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Economy

Obamacare could be fully repealed if political considerations were erased

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In 2015, President Obama had a bill placed on his desk that fully repealed Obamacare. There was no replacement. Had he signed it, we’d be well on our way to the completely privatized health care system the nation deserves. He didn’t, of course, and the vast majority of GOP politicians pointed fingers and blamed the President for the failures that were developing in the legislation that was supposed to be his legacy.

In 2017, President Trump has not and likely will not see the same bill. In fact, he won’t see anything even close to it. Why? Because now that the GOP has complete control, they can’t bluff anymore. They are in a position to somehow not admit that they never wanted to fully repeal Obamacare in the first place. The result so far is the AHCA from the House and some variation the Senate can muster.

Whatever finally reaches President Trump’s desk will not be a repeal. It won’t even be a “repeal and replace” as they’ve been calling it since taking power. It will be a “tweak and rebrand” effort that leaves the damaging core of Obamacare fully intact, redirects how the mandates are delivered, redistributes penalties for citizens who do not comply, and throws in some easy-to-consume “conservative meat” like defunding Planned Parenthood to try to keep as many right-wing critics as possible at bay.

In the end, we will take one humongous government-run health care system and replace it with another humongous government-run health care system.

To those who believe that it’s not technically “government-run” because some autonomy is afforded to health insurance companies, health care providers, and even states, let’s be clear: if a program lays out guidelines for providers and consumers as both ACA and AHCA do, then it’s a government-run program.

Why would the GOP break their promise?

There are times when a party and the politicians representing them will do their best to “sell” an idea to the American people. They will go on news shows, perhaps speak at town halls, and even invest in television commercials to present their case to Americans in an effort to get them to help pressure the opposition into support. We’ve seen this since the birth of our nation. In fact, the reason for the Federalist Papers was to convince people that ratifying the United States Constitution was in the best interests of the nation and its citizens.

In recent years, we’ve seen it with welfare reform, Gang of 8, and even with Obamacare itself. In all of these cases, the group supporting pieces of legislation made their pitch to Americans because they believed they could convince enough people their ideas represented the right course for the nation. More importantly, they wanted to use the victory as a launching pad to expand their political standing and ensure future victories. This technique of selling an idea and then riding the wave of victory once it’s sold is only effective if you believe in what you’re selling.

It’s quite conspicuous that the GOP has not taken this approach with the AHCA. On the contrary, they want as little attention paid to the machinations of the bill as possible. It’s not that they don’t believe it’s a better solution than Obamacare. They simply don’t want more people pointing out that it’s not very different. They’d like to get it passed and signed quickly so they can then start focusing on midterm elections.

This is an important point. Their fear of losing in the midterms is the second biggest reason they’re unwilling to simply repeal Obamacare with either no replacement at all or one that pushes for privatization over time. They know there will be repercussions if they repeal Obamacare; if one person dies as a result of losing health care, Republican strategists believe the Democrats will have a chance of taking the House and the Senate in 2018.

It’s not necessarily true, of course. Both parties still embrace the old concept that Americans are too simple-minded to be shown the truth. They think that we’re only interested in what affects us directly and any attempt by the government to act responsibly will result in major losses. They can’t accept that Americans have more access to information than ever before. They play the news cycle and pull the heart strings. If they were correct, there’s no way Ted Cruz should have won Iowa after declaring that he wanted to end ethanol subsidies. There’s no way Bernie Sanders should have won Oklahoma after being on the wrong side of many liberal issues near and dear to Sooners.

People may be misinformed by mainstream media and fake news outlets, but we’re not stupid. If they lay out the facts and put together a compelling case, the GOP could repeal Obamacare. All they’d have to do is inform the people about why things will be much better in the not-too-long-term. Unfortunately, they’ve calculated that the benefits of repealing Obamacare would not be realized before the 2018 election and they’re unwilling to take the risk.

Instead, they’re hoping to insert Trumpcare and hope for the best. It’s a disgusting strategy for two reasons. First, it’s a lie. Presenting it as a repeal and replace is false as I mentioned above. Second, it won’t work. They will be blamed for health care failures regardless of whether it comes from the AHCA or from a full repeal. Taking this “safe” approach is still a losing effort.

The other reason

As I previously mentioned, the second biggest reason they don’t want to repeal Obamacare is fear of losing in the midterms. The biggest reason is because they like what government-run health care gives them. It’s not across the board; there are a handful of Senators and a small group of Congressman who truly want government out of the system. However, they are a tiny minority compared to the bulk of GOP lawmakers who see ACA and AHCA as a boon for big government and big budgets.

The more money that’s in the federal government’s pot, the easier it is to redistribute it based upon political considerations. More money muddles our economic system. As strange as it may sound, many in the federal government thrive in chaos. The more there is to draw the attention of the people, the easier it is for them to operate corruptly in other areas. This may seem like some conspiracy theory, but it’s not. This is really how the government operates in DC.

A better way

A blog post is not the right venue to lay out a comprehensive and detailed plan, but it’s a great place to give a 30,000-foot view of how things should be. Put simply, we need to privatize health care once again.

