From the HHS website, here’s the latest list of exemptions from Obamacare’s annual limits requirements. More paybacks to unions, of course, and the kind of information that won’t make the evening news.
Approved Applications for Waiver of the Annual Limits Requirements of the PHS Act Section 2711 as of December 3, 2010
*All Applicants Listed have had 1 or more plans/policies approved
|1||Advantage Benefits Company, LLC||11/12/2010||12/1/2010||57||11/12/2010||11/23/2010|
|2||Altisource Portfolio Solutions||10/21/2010||1/1/2011||200||11/15/2010||11/23/2010|
|3||American Heritage Life Insurance Company||10/15/2010||12/1/10-9/1/11||69,945||11/18/2010||11/23/2010|
|4||Americare Properties, Inc.||11/12/2010||1/1/2011||547||11/8/2010||11/23/2010|
|6||APWU Health Plan Conversion Plan||10/20/2010||1/1/2011||518||11/15/2010||11/23/2010|
|7||ATCO Rubber Products, Inc||10/21/2010||1/1/2011||185||11/12/2010||11/23/2010|
|8||Baylor County Hospital District||10/20/2010||10/20/2010||208||11/12/1010||11/23/2010|
|9||Bricklayers Local 1 of MD, VA and DC||11/6/2010||1/1/2011||1,985||11/17/2010||11/23/2010|
|10||Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Ogdensburg||10/28/2010||1/1/2011||30||11/17/2010||11/23/2010|
|11||First Acceptance Corporation||11/9/2010||7/1/2011||864||11/18/2010||11/23/2010|
|12||Fruhauf Uniform Direct Labor||10/18/2010||1/1/2011||159||11/12/2010||11/23/2010|
|13||Grower’s Transport LLC||10/26/2010||12/1/2010||25||11/15/2010||11/23/2010|
|14||Hoosier Stamping and Manufacturing Corp.||10/20/2010||1/1/2011||14||10/20/2010||11/23/2010|
|15||Ingomar Packing Company, LLC||11/10/2010||1/1/2011||150||11/19/2010||11/23/2010|
|16||International Brotherhood of Trade Unions Health and Welfare Fund – Local 713||10/28/2010||1/1/2011||861||11/15/2010||11/23/2010|
|17||Local 1102 Amalgamated Welfare Fund||10/29/2010||1/1/2011||1,384||10/29/2010||11/23/2010|
|18||Local 1102 Health & Benefit Fund||10/29/2010||1/1/2011||4,642||10/29/2010||11/23/2010|
|19||Local 1102 Welfare Fund– Lerner Employees||10/29/2010||1/1/2011||245||10/29/2010||11/23/2010|
|20||Local 338 Affiliated Benefit Funds||11/10/2010||1/1/2011||18,209||11/19/2010||11/23/2010|
|21||Mission Linen Supply||11/5/2010||1/1/2011||541||11/17/2010||11/23/2010|
|23||Operating Engineers Local 835 Health and Welfare Fund||10/20/2010||1/1/2011||576||11/16/2010||11/23/2010|
|24||Opportunity Resources, Inc. Health and Welfare Plan||11/2/2010||12/1/2010||27||11/2/2010||11/23/2010|
|26||Pearson Candy Company||10/27/2010||1/1/2011||204||11/12/2010||11/23/2010|
|27||Retail, Wholesale & Dept. Store Union Local 1034 Welfare Fund||10/20/2010||1/1/2011||483||11/16/2010||11/23/2010|
|28||Sensient Technologies Corp.||10/28/2010||1/1/2011||94||11/17/2010||11/23/2010|
|29||Service Employees International Union Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund||10/20/2010||1/1/2011||520||11/15/2010||11/23/2010|
|31||Southern CA Pipe Trades
|32||Sun Healthcare Group, Inc.||10/21/2010||1/1/2011||2,200||11/15/2010||11/23/2010|
|33||Teamsters Local 522 Welfare Fund Roofers Division||11/12/2010||1/1/2011||270||11/12/2010||11/23/2010|
|35||Texas Carpenters and Millwrights Health and Welfare Fund||10/28/2010||1/1/2011||4729||10/28/2010||11/23/2010|
|36||The Mentor Network||10/21/2010||1/1/2011||6,843||11/16/2010||11/23/2010|
|38||The Wilks Group, Inc. dba Ashley Furniture Homestore||11/12/2010||12/1/2010||8||11/8/2010||11/23/2010|
|40||United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 New Hampshire||10/27/2010||1/1/2011||148||11/9/2010||11/23/2010|
|41||Varsity Contractors, Inc.||11/8/2010||1/1/2011||198||11/8/2010||11/23/2010|
|44||Amalgamated National Health Fund||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||24,739||11/9/2010||11/15/2010|
|45||Cocopah Nurseries, Inc.||10/26/2010||1/1/2011||75||11/15/2010||11/15/2010|
|46||FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company on behalf of Longworth Industries||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||36||10/8/2010||11/15/2010|
|49||Independent Group Home Living Program, Inc.||10/26/2010||1/1/2011||39||11/9/2010||11/15/2010|
|50||Meijer Health Benefits Plan/Primary Care Option||10/25/2010||1/1/2011||7,436||10/25/2010||11/15/2010|
|51||Moore’s Retread & Tire of the Ark-La-Tex, Inc.||10/20/2010||11/1/2010||66||11/5/2010||11/15/2010|
