October 13, 2011

ObamaCare = RomneyCare ‘With Three More Zeros’

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:09 pm

RomneyNo0808NoObamaCare0809First let’s look at this Cato post by Michael F. Cannon with a great title:

RomneyCare: Making a Fool of Every Republican It Touches Since 2006

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) hearts former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), so much that Christie says it is ”completely intellectually dishonest” to compare RomneyCare to ObamaCare.

The internal link is to a YouTube containing part of Christie’s announcement that he supports Mitt Romney for President — or, as a NewsBusters commenter aptly described it earlier today: “RINO endorsed by Hippo.”

Avik Roy at Forbes calls (obvious) BS on Christie’s contention:

There’s simply no other way to put this, I’m afraid, but to say that it’s Chris Christie who is being intellectually dishonest. There isn’t a single person, left or right, who follows health policy seriously who disagrees with the assertion that Romneycare was the model for Obamacare. And Massachusetts has had to raise taxes, after Romney left office, to pay for the law’s significant cost overruns.

Back to Cannon at Cato, who addresses how Romney was able (very initially) to avoid raising taxes (as noted, taxes have since been raised). BizzyBlog commenter dscott deserves props for catching the treachery noted in Point 2 several years ago, which is that Romney got everyone else in the country to pay for RomneyCare’s early year or so (bolds are mine):

  1. Mitt Romney increased taxes the moment he signed RomneyCare. RomneyCare increased net government spending. That in itself is an increase in the tax burden. All that remains to be determined is who will pay for that added spending and when they will pay it. The fact that the incidence of that added tax burden fell after Romney left office does not mean that’s when the added tax burden was created.
  2. Mitt Romney has raised taxes on as many people as Barack Obama has. Half of RomneyCare’s new spending was financed by the federal government through the Medicaid program, which is financed through federal taxes, which fall on taxpayers in all 50 states. That means that when Romney financed half of RomneyCare’s new spending by pulling down more federal Medicaid dollars, he increased taxes on residents of all 50 states.
  3. RomneyCare was born of, and expanded, a corrupt scheme by Massachusetts politicians to tax residents of all 50 states. What motivated Romney to enact RomneyCare, as former Romney/Obama adviser Jonathan Gruber explains here, was the widespread desire (within Massachusetts) to hang on to $385 million of federal Medicaid money that Massachusetts had secured using one of Medicaid’s notorious and fraudulent “provider tax” scams. In other words, the whole purpose of RomneyCare was to enable Massachusetts to hold on to $385 million that it received by defrauding and taxing residents of other states.

Wow. What a racket. And Mitt Romney, Republican establishment fave, defends this. Uh, if what we want is a continuation of this kind of corruption, the Democrats already have an app for that.

Now let’s get to the consultants, and for that, we go to one part of the transcript of Rush Limbaugh’s show today:

Romney Advisor Admits Romneycare was Blueprint for Obamacare

RUSH: … last night on PMSNBC’s Last Word hosted by Larry O’Donnell, an avowed socialist, he spoke with former Romney health care consultant and MIT professor of economics Jonathan Gruber about his having helped the regime craft health care reform. O’Donnell said, “Come on, come clean. You were in the room with Obama discussing health care reform and you did in fact work with the Romney administration in Massachusetts. Come on, Professor, you gotta tell us the truth here.”

GRUBER: The truth is that the Affordable Care Act is essentially based on what we accomplished in Massachusetts. It’s the same basic structure applied nationally. John McDonough, one of the other advisors who worked in both Massachusetts and advised the White House said it’s the Massachusetts bill with three more zeros, and that’s basically a good description of what the federal bill did.

RUSH: Well. Duh. John Gruber, Romney health care consultant: The truth is the Affordable Health Care Act is essentially based — that’s Obamacare — based on what we accomplished in Massachusetts. The same basic structure applied nationally. John McDonough, one of the other advisors, worked in both Massachusetts and advised the White House said it’s the Massachusetts bill with three more zeros and that’s basically a good description of what the federal bill did. So you got Romney’s own advisors out there undercutting him. Not through here. Larry O’Donnell: “So, obviously, the Massachusetts experience, with it was part of what moved him in the direction that — where he ended up?”

GRUBER: You know when I was advising both the Obama administration and Congress throughout 2009, the number of times I got asked, “How did you do it in Massachusetts? What made it work in Massachusetts?” the administration and the Congress were taking a big leap into unknown territory, and the fact that they had that example to lean on was so, I think, comforting to them in taking that step.

