Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cruising the Web

Amity Shlaes has a great column using the lyrics from the 1950s song "Lie to me." Her major point is that the politicians have figured out how to game the CBO making its forecasts meaningless. What a surprise that politicians would design a system and then figure out how to get away with it. Campaign finance reform come to mind?

Is anyone happy with the new NFL overtime rule for post-season play? I agree with Gene Wojciechowski that it makes no sense to have one rule for the season and one rule for the postseason. Does anyone buy that the rule change was based on a concern for the safety of the players? If that's their concern, why not shorten games? The previous coin-toss rule had its obvious defects. But if it was worth fixing, why not fix it for the entire season? And why still give the first team the extra opportunity to score and win the game on another field goal if both teams end up kicking field goals.

David Brooks expresses the concern that, with this bill, a little more of the vibrancy that led to creating the country we are today is being lost. They've made our exploding national debt problem even more critical and political perilous to address.

Jonah Goldberg
explains how the Democrats' plan has "nationalized health care by proxy." George Will argues that the Democrats' agenda is to foster dependency, particularly by creating middle-class entitlements. And he points to the vote-buying deal that was the most emblematic of how the Democrats' control of government is so pernicious.
Besides, some of the transactions were almost gorgeous: Government policy having helped make water scarce in California's Central Valley, the party of expanding government secured two votes by increasing rations of the scarcity. Thus did one dependency lubricate legislation that establishes others.
Will hopes that the big push for health care means that the Democrats won't be able to push through some of their other terribly destructive ideas such as cap and trade. I wouldn't be so sure. Now that they've paved the way to get around the rules, why stop now, especially if they fear losing control of one of the houses of Congress?

The Washington Post continues to implore the Obama administration to protect the D.C. vouchers plan. They've been asking him to do that for a year, but the pleas are falling on deaf ears.

Brad Warbiany explains how the provisions that take place this year in the health care plan will all lead to more government spending and increased insurance premiums right away. Forget about all those promises about bending the cost curve. There is only one way that this curve is trending and that's straight up.

This is scary. A Turkish tanker carrying fertilizer was hijacked by pirates connected to Al Qaeda 1000 miles off the coast of Yemen.

David Kopel weighs in
on what a Supreme Court finding allowing the federal government to mandate that people buy health insurance means for our understanding of government power.
Does Congress have the infinite power to control people's behavior (such as by ordering them to engage in commercial transactions) via the tax power? I suggest not. When the Bill of Rights was being debated in front of Congress, the skeptical Rep. Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts asked if there should also be an enumeration that "declared that a man should have a right to wear his hat if he pleased; that he might get up when he pleased, and go to bed when he thought proper." . . . Sedgewick's point was that national laws about bedtimes and hat-wearing were self-evidently beyond the authority of Congress. . . .
forget the whole idea that we have a limited government only able to carry out its enumerated powers from Article One of the Constitution. A rule upholding the mandates means that government can truly do anything it wants under the Commerce Clause. The Antifederalists were right to fear the elasticity of those powers granted to the federal government.

Change is possible. New Jersey's Democratic legislature passed public employees pension reform and health insurance rules to save their government from the calamitous promises that they had enacted a decade ago. They ignored the teachers unions who tried to claim that, somehow, it would harm students to require teachers to pay at least 1.5 percent of their salary toward health care benefits for them and their families. What does such a common sense idea have to do with the students? It shows what a change in the governor's office can mean. Jon Corzine had refused to sign such reforms. Chris Christie happily signed the bills.

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake
, no mouth-breathing Republican, explodes 18 myths of ObamaCare.