There are those who will point to challenges that existed before Obamacare. These challenges will return if Obamacare is repealed, but they won’t return in the same form. Things have changed. Now that we’ve experienced rising premiums that yield higher deductibles while delivering worse results, we have empirical data behind which we can rebuild the privatized market.

The sticking point for many Americans who might fear a full repeal is care for those with pre-existing conditions. As Michael Nolan noted on DailyWire:

One argument against privatized health care (and for Universal Health Care) is that insurance companies will continue to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. What the argument fails to take into account is that 90 percent of health care policies cover pre-existing conditions, as shown by health care expert Avik Roy. The free market has created a system by which those with employer-based coverage don’t need screening because the insurance is purchased in bulk by the employer. For those with employment-based coverage (currently roughly 50 percent of those with insurance), pre-existing condition exclusions can only be triggered if the client has had health insurance for less than 12 months. This encourages and rewards those who buy long-term medical coverage (which promotes good life choices and planning) as opposed to those that only purchase insurance when they get ill.

The other big advantage of having seen Obamacare is that we now have a better idea of what needs to be changed in order to make privatized health care work from economic, accessibility, and innovation perspectives. Daniel Horowitz came up with a cheat sheet at Conservative Review that gives us a great starting point to attack this beast. One of my favorites is his take on competition across state lines:

If insurance is enough of an interstate commerce issue to regulate people into oblivion at a federal level, then the federal government should be able to invoke the Commerce Clause to tear down the barriers to purchasing insurance across state lines. Indeed the Supreme Court has said as much [United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Association, 1944]. This will foster massive competition, make insurance portable, and together with individualizing insurance through equal tax treatment and expanded HSAs, will save many individuals who get sick later in life after moving to different states from the problem of pre-existing conditions.

Not only will this reform create a more competitive national market, but it will induce states with a costly regulatory burden to get with the program and relax their regulations to compete with the more pro-consumer states. It will also create momentum for states to ease regulations on tele-medicine from out-of-state providers.

If we systematically repeal Obamacare, we can have privatized health care once again. A replacement plan that tries to predict what will happen is foolish. Instead, we should repeal, then monitor and analyze the market. Over time, we’ll find the holes that need to be plugged. States, charities, and other organizations can fill most of these holes. Whatever is left, if anything, can fall to the federal government. This way, DC becomes the final safety net instead of being the first line of defense. That’s the way it should be in health care and a plethora of other areas.

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Democrats

Justin Haskins: ‘Socialism is completely antithetical to human nature’

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Justin Haskins Socialism is completely antithetical to human nature

Bernie Sanders has a vision for America. A path, as he likes to call it. This path is one that takes us down a winding road of “Democratic Socialism” all the while knowing the end result can be no different from every other path to socialism that has ever been tried. Socialism doesn’t work regardless of what path or which direction you take to get there.

But that’s not stopping proponents of Democratic Socialism, which seems to include the majority of the Democrats running for president today. Led by Sanders and his ideological cohort in the Senate, Elizabeth Warren, the notion that if you take from the rich by force and give it to the poor to “earn” their vote has become the calling card of the Democratic Party. It may have always been heading in this direction, but the 2020 election is shaping up to be either a full embrace of socialism within the party or the (hopefully) final mandate handed down from the people that America refuses to adopt the destructive tenets of a demonstrably poor ideology.

Anyone who thinks socialism will not come full circle if allowed to spring forth in part clearly doesn’t understand the nature of socialism itself. Once the seeds are planted by politicians, fed and watered by voters, and cultivated into laws, it begins the inevitable and unstoppable trend of self-sustained growth. A little socialism is like a plague that spreads until it is all-consuming.

The Heartland Institute‘s Justin Haskins joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson to lambaste the Senator’s repetitive talking points. He and others in his party want to win over the people by offering free stuff. Will voters fall for it?

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Economy

Socialism is the antithesis of the American dream

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Socialism is the antithesis of the American dream

It’s very rare that I get riled up over internet trolls. I appreciate those who read through comments, DMs, Tweets, Facebook posts, and other attempts to spew vitriol on conservatives, Christians, and the things we believe in, but I’m not one of them. I can count on two hands the number of times this year I’ve engaged with the people who try to troll me on social media. Life’s too short.

Every now and then, I do come across a troll who strikes a nerve. It’s rarely about me when it happens; I’ve heard every variation of ad hominem attacks over the years. But one troll in particular made a passionate argument that actually has me concerned. It wasn’t just what they posted but how adamant they were about being correct that has been itching in the back of my mind for several days.

I finally addressed it tonight in a Tweet:

I won’t share the original offending post. There’s no need to draw attention to one of the standard 45-follower troll accounts who like to provoke conservatives and spread their false perspectives in the reply sections of bigger accounts. Instead, I want to address the fundamental issue with the notion of socialism being an “alternative path” to achieving the American dream.

