Saturday, March 27, 2010

The First Fallout from ObamaCare

Mike shot in Operation Ivy (1952)
We are just beginning to experience the fallout from ObamaCare, and the effects won't be confined to the health care sector.

As required by federal regulations (or perhaps laws--I'm not completely sure which) SEC rules, Caterpillar has announced that it will take a $100 million hit in 2010 due to "additional taxes stemming from newly enacted U.S. health-care legislation." John Deere, another manufacturer of construction equipment, has announced that it expects to take a $150 million hit because of ObamaCare. AT&T has announced that it will take a "$1 billion non-cash charge for the current quarter." 3M plans to take a $85 million to $90 million charge related to ObamaCare. These losses will continue to pile up as more publicly traded companies report major changes in their financial situations. (This is one instance where a federal regulations rules are actually serving a public good.)

As these hits accumulate, the effects will rampage through the economy causing destruction far beyond the health care sector. In the construction industry alone, which is already struggling to put it mildly, these losses will destroy jobs (or slow job creation), increase construction costs, and give Caterpillar and John Deere yet another incentive to relocate operations outside the United States. Perhaps we should call ObamaCare the American Jobs and Businesses Destruction and Deportation Act.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rehashing the ObamaCare Debacle

The health care "reform" bill was and is a debacle, but not the way I had hoped it would be.

I should know better than to try to predict how Congress will act , much less how specific members of Congress will vote when under concerted pressure from the President and their congressional leadership. (See my previous post: Obamu's Health Care Debacle.) But I let my hopes cloud my political judgment.

The vote in the House was disappointing, but it should not have been surprising to see Representative Stupak sell out his stated anti-abortion beliefs for an essentially meaningless executive order. A presidential executive order cannot change a law—in this case, the Senate health care bill—although it can affect to some degree how a law is enforced. However, an executive order carries no guarantees. President Obama or any future President can withdraw it at any time without any warning.

I assume that Stupak at least knows this, so despite his protests that he was acting on principle to protect the lives of the unborn, he knows that the executive order is worthless. This leads me to the conclusion that he was just looking for political cover.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goal of the Week: Adam Johnson v. Sunderland

 And now for something completely different . . .

This may seem almost sacrilegious during March Madness, but a few days ago I caught the last few minutes of the soccer game between Sunderland and Manchester City, two teams in the Premier League, probably the best soccer (the British would say "football") league in the world.

The game was already in stoppage time, and Sunderland was seconds away from upsetting Man City by a score of 1-0. Then Adam Johnson ruined their day by tying the game with an absolutely brilliant goal, curving the ball into the upper left corner of the goal. The goalkeeper and the defender on the line had absolutely no chance of stopping it.

For the video, see the Soccer Portal or the Manchester City website. Truly an amazing strike.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guarding Against the Dangers of Good Intentions

When lacking wisdom oneself, its often helpful to steal from quote wiser people. In this case, Daniel Webster said a few things in 1837 that are remarkable on point in the current debate about health care, among other things:
I believe the power of the executive has increased, is increasing, and ought now to be brought back within its ancient constitutional limits. I have nothing to do with the motives which have led to those acts, which I believe to have transcended the boundaries of the Constitution. Good motives may always be assumed, as bad motives may always be imputed. Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of power; but they cannot justify it, even if we were sure that they existed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Obamu's Health Care Debacle

obamu: (v.) To ignore inexpedient and inconvenient facts or realities, think “Yes we can, Yes we can,” and proceed with optimism using those facts as an inspiration (literally, as fuel).

What are they thinking?

President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress are either making a massive tactical error or . . . well . . . nothing. I'm at a loss to present another viable explanation.

My evaluation is not unique. Others have compared the futility of it to Pickett's Charge, which probably destroyed any chance of the Confederates to win the Civil War.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog Upgrade

I'm in the process of upgrading the blog. A few things should be immediately obvious, such as I've switched to a three-column layout. Other changes will be behind the scenes, such as I've figured how to directly post a Google document as a blog entry. I'm still experimenting, so more things will change.

One of the things driving these changes is that I keep a list of links to interesting items that I might want to write about. I usually stumble across two or three a day, but life beyond the blog allows me to blog about only a very few. In the new layout, I'll list these in the left column, most recent items at the top.

Another consideration is that until recently I haven't been able to blog during the day because I could potentially endanger the Heritage Foundation's tax exempt status if I used foundation resources (e.g., computer and Internet connection) to blog. My new toy--a netbook--has changed that. I now have private Internet access whenever I want it. So now I can blog on my breaks. We may all come to regret this.

blogger templates | Make Money Online