May 3, 2016
“He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing. ” —Benjamin Franklin (1758)
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
In Midst of Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis, Left Angles for Votes1
On Monday, the Puerto Rican government defaulted on a $422 million debt payment. Altogether, the U.S. territory is sitting in a $72 billion hole. In the past, retirees2 placed their hard-earned dollars in Puerto Rican bonds because they were tax-free. But last year, the island’s governor declared that creditors should “share the sacrifices” with the struggling government. The Republican Congress moved to head off the problem by trying to establish oversight to restructure the debt. Naturally, however, Democrats only see an opportunity to score political points before Election Day.
Young Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island, The Wall Street Journal writes3. If Democrats somehow get this demographic on the government dole — maybe if the island defaulted on the whole $72 billion — they could tip presidential elections in states like Florida, where many Puerto Ricans end up. Of course, it wasn’t too long ago that Democrats were toying with the idea of making Puerto Rico the 51st state.
House Speaker Paul Ryan faces opposition from the conservative Freedom Caucus because it considers proposed legislation a “bailout” for Puerto Rico. But the bill doesn’t have any federal funds flowing to the island, The Hill reports4. In the midst of the discord, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sees an opportunity to attack the GOP for dysfunctional leadership.
“The Speaker has an overriding, shall we say, principle, which is the committees shall do the work,” Pelosi said. “But at some point, there’s going to have to be a moment where there’s got to be a leadership decision — that this is as good as it gets and this is what we’re going to take to the floor. Hopefully, that will be very soon.” She wants to demonstrate what a Democrat-controlled House would look like ahead of the election. Meanwhile, she is one of the lawmakers primarily responsible for consistently and dramatically increasing the national debt. The big takeaway from this Puerto Rican debt fiasco is that debt actually is crushing — it’s not some sort of theoretical exercise to talk about the trillions of dollars the federal government owes. The time to pay the piper eventually comes.
Clinton Faux-Apologizes for Threatening Coal Jobs5
Hillary Clinton has a knack for lying to the faces of the people who have been hurt by her policies. She did it with the families of the men killed in Benghazi, and she lied to a man laid off because he worked in the coal industry, an industry the Left considers not only expendable but condemnable. On Monday, the former coal miner accosted Clinton at a West Virginia campaign stop, asking Clinton about her comments in March6 when she warned, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” The man wanted to know: How could she say something like that and then tell voters in places like West Virginia that she’s their friend?
“What I said was [taken] totally out of context from what I meant,” Clinton backpedaled. “It was a misstatement, because what I was saying is that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs.” But moments after she told the audience in March that coal jobs would be destroyed, she continued, “Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels.” So her threat was neither out of context nor a misstatement.
Clinton did apologize to the coal miner — for the way conservatives interpreted her comments. “I do feel a little bit sad and sorry that I gave folks the reason or the excuse to be so upset with me,” Clinton said, “because that is not what I intended at all.”
The day before this confrontation, Clinton told the attendees at an NAACP dinner in Detroit, “We cannot let Barack Obama’s legacy fall into Donald Trump’s hands. We can’t let all the hard work and progress we have achieved over the last seven and a half years be torn away.”
What is that legacy? In 2009, Obama promised the price of electricity “would necessarily skyrocket” thanks to his policies of pursuing “green” energy at the expense of fossil fuels. What followed next was the systematic destruction of the coal industry through regulation. Why do we want four more years of that? Why give Clinton the chance to make good on Obama’s promise to hamstring the energy sector of our nation?
Is Smart Gun Tech the Next Gun Control Ruse?7
Barack Obama recently took to social media to announce “some important progress we’ve made to protect our communities from gun violence,” including “jumpstart[ing] the development of smart gun technology.” The details were unveiled in a new 17-page “Report to the President Outlining a Strategy to Expedite Deployment of Gun Safety Technology8” by the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Defense. According to the report, “Over the next six months, the Administration will partner with state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies to establish the specific conditions under which they would consider purchasing firearms with advanced gun safety technology. This partnership will result in the drafting of voluntary ‘baseline specifications’ that will outline — for the first time — a clear description of what law enforcement expects from smart gun technology, particularly with regards to reliability, durability, and accuracy.”
