Trump to Talk

9 pm, Eastern, and all about Coronavirus, I gather.

We have a confirmed case here in Vegas of a lady who attended a conference…so, we’ve likely got a good dose of it here in town. OTOH, we locals rarely go to the Strip, so maybe it’ll just stay there.

The Official Word of the Super Smart Experts is that Trump is doomed in November…some of them are even asserting a landslide win for Biden. The key seems to be the belief that suburban moderates are going to flock to Biden out of disgust for Trump. Yes, that is exactly what they said about Hillary in 2020…but this time, they assure us, it’ll be true because everyone loves Biden. Which is what they also said about Hillary…

My view: Biden has a 1% chance of winning – only if 10,000 die from Coronavirus or unemployment is skyrocketing over the Summer does Biden get a real chance at it…and, even then, he’s Biden: a senile, old bully who lies all the time and can’t remember where he is. Nothing will make Trump’s defeat certain – he might lose, but only if the Democrats put up a first-rate campaign talking about issues the American people care about.

Hint: the American people don’t care about the Green New Deal; fracking bans; banning AR-15’s; having Drag Queen Story Time; health care for illegals; fighting Russia; kowtowing to China; re-imposing the Paris Climate Deal; re-imposing the Iran Deal…

Bernie is staying in, at least for now – he should: Biden could implode next week.

An Open Letter To Al Franken

I received an email from Senator Franken. Among his accomplishments touted was supposedly keeping college affordable for Minnesotans, accomplishing this by keeping student loan rates low, and trying to expand the issuance of Pell grants and other sources of financial aid. 

This was my response to the Senator:

Dear Senator Franken 

While I appreciate your wanting to keep the cost of education affordable for all Minnesotans, your solutions appear to be centered on only one side of the equation. 

While I applaud your efforts to keep interest on student loans low, and to expand the availability of Pell grants and other sources of financial aid, I must wonder what is being done on the other side of the equation– to keep college costs down? 

What is happening in colleges seems to be highly analogous with what is happening in health care. In health care, raises in prices are passed on to health insurance companies, who in turn merely charge higher premiums to their users. There is no competition nor pressure brought to bear on medically-related institutions to hold the line on costs, as they simply pass the costs, almost whimsically, back to the consumer. 

In the same manner, as colleges raise their tuition rates with impunity, government responds not by holding educational institutions accountable for their costs, but by increasing the levels of debt on the part of students and/or cost to the taxpayer in terms of financial aid subsidies. This necessarily keeps tax burdens on individuals and businesses elevated, and necessarily increases the already insurmountable mountain of debt incurred by students. 

What is the threshold under which government will put a ceiling on financial aid? 

If government places such a ceiling on the level of financial aid given to students, colleges will necessarily need to adjust tuition and other associated costs or face severely declining enrollment. 

In other words, competition and market-driven forces will bring pressure to keep the costs of college at affordable levels. 

And, incidentally and likewise, competition and market-driven forces will force health care providers to keep their costs at affordable levels (I present the lowering costs and higher quality and availability of laser eye surgery as a shining example of this concept). 

Senator Franken, at the beginning of this screed, I didn’t think about tying these concepts, health care and higher education, together. But now that I am typing this, I have come to the conclusion (and I hope that you can follow me) that what it comes down to is this: what is missing from Higher Education and what is missing in health care–including Obamacare–is the very thing that will alleviate issues in both of these problematic areas– the introduction of market forces to bring costs down to affordable levels. 

Sir, I have little hope that you will take this to heart, as no doubt your partisan blinders will prevent you from seeing the inherent similarities between these two out-of-control aspects of our society, and that these two sectors share a nearly identical solution (market-driven forces); but then again, one can certainly dream. 

Sincerely, 

Leo Pusateri

Newt Did NOT Agree With Mitt on Health Care

As far as misleading headlines go in this primary campaign season, this one from ABC News certainly ranks up there as one the most egregious:

Gingrich ’06 Memo: “Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney” on Health Care

Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard links to the actual memo, which reveals, quite clearly, that Newt did not “agree entirely” with Mitt on health care, and certainly did not “love” the Massachusetts health care plan, as was suggested in the story.

It’s unfortunate that the Drudge Report linked to the ABC News story, as if the headline and the claim were legitimate. The only question I have is this, who in the GOP field is ABC News trying to help? Ron Paul?

Obamacare and 2012

An interesting perspective from the Washington Examiner‘s Stephen Smith about Obamacare’s pending SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare.

It may sound counterintuitive, but here’s betting that President Obama wouldn’t be at all upset if the high court rules that his health plan is unconstitutional.

By urging an expedited review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the president knows that the politics cuts his way. If the court strikes down the plan, then Obama won’t have to defend it in the fall campaign, robbing the Republicans of one of their two lines of attack, the other being the moribund economy. He could rally his base by arguing that he had pushed through a great “progressive” reform only to be foiled by the conservative-leaning Supreme Court. People, like markets, hate uncertainty, and the presumed swing vote by Justice Kennedy could settle the issue.

If Obama wins the judicial appeal, it will still be a win for him along the lines of today’s conventional thinking. He will be able to argue that the Administration always knew Obamacare was constitutional, and the expedited review will muffle the issue in the general-election campaign.

Here’s my thoughts.

First of all, should Obamacare be ruled unconstitutional, as it most likely will be, that’s a pretty big defeat for Obama. When your signature achievement is declared unconstitutional by the highest court in the country, that’s hardly a rallying point for voters to support, especially the coveted moderate vote. It’s hard to find victory out of a defeat like that. And even if a defeat energized his base, it won’t energize moderates.

Second, the biggest issue of the election will be the economy. Obamacare may be an issue in 2012, but regardless of a SCOTUS ruling or lack of one, Obama will be judged primarily on his failure to fix economy… or more accurately his success in making it worse.

Your thoughts?