CFIF has joined a broad coalition of fellow conservative and libertarian free-market organizations in…
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Image of the Day: Peril of a "Buy American" Medical Mandate

CFIF has joined a broad coalition of fellow conservative and libertarian free-market organizations in opposing any proposed "Buy American" mandates on medicines, because they would place unnecessary sourcing requirements upon medicines and medical imputs purchased with federal dollars.  That is the last thing that Americans need at the moment, not least because it doesn't single out China in the way that some falsely assume, and the just-released coalition letter is worth reading in its entirety here.

In that vein, however, this image helpfully illustrates some of the logic behind the letter:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="574"] The Peril of a "Buy American" Order[/caption]

 …[more]

April 07, 2020 • 11:04 am

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ObamaCare Shatters Progressive Dreams Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, October 17 2013
The parts of ObamaCare that haven’t worked, have been delayed. The parts that haven’t been delayed, haven’t worked.

Since the rise of the Progressive movement over a century ago, liberalism has been enchanted by the idea of enlightened administration — of beneficent, all-knowing bureaucrats who could steer public policy and shape it towards the public good, usually without the messy restraints of democracy or constitutional strictures.

Edward Mandell House, the right hand of President Woodrow Wilson (himself the foremost apostle of this approach) even published a novel in 1912, Phillip Dru: Administrator, featuring a protagonist who overthrows the federal government, abolishes the Constitution and becomes the nation’s (ostensibly) benevolent dictator.

It’s easy to dismiss such fantasies as the naïve delusions of utopians who had yet to witness the slaughter that would be wrought by the central planning of the 20th century. While there may be some truth to that, it lets the left off entirely too easily.

Today’s progressives may no longer be dreaming of benevolent fascism, but they still, by necessity, retain a belief in government’s ability to manage every corner of American life through a mix of technical expertise and goodwill. Indeed, it’s a precondition of faith in big government to believe that members of the governing class are possessed of talents and insights not available elsewhere in society.

Among Beltway journalists, no one better personifies this enduring conviction than Ezra Klein, the California wunderkind who helms the Washington Post’s immodestly titled “Wonkblog” and regularly opines on public policy in excruciating deal. That Klein is both fiercely intelligent and devoutly committed to the dream of a state run on progressive principles only makes it all the more salient that he recently felt compelled to criticize liberalism’s holy grail. 

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this week, Klein candidly admitted of ObamaCare’s website, “The way this IT is going out is a disaster. They have done a terrible job on this website. We’re a couple weeks in now. People can’t sign up. People have tried 20, 30, 40 times. It’s one thing for that to be true in the first three or four days, it’s another for it to be true two or three weeks in.”

He went on: “One of the Obama administration’s jobs, separate from all of the political stuff we talk about here, is to simply run things like this well, to run their signature legislative initiative well, to do government in a way that makes people confident and able to use it. On that, so far, this has been a big failure.”

Klein is to be commended for his honesty, even if he’s not able to make the inductive leap to understanding that the failings of ObamaCare’s website are a proxy for the broader pretensions of liberalism. The Obama Administration can’t build confidence in government because government is incapable of running programs this complex with anything resembling competence. If the White House can’t help but bollox a simple web rollout, what do Klein and his ilk think will happen when its tentacles extend through the entire health industry, which constitutes 1/6 of the nation’s economy? The signs aren’t hopeful. The parts of ObamaCare that haven’t worked, have been delayed. The parts that haven’t been delayed, haven’t worked.

The dashing of these liberal fantasies (President Obama himself compared healthcare.gov to shopping mega-sites like Kayak and Amazon upon its rollout – an analogy that grows more absurd by the day) should simultaneously be a source of conservative hope. As the economist Herb Stein famously quipped, that which is unsustainable will inevitably end. With every passing day, there is more evidence that ObamaCare cannot withstand the weight of its own promises.

There has been a fear in some conservative circles that once the program begins distributing subsidies hither and yon it will be irreparably woven into the fabric of American life. That concern would be more justified were the program a simple wealth transfer. Because it also seeks to fundamentally reshape the nature of health care provision, however, its costs are far more transparent. Consumers can see the increased premiums they’re forced to pay under ObamaCare’s new regulations. They are told when their hours are being cut to avoid the employer mandate. They receive the notice in the mail when their existing plan is cancelled.

ObamaCare’s failures will be prolonged and public. Despite that fact, the faith of progressive ideologues in the fundamental virtues of government planning will likely remain unshaken. The prospect of voters being similarly accommodating, however, is another matter altogether.

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Grand Central in New York City open to the public?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"How will the plague affect this season's campaigns? Let's count the ways.Governing itself is an indoor affair and a behind-the-scenes matter, but running for office is a true contact sport, involving flesh pressed and hands shaken, babies adored at close range, people massing in rallies (the bigger, the better), running mates embracing each other in moments of triumph, and young people taking time…[more]
 
 
—Noemie Emery, Washington Examiner
— Noemie Emery, Washington Examiner
 
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