Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another Way to Kill Obama Health Care

Obama's health care law is a tragedy. He campaigned on “change” and spoke of “fundamentally restructuring the United States of America.” And on signing the health care bill into law, he said, “This is what change looks like.” That law represents a rejection of the historic American system, the Constitution, arithmetic, and simple honesty. All those were considered expendable by the liars and thieves who created Obamacare under the noble-sounding slogan of helping those who can't afford health insurance.

A congressman from Texas was widely criticized when he shouted “He lies” while Obama was speaking to Congress. But not being in Congress, I am not prevented by its decorum from speaking the same truth. Since there are many websites devoted solely to listing Obama's many lies (which can be found by googling “Obama's lies”) I shall confine myself here to some of his major ones connected with the new health care law.

First of all, there was Obama's claim, stated publicly on at least seven occasions, that he would negotiate health care openly with all the parties, including insurers and doctors, sitting at a big table and televised by CNN. Seven lies. The health care bill was negotiated in secret. When asked about Obama's promises of televising the debate to the public, Speaker Nancy Pelosi quipped, “There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail.”

According to Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, the Medical Loss Ratio memo released by the Congressional Budget Office “is the smoking gun that shows how congressional Democrats have very carefully hidden more than half the cost of their health care bills...Democrats have been submitting proposals to the CBO behind closed doors and tailoring their private-sector mandates to avoid having those costs appear in the federal budget. Proposals that would result in a complete cost estimate—such as the proposal suggested by Sen. Rockefeller discussed in the Medical Loss Ratios memo—are dropped. Because we can't let the public see how much this thing really costs.”

The Congressional Budget Office claims the law will cost about $950 billion over ten years and lower federal deficits by $138 billion. The CBO makes such estimates on the basis of what a bill contains—not whether the bill is realistic or will be changed after the CBO calculations are made. For example, the law requires a 21 percent cut in physicians fees. Everyone in Congress knows that is unrealistic and will be changed very soon—because many physicians are already refusing to take on additional Medicare patients. Without this cut—which was not in an earlier version of the House bill—the cost of the bill was well over $1 trillion, the arbitrary limit set by the president. So the cut in physicians' fees was introduced to trim $230 billion from the cost, with the intent that it would be restored by separate legislation after the original bill became law. Thus the health care bill was passed on a deliberate misrepresentation of its real costs. In other words, what occurred was a well-planned big lie carried out by a dishonest legislative maneuver.

It was also dishonest to claim the program is a cost-saving measure when it includes only six years of benefits against ten years of costs. Nearly all of the benefits do not kick in until 2014, but Americans have to start paying for the program right away. Furthermore, insurance premiums of $70 billion paid in the first ten years are counted as deficit reduction for that period, but they are intended to finance benefits that won't come until after ten years and whose costs aren't included in the first ten years.

The Obamacare law will divert $53 billion from Social Security to help the health care numbers look better. Never mind that Social Security is already going bankrupt.

The Obamacare law will siphon an expected $19 billion from the government takeover of federally financed student loans. Never mind that student loans have nothing to do with health care; the funding transfer makes the health care numbers look better.

The biggest lie of all was Obama's repeated promise he would not cut Medicare. The law cuts $463 billion from Medicare to be diverted to financing insurance subsidies. Medicare is already scheduled to go broke in seven years. Obama claims that reducing “waste, fraud and abuse” will enable Medicare to operate more efficiently at far lower costs, but the new law contains no reforms that would enable it to do so. It is even harder to imagine how Medicare can provide quality health care with drastically reduced funding when it faces a huge increase in demand for services as babyboomers age.

The new health care reform would establish two new entitlement spending programs—health insurance subsidies and long-term health care benefits—but their costs are excluded from the CBO calculations. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, says future Congresses will need to vote an additional annual $114 billion for these two new programs. Of the law overall, he concludes, “If you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games,” Obamacare will increase federal deficits by $562 billion. This 2,700-page law is a gigantic fraud perpetrated by Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their accomplices in this most depraved Congress in U.S. history.

