About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Conservative Review Liberty Score Website

Thanks to Graham Ledger for introducing his One America News audience to the Conservative Review Liberty Score website.
 
The website provides a Scorecard showing the voting record of every Member of the House & Senate on up to 50 votes of significance over a rolling six-year period – votes on renaming Post Offices, & the like, are not considered.  The title & date the vote took place are listed next to each Member's position compared to CR's position on the vote – which concentrates on fidelity to the Constitution that all Members take an oath to support & defend.  From this the letter grade is assigned along with the percentage Liberty Score.
 
Since all votes are individually listed each reader can decide for themselves what a proper vote should be - not just CR's grading & scoring re the Constitution.  Accordingly you have enough information to calculate your own Liberty Score for any Member of Congress or if preferred by the statist socialists in this blog readership - your own socialist score. 
 
For instance someone with a 0% Liberty Score may have a 100% socialist favorability score in a statist's opinion – & there are plenty of Members with zero scores.  The point is you have enough information to decide how effective a Member of Congress is in agreeing with your own views. 
 
After bringing up the Scorecard on the CR Liberty Score website just click on any state & then scroll down to see each Members grade & score.  Click on the individual Member's photo & their complete voting record will be displayed.  From there it is up to you to decide how effective the Member has been in following their oaths of office & agreeing with your views for the country.
 
You can also view the Top 25 highest Liberty Score holders – twelve are graded "A" @ 90% or higher.  Or, you can view the Top 25 RINOs.
 
Midterm 2018 election results are shown for congressmen, senators, & governors.
 
But the biggest value the CR Liberty Score website provides is showing why Republican politicians always lose in the realm of conservative opinion – & that is because there are just not enough conservatives in Congress & certainly not enough libertarians.  It is not like we have every Democrat graded "F" @ 24% or below & the great majority of Republicans graded "A" @ 90% or higher.  Oh no, far from it.  Please be assured that we do have every Democrat graded "F" @ 24% or below but also in actuality the vast majority of Republicans are graded "F" with scores of way below 60%.  The Top 25 Members of Congress – all Republicans - even includes three "Cs" & one "D".
 
Just look @ the grades & Liberty Scores for the current congressional leadership – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (F @ 36%), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (F @ 4%), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (F @ 14%), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (F @ 14%), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (F @ 32%), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (F @ 15%), & House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (F @ 33%).  Former House Speaker & Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan left Congress graded "F" with a Liberty Score of 36%.
 
Now none of the above congressional leaders may be in your district or state so you cannot vote them out of office directly; but you can check on the Liberty Scores of any incumbent who is seeking your vote & then do your homework accordingly.
 
In the meantime we can get a leg up on the 2020 presidential election by realizing that the following Democrats running for president are all graded "F" with the indicated pitiful Liberty Scores – Sanders (21%), Booker (18%), Warren (20%), Harris (24%), Klobuchar (2%), Gillibrand (14%), Gabbard (18%), Moulton (18%), Tim Ryan of OH (18%), & Swalwell (23%).
 
The biggest shame of the 2018 mid-term election was the defeat of Congressman Dave Brat in Virginia's seventh district.  Dave Brat was graded "A" with a Liberty Score of 97% in his four years in Congress – he lost to Abigail Spanberger who so far in her young congressional career is graded "F" with a Liberty Score of zero.
 
The subject website provides comprehensive in-depth detailed information that should preclude the reelection of the statists listed above – let alone electing them to higher office.  Shame on us if we don't vote every one of them & the others whose voting records now appear in plain sight out of office the first chance we get.
 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Maxine - In Deep Waters

  click on graphic to enlarge
 
The above graphic shows the rise in student lending starting in 2010 – the year that BO nationalized the student loan industry meaning that the federal government took over student lending from private lenders like Sallie Mae & commercial banks.  Since 2010 all government student financing has originated in the Department of Education through the Federal Direct Loan Program.
 
Today over 44 million people collectively hold $1.56 trillion in student debt - roughly one in four American adults are paying off student loans.
 
Now the magnitude of the problem was not missed by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D–CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, when she questioned bank CEOs @ a committee hearing on April 10. 
 
