Articles by " Roger S."
19 Aug
2014
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UFT v. NYPD, by Mona Salama

The United Federation of Teachers, lead by Michael Mulgrew, has decided to go against the NYPD by sponsoring and joining forces with Al Sharpton’s anti-police rally to be scheduled for this Saturday August 23 in Staten Island. And UFT members are voicing their outrage on social media. 

The UFT represents over 200,000 members of the City’s public school teachers are now one of the four sponsors of this planned protest, which includes NAACP and SEIU.

This prompt action to sponsor this protest shows how unions are siding with the wrong issues and causes. It just goes to show you that union leaders don’t respect or care about what their members think.  Mulgrew didn’t even consult with UFT members or schedule a vote to take the pulse of membership before signing on board with Sharpton’s agenda, which is attacking other unionized public employees. Many teachers have taken to social media to rail against the UFT leadership for joining this protest. On the Facebook UFT page, dozens, if not hundreds, of angry comments from teachers indicates how furious some are with their Union for wasting their dues and aligning with a protest that does not involve education or students.

UFT members are apparently angry with their President for getting their Union involved in a no-win situation.  Many support the NYPD and have friends and family on the job. Others don’t want to turn on another union. Still others feel that association with Rev. Al and this protest is distasteful and that marching on the Verrazano Bridge will disrupt commuters traveling to and from Staten Island while losing transportation funds.

This means war

This Means War (Photo H/T – NY Post)

Whom union members decide to line up with is their business. However, this rally is blaming unionized police officers as a whole for the death of Eric Garner, even though the investigation into the matter is still ongoing.

Pat Lynch, president of the PBA, which has 35,000 members, stated Mulgrew and the UFT has declared a “war on members of another municipal union”.  Continuing on, Lynch said, “How would [Mulgrew] like it if police officers lined up with the activists who oppose his efforts to shield bad teachers and undermine effective charter schools.”

Lynch is totally right to be angry with the UFT for joining forces with the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton. City workers should be supporting each other. They should not support an event created by a buffoon and a race-baiter that causes trouble with the NYPD. He’s also right that all this nonsense comes at the expense of children, who will see the message that it’s OK to disrespect authority.  I’m sure moms and dads everywhere are thrilled with that.

Mulgrew should be worrying more about high dropout rates, overcrowding schools, gangs and bad teachers failing our students in education. Instead, choosing to partake in an event without letting union member decides if this was a good call to join that diminishes his union in the eyes of many. If Mulgrew wanted to join the rally individually, go right ahead! It’s a free country, do whatever you want. But don’t involve your union members, many of whom respect the NYPD, who are also friends and family members. Pitting union against union is distasteful and shows lack of leadership. It is a disgrace to support this rally that has nothing to do with education or teachers.

If Mulgrew doesn’t respect his members and withdraw its sponsorship and apologize to the NYPD, then union members should oust him. To support and back Rev. Al Sharpton, an opportunist who is only out for himself, is plain stupid. Would Rev. Al ever support a UFT rally or called for better education for minorities? Doubt it, unless there’s something in it for Rev. Al.

Another sign of progressivism run amok in NYC.  Anyone other than me miss Rudy Giuliani yet?

14 Aug
2014
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AuH2O

Back on June 1 we posted our first ever book review, Economics in One Lesson, promising that book reviews would be fairly regular. It only took two and a half months to get to our second review, and since The Conscience of a Conservative is only 130 or so pages, we’re averaging about a 1.4 pages per day. A little shameful, but take our word that you can make it through The Conscience of a Conservative in one sitting, barely enough time drain a margarita.

If for no other reason, read The Conscience of a Conservative because it is the founding document of modern Republicanism. When Barry Goldwater published the book in 1960, the Republican Party had drifted into little more than being Democratic Party-lite. Goldwater, who’d be the Republican Party’s candidate against LBJ in 1964, provided dissent to the party line from the conservative Right, in much the same way as the liberal Left would spend the 1960s transforming the Democratic Party. Goldwater’s 1964 campaign was the birth of modern conservatism, and when Reagan won in 1980, George Will remarked that it took 16 years to count the votes, and Goldwater won.

Goldwater’s first task in The Conscience of a Conservative was to establish a thinking man’s conservatism, challenging, in George Will’s words, the “perception that conservatism was an intellectually sterile and morally crass persuasion.”

