Free Markets, Free People
Yesterday, as the Republican controlled House of Representatives voted for the 30th time to repeal ObamaCare, Nancy Pelosi said:
“We put forth a vision for the middle class to make health care a right, not a privilege for all Americans. Today, as they have done more than 30 times this Congress, Republicans will vote to take away that right.”
Pelosi, among many of our legislators and politicians in general, displays a level of ignorance about rights and privileges that seems pretty basic to me. Governments don’t grant rights, they grant privileges no matter how hard they try to characterize what they do as a “right”.
A right, to be a right, must be inherent. It is something you have even before government shows up. The right to life. The right to liberty. As our founders identified these rights, they’re “inalienable”.
The best government can do, and the true foundation of a just government, is the acknowledge and protect our inherent rights. I.e government should exist to protect those rights.
Real rights are passive. They don’t require the assets, time, labor or commitment of others to enable their execution. Health care, of course, is a perfect example of a pseudo“right” which requires all of that.
Anything that government can give you (remember, we had the inherent rights I talk about before government existed and we formed the government to acknowledge and protect them – see founding documents) is not a “right.” And when government has to use it’s coercive power to “enable” these pseudo “rights” as it has in this health insurance debacle, it isn’t a right.
There is no right to health care. Period. There never has been. You have no inherent right to demand someone else use their skills, time and assets to service your health. You certainly have the right to negotiate and reach a voluntary agreement (see liberty) with health care providers based on a mutual exchange of value (see property). But “right” – no.
And besides, what Pelosi et al really cranked out was a requirement to buy health insurance via the coercive taxing authority of government. It no more guarantees health care as a right than the previous system. You still have to find a health care provider to accept your insurance and agree to treat you. In fact, it’s even tough to characterize the ObamaCare monstrosity as a government granted “privilege”.
Back to the point – this fundamental ignorance about rights and privileges, however, is at the root of many of our problems. For decades we’ve allowed government to get away with calling things it grants “rights” to the point that the concept of rights is so muddled that most people don’t understand them at all and have fallen for the government line.
Falling for that line helps enable horrific legislation like ObamaCare because it gives it cover, a veneer of "good” the proponents use to push their agenda. Who wouldn’t be for something that’s a “right”?
My point: Don’t let them misuse the word. Call people and politicians who do this out. Make them substantiate their claim of a right and when they can’t point out what is really going on. They’re talking about a privilege established by government coercion. That’s not freedom. That’s not liberty, two things you have a right to expect and something these privileges usually curtail.
It’s time to take back the political language. And there’s no better place to start with the understanding that government’s don’t and can’t grant rights.
She’s dangerously thick but in a position of power. This is the woman who attempted to redefine what it means to be Catholic (because actual Catholicism didn’t support her views on abortion). She passed a piece of legislation called ObamaCare without even knowing what was in it.
Now she wants to redefine free speech. Said Ms. Pelosi, while discussing Citizens United v. FEC (via The Rightscoop):
We have a clear agenda in this regard: Disclose, reform the system reducing the roll of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution to rid it of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns.
I think one of the presenters [at a Democratic forum on amending the Constitution] yesterday said that the Supreme Court had unleashed a predator that was oozing slime into the political system, and that, indeed, is not an exaggeration. Our Founders had an idea. It was called democracy. It said elections are determined by the people, the voice and the vote of the people, not by the bankrolls of the privileged few. This Supreme Court decision flies in the face of our Founders’ vision and we want to reverse it.
Obviously she’s about as much a Constitutional Scholar as our President.
The First Amendment pertains to freedom of political speech and requires Congress to “make no law …” that would suppress it.
Ed Morrissey said it best:
The best campaign finance reform is still transparency. If burning a flag in the street is free speech, then so are political contributions, especially when made in the open. If the reformers in Congress want to clean up elections, then force immediate reporting on the Internet of all contributions to all presidential, Senate, and Congressional races, and full weekly financial reports on expenditures. That will do more than all of the speech-restricting, unconstitutional efforts made since Watergate, and make the entire system a lot more honest.
That’s where she and the left should be headed with this (after this campaign season of course – they want all that slime to flow into their coffers for at least the rest of this year).
