Hypocrisy

Neal Boortz posted this on his site today.  It’s awesome.  It’s because of things like this, I am fully convinced, that many Liberals, including cowardly Political Science Professors, decided to cut and run and take their discussions underground.  They knew that Obama and the Democrats would be doing the very things they ripped Bush and the GOP for.  They knew things would be headed this direction.  Here is the post:


RECONCILIATION

By

Neal Boortz

@ March 4, 2010 8:27 AM Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Back to this whole healthcare debate …

While Barack Obama didn’t explicitly say it, he opened the door for Democrats to use reconciliation to pass healthcare reform. And that is exactly what they intend to do. Obama says:

“[N]o matter which approach you favor, I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for a year, but for decades. Reform has already passed the House with a majority. It has already passed the Senate with a supermajority of sixty votes. And now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that was cast on welfare reform, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and both Bush tax cuts — all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority … I have therefore asked leaders in both of Houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks.”

Never mind the .. dare I say it .. hypocrisy surrounding this approach. Here is not one but four different examples of Obama demagoguing the use of reconciliation.

CBS Interview 11/2/04
My understanding of the Senate is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats and Republicans have to ask the question, do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?

Change to Win Convention 9/25/07
The bottom line is that our healthcare plans are similar, the question once again is, who can get it done? Who can build a movement for change? This is an area where we’re going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We’re going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk. That is not just a fifty plus one majority.

Obama Interview with the Concord Monitor 10/9/07
You’ve got to break out of what I call the sort of fifty plus one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory of fifty plus one. Then you can’t govern. You know, you get Air Force One, there are a lot of nice perks, but you can’t deliver on healthcare. We are not going to pass universal health care with a fifty plus one strategy.

Center for American Progress Conference 7/12/06
Those big-ticket items: fixing our health care system. You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with my fellow progressives, and some of these have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion, is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove where we identify our core base, we throw ’em red meat, we get a fifty plus one victory. See, Karl Rove doesn’t need a broad consensus because he doesn’t believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a sizeable majority.

And then lest we forget this from Robert Byrd in 2005. When Republicans wanted to use reconciliation to stop the Democrat filibuster of Bush judicial nominees, Robert Byrd compared the strategy to Nazi tactics. Seriously! Here’s what he had to say back then:

Many times in our history we have taken up arms to protect a minority against the tyrannical majority in other lands. We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini’s Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men.

But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends. Historian Alan Bullock writes that Hitler’s dictatorship rested on the constitutional foundation of a single law, the Enabling Law. Hitler needed a two-thirds vote to pass that law, and he cajoled his opposition in the Reichstag to support it. Bullock writes that “Hitler was prepared to promise anything to get his bill through, with the appearances of legality preserved intact.” And he succeeded.

Hitler’s originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.

Please, folks; if you won’t fight for your liberty, how about fighting for the future of your children and grandchildren.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, any Liberals out there wish to explain this obvious hypocrisy? Anyone?

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47 Responses to “Hypocrisy”

  1. D. M. Manes Says:

    1. Robert Byrd is a senile lunatic.

    2. Reconciliation makes sense in this case because there are two bills that are substantially the same in both houses. The normal process is for the reconciliation committee to put them together and send them back for a straight vote. The only thing that separates these two bills from any other two significant bills is that a lot of conservatives are in loud opposition.

    3. Reconciliation doesn’t make sense in the context of changing the rules of the Senate in the nominee context. There weren’t two substantially similar bills in the two houses regarding the issue at hand in that case. Republicans are filibustering Obama’s nominees now too, but that isn’t how reconciliation is being proposed.

    4. “Fight for liberty?” “Fight for children?” Gosh, that’s dramatic. You do know that you are fighting for the “liberty” for poor people to be uninsured and the “liberty” of insurance corporations to keep screwing America, right?

  2. D. M. Manes Says:

    lol! You are still so obsessed with Elrod!!!

  3. Dude Says:

    Mr. Manes, are what the insurance companies doing illegal? Why is running a business, suddenly, under Obama, so evil? He keeps talking about jobs yet keeps ripping the companies that provide them.

    Also, can you please enlighten us where in the Constitution it states that you or I must pay for the healthcare of others OR, for that matter, where it states that if you don’t buy a product you are to be jailed. I guess, bottom line, where does it state that healthcare is some sort of “right”?

    I think the whole point of this post was to point out how Obama is not being consistent. Can you address that and this quote: “We are not going to pass universal health care with a fifty plus one strategy.”????

  4. D. M. Manes Says:

    Dude, I’ll address your points if you promise to address mine (since mine directly deal with the topic at hand – the comparison with the threatened GOP reconciliation during the Bush administration).

