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Battling Inequality with the President Megastate Fail: Do You Hear Me Now, Liberals?

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How The Grinch Stole Health Care

by Christopher Chantrill
December 17, 2013 at 12:00 am


YOU KNOW WHAT I am talking about. This is the year that the Democrats “have blown up the American health-care system.” The quote is from Peggy Noonan’s qualified approval of the Ryan-Murray copout.

You see, back in the golden age of George W. Bush Democrats were mad as hell. How could the American people be so stupid, they said, to elect a simpleton and a liar as president. So they came up with a plan. One Christmas soon they would descend from Mount Capitol on the merry and warm-hearted American people in Flyoverville and sneak down their chimneys and take away their health plans. And their doctors and their affordable premiums and deductibles as well. That would teach them to elect George W. Bush!

Of course Barry the Grinch got a bit of a shock on Christmas Day. Because the American people decided that even if they didn’t have health care, didn’t have doctors, couldn’t afford their Obamacare premiums and didn’t know how they would find the money for their Obamacare deductibles, they still had each other. And life is not really about doctors and benefits and hospitals and teaching the insurance companies a lesson. It is about family and friends and husbands and wives and children and lovers. Yes, and even grumpy old grandparents like me.

So Barry the Grinch saw the error of his ways and decided to give the American people back the health plans he had stolen. He decided to give them back their doctors. He decided to abolish the whole creepy Obamacare system of subsidies and death panels and Cornhusker Kickbacks.

And everybody lived happily ever after in Flyoverville.

If only. If only the president and his progressive pals could see the error of their ways as easily as the Grinch. Here’s a recent progressive Holiday wish list recently intecepted by James Pethokoukis. No doubt it was mailed to the Peace Pole.

1. Universal health insurance
2. One-year paid parental leave
3. Universal early education
4. Increase in the Child Tax Credit
5. Sickness insurance
6. Eased eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance
7. Wage insurance
8. Supplemental defined -contribution pension plans with automatic enrollment
9. Extensive, personalized job-search and (re)training support
10. Government as employer of last resort
11. Minimum wage increased modestly and indexed to prices
12. EITC extended farther up the income ladder and indexed to average compensation or GDP per capita
13. Social assistance with a higher benefit level and more support for employment

Let’s translate the first few items in the liberal wish list from policy-speak into common-sense American.

  1. Everybody will be forced to have government health insurance.
  2. All employers will be forced to pay for parental leave.
  3. Every child will be forced to go to government pre-school.
  4. Every worker will be forced to pay higher unemployment taxes.
  5. Et cetera, et cetera.

Notice the common denominator in all these glorious visions? Force. Liberals believe that the way to solve the nation’s social problems is with force. But not just any force. We learned that back in the 1980s with the Reagan administration and in the 2000s with the Bush administration. Whenever the Republicans control the presidency liberals turn into raging government skeptics. Everything then was suspect, a cunning trick starve the children and invade peoples’ bedrooms. Force is only bad when Republicans do it. When liberals do it, it’s just called good government.

Except for one thing. Obamacare is a complete failure, so much so that the president and Secretary Kathleen Sibelius have to issue illegal administrative decisions every day contrary to “black letter law”. But we don’t get a peep out of the mainstream media. Not a peep out of your liberal neighbor. Not a peep out of the Democrats in Congress. All we have is Charles Krauthammer writing about banana republic lawlessness and pronunciamientos from the “presidential balcony.”

Here’s a tip for our liberal friends to explain how the Grinch stole health care.

The reason that bemedaled generals end up making futile speeches from presidential balconies (see Venezuela right now) is that they think that a government can run a society like a general runs an army.

The reason that liberals end up making illegal executive decisions a week before Christmas in the process of blowing up health care is that they think that educated intellectuals can run a society like a college president runs a university.

There is a word for this sort of delusion. It is called “Fatal Conceit.” There is even a book about it. Since liberals are notoriously educated and intellectual, you’d have thought they would all have read it. But maybe the website at the non-profit Fair-tradedProgressiveBooks.org is down this week while they fix a security flaw. What a shame.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990

Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures

German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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