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In It to Win It

Obama's economic goals. Snarlin' at Arlen. Don't be so insure. Plus more.

4.20.09

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PRIORITIES
Re: Philip Klein's Obama's Big Government Gamble:

The author assumes the premise that one, Obama wants to please the public; two, that he wants to pay off national debt; and three, that he is even remotely concerned about any erosion of popularity at any time. Understand, he wants the government to be his. Simply put, he wants total control. Anyone thinking any different is assuming this is politics as usual. It isn't. What it is and will become is government seizure. What it will further become is government of Obama, by Obama, and for Obama (and his cronies).

There will be no transparency. There will be no accountability (just money stolen from taxpayers and given to cronies who work for him). There will be no need for elections ever, by the time he is through. He has taken over. This is it. And as far as I can see, this day is the least intervention we will ever have by government in our lives. As things tighten, as our liberties are taken away, we will look back to the first hundred days and say, "we long for those simpler days."

Some say he is a Manchurian candidate. I have no idea about that. All I can see from my ranch is simply this. When you elect a Chicago politician, you get a politician. I don’t see him allowing elections after four years. All I see is him declaring is martial law. 

From the home of the terrorist state of Texas. From the home of a now declared national threat, due to my belief in life, guns, and military service to our once great nation, here I sit.
-- Beverly Gunn
Texas 

Obama doesn't give two hoots for the economy as long as his supporters don't catch wise. He is in the middle of an active political campaign which will never cease. We will not be able to recognize
America after Obama. His aims are not in the interests of our economy.

I have never been so concerned about our country in my 82 years. We are not in "good hands" now and our salvation will depend on squeamish Democrats in congress who wake up to our untenable situation.

Take just one campaign, the Global Warming hoax, the so called Cap-and-Trade. The perpetrators admit that they are going to spend us into the poor house on an imaginary problem which we haven't caused and can't correct, even if we would want to change a climate which has been 4.5 billion years in the making.
-- George Hall
Marietta, Georgia

"Any cook should be able to run the country." -- V.I. Lenin

With all due respects for cooks, so why not a community organizer?
-- I.M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

SPECTER OF A REPUBLICAN
Re: Jeffrey Lord's True Grit: Specter Declares War on Toomey:

After reading this fawning piece I find myself questioning why I read The American Spectator. This has been a daily visit for me for some time.  If this is what I can expect in the future it's off my list.  I've seen better from Obama fans.

I doubt there is any need for me to explain my objection.  If there is it would fall on deaf ears.
-- Melvin Udall

I first met Arlen Specter in the late 1970s when he spoke at a seminar at Temple Law School in Philadelphia.  I was very impressed with everything about him.

During his early years in the Senate, I was still impressed with everything about  him, and voted for him every time.

But as time wore on (and on and on), I began to see that he was "too smart for his own good" and, by political osmosis, too smart for my good and too smart for the good of the people of Pennsylvania.

His recent notion of "bipartisanship" is precisely in keeping with the Democrats:  "Vote for what Democrats propose and otherwise keep your mouth shut."  He has done that all too well since they took over.

...except when he realizes that voting their way might hurt his re-election campaign, as when he abandoned his union-ingratiation position on ending the secret ballot in union elections, apparently assuming that his rhetorical brilliance will help Pennsylvanians to forget.

As he has gained seniority, he has become a pork butcher extraordinaire.  Although that might benefit some Pennsylvanians, it is part of the greatest problem with our government (before Obama became proto-dictator, that is).

As demonstrated by Mr. Lord's typically insightful analysis, apparently Specter has learned and assimilated completely  the slash-and-burn political expediency of the Clintonistas and Obamanistas:  change the subject, deflect criticism as "distractions," blame everybody else for everything, demonize your opponents, tear down, tear down again.

He claims that Toomey cannot be elected to the Senate.  Well, surprise everyone!  Specter can't either.  He has not only burned his bridges behind him, he has torn up the railroad tracks and sold the rails to feed his re-election campaign.

Worst of all, Specter -- a "Republican," mind you -- has accused Toomey of being -- spitting out the bitter taste in his mouth and shuddering at the mere thought of saying the word -- a CONSERVATIVE! Ooooooh! Well, if Toomey is nominated and loses the general election, at least Pennsylvanians will have had the opportunity to put a conservative in the Senate.  If Specter is nominated, we'll have a false choice between a flaming liberal (whoever the Democrats nominate) and a closet liberal.