    It isn’t about illegal activity, it is about undesirable activity. It wasn’t illegal for companies to pollute in certain ways before the Clean Air Act, but we passed the Clean Air Act because the kind of legal pollution was undesirable. Refer to any speech on health care ever for a list of undesirable activities: pre-existing condition issues, denials of claims, coverage refusals, etc.

    The Constitution, as you probably know, does not require Congress to pass very many laws. It gives Congress enumerated powers which certainly cover something like the health care bills in Congress now. I’m sure some libertarians will challenge the eventual law in the court system and the challenge will fail. The question is not, as you say “where does the Constitution require this reform?” but rather “is this reform Constitutional?” When the right question is asked, the answer is clearly yes and everything else is irrelevant rhetoric.

    I did address the apparent inconsistency over the reconciliation process, which was the point of the post. As for the shift from a bipartisan strategy to a majority strategy, I can address that too if that helps.

    First, there hasn’t been a shift from bipartisan reform to partisan liberal Democratic reform. The headlines in the past weeks have been “Obama incorporates GOP ideas,” “Obama sits down with GOP leaders,” etc. Almost all of the Republican ideas have been absorbed into the proposal, but yes, there are some Democratic things in there too that Republicans are not in favor of. Bummer for them, but they are the minority party. They don’t get to say that the reform package is excluding them just because not ALL of their ideas were adopted.

    Second, the reconciliation rumor is just that, a rumor. Obama may be considering it, and it may end up happening, but it hasn’t happened yet and party leaders have not even confirmed that they are seriously considering it at this point.

    Third, I truly believe that Obama campaigned under a slight illusion that he could pass a bipartisan reform with both parties sitting down and agreeing to the package terms. That was naive. He tried for over a year to work something through that was moderate enough that Republicans and independents could support it. If he wanted to pass some red meat package, he and the super-majority Democrats could have done it in just a few days instead of dragging it out for months. At every step, though, Republicans have refused to cooperate. Yes, they have their own ideas, but when you are the minority party, your role in legislation is not to propose items that are 100% minority agenda. If the country wanted that agenda, it would not be the minority party. The purpose is to negotiate with the majority party and try to include as many of your main points in the majority legislation as possible. So, given the months of effort and political capital expended seeking bipartisan reform and the stonewalling tactics of the GOP, it isn’t surprising that Obama is leaning toward passing it without GOP support. It is either that or pass nothing, which is unacceptable for him, the Democrats, and the people.

  5. D. M. Manes Says:

    Also, let’s not forget this little fact – 60% of the Senate did vote for the health care bill.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126165317923104141.html

    The Senate passed a bill and the House passed a bill. There are some differences, but huge similarities. This is why we have the reconciliation committee, to reconcile the differences and send identical bills to both houses for approval. There has never been a tradition of allowing filibuster in the Senate after reconciliation. What is the issue again?

  6. Dan The Man Says:

    Yeah, he sure did work with the GOP over the past year. Especially all those closed door meetings with ONLY Democrats. Yep, that sure is working with them.

    For Obama, “working together” means agree to all my ideas and not use any of yours.

    BTW, the enumerated powers clause is for the states.

  7. Sonyathered Says:

    I was a big Obama supporter. Still am, I guess but even so, this is not the same man who campaigned. Many, many of the things he spoke about and many of the things he tore Bush apart for, although true, he is now doing. He was so critical of the GOP and with good reason but now, he is doing the same thing or not doing what he said he would do.

    Not sure if I would vote for him again if he doesn’t start shooting a bit more straighter. The big thing for me is the budget. He was so critical of Bush and the GOP yet he has drawfed what Bush spent and I don’t see him stopping any time soon.

    Also, I always hated how secretive Bush and his administration and Obama said he wouldn’t do that yet he does.

    I think the biggest thing for me is how he voted for everything spending bill while he was in congress. Shame on me for not looking into that when I voted for him. Maybe I was caught up in just wanting something new but, you know, I am feeling that way again. I feel that Obama just Bush #2 since he is doing much of what Bush in regards to spending, the war, being so secretive, etc….

    Oh, yeah, it’s about time you updated this site!!!

  8. Dan The Man Says:

    Oh, also, many of those Obama quotes Roland put up there are pertaining to health care, NOT a nominee.

    Also, so, you are saying companies should be forced to insure people? Does that mean that I should be able to go out and get homeowners insurance AFTER my home burns down? It’s exactly the same as the so called “pre-existing” conditions flap. The thing is, why should I even get insurance if I can just go after I get sick and be covered…oh, wait…that’s right. The Government will FORCE me to buy it. First time in history the government is forcing people to buy something they don’t want.

  9. D. M. Manes Says:

    @Dan, I hardly know where to begin with you because there are so many, uh, not-true things that you say.