There are definitely multiple paths to achieving it. Most get there by working hard and building a lifestyle for themselves and their families. Some go to college. Some go straight to work. Some get jobs and move up the ladder. Others build their own businesses and struggle through rough times to get to better times.

Some get lucky; I’ve bought a few lottery tickets in my life, just in case I’m one of them. Others are beneficiaries of the hard work and/or luck of their families.

But there’s one way of achieving a false version of the American dream that is often glorified (to some extent) in Hollywood. But it isn’t just fictional. It happens in every American city every day. Theft is not a proper path to achieving the American dream. Just because Tony Montana went from being a low-level pawn to the king of a criminal empire in the movie Scarface doesn’t mean his version of achieving the American dream is acceptable. It’s not.

Al Pacino’s titular character used violence and sold drugs to get there, but sometimes the theft of prosperity doesn’t involve a gun. In The Wolf Of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort used unethical and illegal methods to commit financial crimes. And unfortunately, this depiction isn’t entirely fictional. The real Belfort committed real crimes to steal prosperity from others. Did he achieve a dream? Yes. Was it a version of the American dream? Absolutely not.

As we continue our way down from drug lord to Wall Street criminal, we come to another piece of fiction that I must admit up front I didn’t watch. The Hunger Games series of books and movies depicts a class structure in which the elites are both dependent on and masters over the rest of the people in other districts who are forced to live in poverty without the potential to do more with their lives. It has been heralded as a rallying cry against the Marxist variation of the bourgeoisie and their elite masters. Only through armed revolt are the oppressed able to take their fair share from the bad guys in the upper echelons of this Dystopian society.

And that’s where we’re headed today. The rise in popularity of socialism is driven by a mentality that if the elites can be heeled into contributing their “fair share” to American society, more Americans will be able to achieve the dream that was promised by birthright. In fact, they’ve extended it beyond birthright to include anyone who can make it into the United States regardless of how they managed to get here. This “Hunger Games mentality” is seen by many radical progressives as a way to take prosperity achieved by others and redistribute it to the masses who cannot achieve the dream on their own.

It’s a false notion on multiple levels, but I’m just going to address two. First, achieving prosperity through the work of others is not part of the American dream. This, more than anything else, is why socialism is not an “alternative path” to the American dream. It’s the antithesis of it. Second, the very concept of socialism and the hope that’s now creeping into the radical progressive consciousness that it can actually be achieved is offensive to the supposed beneficiaries. We have big enough problems trying to take care of the portions of society who truly need assistance because they cannot work. By adding in a new group of people who must be taken care of simply because they’re unwilling to work, how can any thinking human being believe this is going to solve problems?

Socialism offers a path to laziness and too many people are starting to buy into the notion that they’d rather be beholden to government for the sake of personal security than work their way to achieving the American dream on their own. This is part of the rising victim mentality. It’s a side-effect of the lies being promoted by the vast majority of Democratic candidates for president. It’s the rallying cry for those who see in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her hyper-leftist handlers at the Justice Democrats a path to personal economic security that does not require input from the recipients.

What the leaders of the socialist movement know but are unwilling to acknowledge is equality of economic status can only be achieved at the detriment of economic freedom. When economic freedom us subverted, the ability of those who would initially drive a socialist utopia dries up over time. As Margaret Thatcher famously noted, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Some people steal the American dream through murder, theft, or manipulation. Others want to make it all legal by installing socialism in America. Just because it could eventually be legal doesn’t make it less of a crime.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Economy

Blue Collar Logic: Most young people have big dreams and no real work ethic

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Blue Collar Logic Most young people have big dreams and no real work ethic

If you want to know why this current generation of young people seem to be embracing the tenets of socialism, we need only to look in the mirror. Granted, not all of us in Generation X and our predecessors are directly to blame, but many have given our children so much prosperity through our own pursuit of the American dream, this new generation hasn’t acquired the work ethic to match their elevated tastes.

They want security and prosperity, but many are unwilling to do what it takes to achieve it on their own. They’re taking out student loans willfully, then turning around and embracing politicians who are offering to forgive the debt they accrued. They look at the bills they’re paying for healthcare and demanding that the rich people in this country make healthcare free for them. They hear promises of higher minimum wage and universal basic income and they think it will benefit them without forcing them to work harder for their lifestyle.

These are all clearly false notions, of course, but when powerful Democrats tell them these notions are true, many progressives hop on the socialism bandwagon because they now have justification for being lazy. It really does come down to that, being lazy.

The folks over at Blue Collar Logic put together another of their thought-provoking videos detailing these. One of the hosts, Jason, recounts experiences in his life that point to a reality of today’s misguided youth.

“How lazy have we become that so many Americans are willing to give the control of their life over to the state for the promise of security? Jason asked. “It’s terribly sad you’re living in the greatest country in the greatest time in history and you want to throw that away all because you just don’t want to work, and that’s a simple truth.”

If you want something badly enough, you work hard to get it. You take risks. You patiently build up your resources and abilities to achieve it. That’s the American dream. Socialism is the antithesis of that dream.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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