Megan McArdle touches on one of the great political truths of today:
Ask a Washington dinner party full of moderately well informed people what will happen with Iran over the next five years, and you’ll end up with a consensus that gee, that’s tough. Ask them what GDP growth will be in fall 2019, and they’ll probably converge on a hesitant “2 or 3 percent, I guess?” On the other hand, ask them what’s going to happen to the climate over the next 100 years, and what you’re likely to hear is angry.
How can one be certain about outcomes in a complex system that we’re not really all that good at modeling? Anyone who’s familiar with the history of macroeconomic modeling in the 1960s and 1970s will be tempted to answer “Umm, we can’t.”
And that’s sort of the root of the problem, isn’ t it? The “science” of “climate change” is based in modeling “a complex system that we’re not really all that good at modeling”, just as in years past economists attempted the same thing with similar results.
So, how is the inability to capture all the variables, even variables of which little is known at present (and, dare I say it, some unknown) and put them in a model and claim … “science”. Seems to me its a guess at best. That’s certainly what economists found when they tried to model economies or even parts of economies. The number of variables is just too vast and the knowledge of those variables is imprecise at best.
McArdle goes on to talk about the experience of economists and how models have pretty much been put in their place in the “dismal science”. They’re aids, but they’re certainly nothing to bet your career or economic policy on.
Somehow, however, that’s not been the case with climate models – even when they’ve been shown to be horribly inaccurate time after time (in fact, not even close and have such a tenuous grasp on the mechanics of climate they can’t even reproduce the past).
That’s not stopped those who proclaim the “science is settled” from attempting to vilify and condemn those who disagree. Money grafs from McArdle:
This lesson from economics is essentially what the “lukewarmists” bring to discussions about climate change. They concede that all else equal, more carbon dioxide will cause the climate to warm. But, they say that warming is likely to be mild unless you use a model which assumes large positive feedback effects. Because climate scientists, like the macroeconomists, can’t run experiments where they test one variable at a time, predictions of feedback effects involve a lot of theory and guesswork. I do not denigrate theory and guesswork; they are a vital part of advancing the sum of human knowledge. But when you’re relying on theory and guesswork, you always want to leave plenty of room for the possibility that your model’s output is (how shall I put this?) … wrong.
Naturally, proponents of climate-change models have welcomed the lukewarmists’ constructive input by carefully considering their points and by advancing counterarguments firmly couched in the scientific method.
No, of course I’m just kidding. The reaction to these mild assertions is often to brand the lukewarmists “deniers” and treat them as if what they were saying was morally and logically equivalent to suggesting that the Holocaust never happened.
And that’s where we are. McArdle ends with a plea for sane and objective discussion but in my opinion, that ship sailed when we saw state Attorney Generals band together to prosecute “deniers” under the RICO statutes. Of course that doesn’t change the science or “science” but it does make it much more difficult to dial back the rhetoric. There is a reason for that:
The arguments about global warming too often sound more like theology than science. Oh, the word “science” gets thrown around a great deal, but it’s cited as a sacred authority, not a fallible process that staggers only awkwardly and unevenly toward the truth, with frequent lurches in the wrong direction. I cannot count the number of times someone has told me that they believe in “the science,” as if that were the name of some omniscient god who had delivered us final answers written in stone. For those people, there can be only two categories in the debate: believers and unbelievers. Apostles and heretics.
This I wholeheartedly agree with and the actions of those who believe in man-made climate change constantly validate my position. This has moved well beyond objectivity and rational discourse. It is into the realm of religious belief. It is interesting which side of the ideological curve tends to believe the “science” presented and to agree with the oppressive sanctions offered to silence those who disagree. The same ones who will tell you they’re “progressive”. For those of us who read a bit, we know the history of “progressivism” and what is happening on the “progressive” side of this issue is exactly what you’d expect from them.
Now apply that knowledge to other “progressive” ideas and policies and you’ll soon understand what their end game looks like.
These numbers should make everyone cringe, especially “scientists”:
- The biotech company Amgen had a team of about 100 scientists trying to reproduce the findings of 53 “landmark” articles in cancer research published by reputable labs in top journals.