    “First time in history the government is forcing people to buy something they don’t want.”

    Hardly. For several reasons. First, because the proposal will not force anyone to have health insurance. Second, because the vast majority of the uninsured and underinsured are not that way by choice. There are some complete idiots out there who choose not to be insured when they could afford it, but they are the exception and should not drive policy. Finally, because the government forces people and companies to buy and do all kinds of things. Car insurance, building codes, etc.

    “Does that mean that I should be able to go out and get homeowners insurance AFTER my home burns down?”

    These kinds of analogies are usually bad, but this one is particularly bad. The pre-existing conditions “flap,” as you call it, is something there is massive bipartisan rage against because people think they are insured and then when they file a claim, the insurance company doesn’t pay because they dug up some evidence that it was a pre-existing condition. If your analogy can be saved at all, it has to be this: if your house burns down and you file a claim because you purchased insurance a long time ago, your insurance company shouldn’t be able to weasel out of paying its obligation because it finds evidence that the wires in one room were not installed properly. It’s not your fault and you shouldn’t be punished. Insurance companies absorb risk – it’s what we pay for.

    “BTW, the enumerated powers clause is for the states.”

    Enumerated powers is a concept of federalism that explains that Congress has the powers granted to it by the Constitution, as opposed to the general police power of the states.

    “For Obama, “working together” means agree to all my ideas and not use any of yours.”

    Where are you getting this? I’ve reviewed the GOP plans and several of their ideas are being incorporated. Cross-state competition and tax credits for families just to name a couple. Which parts of the GOP plan do you think should be incorporated, but aren’t? It doesn’t matter because your statement is false. There are GOP ideas in the proposal, whether you want to believe it or not.

  10. Dan The Man Says:

    So, when you are fined for not having insurance…that is not forced coverage?

  11. D. M. Manes Says:

    It’s a tax incentive. Just like the million other incentives that give you tax breaks if you do the kinds of things that we want to promote – like going to college, buying a new home, donating to charity, etc. – and result in higher taxes (you can call them “fines” if it makes you feel better, but it’s all the same thing, more money going from you to the government than otherwise would be). We incentivize certain kinds of behavior in this country using the tax code, welcome to America.

  12. Dan The Man Says:

    Let’s see….I don’t give to charity…no fine. I don’t buy health insurance – fine. Hmmm…yeah, that’s a great comparision.

    BTW, can you show me a program that the Government runs better than the private sector?

  13. D. M. Manes Says:

    Should I take it from the fact that you change the subject every time that you are conceding almost everything I am saying?

    Of course it is a good comparison, and I already explained why. If you don’t think it is, you need to actually make an argument instead of just a petulant denial. My position is that taxes and tax breaks are structured in order to incentivize behavior in a million different circumstances. We give tax breaks for a million things we want to encourage, like using solar panels or starting a business. We have other taxes that target behavior for the purpose of discouraging it – excise taxes on tobacco products, for example. The charges to insurance-refusers (free-loaders) under this proposal resembles a tax incentive much more than it does a “fee” or a “forced action.” You are required by law to insure your vehicle if you are going to drive it, and if you don’t, you can be caught, cited, prosecuted, and fined by the state. There isn’t going to be an insurance police checking people’s papers. It’s something you report on your taxes and it goes into calculating how much you owe. If you have an alternate interpretation, please provide it using complete sentences.

    I’ll answer your last question if you promise not to make it a thing because that line of questioning is so boring. The post office is better than any private alternative. Almost every time I ship a package or letter, I go to the post office. It is cheaper and universally available. Yes, companies like FedEx provide some super high-end benefits that the USPS doesn’t, but you have to pay like crazy for them, and most people don’t. I don’t. We trust the government with education and defense, arguably the two most significant issues to our country and it’s future. Number three would probably be health care, so why not?

    Other examples include Medicare and Social Security. We already have millions of people getting their health insurance through a government agency, and they seem to like it. Those old people certainly get flustered if you talk about changing it in any way.

    Also, I reject the underlying premise of your question because current proposals are not advocating a government-run health system. The public option is still up in the air, so who knows about that. It is mainly about a series of reforms to the market. Are you actually familiar with the proposal or do you just get your talking points from lunatics like Glenn Beck? Do you have any idea what it actually proposes to do?

  14. D. M. Manes Says:

    Oh no, is it over? I was having fun.

    Roland, are you out there? You invited any Liberals out there to explain this obvious hypocrisy, and ta da, here I am. Where are you?

  15. Dude Says:

    Ha! I don’t think you really “explained” it. More like you rationalized it away. Of course, what would one expect. I can see the big “D” jersey you are wearing, even from here. It’s always ok when it’s your guy but the other guy, no way. It’s baaaaaaaad when it’s “them”.