The first lines of his first chapter read, “I have been much concerned that so many people today with Conservative instincts feel compelled to apologize for them.” Goldwater defined “conservatism” as “the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order.” Acting in opposition to conservatism was the government’s tendency to “thwart man’s liberties.” Fortunately, the Founders had established sacrosanct protections, “a system of restraints on the natural tendency of government to expand in the direction of absolutism,” in the form of the Constitution.

Goldwater’s concern, his “conscience” was that the restraints on government encroachment into individual liberties had fallen by the wayside, and he pointed to a series of problems, some more pressing in his day than now, like the Soviet menace. Some points are a trifle uncomfortable. Goldwater, writing only a few years after Brown v. Board of Education struggles with the Court’s substitution of its own ideas from those who wrote the Constitution, and contends that each state should be free to have educate its citizens in its own way. His attack on Brown would be unwise today, but his defense of state’s rights – “the chief bulwark against encroachment by Big Government” in Goldwater’s words – rings true today.

In The Conscience of a Conservative, Goldwater presents us with a speech from a hypothetical political candidate, and it makes for a compelling note on which to close.

I have little interest in streamlining government or making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is needed before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I am attacked for neglecting my constituent’s interests, I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.

29 Jul
2014
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The Soon to Be Ex-Ex-Im

Ronald Reagan famously said, “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.  Government programs, once launched, never disappear.  Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!”  Wait for it now, because there is a sentence coming that is going to be particularly hard to read…ready…here it comes…3, 2, 1….

Ronald Reagan may have been wrong.

With all the foreign policy debacles tearing the world, and with the papers busily covering President Obama lecturing the customers at Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles on the intricacies of a jump shot, you may have missed it but Congress is on the brink of eliminating the Export-Import Bank.

You may not have heard of it, but the Export Import Bank – or “Ex-Im” for those government wonks trying to seem cool – provides taxpayer backed loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance. Started in the 1930s, Ex-Im’s charter comes up for renewal in September.

A couple of examples might help explain what Ex-Im does.  Say you want to sell widgets to a company in Bangladesh, but the Bangladeshi corporation needs credit to make the purchase.  Ex-Im guarantees the credit, and you sell your widgets, and if the Bangladeshi corporation doesn’t pay you back.  In another example, you want to sell towels to a retailer in Poland.  Ex-Im loans the Polish company the money, which the Polish company then uses to buy your towels. Foreign companies and US based exporters in the Ex-Im’s good graces love Ex-Im because it makes their borrowing costs cheap.

All this sounds lovely, until you think it through.  Take Delta as an example.  Delta buys planes from Boeing, but because it is a domestic corporation, it doesn’t qualify for Ex-Im funding.  But Emirates Air, based overseas, does qualify.  This makes it less expensive for Emirates Air to buy planes that Delta, and thus Emirates Air starts with a competitive advantage to an American company, all courtesy of the American taxpayer!

Critics of the Ex-Im point out that 97% of its credit guarantees go to super-huge companies, like Caterpillar, GE, and Dow Chemical.  66% of its credit guarantees go to just one company…Boeing.  Of Ex-Im loans, 75% go to purchasers from these same super-huge companies.  Critics contend that these large companies’ needs can be met by private lending.

Proponents of Ex-IM (many of whom point to a pickle company: Jenny’s Pickles) counter that some 3,400 small businesses also take advantage of Ex-Im programs, many of whom would be unable to gain financing for reasons unrelated to creditworthiness (it can be tricky to engage in overseas credit transactions). They contend failure to renew Ex-Im’s charter could leave U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage, because many foreign governments have similar programs. Most importantly, they argue that Ex-Im operates at a profit, and returned $1.2 billion in profit to the Department of the Treasury last year.

Normally, the Ex-Im sails through the reauthorization process, despite the vocal remonstrations of some conservatives, but in recent years it has faced troubles.  In 2012, Jeb Hensarling, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee (which oversees Ex-Im), opposed reauthorization, but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stepped in and organized a deal to reauthorize it.  While Hensarling is still Chair of the HFSC, but Cantor is gone, having lost a primary fight to an opponent of the exact type of crony capitalism that Ex-Im represents.

New majority leader Kevin McCarthy has announced he won’t support reauthorization, and John Boehner has signaled that he’ll not stand in Hensarling’s way. Barring any drastic change, come September, Ex-Im’s charter is likely not going to be reauthorized, at least not in its present form.  For a few years, Ex-Im would service its existing loans, until they expire.  Then it too will disappear, and Reagan will have been proven wrong.