I'll take my chances on the conservative.
-- A. C. Santore

PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET
Re: Eric Peters's The Car Insurance Scam:

Well Mr. Peters, in many states you can self insure if you can pony up the cash or alternately the bond. That is exactly what many corporations do that operate fleets.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

I have been in the casualty insurance business for 40 years (come this June), and I can assure you that compulsory auto insurance is not an invention of the past 20 to 25 years. It was in place in a number of states before I entered the business, and enforcement has always been an issue.

As a libertarian conservative I sympathize with Eric Peters's view that the government should not impose mandatory insurance, if not with some other of his statements about the operation of auto insurance. The states usually require a low limit of "statutory" coverage, so the insurance industry now also sells "uninsured" and "underinsured" motorists coverage so we can get resources from our insurer to pay a serious bodily injury claim in cases where an irresponsible at-fault driver can't make good on his tort obligation to us because of lack or inadequacy of cover. And, of course, we good drivers buy first party collision insurance so there is coverage if money from the at-fault driver's insurance company is slow in coming or inadequate in amount.

The insurance companies are a pretty ineffective cartel. As financial concerns go, there is substantial ease of entry into the insurance business. Anyone who watches TV or reads his mail knows how much price competition goes on in the personal auto business. Profit margins are modest. Cartels usually restrict capacity, but the compulsory coverage laws have caused capacity expansion to meet the increased demand.  

I'm all in favor of getting rid of government-mandated compulsory coverage, but people should be aware of the probable effects of doing so. First, we good drivers (I haven't had an at-fault accident since the one single vehicle accident I did have in the early 70's) will have to protect ourselves from the financially irresponsible and the costs of such protection will rapidly increase, perhaps beyond the savings from not carrying liability coverage (at good driver rates). Second, should we have a momentary lapse in our driving skill and become that at-fault driver, the tort system will go after any resources we have been able to accumulate and possibly put us into bankruptcy. This may not be a problem if we are just out of school, but could be very significant if we are further along in our life. (I doubt that very many people on this blog aspire to be "judgment proof".)  Many responsible people purchase well above compulsory liability limits for that very reason, and thus would do so even if auto liability insurance were not compulsory. I, myself, spend about a thousand dollars a year for a regular liability policy and an umbrella liability policy that in combination provide over $2M in liability protection because I want to protect my assets. It takes a lot of one thousand dollar payments to provide coverage for a $2M liability case (and believe me they exist), along with funding for all the more moderately valued auto accidents that occur. In the non-compulsory auto insurance world the responsible people will also be purchasing direct protection that will be more expensive because of the larger numbers of uninsured.

Let's take our libertarian case a bit further. In a free market world, the roads will be owned by businesses, not by the government. Should we still have a tort system, it may well be possible for those injured on the highways to sue not only the at-fault driver, but also the business who allowed that driver onto the private road. (You don't get to do that with the government.) The business almost certainly will require an individual using its roadway to provide proof of insurance, and probably in much higher amounts than is currently required by governments. These businesses may also require the use of specific insurance companies, or, at least, insurance companies from a list of the most highly rated insurers. Frankly, I would prefer such a system to the current one. But I doubt it would lead to the consumer "savings" postulated by Mr. Peters.
-- Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri

Thank you for Mr. Peters article. Please pass my kudos on to him.

This is a much more important issue than even the article displays. You see, prior to automobile insurance being mandatory, there was a type of coverage that was available called "uninsured motorists insurance." That was in case someone hit you but they didn't have insurance. Guess what? You still get that coverage, you still need that coverage.  Now, insurance companies have gone so far as to steal your car legally. My mini-van was hit by a neighbor. The insurance company totalled the car, then refused to pay enough money to either repair or replace it. Then, it was illegal for me to drive it. After they said it was totalled, it had to have a salvage license, and was undrivable. It is far worse than the article depicts. The insurance company was neither required to repair or replace the vehicle...yet, I was insured. That is abject criminaltiy and blatant fraud.

Forcing people to buy a product of any type drives up the cost and destroys the service. When insurance was optional, insurance agents came to your home at your convenience to sell you insurance. They visited once or twice a year to see if your needs had changed and to try to sell you more. They also responded immediately to any claims.

