Archive

Archive for April, 2012
April 30th, 2012 at 6:22 pm
Repeal Obamacare and Replace It with… Bushcare?

Avik Roy, a health policy expert at the Manhattan Institute, posits an interesting option for fiscal conservatives looking for something to replace Obamacare with, if Republicans capture Congress and the White House this November: Bushcare.

The Bush plan was formulated by the White House’s National Economic Council, under the leadership of Allan B. Hubbard. The core goal of the plan was to equalize the tax treatment of employer-sponsored and individually-purchased health insurance, without increasing the deficit. (As regular readers know, the fact that employers can purchase health insurance for their workers tax-free, whereas individuals can’t, is the original sin of the U.S. health-care system.)

Bush’s proposal sought to eliminate the unlimited tax break for employer-sponsored insurance, replacing it with a standard deduction for everyone. Under the plan, anyone—employed or not—who bought at least catastrophic insurance would not pay income or payroll taxes on the first $7,500 of their income, or the first $15,000 for a family plan.

The Bush plan’s numbers were designed with 2009 insurance prices in mind, and the tax-deduction thresholds would grow with CPI inflation. The Treasury Department estimated that the plan would lower taxes for 80 percent of those with employer-sponsored insurance, and increase taxes for the remaining 20 percent. It would have especially benefited the 18 million people who then bought insurance on their own, along with many of the uninsured, who would suddenly find health insurance to be significantly less expensive.

In contrast to Obamacare, however, the Bush plan would have turbocharged the market for consumer-driven health plans, tied to health savings accounts, because the most economically efficient use of the deduction would be to purchase a sufficiently generous consumer-driven plan that allowed individuals to put a maximal amount of money into HSAs. Obamacare significantly constrains the use of HSAs in its regulated insurance markets.

Among the criticisms of Bush’s health care proposal is that it “only” expanded health insurance coverage to an additional 11 million people.  Obamacare’s supporters claim – perhaps erroneously – that it would cover 33 million.  But even if we take the estimates at face value, there’s another number that’s arguably more important.

The cost of Obamacare’s 33 million newly covered citizens is agreed by all sides to be in the trillions of (new) dollars.  Bush covered 11 million for zero dollars in increased federal spending commitments.

Food for thought if the Republicans run and win on a platform to repeal and replace Obamacare.

April 30th, 2012 at 5:37 pm
GOP Convention: Ron Paul Revolution?

The Daily Caller explains the (tortured) delegate math that is giving GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul – yes, he’s still running – control of state delegations to the national convention; and with them, the ability to impact Mitt Romney’s march to the nomination.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul claimed another come-from-behind caucus victory this weekend, announcing that approximately 74 percent of the delegates to Louisiana’s state GOP convention will be Paul supporters.

Louisiana has a unique system of selecting delegates to the Republican National Convention. Twenty delegates are selected based on the results of the state’s March 24 primary and another 26 delegates are based on the outcome of the state’s caucus process.

If you’re confused it’s probably because you remember that Rick Santorum won 49 percent of the Louisiana primary vote back in February.

And that’s not the only Santorum victory that ultimately went to Paul:

Earlier this month, Paul won 20 of 24 delegates awarded by Minnesota congressional district conventions. Paul had received a significant 27 percent of the vote in the state’s Feb. 7 caucuses, but Santorum had won nearly every county in a major blowout.

According to The DC, Paul is also on the verge of winning a majority of the GOP’s delegates from Iowa, even though he came in third behind Mitt Romney and Santorum in the Hawkeye State.

Moreover, there are as many as six other states where Paul is poised to control a majority of delegates even though he didn’t win a majority of the primary votes cast in any of them.

If you, like me and perhaps Mitt Romney’s crew, considered Paul’s campaign an afterthought, it may be time to move the Veepstakes chatter to the backburner and ask a much more interesting question – What, exactly, does Mr. Paul want in exchange for his endorsement at the GOP’s Tampa convention?