Smart gun technology is, of course, a hotly debated topic. Intriguing though it is, because the technology is relatively new it raises concerns over foreseeable issues like software malfunctioning. John Sexton over at Hot Air speculates9 that Obama’s “goal is to use the buying power of law enforcement agencies to make the production of smart guns appealing to manufacturers.” He furthermore observes that “it’s not going to prevent street criminals from getting their hands on one of the millions of cheaper, regular guns already out there,” meaning “the impact this will have on violent crime would likely be minimal unless the government takes the next step and mandates the technology.” (And even then, making one more thing illegal isn’t suddenly going to stop crime.) Democrats scoff at such an assertion — that is until they “evolve” a few years down the road. Their contempt for the Second Amendment takes precedence over anything and everything, so it’s inevitable that one day they will use smart gun technology as a means of gun control in the name of “national security” and “public health.” And if Hillary Clinton enters the Oval Office in January 2017, you know she’ll pursue Obama’s anti-gun crusade.
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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
Joe Bastardi: A Real Bet for the Tough Guy in a Bow Tie12
Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore: Growth Anemia: Blame a Collapse in Business Investment13
Michael Barone: Republicans Should Have Adopted Democrats’ Rules — and Vice Versa14
For more, visit Right Opinion15.
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
Trouble Looming With ObamaCare16
By Paul Albaugh
If somehow you still like your health insurance plan, then get ready to dislike it this coming November. If you don’t like your health insurance plan, well, then be prepared to go from bad to worse. Regardless of what Barack Obama says over the coming months about his crowning “achievement” of ObamaCare, there’s trouble looming and it isn’t going to bode well for most Americans. Or Democrats come Election Day.
As we remember all too well, Obama and his party lied about “affordable health care” from the very beginning. More than six years ago, Obama said17, “This legislation will … lower costs for families and for businesses and for the federal government, reducing our deficit by over $1 trillion in the next two decades. It is paid for. It is fiscally responsible. And it will help lift a decades-long drag on our economy.” Yet every year ObamaCare has been in place, health insurance — in terms of cost and coverage — has gotten worse. And the deficit is only beginning.
Perhaps the statement that Obama made more than any other during his tenure — “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” — has proved to be one of the more epic lies in American history. Millions of Americans lost the plans they had before ObamaCare, and virtually no one is paying less as Obama also promised. After ObamaCare was signed into law, those plans changed or the cost went up and in most cases both happened simultaneously.
In fact, most health care plans now have higher premiums, higher deductibles and less coverage — including our own18. To be blunt, the health care options that most people can afford flat out stink. As with any government mandate, it is never about quality, it’s about quantity and control.
ObamaCare has been so bad that forecasts for people enrolling in the marketplace have been off target19 by millions of people every year since the government mandate for health insurance was implemented. And this coming year’s numbers will no doubt continue the downward spiral.
ObamaCare has not just been bad for Americans wanting or needing health insurance, it has also been bad for insurance companies who were or are part of the market exchange. Insurance companies have been losing millions of dollars since ObamaCare was put in place, though don’t cry for them — they lobbied for it, imagining a flood of new customers forced to buy their product. When it didn’t quite work out as they hoped, UnitedHealth recently announced20 that it was going to “distance itself from ObamaCare” and that it would be leaving several state exchanges by 2017.
This coming fall, Americans will undergo another round of sticker shock. That’s right, when ObamaCare’s next open enrollment period begins on November 1, customers will most likely be faced with double digit rate hikes on their health insurance plans. Again. We suspect that this won’t work out well for Democrats on November 8.
As Mark Alexander noted21 several years ago, “With increasing frequency, Americans of every political stripe who have any issue with health care, whether a hangnail or heart transplant, a delay in a doctor’s office or in critical care for a loved one, will tie blame for their discontent like a noose around the necks of Obama and his Democrats, who are solely responsible for forcing this abomination upon the American people.”
