Posted by: Debby Durkee | March 23, 2010

Obamacare: What do we do now?

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Obamacare: What do we do now?

I’ve decided to start collecting ideas from around the web on what Americans and political parties should do to fight Obamacare. Here are a few ideas. Some might be solid, some might be pie in the sky. At least some people are thinking, and perhaps one idea will spark one in you. A little civil disobedience might be in the cards eventually.

Obamacare is politically vulnerable.

Jay Cost of http://www.realclearpolitics.com/ says that Obamacare is politically vulnerable. Let’s hope Republicans and conservatives can capitalize on this in the upcoming November elections.

…Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson made use of an ingenious social insurance system – promoting the idea that we all pay in today to take out tomorrow. It was consistent with American individualism. It was simple. It was intuitive. It was bipartisan.

Obama’s new system has none of those virtues. It’s an impenetrable labyrinth of new taxes, benefits, and regulations, passed on the narrowest of possible majorities with more than 10% of the Democratic caucus joining every Republican…Snip –

The status quo bias is a very real thing, and it makes the Republican efforts to modify or repeal challenging. The GOP must control the entire government by January, 2013 to enact major changes to the legislation. By then, the thinking goes among proponents, those with a personal stake in preserving the legislation will be in place to protect it, just as seniors have been on guard against raids on Social Security.

Yet it’s not that simple. The Democrats crammed a $2 trillion bill into a $1 trillion package by delaying the distribution of most benefits for four years, until 2014. This creates two major political vulnerabilities for ObamaCare.  Snip –

Harold Lasswell defined politics as who gets what, when, and how. By this metric, ObamaCare is bad politics for the foreseeable future. Like any major piece of legislation, this bill assigns winners and losers. The winners will be those who today are uninsured, but who will (eventually) acquire insurance. But there will not be a major reduction in the uninsured until 2014. So, the actual winners are going to be pretty few in number for some time.

Meanwhile, the losers begin to feel the effects immediately. Between now and the next presidential election, ObamaCare is going to pay out virtually zero dollars in benefits, but it will take billions out of Medicare. This is bad for seniors. Snip –

After decades of developing a reputation for defending the interests of senior citizens, the Democrats have put it in serious jeopardy with this legislation. And they’ve done so right at the moment when demographic shifts are making the senior population more powerful than ever.

Why create such an imbalance between winners and losers? The Democrats are not fools. Why would they do this?

The answer is pretty simple: to hide the true cost of the bill. They don’t want to push a $2 trillion program now because this country is facing the greatest deficit crisis it’s seen in decades – and such a price tag does not make for good politics these days.

These budgetary gimmicks enabled them to pass the bill, winning over enough self-described “deficit hawks” in the Blue Dog wing of the party to limp to 219 in the House last night. Yet their smoke and mirrors can only mask, not alter the reality, which is this: at a time when the country is facing an enormous deficit problem, the Democrats have created another significant financial obligation for Uncle Sam. This is the second major political vulnerability of ObamaCare.  Snip –

Obama is going on the road to sell this thing because he knows Americans hate it – so, I guess that means more lies and obfuscation.

It lacks the bipartisan support that created and protected new entitlements in decades past. The public does not have confidence in it. Worst of all, it creates an imbalance between winners and losers for four years, and it amounts to a staggeringly expensive new entitlement at a time when the country has to think hard about how to trim its sails.

I have a question, where is the money they’re collecting going to go for the next four years? In some kind of Congressional lockbox? Or did they just succeed in passing a bill that will collect taxes, leaving them with another outrageous slush fund? There is much, much more at the link, please read it all here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2010/03/obamacare_is_political_vulnera.html

Obama’s Borodino.

(Not his Waterloo, yet, says Bill Kristol.) Let’s hope Kristol has a crystal ball.

Luckily, key parts of Obamacare–especially the subsidies–don’t go into effect until 2014. So what Republicans have to do is to make the 2010 and the 2012 elections referenda on Obamacare, win those elections, and then repeal Obamacare.   Snip –

Barack Obama was able to muscle his health care plan through, and therefore avoided a legislative defeat that Sen. Jim DeMint had said would be his Waterloo. But Waterloo was always an imperfect analogy. Leaving aside the injustice to Napoleon of comparing Obama to him, the better analogy is Borodino.

Napoleon invaded Russia in June of 1812. On September 7 of that year, the Grande Armée under Napoleon’s command attacked the Russian army near the village of Borodino. Napoleon won the battle, the greatest of the Russian campaign, but at a terrible cost–about a third of his soldiers were killed or wounded. The Russian army was not destroyed, and while Napoleon occupied an abandoned Moscow a week later, the French army was never the same. It soon had to begin its disastrous winter retreat from Russia, and Napoleon finally did meet his Waterloo almost three years later.