April 30th, 2012 at 3:23 pm
THIS WEEK’s RADIO SHOW LINEUP: CFIF’s Renee Giachino Hosts “Your Turn” on WEBY Radio 1330 AM
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.”  Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 (CDT)/5:00 pm (EDT):  Shona Holmes, Patients’ Rights Advocate:  ObamaCare;

4:30 (CDT)/5:30 pm (EDT):  John Yoo, Professor of Law at the University of California’s Boalt Hall Law School:  “Taming Globalization: International Law, the U.S. Constitution and the New World Order”;

5:00 (CDT)/6:00 pm (EDT):  Matt Mayer, Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation:  Arizona’s Immigration Law;  and

5:30 (CDT)/6:30 pm (EDT):  Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President at the National Taxpayers Union (NTU):  Annual Rating of Congress.

Listen live on the Internet here.   Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

April 30th, 2012 at 12:54 pm
Massachusetts Liberals Opposed to Bottled Water, Fine with Welfare Fraud
Posted by Troy Senik Print

There was a time when the New England town meeting was the ultimate example of civic-mindedness; of small town democracy in action. These days, given the political complexion of much of the Northeast, the gatherings tend to be more representative of just how divorced from reality life can become in the fever swamps of the left. Consider this, from Michael Graham in the Boston Herald:

[The city of] Concord voted 403-364 to make it illegal to sell bottled water. Uh, wait. That’s not right. You can still sell bottled water, it just has to be in larger bottles.

So it’s illegal to sell drinks in bottles smaller than 1 liter. No, that’s not it, either. You can still sell Mountain Dew or mango juice in small, plastic bottles. Just not water.

So the new law boils down to “It’s illegal to sell stuff we Concordians don’t like, and right now we don’t like bottled water . . . except when we buy it ourselves. So there.”

What makes this vote on unflavored liquid so deliciously ironic is that it happened around the same time the Massachusetts House was voting against EBT [Electronic Benefit Transfer -- essentially debit cards for those receiving public benefits] fraud — a vote that Concord liberals and their fellow travelers oppose.

While the EBT fraud amendment passed overwhelmingly 122-33, all the “no” votes came from the far left. Liberals like Reps. Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge) and Ruth Balser (D-Newton) voted to keep letting EBT cards pay for “firearms, cosmetics . . . strip clubs, travel services, health clubs, tattoo parlors, jewelry, payment of restitution or bail, and gambling,” according to the Associated Press.

The ideological battle lines of 21st century politics are becoming increasingly clear. Conservatives are those who think you should be able to do nearly anything you like with your own money. Liberals are those who think you should be able to do nearly anything you like with someone else’s.

April 30th, 2012 at 9:27 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Immigration Alamo
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

April 27th, 2012 at 10:45 am
This Week’s Liberty Update
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Center For Individual Freedom - Liberty Update

This week’s edition of the Liberty Update, CFIF’s weekly e-newsletter, is out. Below is a summary of its contents:

Senik:  The Results Are In: Conservative States Prosper, While Liberal States Decline
Lee:  Blaming “Oil Speculators” Is Like Scapegoating Gamblers for the Super Bowl Result
Hillyer:  Obama Racialism, Fired Up in Jacksonville
Ellis:  Slush Fund Sleight-of-Hand: ObamaCare’s Medicare (Dis-) Advantage

Video:  Sources of Hope in Obama’s America
Podcast:  The Foolishness of Gov’t Bans on Plastic Bags and Make-up
Jester’s Courtroom:  A Thorny Mess

Editorial Cartoons:  Latest Cartoons of Michael Ramirez
Quiz:  Question of the Week
Notable Quotes:  Quotes of the Week

If you are not already signed up to receive CFIF’s Liberty Update by e-mail, sign up here.

April 27th, 2012 at 9:58 am
Video: Sources of Hope in Obama’s America
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Despite enduring the last three years of failed federal policies that included the “stimulus” package, ObamaCare and obstruction of the Keystone pipeline, CFIF’s Renee Giachino highlights the enormous progress made in the states in recent years for the causes of responsible, limited government and economic prosperity.

April 27th, 2012 at 7:55 am
Podcast: The Foolishness of Gov’t Bans on Plastic Bags and Make-up
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Angela Logomasini, senior fellow for the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discusses how misguided and oftentimes foolish some activists are in calling for bans on plastic bags and certain cosmetics.  Logomasini makes the case for why the use of junk science must be stopped.