Democrats will claim that Republicans have no alternative to ObamaCare, though there are several GOP alternatives22, and conservative candidates running for office need to emphasize the concept of free markets for health insurance. Democrats in the same breath will push to save the government program by expanding it further. Indeed, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and a host of others will join in chorus to sell us another bag of lies in the name of saving ObamaCare from itself, perhaps by heading toward a single-payer system.
Sadly, many people will buy the lies. But there are real-life examples of the failure of single-payer systems. Take, for instance, the United Kingdom.
Six months ago, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ran a report on the National Health Service in the UK and announced23 that its health care system was one of the worst in the world.
In its report, the OECD highlighted that hospitals were underequipped and understaffed and that people were needlessly dying due to “chronic lack of investment.” Furthermore, the report mentioned that while access to care is “generally good” the quality of care in the UK is “poor to mediocre” across several key health areas. The NHS also struggles simply to get the “basics” right. Sounds eerily familiar to all of our government programs, does it not?
Yet a single-payer system is what many Democrats want for America. In fact, one might conclude they designed ObamaCare to fail for just that end. It’s another terrible idea that simply doesn’t work, but there’s something even more important at stake. Errant Supreme Court decisions notwithstanding, the federal government has no constitutional authority to force Americans to buy health insurance, and it definitely has no business establishing a single-payer system.
MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE
ANALYSIS: U.S. Economic Freedom Ain’t What It Used to Be24
U.S. Not Guilty of War Crimes in Afghanistan; Taliban Is25
Months Later and Congress Doesn’t Have a Budget26
CIA Head Hints at Truth About Islamic State27
American Soldier Killed by ISIL in Iraq28
Cruz Stumbles Toward the Finish Line With Trump Knockout Looming29
ESPN Erases Curt Schilling From Baseball History30
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report31
OPINION IN BRIEF
Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore: “For the entire 32-quarter economic recovery, business fixed investment has averaged just 1.1 percent at an annual rate. Since 1960, however, business fixed investment has averaged 4.4 percent at an annual rate. So the present expansion in business investment is roughly one-quarter of the 55-year average. … Study after study shows that corporate tax reform is a middle-class tax cut, not a tax cut for the rich. You see, corporations don’t really pay taxes. They simply collect them and pass the cost along in the form of lower wages and benefits, higher consumer prices and reduced shareholder value. The overarching theme of this election is an angry revolt by the middle class over the fact that jobs and wages have barely increased in the past decade. They blame Washington, China, immigration, power elites and almost everything else. So be it. There is a lot of work to be done on all these fronts. But without radical tax, regulatory and currency reform, business investment will never fully recover. And neither will the economy.”
Insight: “Of all contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money.” —Daniel Webster (1782-1852)
Upright: “People who want to redistribute wealth often misunderstand the nature and causes of wealth. Tangible wealth can be confiscated, but you cannot confiscate the knowledge which produced that wealth. Countries that confiscated the wealth of some groups and expelled them, destitute, have often seen the economy collapse, while the expelled people became prosperous again elsewhere.” —Thomas Sowell
A broken clock is right twice a day: “[T]he fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure groups and shield students from … ideas through safe spaces, code words and trigger warnings is in my view a terrible mistake. … [O]ne of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a so-called safe space because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views. We can’t and we shouldn’t try.” —Michael Bloomberg
Understatement of the millennium: “I think it was a legitimate criticism of CNN that it was a little too liberal.” —CNN president Jeff Zucker
Interesting question: “The question isn’t who [Trump or Clinton] has higher unfavorability, but which one is more capable of getting a vote from a person who is disgusted by both of them. … One is exciting, risky, and entertaining. The other is dreary, predictable, and medicinal.” —Ann Althouse
For the record: “This week in Indiana, Mike Tyson — a convicted rapist — endorsed Donald Trump. Donald Trump called him a ‘tough guy.’ That’s not how I would describe a rapist.” —Carly Fiornia
Late-night humor: “You could tell Bernie Sanders was a guest at the [The White House Correspondents’ Dinner] when they had to schedule it at 3 p.m. Bernie was like, ‘I’m going to start a revolution — at the dessert table!’” —Jimmy Fallon
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.