|53||Plumbers and Pipefitters Local No. 630 Welfare Fund||10/18/2010||1/1/2011||1,166||11/8/2010||11/15/2010|
|56||United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1000||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||3,855||11/12/2010||11/15/2010|
|57||Western Growers Assurance Trust||9/30/2010||7/1/2011||18,858||11/8/2010||11/15/2010|
|58||1199SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||4,544||10/8/2010||11/5/2010|
|59||A. Duda & Sons, Inc.||10/14/2010||1/1/2011||62||11/4/2010||11/5/2010|
|60||Adecco Group, Inc.||10/12/2010||1/1/2011||5,760||11/2/2010||11/5/2010|
|63||Carington Health System||10/18/2010||1/1/2011||3,327||11/4/2010||11/5/2010|
|64||Cleveland Bakers Teamsters||9/27/2010||1/1/2011||1,000||10/29/2010||11/5/2010|
|65||Club Chef LLC||9/30/2010||1/1/2011||282||10/26/2010||11/5/2010|
|66||Columbia Sussex Mgmt, LLC||10/7/2010||1/1/2011||629||11/1/2010||11/5/2010|
|67||CRST International Inc.||10/19/2010||1/1/2011||1,600||11/4/2010||11/5/2010|
|68||Darr Equipment, Co.||10/5/2010||1/1/2011||105||10/26/2010||11/5/2010|
|69||DC Cement Masons Welfare Fund||10/22/2010||11/1/2010||225||11/3/2010||11/5/2010|
|70||Deaconess Long Term Care||10/14/2010||1/1/2011||194||11/3/2010||11/5/2010|
|71||Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||37||11/2/2010||11/5/2010|
|72||ECOM Atlantic, Inc.||10/1/2010||1/1/2011||81||10/1/2010||11/5/2010|
|73||FW Walton, Inc.||10/15/2010||12/1/2010||38||11/2/2010||11/5/2010|
|74||G4S Secure Solutions||10/11/2010||11/1/2010||7602||11/3/2010||11/5/2010|
|75||GC Services, L.P. & First Community Bancshares, Inc.||10/15/2010||1/1/2011||1936||10/15/2010||11/5/2010|
|77||Indiana Teamsters Health Benefits Fund||9/29/2010||1/1/2010||500||11/1/2010||11/5/2010|
|78||Knox County Association for Retarded Citizens||10/6/2010||1/1/2011||96||10/25/2010||11/5/2010|
|79||Laundry and Dry Cleaning Workers Local No. 52||10/6/2010||No contractual Policies in effect for medical benefits||1,547||10/21/2010||11/5/2010|
|80||Mars Super Markets, Inc.||10/8/2010||7/1/2011||174||10/29/2010||11/5/2010|
|81||MPS Group, Inc.||10/12/2010||1/1/2011||2,253||11/2/2010||11/5/2010|
|83||Noodles & Company||10/1/2010||1/1/2011||159||10/29/2010||11/5/2010|
|84||Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy||10/15/2010||1/1/2011||50||11/4/2010||11/5/2010|
|85||Quality Integrated Services, Inc.||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||354||11/3/2010||11/5/2010|
|86||RE Rabalais Constructors, LTD||10/13/2010||12/1/2010||70||11/1/2010||11/5/2010|
|88||Security Forces Inc.||10/12/2010||1/1/2010||225||11/1/2010||11/5/2010|
|90||Social Service Employees Union Local 371||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||34,000||10/29/2010||11/5/2010|
|91||Spindle, Cooling, & Warehouse||10/5/2010||11/1/2010||89||10/27/2010||11/5/2010|
|92||Strauss Discount Auto||10/14/2010||1/1/2011||401||11/4/2010||11/5/2010|
|94||Susser Holding Corp||10/6/2010||1/1/2011||4,245||10/6/2010||11/5/2010|
|95||Telescope Casual Furniture||9/27/2010||10/1/2010||32||11/1/2010||11/5/2010|
|96||Teletech Holdings, Inc.||10/15/2010||1/1/2011||1,083||11/4/2010||11/5/2010|
|97||The Brinkman Corporation||9/29/2010||1/1/2011||163||9/29/2010||11/5/2010|
|98||The LDF Companies||10/7/2010||1/1/2011||210||10/30/210||11/5/2010|
|99||United Food and Commercial Workers Union (Mount Laurel, NJ)||10/21/2010||11/1/2010||4100||10/25/2010||11/5/2010|
|100||United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1459||10/14/2010||1/1/2011||1,400||10/14/2010||11/5/2010|
|102||Valley Services, Inc.||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||927||10/29/2010||11/5/2010|
|103||United Food and Commercial Workers and Participating Employers Interstate Health and Welfare Fund||10/15/2010||5/1/2011||9,780||10/28/2010||11/4/2010|
|104||Protocol Marketing Group||10/4/2010||1/1/2011||454||10/25/2010||11/1/2010|
|107||Adventist Care Centers||10/1/2010||1/1/2011||725||10/26/2010||10/29/2010|
|108||B.E.S.T of NY||10/7/2010||1/1/2011||1,200||10/27/2010||10/29/2010|
|109||Boskovich Farms, Inc||10/8/2010||1/1/2011||165||10/28/2010||10/29/2010|
|110||Café Enterprises, Inc.||10/7/2010||2/1/2011||306||10/7/2010||10/29/2010|
|111||Capital District Physicians||9/22/2010||Varies||23,314||10/20/2010||10/29/2010|
|114||Hensley Industries, Inc.||10/5/2010||1/1/2011||357||10/28/2010||10/29/2010|
