The choice 0

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled The Welfare State and Military Power shows why redistributive domestic policy necessarily leads to the decline of power. In other words, socialism weakens the nation. And that is what Obama and the Democrats want to do.  As we have reiterated (see below, The two-horse rider and Obama’s grandiose equivocation), it is a choice between liberty and power  (and, we should add, prosperity) on the one side, or collectivism and decline (and impoverishment) on the other.

Has the moment of decision come and gone with the election of Obama? Has America already freely chosen to be unfree?

Or is it coming now with the push to nationalize health care, put the economy under government control, and begin the disarmament of America?

If now, which way will  America choose to go?

Here’s an extract from the WSJ article:

Welfare spending [in Europe] has crowded out defense spending. The political imperative of health care and pensions always trumps defense spending, save perhaps in a hot war. Europe may never again be able to muster public support for a defense buildup of the kind the U.S. undertook to end the Cold War in the 1980s, or even the smaller surge after 9/11.

The tragic irony of this year is that Democrats are rushing the U.S. down this same primrose entitlement path. With ObamaCare certain to eat up several more percentage points of GDP as it inevitably expands, we will take a giant step toward European social priorities.

For many Democrats, this is precisely the goal. Many Europeans, such as those at the Financial Times, will also welcome America’s relative decline. But we doubt the American people fully understand what such a gilded entitlement cage means for our national vitality, or for our ability to defend U.S. interests at home and abroad. …

President Obama’s domestic agenda may well mean that his successors lack the option to deploy 100,000 troops to Afghanistan, or to some other future trouble spot. This is the way superpowers lose their superiority.

You will obey 3

From Investor’s Business Daily:

It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:

“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

From the beginning, opponents of the public option plan have warned that if the government gets into the business of offering subsidized health insurance coverage, the private insurance market will wither. Drawn by a public option that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington’s coverage.

The nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated in April that 120 million or more Americans could lose their group coverage at work and end up in such a program. That would leave private carriers with 50 million or fewer customers. This could cause the market to, as Lewin Vice President John Sheils put it, “fizzle out altogether.”

What wasn’t known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.

The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.

With HSAs out of the way, a key obstacle to the left’s expansion of the welfare state will be removed.

The public option won’t be an option for many, but rather a mandate for buying government care. A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny.

Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn’t be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans’ lives.

It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It’s scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we’ll come across in the final 1,002.

Posted under Commentary, Economics, Health, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 16, 2009

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