October 21, 2009
Liberals never learn
Although liberals sometimes blurt out the truth in public, mostly they pretend their nostrums make sense. Three specific examples of how liberals refuse to face facts:
Michigan is an economic basket case. As noted in the Wall Street Journal, the Democratic governor pushed through a tax increase on business in 2007. This is standard liberal practice -- pretending that a tax on business has no effect on the taxpayer.
But all taxpayers are consumers and business can only pay taxes with revenue from its sales to consumers. Still, Michigan liberal politicians adhered to the standard formulation and referred to the new taxes as "investments." If they were investments, they were investments in Enron. Michigan is seeing record unemployment and record deficits. After pledging never to raise taxes again, the Michigan governor's solution to the problem she created is - you guessed it - more taxes.
We can see another example of the obtuse vision "progressives" employ in the stimulus legislation. Without it, unemployment would reach 9 percent, they warned. With it, unemployment would peak at 8 percent. It was passed and unemployment is now 10 percent.
Why? "It's George Bush's fault" is the best argument they can muster to explain their failure.
Not the fact that Japan tried the same tactic years ago and it was a dismal failure. There is no empirical evidence that matters when intellectual progressives make an argument. Nor is there ever an answer to common sense questions such as, "How do you spend your way to prosperity?"
Lastly, we have health care. Consider this from England, with thanks to National Review.
"Within the last few years, the U.K.'s notorious rationing board, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), urged hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices to follow an end-of-life protocol known as the Liverpool Care Pathway. The Pathway's guidelines instruct doctors to put patients thought to be near death into a drug-induced coma, after which all food and fluids, as well as medical treatments such as antibiotics, are withdrawn until death."
A typical horror story (which leading liberals such as Paul Krugman have assured us are all fabrications) goes like this: Jack Jones, 76,
"was hospitalized in the belief that his previous cancer had recurred and was now terminal. The family claimed he was soon denied food and water and put into deep sedation. But his autopsy showed that he did not have cancer at all, but actually had a treatable infection. The hospice denied wrongdoing but paid £18,000 to Jones's widow."
Liberals have no shame. They argue endlessly that what American medicine needs is more competition in health insurance. There are thousands of insurance companies competing and the only barrier to even more spirited competition is government restrictions that prohibit them from competing across state lines. One more "option," in the form of a government program that can and will lessen the number of private options, is going to increase competition? Could a third-grader believe that?
Even the example of Massachusetts, which has in place an Obama-style plan, deters liberals from pursuing one on a larger scale. In Taxachusetts, costs and premiums are rising and not all residents are insured, as such plans promise.
Even the fact that liberals now are modifying their rhetoric to implicitly acknowledge they have been lying about "46 million Americans without health insurance" is not helpful, because most of the compliant media is not taking note. To do so would reveal their own complicity. As with the Rush Limbaugh libel, they have been guilty of parroting government lies without doing the fact-checking they once prided themselves on.
When you are on an ideological jihad to reshape a nation, facts nor logic, nor past experience, can be allowed to intrude.
Lloyd Brown is a retired editorial page editor and occasional blogger.