|115||Jeffords Steel and Engineering||10/4/2010||1/1/2011||112||10/28/2010||10/29/2010|
|116||Laborers’ International Union of North America Local Union No. 616 Health and Welfare Plan||10/19/2010||11/1/2010||188||10/19/2010||10/29/2010|
|118||Service Employees Benefit Fund||10/12/2010||11/1/2010||1,297||10/29/2010||10/29/2010|
|119||Sun Pacific Farming Coop||10/6/2010||12/1/2010||1,109||10/6/2010||10/29/2010|
|120||SunWorld International, LLC||10/5/2010||1/1/2011||686||10/25/2010||10/29/2010|
|121||UFCW Allied Trade Health & Welfare Trust||10/5/2010||1-Dec||68||10/25/2010||10/29/2010|
|122||United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1995||10/12/2010||11/1/2010||2,779||10/27/2010||10/29/2010|
|123||HCR Manor Care||10/5/2010||1/1/2011||2,666||10/26/2010||10/28/2010|
|125||Integra BMS for Culp, Inc.||10/4/2010||1/1/2011||34||10/25/2010||10/28/2010|
|126||New England Health Care||9/27/2010||1/1/2011||7,454||10/26/2010||10/28/2010|
|127||Wiliamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company||10/5/2010||1/1/2011||100||10/5/2010||10/28/2010|
|129||Alliance One Tobacco||9/30/2010||1/1/2011||138||10/21/2010||10/26/2010|
|130||Asbestos Workers Local 53 Welfare Fund||9/29/2010||1/1/2011||2||10/21/2010||10/26/2010|
|131||Assurant Health (2nd Application)||9/29/2010||1/1/2011||19,024||10/21/2010||10/26/2010|
|132||Captain Elliot’s Party Boats||10/12/2010||11/1/2010||10||10/25/2010||10/26/2010|
|134||CH Guenther & Son||9/24/2010||1/1/2011||300||10/21/2010||10/26/2010|
|135||CKM Industries dba Miller Environmental||10/5/2010||11/1/2010||34||10/25/2010||10/26/2010|
|139||Employees Security Fund||9/29/2010||1/1/2011||22||9/29/2010||10/26/2010|
|140||Florida Trowel Trades||9/27/2010||1/1/2011||297||10/21/2010||10/26/2010|
|143||O’Reilly Auto Parts||9/23/2010||1/1/2011||9,722||9/23/2010||10/26/2010|
|144||Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 123 Welfare Fund||9/30/2010||1/1/2011||534||10/21/2010||10/26/2010|
|146||UFCW Local 227||10/12/2010||11/1/2010||1,125||10/12/2010||10/26/2010|
|162||Universal Forest Products||9/23/2011||5/1/2010||1,738||10/19/2010||10/21/2010|
|163||UFCW Maximus Local 455||10/4/2010||1/1/2011||59||10/18/2010||10/18/2010|
|165||GuideStone Financial Resources||9/21/2010||1/1/2011||354||9/21/2010||10/14/2010|
|166||Local 25 SEIU||9/29/2010||10/1/2010||31,000||10/7/2010||10/14/2010|
|168||Preferred Care, Inc.||9/15/2010||1/1/2011||918||9/15/2010||10/14/2010|
|170||The Dixie Group, Inc.||8/27/2010||6/19/2010||269||10/12/2010||10/14/2010|
|171||UFCW Local 1262||9/20/2010||10/1/2010||5,390||9/20/2010||10/14/2010|
|172||Whelan Security Company||9/23/2010||1/1/2011||287||10/12/2010||10/14/2010|
|173||AMF Bowling Worldwide||9/14/2010||1/1/2011||295||10/7/2010||10/12/2010|
|174||Assisted Living Concepts||9/17/2010||1/1/2011||1,174||9/17/2010||10/12/2010|
|175||Case & Associates||9/17/2010||1/1/2011||87||9/17/2010||10/12/2010|
|177||Grace Living Centers||9/14/2010||10/1/2010||534||9/14/2010||10/12/2010|
|184||Groendyke Transport, Inc||9/2/2010||1/1/2011||1,322||9/2/2010||10/8/2010|
|185||Pocono Medical Center||9/24/2010||1/1/2011||3,298||9/24/2010||10/8/2010|
|187||The Pictsweet Co.||9/13/2010||1/1/2010||694||9/13/2010||10/8/2010|
|189||Local 802 Musicians Health Fund||9/29/2010||10/1/2010||1,801||9/29/2010||10/1/2010|
|190||Medical Card System||9/20/2010||10/1/2010||6,635||9/23/2010||10/1/2010|
|193||Greater Metropolitan Hotel||9/16/2010||10/1/2010||1,200||9/24/2010||9/30/2010|
|194||Local 17 Hospitality Benefit Fund||9/16/2010||10/1/2010||881||9/24/2010||9/30/2010|
|198||Health and Welfare Benefit System||9/16/2010||10/1/2010||41||9/16/2010||9/27/2010|
|201||Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc.||9/22/2010||10/1/2010||326||9/22/2010||9/27/2010|
|203||UFT Welfare Fund||9/16/2010||10/1/2010||351,000||9/27/2010||9/27/2010|
|210||Fowler Packing Co.||9/8/2010||10/1/2010||39||9/17/2010||9/24/2010|
|211||Guy C. Lee Mfg.||9/15/2010||10/1/2010||312||9/15/2010||9/24/2010|
|213||Jack in the Box||9/17/2010||10/1/2010||1,130||9/21/2010||9/24/2010|
|216||Metro Paving Fund||9/20/2010||10/1/2010||550||9/20/2010||9/24/2010|
Sometimes you come across something so good, there is nothing to do but print it in its entirety. So to that end, herein lies the true moral argument against unemployment compensation.