 

18 Jul
2014
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A Little History

We’ve been watching the coverage surrounding the downing of Flight 17, with 23 American among the 295 casualties, and were reminded of another incident from 1983, when a Soviet jet shot down a Korean Airlines jet. Here’s how President Reagan reacted:

 

We’ll let you draw your own contrasts with our current Commander-in-Chief.

14 Jul
2014
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NYYRC

Over the past few days, the New York Young Republicans have received numerous calls for comments after a post written by William Palumbo, entitled “The United States of Gaymeria [sic]” appeared on the NYYRC blog.

The post has since been removed, and Mr. Palumbo resigned his position with the NYYRC on July 1.

Never more so than now, the NYYRC leadership wishes to remind everyone that at the bottom of every blog post on our site, after the title is clicked the blog includes the following:

DISCLAIMER: This post and the contents thereof are the views of only the author identified immediately above and do not necessarily represent the views of the New York Young Republican Club (the “NYYRC”), its officers or its members. The NYYRC expressly disclaims responsibility for the contents thereof and by its charter documents may not, and does not, endorse any candidate for any office, except in a general election.

1 Jun
2014
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Our First Ever Book Review

The Young Republican’s blog is proud to announce new posts on book reviews. Lord willing and the Creek don’t rise, the posts shall be fairly regular, insightful, and proof positive to our liberal friends that we can in fact read.

There are lots of things to learn for which one lesson constitutes a positive hazard.  For instance, I took only one driving lesson before driving the family suburban through the local In-N-Out drive-thru, and put quite a big dent in the back of a 1967 Mustang. This experience taught me two more lessons, (1) putting a suburban in neutral does not prevent the suburban from moving forward on its own volition, and (2) women do not find it endearing to be hit on by the person who left their suburban in neutral and had it ram into the back of their father’s antique automobile.

This then is why Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson is so valuable, because it is confined solely to one particularly easy two-part lesson. As Hazlitt eloquently puts it, “the art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group for all groups.”

Brilliantly easy right? Hazlitt suggests looking at both long term and short term consequences, and examining an economic policy’s effect on everyone. I took my nearly a full semester of economics during college at a certain party school (for anonymities sake, I’ll refer to it by its initials, A.S.U.[1]), and if I can get this, you can get this.

But just in case you can’t (or went to the University of Alabama), Hazlitt gives us example after example, starting with what’s called the Broken Window Parable.[2] Hazlitt puts before us a shopkeeper and a boy playing baseball. The boy accidently breaks the shopkeeper’s window, and the shopkeeper pays $250 to the handyman to get it fixed. The handyman is $250 richer, the shopkeeper $250 poorer.

But what about the tailor? The tailor is the invisible third party, the forgotten man, that Hazlitt asks us to consider, for had the glass not been broken, the shopkeeper would have bought a $250 sweater from the tailor. Not only is the shopkeeper poorer by one sweater, so is the economy as a whole, because in the long term that sweater never gets made.

With Hazlitt’s basic premise in mind, let’s try the scenario with a few other examples. Let’s start with “shovel ready projects.[3]” For our shovel ready project, we’ll choose a new bridge, which we’ll grandly christen the “Bridge to Narnia.” Now, our liberal friends get very excited, because building the Bridge to Narnia provides employment. “We’ve created 500 jobs,” they say, glee on their happy liberal faces. Folderol.

Being smart conservatives who have taken Hazlitt’s lesson to heart, we know that all government expenditures, including our bridge, must eventually be paid for through taxation. And to pay the salaries of our 500 new Narnia workers and other costs of construction, the government must raise $10,000,000 in taxes from the people. These taxes are money that people could have spent on other things, that would have flown into the economy. Thus, no new jobs have been created, jobs have merely been diverted from one economic activity to another, the bridge represents, in Hazlitt’s words ‘unbuilt homes, unmade cars and washing machines, the unmade dresses and coast, perhaps the ungrown and unsold foodstuffs.” Thus, for every public project job, a private job is never created, for every public work, a private work is never created. Of course, some bridges are necessary – Hazlitt is only concerned with bridges for the sake of providing employment.

