Photo of a couple holding the feet of their baby in an article about life and the Virgina late-term abortion debacle on African American Conservatives written by DK.

Dems Speak Honestly About Abortion

I shall be long grateful to Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran for her part in exposing “the unfruitful works of darkness” that is abortion.

For decades we have been told a lie about abortion. We were told that those who supported it were not actually in favor of killing babies — no one would ever support such a horrid thing, of course — instead, they merely supported the right of women to remove an unwanted mass of tissue from their bodies.  Rather than killing an unborn child, they say, think of it as “a crappy dentist appointment or something.”

Politifact, a supposedly nonpartisan “fact-checking website,” even labeled the comments of a Texas state representative that abortion “kills as many as 1,000 black children every day” as “mostly false,” largely because of his “characterization of abortions as killing babies is disputed.”
However, most of those who put forth this argument were lying the entire time.

How can they pretend to believe that the baby isn’t a baby when they are introducing “legislation [that] would allow a woman to receive an abortion even while she was going into labor”?

Are we to believe that even when a mother is dilating and the baby is crowning in the vaginal opening that the child still isn’t a living being?

It was a lie all along, and not one held by all of those in favor of abortion. For example, Barack Obama, as an Illinois state senator, opposed a bill that would have essentially criminalized the killing of children who have been delivered and who are living independently of their mother’s body.

As FactCheck put it:

As originally proposed, the 2003 state bill, SB 1082, sought to define the term ‘born-alive infant’ as any infant, even one born as the result of an unsuccessful abortion, that shows vital signs separate from its mother. The bill would have established that infants thus defined were humans with legal rights. It never made it to the floor; it was voted down by the Health and Human Services Committee, which Obama chaired.

Barack Obama was able to successfully lie about his opposition to protections for born alive children.  However, few can lie as frequently and as successfully as the future 44th President.

Some even see no need to lie. Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams is such a  person. In her infamous essay “So what if abortion ends life?”   she admits that life begins at conception and that abortion is the taking of that life, but those admissions do not matter to her:

When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn’t involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand: first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late-term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb? 

Yet most on the left are as hesitant (albeit increasingly less so) to admit they favor infanticide as they are to admit that they favor open borders or socialism.

Take Governor Northam of Virginia remarkably callus recent remarks. As described by ABC News:

The Democratic governor and pediatric neurologist was defending efforts to loosen abortion restrictions during a radio interview on WTOP-FM Wednesday when described a hypothetical situation where a severely deformed newborn infant could be left to die.

Northam said that if a woman were to desire an abortion as she’s going into labor, the baby would be “resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue” between doctors and the mother. 

Yet the next day Governor Northam claimed, incredibly, that “Republicans were mischaracterizing his statement for political gain.”

Perhaps it is science that is forcing abortion supporters to increasingly abandon the premise that abortion is not the killing of an unborn child.  It becomes harder to dismiss the notion that life exists inside of a pregnant womb as the fantasy of a bunch of MAGA-hat wearing Bible-clingers who prefer watching football to MSNBC.

According to Emma Green of The Atlantic:

New technology makes it easier to apprehend the humanity of a growing child and imagine a fetus as a creature with moral status. Over the last several decades, pro-life leaders have increasingly recognized this and rallied the power of scientific evidence to promote their cause.

They have built new institutions to produce, track, and distribute scientifically crafted information on abortion. They hungrily follow new research in embryology. They celebrate progress in neonatology as a means to save young lives.

New science is “instilling a sense of awe that we never really had before at any point in human history,” [pro-life activist Ashley] McGuire said. “We didn’t know any of this.” 

However, regardless of the reason, it is important to be grateful to Ms. Tran for introducing legislation that would, by her own admission, allow abortion to occur even as the woman is in labor, even as she almost simultaneously introduced a bill to protect the “fall cankerworm.”

It is important because many of the proponents of abortion — even of what I call “fourth-trimester abortions” —  tend to be the same who want to be part of the federal government as it grabs control of our healthcare.

Not all of us will ever be pregnant, but we are all getting older. Many of us are or will become senior citizens, requiring a great deal of healthcare. We must ask ourselves: how comfortable should we be in allowing those who would defend cankerworms, but call for allowing the killing of a child — even as this child is emerging from the birth canal — to care for us?