Bottom line, Ms. Pelosi – “Congress shall make no law …”.
What part of that don’t you understand?
I think I’ll check, but I’d guess that if you ever looked up the definition of the term “gas bag” you’d be likely find the picture of ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi next to it. She’s much more illustrative of the term than say some generic bag filled with hot gas.
“But I’ll tell you this,” said Pelosi, “if President Obama and the House congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be at 15 percent unemployment. Again, no consolation to those without a job, but an important point to make."
At her Oct. 6 briefing, Pelosi said: “Without the Recovery Act and accompanying federal interventions, whether from the Fed or ‘Cash for Clunkers’ or other initiatives, this unemployment rate last year at the time of the election would’ve been 14.5 percent, not 9.5 percent.”
Between her and Debbie Wasserman Shultz, you could compile a book length list of the groundless claims they’ve made. And this is right up there in the top 10 for Pelosi. Of course she doesn’t cite any basis for this claim but there it is nonetheless.
So what about her numbers? Well, lets look at the numbers an agency which at least ran some came up with:
A report published by the Congressional Budget Office in August estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the stimulus signed by President Obama in 2009 would have the impact of reducing the national unemployment rate between 0.3 points to 1.1 points from what it otherwise would have been. The report also said that although CBO initially estimated that the stimulus would cost $787 billion, CBO had subsequently increased its estimated cost to $825 billion.
It was on the basis of these numbers that Barack Obama made the claim that spending this money would keep the unemployment rate under 8%. It went to 9.5% from about 4.8%. In real math, that’s 4.7 points. So essentially Pelosi is just adding the two (9.5 and 4.7 and adding a few tenths) to get her "14.5%” number. There is obviously no backing for this claim.
Oh and cost per job? Well, pick your number but whichever you choose, these were expensive jobs:
According to the CBO report, 600,000 to 2 million people have jobs as of now that were "created or retained" because of the $825 billion stimulus. If the maximum number of 2 million is accepted, that works out to a cost of $412,500 per job. If the minimum number of 600,000 is accepted, that works out to a cost of $1,375,000 per job.
So any way you slice it, expensive. But back to Pelosi. Even if you accept the higher number of 2,000,000 and add that into the unemployed while subtracting it from the employed total and divide it out, you come up with roughly 10.5%. Even if you accept the projection’s top end estimate that 2,000,000 more jobs would have gone, you can’t get to her number from there.
Also note the “points” the CBO report claims might have been shaved by the so-called stimulus. They are nowhere near the 4.7 Pelosi wants you to believe in.
Yeah, I know, typical political nonsense. I just have to wonder, and the question and her answer are on video at the link, whether anyone in the press even challenged the numbers? Since she’s used them twice recently, I’d guess not. Also note her attempt to again blame Bush and the Republicans with her “300 days the Republicans were in power” and claim they did nothing to create jobs at that time. And then look at the unemployment rate at that time (mentioned above). Duh. Again, I doubt that was challenged.
Typical of the “watchdog press” of today I’d say. And very typical of Nancy Pelosi and the “lets make numbers and claims up out of thin air” crowd.
I think we all know what would be the number one story today had we been this close to having this happen on the last president’s watch.
At issue: The 1973 War Powers Act, which says if the president does not get congressional authorization 60 days after military action, the mission must stop within 30 days.
The president formally notified Congress about the mission in Libya with a letter on March 21, which makes Friday the 60-day deadline.
See, here’s how this works … Congress makes the laws and the President signs them into being. Everyone is obliged to follow them. And that includes the President. However, that’s not the case, or so it seems, with Libya. Today is the last day of the 60 grace period for the President to get Congressional authorization and there has been no move to accomplish that. Apparently the administration believes they’re above the law.
The irony, of course, is that it was Mr. Bush who was continually accused of waging an illegal war. Yet it has been the last two Democratic presidents who are guilty of doing so:
But it is virtually unprecedented for a president to continue a mission beyond 60 days without a resolution from Congress.
"Make no mistake: Obama is breaking new ground, moving decisively beyond his predecessors," Yale law professors Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway wrote this week in the Washington Post.