Holtz-Eakin also states, “The federal deficit is already expected to exceed at least $700 billion every year over the next decade, doubling the national debt to more than $20 trillion. By 2020, the federal deficit—the amount the government must borrow to meet its expenses—is projected to be $1.2 trillion, $900 billion of which represents interest on the previous debt.”

If anything, those numbers understate the case. Entitlement legislation always ends up costing more than expected. Take Medicare, for example. When it began in 1965, its cost was projected to be $2 to $3 billion in the first year, and Congress said it wouldn't reach $10 billion until the 1990s. But it cost $7 billion the first year, and in 1990 the cost was $107 billion. In 1992 the cost was $140 billion. In 1994 it was $179 billion.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” He also wrote, “I place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” And Samuel Adams wrote, “Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their own posterity's liberty!”

It is indisputable that our Founding Fathers intended government to protect individual rights, including property rights. They were familiar with the concept of rights to “life, liberty and property” from the English philosopher John Locke. In fact, when Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that governments are instituted to secure man's “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he was accused by some of simply copying Locke's work. Jefferson replied that he “did not consider it as any part of my charge to invent new ideas altogether.” Rather, he said he intended simply to make “an expression of the American mind.”

The Founders understood that Jefferson's substitution of the phrase “pursuit of happiness” for the word “property” in Locke's triad of rights was in no way intended to downgrade property rights. They viewed property as the principal means for exercising the right to the “pursuit of happiness.” On the importance of property rights, James Madison wrote: “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own." (Italics added.)

The Founders believed man had natural rights, that these were “unalienable,” as Jefferson stated, because they came from his own existence, not from government. Government can only recognize or deny them. “Unalienable” means “not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated.” Government cannot repudiate nature. Nor can it transfer property from someone without his consent without violating his natural rights as well as the principles of equal rights and equal protection of the law.

The Founders believed in liberty and property rights, not government “redistribution of wealth.” Jefferson wrote: "To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." (italics added)

Jefferson and his cohorts saw property rights as a natural outgrowth of the exercise of liberty. If men were to enjoy freedom in America, what kind of economic system would the new nation have? Only a free economy would be appropriate for free men. Economic choices of work, trade and prices would be determined by men exercising their liberty through their rights to property, while respecting the similar rights of others. That is the essence of freedom. Though not perfect in all respects, certainly not with respect to slavery, the American system of freedom was the key to America's growth and prosperity.

Even before America had demonstrated the economic effectiveness of freedom, it was recognized by the world's first great economist Adam Smith in his monumental work The Wealth of Nations, which by neat coincidence appeared in 1776, the same year as our Declaration of Independence. In it, he wrote: "The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most necessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it." Such a man has now arrived. Barrack Obama.

He attempts to “direct private people in what manner they ought to employ” their money for health insurance. And this is to be for insurance for others, not just oneself, thereby elevating their needs—both legally and morally—above people whose “unalienable rights” are being displaced. Thus is government transformed from being the protector of the rights of all into a weapon for plundering wealth of some for the benefits of others whose alleged needs are deemed morally superior to not only other people's property rights but to their “unalienable right” to their pursuit of happiness. As Frederic Bastiat wrote more than a century and half ago, “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

In 1791 James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and an important delegate at the Constitutional Convention, wrote that government “should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.” Contrast this to the performance of Vice President Joe Biden, then a senator, at the hearings for Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court. He tried to browbeat the nominee and, waving a copy of Professor Richard Epstein's book on private property, asked Thomas menacingly, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of this cult that believes in the sanctity of individual rights? Do you believe that 'natural rights' should underlay the Constitution and our legal system?" Remember, too, that President Obama has said he would not nominate someone such as Clarence Thomas to the Court.