–DK

How Much is Obamacare Going To Cost Us, Anyway?

healthcareusaIt is a tribute to President Obama and his allies that we are entering 2015 without a clear idea of how much Obamacare will cost us.

It was the President after all who said as a presidential candidate in 2007 that “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year,”  and continued to make promises of cost reduction even while his Obamacare adviser Jonathan Gruber was warning him and others that almost everyone who didn’t have employer-sponsored or public insurance would be hit with a 41 percent increase. It was the President and his allies who also skillfully manipulated the CBO scoring of the Affordable Care Act to – as Gruber puts it – “get credible savings on cost control that the Congressional Budget Office would recognize and score as savings in this law.” So with the White House putting its full weight  towards pushing a lie, then perhaps we can be forgiven for finding the “how much is it gonna cost us?” question so confusing.

But we got a reminder this week that not is it going to cost us, it is cost us a lot. In The New York Times Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel suggested  skipping the ‘worthless annual exam’ as a way to cut health costs. Why this is significant is that Dr. Emmanuel is yet another “Obamacare architect,”  which had promised that “As part of the health care reform law, all insurance plans are required to cover preventive care at no cost. It saves lives and it saves money. It’s a lot cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat one.”

This is what I call a Newlywed Transition – during the courting it’s a regular table at Spago, now that the honeymoon is over we’re lucky to get DiGornio’s.

Former AACONS radio guest Avik Roy says that, “The average U.S. county saw a rate increase of 49%” in individual market premiums.  That’s not the $2500 decrease we were told to expect.

However, the greater sticker shock comes from another AACONS radio guest, University of Chicago professor Casey B. Mulligan who wrote compellingly in his new book Side Effects: The Economic Consequences of the Health Reform that “I predict that that the ACA’s impacts – that is, the difference between the economy with the ACA and a hypothetical and otherwise similar economy without the ACA – will include 3 percent less employment, 3 percent fewer aggregate work hours, 2 percent less GDP, and 2 percent less labor income.”

Let’s focus on the “2 percent less GDP” part.  This is staggering. To put this into perspective, Newt Gingrich once argued that “1 percent increase in our economic growth rate would shrink the federal deficit by $640 billion over the next seven years, would increase federal tax revenues by $716 billion without a tax increase, and that each and every adult citizen would earn $9,600 more than they would in the current growth projection.”  If this is so, and one percent in economic growth equates to about $100 billion in tax revenue a year, it may follow that a 2 percent decrease in economic growth would equate to a decrease in tax revenue of about $200 billion a year.

Like two fighting eagles, unemployment and low GDP will find themselves entangled by the talons and locked together in a downward spiral. Low GDP growth begets high unemployment, and high unemployment depress GDP growth.  And together they both decrease the amount of money in tax revenue our government takes in and increases the amount it must pay out (in unemployment insurance, EBT, Medicaid, etc., for example). This at a time when we are already facing a budget debt of over $18 trillion dollars, that is increasing almost $2 million dollars a minute.

As Professor Mulligan’s book reminds, in economics and business,  disincentives matters.  We can also be reminded of this by sports teams.  Look at the number of awful teams, such as the NY Knicks or LA Lakers, who are disincentivized from winning. Why struggle to finish the season with a mediocre record, putting Kobe or Carmelo out there for 30 minutes a game night after night, when one can coast through the season and perhaps have a shot at drafting the next Wilt Chamberlain?

Similarly,  businesses are disincentivized by Obamacare into hiring fewer full-time workers since they must pay the fee of having to provide health insurance for at least 95% of their employees if they hire 50 or more full-time workers. Workers are disincentivized from working full-time because they will be ineligible for Obamacare subsidies if they work full-time.  Professor Mulligan gave an example in which a part-timer working 29 hours per week with a gross salary of $37,700 will actually have a greater net salary (after taxes, expenses, and subsidies) than a full-time  worker with a gross salary of $52,000 a year.

Again, disincentives matter. And the disincentives Obamacare puts on our economy are overwhelming.

–DK

The Monarch Presidency – Obamacare and the Individual Mandate

Actually, I have not been an opponent of an individual mandate. It seems to me intuitively correct that the state should not have to pay for the healthcare of a financially secure individual who for whatever reason has decided not to buy healthcare insurance, then finds himself or herself in an emergency room.