“When you demand I work for you because you exist
and in return I get to keep what you do not take,
I sense a wannabe master in my midst.”
According to the media, extended unemployment compensation may be coming to a permanent end.
The Republican political leadership does not want to extend compensation for unemployment short of
finding a way to do so without increasing the deficit. So the proposition of compensating
unemployment is not wrong, it is conditional. Democrats, on the other hand, teach that the
unemployed should be compensated because they need money, because their unemployment is no
fault of their own, and because compensating unemployment stimulates economic growth and creates
jobs. These politicians tell us these things so we believe them and reelect them. Neither perspective,
however, is principled or honest. Since we elect these people, they are considered our representatives.
So if they are unprincipled and dishonest, is it because we are unprincipled and dishonest or have we
just been deceived by them?
In all fairness, I should disclose a bias or two about this notion of indefinite compensation for
unemployment. I was raised in a household with a father who repeatedly stressed, “The man that does
not work ought not eat.” He became a Christian shortly after my birth. He started reading his Bible and
he happened upon this statement in 2 Thessalonians 3. He was persuaded by the truth of it and insisted
that my sisters and I work. Having made that admission, one does not need to read the Bible to figure
the relevance of personal contribution for coexistence. As the writer of the second letter to the
Thessalonians acknowledged, none should be a burden.
As voters, we have contrived a social system that allows everyone to be a burden; no one is responsible
for his own unless he wishes. His willingness for personal responsibility, however, does not exclude him
from the burden of those who cannot or will not assume responsibility for themselves and their own.
He simply manifests himself as one apt for freedom. He would be numbered among those who believe
that personal freedom is intrinsically linked to personal responsibility. There is no God-given right to
disassociate personal choices from personal consequences. There is no God-ordained public
responsibility for private choices. No one deserves anything because they need it. One can only deserve
what he earns. Need does not give money value nor is the value of money in the paper. The only
reason money has value is because of those who produce products and provide services; without them,
there would not be anything to buy. To the extent that one believes money is necessary and should be
had, one must either earn it, be gifted it, steal it, win it, or find it. For the money to be gifted, stolen,
won, or found, it must first be earned by someone. Hence, one is greater. Without the one, the others
To use government to compensate unemployment, we must first violate those who earn their keep. We
must hold our interests, our significance, our life, our freedom in higher esteem than theirs, not because
we have added more value, but because we exist. We appeal to liberty to help ourselves to the fruit of
their labor and consider it justice because they earned it and we voted for it. Such delusions of grandeur
are not only degenerate, they, along with a host of other fantasies, are unconstitutional. This may go
unacknowledged by today’s Republican leadership, but it is a predominant offense to me. My ancestors
left enough stories of slavery for me to know it when I hear it proposed. When you demand I work for
you because you exist and in return I get to keep what you do not take, I sense a wannabe master in my
Again, I am not certain whether society has regressed to such foolishness because politicians told us that
our need, misfortune, and failure warranted compensation or whether they went about teaching that
because we required it of them. Nevertheless, I am certain that the only value associated with need is
motivation; specifically, it is motivation to change and adapt to acquire more control of one’s life.
Among those who believe in liberty and justice for all, our personal lives are the only ones we should be
living to control so that we do ourselves well instead of perpetuating our own demise.
There was a time in America when the man that did not work did not eat. He sought work to stay alive
and he usually found it. Today, that is not so because his freedom to negotiate with employers has been
impeded on several fronts, two of which are unionism and minimum wages. Michigan’s forced unionism
law prevents the unemployed from offering his services for less than the unions demand. The nation’s
minimum wage law restricts him from offering to work for less than $7.25 per hour. I do not figure it
matters much to the many dishonest and covetous among us, but to those who wish to live an
honorable life these impediments are most troublesome. It was not until last year that the President
and his Congress of merry men made it illegal to pay a person less than $7.25 per hour. So if a risk
analysis of a prospective employee does not warrant such expense, that person will remain
unemployed. Accordingly, more of us will remain unemployed. Democrats, like President Obama, Harry
Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Stabenow, Carl Levin, John Conyers, and Gary Peters understand this and
they expect for the unemployed to vote for them. Under the auspice of doing good, i.e. raising the
minimum wage, they have removed the option of self-preservation for an honorable, contributory life
and permanently unemployed a larger segment of the population.
While I am convinced that increasing minimum wage is a death sentence to many unemployed who do
not have money saved or a supportive social network, Democrats insist that the unemployed should be
compensated because they do not have jobs. This is not because of some intrinsic value or becoming
attribute of unemployment, it is so they can keep their political job and compensate us for our vote.
