Picking Winners and Losers by Executive Fiat

February 19, 2009

It is ironic to the point of absurdity that leftists could ever complain about conservatives threatening their liberties. Now back in power, they’re in a full sprint to grab power and reduce our liberties.

Of course, we always knew the left’s spurious charges against President Bush were not just rank partisanship but also classic projection — accusing him of precisely the type of tactics they would employ if they were in power. And now they are — big-time.

Let’s consider just a few examples.

Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, at the personal expense of incurring the fury of such liberal mouth foamers as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, has helped expose hidden health care provisions in President Obama’s stimulus nightmare that “will affect ‘every individual in the United States.'”

The bill creates a new bureaucracy, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which “will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective.” Note: not what your doctor deems appropriate, but what the federal government does. Doctors and hospitals will face penalties if they fail to kowtow to this fiat requiring uniformity. This new bureaucracy will receive greater funding than “the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined.”

Worse, the bill will result in the rationing of care for the elderly. But that’s OK because Big Brother has determined that individuals will benefit in their younger years and will have to sacrifice later. I’m not making this up. This is one of the rationales defenders of these innovations are serving up.

Much of the impetus for these health care changes came from disgraced former Sen. Tom Daschle, who would be head of Health and Human Services right now but for his little tax issue. McCaughey shares revealing gems from Daschle’s 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” Among them are his opinions that doctors must give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners” and that seniors will have to learn to deal with — rather than receive treatment for — conditions that arise from their age.

Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this particularly noxious stealth provision of the stimulus scheme is not what’s in it, but how it — and other such free market-destroying provisions — were rushed through under deliberate cover of darkness. McCaughey attributes this strategy to Daschle, as well.

A year ago, McCaughey tells us, Daschle warned that the next president should not make the same mistake the Clintons made with Hillary Care, which was to allow debate. Daschle wrote: “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it. The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

So much for “liberal” democracy. So much for transparency. So much for a new era of hope and change.

If Obama’s plot to micromanage health care from on high doesn’t move you, how about the abolition of welfare reform provisions imbedded in the bill? Never mind that welfare reform has been such a smashing success that even Bill Clinton tries to take credit for it despite his twice-frustrated efforts to block it. What’s important is not whether it has worked, but whether it satisfies Obama’s vision for expanding the welfare state.

But there’s one outrage that trumps these and others: Obama’s mind-blowingly socialistic proposal to donate $75 billion to delinquent mortgage debtors to reward their behavior and encourage more of the same type of decisions and practices that landed us in this mess in the first place.

But so what? All will be well because once again, Obama — not the infinitely superior wisdom of the market — will pick the financial winners and losers single-handedly.

This would be egregious enough if the federal government had at its disposal — or could create out of thin air — the astronomical number of dollars necessary to effectuate these abominable transfer payments. But the government is beyond broke.

This means that Obama has to get the money from the assets and income of Americans who have it or earn it and are blameless in having created this quagmire. This is outright larceny — nothing less. And larceny wrapped in a package of false compassion is nonetheless larceny — and monstrously immoral.

And you thought Obama only wanted to place a ceiling on the income of those evil corporate executives. Think again. He means to punish all achievers and redistribute this nation’s assets in a manner that he, in his glorious beneficence, deems more equitable.

Obama liberals, in their incalculable arrogance, believe they are smart enough to defy everything we know about human nature, economics and history by insisting on separating financial efforts from rewards and pretending this can bring prosperity.

Buckle up; they’re just getting warmed up.