What Maxine did miss, as she embarrassingly went through her incriminating line of questioning @ the hearing, is that the federal government is responsible for the student loan rise shown on the above graphic - not the bank CEOs.  Finally, after two CEOs told her the respective year prior to 2010 that each of their banks stopped making student loans Jamie Dimon told her that JP Morgan Chase stopped all student lending in 2010 when the the federal government took over the program.  Maxine then moved on to the topic of small businesses with similar humiliation for her before she pathetically said "my time is up." 
 
Now just like man on the street interviews that have comparable momentary funny moments the above account from the hearing soon passes the amusement stage when you realize that Maxine Waters is the top finance regulator in the House of Representatives – & she knows nothing about the topic.
 
Maxine is much more comfortable mindlessly yelling "impeach 45" or ginning up people to push back on cabinet members to make their lives miserable @ restaurants, department stores, & gasoline stations by telling them that "they are not welcome."
 
Maxine Waters has been @ the forefront of the incivility shown against President Trump since November 8, 2016.  It is one thing for Maxine to be a leader in this incivility but quite another, we should all hope, for Americans to tolerate the total lack of understanding, preparation, & integrity she showed @ the above hearing.   
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Medicare For All - A Major Step Toward Socialist Twin Tower Goals Of Government Dependence

This post shows how the Medicare for All legislative bills introduced in both the House & Senate by Democrats is a major step toward the socialist twin tower goals of making people totally dependent on government from cradle to grave: Tower #1 - financially through taxes & Tower #2 - physically through universal single payer healthcare.
 
On April 30 the House Rules Committee held a hearing on HR 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019, introduced on 2/27/19 by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-7).  The bill currently has 108 co-sponsors including the Chairman of the Rules Committee James McGovern (D-MA-2) & Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-7) – both of whom participated in the hearing.
 
The aforementioned House bill is essentially a companion bill to the Senate Medicare for All Act of 2017, Senate bill 1804, originally introduced on September 13, 2017 & then updated on April 10, 2019, by Democrat Socialist candidate for president Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.  The 2019 version has 14 Senate cosponsors including four other Democrat presidential candidates – Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, & Warren.
 
In addition, the 2019 Senate bill has been endorsed by 63 national organizations and unions including:  American Federation of Teachers, Democratic Socialists of America, National Education Association, National Nurses United, National Organization for Women, New York Nurses Association, Service Employees International Union, United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers, United Mine Workers of America, & Utility Workers Union of America.
 
Twenty-eight percent of Republicans support Medicare for All.  See graphic below.
 
click on graphic to enlarge.
 
The problem with Medicare for All is that none of the various bills have anything to do with Medicare other than using the name & reimbursing medical providers @ Medicare rates – in fact the bills eliminate Medicare including Medicare Advantage.  They also eliminate employer coverage, most private insurance, & Medicaid.  The bills more closely resemble Medicaid for All but with no state component or function like current Medicaid. 
 
Medicare for All is a universal single payer healthcare system totally controlled by the federal government. 
 
The initial cost estimate of Medicare for All indicated a $2 trillion savings over current healthcare expenditures the first ten years of the program's full implementation even while adding almost $6 trillion in added demand & expansion coverage to include dental, vision, hearing, & long term care.  The problem is that this calculation pointlessly assumed that hospitals & doctors would be willing to accept 40% reductions in their compensations under Medicare for All.  Redo the calculation using actual prevailing rates & the initial $2 trillion program savings turns into a $3.253 trillion increase over the first ten years of the program.  Source:  "The Costs Of A National Single Payer Healthcare System."  Mercatus Working Paper by Charles Blahous July 2018.
 
Dr. Blahous, public trustee for Social Security & Medicare from 2010 to 2015, calculated that Medicare for All would increase federal government spending by $37.950 trillion in the first decade of the program's full implementation (2022 – 2031 assuming the program started in 2018) using prevailing compensation rates for hospitals & doctors. 
 
The added federal costs of the program would require more than doubling the currently projected individual & corporate income tax revenues – to include a combination of such things as mandatory taxes on employers' gross receipts & payrolls, a national sales tax on nonnecessities, a wealth tax, & taxing long term capital gains @ ordinary income tax rates.  During the first ten years of the program the total amount of tax revenue collected & spent by the federal government on Medicare for All is calculated, using the questionable assumptions of savings in the bill, to approximate the currently projected personal healthcare spending for the same period meaning that the calculated cost of a government program is one thing, even if such costs historically have always exceeded their initial estimate by billions of dollars.  Another thing is - do people like & want the federal government's increased involvement in their healthcare? 
 