Listen to the interview here.

April 26th, 2012 at 3:59 pm
CFIF Files Official Comment Opposing EPA’s Arbitrary, Protectionist Palm Oil Standard
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

CFIF has filed an official comment with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), opposing its attempt to impose a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that constitutes a destructive form of anti-trade protectionism by arbitrarily discriminating against palm oil-based biofuel on the basis of dubious scientific analysis.

While CFIF opposes federal RFS mandates generally, the EPA’s existing RFS palm oil decision amounts to trade protectionism with potentially toxic effects that the Agency must deliberate.  Not only does that decision violate America’s free trade commitments with the World Trade Organization (WTO), it will result in higher energy costs and fewer choices for American consumers.  “The policy deprives American energy consumers of a fuller range of choices in the energy market,” our comment observes, “and it privileges certain well-connected domestic producer groups, ultimately raising costs and limiting choices for all Americans.”  CFIF concludes, “It is also a hostile affront to longstanding American allies who have invested in plantation agriculture as a means of developing export markets to generate critical economic growth, thereby undermining U.S. support for greater global prosperity and poverty abatement. ”

Rather than position itself as some sort of gatekeeper of alternative energy sources, the EPA should instead institute policies that permit entrepreneurial market forces to respond to consumer demands and determine the ultimate contours and direction of the energy sector.  During a period of rising energy costs, this encroachment upon the individual freedoms of citizens and private businesses is unjustifiable and should be withdrawn.

April 26th, 2012 at 1:03 pm
With Time Running Out, Lugar Slipping Behind Tea Party Rival in Indiana
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Last month, I posted here about how longtime Indiana Senator Richard Lugar’s bid for a seventh (!) term in the upper chamber was being jeopardized by a strong Tea Party rival (State Treasurer Richard Mourdock) and revelations that Lugar doesn’t seem to actually have a residence in the Hoosier State. At the time, I wrote:

By election day, Lugar will likely be scrounging for every vote he can get. At that point, he may come to regret devoting so much of his energy to dismissing the concerns of conservative voters.

Hate to say I told you so. With only 12 days remaining until Indiana’s primary, Politico reports the following:

Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar has fallen behind state Treasurer Richard Mourdock by five points, according to a new poll released Thursday …

Mourdock’s lead is powered by self-described tea party conservatives, who comprise 36 percent of the GOP electorate.

Among that group of voters, Mourdock holds a commanding 63 percent to 24 percent lead.

The fact of the matter is that, should Dick Lugar lose this election, he will likely not choose to retire back to Indiana. That fact — and the mindset it represents — is reason enough for him to no longer represent the state in the U.S. Senate.

April 26th, 2012 at 11:56 am
Biden on Foreign Policy; Lindsay Lohan on Self-Control

Really, Mr. Veep? Really?!?

April 26th, 2012 at 10:05 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama’s Illegal Immigration Deterrent
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

April 25th, 2012 at 6:15 pm
Jimmy Carter Likes Romney After Favoring Huntsman

Just when he thought it was safe to grab hold of the GOP presidential mantle, Mitt Romney gets the worst kind of endorsement – a thumbs-up from Jimmy Carter.

Said Carter: “I’d rather have a Democrat but I would be comfortable — I think Romney has shown in the past, in his previous years as a moderate or progressive… that he was fairly competent as a governor and also running the Olympics as you know. He’s a good solid family man and so forth, he’s gone to the extreme right wing positions on some very important issues in order to get the nomination. What he’ll do in the general election, what he’ll do as president I think is different.”

To be sure, Carter’s statement about being “comfortable” with Romney isn’t as bad as the former Democratic president’s labeling one-time Romney rival Jon Huntsman as an “attractive” candidate and “very attractive to me personally.”

However, Carter’s justification for being comfortable with Romney does reinforce the conventional wisdom that Romney’s conservatism is a veneer whereas his “moderate or progressive” past is the truer indicator of how he’ll govern as president.

To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, maybe we’ll have to elect Mitt to see how he’ll govern.

