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Posts Tagged ‘Biden’
July 10th, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Biden Drug Plan Would Slash Innovation and U.S. Consumer Access
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Joe Biden’s inexorable march toward the fanatical left continued this week, as he and Bernie Sanders (D – Vermont) introduced their “unity platform” in anticipation of this year’s Democratic convention.  We can thus add weaker U.S. patents and drug price controls imported from foreign nations to Biden’s existing dumpster fire of bad ideas.

Here’s the problem.  As we’ve often emphasized, and contrary to persistent myth, American consumers enjoy far greater access to new lifesaving drugs than people in other nations, including those in “other advanced economies” (Biden’s words) whose price controls Biden seeks to import:

Of all new cancer drugs developed worldwide between 2011 and 2018, 96% were available to American consumers.  Meanwhile, only 56% of those drugs became available in Canada, 50% in Japan, and just 11% in Greece, as just three examples.  Patients in nations imposing drug price controls simply don’t receive access to new pharmaceuticals as quickly as Americans, if they ever receive them at all.”

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that overseas consumers’ lower access to pharmaceutical innovations stems from their governments’ imposition of price control regimes:

Every time one country demands a lower price, it leads to lower price reference used by other countries.  Such price controls, combined with the threat of market lockout or intellectual property infringement, prevent drug companies from charging market rates for their products, while delaying the availability of new cures to patients living in countries implementing those policies.”

Just as dangerously, Biden also advocates weaker patent protections for U.S. pharmaceutical innovators.  The United States has throughout its history led the world in protecting patent and other intellectual property (IP) rights, and as a direct result we’re the most innovative, inventive, prosperous nation in recorded history.  The U.S. claims just 4% of the world’s population, and even our  world-leading economy accounts for less than 25% of global production, yet we account for an amazing two-thirds of all new pharmaceuticals introduced to the world.  Public policy should be strengthening patent rights, not weakening them.

Biden rationalizes his socialized medicine proposal by asserting that “taxpayers’ money underwrites the research and development of many prescription drugs in the first place.”  But as we’ve also noted, private pharmaceutical investment in R&D dwarfs public funding, so he can’t justify his heavy-handed bureaucratic idea on that basis.

Just three months into the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, American pharmaceutical innovators are already entering final testing phases, far ahead of original estimates of their anticipated arrival.  That should come as no surprise, because we’ve long led the world.  But it emphasizes even more that Biden’s toxic proposal to impose foreign drug price controls and to weaken U.S. patent protections is particularly dangerous at a moment like this.

 

October 10th, 2012 at 6:49 pm
Obama’s Hurricane Hypocrisy — with More Details

I had a big story today at the Daily Caller about how Barack Obama first was directly told that the Bush administration was releasing federal money to Louisiana post-Katrina and letting LA use that same federal money as the Stafford Act “match” for the rest of the federal recovery money — in other words, that the locals actually put up not one red cent — but declared himself unsatisfied even with that. THEN he, Obama, voted AGAINST a bill that provided Katrina recovery funds while waiving the Stafford Act. Then, in the now-infamous Hampton University speech, he blasted Bush for not waiving funds that Bush already had de facto waived and that the Senate then had waived while Obama had voted against the bill providing the waiver.

NOW, with Obama as president, he has REFUSED to waive the Stafford Act for LA victims of Hurricane Isaac.

One’s head spins at the multiple hypocrisies.

But now I would like to hash out some details. It is true, as Media Matters has reported, that Obama had voted for an alternative version of the Katrina relief bill that also waived the Stafford Act “match” requirements. The overall bill provided not just Katrina relief but also provided for better military support related to the war in Iraq. Obama voted for a bill that did all that while requring a specific timeline for troop withdrawal for Iraq, and issued a statement saying he had voted against the bill that actually did pass because it provided for no such timeline. But this is not a good excuse; in fact it raises serious questions about his judgment.
Why?

Because Obama’s desired timeline requirement would have been imposed just as the famously successful “Surge” in Iraq was going on and in a key phase. The timeline would have undermined the Surge. And Obama’s holier-than-thou intransigence wasn’t popular even among the anti-war crowd in his own party in the Senate: The bill that passed without a timeline did so by an 80-14 vote, including overwhelming support among Democrats.

Among those liberal Democrats who voted for the bill waiving the Stafford Act, despite its lack of an Iraq timeline, were Joe Biden, Richard Durbin of Obama’s home state of Illinois, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and West Point graduate Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a military procurement expert who had voted against authorizing military activities in Iraq in the first place.

By the time of the vote, of course, Obama was running for president. He was obviously playing up his timeline thing as a sop to the liberal base of his party for presidential primary purposes; while most Democrats, as we have seen, obviously thought it irresponsible to vote against the bill that actually passed just in order to make a point — an ill-timed, indeed dangerously timed point — about wanting to pull the troops home.

