Friday, August 31, 2012

Calling the Spade a Spade: Can we stop with the Fear-Mongering?

My father recently forwarded me an email for my consideration - it was excerpted from an article in the Las Vegas Review written by a fellow classmate who claims to "know Obama's master scheme." If you really think about what he says, it's both amusing and frightening - amusing that he get's things so terribly, terribly wrong, and frightening that his threats and fear-mongering are considered mainstream within certain sects of American voters.

The email closed with a link to, claiming that the "whole thing is true!" What follows is my discussion of the points made by Wayne Allyn Root:-

If you read the link, it is true in the sense that it is a correctly attributed OPINION PIECE in the Las Vegas Review by a regular commentator on FOX NEWS. Which means that it is clearly OPINION, BIASED, and CONSERVATIVE. Or, in this case, Libertarian, as the writer in question was the Libertarian candidate for the 2008 election.
In terms of the actual claims, let me gather things a bit and actually address them.
Preface - from the get go he admits that he is crafting a conspiracy theory. That doesn't make it wrong, but it is an admission that the whole article is based on supposition, not fact.
  1. Universal Health Care - This was written BEFORE the law was passed, based entirely on guesses to what the law was to contain, and none of them are correct. No one is "dependent on the government to provide health insurance" - in fact, the fury of the Republicans was just the opposite: IT FORCES YOU TO BUY PRIVATE INSURANCE! Big government giving away handouts to make people dependent? Absolutely not.
    1. As a side note, you may recall that I had said YEARS ago that without some sea political change, health insurance was going to be the next major market crash, as people my age and under decide that out of pocket preventative care is more cost effective and better overall than gambling on expensive insurance.
    2. This is especially true when they get out of college with crippling student debt and NO JOBS, as happened at the start of the administration. This was a potential recipe for disaster, as you would end up with the least costly to insure individuals dropping out of the system, exacerbating the current spiral of health care cost increases.
    3. Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I'm appreciative that the law passed, as it DID avert a potential crisis within one of the largest US industries. On the other hand, what REALLY needs to happen to LOWER the cost of insurance and health care is increased competition: removing the ban on purchasing across state lines would have an immediate and profound effect on lowering the overall costs for insurance. But this is an important step to keep that economic system solvent.
    4. It actually PREVENTS government provision of health care, since it keeps government money from the disabled from playing a fiscally prominent roll. If the market crashed, you can bet your boots we'd have government bailing out insurance companies AND hospitals who would both become insolvent EN MASSE. So truth runs counter to this hypothetical argument.
  2.  Cap and Trade - didn't happen. Isn't an issue, and he's completely wrong.
    1. Again, this is a crystal ball that was totally cracked. Is C&T the best method of handling global warming? assuredly not. But it DOES do a damned good job of letting market forces work their magic on it.
    2. And has been suggested by economists from ALL streams: left, right, center, and libertarians. So even his hypothetical is an assumption of malice without fact.
  3. Who's asking for a 51st state? Puerto Ricans! And why the hell not? Let them pay taxes like the rest of us! Right now they don't, and they STILL get some of the benefits of citizenship.
    1. If they paid like the rest of us, at least the cost of supporting them WHICH WE ALREADY DO would be offset by TAXES instead of increased debt.
    2. That a Libertarian is FOR more government debt is kind of ridiculous. Unless you've got money hidden from the IRS on the island, I honestly can't see what your problem with people wanting to become citizens is...
    1. Screw your head on straight - they're ALREADY here and working jobs that American's DON'T WANT BECAUSE WE'RE SPOILED. Work on a farm for a day and tell me if you're willing to accept less than minimum wage. They do.
    2. And the FACT that they do it helps keep your food costs DOWN, which would exarcerbate the economic issues we've been facing. Give them a path to citizenship if they pay taxes. Better they pay into the current system than leech out of it.
    3. In short, the anti-immigration arguments from the political right are really xenophobic rantings disguised by the sacrament of politics to make their hatred and fear acceptable.
  5. Stimulus and bailouts: Passed through the congress with support from ALL SIDES at the urging of the Bush administration.
    1. We know where the money went, and we've been getting paid back for it. See GM.
    2. Yeah, those DAMNED TEACHERS and their BLOATED SALARIES!!! Remind me again how much teachers get paid?
    3. And the economic benefits of having an educated public, who can engage in productive jobs? He's wrong again - End of story.
  6. The supposed tax raise didn't happen, but it's certainly worth discussing what the economic impact of shifting the tax burden is.
    1. Under Clinton, we had a balanced budget with fair taxes that was helping ensure sustained growth and reduced Public debt. A Democrat.
    2. Under Bush, people loudly complained that if the government WASN'T running a deficit, than it was taking too much money in taxes. Cue the tax cuts AFTER RAISING GOVERNMENT SPENDING. And this was a Republican.
    3. And now we have the lowest tax rates in HISTORY for our wealthiest citizens, the supposed "Job Creators." And where are all these jobs that they've taken the responsibility to create? All that has happened in the past 12 years is an ever widening gap between those who have wealth and those who work 9-5 e.g.: their employees.
    4. No wonder people are pissed off. They've been had! And we keep getting told that "give the wealthy more money!!! it will work THIS time!" The only think that has "trickled down" has been the hosing the rest of the working class gets while the wealthy benefactors of the politicians chuckle all the way to the bank.
    5. In the Caymans. Which are hiding TRILLIONS of dollars from their respective governments, pushing them further into debt and poverty. This is a tragedy of the uncommons - that the wealthy believe that their money is sacrosant, and decry public debt, but do EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to ensure that economic disaster happens due to their SELFISHNESS. Sorry. I don't buy it.
    6. When has trickle down economics ever worked? It was certainly an entertaining and convincing theory, but history has shown that giving the wealthy money DOESN'T lead to economic growth, but giving the POOR money leads to MORE CONSUMPTION and INCREASED economic growth. You can argue the theoreticals all you want, but reality, in this case, has a distinctly liberal bias.
I've read and considered the article, and it's clear to me that it has no basis in fact or reality. It's a politician grandstanding for the public by playing on fears and conspiracies. There are certainly reasons to dislike and disagree with Obama's politics: I do, particularly regarding the NDAA and copyright law. Mr. Root, however, makes massive assumptions in his attempt to scare grandma. And as often happens when you assume, he's made quite an ass out of himself.
If you'll excuse me, I've got to finish proving that the Holocaust was orchestrated by the Jews in order to displace the Arabs living in Palestine.
But I won't be posting it on my blog, since the telepathic camels trained by the Mossad will track me down and kill me in my dreams. Nightmare on Elm Street was really a documentary.

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