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.

Monday, October 14, 2013

An Analysis: Defunding ObamaCare Vs. Government Shutdown & Debt Ceiling Deadline

click on image to enlarge
The continuing resolution (CR) & debt ceiling deadline provide an excellent opportunity to solve our financial problems if we were all on the same team.  We could all look @ the subject matter & arithmetic involved & come up with any number of plans to put our country back on a strong economic footing – use the above table as a basis to see how easy it is to determine your own plan assuming we are all on the same team.  The fact that we never have tried to solve our fiscal problems any other time the CR &/or debt ceiling deadline came up tells you we are not all on the same team – & the current government shutdown verifies it.
As long as Democrats believe there are some wealthy people whose taxes can still be raised, some foreign governments who will lend the U.S. money, & an available electronic printing press controlled by the Treasury giving orders that are followed by the Federal Reserve they will want to continue to increase spending.  With that mindset our problems will never change or be solved - we will just move from one confrontation to another until we have really fallen down the metaphorical flight of stairs that I often write about.
Of course the current impasse started with my beloved Tea Party wanting to defund ObamaCare.  Now students of the Constitution, of which we have many in this readership, know that James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, wrote in The Federalist No. 58 "(T)his power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete & effective weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance . . . ."  Sounds like what we have today – ObamaCare is the grievance & the House won't fund it. 
(An added complication though is that some 90+% of ObamaCare is on auto-pilot so not issuing a CR & shutting down the government in & of themselves will not get the Tea Party & Republicans to the goal - the ObamaCare insurance subsidies are paid through the IRS as refundable tax credits and the Medicaid portion of ObamaCare, like Social Security & Medicare, is not annually appropriated.  But like Social Security & Medicare & anything else Congress has ever appropriated ObamaCare could be defunded through a CR policy rider– but this would not work without BO & Ringside Reid cooperating.)
Indications are that ObamaCare is increasingly unpopular as more & more is learned about it; but the problem is that shutting down the government is even more unpopular & congressional Republicans have historically taken the majority of the blame for government shutdowns – Gallup has Republicans falling to a 28% national favorable rating & Democrats 43% favorable.  (This could have an immediate impact in the Virginia governor's race where Ken Cuccinelli could take a hit with the government workers in northern Virginia voting Democrat more so than usual.)  Further with 100% certainty BO is not going to see his signature legislative achievement in effect be repealed after Democrats have worked for government controlled healthcare for 80 years & they are still not quite where they want to be – single payer universal healthcare insurance.
The shutting down of the discretionary parts of the government (actually only 17% of the total government has been shut down) for which no appropriations have been made has resulted in calls for more & more of these parts of the government to be fully reopened.  These calls of outrage are a good indication of how government dependent many Americans are.  In this regard Congressman Frelinghuysen has reported that the House has passed 17 free-standing bills to reinstate programs from providing immediate funding for FEMA, to serving 9 million women & young children who need "vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford,"  to allowing our nation's capital to continue operating using its own funding, to providing compensation of federal employees furloughed due to the shutdown, to ensuring that death benefits to families of fallen troops will continue to be disbursed during the government shutdown.  What kind of shutdown is this?
With all of the above going against the chances of defunding or even significantly changing ObamaCare any time soon the Tea Party in general & Texas Senator Ted Cruz in particular have vividly brought the problems with ObamaCare to the country's attention much more so than if they just voted present on the CR thereby having it pass without one Republican vote in either chamber of Congress – this still may be the outcome if Boehner brings a clean CR to the House floor for a vote.
People are becoming more aware every day how ObamaCare negatively impacts their lives – all per BO's government-dependent design.  People 1) are having their hours cut back to below 30 per week so that their employers will not have to provide healthcare insurance under ObamaCare, 2) are finding that what they thought was going to be insurance that covered teeth cleanings & routine eye examinations & getting glasses is really insurance with several thousand dollars of deductibles meaning it is not really what they were hoping for @ all – it is paying something for nothing, 3) are learning that many plans are HMOs meaning that coverage depends on using the plan's approved doctors & hospitals – so much for  being able to keep your own doctor, & 4) are concerned that before the technical problems with the computers on the exchanges have been solved they will be exposed to identity theft with all the sensitive private information they have supplied not being securely guarded in what is a hacker's dream.  In addition people think it is not fair for businesses to have a one year delay in complying with ObamaCare while individuals must sign up now with no delay.  They also resent that members of Congress & their staffs will continue to get their healthcare insurance subsidies because the staffs cannot afford to pay for the insurance - the same unaffordable predicament many other people are in who do not have the congressional type subsidies & must be fully compliant with ObamaCare.  See also the account of Ashley Dionne who appeared on the Huckabee TV program on FNC after her FB posting detailing her problems with ObamaCare went viral.
BO has Cruz & his followers in a box that he will not let them out of without taking his best shot @ destroying the Republican Party & Tea Party by extension.  BO has in effect said he did not know there was anything to negotiate – he has been waiting for Congress to pass a CR that will assign money for the specific purpose of appropriating the 13 departments & agencies that make up the discretionary parts of the federal government that have been authorized by law.  BO has a similar seemingly innocent position re the debt ceiling deadline.  This does not sound like a totally unreasonable position to the general public – especially those who have be inconvenienced or furloughed by the shutdown.
BO & Reid have said they will not negotiate anything until a clean CR is passed & the debt ceiling is raised with no strings attached.  The public blames Cruz, the Tea Party, & the Republicans more than BO.  This is the very bad hand Cruz has been dealt.  An upcoming RTE post planned within the week will show just how bad the hand is.
The successful outcome for those following the Cruz approach is for the above ObamaCare problems, & more, to overtake the concerns of the citizenry more than the 17% government shut down has or the results of a default, if any, tied to failure to raise the debt ceiling that seems inevitable.  Based on public opinion so far Cruz & his followers are playing a long shot but ObamaCare is so bad & BO has been so unreasonable (e.g., veterans having to tear down barricades to open air memorials & joggers in national parks being fined $100 for trespassing) that BO has lost some credibility with his approach to make the shutdown as obnoxious as possible – following his same earlier approach regarding the sequester – think cancelling White House tours last spring.
Below are the lists of followers of the Cruz approach to defund ObamaCare identified as those senators who signed Mike Lee's letter & congressmen who signed Mark Meadows' letter.  The greatest certainty in all of this is the senators & congressmen on the below list think they are representing the will of the majority of their constituents – in fact are probably being encouraged by these constituents.
The 14 Senators who signed Mike Lee's letter:

The 5 Senators who signed but later withdrew from it:


The 80 Republican Representatives who signed Mark Meadows' letter:


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