That process is commonly referred to as a kickback. And yes, it is unconstitutional for elected
representatives, including President Obama and a host of other presidents of times past, to support
such perks upon vowing to uphold the U.S. Constitution. This may or may not matter to you. I suppose
it depends on whether you believe we should simply be compensated for our existence, whether you
believe one’s disadvantage entitles him to another’s fortune, or whether you believe in liberty and
justice for all, as most of us Americans pledge.
We all know there is no public value gained by a person’s unemployment, yet we, the public, choose to
compensate it. Politicians tell us that our unemployment is no fault of our own. Who actually believes
that? How is it that our unemployment is no fault of our own? We chose our employer as our employer
chose us. We chose to remain with that employer until we were laid off. We chose the skill-sets and
the attitude that got us employed. If little got us employed, there was little to keep us employed. Why
are some still employed, while we are not? Could it be that they made different choices? Who voted
for the politicians that raised minimum wage and strengthened unions so that manufacturers flee the
country? If I believed politicians, I would have never become who I am. Am I the only one that fears
judgment by God? My unemployment does not give me a right to another’s income. My desire for a job
does not give me a right to a job. This is reality; it humbles me. Who, under God, considers himself
exempt from the simple commands against covetousness and theft? There can be no peace among a
people who believe they have an unearned right to the person or property of another.
If making false claims of value and innocence for unemployment fell short, politicians also claim using
government to compensate unemployment stimulates economic growth and creates jobs. One could
address this as one would claims of public good associated with minimum wages. If raising minimum
wage is such a public good, why not raise it to $10, $20, or $30 per hour? Doing so, as noted above,
would increase our unemployable population. We all may think we are worth more, but our challenge is
to identify someone who is willing to pay us what we think we are worth. In this same sense, if
compensating unemployment stimulates economic growth and creates jobs, why combat it? Why don’t
we increase the compensation for unemployment? Some of us could sit back and get paid for existing
while the others work to finance our leisure. Of course, increasing unemployment compensation would
only motivate more people to seek payment for unemployment in the same sense that compensating
poverty increases the population of people wishing to be compensated for poverty. Despite political
claims, neither increasing nor extending unemployment compensation perpetuates economic growth or
creates jobs. That is a ridiculous, bold-faced lie. It may be the lie that we demand of our politicians, but
it is a lie. Economic growth is stimulated only by productivity, not sloth.
As Americans, we have ventured so far from the founding principles of America that our Constitution
borders upon irrelevance. We do not know it and we possess little or no understanding of what we
should be as a nation. While America was founded to be different from all other countries, we now
aspire to be as the others. To whom should they appeal for hope?
Since we all can vote, we are both citizens and leaders. As leaders we have made a lot of bad choices
making for more bad citizens. If it is possible to deserve the unearned, if one has an unearned right to
another’s person or property, why is theft, murder, and rape criminalized? If your success entitles me to
your income, if my desire requires your sacrifice, what has become of your God-given right to life,
liberty, and pursuit of happiness? Does just any law make right or are there underlying principles to
which we, as Americans, are subject in forming our legislation? The idea of public compensation for
unemployment may sound good, just like a minimum wage and compensation for poverty sounds good,
but the social and public consequences of the policies are worsening. They will continue to worsen until
we change our ways and our expectations. You, I, we only deserve what we have earned and we do not
deserve until we have earned. Regardless of our personal income or a politician’s claim, we, through
our federal government, do not have a right to tell others how to use their earnings. Until we accept
and embrace the truth, I am convinced that America can forget the blessings of God regardless of its
prayers, its origin, or its currency. Personal freedom devoid of personal responsibility ensures our
(Marc Goodson, December 6, 2010)
Liberalism was recently found to have a strong genetic component. One definition used was a propensity towards having an “openness” of mind. The problem as demonstrated in real life, however, is being so open-minded your brains fall out.
In response to Senator Jim DeMint’s well-thought-out piece on the START treaty at the NRO:
“Why ask the State Department for the negotiation records? Can’t you just get them from Julian Assange?”
In the oh-so-politically-correct world of self-perceived elites, the incessant background humming that President Pantywaist suffers from narcissistic personality disorder must somewhow be squelched.
How better than to simply declare it is no longer considered a psychiatric disorder and to pull it from the manual?
Now if you call Obama’s obsession with his own little bubble-world “narcissistic”, you can be called incorrect at best or stupid at worst by those who earn their keep by labeling others.
But redefining the psychiatric reference manual still can’t undo the truth. President Walking Eagle has earned his nickname. And narcissism by any other name is still as annoying. Not to mention dangerous.
The following is adapted from a speech delivered on the Hillsdale College campus on September 20, 2010.
The presidency is the most visible thread that runs through the tapestry of the American government. More often than not, for good or for ill, it sets the tone for the other branches and spurs the expectations of the people. Its powers are vast and consequential, its requirements impossible for mortals to fulfill without humility and insistent attention to its purpose as set forth in the Constitution of the United States.
Isn’t it amazing, given the great and momentous nature of the office, that those who seek it seldom pause to consider what they are seeking? Rather, unconstrained by principle or reflection, there is a mad rush toward something that, once its powers are seized, the new president can wield as an instrument with which to transform the nation and the people according to his highest aspirations.
But, other than in a crisis of the house divided, the presidency is neither fit nor intended to be such an instrument. When it is made that, the country sustains a wound, and cries out justly and indignantly. And what the nation says is the theme of this address. What it says—informed by its long history, impelled by the laws of nature and nature’s God—is that we as a people are not to be ruled and not to be commanded. It says that the president should never forget this; that he has not risen above us, but is merely one of us, chosen by ballot, dismissed after his term, tasked not to transform and work his will upon us, but to bear the weight of decision and to carry out faithfully the design laid down in the Constitution in accordance with the Declaration of Independence.
