The Democrats’ newest line in the peeling onion of fail that is Obamacare is that its failure is all the Republicans’ fault because…they sabotaged it. This line has been taken up by Politico in an article by Todd S. Purdum.
From the moment the bill was introduced, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress announced their intention to kill it. Republican troops pressed this cause all the way to the Supreme Court — which upheld the law, but weakened a key part of it by giving states the option to reject an expansion of Medicaid. The GOP faithful then kept up their crusade past the president’s reelection, in a pattern of “massive resistance” not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954…
Most Republican governors declined to create their own state insurance exchanges — an option inserted in the bill in the Senate to appeal to the classic conservative preference for local control — forcing the federal government to take at least partial responsibility for creating marketplaces serving 36 states — far more than ever intended.
Then congressional Republicans refused repeatedly to appropriate dedicated funds to do all that extra work, leaving the Health and Human Services Department and other agencies to cobble together HealthCare.gov by redirecting funds from existing programs. On top of that, nearly half of the states declined to expand their Medicaid programs using federal funds, as the law envisioned.
Then, in the months leading up to the program’s debut, some states refused to do anything at all to educate the public about the law. And congressional Republicans sent so many burdensome queries to local hospitals and nonprofits gearing up to help consumers navigate the new system face-to-face that at least two such groups returned their federal grants and gave up the effort.
So, political opposition to a law that Republicans always opposed is now "sabotage’. That’s simply nonsense on stilts. The law was passed without a single Republican vote. That should’ve been a big signal to Democrats that the law was going to be on shaky ground, but of course, in their arrogance, it didn’t.
Back in 1993, when Hillary Clinton was working on Health Care Reform, Daniel Patrick Moynihan gave her some sage advice. He told her that without support from a large, non-partisan majority, no large-scale reform can ever be successfully concluded. She ignored him at the time, just as Democrats ignored that advice when they passed Obamacare on a strictly party-line vote.
But no Congress can ever bind a succeeding Congress. This has been a black-letter principle of American politics for two centuries. The only way a succeeding congress can be bound is if the support for a particular law is widespread and bi-partisan. And in the case of Obamacare, not only have the Republicans been opposed since the beginning so has a majority of the American people. Obamacare has never polled with majority support among the electorate, and as its implementation date has drawn closer, the majority of the electorate that opposes it has increased.
Howard Dean, recently suggested that Republican opposition to Obamacare is a sign that Republicans have "forgotten that they’re actually supposed to serve the American people." But since, by all the polling results I’ve ever seen, a substantial majority of the public opposes Obamacare, it would seem to me that Republican opposition is actually the precise opposite of what Howard Dean suggests.
Defining opposition to Obamacare as "sabotage" is simply sour grapes from an arrogant political party that imposed an unpopular law against the apparent wishes of the electorate.
Obamacare is a disaster. I predicted it was an unworkable disaster before it was passed, as did anyone who took the time to look at the perverse incentives it created. The amount of wishful thinking that went in to passing this stupid law is incomprehensible to me. It could not have been more clearly prone to failure if it had been intentionally designed to fail.
Make no mistake: if you support Obamacare, you are a complete dolt, or so lacking in fundamental knowledge that your opinion about it is irrelevant. It is a law that literally cannot accomplish its stated purpose, because it ignores essential and fundamental economic and political realities. Moreover, it was passed in opposition to a majority of Americans.
Opposition to this disaster is not sabotage. It is the only rational response to the utter stupidity it encapsulates.
But framing opposition as sabotage does have a darker, more nefarious purpose. The whole point of such charges is to delegitimize the opposition. Frankly, it’s part of what I see as an ongoing Democratic strategy to define opposition to any policy they support as un-American, at the very least, if not somehow criminal. The Left in this country could not be doing more to foment a civil war if they were intentionally trying to do so.
I have very little hope for the future of this country. I have very little left but anger.
The ISM manufacturing composite index remained steady, with just a 0.2 point rise to 56.4 in October.
Markit’s PMI Manufacturing Index fell a point to 51.8 in October.
Vehicle sales were strong in October, coming in at a 15.2 million annual unit rate. Some of the sales increases reported: Chrysler 11%, GM 15.7%, Ford 14%, Toyota 8.8%.
Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 last week, to 340,000. The 4-week moving average rose 8,000 to 356,250. Continuing claims rose 31,000 to 2.881 million.
The Chicago PMI accelerated sharply in October to 65.9 from the previous month’s 55.7.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.5 points to -37.6.
Farm prices rose 0.5% in October, but on a year-over-year basis were down -11%.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $4.4 billion last week, with total assets of $3.843 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $12.9 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $55.9 billion last week.
The MBA reports that a dip in rates caused mortgage applications to rise 6.4% last week, with purchases up 2.0% and re-fis 9.0%.
ADP reports a smaller-than-expected rise in private payroll growth, at 130,000 in October, a disappointing number.
The Treasury reported a big $75.1 billion surplus in the month of September. This points to a substantially lower 2013 deficit.
The CPI rose 0.2% in September, with the core rate up 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, consumer prices are up 1.2% overall, and up 1.7% ex-food and -energy.
In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 3.6% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales drop of -0.4%, and a 2.2% increase on a year-over-year basis.
Producer prices fell -0.1% in September, but were up 0.1% at the core level. On a year-over-year basis, the PPI rose 0.3% overall, but up 1.2% at the core.
September retail sales fell -0.1% overall. Sales ex-autos were up 0.4%, and ex-auto and -gas sales were up 0.4% as well.
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.9% in August, the first monthly increase since April.
Business inventories rose 0.3% in August, while a 0.4% rise in sales kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 2.90 for the third consecutive month.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index slumped to 71.2 in October from last month’s 79.9.
The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell to 95.7 in October from 101.4 in September.
The Dallas Fed Mfg Survey fell –9 points in October to a still-positive 3.6. The production index rose 2 points to 13.3.
Industrial production rose 0.6% in September, while capacity utilization rose 0.5% to 78.3%.
The Pending Home Sales Index for September fell 6 points to 101.6.
This week, Bruce, Michael and Dale discuss Obamacare and the end of antibiotics.
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Durable goods order rose 3.7% in September—all of it on aircraft orders. Ex-transportation orders fell -0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, orders are up 7.4% overall, and up 5.6% ex-transportation.
The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index slipped -2 points in the final October reading to 73.2.
Wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in August, while sales rose 0.6%. The wholesale stock-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.17.