  16. D. M. Manes Says:

    What’s the difference between a rationalization and an explanation? None, except one is viewed as legitimate and one is not. I didn’t expect you to jump on board my explanation, but if you think my reasoning is flawed, you should try to use some reasoning of your own.

    I don’t root for or against anyone because of their affiliation. What a silly thought. I do try to think for myself and I tried to explain some things here. This isn’t my territory, but none of you (Roland, Dude, or Dan) have done much to actually argue against what I am saying.

    I hate to say this is typical of your side in these disputes, but it is. You make an accusation, then when confronted with reasoned arguments, you just repeat the charge and dismiss the arguments instead of providing your own. Tragic.

    If you do feel like addressing any of the things I have actually said, start with the fact that the Senate already did pass the healthcare bill with a 60% majority and reconciliation is perfectly normal and typical in a case like this. If not, then that’s fine too. Just don’t pat yourself on the back as if you’ve actually accomplished anything here.

  17. Roland Says:

    Sure, it did pass and, yeah, maybe reconciliation is “normal” however that is NOT what Obama said he wanted to do in years past. I believe THAT is the sticking point here you refuse to address.

  18. Jenny Says:

    D.M., I guess what bothers me, a Democrat, is why President Obama has such a problem with profits that a company makes? Why does he continue to talk as if making a profit is, somehow, so evil? It really makes me want to switch parties. I make good money and it’s from profits. Why is that so wrong?

  19. D. M. Manes Says:

    Roland, I have been addressing that in almost everything I write, but let me make it clearer. You claim that Obama previously spoke out against using reconciliation to sneak health care reform through, but now he is planning to. That is wrong for two reasons, and they will sound redundant because I have said them before.

    1. It isn’t sneaking anything through. 60 Senators voted for a massive health care reform bill that included all the central Democratic things. Nothing brand new is going to pop up in reconciliation.

    2. You are right that Obama did want to have a broadly supported bipartisan reform bill when he first got into this. I honestly believe he was that naive. It is only political naivete, though, because he believed that Republicans might be willing to be convinced under any circumstances to vote for his reforms. That was a ghost from the beginning because the GOP never intended to let any of its members vote for Obama’s health care reforms. Just because a president really wants to do something doesn’t mean that it is possible, and Obama found that out. After over a year of debate on this issue, with Obama and the Dems compromising at every juncture, there are still approximately zero Republicans willing to support the plan. What does that say for which side is really bipartisan? So should Obama just never pass anything because the GOP won’t sign on? Of course not, you don’t expect the 40% minority party to have that kind of veto power in a democracy. So you are right that Obama did want a celebrated bipartisan reform and now he is realizing that health care reform of any kind can only pass on party lines. But that doesn’t mean that you have to get the gun to protect your children and your freedoms. It just means that Obama overestimated the GOP’s willingness to put policy and people before politics. As I said, it was naive of him.

    So what can you reasonably demand for the Dems to do? They’ve already passed bills in both houses, including in the Senate with a 60-vote supermajority. Normally, the bills would be assigned to the reconciliation committee, made identical, and sent back to both houses for a quick up and down vote. I understand you think that is unfair for some reason… but could you please provide that reason and what alternative to the standard practice you have? Do you want unlimited debate in the Senate so it has to pass the post-reconciliation bill with 60 votes too?

  20. D. M. Manes Says:

    Roland, just so you know, this is what it would look like if the Dems were using reconciliation as a way to cut around the filibuster check of the minority in the Senate.

    The Senate would pass a small reform package that only incorporated GOP ideas, let’s say. The GOP wouldn’t sustain a filibuster against their own ideas without anything controversial (maybe). Then the House would pass a much larger, more expansive reform with the public option, mandates, subsidies, exchanges, and new regulations. If under those circumstances, the reconciliation committee took the 60%-approved tiny Senate bill and pumped it up with all the controversial elements and then sent it back for an up or down vote, that would be kind of sneaky. It wouldn’t be unprecedented, undemocratic, or even unconstitutional, but it would be sneaky. That is not what is happening here, though.

  21. D. M. Manes Says:

    Jenny, I honestly don’t know what you are talking about. I’ve heard a lot of Fox News people saying that Obama hates profitable companies, but I’ve never heard Obama say anything like that. Do you have examples of things he has said or done that appear to be anti-profit? The premise that the president hates successful companies is so absurd that it can’t be discussed in the abstract, so we need something concrete if you want to talk.

