Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do You Trust a Billionaire Convention?

Does anyone else get nervous when a bunch of liberal billionaires get together to discuss how to spend their money in a collaborative effort?

A gathering including George Soros, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, makes me quite uncomfortable to say the least.

This meeting should also put to rest the idea that it is conservatives who are the wealthy elitists.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pet Peeve

Pay attention. The Obama administration and liberal media are trying to hoodwink the American people by deceitfully trying to disguise their socialized health care plan. Instead of honestly calling the scheme socialized health care, or even the more commonly used euphemisms people are becoming aware of such as "single-payer health care" or "universal health care," the administration and media are now calling the plan, "health care reform." It seems to me they are trying to co-opt conservative terminology reminiscent of "welfare reform," and "tax reform." My prediction you will not hear nearly a word from any liberal or mainstream media organization that accurately describes the nature of this impending destruction of the American health care system.

Taxpayers Beware

When politicians, giant corporations, unions, and lobbyists all collude to seize control of an entire industry, you can be sure there will be one major loser, the little people. Taxpayers beware. The fact that the health care industry is allegedly signing onto to socialized medicine means one thing, they have given up fighting for whats best, and fallen back on fighting for survival. Survival of themselves that is. The American people be damned. The industry is in full fledged surrender mode, making like sissy French collaborationists under Nazi occupation.

Hmmm where have I seen this before? I'm not thinking of "Benedict" Arlen Specter, although he was playing a game of self-preservation. We must look no further than the Wall Street and Detroit for vivid examples of entire industries selling their souls for self preservation. And the big loser in each debacle so far has been the American Taxpayer. We sunk trillions into the banking system to prop up failing institutions. We have been rewarded by mounting losses from AIG and Fannie and Freddy, yet have no idea where half the money went.

To make matters worse, Wall St. wasn't enough, so we bailed Detroit out too, despite the fact that conservatives were yelling from the rooftops that the American car companies needed to go bankrupt. But, because Obama said that the car manufacturers could not survive bankruptcy and he promised to ride in on his shiny green taxpayer purchased horse and save them, we threw billions down another black hole. Conservatives warned that we were throwing good money after bad, but nobody listened. And now to add insult to injury, after the inevitable bankruptcy (that Obama said they couldn't survive and swore he would never let happen) hascome to pass, it looks like Obama is negotiating to put Taxpayers on the hook to subsidize the bankruptcy agreements, whose only winners will be the unions, executives, and politicians who are responsible for the mess in the first place.

Like the Banking executives now wishing they they hadn't naively given Washington control over their industry, and the car executives who are no doubt beginning to come to a similar realization, the health care industry will one day find out the same thing. However, I'm not so sure that the damage of socialization can be undone too easily. Once freedom is given away, it cannot easily be taken back. Look at Social Security. Everyone knows it is a failed system, and everyone knows it going to wreak havoc on our nation when it finally goes belly up. but even as that day is barreling towards us at an ever quickening pace, nothing is being done to stop it. America is content with the false security of its indulgently self-imposed blindfold.

The True Cost of Socialized Medicine

Make no mistake about it. The Obama administration and liberals in Congress are gearing up to make socialized medicine a reality. Their goal? Let the people who run the DMV and post office be in charge of your medical care. Expect liberals to begin laying the groundwork with media stories that try to distort the issues and euphemize the true costs of socialized medicine. Take this quote from an AP article (emphasis added):

The U.S. spends about $2.5 trillion a year on health care, more than any other advanced country. Experts estimate that at least one-third of that spending goes for services that provide little or no benefit to patients. So theoretically, there's enough money in the system to cover everybody, including an estimated 50 million uninsured.

But one person's wasteful spending is someone else's bread and butter.

The office visits, tests, procedures and medications that the experts question represent a lot of money for doctors, hospitals, drug companies and other service providers. Dialing them back won't be easy. Providers will resist. Patients might complain their care is getting rationed.

The clear point of this passage is to begin laying the necessary groundwork for socialism, portraying freedom as greed. The ability to choose what health care you want is now described as "wasteful spending." The message is clear, with socialized medicine you will not have the freedom to make your own choices about health care, Washington bureaucrats will be deciding for you, whether you like it or not. You will not be allowed to get the health care you want, so that the government can take your money and spend it on someone else. This is pure socialism, and it will have the same costs as any socialist program. Production and quality will decrease, costs will rise, and the system will eventually fail. The current cost analysis being publicized is a scam, because it does not include the costs from fundamentally altering the incentives that are involved.

The only hope is for conservatives to stand united and try to build a coalition with so called "blue dog" Democrats, if they really exist (emphasis added).

Economists and other experts say the $634 billion that Obama's budget sets aside for health care will pay perhaps half the cost.