The only thing that comes close is President Clinton’s military effort in Kosovo.
He failed to get congressional approval before the 60-day deadline was up. His administration argued that Congress had effectively authorized the mission by approving money for it, and the Kosovo conflict lasted 78 days.
The Obama administration doesn’t have that option with Libya, because the Pentagon is using existing money. Congress never specifically funded the mission.
Now, the administration is trying to figure out what to do.
“Now?” Now the administration is “trying to figure out what to do”? And “what to do” is fairly straight forward – seek congressional approval for the continuation of the “kinetic event” or whatever it is we’re calling it this week, or stop our involvement.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, tells CNN he believes Obama is trying to "bring democracy to Libya while shredding the Constitution of the United States."
"He cannot continue what he is doing in Libya without congressional authorization. When a president defiantly violates the law, that really undercuts our efforts to urge other countries to have the rule of law," Sherman said.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, concurs.
"You could say, ‘Well, we have a good president, he’ll do the right thing.’ Well, someday you may have a president who does the wrong thing, and that’s why you have rules, because you can never count on people being good people," Paul told CNN.
Indeed. The process and rules are only there for the little people I guess. The President appears to believe he is above the law.
Finally, where’s the Congressional leadership on this? Why isn’t Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid both banging the drum loudly and persistently while calling the president “incompetent” ? After all, only an incompetent would just now be trying to figure out what to do, no? And tomorrow will they declare the war “illegal” like it actually will be?
And where are McConnell and Boehner?
Time to elevate this and get a little bit of a firestorm going boys. If it were your side, you can trust that Pelosi and Reid wouldn’t be dawdling in their offices, they’d be attacking the lawlessness of the presidency.
Where are you, Congressional “leaders?”
Seriously, I don’t know the planet on which this woman spends most of her time, but it isn’t this one. Here are 4 plus minutes designed to get your blood pressure up:
Passing resolutions to run the government week by week is no way to run a government? Uh, yeah, that’s absolutely right. And why are the reduced to passing such resolutions? Because Ms. Pelosi, when Speaker of the House of the 111th Congress failed to pass a budget for the year. In fact, never brought one to the floor.
And really – “Democrats have long fought for fiscal responsibility…”? In what universe?
It is something – the difference between rhetoric and reality - I don’t think Obama, for all the claims of his intelligence, understands. Just because you claim something is true doesn’t make it so (I know, something most of us learned around age 6).
In a speech in Boston – at a fund raiser:
Obama says that America should not be about the “haves and the have-nots.”
Didn’t know that it is, but this is a comfortable and popular theme among the limo liberal crowd, so it isn’t surprising the old horse was trotted out one more time. But let me set the scene for you:
President Obama addressed a group of 152 Democratic donors at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The walls were lined with enormous original oil portraits from the 16th century and guests are seated around about 24 round tables.
Lots of “have nots” in that room weren’t there?
But that isn’t the major point here – just wanted you to understand the context of the next part. To add to the surreal atmosphere he said this:
In welcoming Nancy Pelosi, Obama called her “someone who’s going to go down as one of the greatest Speakers in our history: Nancy Pelosi.”
“When the rubble had cleared, when the dust had settled. This country was going through as touch a time economically, as tough a time financially, as any period since the 1930s,” Obama said..
His administration “had to make a series of quick decisions, and often times unpopular decisions,” Obama said.
In those times, Obama said, there would have been a temptation to “resort to the expedient.”
“That’s why when I say, Nancy is going to go down as one of our finest speakers… I mean what I say,” Obama continued.
“Not only were we able to yank this economy out of the recession,” Obama said.
“Not only were we able to get this economy going again, that in the last 15 months we’ve seen the economy add jobs…but under Nancy’s leadership we were able to achieve historic health care legislation that over the last 15, 20 years will end up benefiting millions of families across the country… we were able to get “don’t ask, don’t’ tell” repealed,” he continued, adding that Congress expand our investments in clean energy, made the largest investments in infrastructure and the largest investments in education in years.
“We didn’t just rescue the economy we put it on the strongest footing for the future,” Obama said.