  22. Jenny Says:

    Well, I guess when he denounces private insurance companies. When he continues to talk about profits as if they are a bad thing. I guess, for an example, you can look to his speech yesterday. He said “They will keep on doing this for as long as they can get away with it. This is no secret … They’re telling their investors this: ‘We are in the money. We are going to keep on making big profits even though a lot of folks are going to be put under hardship.'”

    My question is, so? It is almost as if, in this case, he is saying they should do this for free.

    He has made comments like this, not just in health care but in other sectors of the economy as well. Many Democrats tear into “Big Oil” for example and their profits but, to be honest, I don’t see the problem. In the work I am in, I make a very good paycheck based on how profitable the company is. I almost feel dirty when I hear my own party talk of profits the way they do.

    Thanks for your response! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  23. D. M. Manes Says:

    Jenny, are you sure you are a Democrat? In general, politics is about allocating finite resources and arbitrating between conflicting interests. Frequently, corporate interests clash with individual interests. It isn’t a secret that Republicans are a little friendlier to corporations and Democrats are a little friendlier to individuals, but the real difference is pretty small.

    As for your one example, I think it is a long way to go from what he actually said to “he hates corporations/profit.” If you read the sentences before that describe what the “this” is. I assume it is something pretty insidious like denying a faithful customer who eventually makes a claim because of a technicality. There are tons of real stories out there of people (individuals) getting screwed because their insurance providers (corporations) do things that are sneaky and terrible, but not yet illegal. That is one of the points of government – to demarcate the line between things that are just terrible but legal and things that are illegal. We can disagree over the fine tuning of lines like these, and weigh the pros and cons of each bit of movement in that line, but it is disingenuous to say that the ones trying to move it an inch in favor of individuals hate corporations and profit. You never hear Democrats accusing Republicans of hating individuals when they propose moving the line an inch in favor of corporations (by deregulating chemical industries or something). Let’s keep things as realistic as possible.

    Do you really think it is fair to read a statement like that and interpret it to mean that the president is anti-profit? The idea that he is anti-profit is a Fox News talking point, not something that seems related to reality.

  24. Dude Says:

    Jenny, he means there are a bunch of sob stories out there. Fact is, you are right on the money. It’s an on going lie that Democrats care more for the individual and the GOP more for corporations. Go and do some research and see how many businesses give money to the Dems.

    Make sure you start with their biggest donor..the Labor Unions.

    Jenny, again, you are exactly right.

  25. Dude Says:

    Oh, and I LOVE the “Fox News talking point” crap.

  26. D. M. Manes Says:

    Hey Dude, I was very fair in my last post. If you don’t see the tension between insurance companies and insurance purchasers as a corporate-individual issue or you don’t think Dems tend to side more with individuals in situations like this, then I don’t know what to tell you. What is your alternate theory? Republicans love corporations, profits, AND individuals, and Democrats hate everyone? Come on. Politics isn’t about loving or hating or “caring,” as you said. It’s about where lines are going to be drawn and where resources are going to be allocated. There are different political philosophies on these points.

    If think I’m wrong and it’s not just a Fox News talking point, then show how this phenomenon of Obama hating profitable corporations actually manifests in real life. Don’t just keep citing the talking point itself to support the talking point. I’m willing to listen if you have reasonable arguments or (gasp) evidence, but nobody is convinced by your alternate recitations of the talking point and cheerleading for it.

    Just for reference, the talking point goes something like this: Obama wants to increase regulations on the insurance industry; insurance companies make a lot of money; ergo he hates profitable companies.

  27. Roland Says:

    Don’t forget other talking points on the Democratic side: MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, etc…etc….

  28. D. M. Manes Says:

    What was the point of that? If it is just an ice-breaker to lead into the real comment where you try to defend your original assertion and answer everything I said to you last, then fine. But if that is all you have as an answer… tsk tsk…

  29. Jenny Says:

    lol. Actually guys, I don’t even get Fox News. I don’t have full cable so don’t get any of those news shows.

    Thanks for the responses. I have gone and done a bit more research and, honestly, Dude, I wish you would give a bit more detail and go a bit deeper because you really are not helping your cause. However, as I said, I did some research and, D.M. it really is hard to deny that President Obama and many of the Democrats are very much anti-Business or anti-profits. Maybe “anti” is not a good word. Maybe if I use something like “not 100% for” it would come across better. 🙂

    I looked up many of his speeches and looked up some interviews and if he is for business, I would really hate to see someone who was against it.

    I guess maybe I am what many call a “Blue Dog Democrat” or a “Reagan Democrat”. I beleive in Capitalism and profits and businesses. I don’t really get into politics much and maybe I was just caught up in the frenzy for Obama or, really, for change but sometimes the truth hurts and, yes, it did hurt the more I looked and the more I found that really, is just not “pro business.”