And so to with the litany of other economic fallacies, ranging from rent control to unions to minimum wage laws. Some of Hazlitt’s work is a little outdated – we don’t talk much about tariffs – but much of it still retains its power more than five decades after it was written. Take this chestnut:

[g]overnment-guaranteed home mortgages, especially when a negligible down payment or no down payment whatever is required, inevitably mean more bad loans than otherwise. They force the general taxpayer (ed. the forgotten man), to subsidize the bad risks and defray the losses. They encourage people to ‘buy’ houses that they cannot really afford. They tend eventually to bring about an oversupply of houses as compared with other things. They temporarily overstimulate building, raise the cost of building for everybody (more forgotten men)..and may mislead the building industry into an eventually costly overexpansion…

The above is merely the barest introduction to Hazlitt, and there are few other books that can be read in so short a time with so much profit. Think of Hazlitt as training that will enable you to always have a ready answer at hand to any liberal economic fallacy.


[1] In the interest of full disclosure, I did not go to Appalachian State University, but to the other A.S.U. I’m sure that unlike my alma mater, Appalachian State is a fine academic institution that was not featured on Girls Gone Wild.

[2] Truth be told, Hazlitt didn’t come up with this, but a French economist named Frédéric Bastiat first wrote about it in his 1850 essay Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas.

[3] Understanding of course that shovel ready projects are projects that may or may not actually be shovel ready.

20 Jun
2013
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Life Imitates the Simpsons

Ladies and Gentlemen, the story you are about to see is true. The names have not been changed to protect the asinine.

So the above quote is modified from Dragnet, a great police procedural from the 1950s and 60s. If you haven’t seen the show, you’ve probably seen a show like it…the call goes out to the officers in the squad car, something like, “10-20 (Robbery) at Broadway and Reade. Suspect is a tall white male, mid-thirties, brown hair, wearing a brown shirt and blue jeans. Suspect is believed to be armed, and should be considered dangerous. Last seen fleeing north on Broadway. Apprehend.”

Jack_Webb_Dragnet

Of course, police procedural shows like Law and Order have these types of calls, because that’s how police officers talk. The easiest way by far to identify a subject is by age, gender, and color. This is how cops do their job.

Except that Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn wishes that the nasty cops didn’t use things like age, gender, and color when describing a suspect. And, being Speaker of the New York City Council who needs to revive her flagging and lackluster mayoral campaign, Quinn wants to do something about it. And fast, because the safety of the citizenry is no excuse for losing one’s primary race.

Juumaane Williams, City Council member from Brooklyn, introduced a bill that bars the NYPD from using race, age, gender, or disability in identifying a suspect, or risk a profiling lawsuit. Not surprisingly,  and perhaps showing the modicum of intellectual ability that is so rare on amongst our esteemed public servants, Public Safety Committee chair Peter Vallone Jr. refused to let the bill out of committee. Quinn, who the New York Times claims typically responds to opposition by threatening castration, chose a different option, and is bringing the bill for an immediate floor vote.

Not surprisingly, the NYPD, the Policeman’s Benevolent Association, and anyone with mental acuity of a dimwitted chipmunk are against the bill. Because barring the NYPD from broadcasting a suspect’s age, race, and gender is asinine.

In fact, Quinn has actually pledged to vote against the bill, once she was assured that there were enough votes for the bill to pass. What this means is that Quinn has engineered the passage of a bill designed to shore up her voting bloc, while at the same time casting a meaningless vote against that very same bill. On second thought, maybe Quinn isn’t as foolish as she seems. Of course, not being one of the 100 people who bought her book last week(again, according to the New York Times), I can neither confirm nor deny whether Quinn is a fool.

So where does this leave our police friends? Certainly less able to handle crime in Dragnet fashion, since they can’t use race, gender, or age to describe a suspect. Tt puts them square in the Chief Wiggum camp. Paraphrasing from The Simpsons episode 4:11, Homer’s Triple Bypass:

Chief Wiggum: Put out an APB for a suspect, driving a… car of some sort, heading in the direction of, uh, you know, that place that sells chili. Suspect is hatless. Repeat, hatless.

chief wiggum everton

19 Jun
2013
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Congresswoman Clarke and Cuban Espionage

Maybe you’ve heard of the Cuban Five. If you haven’t, the Cuban Five are a group of five Cuban prisoners (from whence they get their catchy name), serving time in federal prison. With the support of Castro’s government, the Cuban Five operated as an espionage group in Florida’s Cuban community, and information they provided to Cuba enabled Cuban MIGs to shoot down a Brothers to the Rescue plane operating in international airspace. Brothers to the Rescue is an aid organization that conducts aerial patrols keeping an eye out for folks fleeing the Cuban regime via raft, so that they can be rescued. Three U.S. citizens and one permanent U.S. resident died in the attack. After a lengthy trial, in 2001 the Cuban Five were convicted on 26 separate counts related to espionage. They have since engaged in numerous appeals, including a request that the Supreme Court review the case (that request was denied). The Cuban Five are now really the Cuban Four, with one of the men having served his sentence and been released.