Only 6 of the 53 studies were reproduced (about 10%).
- Scientists at the pharmaceutical company, Bayer, examined 67 target-validation projects in oncology, women’s health, and cardiovascular medicine. Published results were reproduced in only
14 out of 67 projects (about 21%).
- The project, PsychFileDrawer, dedicated to replication of published articles in experimental psychology, shows a
replication rate 3 out of 9 (33%) so far.
How can this be? Where is the rigorousness? Where is the peer review? Where are the reproducible results and why aren’t we getting more than we are?
Oh, with a minute:
[T]he US government gives nearly $31 billion every year in science funding through NIH only, which is mainly distributed in research grants to academic scientists. The 10% reproducibility rate means that 90% of this money ($28 billion) is wasted. That’s a lot. How are the tax-payers supposed to respond to the scientist plight for more research funding given these numbers? Would you give more of your own money to someone who delivered you such a result?
Any bets on what the 90% unreproducible results help further?
Seems college isn’t about college anymore – at least at Oberlin. The shot:
A recent piece in The New Yorker examines the effects of a new wave of student activism at Oberlin College, a small, private liberal arts institution in Ohio, and it’s pretty eye-opening.
According to writer Nathan Heller, Oberlin is “at the center of the current storm” of activism on college campuses, with students heavily involved in issues including classroom diversity, safe spaces, racial inequality and social injustice.
Due to the intense focus on those issues, many progressive students are dropping out.
They claim that their activism is getting in the way of their studies, and other students, the faculty and the administration have made it impossible to live on campus.
Heller spoke to self-identified “Afro-Latinx” student Megan Bautista, who said that she was upset that the school refused her demand to erase any grades below Cs.
“A lot of us worked alongside community members in Cleveland who were protesting (the death of Tamir Rice in the fall of 2014 – ed.). But we needed to organize on campus as well—it wasn’t sustainable to keep driving forty minutes away. A lot of us started suffering academically.” In 1970, Oberlin had modified its grading standards to accommodate activism around the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings, and Bautista had hoped for something similar. More than thirteen hundred students signed a petition calling for the college to eliminate any grade lower than a C for the semester, but to no avail. “Students felt really unsupported in their endeavors to engage with the world outside Oberlin,” she told me.
But that’s not the real world even if it is the world the students feel they need to embrace.
It’s funny to me. You go to college and you essentially make a commitment to that college to take classes you choose and to perform well enough to get a good grade. Then … squirrel! Suddenly that commitment is put on the back burner as you discover a new and more important one. Well, more important to you. The old, “I want my cake and I want to eat it too” selfishness of a child who has always gotten their spoiled way.
And who is supposed to suddenly change the rules because you’ve decided on this new commitment and thrown over the old one? Oh, yeah, the institution you made the previous commitment too.
Students should feel “really unsupported” by the school because they’ve reneged on their commitment to the school. Why should the school feel obligated to support them if they don’t feel obligated to their commitment to the school?
Mature folk actually know the right answer to that question. The immature? See above.
Maybe they should offer a Maturity 101 course for these children.
Ed Rensi is the former CEO of McDonalds and he commented on the reality of a $15 minimum wage and how most businesses will handle it:
“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries — it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe.”
He continues, “It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster.”
That’s the one he got right. Here’s the one he got wrong:
I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage. If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more [about] what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington D.C.”
Good grief, Mr. Rensi, why not let the market handle it? You know, supply and demand? What the heck is wrong with you? You wouldn’t even be discussing this if government hadn’t intruded and decided unilaterally that you should pay your employees a certain amount of money for their labor. It is because of government you’re even discussing automation above. And now you think government – even state government (you know like California or New York?) – would be the solution?
And you were a CEO of a major corporation?
I’m sorry, I’m a little angry today. That’s because of this statement:
“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”
That’s a statement by VA Secretary Robert McDonald addressing a question about excessive wait times at VA facilities. All I can figure is he must have been a rather mediocre product of public education because this screams “STUPID!”.
When waiting in line for “Space Mountain”, Mr. Secretary, do people die? No? Then, you idiot, it’s not a valid comparison.
