Friday, April 18, 2014

Cruising the Web

So the President had another victory-lap press conference yesterday to announce that Obamacare is a success and the debate is over, done with, kaput. Has anyone ever had so many victory laps trying to convince the public what a success something has been? Of course, he had to mislead people right from the beginning was to say that 35% of the sign-ups were under 35. That might have been a truly meaningful statistic since it represents a big jump from previous estimates of how many young people were signing up, but, as Guy Benson points out, that number also includes children who are not paying into insurance coffers. But isn't it impressive that they have such specific information on the age of those signing up, but couldn't be bothered to collect information on how many of those signing up didn't have insurance before Obamacare. Then there was Obama's strident ridicule of Republicans for daring to continue to criticize and campaign against Obamacare.
Finally, in response to one of the aforementioned terrible questions, the president recommended that his party robustly defend Obamacare, while simultaneously averring that it's time to "move on" and deal with other issues. A telling contradiction. We love Obamacare and will defend it passionately, but it's imperative that we change the subject! The American people, he said, are more interested in more jobs, a growing economy, and improving wages than re-fighting the Obamacare battle. Perhaps he's unaware that the latter is empirically impeding the former litany of goals he laid out. Perhaps not. The important message is that Obamacare is working, resistance is futile, and we ought not waste our energy on it anymore.
Just remember that all the horror stories being told about people losing their coverage or being lost in the paperwork involved in Obamacare are probably all just lies.

Ross Douthat writes that, for purposes of honest debate over Obamacare, we should agree on what the standards for success should be.

If you've been dismayed by the story of the Census changes, the WSJ finds another suspicious element in the whole story. For comparison purposes, it would be smart to run both the old and new questions concurrently for a few years so researchers would be able to judge the impact of the change and find a way to smooth out statistical comparisons pre- and post-changes. It turns out that there are other question changes concerning income and poverty in the new Census proposed questions. And the Census Bureau plans to run the old and new questions concurrently for several years. But they are deliberately not doing that for the health insurance questions.

President Obama will go into the record books as the president who added more regulations to the federal government than any other president. And such statistics explain our sluggish economic growth.
Drawing largely on government statistics, Mr. Crews estimates that the overall cost of regulatory compliance and its economic impact is about $1.9 trillion annually. This means that the burden of complying with federal rules costs roughly the annual GDP of Australia, Canada or Italy.

This regulatory tax makes U.S. businesses less competitive, but it also burdens every American because it is embedded in the prices of all goods and services. Mr. Crews estimates that "U.S. households 'pay' $14,974 annually in regulatory hidden tax," or 23% of the average income of $65,596.

All of this is the fruit of ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and the manifold other expansions of government that have marked the Obama years. By far their greatest and most tragic cost has been slower economic growth, which has meant fewer jobs, lower incomes and diminished economic possibilities for tens of millions of Americans.

Boy, it sure says something about the MSM that even President Obama's press secretary thinks that the toughest interview Obama got in 2012 was from Jon Stewart.

Kirsten Powers exposes how Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been treated by many liberals for her criticisms of how Islam treats women compared to how novelist Anne Rice was treated when she criticized Christianity.

Sean Trende explores how Democrats might actually pick up seats in the Senate this year.

Before the President takes credit for a smaller deficit as reported by the CBO, he should thank the House Republicans for forcing him to accept automatic sequester cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling in 2011.
Many conservatives don’t appreciate how much spending has actually fallen. It hit nearly 25 percent of GDP in the first year of the Obama stimulus but is now close to 21 percent. More than half of that cut came out of defense, but the programs that liberals care about — green-energy subsidies, foreign aid, job training, and transit grants — have also been whacked.

Entitlements haven’t been touched, of course, and Obamacare is the biggest expansion of the entitlement state since the 1960s. But the best way to force Democrats to modernize these programs is by draining funding for everything else.

The key now, as Mr. Boehner tells me, “is to hold the line on those spending caps and don’t let Barack Obama slip out of them. It’s our best leverage right now.” Obama wants a $100-billion-plus infrastructure bank, but, sorry, Mr. President, the spending caps you agreed to make that a non-starter.

The worry is whether Republican appropriators can live within the discipline that the Budget Control Act of 2011 imposes. Spending restraint is the best way to hold the line on taxes and debt, and if we can get the economy growing at 4 percent — where it should be — the spurt of revenue from more people working could produce a balanced budget over the next several years.

So who brought the budget deficit down? The much-maligned tea-party movement and the people they put in control of Congress back in 2010 to right the ship. The April budget update from the CBO is a reminder of how the tea partiers helped save the country in those dark early days of the Obama presidency. They deserve to take a bow.
If the Republicans weren't so inept at publicizing their policy successes, they would be getting this message out there.

Even Hillary Clinton doesn't know what her accomplishments were as Secretary of State.

Now sharing a picture of one's daughter practicing yoga while wearing a T-shirt with a quote from "Game of Thrones" got a professor at Bergen Community College suspended on forced to meet with a psychiatrist. Why do so many educrats have absolutely no common sense?