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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/02/2012

Morning Bits

Obamacare isn’t helping. “Obamacare did not alter the main reason health spending has tended to grow rapidly over the past four decades: flawed government policies. Indeed, Obamacare doubles down on federally subsidized third-party insurance arrangements, the engines for health care’s hyperinflation. In Medicare, Medicaid, and employer-sponsored plans, the government provides greater subsidies for high-cost care, which largely undermines the incentives for economizing.”

Failed states continue helping terrorists gain a foothold. Mauritania is the latest example. “The confluence of the revolts in North Africa and growing regional and Western trepidation about the proliferation of weapons, transnational trafficking of illicit goods, and terrorist activity led by AQIM [Al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb] are generating acute interest in the trans-Saharan region. . . . ‘Ungoverned, undergoverned, misgoverned and contested areas’ are breeding grounds for organized crime groups and terrorists, says the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy.”

Helping to drive a stake through Obamacare are more stats like this: “In total, the 71 Fortune 100 companies that responded to this inquiry could save an estimated $28.6 billion in 2014 alone by eliminating health insurance coverage for their more than 5.9 million U.S. employees (impacting more than 10.2 million employees and dependents covered by those plans) and instead paying the $2,000 per full-time employee fine created in the Democrats’ health care law. From 2014 through 2023, these employers could save an astounding $422.4 billion if they took this action.”

Obama’s not helping himself. “Obama would look like anything but a wimp if he had the good sense to let the bin Laden raid speak for [it]self. By bragging about it incessantly, he comes across as insecure, and weak.”

The economy sure isn’t helping Obama. “As a candidate in 2008, Obama blamed the reversals largely on the policies of Bush and other Republicans. He cited census figures showing that median income for working-age households — those headed by someone younger than 65 — had dropped more than $2,000 after inflation during the first seven years of Bush’s time in office. Yet real median household income in March was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and down $2,900 since the June 2009 start of the economic recovery, according to an analysis of census data by Sentier Research.” Solution: Fly to Afghanistan!

Blaming Israel for the woes on the West Bank isn’t helping Palestinians whose leadership has permitted no thaw in the Arab Spring. “[Y]ounger Palestinians (who are most likely the ones using these ‘social networks’ on the internet) are as frustrated as one might expect – but a good deal of the frustration is directed at their own leaders rather than only at Israel.. . . The longer-run implications are unclear, for neither the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah nor the Hamas leadership in Gaza seems inclined to conduct elections, nor does the PA wish to enter into serious negotiations with Israel. And if elections were finally held, new leadership might well be harder line and might make any eventual negotiations harder. The only conclusion one can draw for now is that Palestinians are indeed watching the outbreak of politics in other Arab lands and wondering why this wave has not yet reached them.”

Instead of a photo-op, Obama could be helping Afghanistan and U.S. national security by letting our troops complete their mission. A Pentagon report hints at the problem: “The report’s conclusions are unlikely to extinguish doubts about whether the Obama administration can establish a stable, secure Afghanistan as Western nations press ahead with plans to withdraw most combat soldiers by the end of 2014. The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the evolving state of the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other militants would be clearer this fall, after the summer fighting season. The Obama administration is due to pull the last of its 33,000 surge troops from Afghanistan by this fall, leaving around 68,000 U.S. soldiers there.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/02/2012

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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