Furthermore, I am not opposed to an entitlement program that would aid those who cannot afford health insurance, either through the extension of Medicare or by some sort of welfare supplement program. I don’t see it as a “right”, simply an entitlement program. People on food stamps, for example, receive a card that pays a large percentage of their monthly food bill. The indigent can receive healthcare insurance aid much the same way.

People who have pre-existing conditions can also receive such aid even if they are well above the poverty line and wouldn’t qualify for Medicare, since obviously the cost of someone with cancer who is just now applying for healthcare insurance would be exorbitant.

However, supporting the individual mandate is not the same as supporting Obamacare, which accomplishes remarkably little of the positive ends it claims to set out to achieve. It does provide ‘universal healthcare insurance’. In fact, it leaves about 30 million without healthcare insurance. Nor has it lowered the premiums for those of us with healthcare insurance. 2011, a year with an average inflation rate of 3.2%, saw healthcare costs rise 5.8%. Yahoo News reports that “Most consumers can expect to keep seeing increases in premiums and co-payments because the underlying cost of health care is expected to rise. The law contains a few mechanisms to curb premiums, but it also requires that many insurance providers make their benefits more generous, which will raise their cost.”

What Obamacare does accomplish however is to socialize America’s healthcare system, trampling over individual and state rights. Obamacare gives the president, by way of Department of Health and Human Services, almost unchallengeable power. It is hard to be determine just what the limits of the federal government will be, as Obamacare is sprinkled over two dozen times with the phrase “to be determined”, meaning that if something comes up, suddenly Obamacare grants the executive branch to power to decide upon it.

We recently saw that power exercised with the mandate that Catholic institutions pay for contraception, including aborticides. We saw it as well in the granting of numerous waivers to Obamacare, granted by Obama to his cronies. That’s not a power in the original language of the law, but Obama’s cronies wanted waivers so…there it is. Anything Obama – or any future president wants to do – he or she can, especially if it can be couched with phrases like “social justice” or “fairness.” As Charles Krauthammer wrote, “The new post-Obamacare dispensation is a central government of unlimited power from which citizen and civil society struggle to carve out and maintain spheres of autonomy.”

Obamacare also sets up what Obama and his allies truly desire, the single payer option. Why else would the penalty to employers for not providing healthcare insurance to their employees be so much less than the cost of actually providing such insurance but to push more to government-issued insurance? Why else would Obama attempt to have TRICARE costs rise so dramatically but to push veterans into government issued insurance of his liking?

Obama has also limited the rights of people who want to buy healthcare to shop for it nationally by way of the Internet – live in New Jersey but see an insurance plan in Utah that will save you and your family thousands? Sorry – and has blocked tort reform, not only to appease his lawyer lobbyists but to further discourage the purchase of private insurance by keeping prices unnecessarily high. This is also the major motivation behind the Catholic mandate. Obama knew that many Catholic institutions would simply stop providing healthcare insurance rather than comply with the HHS’s edict that it provide free contraception, which will force many more onto the government’s plan.

But it gets worse. The executive branches power has also increased immeasurably recently with a The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s ruling that the EPA can categorize carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. We now have cap-and-trade, despite the minor fact that Congress never passed cap-and-trade legislation. Thanks to this ruling, the president, by way of the EPA, now has the means to continue his war on the 85% of the economy that uses fossil fuels. Killing the Keystone Pipeline was barely a warm-up.

Furthermore, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Arizona ruling, the president can limit a state’s right to defend itself against an influx of illegal aliens, even if the state is simply enforcing federal law.

Even when the Reign of Obama ends in four years or a few months, these powers will still exist. Republican candidates may run against these powers, but what politician once elected in office has ever requested less power? Not many.

Ed Klein was recently on our show discussing his book, The Amateur. Smart guy, great book – but Obama is no amateur. He has succeeded what consolidating power to the executive branch in ways even some of his most progressive predecessors could only imagine.

What will a president to do with so much power that cannot be checked by Congress or the voters? That’s hard to fully comprehend. Logic classes teach that slippery slope arguments are a fallacy. Tell that to New Yorkers who saw little harm in their mayor’s war on cigarettes, or even his war on trans-fats or salt, until there was a proposed ban on 16 ounce sodas, and talk of bans on movie theatre popcorn and bacon cheeseburgers. There may be no slippery slopes, but some slopes are a lot steeper than others.

–DK

Image credit