H/T: Political Wire

April 25th, 2012 at 1:35 pm
“Bribery” in Mexico Not that Different from “Public Policy” in America
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In recent days, Wal-Mart has been rocked by the New York Times‘ reporting on a bribery scandal in Mexico, where the firm reportedly paid over $24 million to government officials to fast-track the permitting process for stores built south of the border.

The left, of course, is all over this because Wal-Mart is their corporate bete noir of choice. Personally, however, I think the party that bears the most guilt is the Mexican government, which has created an atmosphere in which graft is the easiest way to do business. Absent those conditions, the need for bribes would have been minimal and the issue would’ve been moot. Regardless, however, there’s an important angle here that gets fleshed out by the American Enterprise Institute’s Nick Schulz, writing for Forbes:

… While we’re on the topic of companies having to pay the politically powerful for access to markets, can we stop for a moment to examine how things sometimes get done right here in the United States? It’s not uncommon for big box retailers to pony up cash and other unearned benefits in order to break new ground on stores.; what’s different here, however, is that members of our political class often force them to do it. And it’s all perfectly legal.

Consider a recent bill in Maryland, where I live, aimed at big box retailers. Firms like Wal-Mart, Costco, and others hoping to expand operations in wealthy Montgomery County, just outside Washington DC, would be forced to negotiate legally-binding “community benefits agreements” as a condition for building and operating new stores. These sorts of bills are not uncommon when big retailers want to expand or enter into new markets.

The upshot is that politically well-connected local stakeholders – unions, community organizers, and other interest groups – get cash, hiring promises, and other benefits from the retailer in exchange for dropping any opposition to a new store.

Among the possible benefits are “assistance to community organizations and programs.” These organizations can, in turn, use this “assistance” to support the political candidates who push this kind of legislation in the first place.

What Schulz is describing is no more representative of free-market capitalism than the bribery going on in Mexico. As long as business owners have to compensate others who have contributed absolutely nothing to their efforts as the predicate for setting up shop, political power over business is still excessive. At least the folks in Mexico have the decency to call this what it is.

April 24th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Today’s WSJ: Rivkin and Casey On How Upholding ObamaCare Would Mean “Judicial Activism”
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Last month, we explained why overturning ObamaCare’s individual mandate would not amount to “judicial activism” as liberals hypocritically contend.  Quoting Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Number 78, we noted that, “The courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority.”   For the Supreme Court to refrain from overturning the individual mandate due to timidity or political calculation would effectively erase the interstate commerce clause and its limiting principle out of the text of the Constitution, an act of supreme judicial arrogance and activism.

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, former Reagan and George H. W. Bush attorneys David Rivkin, Jr. and Lee Casey highlight another manner in which upholding, rather than overturning, ObamaCare’s individual mandate would constitute judicial activism.  Namely, because upholding it would eliminate any limiting commerce clause principle, courts would suddenly possess even greater future power to decide on an arbitrary case-by-case basis which federal laws satisfied their undefined discretion:

There is virtually no economically unrealistic regulation – that forces companies to produce goods nobody wants to buy, or sets artificial prices – that could not be salvaged at least in the short run by an offsetting purchase mandate of some kind…  Although the policy merits of various mandates could honestly be debated, there is simply no neutral, judicially enforceable basis on which courts can determine which prepayment mandates Congress can impose as a means of regulating future transactions and which it cannot.  In fact, if the courts were to scrutinize such mandates, as ObamaCare defenders suggest, striking down those they considered to be too onerous or preposterous (such as a “broccoli mandate”) the judges truly would be engaged in illegitimate judicial activism.”

Thus would Potter Stewart’s infamous “I know it when I see it” become the rule in every instance of potential Congressional overreach, and a tool for unrestricted future judicial activism.

April 24th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Dip in Mexican Migration Validates Arizona’s Law

Today’s Wall Street Journal highlights a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center showing a drastic change in Mexican immigration patterns into the United States over the last decade.

During America’s economic boom from the 1990’s until 2005, millions of illegal immigrants were attracted to border-states like Arizona for lucrative work in industries like construction.