And secondly, what sort of “satisfaction with the experience” can someone who died waiting have, dumbbell? I’ll tell you now, since it is obvious you can’t figure it out – a very UNSATISFACTORY experience.
But of course, the dead can’t speak, can they you moron?!
Tell you what, why don’t you quit trying to find ways to explain the excessive wait times that are killing veterans and fix the effing problem? Ever think of that?
What a freaking imbecile.
Denmark is abandoning wind power. Up till now, Danes had been paying very high energy bills, 66% of the bill being “green taxes” and only 15% going to energy generation. Under pressure from Danes, who enjoy the highest energy prices in Europe, Danish politicians are abandoning wind power as “too expensive”:
Denmark’s government abandoned plans to build five offshore wind power farms Friday amid fears the electricity produced there would become too expensive for Danish consumers.
“Since 2012 when we reached the political agreement, the cost of our renewable policy has increased dramatically,” said Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, a Liberal Party politician representing the country’s minority government, according to Reuters.
The government would have had to pay $10.63 billion to buy electricity from the five wind farms — a price deemed too expensive for consumers who already face the highest electricity prices in Europe.
“We can’t accept this, as the private sector and households are paying far too much. Denmark’s renewable policy has turned out to be too expensive,” Lilleholt said.
Imagine that. The fact that “renewable energy” forms have been installed doesn’t equal “cheap energy” (much like ObamaCare doesn’t mean “cheap insurance”, even though you were led to believe it would). And all of them have required some sort of subsidy to survive – which means they’re obviously not self-sufficient (that meaning that they can’t produce a product at a price that consumers are willing to pay and make enough profit to ensure their continued production). In fact, I’m having a very rough time finding any “renewable” source of energy that is self-sufficient.
Of course, the reason for the emergence of “green” and “renewable” energy sources is the “global warming” scam. That scam allows the environmental extremist agenda full run with your money. And this, so far, has been the result (don’t forget Spain).
Meanwhile, in the US, we’re apparently going to continue with the fiasco and while we’re at it, kill more endangered species by extending the license to kill them that wind farms already have to 30 years:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged with protecting bald and golden eagles, is once again trying to make it easier for the wind industry to kill those birds.
Two weeks ago the agency opened public comment on “proposed improvements” to its eagle conservation program. It wants to extend the length of permits for accidental eagle kills from the current five years to 30 years. The changes would allow wind-energy producers to kill or injure as many as 4,200 bald eagles every year. That’s a lot. The agency estimates there are now about 72,434 bald eagles in the continental U.S.
And the media, which will make sure to run the picture of an oil soaked bird above the fold on page one and in the lead on newscasts, is not interested in this story at all. As for the enviros? Well, much like the so-called feminists were willing to remain silent about Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse of women, they must also have malleable principles that allow them to sanction at least 4,200 chopped up bald eagles a year for the sake of “green energy”.
I’m sure you’ve been following this bizarre story about the left’s attempt, through various blue Attorney’s General, to use the RICO statute to
persecute prosecute so-called “climate deniers”. One of the targets was the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI wasn’t going to take it lying down and punched back:
A libertarian nonprofit group is seeking damages from the U.S. Virgin Islands’ chief law enforcement officer, alleging a politically motivated legal campaign designed to stifle the group’s policy advocacy activities.
Attorneys representing the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a motion in a Washington, D.C. court on Monday alleging that Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker violated a D.C. law designed to prevent frivolous legal actions targeting policy groups’ rights to free speech and government redress.
The motion is the latest chapter in a developing legal battle between conservative and industry groups that oppose Democratic attorneys general in 17 states who are pursuing racketeering charges against oil giant Exxon Mobil.
Walker subpoenaed CEI last month as part of the anti-Exxon campaign. He demanded a decade’s worth of internal documents and communications about the group’s work on energy and environmental policy.
CEI told Walker to stuff it and shot back:
Andrew Grossman, a BakerHostetler attorney representing CEI, called the subpoena “offensive,” “unlawful,” and “un-American” in an April reply. He vowed to fight the subpoena, which was filed in D.C., where CEI is headquartered.