A few weeks ago the Cuban Interest Section (Cuba’s de facto embassy in the United States) organized a protest demanding release of the Cuban Five/Four, and protesters marched in front of the White House with signs reading “Defend the Revolution” and sporting Che Guevara t-shirts. None of which would be worth much attention, although a cynical observer might note the irony of protesters engaging in pro-Cuban activity that would get them jailed in Havana were it pro-American activity.  Other than that it would be worth a collective yawn…except for the fact that the protesters were invited to a reception hosted by Yvette Clarke, Brooklyn’s own representative (pictured below), and her Chicago counterpart Bobby Rush. As one would expect, the Cuban government celebrated the reception.

yvette clarke

What is one to make of this? Our (speaking of NYC as a whole) representative hosts a reception for pro-Castro protestors sponsored by the Cuban government. The same Cuban government that is one of four nations on the Department of State’s list of nations who are State Sponsors of Terrorism, along with Iran, Syria and Sudan. The same Cuban government that allows only 3% of its citizenry to have access to the internet; that regularly jails teenagers for “pre-criminal social dangerousness;” and that ignores basic tenets of human rights, jailing and torturing opponents to the regime, whom they term gusanos.

Gusanos such as Calixto Ramon Martinez Arias, arrested and beaten for exposing that cholera medication provided by the World Health Organization was not being distributed to the Cuban people because the regime sought to downplay the seriousness of a 2012 outbreak;  Ariel Sigler Amaya, who spent a decade behind bars for protests against the government, and emerged a broken and emaciated wreck; rapper Angel Yunier Remon, imprisoned for composing lyrics against the regime; blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo who has suffered beatings for blog posts critical of the Cuba’s leadership; and at least 6,000 other perceived dissidents in the last year alone, according to the Directorio Democratico Cubana.

This is what I make of it; I’m disgusted and embarrassed. Disgusted that my Congresswoman (I live in her district) would enhance the legitimacy of the Castro regime, and embarrassed that my Congresswoman would see fit to host an event in support of spies who were found guilty of espionage against the United States.

Shame on you Congresswoman Clarke.

16 May
2013
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Bungalow Bill’s Bungle

I’ve written on mayoral candidate “Bungalow” Bill de Blasio’s inanity before (Bungalow Bill) and on Thursday afternoon his latest suggestion hit our email inbox. De Blasio, who is currently using his public office’s mailing list as little more than an information dissemination vehicle for his mayoral campaign, provided an email outlining an effort to make New York City “A Safe, Open City for Immigrants.”De Blasio has a five part plan, the most troublesome aspect of which is part three, where he promises to “End City Collaboration with the Abusive Federal Detention and Deportation Process.”

De Blasio’s proposes ending the City’s co-operation with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) division of the Department of Homeland Security. To quote de Blasio “Federal officials regularly submit ‘detainer requests’ (also known as ‘ICE holds’ or ‘immigration holds’) to local law enforcement and Department of Corrections officials. These requests ask local officials to detain an arrested immigrant for up to 48 beyond when he or she would otherwise be entitled to be released, based solely on immigration status…This policy forcibly deputizes local officials and devotes scarce local police resources to enforcing federal immigration law.”

De Blasio’s hortatory on ICE co-operation, which becomes more tedious and less grammatical the further one reads, finishes with a suggestion that New York City enact legislation to “End cooperation with all federal detainers, except those pertaining to arrestees who have been convicted of violent and serious felonies, including drug and human trafficking. Detainers for those with previous misdemeanor convictions will not be honored. Under this proposal, the City will continue to honor ICE detainers for individuals suspected of terrorism and gang activity.”

Although De Blasio’s entire proposal presents all sorts of problems, I’ll confine myself to two. First, you may remember the Arizona immigration case that recently came before the Supreme Court. In the case, Arizona passed a law that, among other things, required police officers to determine immigration status when making a lawful stop. De Blasio called the law “un-American” and claimed it did “nothing to address the pressing problems of our broken immigration system,” and favored the Supreme Court striking down the immigration law. Much as de Blasio hoped, the Court ruled that Federal authority over immigration law was pre-eminent, that Congress “has specified which aliens may be removed from the United States and the procedures for doing so.”