Last night’s victory was the culmination of Obama’s health care effort, which has been his version of  Napoleon’s Russia campaign. He won a short-term victory, but one that will turn out to mark an inflection point on the road to defeat, and the beginning of the end of the Democratic party’s dominance over American politics. Last night was Obama’s Borodino. Obama’s Waterloo will be November 6, 2012.

 And then comes repeal, and the opportunity for renewed and revitalized conservative governance. 

You can read it all here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/special-editorial-repeal

Health care rebellion.

Jeffrey Lord says Americans should use the amazing peaceful rebellions led by the Sons of Liberty (Sam Adams), Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Lech Walesa in our approach to rebelling against this health care abomination.

First, the goal: Outright repeal, then start over. But repeal first and foremost.

That understood, it would be time to take a look at how this kind of thing has been done before. And what tools are available in the repeal fight.

To start, there could not be better role models here than America’s Martin Luther King, the Sons of Liberty (Sam and John Adams and crew), Poland’s Lech Walesa and India’s Gandhi. Snip –

The Stamp Act and the Tea Tax, 1765 and 1773 –. The two were fought successfully by the Sons of Liberty… Both the Stamp Act, which required that specific printed materials in the American colonies be printed on stamped paper bearing an official revenue stamp, and the Tea Act, which taxed tea, were acts of the British Parliament. Incensed Americans, furious at the taxation without representation and the fact that neither Parliament much less the British King was listening to them, began to resist….

…before there was the Revolution, there was the successful overturning of both the Stamp Act and the Tea Tax. How? Both were made essentially unenforceable through the passage of legislative resolutions from colonial legislatures, public demonstrations, and flat out resistance to paying the tax. Said the Sons of Liberty in 1773 of anyone involved trying to collect the tax,: such a collector was “an enemy to the liberties of America” and that “whoever shall transgress any of these resolutions, we will not deal with, or employ, or have any connection with him.” In Massachusetts, the Colonial governor Thomas Hutchinson even found angry American colonists protesting outside the governor’s mansion — an unheard of proposition in that day and age. Both taxes were finally repealed.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955Led by a young Montgomery minister named Martin Luther King, Jr. the tactic was simple: elementary non-compliance by refusing to ride buses. Period. Black men, women and children were all asked to voluntarily comply to somehow use other transportation, including walking if necessary. They rallied and, inevitably, the bus company began to be starved of revenue. King was even arrested at one point, which only drew national attention. Finally, the courts stepped in and sided with Dr. King. The boycott ended, the buses were integrated, and the moral stake of the aborning Civil Rights movement was held high.

The Salt March, 1930 — The British government had, not unlike its treatment of the American colonies with the Stamp Act and Tea Tax almost two centuries earlier, imposed a salt tax on its colony of India.  Snip —

Gandhi, of course, led a march to the Indian Ocean to make salt by letting the water evaporate. Then, everyone started making their own salt, which was illegal – but, they couldn’t arrest everyone.

Eventually, the Salt March forced the British to recognize that they could not control India without the consent of the Indians — which they did not have. India won its independence in 1948.

The Gdansk Shipyard Strikes, 1980 — Led by a high-school educated electrician named Lech Walesa, the repeated strikes and other anti-Communist activity led by Walesa were able to virtually bring Polish economic activity to a grinding halt.  Snip –

What each of these movements has in common is basic noncompliance with the law. Civil disobedience. Massive civil disobedience in some cases. (80,000 Indians went to jail over the Salt Tax.) Noncompliance resulted in no collection of the Stamp Tax and the Tea Tax. It produced massive violations of the Salt Tax, crippled the Montgomery bus system, and eventually brought the Polish Communist government crashing to its knees…

He goes on to list and fully elaborate on ways to accomplish civil disobedience.

A refusal to pay a specific Obamacare tax — the individual mandate, for example. Snip  —

Economic boycotts — Simple, peaceful and vividly public shutdowns of the free enterprise system, causing a repeated loss of income for the economy and introducing daily chaos into everyday life.  Snip –

Please read it all to get the rest. He mentions elections and a “repeal pledge,” a new policy, involvement in the virtual newsroom, and lawsuits. Some of this might be difficult because of how these taxes will be imposed – not sure if they will come directly out of paychecks or not (probably so), but if so what’s an option for rebelling? That’s why we need to eliminate the income tax taken from your paychecks, it makes it too hard to rebel. Fair Tax, anyone?

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/03/23/health-care-rebellion-lessons

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