Monday, October 21, 2013

Liberal idol worship

No one ranks higher in the liberal pantheon than St. Franklin of Roosevelt.
They think of FDR as the savior of America. The main evidence of his wonderfulness appears to be the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Why an ordinary two-lane road that wanders through the mountain is worthy of such reverence is beyond me. It is scenic, granted, and I have driven most of it for the view.
But as proof of the New Deal's effectiveness, it falls woefully short.
Let's consider some facts.
Roosevelt's main advisers, laughably called "the brain trust," made a trip to Russia and were awed by what they saw as great achievements by the communists. (This was at a time when Stalin was murdering millions, and the New York Times was lying about it.)
Roosevelt and Mussolini had a mutual admiration society, exchanging congratulatory letters.
At a time when millions of Americans were unemployed and hungry, the New Deal was destroying food and putting people in prison for lowering food prices.
One unconstitutional action was to prohibit employers from offering lower wages so they could afford to hire people who would have been glad to get the work and get out of the breadlines.
The cynical FDR used the jobs programs he created as political weapons. Little help went to areas that needed it the most, but already voted Democrat. Instead, most went to areas in the West and other places where FDR needed votes.
In the Northeast, Republicans who applied for make-work New Deal jobs were stiffed. It was a Democrat program.
The Depression began as an ordinary recession. The Smoot-Hawley tariff helped turn it into a depression, worldwide. FDR, who had promised not to raise taxes, raised them, and that further worsened the problem.
After a similar recession in the early '20s, taxes were lowered and the economy quickly recovered.
It took America's entry in World War II, which FDR also had promised he would not allow, to bring the economy back.
Even then, New Deal policies continued to cause misery. It was wage and price controls during the war that brought on employer-provided health insurance, which helped exacerbate the current problem in that realm.
FDR's other accomplishment, according to liberals was Social Security. Again, Roosevelt's vision was that it would be a supplement to retirement that only a few would receive. It was constructed so that half of the population would die before receiving benefits.
Politicians after FDR continued to pile on costs and benefits to the Ponzi scheme and today it faces bankruptcy. But that's another story.
The bottom line is that FDR was no hero. He was a politician.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Liberals waste their worry

When they aren't worrying about some doomsday scenario such as meteors smashing into the Earth, liberals fret about inequality.
Inequality is not growing, as saps like Jimmy Carter contend. It was much higher in the 1920s than it is today.
But it doesn't really matter whether inequality is growing or not as long as those in every income group are experiencing greater prosperity.
That was the situation in the 1980s, when the rising tide was lifting all boats.
But those who feed off class warfare seek to promote envy among those with less income, based on the false claim that there is a finite "pie" of income that everyone shares.
It is liberal policies that stifle growth, and thus prosperity, and thus rising incomes at the bottom.
They also conveniently overlook the fact that there is great mobility among income groups. The rich don't always get richer. They get poor even as the poor are becoming rich.
Lottery winners and sports heroes fritter away their great incomes and become poor. Young people inherit wealth and lose it because they don't have the same drive and talent as their parents.
Equality does not exist anywhere and there is not the slightest evidence that the world would be better off if it did.

Monday, October 7, 2013

There is a way out

President Obama has said he is open to any suggestions to improve Obamacare.
By saying that, he demolished the liberal talking point that the law is inviolate, not susceptible to any change from what was enacted.
But Obama also demolished his own statement that he would not negotiate.
Publisher Steve Forbes has made several suggestions that would, beyond question, improve health care and health insurance in America. Contrary to the media, the two are not the same.
Forbes suggests that Congress:
  • Allow interstate shopping for insurance;
  • Give tax deductions for insurance premiums currently limited to businesses and the self-employed to everyone;
  • Prevent Medicare money from being used to fund Obamacare;
  • Stop the exemption of Congress and staff from Obamacare;
  • Encourage high-risk pools to lower costs for everyone else;
  • Push medical malpractice reform; and
  • Eliminate Obamacare's mandated benefits and let people decide what coverage they want.
Instead of bluster and bullying, the people in Washington should be discussing and debating those proposals.
The debate over government funding and the debt ceiling is focused on forcing down ruinous spending. But Obamacare adds greatly to that problem and common sense improvements to it are necessary.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So much for compromise

The current "government shutdown" debacle is a classic example of liberalism in action.
We constantly are bombarded with liberal demands, echoed by the compliant media, that conservatives should "compromise."
Here's what that means. If liberals want to increase spending by $1 trillion, conservatives are supposed to agree to at least $500 billion.
But if conservatives want to cut the wild spending spree the government has been on for seven years by $1 trillion, they are pilloried for their heartlessness. The word compromise is never spoken in that debate.
So it is now.
The House sent the liberal Senate a bill that would keep the government operating. It was refused.
The reason it was refused is that the rich and powerful liberals in the Senate would rather shut down the government than be subjected to Obamacare, which they insist is wonderful -- for ordinary Americans.
The bill would require members of Congress to use Obamacare, without fat subsidies.
It also would delay the individual mandate for Obamacare, which is hated by the public.
Liberals say the law can't be changed. But they have changed it. Obama unilaterally delayed the employer mandate.
Passing the bill in the Senate would be a compromise -- the very thing liberals have been extolling for years, whenever they want to have their way.
But they won't do it.