Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Single-Payer Omelet

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not nobody. She's the chair of the Democratic National Committee and a congresswoman from Florida. So when she's asked whether the Democrats have a plan to save Medicare, a plan that consists of something more substantive than just demagoguing the Republican plan, her answer is implicitly "No":
Set aside Ms. Wasserman Schultz's last line where she inadvertently reveals her inner nanny possessed by almost all liberals (What's wrong, exactly, with allowing mature adults to "figure it out" for themselves?). Consider instead that doing nothing means that the system goes bankrupt in a decade, and doing nothing is what the Democrats evidently plan to do.

Grandfathering everyone over 55 into the present system and then giving future retirees a voucher that enables them to buy their own insurance, which is the GOP/Paul Ryan plan, may not be the best idea, I don't know, but at least the elderly will have something. If the Democrats don't soon present a viable alternative the elderly are certain to have nothing.

I suspect, but can't prove, that Democrat opposition to the Ryan plan stems from the fact that if people are given public money to buy insurance, insurance companies will benefit. President Obama has as much as said that he wants to put insurance companies out of business in order to create a single-payer (government-run) system (see below). Thus, he and his fellow lefties will oppose anything that empowers the private market and diminishes the power of government.

The elderly are merely the eggs that have to be broken to cook this socialist omelet.

Above the Law

President Obama, with the connivance of both Democrats and Republicans, is traducing the rule of law by not abiding by the 1973 War Powers Resolution. So says George Will and so say I. Here's Will:
Enacted in 1973 over President Nixon’s veto, the WPR may or may not be wise. It is, however, unquestionably a law, and Barack Obama certainly is violating it. It stipulates that a president must terminate military action 60 days after initiating it (or 90, if the president “certifies” in writing an “unavoidable military necessity” respecting the safety of U.S. forces), unless Congress approves it. Congress has been supine and silent about this war, which began more than 70 days ago.
The President has attempted to avoid the WPR's constraints by saying that our involvement in Libya is to provide a "supporting role". Will correctly labels this both ludicrous and meretricious. He goes on to add that:
Liberals are situational ethicists regarding presidential warmaking: Imagine their comportment if Obama’s predecessor — who got congressional authorization for his uses of force — had behaved as Obama is doing regarding Libya. Most conservatives, who preen about their commitment to keeping government on a short leash, seem anesthetized by the administration’s sophistries.
I suppose "situational ethicists" is accurate, but I think "hypocrites" is moreso. For an example of the absurdity of GOP spokespersons on the issue he turns to Senator John McCain who said that, “No president has ever recognized the constitutionality of the War Powers Act, and neither do I. So I don’t feel bound by any deadline.”

This is frankly startling. It's the sort of thinking that occurs in the early stages of tyranny. When our President considers himself not constrained by any law he finds inconvenient he's arrogating to himself the powers of a despot. It's the sort of behavior we see in people like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

Mr. Obama has evinced such inclinations in the past, and no one is really surprised that he regards himself as unaccountable to Congress. It's a bit surprising, though, and disconcerting, to see McCain agree with him.

Meanwhile, our "watchdog" media are all aflutter, not over Mr. Obama's disdain for the rule of law, but over Sarah Palin's bus tour. Go figure.