RUSH: Uh, the pile here just gets larger and larger. … Larry O’Donnell says, “Romney makes a very strong point about the Obama bill is full of taxes to pay for it, and the Romney bill did not have tax increases in it to pay for it.”

GRUBER: Yeah, that’s technically true, but intellectually not really straightforward. Basically in Massachusetts the financing for our bill came half from the federal government and half from an existing tax that former governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis had put in 1988 to finance care for the uninsured. So we didn’t have to raise tax in Massachusetts ’cause the money was already there. At the federal level we didn’t have that luxury.

RUSH: … So the regime didn’t have another government to come in and fund his health care bill like Romney had the federal government to come in and fund his, which means you and me, so we had to raise taxes for it.

Chris Christie said the other day that any comparison between Obamacare and Romneycare would be dishonest. And now here’s Romney’s advisor bragging about it.

I’ve just put this out there for you, folks. This issue is not gonna go away. I do not believe that it is going to go away.

Folks, besides his statement a couple of weeks ago that any GOP nominee would be better than Obama — “even Romney” — that last excerpted trio of sentences is probably as close as you’ll hear Rush get to saying: “Romney is toxic. For heaven’s sake, don’t let him get the nomination.”

Finally, let’s replay Cato’s video from 18 months ago pointing out, in essence, that, as noted above, “ObamaCare = RomneyCare with three more zeros”:

Logically (and Rush made this point too), if you think the incumbent can easily be beaten (being watchful for overconfidence), you get the guy or gal who has the most consistent, truest set of conservative principles who can govern effectively. That’s not Objectively Unfit Mitt.

Great Points Made in Jean Schmidt’s Latest Letter to Constituents

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:06 pm

Or in this case, I guess it’s “former constituent,” after Ohio’s ridiculous congressional redistricting exercise, which I believe is final.

Anyway, Ms. Schmidt does an excellent job of calling out President Obama’s hypocrisy in calling for all kinds of new infrastructure spending while overregulating the cement industry into possible oblivion (reproduced in full after the jump; bolds are mine):

Rising, Money-Raising Cain in Cincy

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:48 pm

B-B-B-B … But I thought he “has suspended his campaign” and is doing nothing but signing books for the rest of the month. (/sarc)

From Howard Wilkinson at the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Politics Extra blog:

… Both Cain and Romney are former corporate executives, but Cain said the difference between he and his rival from Massachusetts is simple.

“He’s more of a Wall Street guy,” Cain said. “I’m more of a Main Street guy.”

Cain said that as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, “I actually made some pizzas myself.”

The GOP presidential candidate – who was making his first visit to Cincinnati – said he is “catching on with Republican voters because of my enthusiasm and positive attitude.”

… The media, Cain said, was “trying to make this a two-man race” between Romney and former Texas governor Rick Perry.

“But people are not going to be told what to do by the media,” Cain said. “They make their own decisions. And I think I can win this.”

Cain lags far behind Romney in campaign fundraising, but said “message is more important than money.”

But today’s trip to Cincinnati was all about money – introducing himself to GOP campaign donors who routinely spend large sums of money in presidential contests.

‘Of course, I need to raise money,” Cain said. “And I hope to do that here.”

He should. He can beat Barack Obama. Mitt Romney can’t. More on that tonight.

WaPo Writers, Mostly Libs, in Lockstop With Romney’s ‘Command’ of GOP Race

Early this morning, I noted how two AP writers seemed to be hoping that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, in the process ignoring inconvenient facts like his failure to get over 25% in any poll covered at Real Clear Politics since mid-July while failing to even mention Herman Cain’s name until the report’s eleventh paragraph (a Rasmussen poll today breaks Romney’s three-month dry spell, showing him at 29%, tied with Herman Cain). Sadly, what the AP writes is important for readers to know, because the wire service’s copy is read and relayed without question by most of its thousands of subscribing outlets.

Not that learning about the following is anywhere near as important, but in case you’re wondering about the GOP presidential nominee preferences and perceptions among several of the pundits at the Washington Post, wonder no more:

Excerpts follow.