* * *
The presidency must adhere to its definition as expressed in the Constitution, and to conduct defined over time and by tradition. While the powers of the office have enlarged, along with those of the legislature and the judiciary, the framework of the government was intended to restrict abuses common to classical empires and to the regal states of the 18th century.
Without proper adherence to the role contemplated in the Constitution for the presidency, the checks and balances in the constitutional plan become weakened. This has been most obvious in recent years when the three branches of government have been subject to the tutelage of a single party. Under either party, presidents have often forgotten that they are intended to restrain the Congress at times, and that the Congress is independent of their desires. And thus fused in unholy unity, the political class has raged forward in a drunken expansion of powers and prerogatives, mistakenly assuming that to exercise power is by default to do good.
Even the simplest among us knows that this is not so. Power is an instrument of fatal consequence. It is confined no more readily than quicksilver, and escapes good intentions as easily as air flows through mesh. Therefore, those who are entrusted with it must educate themselves in self-restraint. A republic is about limitation, and for good reason, because we are mortal and our actions are imperfect.
The tragedy of presidential decision is that even with the best choice, some, perhaps many, will be left behind, and some, perhaps many, may die. Because of this, a true statesman lives continuously with what Churchill called “stress of soul.” He may give to Paul, but only because he robs Peter. And that is why you must always be wary of a president who seems to float upon his own greatness. For all greatness is tempered by mortality, every soul is equal, and distinctions among men cannot be owned; they are on loan from God, who takes them back and evens accounts at the end.
It is a tragedy indeed that new generations taking office attribute failures in governance to insufficient power, and seek more of it. In the judiciary, this has seldom been better expressed than by Justice Thurgood Marshall, who said: “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.” In the Congress, it presents itself in massive legislation, acts and codes thousands of pages long and so monstrously over-complicated that no human being can read through them—much less understand them, much less apply them justly to a people that increasingly feel like they are no longer being asked, but rather told. Our nation finds itself in the position of a dog whose duty it is not to ask why—because the “why” is too elevated for his nature—but simply to obey.
America is not a dog, and does not require a “because-I-said-so” jurisprudence; or legislators who knit laws of such insulting complexity that they are heavier than chains; or a president who acts like, speaks like, and is received as a king.
The president is not our teacher, our tutor, our guide or ruler. He does not command us; we command him. We serve neither him nor his vision. It is not his job or his prerogative to redefine custom, law, and beliefs; to appropriate industries; to seize the country, as it were, by the shoulders or by the throat so as to impose by force of theatrical charisma his justice upon 300 million others. It is neither his job nor his prerogative to shift the power of decision away from them, and to him and the acolytes of his choosing.
Is my characterization of unprecedented presumption incorrect? Listen to the words of the leader of President Obama’s transition team and perhaps his next chief-of-staff: “It’s important that President-Elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.” Or, more recently, the latest presidential appointment to avoid confirmation by the Senate—the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—who wrote last Friday: “President Obama understands the importance of leveling the playing field again.”
“Take power. . .rule. . .leveling.” Though it is the model now, this has never been and should never again be the model of the presidency or the character of the American president. No one can say this too strongly, and no one can say it enough until it is remedied. We are not subjects; we are citizens. We fought a war so that we do not have to treat even kings like kings, and—if I may remind you—we won that war. Since then, the principle of royalty has, in this country, been inoperative. Who is better suited or more required to exemplify this conviction, in word and deed, than the President of the United States?
* * *
The powers of the presidency are extraordinary and necessarily great, and great presidents treat them sparingly. For example, it is not the president’s job to manipulate the nation’s youth for the sake of his agenda or his party. They are a potent political force when massed by the social network to which they are permanently attached. But if the president has their true interests at heart he will neither flatter them nor let them adore him, for in flattery is condescension and in adoration is direction, and youth is neither seasoned nor tested enough to direct a nation. Nor should it be the president’s business to presume to direct them. It is difficult enough to do right by one’s own children. No one can be the father of a whole continent’s youth.
Is the president, therefore, expected to turn away from this and other easy advantage? Yes. Like Harry Truman, who went to bed before the result on election night, he must know when to withdraw, to hold back, and to forgo attention, publicity, or advantage.
There is no finer, more moving, or more profound understanding of the nature of the presidency and the command of humility placed upon it than that expressed by President Coolidge. He, like Lincoln, lost a child while he was president, a son of sixteen. “The day I became president,” Coolidge wrote, “he had just started to work in a tobacco field. When one of his fellow laborers said to him, ‘If my father was president I would not work in a tobacco field,’ Calvin replied, ‘If my father were your father you would.’” His admiration for the boy was obvious.
Young Calvin contracted blood poisoning from an incident on the South Lawn of the White House. Coolidge wrote, “What might have happened to him under other circumstances we do not know, but if I had not been president. . . .” And then he continued,
In his suffering he was asking me to make him well. I could not. When he went, the power and glory of the Presidency went with him.
