Posts Tagged ‘Waivers’

  • Steve Jobs and the Occupiers: Two very different visions for America

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    I am reading Walter Isaacson’s new book on the life of Steve Jobs. Like many adoring Americans, I will always be influenced by Jobs. I have enjoyed the experience of his many brilliant innovations.

    Steve Jobs: An optimistic vision for America's opportunity and growth

    A passage in the book continues to resonate with me. He told President Obama last year that he will be a one-term president if he continues his anti-business policies, stating that regulations and costs of operation are stifling economic activity. Jobs added that America’s education system needs a transformation if our country is going to be competitive.

    What a critical yet positive statement about what America needs to thrive. Contrast this with the “Occupy Wall Street” invasions of our public spaces across the country. The unruly, unsanitary and illegal behaviors of OWS protesters are not going unnoticed, yet they don’t appear to be coalescing into a cohesive movement.

    I have followed the OWS protests and have read differing points of view on their meaning. Many in the media are ignoring the real reasons behind these “never-ending” occupations of urban public parks.

    One theory is that the Obama campaign machine is recruiting and compensating these lost youth in an effort to promote Obama’s agenda of change. Couple this with the threats and actions of the unions that are advocating city riots and upheaval during the next year. Their intentions to orchestrate or co-opt OWS are obviously designed in an attempt to derail the GOP efforts for 2012.

    How will this play out? The agitating and increasingly violent behavior of OWS protesters may backfire on Obama and the unions who are openly supporting them as they begin to make their case for another four years.

    Given the choice between a positive, pro-growth vision provided by Steve Jobs or the anti-business class warfare vision provided by OWS, Obama and his left-wing allies have chosen the latter as the foundation for their 2012 campaign.

    OWS: A pessimistic vision of class warfare and revolution

    Conventional wisdom has said that, if next year’s election is a referendum on Obama, he’ll lose, but if it’s a choice, he’s got a chance. By closely aligning with OWS, Obama has just made a “choice” election much clearer for Americans and considerably weakened his prospects for a second term.

    The embrace of OWS by Obama and the unions may be more effective at solidifying opposition to a second Obama term while failing to energize his base. Consider Obamacare. The unions practically wrote the law, yet they secured waivers for themselves so they don’t have to comply with its damaging provisions. Is this the kind of change OWS protesters can believe in?

    Considering what’s at stake, including the repeal of Obamacare and reversing Obama’s socialist agenda, his open courting of OWS should be welcomed as a blessing.

  • The Rounds: Rep. Ryan Exposes Mediscare, Unconventional Wisdom and a Tale of Two States

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    As the 2012 campaign for the White House and Congress heats up, health care has moved to the forefront once again, along with the typical “Mediscare” tactics which I previously discussed. Rep. Paul Ryan, the architect of the GOP’s “Roadmap” budget, rightfully and effectively exposes the latest round of Mediscare attacks, using independent analyses from Politifact, Factcheck, and even the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog. Read Ryan’s piece here.

    The conventional wisdom, especially after the GOP’s loss in the special election in New York’s 26th district, is that Rep. Ryan’s plan to save Medicare will be a political liability for the GOP in 2012. The Weekly Standard has a different take after looking at polling data and correctly pointing out that “Ryan’s plan would preserve Medicare’s sinking ship, keeping it afloat for future generations.”

    The fact is that Ryan and the GOP are the only ones serious about solving our nation’s looming fiscal disaster and saving Medicare. Even the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, while believing this may be a short term political advantage for the Democrats, points out that at least the GOP is serious about proposing plans to save Medicare.

    The problem for Democrats is, if they want to get serious about reforming the entitlement program, they are putting their own necks on the chopping block AND giving up a hugely potent political issue.

    Andrea Tantaros of the New York Daily News has another takeaway from the NY26 special election: The GOP should attack Obamacare more strongly. Rather than spend time defending Rep. Ryan’s “courageous” plan to save Medicare, the GOP must go on the offensive against Obamacare.

    The GOP has a strong case to make, and it should be out there making it. But instead of defending Ryan’s plan, they should be poking holes in Obamacare. Only then will the benefits of their alternative become clear to the American public.

    Read it here.

    On to Obamacare. Ralph R. Reiland of The American Spectator continues to expose the Obamacare waivers handed out to the politically-connected. It helps if you live in Nancy Pelosi’s district.

    I again ask the question: If Obamacare is so great, why the need for any waivers at all?

    What about the prototype for Obamacare? Heartland.org looks at the failure of Romneycare in Massachusetts.

    Taxes, costs, and political interference in medical decisions have all increased, while access to medical care has deteriorated. It’s now apparent Romney did not give Massachusetts universal private health coverage. Instead, he put the state on a glide-path to a single-payer, government monopoly health system—the same path Obamacare now follows at the national level.

    On the rising costs of health care in Massachusetts under Romneycare, Peter Suderman of Reason explores how the state’s explorations in universal, government-mandated care is working out and provides an ominous forecast:

    The Obama administration has explicitly stated on numerous occasions that RomneyCare was the model for the federal overhaul. Given the Bay State’s spiraling costs, it seems more and more likely that, thanks to ObamaCare, we can all expect higher health insurance premiums in our future.

    Finally, last week I looked at California as an example of where America is headed under Obama. Walter Russell Mead has an excellent piece in The American Interest where he concludes California is now a failed state.

    Let there be no mistake: when you produce so many criminals that you can’t afford to lock them up, you are a failed state.  Virtually every important civil institution in society has to fail to get you to this point.  Your homes and houses of worship are failing to build law abiding citizens, much less responsible and informed voters.  Your schools aren’t educating enough of your kids to make an honest living.  Your taxes and policies are so bad that you are driving thousands of businesses away… California used to be the glory of this country, the dream by the sea, the magic state.  Now it produces so many criminals it can’t pay to keep them locked up.

  • Pro-Obamacare Firebrand: NYC Might Need a Waiver

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    Rep. Anthony Weiner

    Rep. Anthony Weiner, one of Obamacare’s most outspoken proponents, said New York City may need a waiver from Obamacare compliance due to “the city’s special health care infrastructure”. Weiner is exploring a run for mayor of New York City.

    In his attempt to make the case that waivers show how flexible Obamacare is, Weiner added: “A lot of people who got waivers were … people who are our friends.”

    Read it in Politico.

  • Grassley to Investigate Obamacare Waivers

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    On January 28th, Senator Charles Grassley, who has a record of leading Senate investigations into government waste and fraud, said Republicans will take up an investigation of special waivers that relieve some from complying with Obamacare. These waivers appear to have been disproportionately provided to unions. Of the 220 privileged entities that have received waivers, one third have gone to unions.

    If Obamacare is the right solution, why does the Obama Administration feel the need to exempt certain special interests from compliance? This is one more example of why we must seek a total repeal. Leaving Obamacare in place will contribute to our already out of control debt. Add in these special waivers for well-connected unions will only make our debt soar higher.