    D.M. I appreciate your comments. They are very detailed. Dude, you need to go a bit deeper. Roland, you seem to like posting something and letting everyone else hash it out. I like that. You do generate some good thinking and discussion. Thanks to everyone and sorry if I used too many quotes in this post.

  30. Dude Says:

    Jenny, I can provide you with some more quotes from President Obama although, I am sure D.M. will just try to rationalize them away.

    “We are in the money … we are going to keep on making big profits … even though a lot of folks are going to be put under hardship.”

    “What’s hard is what millions of families and businesses are going through because we allow the insurance companies to run wild in this country.”

    Nice, huh. And, you are right, Obama and the Democrats do demonize profits. Fact is, Health Insurance companies are not even in the top 30 for profit margin in the U.S. Yeah, they are SOOOOOO evil.

    George Will made a great point over the weekend that if you took all these evil profits and paid for health insurance for all Americans you would only cover 48 hrs worth.

    Remember the oil companies back in 2005 and 2006? Remember how horrible it was that they were making all this money? Why? Why is making money suddenly so wrong? If it is done illegally, sure, that is wrong but simply making money, making a profit is not wrong. Heck, it’s very, very, very American. Yet, the Democrats, in the words of Dick Gephardt, view the “rich” as simply “winners of lifes lottery.” Now, I ask you, how is THAT not demonizing?

  31. D. M. Manes Says:

    How is it demonizing to call rich people winners in life’s lottery? Haha, I dunno… maybe because it’s calling them winners? How does a reasonable person ever translate “winner of lottery” into something like “demon” instead of something like “lucky.” I think the point is that the myth that rich people are rich because of their own intrinsic qualities and poor people are poor because of theirs is in fact a myth. A huge amount of a person’s circumstances derive from factors outside of her control and therefore she cannot take full credit for the results. For instance, I graduated summa cum laude and got accepted into a good law school with a good scholarship, but I don’t pretend like I am morally superior to other people or that I deserve all the credit for those things. I never would have gotten to where I am without my parents, their parents, my teachers, the schools that I went to, and all sorts of luck at every turn. Genetics, circumstances, opportunities, and luck play huge roles in any person’s success or failure. Anyway, the point of this little rant was I think Gephardt had a good point and it had nothing to do with demonizing anyone.

  32. Roland Says:

    Who was Dick talking about in that quote? Well, he was implying that those of means didn’t come across it by hard work or by earning it. They were just lucky. Here is the quote:

    “Those who have prospered and profited from life’s lottery have a moral obligation to share their good fortune.”

    Another great quote from Dick:

    “Exactly, these random events are what make some people rich and other people poor; let’s tax those who were lucky to help those who were not.”

    Fact is, D.M., Jenny is right on the money. Democrats (and, sadly, may of the GOP) simply do not like earners. They do not like corporations that make money. That make profits. You cannot ignore the black and white quotes and actions by those on the left. You can rationalize it away or, as you seem to want to do, simply ignore it but the facts are there. It’s hard to hide from direct quotes.

    The left seems to have issues with those who make a lot of money. They love wealth distribution. They don’t like to use the word EARN but would rather use their favorite phrase “giving back” which implies it was never yours to begin with.

    I think the best quote, the simpliest quote to really hang your hat on is when Obama said, about working the private sector that he was working “behind enemy lines”. What kind of statement is that? It is pretty much a slap in the face to all us working stiffs. That we are somehow traitors to the country.

    Jenny, for a great read I encourage you to read “How Capitalism saved America”. From reading your posts, I think you will really enjoy it. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/How-Capitalism-Saved-America-Pilgrims/dp/B001DYVIFS

  33. D. M. Manes Says:

    Roland, your interpretation of these statements is totally nonsensical. You don’t take a statement that says “X is lucky” or even “X is lucky and should share some luck with others” to mean that the person making the statement hates X. I happen to agree with those statements as they were intended and as they are reasonably interpreted. For the record, all of the greatest capitalists in our history were also great philanthopists who would agree with this statement. Ask Rockafeller, Heinz, Carnegie, Buffet, or Gates if they think they were lucky and had an obligation to help those less lucky. This doesn’t have to be a hypothetical; they have all made statements to that effect and followed up with actions.

  34. Dude Says:

    D.M. it’s one thing to be humble and quite another lucky. Those men also spoke about their hard work. About their upbringing. About WORKING.

    Roland, here is a great recent quote from Obama yesterday about being lucky:

    “Those of us who are lucky enough to have healthcare today, we don’t know if we are the ones who are going to lose our job tomorrow and we’ll be stuck in the exact same situation even if we have good health insurance.”

    Yep, I just blindly walked into my health insurance coverage. I sure was lucky!

    “All new insurance plans would be required to provide free preventive care to their customers.”