A sensibility such as this, and not power, is the source of presidential dignity, and must be restored. It depends entirely upon character, self-discipline, and an understanding of the fundamental principles that underlie not only the republic, but life itself. It communicates that the president feels the gravity of his office and is willing to sacrifice himself; that his eye is not upon his own prospects but on the storm of history, through which he must navigate with the specific powers accorded to him and the limitations placed on those powers both by man and by God.
The modern presidency has drifted far from the great strength and illumination of its source: the Constitution as given life by the Declaration of Independence, the greatest political document ever written. The Constitution—terse, sober, and specific—does not, except by implication, address the president’s demeanor. But this we can read in the best qualities of the founding generation, which we would do well to imitate. In the Capitol Rotunda are heroic paintings of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the victory at Saratoga, the victory at Yorktown, and—something seldom seen in history—a general, the leader of an armed rebellion, resigning his commission and surrendering his army to a new democracy. Upon hearing from Benjamin West that George Washington, having won the war and been urged by some to use the army to make himself king, would instead return to his farm, King George III said: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.” He did, and he was.
To aspire to such virtue and self-restraint would in a sense be difficult, but in another sense it should be easy—difficult because it would be demanding and ideal, and easy because it is the right thing to do and the rewards are immediately self-evident.
A president who slights the Constitution is like a rider who hates his horse: he will be thrown, and the nation along with him. The president solemnly swears to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. He does not solemnly swear to ignore, overlook, supplement, or reinterpret it. Other than in a crisis of existence, such as the Civil War, amendment should be the sole means of circumventing the Constitution. For if a president joins the powers of his office to his own willful interpretation, he steps away from a government of laws and toward a government of men.
Is the Constitution a fluctuating and inconstant document, a collection of suggestions whose purpose is to stimulate debate in a future to which the Founders were necessarily blind? Progressives tell us that even the Framers themselves could not reach agreement in its regard. But they did agree upon it. And they wrote it down. And they signed it. And they lived by it. Its words are unchanging and unchangeable except, again, by amendment. There is no allowance for a president to override it according to his supposed superior conception. Why is this good? It is good because the sun will burn out, the Ohio River will flow backwards, and the cow will jump over the moon 10,000 times before any modern president’s conception is superior to that of the Founders of this nation.
Would it be such a great surprise that a good part of the political strife of our times is because one president after another, rather than keeping faith with it, argues with the document he is supposed to live by? This discontent will only be calmed by returning the presidency to the nation’s first principles. The Constitution and the Declaration should be on a president’s mind all the time, as the prism through which the light of all question of governance passes. Though we have—sometimes gradually, sometimes radically—moved away from this, we can move back to it. And who better than the president to restore this wholesome devotion to limited government?
* * *
And as the president returns to the consistent application of the principles in the Constitution, he will also ensure fiscal responsibility and prosperity. Who is better suited, with his executive and veto powers, to carry over the duty of self-restraint and discipline to the idea of fiscal solvency? When the president restrains government spending, leaving room for the American people to enjoy the fruits of their labor, growth is inevitable. As Senator Robert Taft wrote: “Liberty has been the key to our progress in the past and is the key to our progress in the future.… If we can preserve liberty in all its essentials, there is no limit to the future of the American people.”
Whereas the president must be cautious, dutiful, and deferential at home, his character must change abroad. Were he to ask for a primer on how to act in relation to other states, which no holder of the office has needed to this point, and were that primer to be written by the American people, whether of 1776 or 2010, you can be confident that it would contain the following instructions:
You do not bow to kings. Outside our shores, the President of the United States of America bows to no man. When in foreign lands, you do not criticize your own country. You do not argue the case against the United States, but the case for it. You do not apologize to the enemies of the United States. Should you be confused, a country, people, or region that harbors, shelters, supports, encourages, or cheers attacks upon our country or the slaughter of our friends and families are enemies of the United States. And, to repeat, you do not apologize to them.
Closely related to this, and perhaps the least ambiguous of the president’s complex responsibilities, is his duty as commander-in-chief of the military. In this regard there is a very simple rule, unknown to some presidents regardless of party: If, after careful determination, intense stress of soul, and the deepest prayer, you go to war, then, having gone to war, you go to war to win. You do not cast away American lives, or those of the innocent noncombatant enemy, upon a theory, a gambit, or a notion. And if the politics of your own election or of your party intrude upon your decisions for even an instant—there are no words for this.
More commonplace, but hardly less important, are other expectations of the president in this regard. He must not stint on the equipment and provisioning of the armed forces, and if he errs it must be not on the side of scarcity but of surplus. And he must be the guardian of his troops, taking every step to avoid the loss of even a single life.
The American soldier is as precious as the closest of your kin—because he is your kin, and for his sake the president must, in effect, say to the Congress and to the people: “I am the Commander-in-Chief. It is my sacred duty to defend the United States, and to give our soldiers what they need to complete the mission and come home safe, whatever the cost.”
If, in fulfilling this duty, the president wavers, he will have betrayed his office, for this is not a policy, it is probity. It is written on the blood-soaked ground of Saratoga, Yorktown, Antietam, Cold Harbor, the Marne, Guadalcanal, the Pointe du Hoc, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a thousand other places in our history, in lessons repeated over and over again.
* * *
The presidency, a great and complex subject upon which I have only touched, has become symbolic of overreaching. There are many truths that we have been frightened to tell or face. If we run from them, they will catch us with our backs turned and pull us down. Better that we should not flee but rather stop and look them in the eye.