“And along the way we saved the auto industry and a few other things,” he quipped, to some laughter from the crowd.
Obama went over a kept promise to end combat in Iraq, and reduce the country’s military commitment in Afghanistan.
Where to start?!
Suffice it to say, anyone who could tout Nancy Pelosi as the “greatest Speakers in our history” either has the ideological blinders on so tight they’re cutting off blood flow to the brain or has a rather tenuous grasp on reality. Nancy Pelosi, if anything positive could be said about her, was a compliant means to an end. Someone from the short bus should have been able to push through just about anything they wanted in Nancy Pelosi’s House, given the huge majority Democrats had.
And she was complicit in the biggest expansion of government, not to mention the largest expansion of the public debt, of any Speaker I know.
Great? For America, she was a disaster. And so is the person fawningly praising her.
As for his other claims, well that’s just what they are … claims. He’d like you to believe them because doing so helps his case, but what you see here is a sort of test run of how he plans on spinning his record – something he’s never had to run on before.
Each and every point is either highly debatable or can be refuted outright. I got a kick out of one of the commenters under this story addressing his Iraq claim about ending combat:
If you think Obama stopped combat here, you are stunningly gullible.
Our guys are out on patrol every day and night amid the IEDs and VBIEDs. Our specops forces are operating outside the wire every day and night. The mortars and rockets are hitting our FOBs on a very regular basis. Purple Hearts are still being issued, including two on my FOB in January when a 107mm rocket landed across the street in one of my buddy’s men’s huts.
You live in Fantasyland, but thanks for the laugh.
The last line pretty much sums up the 152 Democrats in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts last night and much of the left right now – sitting there listening to a litany of “accomplishments” that are straight out of Fantasyland.
Doubling the debt, multi-year trillion dollar deficits, expanded government, expanded spending, 9% unemployment and a jobs record that won’t even maintain the status quo. Clueless about foreign policy, no energy policy, Gitmo still open, still in Iraq and little to show but another huge entitlement we can’t afford.
That’s the record he’s compiled. And Nancy helped.
That is the record you need to remember.
There are those that are important and those that are irrelevant, and, in terms of the budget, it is delightful to see the minority leader of the House of Representatives in the irrelevant category:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is showing no enthusiasm for the new proposal from Republicans to avoid a government shutdown, putting her at odds with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Pelosi said in a statement that the GOP’s plan for a two-week spending bill cuts funding for critical programs.
“Republicans want to cut an additional $4 billion, which includes stripping support for some pressing educational challenges without redirecting these critical resources to meet the educational needs of our children,” Pelosi said in a statement. “This is not a good place to start.”
Well heck, then get the votes together to stop it. What’s that? Don’t have them?
Well, thanks for stopping by.
As mentioned in the previous posts, the Blue Dogs in Congress aren’t feeling the love from minority leader (don’t you love that title) Nancy Pelosi and the crew. And that may have a beneficial effect for the GOP.
Blue dogs didn’t feel the love of voters last November either, with about half of them going down to defeat after they supported the health care law. Message sent, message received. Sooo … they’re taking a look at the Republican budget and some are saying (surprise, surprise) it might be something they can support:
Blue Dog Democrats might support a plan from House Republicans to cut $32 billion in discretionary spending this year, a spokesman for the fiscally conservative bloc said Monday.
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said the Blue Dogs are waiting to see the details of the proposed GOP cuts before taking a position. The draft legislation from the House Appropriations Committee is due on Thursday.
Now, of course, the GOP doesn’t need a single Democrat in the House to pass the budget. Just as the Democrats didn’t need a single Republican to pass health care. But having a “bi-partisan” budget with significant enough Democratic support to call it that (and not snicker) would put more pressure on Democrats elsewhere.
But the comments from Ross and other Blue Dogs suggest at least some of the coalition’s members are willing to defect from their party and vote for the plan despite the vocal opposition of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Last week Pelosi rejected the GOP plan and said that $32 billion in proposed cuts “will come at the expense of economic growth and American jobs.”
“We must put our fiscal house in order, beginning with an aggressive attack on waste, fraud and abuse; but we must do so without jeopardizing targeted investments that are helping the private sector grow and hire new workers,” Pelosi said.
