Do you remember the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? They were great: Same beginning, but periodically throughout the book you'd be given a choice and the books had a bunch of different endings depending on which "adventure" you chose.
Let's try a present day "Choose Your Own Adventure." Imagine you are the president of the United States of America. You've been in office about a year. Somehow, the massive stimulus plan you designed to save America — the one you put Joe "Stand Up Chuck" Biden in charge of — against all odds, didn't work. The economy still stinks on ice. Deficits are ballooning out of control. The debt is skyrocketing past unsustainable levels. And the jobless number — those still unemployed for 26 weeks of more — looks dire.
But you really want to pass health care. There are just a couple of problems: It costs a trillion bucks. Also, the people (remember them?) don't really want it. The latest polls show:
• 58 percent disapprove of the health care plan; only 39 percent approve
• 78 percent of voters say if passed, this health care plan will cost more than projected
• Voters also overwhelmingly believe that the plan will increase the federal deficit and lead to middle class tax hikes
• Voters also "fear they could be forced to change their coverage" under the plan
• And your overall job approval is only at 45 percent; 54 percent disapprove
In "Choose Your Own Adventure," the goal was to make the choice that led to the happy outcome. So, here are the choices for our hero:
a) Realize you can't continue adding new bloated government programs and put the health care overhauls on hold.
b) Say damn the costs! Damn the people! On with Health care!
Seems like the path to the "happy outcome" is fairly obvious. Well, President Obama has decided to choose Option B — "on with health care"!
Monday, he posted his "compromise" online.
But Glenn! But Glenn! Didn't you read the plan? It's deficit neutral!
Oh, it's deficit neutral? That's great. Hey would you like to buy some property on the moon?
The arrogance of this man is amazing. On one hand, he talks about the need to be fiscally responsible and freeze spending:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It's hard to be fiscally responsible when we have all these human needs and we're inheriting enormous deficits and debt, but that's a sacrifice that we're going to have to make.
Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
But the other hand wants to spend a trillion dollars on health care.
We are not idiots. Obama treats health care as if it's separate from spending. They are one in the same. I don't care how many new taxes you conjure up to make it "deficit neutral" — spoiler alert: It will cost money. Otherwise it wouldn't say the word tax 35 times!
This "adventure" does not end well economically and the president knows it. How can I tell you that? This is a signature piece of legislation from a guy who isn't exactly camera shy — he's always at the podium, on the prompter, with 16 American flags behind him for extra patriocity. Where is he on this issue today?
The first attempt was drafted by Pelosi. The next one by Reid. This one? We don't know who wrote it. But hey, it's on the Internet! Wait, I thought America didn't support health care because Obama didn't explain it? You think he'd launch with an explanation.
Here's why the President doesn't want his fingerprints on it:
• It destroys health care as we know it
• It will raise taxes
• It will usurp states' rights
• Through spending, and expansion of new government offices, it will give government more power and control then they could ever possibly ask for
And he's asking Republicans to come in with an "open mind" on it? How open of a mind do you have to have to agree with, when:
• It broadens the tax base for high income taxpayers
• It orders a "comprehensive database" on health claims
• It will make those who choose not to become insured pay *more* (eventually, you will have no real choice)
• Funds will "be transferred to the Social Security Trust" if necessary
And they are calling this bill a compromise? Really? With who? The American people who are 58 percent against it? The powerless Republicans? No — this is a compromise between Democrats. It's like a far-left smorgasbord.
President Obama wants to enact more regulation to fight rate increases.
In reacting to the nearly 30 percent rate increase in California, the president's plan proposes more power go to the federal government to block "excessive rate increases" by health insurance companies. Look, I get it. Who doesn't want cheaper health care? I'm a small business owner. My rates jumped up last year. But price controls and more government regulation isn't the solution. The solution is deregulating — let me buy health care across state lines. Price controls don't work. History already tells us this:
In 1933, FDR tried to control prices through the National Recovery Administration. Not only was it ruled unconstitutional, it didn't work. And the government ended up cracking down on small business owners trying to stay afloat because the prices inflated to more than they were allowed to charge. They even put an immigrant dry cleaner in jail for charging 35 cents to press a suit when the federal government demanded a minimum price of 40 cents.