Obama's vision of health care is a collectivist goal at odds with the concept of individual rights and can only be achieved by their negation. He has stated that everyone should have a right to health care, by which he means with other people's money. Which means at the expense of others' liberty, property rights and the right to pursuit of their own happiness. Nobody has a right to deprive others of their natural rights. When Obamacare commandeers people's earnings to finance other people's insurance, it is tantamount to condemning them to “involuntary servitude,” which, along with slavery, is prohibited by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. What is the difference, in effect, between a slave who is forced to labor in a cotton field for a master and a citizen who is forced to surrender the earnings of his labor to a master in Washington, who dismisses his rights as inferior to whatever that master decides should be done with those earnings, in this case health insurance for others?

Obamacare has more in common with the Marxist dictum of a redistributing wealth “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” than with America's historic reliance on property rights. Marx favored the abolition of private property. According to Richard Weikart, a professor of history, “In Marx's view private property was the source of all the evils in human society... Private property thus spawned a class struggle in every age.” He called for a communist society to overcome the dehumanizing effect of private property. He said it caused humans to work only for themselves, rather than for the good of the species. Obviously this view is incompatible with the individual's right to the pursuit of happiness. Marx believed, according to, that material happiness “must be obtained through organized collectivism. [emphasis in the text.]” This is incompatible not only with the historical record of America's success through individual rights, but with the contrasting failures of socialism or communism in every country that tried it. But oblivious to history and logic, Obama is determined to take America down the path to collectivism—even if that means sacrificing honesty and deceiving the public with phony numbers.

Obama, like Marx, views society through the lens of “class struggle.” The “enemies of the people” now are the big banks, the big corporations, the insurance companies, the rich. Not big government.

Obama attacked the banks for making unsound housing mortgages, but he did not mention that Big Government required them to do so. The Community Reinvestment Act required them to lower their underwriting standards for the political goal of enabling low-income people to buy homes with mortgages for which they wouldn't otherwise qualify. And the biggest offenders in the housing crisis and the ones who precipitated the crisis were the GSEs (government sponsored enterprises) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were subsidized in various ways by the federal government. They were also guilty of egregious risk practices and fundamental business mismanagement, according the government regulators--who did not prevent the credit bubble from inflating and bursting. (See

Obama attacked the health insurance companies, posing as a hero by castigating them for raising their rates to fatten their profits. He was accusing them of evil even though they had done nothing wrong, had violated no law, and he has no authority for determining that their prices or profits are wrong and that the companies should be subject to his public attack. Never mind that their profits are not out of line with other industries, nor that they have raised rates because their costs have increased—and will increase more because of coverage changes demanded by the president. Never mind, too, that 85 percent of the public has private health insurance and 74 percent are satisfied with their insurance company. That is irrelevant from a political standpoint. What is needed politically is not satisfaction with business, as occurs under freedom, but conjuring up an “enemy” to fit the description of class struggle in order to create support for the intrusion of government.

Obama attacked the Big Three American auto companies. He never mentioned that the problems that imperiled their survival were caused by government. (See

Then there are the rich, always an easy political target in a democracy because they are a small minority. And it is easy to gain votes by promising to tax their wealth for the benefit of the majority who are less well off. But the top one percent of taxpayers already pay more income tax than the bottom 95 percent! The top 10 percent pay 72.4 percent of the total. The bottom 50 percent pay less than 3 percent. Thus the politicians always find it easier to win elections by promising to deliver plunder to the masses rather than by defending the rights that our Founders believed were the reason for government in the first place.

Given that political situation, it is hard to see how Obamacare will be repealed even if the Democrats lose a large number of seats in both the House and Senate elections this fall. Even if the Republicans were to gain majorities in both houses, they undoubtedly would not have enough votes to override a presidential veto, which would surely come. One can certainly hope that Congress will repeal Obamacare—I certainly do—but there is another possibility that deserves our attention. With the U.S. Congress having so thoroughly disregarded the views of the American people on Obamacare, perhaps it is time to consider an alternative through the state governments. What I have in mind could not only eliminate Obamacare but “fundamentally restructure the United States of America”—back to the kind of government the Founders intended!

