Obama Is Remaking America Into Socialism
Costs of Obama's Health Care Plan
VOL. 42, NO. 11 P.O. BOX 618, ALTON, ILLINOIS 62002 JUNE 2009
Obama Is Remaking America Into Socialism
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The younger generation probably doesn't realize that the word Socialism means and connotes a system that is profoundly un-American. Socialism has virtually disappeared from our national lexicon since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed because of Ronald Reagan's policies, and the National Socialist (Nazi) Party was destroyed by the U.S. in World War II.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines Socialism as a system of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned by a centralized government that plans and controls the economy. Both Webster and Random House identify Socialism as a "Marxist theory."
Socialism requires a totalitarian system; that gives the ruling gang the power to distribute the fruits of other people's labor to its political pals. That is what is happening to the United States as President Obama proceeds with his goal of "remaking America."
The Republican National Committee (RNC), which for years had been a stuffy establishment appendage, started to tell the truth on May 20 when it passed a resolution nailing the Obama Administration for "proposing, passing, and implementing Socialist programs through federal legislation" and pushing our country "towards European-style Socialism and government control." Nine Whereases spell out the political indictment in detail.
The RNC charges the Democratic Party with passing "trillions of dollars in new government spending, all with strings attached in order to control nearly every aspect of American life," "plans to nationalize the banking, financial and healthcare industries," "massive government bailouts for the mortgage and auto industries," and "paying states to increase their welfare caseloads" by reducing work requirements and increasing handouts.
Another Whereas accuses the Democratic Party of "direct income redistribution" by taking taxes from one group of people and giving "direct cash transfers to another group of people who pay no federal income taxes." The RNC accurately accuses the Democratic Party of taking us in a "European direction," a path the American people have no desire to travel.
The RNC, which is the governing body of the Republican Party, has helpfully spelled out the differences between the two political parties. The "clear and obvious purpose" of the Democratic majority in Congress is to implement "Socialist programs through federal legislation" and to restructure American society "along Socialist ideals."
Do the Republicans have an alternate vision of America's future? You bet they do. It is to recognize that free markets and free men, hard work and free enterprise, are the bedrock of American success and the only way to restore prosperity.
Unable to defend the march toward Socialism, Treasury Secretary Geithner just told the Washington Post that the RNC resolution is "ridiculous."
Obama's takeover of the American auto industry is so breathtaking in scope and power that it proves all the RNC's accusations about Socialism. The takeover was followed by orders to close 789 local Chrysler dealers, notices to 1,100 General Motors franchises that they will be shut down by next year, and estimates that total dealer shut-downs will rise to 3,000.
Some of these local dealerships have been family-owned for generations. The Chrysler and GM dealership closings are estimated to eliminate 187,000 jobs, which is more than the number of people who work for the two automakers.
Now we can see the icing on the cake for the politicians who use economic dictatorship to punish those who resist Socialist planners. Nearly every one of the closed local dealerships had donated to Republican candidates, almost none was an Obama contributor, and some dealerships owned by Democrats are not getting the ax.
These closings came after Obama's extraordinary cash and stock favoritism to one of his principal campaign supporters, the United Auto Workers union. The Car Czar, Steve Rattner, was a top Democratic fundraiser (surprise, surprise!).
Obama seems to be captivated by the un-American notion of running the country through Russian-style czars empowered to issue czarist-style ukases. He has already named about 20 czars (more than the Russians had over four centuries), and his latest is a Cyber Czar.
Costs of Obama's Health Care Plan
President Obama's drive for government health care began in earnest on Saturday, June 6 in thousands of neighborhood House Meetings where his supporters listened to his sales talk via a video on the internet and participated in a live conference call. Those who attended were given their orders to reach out to neighbors, knock on doors, and build a grassroots network to force Congress to pass the legislation "the same way we won the election, building support one block, one neighbor, one conversation at a time."
Obama's promise that government health care will produce "reduced costs, guaranteed choice, and quality care for all" is as phony as a $3 bill. Based on all our experience with government programs, government-managed health care will result in much higher costs, the absence of choice, and inferior care for all.
We're already getting a taste of Obama-style government by czars (who happen to be Obama's financial contributors), and now we are learning about government by stealth. The Obama legislative procedure is to write a massive piece of legislation in secret, without hearings, press coverage, open debate or public comment, and then tell Congress it's essential to hurry up and pass it quickly because "we've got to get it done this year."
Only the broad structure of the bill is shared with Congress, while the details will be filled in after passage by the Department of Health and Human Services or by Tom Daschle, who has re-emerged (without a title) as a key player on health care. The legislative vehicle for this health care deception is planned to be the budget reconciliation bill, which requires only 51 Senate votes for passage instead of the 60 needed to authorize new programs. The Obama team is well aware it was the details that sank Hillary Health Care in 1994. So, goodbye to the transparency that candidate Obama promised.
Although Obama has referred to "my plan," there isn't yet any defined Obama plan. He apparently favors the plan drafted by Senator Ted Kennedy. The Kennedy plan promises that all Americans will have health care, employers will have to contribute to the costs, a government insurance program will subsidize premiums for people with incomes up to 500 percent of the poverty level ($110,000 for a family of four), and private insurers will have to pay out a specified percentage of their premium revenues in benefits.
Kennedy's bill doesn't give a clue as to how this extravagance would be financed. No doubt it would be the same way the Stimulus and the Omnibus are being paid for: by printing money and by tacking more debt on younger generations.
The most unpopular features of the Obama and Kennedy plans are being kept under wraps, but here are some of the bad ideas being floated. Modified community rating is a euphemism for forcing young, healthy people to pay more for their insurance in order to subsidize older, less healthy people.
The liberals plan to impose fines on employers who don't provide health care for their employees. This will incentivize employers to terminate their current health-benefits and simply pay the fine, which is sure to be less expensive.
This will force at least 100 million employees (who are happy with their current health care) into the government plan, as well as create a new bureaucracy to impose and enforce the fines. The millions of workers who now have employer-paid health insurance will be very unhappy when they realize that nationalized health care makes them the losers.
Another very controversial and unpopular method of dealing with current employer-based health insurance is to make employees pay income tax on this benefit (which is now tax-exempt). Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Finance Committee chairman, said this proposal is "on the table."
Obama promises cost savings by putting all Americans' health records on a uniform computer system so it can be accessed anywhere and avoid treatment duplication. In addition to requiring totalitarian controls to force all doctors to conform, this will terminate all medical privacy.
The final way to deal with escalating health care costs is hiding under another euphemism: "comparative effectiveness research." This means that government bureaucrats will assess all health treatments to determine whether or not they are cost-effective and can be approved for payment.
The not-so-polite word for this is rationing. Life or death decisions will be made by bureaucrats on the basis of treatment cost and patient age, rather than by medical diagnosis.
That's the way health care works in Socialist Canada and England, but it's not the American way. Free-market competition, health savings accounts, and letting individuals spend or save their own money are the best ways to cut health care costs.