In short, Obama’s explanation doesn’t mitigate against the charge of hypocrisy; it just adds irresponsibility on top of the hypocrisy.

September 25th, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Romney’s Admirable Charitable Giving

John Podhoretz wrote the column I was intending to write. “[T]he release of these tax records,” wrote Podhoretz, “leaves no doubt about one thing: Mitt Romney is an extraordinarily, remarkably, astonishingly generous man. A good man. Maybe even a great man.”

Well, yes.

The media kvetching about Romney’s tax returns is so misplaced as to be sickening. The story isn’t that Romney paid “only” 14.1 percent of his income in taxes. The story is WHY that rate was comparatively low. The measure of a man isn’t how much he pays in taxes; some of us, after all, think that much of the money paid in federal taxes is wasted. If I had a million dollars and a choice of whether to let the feds spend it or to give it to a charity I trust, I would give it to a charity without a second thought. The charity will do more good with it than the feds will. More people will benefit, and the benefits will be more lasting.

For the idiotic media (forgive the redundancy there) to carp about the “low” taxes is for them to buy into the notion that tax-paying is somehow noble while (and this is a really strange but growing sub-belief on the left) that charitable giving is somehow selfish. How twisted! How morally depraved.

For Mitt Romney to have donated so much money to charity is indeed a mark of his great decency as a human being. I welcome the comparisons with the Gores’ and Bidens’ pathetically low amount of giving, and with Bill Clinton trying to claim a tax deduction for the donation of used underwear (yuck!). (Yes, Clinton really did that — or at least Hillary did, with regard to Bill’s used underwear. But this was before anybody might have wanted to test it in a lab….)

Romney, a private man, apparently has been donating huge amounts to charities long, long before he ran for public office. These donations are those of the heart, not of a cynical mind. It’s about time he gets some credit for it.

October 1st, 2010 at 10:05 am
#stimulusfail: White House Tries to Issue Its Own “Stimulus” Report Card
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How’s this for drive-by media bias?  Today’s Washington Post runs the deceptive headline “Report Gives Stimulus Package High Marks.” Hmmm.  That sounds like a counterintuitive “Man Bites Dog” story worth reading.  So who issued the report?  The Post’s first paragraph admits that it comes from White House itself.  Worse, it was overseen by that respected rock of good judgment and common sense, Vice President Joe Biden.

Even with that baked-in bias, the White House report doesn’t seem to focus on how the $814 billion “stimulus” supposedly succeeded.  Rather, it emphasizes how the effort has already distributed 70% of the allocated funds, and managed to avoid “the fraud charges that plague more routine government spending programs.”  That’s it?  That’s the best that even Joe Biden can claim?  That should actually come as discouraging news, not encouraging news, to “stimulus” proponents.  After all, if 70% of its funds have already been spent, but we still haven’t experienced its promised results, what remains other than $814 billion added to our nation’s debt?  The White House promised that unemployment would top out twelve months ago at 8% if the bill passed, but we remain stuck at 9.6%.  Instead of igniting our economic furnace, it has merely clouded growth and undermined the business and hiring climate.

The White House and its apologists speculatively claim that the “stimulus” averted another great depression, but today’s Wall Street Journal carries an analysis by former Senator Phil Gramm devastating that assertion.  Gramm compares U.S. growth and employment figures to other developed countries that didn’t engage in the irresponsible “stimulus” profligacy we did, and shows that we lag far behind.  As the Post story notes, Obama’s “stimulus” was “the largest effort in U.S. history to counteract the effects of a recession.”  All it has done is prove once again that government doesn’t create jobs or growth, but economic uncertainty and debt.

February 15th, 2010 at 2:56 pm
Obama and Biden Predicted Iraq Surge Failure, Now Claim Credit for It?
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In January 2007, President Bush announced a surge of approximately 20,000 troops to win the war in Iraq.  In this convenient and brief video clip, then-Senators Joe Biden and Barack Obama insisted that the surge was a terrible idea destined to failure.  Biden even slurred General David Petraeus as the only person who believed the surge would work, and Obama actually predicted that the surge would make things worse, not better.

Fast forward to last week.  In one of the most distasteful and brazen illustrations of chutzpah in modern politics, Vice President Biden now claims in this video clip that success in Iraq, following the surge that both he and Obama opposed so unequivocally, may stand as “one of the great achievements of the Obama Administration.”

On second thought, however, perhaps Biden is correct.  In light of the utter catastrophes inflicted to date by the Obama Administration, perhaps not managing to bungle the successful Iraq surge that the Bush Administration ordered is indeed its greatest success.  Either way, former Vice President Cheney is also correct that Obama and Biden owe Bush a belated “thank you” on Iraq.