An attorney representing a group of AGs, including Walker, in their Exxon probe replied on Friday, telling CEI that it is abandoning its subpoena but reserving the right to restart the effort at any point in the future.In response, Grossman and his BakerHostetler colleague David Rivkin filed a motion to vacate the subpoena entirely. They are also asking the court to reimburse CEI for its legal fees and levy additional penalties on Walker’s office as a means of discouraging abuses of the D.C. legal system.
Walker’s “bad faith purpose in wielding this Court’s power to subpoena … warrants sanctions,” the attorneys wrote in a Monday motion. “Sanctions are necessary here ‘to punish abuses of the judicial process and to deter future abuses,’” they wrote, quoting a prior case involving D.C.’s anti-SLAPP statute.
The acronym SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” and refers to efforts to shut down an opposing party’s speech or political advocacy through frivolous lawsuits.
This is what has to be done to stop this foolishness. All it costs the AG is your tax money. So, in reality, it cost them nothing. But the people or organizations they target actually end up having to reach deeply into their own pockets to defend themselves from these frivolous lawsuits.
Here’s hoping CEI is able to whack this nonsense in the head quickly. As their attorney said, it’s “offensive”, “unlawful” and “un-American.” It is also an obnoxious and obvious abuse of power. Time to reel this bunch ideological hitmen back in and do quickly. And it wouldn’t hurt at all if the lawsuit found some of the AG’s personally responsible and made them pay fines out of their own fund for the abuse of their office (not that it will happen … I understand that, but I guy can wish). Short of that, running them out of office will suffice.
And that’s why they were so enamored of Venezuela. All the leftist illuminati waxed on and on about how Hugo Chavez was a champion of the people and how he was working an “economic miracle” there, as illustrated by the 2013 Salon article by David Sirota. In it Sirota gloats about how wrong the right is concerning Venezuela. Headlined “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle”, the sub-headline on the piece is classic:”The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains.”
In light of Venezuela’s imminent collapse, I’m sure Sirota is cringing today. As usual, the “economic miracle” Chavez had wrought under his brand of socialism worked swimmingly until they ran out of other people’s money. Then, well, same crap, different regime.
I had to laugh, in particular, at this paragraph from “gloaty-boy”:
When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore. It suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism, especially when said country has valuable oil resources that global powerhouses like the United States rely on.
Well, laughed at his silliness or is it perhaps willful ignorance in not understanding, even when he was calling Chavez’s Venezuela an “economic miracle” what was really going on there. No one is laughing at the purely predictable and lamentable problems the citizens of Venezuela are going through now because of Chavez. He sold them a bill of goods and now they’re suffering the consequences.
What’s frustrating though is the useful idiots like Sirota and gang who won’t take the time to learn why socialism doesn’t work and certainly won’t look too deeply into any regime, such as Chavez’s, that shows the possibility of their long held dream of collectivism and central planning working.
If, in fact, they’d do that, there wouldn’t be guys like me, 3 years after the fact, pointing a finger at them and laughing at something they wrote about an economy that was doomed from the beginning. As most of us noted at the time of the Chavez takeover, it wasn’t a matter of “if” his plan would fail, but “when”. “When” is now.
Look at the video and the pictures, Mr. Sirota. They’re not pretty. They’re not pretty at all.
How does it feel to have been a cheerleader for the kind of desperation and chaos Chavez’s “miracle” has brought? How does it feel to have wished a stable and thriving nation (it had its problems, but nothing even close to those now) into the state it now endures? And tell me again why Chavez’s daughter is worth 4 billion?
You must be so proud.
Is it Friday already? Why, yes, yes it is.
So, on with the show. Our first “Gee, I told you so” of the day comes from the fast food chain, Wendys:
Self-service kiosks will be made available to the more than 6,000 Wendy’s franchises in the United States, the company announced on Thursday. Individual restaurant managers will decide whether to install them as an alternative to having human beings take customers’ orders.
According to Investors Business Daily, which reported the news, Wendy’s executives said the decision was driven by a tight labor market and higher minimum wages in many states.
After all, a computer kiosk doesn’t need to be paid $15 an hour to take orders.