‘Romney Inevitable’ Updates

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:36 am

From PPP (HT Hot Air) and NBC/Wall Street Journal:

PPPprezPoll1011 NBCandWSJpoll1011

UPDATE, 11:30 A.M.:
- Headlined at Drudge (actual link) — “RASMUSSEN POLL: Cain 29% Romney 29% Gingrich 10%”
- American Research Group Florida Poll — Cain 34%, Romney 28%, Gingrich 11%, no one else above 5%

Initial Unemployment Claims: Still Above 400K After All These Months

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:49 am

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending October 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 404,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 405,000. The 4-week moving average was 408,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 415,000.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 398,836 in the week ending October 8, an increase of 66,442 from the previous week. There were 462,667 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

While the year-over-year dip in not seasonally adjusted claims is encouraging, very little else is:

  • If form holds, after it gets revised next week, this week will top last week. 29 of the past 31 subsequent-week adjustments have been 2,000 or more.
  • After spending most of February and March below 395,000, the single-week number has been 395,000 or more for 27 weeks in a row.
  • The four-week moving average has been over 400,000 for 25 weeks in a row:


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101311)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:42 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.


Zombie, at PJ Tatler: “Occupy L.A. Speaker: Violence will be Necessary to Achieve Our Goals”

As noted by Taranto at the Wall Street Journal, the nominee for stupidest debate question on Tuesday, via the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty: “… Do you think it’s right that no Wall Street executives have gone to jail for the damage they did to the economy?” What a realy good answer would have been, in my opinion: “That seems odd, but what don’t you ask the nation’s chief law enforcement officer Eric Holder and Obama Albatross that question? Or is he too letting those who practice race-based voter intimidation off the hook, and too preoccupied denying or defending his role in having thousands of guns disappear into Mexico, only to see them land in the hands of the drug cartels while 200 or so Mexicans and several Americans, including a Border Patrol agent, have died as a result? Oh, and have you reported on his being subpoenaed yet, Karen?”

They want this land to be their land — “under Barack Obama — whose administration has targeted 14 million acres in the American West, among other properties, as prime targets for Borg-like assimilation.” Uncle Sam already owns 30% of all U.S. land, while state and local governments own another 10%.

At the Washington Times (“Pelosi’s disclosure belated in husband’s land deal”) — “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s husband, a real estate developer and investment banker, stands to make millions of dollars in a previously undisclosed residential real estate project in California. … Despite his involvement in the project dating back to the late 1990s, Mrs. Pelosi first listed the investment in May 2010 on her federal financial-disclosure forms covering the couple’s finances during 2009.”

Ford’s tentative agreement with the UAW, which has vested interests in GM and Chrysler, may not get approved by the rank and file. $121K a year in wages and benefits apparently isn’t enough.

Michael Ledeen, at Pajamas Media: “Don’t Tell Me You Were Surprised at Iran’s Operation.” Here’s a historical parallel for consideration: Though he won’t dare admit it, Barack Obama, who as Ledeen notes “was so confident he could reach a good working relationship” with Iran, likely feels betrayed. Almost 32 years ago, Jimmy Carter felt the same way when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

Positivity: Abby Johnson — Celebrating Two Years Since I Quit Planned Parenthood

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Washington, in her own words:


Today is year two. The second year since I walked away from Planned Parenthood. The anniversary of my new life. I am a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and a new creation in Christ. These two years have been the best of my life. It hasn’t been without some heartache, but it has all been worth it.

I am filled with emotions today. I am happy because I never thought my life would turn out so beautiful. It is wonderful to follow God’s plan. I am blessed in a way that I don’t deserve. I have amazing friends…friends that I didn’t have just two years ago…friends that will be with me the rest of my life. My marriage is better than it has ever been.

I never realized how the evil of my job had crept into my life at home. Now we are free of that. I value my daughter more than I ever have. I never really saw motherhood as a gift; now I am able to see that it is the greatest gift we are given as women.

‘Romney inevitable?’ AP Sure Seems to Hope So

Based on a report filed earlier today and time-stamped 8:16 p.m. as of when this post was prepared, it would appear that the last thing Associated Press writers Charles Babington and Kasie Hunt want is a competitive Republican primary season, and that they’ll twist reality and the numbers to fit their meme. Oh, and in case you haven’t gotten the establishment press memo, Rick Perry is still Mitt Romney’s only real competitor.

Funny, I don’t remember the AP or anyone else in the establishment press calling Hillary Clinton’s nomination “inevitable” in October 2007, when, according to Real Clear Politics (RCP), Ms. Clinton was outpolling Barack Obama by an average of 24 points in 18 polls (and by probably more over John Edwards, though that info wasn’t available at RCP).