William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Boehner Hints At GOP Softening of Hardline on Taxes - Obamacare

Over the last 24 hours House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) has indicated a hitherto unseen willingness to discuss raising new revenue (Washington speak for taxes) as part of a broad approach to deficit reduction. Now he has reportedly declared that Obamacare is the law of the land in a news interview. This might be a signal to his caucus that it's time to stop fighting a battle that is effectively lost and move on.

16 comments:

Unknown said...

I hope that they don't give up the fight. This law is going to cripple the economy and our basic freedoms. I'm surprised that you, John, as a libertarian, are consigned to live with this unconstitutional and unjust law and just move on.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I don't like it but I am a pragmatist. Obama will be president for four more years. The Senate is firmly Democratic for at least the next two. The law comes into full force in 2014. Repeal is not possible. This fight is over and we lost. There are so many things we need to deal with that we need to pick and chose our battles. Wasting resources and political capital on a lost cause only weakens the political opposition.

Ben said...

Though we still might (and possibly will) get the contraception and abortifacient mandate thrown out. There is a strong case heading towards the Supreme Court. As long as the conservative justices don't retire before then that is. . .

Anonymous said...

Yes...trying to provide for universal health care is such an infringement of freedom.

One should be able to be as ill as one chooses with full responsibility for the consequences of that illness however that affects oneself, one's family or the society at large.

Obamacare is certainly not the best means for providing universal health care but given the huge presence of health insurance companies, ( who only focus on healthy people) and health care providers, ( whose focus is basically income), it was the best that could be done.

Of course all this is based on the notion that health care is not a commodity. This is a notion understood by most cultures and countries excepting, it seems, many in the U.S. who do see it as a commodity, including many Christians who overlook that the Source of their religion along with many saints was non-mercenary in His providing health care to those who needed it.

Unknown said...

Hey, Anonymous,

You want universal healthcare, then let everyone PAY for it on their own. Quit demanding everyone else pay for what you think you are entitled to. And while we are on the subject of Christianity, the Holy Unmercenaries (that's the proper term, btw) weren't working from a government program! --Chris

David Di Giacomo said...

Protesting vehemently against universal health care is the kind of thing that makes the rest of the world look at the U.S. and shake our heads at the sheer insanity. Using Christianity to justify it, well... I'll leave that one to God. The Lord is merciful.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

If the Republicans expect to win another national election they will have to embrace economic populism. The rich have not used tax savings to invest in America. They have used it to lobby government, to offshore factories and inshore cheap labor, and to dream up ever-more exotic financial instruments. They fund liberal foundations, a hostile media and, by a slim majority, voted for Obama. Why go to bat for them? They're only 1% of the vote.

And yes, hold on to your hats, we just might need to consider some form of single-payor system that provides basic care so increasingly down-sized white working class voters can maintain some sort of bargaining power with employers. THAT'S the Republican base, and they are being p***ed on.

Republicans should try to emulate Germany's CDU, but of course they'll conclude they should try to emulate the Democrats.

Jason said...

AG, that's culturally impossible for the GOP in its current makeup.

Only when the Millenials take over after this generation will that even be a potential possibility.

Phil said...

To Anonymous and David D., I'm curious:

Why are you trying to guilt-trip those who disagree with you by crying that Christianity demands universal healthcare? Christianity also teaches that gay marriage is impossible and that abortion is the taking of an innocent life. Are you in favor of banning those? Or would that suddenly represent a "theocracy?" And if it would represent the imposition of a "theocracy," why doesn't that make you both hypocrites?

And why does the opinion of the "rest of the world" matter, again? I missed that predicate to your argument. For what it's worth, a very large segment of the world is in favor of a real theocracy (as opposed to the imaginary one that comes into force in some peoples' minds when a Republican is elected to a legislative seat somewhere) and/or rule by brutal force. Shall we adopt one of those systems here, too?