Long story short, the Federal Government gets to exercise authority over immigration, alien status, and removal, and it gets to tell local governments what to do. That includes 8 U.S.C.  §1373“Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

So while de Blasio can criticize the Arizona immigration law all he wants, the decision striking down that law, which he’s supported, requires him to obey Federal law. He’s suggested that New York City flout federal law instead.

On to my second point; de Blasio blithely ignores a federal program known as the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (“SCAAP”). To help local police departments, the federal government enacted SCAAP to provide grants to aid in ICE immigration detention. These funds can be used by local law enforcement for all sorts of things, ranging from hiring guards at the jail, to overtime costs, to developing disaster preparedness plans, medical treatment for those suspected of immigration violations, construction of correctional facilities, vehicle rentals and purchases, officer training, and a whole host of other activities. To receive SCAAP funds, local governments are expected to co-operate with ICE detention requests.

Since 2008, New York City has received $65 million in SCAAP funds. That’s a lot of SCAAP funds. Chicago only received $15 million. Of course, this $65 million not only triggers a moral obligation to assist ICE (since that’s what they’re paying you for), but more importantly that $65 million represents people’s salaries, medical care for immigrants, and officer training, and it hinges on co-operation with ICE.

Why does Mr. de Blasio believe he can break federal law, and why does he favor a plan which puts grant money flowing to New York City at risk?

3 May
2013
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Alfred E. Neuman and Obama Aren’t Worried…Should you be?

what-me-worry-715605

 

On April 19, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services announced an $8 million contract with public relations firm Weber Shadwick to educate the public about various aspects of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA,” aka Obamcare). The contract follows a previous public relations contract with Weber Shadwick for $3.1 million, and another with PR firm Porter Novelli in May of 2012 for $20 million.

To date, it doesn’t seem that the public education campaigns have had much effect. According to the Kaiser Foundation, 57% of Americans have nary a clue about how the ACA will impact them, including 67% of those who are uninsured. More than half of Americans think that the ACA created a public option (it didn’t), 7% think the Supreme Court struck down the ACA, and 78%  indicate that they haven’t heard enough about the law to know how it will affect them.

Of course, surveys indicate that 73% of Americans don’t know why we fought the Cold War, and 29% don’t know the name of the Vice President (ignorance is bliss, after all) so perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised at America’s lack of understanding about the ACA.

But we’d at least expect President Obama to be in the know about how the ACA is working out. At a rare press question and answer session on Tuesday, President Obama informed us all that “a huge chunk of its [the ACA] already been implemented…for the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened, and the impact is that their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. Now they don’t have to worry about anything else… On those high risk pools, those who can’t afford it, we’re going to provide them with some subsidies. That’s it. I mean, that’s what’s left to implement because the other stuff’s been implemented and it’s working fine.”

Whew. Big sigh of relief. Most of Obamacare has already been implemented, 85% to 90% of Americans don’t have to worry about anything else, and the high risk pools are going just swimmingly, thank you very much.

Except that the President’s wrong. All that’s been implemented so far are a Medicare drug benefit change, and increasing the mandate for insurers to cover children up to age 26. Still left are the mandates to buy coverage, the increase in taxes and fees that are coming down the pike, massive regulations that tower over 7 feet when printed out, and, let’s not forget, the state run exchanges that are so far behind schedule that even Max Baucus, one of the bill’s primary proponents, called them a “train wreck.” Enrollment in the exchanges begins on October 31, 2013, with coverage starting January 1, 2014.

85% to 90% of us have nothing to worry about? Surely the President isn’t counting the 7 million workers whom the Congressional Budget Office expects will lose their job based coverage due to Obamamcare, or the millions of senior citizens that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said will lose their private Medicare Advantage Plans once the law’s sharp payment cuts go into effect. What about the insurance rate increases that Blue Cross and other health insurers have announced because they have to comply with Obamacare’s many market regulations? Maryland’s largest insurer announced a 15% rate hike, and in Missouri rates are expected to go up 89%. Not a thing to worry about.

Thank heaven at least the implementation of the high risk pools are going great. Well, except for the fact that they’ve only attracted a third of the expected amount of applicants, and even at that rate they’re already over budget.

Maybe the good folks at Weber Shadwick and Porter Novelli can spend some of their PR money educating the President about the bill. If he doesn’t understand it, how can we?