Between 2005 and 2010, however, the numbers of Mexicans migrating back to Mexico roughly matched the numbers of those coming into America.  In 2011, evidence suggests that more Mexican immigrants returned to Mexico than came to America.

The WSJ author’s final paragraph gives a glimpse how the Pew report might be used by liberals to undermine Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court begins a review of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigrant law. That law, and similar ones drafted in other states, has led some undocumented Mexicans to go home. Lawmakers should take the shift into account to ensure policies reflect current reality, said Roberto Suro, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California.”We have turned the page in terms of migration,” he said. “We haven’t turned the page yet in terms of the policies.”

Justified laws that achieve their intended purpose should be applauded, not repealed.  In Arizona’s case, the state had unacceptably high levels of illegal immigration and it passed a law to help state law enforcement officers identify and deport illegals who had then committed a second crime (the first being illegal entry).

If the Pew findings are true and illegal immigrants took Arizona – speaking through its law – at the state’s word, then the present reality of less illegal immigration supports continuing the law’s enforcement.  To follow the logic of USC’s Professor Sura about success mandating repeal is foolish and denies the important role law plays in deterring bad behavior.

April 24th, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Holder’s DOJ Continues Racialist Practices with Lawsuit Against Jacksonville Fire Department
Posted by Troy Senik Print

As has been chronicled at length here at CFIF, one of the hallmarks of Eric Holder’s Justice Department has been its insistence on injecting race into the public square as often as possible. And one of the areas where this has played out in department policy has been in the DOJ’s repeated threats to crack down on police and fire forces for what it claims are racially discriminatory employment practices.

In 2009, for example, the New Haven, Connecticut, Fire Department threw out the results of a standardized test aimed at measuring candidates’ suitability for promotion when the number of African-American candidates who passed was deemed insufficiently high. The department was motivated in part by fear of a Justice Department lawsuit — a fear that proved to be well-founded when the DOJ filed suit against the state of New Jersey the following year because white test-takers had a higher passage rate (89 percent) than black (73 percent) or Hispanic (77 percent) candidates in an exam for police promotions.

Neither of these cases featured allegations that the tests or the promotion processes were inherently racist. Rather, they simply rested on the DOJ’s notion that unequal outcomes are inherently unjust; that the fact of disparate results was sufficient, in and of itself, to reveal systemic injustice.

So far, the results of DOJ pressure have been mixed. The New Haven firefighters whose successful test results were thrown out took their case all the way to the Supreme Court, where the justices ruled in their favor, 5-4. In New Jersey, however, the DOJ’s bullying tactics won the day, with the state agreeing to revise the exam and issue back pay to minority officers (many of whom resented the feds’ “help”).

Yet that inconsistent track record isn’t keeping the department from going at it again. This time they’re taking the show to Jacksonville, Florida. Per a DOJ release from yesterday:

The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville, Fla., alleging that the city is engaged in a pattern or practice of employment discrimination against African-Americans in its fire and rescue department in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The lawsuit challenges the fire department’s use of written examinations for the promotion of firefighters to four ranks – Lieutenant, Captain, and District Chief, all in the suppression line, and Engineer…

The United States’ complaint alleges that the examinations impact African-American candidates in two ways.  First, African-American candidates for promotion to the four positions pass the examinations at significantly lower rates than white candidates.  Second, even those African-Americans who pass the examinations are rarely promoted because the fire department selects candidates for promotion in descending rank-order based primarily upon each candidate’s written examination score and African-American candidates score significantly lower than whites.

Notice that there’s nothing in there that any fair observer could characterize as bias. Rather, the complaint is, in essence, that the Jacksonville Fire Department is too objective.

As the police officers in New Jersey noted in the piece linked above, even a successful outcome for the DOJ will not have the effect of helping out minority officers, whose qualifications will now be called into question on the basis of de facto affirmative action.

If the feds really wanted to help out, they would examine the underlying causes of why the tests exhibit racial disparities in the first place. Could it be that America’s public schools — rotting as the result of the influence of teachers unions — have disproportionately failed minority communities? Could it be that the social pathologies subsidized in perpetuity by the welfare state have thwarted upward mobility in poor neighborhoods?