    So…health insurance is supposed to be cheaper under the Obama plan yet the companies will be required to offer this free stuff. Again, we have that magic tree that Government get’s it’s money from.

  35. Jenny Says:

    Ok guys, you are getting a bit better with your responses (except D.M. who is always good). But, bottom line…all I want to know is, what is wrong with profits? What is wrong with a person or a company making as much money as they legally can. I’m sorry but it just seems that politicans (not pointing at any one party) want to limit that.

    Why?

    Maybe it’s tax season again and I am just seeing more and more money that I earned be taken away. Maybe PMS (no, that’s still two weeks away). I don’t know but the more I talk about this, the more I am really, once again, wanting some change. I didn’t like it when the Republicans had total control and neither do I like it when the Democrats do. Let’s get some more Government gridlock.

  36. D. M. Manes Says:

    Jenny/Dude/Roland, I don’t think you guys are appreciating where I am coming from, so maybe you are misunderstanding some of my comments. So let me take a step back and explain what I am thinking in broad terms.

    Why would a person like me bother commenting on a site like this? I just stumbled across it because I remember Roland was obsessed with Elrod a long time ago and it turns out he still is. I don’t cheer for or against any particular team in politics because I have way too many of my own thoughts to set them aside for some sort of party ideology. I certainly don’t expect to be able to convert any of you into Obama supporters. Ha! I also don’t expect to turn you around on health care and even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. Let me explain why I care enough to talk to you.

    Every few years, we face a pressing political question in our society. These pressing questions demand resolution and deserve intelligent discussion. We have had them before – isolationism in the 1910s, market regulation in the 20s, the New Deal in the 30s, WWII in the 40s, communism and foreign policy in the 50s, civil rights in the 60s, and so on. I will use a recent example – civil liberties and privacy in the post-9/11 Bush administration. This was an extremely important issue that had many facets and lots of considerations. It was not an all or nothing proposition (as in 100% security and 0% privacy or the opposite), but it was a matter of finesse. It was a matter of finely tuned and hotly debated questions like “in light of the competing interests of privacy and security, what limits should exist on the NSA’s ability to spy on Americans?” “What should the limits be for US interrogators with terrorism suspects?” Those kinds of things.

    During this last major political question, there were lots of intelligent voices discussing the competing interests, different compromises, and the implications of proposed policy. They helped the country a lot by moderating between the rhetorical extremists who were arguing with a basis in inflammatory words instead of arguing with a basis in reality. At the same time, there were idiots saying all sorts of idiotic things. Some called Bush a Nazi and said that he wanted Ashcroft to make lists of liberals and take away all privacy. They said that he hated people of Middle Eastern decent. They said that Bush was evil and terrible. They were idiots and they didn’t help the dialog progress at all.

    The same thing is happening now. Health care is our major question and while there is a lot of intelligent discussion happening about the nuances of this policy or that, there are a lot of idiots. Statements like “Obama hates profits” are idiotic. They are at least as idiotic as the radical liberals who said that Bush hated freedom and privacy. They do not represent reality and they do not help progress the dialog at all. If I accomplish anything by talking to people like you, I hope to make you think about idiotic things like this before you write them down and share them with others.

    There are competing interests involved in this political question. The two biggest groups are health insurance providers and health insurance consumers. The government has drawn lines and created incentives before when the two competing interest groups have been providers and consumers. Of course this is not an all or nothing proposition (100% for providers and 0% for consumers or the opposite). It is a narrow question of where the fine lines will be drawn. Democrats generally want to move the line a little further in favor of consumers because there are so many consumers who are getting shafted by the providers. Republicans… well it’s hard to tell what they want. Some of them think what we have right now is just the perfect balance of the interests, but it seems arbitrary to assume that just because something “is,” that it is the best it could be. Nobody is talking about communism or government takeovers or ramming policy down throats… except Fox News and their ilk.

    Everyone in this debate just needs to be a little more reasonable and a little less dichotomous in their thinking. Nothing in politics is all or nothing. When we answered the isolationism debate in the 1910s, it led to our entering WWI, but it didn’t mean that we joined every war that ever started. It isn’t about good vs. evil or anything nearly that cosmic. Keep your head on, look at reality in the most reasonable way you can muster. Resist the urge to hyperbolize. That’s where I am coming from.

  37. D. M. Manes Says:

    Jenny, although I do not know your particular financial situation, I do know that there have been no tax increases in several years. Even Obama and the Democrats don’t want to raise taxes during a recession.

    Nothing is wrong with profits – read my above post. Nobody is demonizing them or hating them or anything else emotional like that. Politics isn’t about emotions, it is about drawing fine lines of regulations and incentives.