Wendy’s President Todd Penegor told IBD that franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes and said the company is wary about both wage hikes and a possible recovery in commodity prices and is “working so hard to find efficiencies.”
McDonald’s is also experimenting with self-service kiosks. Wendy’s might also introduce mobile ordering and payment systems next year, according to IBD.
A kiosk also needs no days off, sick leave, paternity leave, benefits or wage hikes. And note the last line – Mickey D is also in the kiosk business (I’ve seen a few there myself).
Of course to anyone with common sense and a basic understanding of economics (you know, like labor is a “cost” to business) this comes as no surprise. To the “feel the Bern” crowd, and many on the left who lack both of those qualities, this is an “outrage”!
Meh. It’s kind of like ObamaCare insurance – you may have it, but if doctors won’t accept it, it’s not much use to you is it? Same with $15 an hour times zero hours.
Meanwhile in academia, the stronghold of bureaucratic authoritarians, it seems they look for any opportunity to ban an action unilaterally for no other reason than they fear someone’s feelings (other than those effected by the ban, of course) will possibly be hurt:
Face painting at an Illinois college has been banned because it’s “cultural appropriation,” dontchya know? There’s just one problem: Which culture?
Because it’s the latest thing to be offended by, officials at Millikin University in Decatur have told a fraternity that they can’t wear face or body paint, or wigs because they might “depict an ethnicity or culture.”
The fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, traditionally puts on body and face paint during an annual recruitment for new members, CampusReform is reporting.
Yup, my blue-faced, bare assed Scots ancestors would surely be offended. Oh, wait, they’re white aren’t they? Never mind:
“Millikin University is committed to fostering a community of inclusiveness that respects difference amongst all students,” Nicki Rowlett, assistant director of the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, writes in a letter on the issue. “It is my hope that the men of [Tau Kappa Epsilon] utilize this as an educational opportunity to explore the concept of intent vs. impact with regard to cultural appropriation.”
“Members [of the fraternity] are prohibited from wearing black and red paint, wigs and/or clothing items that mimic or depict an ethnicity or culture,” she writes. “Failure to comply with the expectation will result in immediate removal from the event and additional student conduct sanctions.”
Her words are quite “inclusive” and just ooze “student engagement” don’t they – in a petty, dictatorial way. “Off with the face paint. The mighty Nichole has spoken!”
What a farce.
Apparently it is no longer about the “country” in politics, but instead, the party:
In 1960, 5% of Republicans and 4% of Democrats said that they would feel “displeased” if their son or daughter married outside their political party. By 2010, those numbers skyrocketed: to 49% and 33%, respectively. We’re probably not yet at the point where Republicans would be more upset if their child married a Democrat than someone of the same sex — but we are heading in that direction.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed how party politics seems to eclipse what is really important about where we’re headed. It’s all about winning now and it’s all about the party winning. I’ve been asking for years, “where did all the statesmen go”. We’ll we drove them off with the anal exams and the insistence that the party deliver certain things whether or not they were good for the country or not.
That has gotten decidedly worse over the intervening decades to the point that we’re now governed by the worst political class I’ve ever seen in my lifetime and we’re stuck with the inevitable candidates that system was bound to finally produce.
Speaking of our political class (or lack thereof), there’s a book coming out supposedly written anonymously by a sitting member of Congress (purportedly a Democrat) who uses that anonymity to tell the “truth” about what happens there, like:
- “Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that’s lavished upon them.”
- “My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.”
- “Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it’ll cost.”
Those three quotes might shock someone but it was simply an affirmation for me. We’ve seen this for years and years and have done absolutely nothing but re-elect these crooks. And they know they’ll bet re-elected because they haven’t underestimated their esteemed constituents/voters one bit:
- “The average man on the street actually thinks he influences how I vote. Unless it’s a hot-button issue, his thoughts are generally meaningless. I’ll politely listen, but I follow the money.”
- “Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works.”
- “It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”
Yes, he (or she) is saying exactly what many of us have known for years – this government and those who run it are a product of the voting public – one which has no use for freedom and no time to monitor and overwatch those they put in positions of power. Result? A huge but visibly declining banana republic.
