact with ordinary people than do meteorologists, and therefore less ability to manipulate people. If you read to the end of the story, you will see that climatologists are twisting the arms of meteorologists to get them to perpetuate the climate hoax. This is how progressives work. They have a blueprint for society and will stoop at nothing to implement it. Anyone who refuses to go along with the progressive program is delegitimized, abused, and vilified. (Remember how I was treated by a certain thuggish law professor.) I expect protests against media organizations who employ global-warming "skeptics." No dissenting voices are allowed!
By the way, don't you love the pejorative term "skeptic" here? A skeptic is a doubter. How many of these same people think that the proper position to take with respect to the existence of God is skepticism? Skepticism is good (apparently) when what one doubts is the existence of God. It is bad when what one doubts is the existence of anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused) global warming. Perhaps we should call global warmists "fundamentalists," for they have much in common with religious fundamentalists. One thing they have in common is a powerful desire to excommunicate and persecute heretics.
Addendum: This paragraph is rich:
The dissent has been heightened by recent challenges to climate
science, including the discovery of a handful of errors in the landmark
2007 report on global warming by the United
Panel on Climate Change and the unauthorized release of hundreds of
e-mail messages from a British climate research center last fall that
skeptics claim show that climate scientists tried to suppress data.
The bias in this single paragraph is astonishing. First, it is said that there is only a "handful" of errors in the United Nations report. Why should we tolerate even one error, much less a handful? Second, what does the word "unauthorized" add? If the reporters think there is reason to doubt that scientists tried to suppress data, they should explain why. Instead, they try to shift attention from the duplicity of the scientists to the behavior of those who obtained the e-mails. That's called a red herring. Third, what's with "skeptics claim"? Do the reporters deny, or even doubt, that the e-mails show that climate scientists tried to suppress data? The reporters are bending over backward to protect the unscrupulous "scientists" from criticism. This is a paradigm of biased reportage, and it appears in our "best" newspaper.
The 2010 season begins Sunday evening (7:00 Central Time, ESPN2), when the Rat Sox host the Bombs. Remember my World Series prediction: my beloved Detroit Tigers against the San Francisco Giants. Yes, I predicted Detroit against Los Angeles a year ago, but that was with my old crystal ball. My new one is state of the art.
In regard to Thomas
Frank's op-ed "From Televangelism
to the Tea Parties":
I, like Mr. Frank, was there, but in my lab coat, on Saturday in
front of the Capitol in Washington. I am a physician and this was my
first protest, not against reform, but against this reform. This reform
does nothing to make insurance more affordable, improve patient choice
or allow physicians to make patient focused decisions. Now the
government will be in the examination room with you and your physician,
and if this was not bad enough, there will be exploding costs, which, in
the end, will result in rationing and oppressive taxation at the very
least and not just for the wealthy.
This "reform" was done
against the public will and made a sham of representative democracy. We
were not a group of right-wing protesters chanting slogans in
18th-century diction—anachronistic romantics. There were many Democrats
there (many sought me out for my opinion) and these individuals
understood that the tentacles of ObamaCare would fundamentally change
America. Our exceptionalism is in decline, as we are now on the path to
becoming just another debt-laden European socialist backwater.
Erik Dahl, M.D.
I am a mathematics professor and confess I have also been a "tea
partier." I take offense at Mr. Frank's characterization of tea partiers
as "TV citizens, regurgitating TV history lessons." For the record, Mr.
Frank, I know my history and didn't learn it from my TV set. What I do
know is that history is being made as President Obama adds more to the
debt and deficit than all past presidents combined. I also know from my
history that no president in power has ever bashed a previous
administration in public as Mr. Obama is so fond of doing.
Mr. Frank then goes on to
say that, "They seem to care little for the give and take of the
legislative process." Really, Mr. Frank. Really? Where exactly has the
"give and take" happened with this health-care bill? Congress voted
along party lines with virtually no GOP input, except a few empty
gestures of a get-together and a "study" of tort reform.
The "give" part, I
suspect, is the ramming and jamming of the bill through in a hurry
without even posting online.
I guess I get the "take"
part, too, Mr. Frank. The senators and congressman who were "on the
take" to cut deals like the "Cornhusker" deal, the "Louisiana Purchase,"
and who knows what else.
People like me are angry
and tired of the arrogant way this administration and Congress has been
governing. We're not here to entertain you (or journalists like you)
acting like reality TV celebrities. We are normal taxpayers who want
less government in our lives, not more, and want our voices to be heard.