Obama is hoping the Senate comes up with a bipartisan compromise that would give him political cover for disagreeable decisions to raise more money, such as taxing some health insurance benefits. In the 2008 campaign, Obama went after his Republican presidential rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain, for proposing a large-scale version of that idea.

As usual, the politically savvy Dems, will try to push through their agenda, but still maintain political coverage for the negative repercussions by pulling "Republicans" into it. This approach demonstrates why I said that it is great for the country that "Benedict" Arlen Specter became a Dem, because the less so called Republicans available to be manipulated by the Dems on these types of ploys the better. If we ever hope to repel these plans, or reverse them, we need to make it clear to the electorate who is responsible for the plans that will cause the inevitable problems that will eventually arise from systematically dismantling the best healthcare system in the world. Lets pray our Congressmen have the fortitude to stand strong on this issue, and actually represent America's best interests for once.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Of All The Cuts To Make

Can you imagine what the media reaction would have been if George Dubya had cut the funding for slain police officer's families in half? Well lets just say the reaction from the media has been underwhelming in response to Obama's decision to do just that. Yes you heard that right, the Obama administration has found something that it wants to spend less money on. Stop the presses, this is big news. I find it a little disturbing that amidst an attempt to spend enough to create more debt in just 5 years, than all the rest of our nation's presidents combined, Obama decides that law enforcement is the one thing he needs to cut.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

New York Governor Patterson is on TV as I write this, apparently announcing a plan to cap state spending at the rate of inflation. This new found sense of fiscal discipline seemed to leave the media stunned. One astute journalist surprisingly asked Gov. Patterson why he is seeking to impose spending caps now but opposed Republican efforts to create a spending cap during his time in the state Senate. the Governor's answer was even more surprising. He responded that when he was in the Senate he did not realize the importance of fiscal responsibility during good times, in order to afford bad times. I must admit my jaw dropped hearing a politician admit that he was wrong and his opponents were right. Either Gov. Patterson is feeling some seriously Tea Party heat, there is something in his drinking water, or this plan is one big sham. Personally, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I'm sure as soon as the transcript is released for me to look over more closely I will find it and write more on this at that time.

. . . . Wow this is stunning. Another incredulous reporter (clearly concerned about protecting Democrats) just asked the Governor (my paraphrasing): "But Governor aren't you concerned that proposing a plan that is essentially the same as Senate Republicans is acknowledging that Republicans were correct on this issue, and have the moral high ground on fiscal discipline?"

Governor Patterson's paraphrased response: "Well, sometimes you have to admit when your opponents were right. The Republicans were correct on this issue and sometimes it is necessary stop being more concerned with the partisan bickering and posturing and be more concerned with doing what is right for the people of the state."

I'm not sure if the honesty or the new found fiscal discipline is more surprising. I think I might have an idea what is behind this proposal though. A recent poll found that only 1 out of 5 state voters approve of Gov. Patterson's job performance, and nearly 70% preferred Attorney General Cuomo in the upcoming election. It might be that Patterson is pulling a toned down version of "Benedict" Arlen Specter and foreseeing that his only hope of survival is to gain conservative support.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why Has Socialism Lost its Luster for Warren Buffett?

Warren Buffett has been one of Barack Obama's key economic supporters during his campaign and the early part of his administration. Buffett has used his name and respect to lend capitalist credibility to Obama's blatantly socialist economic agenda. Needless to say, I am deeply amused that Buffet has finally found an Obama economic policy he disagrees with. Unsurprisingly, it is one that hurts his own financial interests. Today Buffet denounced Obama's stress tests, "arguing during a Sunday press conference that the health of large lenders can't be judged by calculating ratios and adjusting loss expectations on broad asset classes such as home equity loans and credit card loans."

Those of us who are paying attention Have been suggesting for a while now that the stress tests are a way for the Obama administration to stealthily nationalize the banks with limited attention.

As I understand it, the scheme essentially works like this:
  1. Treasury Department pressures banks, forcing them into accepting bailout money in exchange for preferred shares of stock (non-voting shares).
  2. Treasury Department creates regulations requiring arbitrary debt/equity ratios.
  3. Treasury Department performs stress test on banks to evaluate their debt/equity ratio.
  4. Banks that don't meet arbitrary ratio will be forced to raise private funding (which will be next to impossible in this market), or accept a government "gift" of increased equity by converting preferred shares (non-voting) into common shares (voting)
  5. Voila! Treasury Department owns large voting blocks in most banks.
  6. Rep. Barney Frank, Sen. Chris Dodd, Tax Cheat Tim Geithner and Obama are running our banks.
So why does this finally make Buffet lose his socialist furvor? Because Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway, "owns large stakes in Wells Fargo & Co. , US Bancorp and M&T Bank Corp." And Buffett knows that Frank, Dodd, Geithner and Obama (or anyone in the government for that matter) are the last people in the world he wants with controlling stakes in his investments. Socialism is all fun and games until somebody loses their company isn't Mr. Buffett?