In 2009 The Tennessee General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution asserting the federal government is abusing its constitutional authority and affirming the state's claim as a self-governing jurisdictional entity in keeping with the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.” The resolution also noted that while “the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government.” The vote was spectacularly one-sided: 85-2 for approval in the state House of Representatives and 31-0 in the Senate, and the bill was signed by Governor Phil Bredesen.

Letters were sent to the 49 other states, noting “the purpose of our political system is to secure for its citizens their natural rights,” and including the following:

“Today the federal government seeks to control the salaries of those employed by private business, to change the provisions of private contracts, to nationalize banks, insurers and auto manufacturers, and to dictate to every person in the land what his or her medical choices will be.

“Forcing property from employers to provide health care, legislating what individuals are and are not entitled to, and using the labor of some so that others can receive money that they did not earn goes far beyond securing natural rights and the enumerated power in the Constitution...

“We invite your state to join with us to form a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates."

Since then, six other states have joined Tennessee in passing similar resolutions. Approximately 30 others are in various stages of trying to legislatively assert sovereignty in various ways.

A very good start has been made, but the problem is these resolutions can simply be ignored by Congress. Something stronger is needed. I have some ideas about this.

Several years ago I wrote a book titled The Trojan Project. It is a novel of political intrigue between opposing forces of good and evil over control of the U.S. government. Although the storyline is fictional, the book is about 60 percent nonfiction. All of the laws, regulations and examples of people being persecuted by the government in this book are real—even their real names are used. The unconstitutional expansions of federal power and improper decisions of the Supreme Court are also explained. All of the historical references to the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and quotations from them are real, as are the reforms proposed in the book. These include nine constitutional amendments, most of which I believe have never before been proposed and a method of enacting them that has never before been used. I would hope that the state sovereignty movement initiated by Tennessee will eventually lead to using this method to limit the federal government to its proper role--permanently. This may seem a difficult task right now. But given the anger that Obama has already generated over health care and the strength of the Tea Party movement, I think resentment over the federal government's role will only grow when people start to see how his colossal spending adversely affects the economy, the value of the dollar, and their lives. Then the American people and the states may be willing to resort to constitutional amendments as I have suggested. These could throttle back federal expansion in ways beyond the scope of the sovereignty regulations now being pursued and could not just be ignored by Congress as the sovereignty resolutions can.

Here are excerpts from some reviews of my book The Trojan Project:

The Trojan Project provides an excellent introduction to a well-articulated Conservative/Libertarian philosophy presented in a clear and enjoyable format that should serve to disturb many Americans who have little to no idea how deeply our fundamental American principles of government have been corrupted over the years.” -- Michael J. McFadden, Mid-Atlantic Director, Citizens Freedom Alliance, Inc.

“An intriguing and absorbing novel, The Trojan Project is set squarely in the middle of today's political climate. This work can be classified as both fiction and nonfiction. Taking current events and realities, Contoski has woven a masterful tale of technological horror, finishing with an uncommon and totally unanticipated ending. Your attention is held until the very last period -- and beyond." -- Writer's Choice Literary Journal

"There is a conversation in The Trojan Project that is better than any history lesson, or class or professor that you could ever imagine. Reading through this dialogue--which is powerful and provocative steeped-in-truth fiction--transformed me. I felt that my American heritage was rehabilitated. Listen up, America! This book contains relevant and necessary information for every individual in this country today. It's that powerful." --Lori Crever, host of TV show "30 Minutes with the Author."

For more on this book, including additional reviews and information on how to order this book autographed to you personally by the author, go to American Liberty Publishers at


Anonymous said...

Your post includes the following quote attributed to Biden:

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of this cult that believes in the sanctity of individual rights? Do you believe that 'natural rights' should underlay the Constitution and our legal system?"

Could you please cite the source of this quote? I cannot find it anywhere else online...

Edmund Contoski said...

You can find the quote in the record of the complete testimony of the U.S. Senate hearing on the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. If this is not available online, you will need to go to a library. (Remember libraries?) The description of Sen. Biden browbeating Judge Thomas and waving Professor Epstein's book in front of him as he menacingly questioned the nominee is from a book review published several years ago by Laissez Faire Books.