Look, as far as universal healthcare goes, I'd just like those in favor of it to be honest about it. You can't repeal the laws of economics or human nature. If we go to that system, we're likely to get poor-quality care, wait for a very long time to receive service while we continue to suffer, and see the weakest and most vulnerable of us sentenced to death by rationing boards. If you think that tradeoff is worth it - everybody gets rotten treatment so that nobody lacks health insurance, even though they can get treated today, anyway - I'm fine with it. You're entitled to your opinion and your own judgment of what is a worthwhile tradeoff. But quit selling the fantasy that we can have our cake and eat it, too.

Samn! said...

EU countries manage to have single-payer healthcare and also generally ban abortion after the first trimester. There's a lot that Americans could learn about common sense from European politics....

Ben said...

Anonymous,

You are a troll and your comments fringe on imbecilic. Contraception has nothing to do with "health", is already dirt cheap, and can already be found free numerous places. There is no reason that it must be covered, to the detriment of religious freedom of Catholics and Orthodox like myself who have a problem with paying for it on moral and socio-economic grounds. The government forcing insurance companies to pick up the tab is, with numerous other mandates in the 2000+ page convoluted mess of a bill, causing major increases in the price of premiums and deductibles. If the Democrats had left the politics out of the bill and simply reformed the health insurance system, we'd have something that works and truly does provide for affordable care.

Ben said...

By the way. . . I am not rich and my income does not exceed the 2nd tax bracket, and is quite closer to the first. So please don't go on a tirade about how I am one of the 1%. I am suffering just like everyone else in this country.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Ben - all those points are valid but here is the grim demographic reality. Blacks, latinos and asians vote Democrat at rates of 70 - 90%. Republicans will never break that lock. So all the Republican party is doing at this point is splitting the vote of the white majority. The Republicans will have to start appealing to the white renter-class which means things like social safety nets, trade barriers (including limits on immigration), no bailouts for Wall Street, etc. Note these are policies in the American interest, not just the white interest.

Again, the CDU needs to be their model, not Democratic pandering.

Visibilium said...

I'd prefer a free market in health care. It could be buttressed with subsidies for the poor and sick, if needed. I can't see screwing resource allocation simply to address the affordability issue.

David Di Giacomo said...

"Why are you trying to guilt-trip those who disagree with you by crying that Christianity demands universal healthcare?"

I didn't say that. What I did, however, is that the arguments used to oppose it are profoundly unchristian. Not to mention stupid. What I am hearing people say is that millions should go without access to proper medical care because it infringes on the freedom of those being asked to pay for it; in effect, that the right to keep money is more important than the lives of people who don't have any. And those advancing these arguments would have us believe they are pro-life. Hah.

Face it. American individualism, every-man-for-himself, is completely incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And no, the Gospel does not mandate a government program (because I know someone is going to say that's what I'm saying.) But it just so happens that no one else is offering free health care for everyone at the moment.

"Christianity also teaches that gay marriage is impossible and that abortion is the taking of an innocent life. Are you in favor of banning those? Or would that suddenly represent a "theocracy?" And if it would represent the imposition of a "theocracy," why doesn't that make you both hypocrites?"

Whatever. Maybe you're conflating my comment with those of Anonymous; I know I certainly didn't say anything vaguely resembling that. In any case, I have no a priori objections to theocracy.

Phil said...

David,

Thanks for the response. I disagree that the lack of universal health care ipso facto means millions have no access to proper medical care. But, leaving that aside, I think your assertion that, "American individualism, every-man-for-himself, is completely incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ" is something worth thinking about. Maybe you're right. In many ways, I'm sure you are, I just don't know if "completely incompatible" is too strong. After all, no Christian is required to be a radical individualist, even if - if - that is the American ethos.

My concerns in return are two. First, I don't think command economics works very well, and I think a universal health care scheme is likely to produce worse results than we have now, for just about everybody (not the wealthy, of course; they'll be fine). Second, I wonder how far we, as Americans, can go to transgress the core values of our nation? Individual liberty and a limited central government are central to the design of the American republic and our history. Even if that leads to society-wide results that we view as contrary to the Gospel (again, I don't believe that, but I respect your view that it does), why do we have the right to alter those fundamental principles to achieve a result we view as the proper one?

At its core, liberty has to mean that we respect the right of others to do what we think are stupid things. It's when we can't tolerate that that we begin moving in the direction of tyranny.