In 1971, President Nixon imposed wage and price controls to stop inflation. It was called "The New Economic Policy." It was supposed to be 90 days; it ended up being a 1,000 days and by the end it became pretty clear it was a monumental failure as inflation rates went from 4 percent in 1973 to 9 percent the next year.
Jimmy Carter tried to control inflation by capping salary hikes: "Except for our lowest-paid workers, I'm asking all employees in this country to limit total wage increases to a maximum of seven percent per year. From tonight on, every contract signed and every pay raise granted should meet this standard."
We all know how Carter's presidency ended. Federal control never works. By trying, it is the definition of insanity.
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The president wants to pin the blame on those evil insurers, but how evil are they? The health insurance industry ranks 88th in profit margin — 88th — making just 3.4 percent profit. Why not attack "Big Railroad," who has a 13 percent profit margin? Or "Big Beverage," who weighs in at 18 percent? Even if Obama wiped out all profits for health care insurers, American families would save a whopping $100-$200 per year on insurance costs. Now, do you think controlling the prices and not allowing insurers to raise rates (as costs rise) will help or hurt the insurance companies?
Choose your own adventure.
This bill sounds crazy to you and me, but remember, these are progressives. They think you are a dumb-dumb dummy and cannot make choices on your own. It's Cloward and Piven: Overwhelm the system and collapse it. You can make an argument to control anything through health care.
Do you know what the first progressive agency was? The FDA. One of the big pet peeves was Coca-Cola having cocaine in it — except there wasn't cocaine in it. So it was on to Prohibition. Why did the Treasury Department break up bootlegging? It wasn't the FBI, it was the Treasury Department. Because it was about power and money.
This is a giant progressive spending bill. We are recklessly choosing the path to destruction, when the happy ending "choice" is obvious. The message at CPAC was clear: Stop the spending, stop the taxes. But what did progressives on the left, like Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and progressives on the right like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger hear?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GOV. ED RENDELL, D-PA.: I want to say something about Representative Pence. He seems to be a very decent person, but what he just said there is the most dangerous prescription for America: No spending, no borrowing.
If you don't invest in your future, you will die. And Representative Pence and the people at that convention, when they say no borrowing, no spending, no investment, they're writing out a prescription form for this country becoming a second-rate power.
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, R-CALIF.: But one should never get confused between spending money and investing in the future of America. And what we are talking about, with our partnership is about is investing in the future of California.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
Did I say stop spending? But let's run our government with common sense, like the way we run our homes. If you are going to lose your house and everything else, what do you do? You cut where you can. You stop going to fancy dinners or buying extra clothes and getting new cars. No one is saying don't go get food for the kids or continue to pay the mortgage. But you cut your budget to the bone, while keeping your family intact — otherwise your family is in the street.
But what's their cure? More of the same. The endgame is fundamental transformation. This is not some crazy theory — it's their own words. Again, we've got to learn from history:
In 1991, Boris Yeltsin met with the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in a forest, near Brest, Belarus. They founded the Commonwealth of Independent States and declared the end of the Soviet Union in the Belavezha Accords. Gorbachev reluctantly agreed with Yeltsin, on December 17, to dissolve the Soviet Union. Gorbachev resigned on Christmas Day and the Russian Federation eventually took over.
The choice they made was to change party titles — it gave Putin time to change his clothes from KGB colonel suit into Armani. It was a way for the politicians to save their skin by changing their appearance.
Eighty-six percent of people in a poll agree that government is broken. But out of that group, almost all of them also said that government can be "fixed." The question is: How do we fix it?
America, we have arrived at another "Choose Your Own Adventure" page. Which direction will we choose: progressive transformation or restoration?
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