The additional $37.950 trillion federal government spending over ten years amounts to 12.3% of GDP in the first year of the program growing to 14.8% in the tenth year (& further thereafter) thereby bringing the total federal government spending on healthcare to 22.9% of GDP in the tenth year (sum of current projected federal government spending on healthcare plus the increased calculated spending).  See Table 4 of above referenced Blahous working paper.
 
Similar calculations regarding the enormity of the Medicare for All costs have been made by the Urban Institute, the Center for Health & Economy, & Emory scholar Kenneth Thorpe. 
It is telling that Bernie has not done a cost analysis of either the 2017 or 2019 Senate Medicare for All bills that he introduced.  See graphic below.
 
 
 
But Bernie & AOC are not the least bit concerned about the enormity of these costs or the impractical & destructive basis for implementing the program, i.e., 40% cuts in compensation for hospitals & doctors.
 
A study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary determined that 80% of hospitals will lose money treating Medicare patients in 2019.  This is the future for hospitals treating all patients @ Medicare rates under Medicare for All.  Bernie & AOC will not relent from their position that hospitals & doctors will be willing to remain in the medical system with 40% cuts in compensation from the current private-public blended rates to Medicare reimbursement rates. 
 
These cuts in compensation would undoubtedly reduce the supply of healthcare services (see graphic below) while Bernie & AOC acknowledge that Medicare for All will increase healthcare demand.  Less doctors & hospitals with greater demand for services will inevitably result in rationing, waiting lines, & lower quality of care with the most vulnerable hurt the most – this is the real cost of Medicare for All.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
When Bernie introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019 he said it was to guarantee healthcare to every American as a right, not a privilege.  Well healthcare is not a right or a privilege – it is a good to be purchased like food, shelter, or clothing.  A right is a gift from God that extends from our humanity – natural rights are anterior to government & therefore preexisted any government claim on them.  If healthcare is a right why do we need someone to provide it to us?  It is obvious from this post that it won't be hospitals or doctors under Medicare for All.  Click here to hear the great libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano explain the difference between a right & a good.
 
Thomas Sowell asks "why would you expect someone else to provide for you what you do not provide for yourself?"  The significance of the answer to Dr. Sowell's question applies to much more than healthcare.  I use it every day.  It is a pillar to live by.
 
But a large mindset change is needed to return healthcare in America to its place in our foundation of limited government, free enterprise, & personal responsibility.
 
A frequent healthcare insurance complaint is "my premiums are high & I have a $5,000 deductible" implying that the owner of the policy is looking to be reimbursed for items like having their teeth cleaned or their eyes examined when they know they need glasses.  Such a complainer is confusing real insurance with a prepaid healthcare plan – which is what most of us have today.
 
The vast majority of what we call healthcare insurance today is really not insurance but rather prepaid healthcare plans where policy holders do not proceed with treatment until their insurance company agrees to pay for the treatment that the policy holder really has already paid for in advance plus a profit for the insurance company.  People have been brainwashed to accept the dominance of their healthcare quality by a far off insurance company, & now with Medicare for All an even more distant & impersonal federal government calling the shots, never thinking that they could pay for much of the routine care like teeth cleaning themselves, have lower premiums & a deductible that they agree with & can afford thereby gaining better control of their own healthcare to boot.  
 
If insurance companies can make money reimbursing policy holders after paying for all the routine items they approve why don't people think they could make a better deal for themselves by getting inexpensive catastrophic insurance & paying directly for the items on the list of prepaid healthcare expenses that they already really have paid for in advance through higher premiums?
 
Putting people in direct contact with their doctors without interference or involvement by insurance companies or the federal government starts to clear up the picture that we need to focus on.
 
And, after all of the above comes into clear focus we will see that the federal government providing a universal single payer healthcare system, in point of fact, has nothing @ all to do with the enumerated powers specified in our glorious & magnificent Constitution.