Finally, the transgender nonsense the government seems bound and determined to cram down everyone’s throats. Is it a real “civil rights” dilemma or is it a mental health issue?
Frankly, I go with the latter. Here’s why:
There are several reasons for this absence of coherence in our mental health system. Important among them is the fact that both the state and federal governments are actively seeking to block any treatments that can be construed as challenging the assumptions and choices of transgendered youngsters. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama.
In two states, a doctor who would look into the psychological history of a transgendered boy or girl in search of a resolvable conflict could lose his or her license to practice medicine. By contrast, such a physician would not be penalized if he or she started such a patient on hormones that would block puberty and might stunt growth.
What is needed now is public clamor for coherent science—biological and therapeutic science—examining the real effects of these efforts to “support” transgendering. Although much is made of a rare “intersex” individual, no evidence supports the claim that people such as Bruce Jenner have a biological source for their transgender assumptions. Plenty of evidence demonstrates that with him and most others, transgendering is a psychological rather than a biological matter.
In fact, gender dysphoria—the official psychiatric term for feeling oneself to be of the opposite sex—belongs in the family of similarly disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder. Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than one treats obesity-fearing anorexic patients with liposuction. The treatment should strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it. With youngsters, this is best done in family therapy.
Dr. Paul McHugh wrote that. He also wrote this:
For forty years as the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School—twenty-six of which were also spent as Psychiatrist in Chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital—I’ve been studying people who claim to be transgender. Over that time, I’ve watched the phenomenon change and expand in remarkable ways.
Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they “identify.” In that lies their problematic future.
That’s the root of the problem. It has now become politicized and is a political football for a radical agenda and the government is attempting to satisfy this radical minority (and I don’t necessarily mean the “transgendered”) by imposing that agenda by force.
Me? I’ll go with McHugh and science.
Have a good weekend!
We can only hope so … but then, one should remember that John Roberts sold his soul and his intellectual reputation to make payment for it into a tax. So we shall see. But some heartening news today if you’re someone who believes those in government should be held to the Constitution’s restrictions on government.
In a major ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said the administration does not have the power to spend money on “cost sharing reduction payments” to insurers without an appropriation from Congress.
Collyer’s decision doesn’t immediately go into effect, however, so that the administration can appeal it.“This is an historic win for the Constitution and the American people,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “The court ruled that the administration overreached by spending taxpayer money without approval from the people’s representatives.”At issue are billions of dollars paid to insurance companies participating in ObamaCare so they can reduce customers’ out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles for low-income people.
The House GOP argued that the administration was unconstitutionally spending money on these payments without Congress’s approval.
Of course that’s an almost daily occurrence for the past few decades. The lines have blurred and no one is held accountable. Oversight? What a joke.
How far this will go and whether the decision will be upheld is a mystery at this point, but not much of one … see again the first sentence.
The administration, of course, had an answer:
But the administration said it did not need an appropriation from Congress because the funds were already guaranteed by the healthcare reform law in the same section as its better-known tax credits that help people pay for coverage.
Yup, the executive needs no permission to spend your money anymore, just as he or she no longer needs permission to wage war. Blurred lines becoming even blurrier. Separation of powers? Get real.
Imperial presidency? For quite a while. The Judge, though, wasn’t buying the explanation:
Collyer ruled that the section only appropriated funds for tax credits and said the cost sharing reductions require a separate congressional appropriation, which the administration does not currently have.
“Such an appropriation cannot be inferred,” Collyer wrote. “None of Secretaries’ extra-textual arguments — whether based on economics, ‘unintended’ results, or legislative history — is persuasive. The Court will enter judgment in favor of the House of Representatives and enjoin the use of unappropriated monies to fund reimbursements due to insurers under Section 1402.”
Good for her. It won’t dismantle the dreadful system, but it does take another chink out of its funding. It’s a start. But whether the start will later faulter and fail to be upheld is still to be seen. In today’s world, unfortunately, the likelihood of that sort of a failure is much more prevalent than had this ruling come down 40 or 50 years ago when most people still believed in a much more limited government constrained by the Constitution.
Brave new world … one that promises to be much like the old and oppressive world if some have their way.