    The health care proposal that is about to pass recognizes the need for some regulation – things like the pre-existing condition shaft that so many providers have used against so many consumers – and some incentives – like credits and subsidies so families can afford insurance and penalties if they do not purchase it. That kind of thing is what we are talking about. It has nothing to do with profits or evil or anything else dramatic like that.

  38. Roland Says:

    …except that Democrats want to repeal the Bush tax cuts which, would in essence, be a tax increase. Not done yet but they want to.

  39. D. M. Manes Says:

    Repeal [some of] the Bush tax cuts [for some people] [at some indeterminate point in the future], yes. But no, that still is not the same thing as a tax increase. Partially repealing a tax cut is not the same thing as a tax increase.

  40. Jenny Says:

    D.M., how is it now? If that is repealed, my taxes will go up.

  41. Dan The Man Says:

    I noticed the Democrats had another closed door meeting today. Yep…more transparancy AND more bi-partisanship!

  42. D. M. Manes Says:

    Jenny, I understand the effect on you and how it seems from your perspective, but I think it is more useful to discuss something broad like tax policy from a broad perspective.

    For example, if you give your niece a birthday present of $20 on her birthday, the week after her birthday, her income from you will have been “slashed” by $20. That’s one way that she could look at it. Let’s say you even decide to give her $20 per week for a month and then decide to “repeal” your gift. She might even get used to having that extra money and she would certainly be unhappy to see it go. From her perspective, the best thing would be for you to keep giving her the money. But perhaps you have other considerations and from a broader perspective, it doesn’t make sense to keep giving the gift indefinitely. I think that is more analogous to the repeal of a tax cut, since the initial thing – a tax cut – is sort of a gift. It is unexpected extra money that is meant to be temporary (remember, technically the Democrats do not want to repeal the tax cuts, they just want to allow some of them to end as they were planned to while extending most of them, the ones that benefit the most people).

    Back to your perspective, I seriously doubt that you are one of the few likely to be affected by any tax cut expiration. You know we are only talking about people who have gross income well into the six figures right? Even if you are one of those, you would still continue to benefit from lower marginal rates for the first couple hundred thousand dollars, so you would still benefit from the extended tax cuts.

  43. D. M. Manes Says:

    Jenny, the other reason not to focus on individuals when discussing tax policy is this: if we decided tax policy by asking those who would pay the tax if they are in favor or not, we wouldn’t be able to pay for any of our government. A libertarian’s dream, right? But seriously, it wouldn’t work. Nobody is in favor of taxes on themselves, but we agree that we need taxes generally. Down is the preferred direction for tax rates, but it is unrealistic and childish to think that they can go down, down, down, down, and never ever back up, even a little bit, and if they do, then it is socialism! But that is pretty much what is happening now. Effective tax rates across the board have been declining ever since the early 80s, and any time one of the temporary declines goes back to its previous position, there is lots of unhelpful drama from the fringe and from the uninformed.

  44. justthisgirl Says:

    1. I have a complete internet brain crush (I think I just made up that expression) on David M. Manes. That said, man, I don’t know why you keep saying stuff here. The way you make points and they change the subject drives ME bonkers, and I’m not even in the discussion.

    2. “lol! You are still so obsessed with Elrod!!!” Totally. I think he’s built a shrine to Elrod in his basement. He has pictures and bits of homework that Elrod graded, maybe some printouts of some exchanges he had on Elrod’s site before That Dark Day Elrod Closed His Blog To Everyone Who Didn’t Agree With Him 100% Because He’s No Intellectual Match For The Likes Of Roland. (Kristi and I have a running joke about this.)

  45. D. M. Manes Says:

    JTG, I’ve missed seeing you around. I still have your blog on my reader, but since nothing has popped up since the Bush administration, I checked the real site every once in a while just to make sure it was still there.

  46. Jenny Says:

    Wow. If I was on the fence before now I am flat out against President Obama and the Democrats and have to agree with this original post. The fact that the Democrats want to “deem” the bill passed is just astounding to me.

    What blows me away the most is the fact that this is exactly what Mr. Obama campaigned against. D.M. I would hope you would agree this is just the opposite. He said he was against these kind of back room dealings and wanted more transparancy. I cannot see how you can defend him when he said, just last week, he wanted a straight up or down vote and now, may not get that. I’m a Democrat. I voted FOR him but this just makes me sick.

  47. Dan The Man Says:

    I just tried to contact my Rep. here in my state. His site states his e-mail is down. So, I looked to call. His phone number is not on his site anywhere. I found it elsewhere. Called and was trapped in voicemail and finally disconnected. I tried my Senator. He had E-mail but no phone. I tried my other Senator – same thing.

    BTW, these are ALL Democrats.

    How is THAT for listening to the people?

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