Got to love it — “waste, fraud and abuse”, the fall back of those who don’t intend to cut a dime while still talking about cutting spending. No one ever does anything about “waste, fraud and abuse” except talk about it. No one. And If Ms. Pelosi is so fired up about aggressively attacking it, why wasn’t that a priority when she was Speaker?
However the GOP doesn’t get off Scott free either – what happened to the $100 billion in cuts promised prior to the election? Why $32 billion (one of the questions I plan on asking Paul Ryan if I get the chance)?
Anyway, back to the point at hand – minority leader Pelosi is simply reaping a bit of what she’s sown:
The Blue Dog openness to the GOP comes amid strained relations with Pelosi. On Monday, Blue Dog leader Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), who challenged Pelosi for the job of Democratic leader in the 112th Congress, said the coalition has been shut out by the leader’s office.
So, no surprise – the Blue Dogs aren’t liberal enough for the leadership (yes that’s today’s theme). In fact, they recently met with Bill Clinton to plot a bit of strategy:
The 26-member Blue Dog Coalition met Monday in New York with former President Clinton to discuss ways to move a centrist political agenda through a divided Congress. Clinton advised the group on ways to handle the situation and discussed budget, housing and energy policy, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) said.
“One of the reasons we invited President Clinton was he had to work with Republicans after the ’94 election,” Ross said.
Now you know if that coalition is plotting a “move to a centrist political agenda”, it along with just about everyone else have decided that the “main stream” Democrats are way to the left of them. And they may find more leverage with the opposing party by being the designated “bi-partisan” validator with some “compromise” from the GOP to include some of their ideas.
And Nancy and the gang? Out in the cold gobbling on about “waste, fraud and abuse”. About the only real example of waste, fraud and abuse I’ve seen is the minority leader herself. A waste of time, a fraud as a representative of the people and an abuse of power all rolled up into one liberal politician. Can we do away with her? It will certainly save taxpayers money.
Seriously, this is just a shameless lie. Nancy Pelosi at her final news conference as Speaker of the House summing up the House’s priorities under he leadership:
"Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go."
No. It hasn’t.
When the Pelosi Democrats took control of Congress on January 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8,670,596,242,973.04. The last day of the 111th Congress and Pelosi’s Speakership on December 22, 2010 the national debt was $13,858,529,371,601.09 – a roughly $5.2 trillion increase in just four years. Furthermore, the year over year federal deficit has roughly quadrupled during Pelosi’s four years as speaker, from $342 billion in fiscal year 2007 to an estimated $1.6 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2010.
While Democrats hail this Congressional session as a huge success (again, it really depends on how you define “success” doesn’t it?), there’s one “accomplishment” they’ll be trying to ignore. Doug Mataconis gives us the numbers:
According to the United States Treasury, the National Debt on that day was $8,670,596,242,973.04. As of December 24th, it was $13,866,145,290,604.69. That’s $5,195,549,047,631.65 in new deficit spending in over just under four years.
Over 5 trillion dollars. Roll that around on your tongue – 5 trillion in new debt in 4 years. That’s more debt added than any other Congress in the history of our country and more than all of the first 100 combined.
The previous record holding Congress? The 110th at $1.92 trillion, also a Democratic Congress presided over by Pelosi. Oh and remember Ms. Pelosi’s pledge (the other one, not the “most ethical” Congress in history pledge) as she took the office of Speaker of the House?
“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” she said in an address from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”
Another in a long line of political lies. And yes, I consider this a lie since Pelosi and gang had absolutely no intention of following that pledge – none. It was a pure and unadulterated falsehood. Two Congressional sessions and 5 trillion dollars later, it’s clear how much of a falsehood it really was.
The cost? Now will cost every man, woman and child in America is on the hook for $44,886.57 each.
Meanwhile Obama, et. al, are touting this as the “Season of Progress”.
Progress toward the poor house maybe.
The GOP better get to work on day one, because we can’t afford the Democrats. They’ve had their run and look at the mountain of debt they’ve accumulated.
Thanks a trillion, Madam Speaker.