Answering those questions, of course, would require some real soul-searching. And it might also require giving up the notion that good intent is sufficient to make Democrats the perpetual guardians of America’s minority communities, no matter what kind of havoc their policies wreak in reality. But that’s a level of introspection we shouldn’t expect from this Administration. In Eric Holder’s DOJ, it’s easier to just file a lawsuit and assume that the other guy’s a racist.

April 24th, 2012 at 12:59 pm
How to Make Obamacare Exchanges a State Campaign Issue

In a presidential election year like 2012, it’s easy for national issues to crowd out state and local concerns at the ballot box.  But thanks to Obamacare’s costly mandate on states to create health insurance exchanges, fiscal conservatives running for state offices can easily make opposition to more government a central plank in their campaign platform.

According to Cato Institute scholar Michael F. Cannon, outside of the U.S. Supreme Court’s potentially striking down Obamacare’s individual mandate, the most important health policy battle to be waged is state government opposition to creating Obamacare’s state-based health insurance exchanges.

As I’ve written previously these exchanges are a subtle way to coerce states into spending millions of dollars to set-up a government-controlled, taxpayer-subsidized “market” for health insurance.  Thereafter, when Obama’s bureaucrats at HHS decide the state version isn’t performing exactly the way they want, Obamacare grants HHS the power to take over any state’s exchange and run it from Washington, D.C.  Thus, the bait-and-switch is yet another way for Obamacare to hide its impact on the federal budget deficit by shoving some of its start-up costs onto the states.

Cato’s Cannon outlines a different strategy, with talking points that to me seem ready-made for a state campaigner’s website:

Jobs. Refusing to create an exchange will block Obamacare from imposing a tax on employers whose health benefits do not meet the federal government’s definition of “essential” coverage. That tax can run as high as $3,000 per employee. A state that refuses to create an exchange will spare its employers from that tax, and will therefore enable them to create more jobs.

Religious freedom. In blocking that employer tax, state officials would likewise block Obamacare’s effort to force religious employers to provide coverage for services they find immoral — like contraception, pharmaceutical abortions, and sterilization.

The federal debt. Refusing to create exchanges would also reduce the federal debt, because it would prevent the Obama administration from doling out billions of dollars in subsidies to private insurance companies.

The U.S. Constitution. The Obama administration has indicated that it might try to tax employers and hand out those subsidies anyway — even in states that don’t create an exchange, and even though neither Obamacare nor any other federal law gives it the power to do so. If that happens, the fact that a state has refused to create an exchange would give every large employer in the state — including the state government itself — the ability to go to court to block the administration’s attempt to usurp Congress’s legislative powers.

A lower state tax burden. States that opt to create an exchange can expect to pay anywhere from $10 million to $100 million per year to run it. But if states refuse, Obamacare says the federal government must pay to create one. Why should states pay for something that the federal government is giving away?

Bye-bye, Obamacare. That is, if the feds can create an exchange at all. The Obama administration has admitted it doesn’t have the money — and good luck getting any such funding through the GOP-controlled House. Moreover, without state-run exchanges, the feds can’t subsidize private insurance companies. That by itself could cause Obamacare to collapse.

There is no reason a state should agree to spend millions of dollars laying the groundwork for a federal takeover of health care.  Fiscal conservatives running for office this cycle should articulate this argument well and often.

April 24th, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Ponnuru on Reagan

Ramesh Ponnuru is right on target about Reagan’s legacy.

Republicans and conservatives, too, misrepresent his lessons:

Reagan believed that one reason his immediate predecessors were perceived as failures was that they conveyed a sense of being overwhelmed by the presidency. Only with time has it become clear how much “real discipline, hard work and focus” Reagan kept hidden.

This misimpression about Reagan, says Hayward, leads conservatives to underemphasize the importance of all this hard work — both in drafting policies and honing rhetoric — and to think that good gut instincts are a substitute for it.

When conservatives these days look for presidential and especially VP candidates, they are far too prone to go for the “gut instinct” test rather than the tests of experience, wisdom, proven record, etcetera. Food for thought.

April 24th, 2012 at 9:13 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama’s Energy Blinders
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.