After car insurance became mandatory, police stopped responding to accident calls.  Insurance agents respond with, can't you work it out with the other party?

Now let's look at medical insurance. Is medical mal-practice insurance mandatory? We need to eliminate all mandatory insurance. At the most, doctors should post a notice that they do not carry mal-practice insurance. I believe very firmly that the primary reason for the outrageous medical costs is due to insurance. If you eliminate all of the insurance premiums paid by doctors, nurses, hospitals and other components of our health care system, we would have affordable health care.

Please, look into all mandatory insurances for any type of business or organization.  Eliminating this one thing, mandatory insurance, is right up there with eliminating all bans on drilling for oil in harming our economy.
-- Gail Spurlock

The really crazy part about automobile liability insurance is that the policies attach to the cars and not the drivers. Thus, if I have two vehicles, even though I can't drive them both at the same time, I'll still need two policies.

It is the drivers that should carry insurance, not their jalopies.
-- Handy
Illinois

LOOKOUT MARRIAGE
Re: George Neumayr's Brave New Barbarism:

The Pagan Left is celebrating the denigration of marriage into a mere social contract by states like Iowa and Vermont. By removing the sexual identity of the legally betrothed from the equation, marriage becomes merely another form of legal contract, what may be termed a Sub-Chapter G Corporation. Since the legal argument for gay marriage relies on the individual right of equal protection, it clearly opens the door for group marriage, aka polygamy. Since the procreative purpose is removed, it allows relatives to marry. Gay marriage mandates the right of gay couples to adopt. And since it lowers it to a legal relation it will inspire business associates who seek the benefits of marriage (no compulsory court testimony, no inheritance and joint itemized deductions). In fact, since the right to marry is now based on an individual's legal right, it allows one to marry inanimate objects. What gay marriage really does is destroy the basic concept of marriage, surely the pathway to a New Barbarism.
-- Tim O'Neill
Pompano Beach, Florida


FAIL WITH YOUR OWN MONEY
Re: Nicole Russell's The Sinking Strib:

Funny how "the writers, editors, photographers, and other staff of the paper" are looking to our (taxpayers) money for their salvation rather than putting up their own. May we (the taxpayers) dictate their salaries and benefits in return? Somehow, I bet that detail is not in the mix of the L3C. Perhaps someone might advise them ("the writers, editors, photographers, and other staff of the paper") that they have failed and that it is time for them to "move on."
-- Reid Bogie
Waterbury, Connecticut

HISTORICALLY ILLITERATE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s The Arrogance of His Power:

Churchill liked a brandy, but Roosevelt drank Old Fashions, but neither of them drank on the job, and both would have been appalled at any suggestion that they did. They were far too busy with a world war to bother with dividing up the world the way Obama seems to think they did, even if they had the inclination, which I doubt very much. Britain simply did not have the financial clout, Churchill was well aware of the limitations of British power and Roosevelt thought a lot more in terms of dismantling colonial empires, not establishing him. It is bizarre that Obama is so quick to accuse a liberal icon like FDR of being an imperialist, it shows a level of ignorance that is simply astonishing. What on earth did they teach this fool at Harvard, how did he manage to graduate? If this is any indication of his knowledge of history and economics then I don't expect the recession to end in a hurry.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

Nice, thoughtful piece.

While gloating over America's financial decline, our president noted to his European audience that a new financial order is being created by the world's top 20 financial powers, not by "just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy....  But that's not the world we live in, and it shouldn't be the world that we live in." Whoever told our president that the post-World War II world came from these two great men "sitting in a room with a brandy" misinformed him. His knowledge of history is as defective as his knowledge of Roosevelt's and Churchill's tastes.

It's not even just their tastes -- Roosevelt wasn't even around for post-WWII. That's the sort of screw-up the MSM would be crucifying Sarah Palin for. Keep up the good work.
-- George Pazin

AN OLDIE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Wild on the Supply Side:

If tax cuts ultimately lead to robust economic activity and increased tax revenue collection, wouldn't it be possible to fund liberal social programs through these increased revenues, rather than through tax increases and class envy/warfare politics? Or is this just another example of voodoo economics?
-- Benjamin C. Rosenberg, Esq.
Valley Stream, New York

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