What might our forebears say to us, knowing what they knew, and having done what they did? I have no doubt that they would tell us to channel our passions, speak the truth and do what is right, slowly and with resolution; to work calmly, steadily and without animus or fear; to be like a rock in the tide, let the water tumble about us, and be firm and unashamed in our love of country.
I see us like those in Philadelphia in 1776. Danger all around, but a fresh chapter, ready to begin, uncorrupted, with great possibilities and—inexplicably, perhaps miraculously—the way is clearing ahead. I have never doubted that Providence can appear in history like the sun emerging from behind the clouds, if only as a reward for adherence to first principles. As Winston Churchill said in a speech to Congress on December 26, 1941: “He must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below, of which we have the honor to be the faithful servants.”
?As Americans, we inherit what Lincoln in his First Inaugural called “the mystic chords of memory stretching from every patriot grave.” They bind us to the great and the humble, the known and the unknown of Americans past—and if I hear them clearly, what they say is that although we may have strayed, we have not strayed too far to return, for we are their descendants. We can still astound the world with justice, reason and strength. I know this is true, but even if it was not we could not in decency stand down, if only for our debt to history. We owe a debt to those who came before, who did great things, and suffered more than we suffer, and gave more than we give, and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for us, whom they did not know. For we “drink from wells we did not dig” and are “warmed by fires we did not build,” and so we must be faithful in our time as they were in theirs.
Many great generations are gone, but by the character and memory of their existence they forbid us to despair of the republic. I see them crossing the prairies in the sun and wind. I see their faces looking out from steel mills and coal mines, and immigrant ships crawling into the harbors at dawn. I see them at war, at work and at peace. I see them, long departed, looking into the camera, with hopeful and sad eyes. And I see them embracing their children, who became us. They are our family and our blood, and we cannot desert them. In spirit, all of them come down to all of us, in a connection that, out of love, we cannot betray.
They are silent now and forever, but from the eternal silence of every patriot grave there is yet an echo that says, “It is not too late; keep faith with us, keep faith with God, and do not, do not ever despair of the republic.”
U.S. Representative, Indiana’s 6th Congressional District
“Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.”
Uber-wealthy Warren Buffet is going public with his admonition that the “rich” should pay more in taxes.
“If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further,” Buffett said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week With Christiane Amanpour” that is scheduled to air on Nov. 28. “But I think that people at the high end — people like myself — should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.”
This is music to a progressive liberal’s ears.
But despite the seeming altruism of this kind of statement, it’s ain’t gonna happen any time soon. Why? Because Warren Buffet and every other mega-wealthy American knows something the rest of us don’t.
The second richest man in America (third richest in the world) and others in that rarified sanctum reserved for the mega-rich tie up their money in non-taxable trust funds. In fact, 90% of Buffet’s money is in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Asset Trust. The rest of the money Buffet lives on comes from capital gains and is therefore taxed at the capital gains tax rate. Translation for those of us who are more financially feeble-minded: Buffet’s income is NOT taxed as regular (“earned”) income.
So why not just raise the tax rate on capital gains? It’s a good and logical question but no one in their right mind is going to jack the tax rate on capital gains too high because doing this would hit the middle-income folks who are dependent on the income from their IRAs and 401ks.
So in what is perhaps the most hilarious of hypocrisies, even if “income” tax was raised to to 90%, Mr. Noble Buffet would still only pay capital gains tax, not “earned income” tax.
Huge difference, dear readers. And the little lefty drones don’t have a clue.
While I sit in awe at the super-sized egomaniacal ignorance being displayed by Democrats, His Transparency in particular, trying desperately to justify their kamikaze crash-and-burn midterm election failures by actually saying out loud that Americans simply weren’t “pursuaded” enough by misunderstood “arguments” for the thinly-disguised slavery this administration and Democrat-majority Congress forced onto them, my other half is fascinated with the post-election spinning that because Angle lost in Nevada and O’Donnell lost in Delaware and Miller may have lost in Alaska the Tea Party is some sort of “failure”.
My reply is that this is little more than the smoke & mirrors of RINO guilt attempting to distract anyone with even one brain cell firing on 1/2 a cylinder that the reason Angle and O’Donnell and Miller lost is because the GOP refused to acknowledge that we, the people, had made our choice of GOP candidates and therefore refused to provide them with any real support. A guilty distraction that is, of course, glommed onto with great glee by the smacked-down Democrats to salve their soundly-whipped little egos.
Rush had it right on his radio show yesterday. Just where was the RNC while these so- called “Tea Party” candidates gave career politicians a real run for their money? Did, for examply, Democrat-lite RINO Lindsay Graham lift a finger to help what the people had said were now effectively his party? Nope. Nothing but the sound of crickets. Because of the GOP’s failure to honor the will of the people, they must now attempt to marginalize and criticize so as to not lose their precious lobbyist support (read: get rich off your tax dollars) and self-perceived importance in the old boy’s club; even threatening Senator Jim DeMint with a “co-opting” of his conservative freshmen.
Obama and Pelosi and Reid apparently demoralized the Democrat base so much that many of them didn’t even bother to vote. (Though based on CNN’s exit polls that show Democrat voters think Congress’ highest priority should be on even more spending instead of reducing the deficit and cutting taxes it’s perhaps a good thing they found other things to do.) But on the flip side, Graham and his ilk are the reason many voted for the GOP while holding their noses. Snake-oil salesmen soil seats on both sides of the aisle in Washington but I have two words for them: