At least Obama wasn’t lying when he said, “I’m really good at killing people.”
Obama has said it time and time again, most recently saying it in September, 2013: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”
But it was always a baldfaced lie. Still, Jay Carney recently tried to move the goalposts by saying that “only 5% of Americans would be affected” by the insurance-cancelling provisions of Obamacare. He didn’t move them quite far enough, because Obama’s administration knew as far back as 2010 that 93 million Americans would be at risk of losing their health insurance under the Obamacare bill they had just passed.
Yet Obama kept lying, and lying, and lying, and is still lying. He used the media strategy that got him off the hook for so many other lies: He denied knowledge, moved the goalposts, and then blamed the private sector and the Republicans.
But the real question is, are you as stupid as Obama thinks you are? Do you really believe that he had no idea that 93 million health care plans would be at risk from his signature law, even though we have it on record that his advisers told him? Do you really believe he had no idea the Obamacare exchange system was in trouble before the launch? Do you really believe he had no idea his NSA operations were spying on every American, as well as dozens of foreign leaders, including our closest allies? Do you really believe Obama had no idea why the National Park Service was closing down roads, lands, and private businesses that do not require federal funding to remain open during the shutdown? Do you really believe Obama had no idea his IRS appointees were engaging in illegal political harassment and intimidation to help him get reelected? Do you really believe Obama had no idea that the Benghazi attack was carried out by Al Qaeda? Do you really believe that Obama had no idea that his gun-running operation had gotten out of control and killed 300 people?
It’s no coincidence that Obama’s relationship to all of these incidents is similar. It’s called “plausible deniability.” He knew about all of it. And he lied, shamelessly and repeatedly, to avoid all responsibility. Let the subordinates suffer so the head of the operation can continue on. It’s the Chicago way.
For those who don’t understand, or think it’s all a matter of context, allow me to explain what is so offensive about Obama’s statements.
What Obama said cuts very deep for a lot of people. It is a very personal attack to tell someone that they only succeeded because somebody else helped them. That’s basically saying that you don’t deserve the success you received, because you didn’t do it yourself. Of course, that’s exactly what Obama wants to say, because in that speech, he’s explicitly making an argument in favor of taking more money from the successful to pay for more government-controlled “investments.”
Obama has made this personal by using his bully pulpit to attack the achievements of every single individual in this country. And we all know he’s wrong, because each of us knows what it took to achieve the success that we have. I didn’t get into a PhD program just riding on somebody else’s coattails. Certainly, I received plenty of help, from my friends, from my family, from my teachers, even from the government. And I know I couldn’t have done it without them, and am eternally grateful for all of that. But it was still my own hard work, focus, and perseverance that made the difference and got me to my goals. As a scientist, I spend every day struggling to elucidate the intricacies of systems that nobody else in the world understands. Every time I make a breakthrough, that is a great personal achievement. And yet, Obama doesn’t think so.
That is why Obama’s statements were so very insulting. That is why Obama’s entire economic philosophy is an insult. Obama believes that success comes in the form of five year plans and Sputnik projects for the glory of a nation. But we are not just cogs in some productivity machine that he runs. We are all individuals, and we all have our own individual goals and achievements. Collective success comes from the contributions of individuals, not the other way around. I don’t want to live in a country where I am a servant to the nation. I want to live in a country that secures the freedom for me to achieve my goals, and lets me help society in the way I feel I am best suited to.
The oral arguments over ObamaCare are here:
Day 1 deals with whether or not the Tax Anti-Injunction Act bars legal challenges against the mandate until the “tax” goes into effect.
Day 2 deals with the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate.
Day 3 deals with the constitutionality of the Medicaid eligibility expansion, as well as the severability of the Individual Mandate.
By my evaluation, it looks like 6 out of 9 justices (including Sotomayor) are ready to strike down the mandate and at least 5 justices are ready to take down the whole Act with it. The Solicitor General simply could not articulate any sort of consistent limiting principle that could allow the mandate power to derive from the Commerce Clause without giving the federal government unlimited power. Additionally, the whole Act is such a massive monstrosity that passed by such narrow margins that the Justices did not feel comfortable trying to evaluate which portions of the Act would have passed without the mandate.
However, progressive pundits have been fighting back, saying that the limiting principle is there, and the Justices just weren’t listening. They say that the health care market is unique because “Health care is market that everybody will be a part of and must be administered in an emergency basis. NO other market has such a consideration.” This exact statement comes from a progressive on the forums who heard this argument from Sam Seder on a progressive radio show. I’ve heard similar statements coming from numerous other progressives.
The thing is, I have to question whether any of these progressives are actually reading the oral arguments before chiming in like this. Solicitor General Verrilli and Justice Ginsburg tried to make exactly this argument, and it didn’t hold up under scrutiny. First of all, how a service must be administered in order to be most effective or most financially sustainable (e.g. unexpectedly or paid for in advance) is a matter of whether or not a certain act is a good idea, not a matter of whether or not it’s legal. As Justice Kagan once pointed out, the questions of whether or not a law is stupid and whether or not it is legal are completely independent of one another. If the constitutional portions of the law are stupid unless something that cannot be constitutionally justified on its own merits is passed along with it, it doesn’t alleviate concerns of unconstitutionality. As one of the other Justices pointed out (I forget whether it was Roberts, Scalia, or Kennedy), there are plenty of constitutional ways Congress could completely break the economy, and that doesn’t justify unconstitutional action to alleviate those problems deliberately created by Congress. So if Congress doesn’t want to pass a stupid law, they simply should not try to pass a stupid law, not try to violate the constitution in order to make a stupid law a little less stupid.
So, on to the second “unique” factor. “Health care is market that everybody will be a part of.” The Justices brought up a couple of problems with this claim. As Kennedy described, government could define the market that it’s regulating as “the food market,” which everyone will unquestionably be a part of at some point. Would that allow Congress to mandate that everyone buy broccoli? What about the housing market? Can the government force everyone to buy apartments rather than houses? And the transportation market? can the government force everyone to buy a GM car? The information market? Can the government force everyone to buy the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal?
And what about Christian Science followers? Obtaining any kind of health services is against their religion, so that means that not everybody will be a part of the health care market. At best, you can only say that “most” people will be a part of the market. Justice Kennedy nailed Verrilli with this one, and then went on to ask what percentage of the population has to be engaged in a market in order for the government to decide that it can assume that everyone is participating in the market. Is 90% good enough? What about 70%? If we’re letting the government create mandates for everyone regarding markets that only “most people” participate in, then can it also create mandates about the electronics market? Can they force everyone to buy a Macbook? What about the movie market? The cell phone market? The energy market? Is there any market Congress can’t touch?
As Justice Kennedy pointed out, if nobody can find a limiting principle, then the Individual Mandate cannot possibly be considered constitutional.