By Tom Graham - Part 2 (Editor: Graham continues his brief, begun here, for specific policy evidence of President Barack Obama's socialist ideals and intentions.) Another one-two level economic mainstay, the construction industry, especially housing, is also an Obama target. Control of housing is cleverly approached from different angles. The issue of increasing traffic congestion makes public transit projects popular. However, the moving of people without autos is only an incidental byproduct of “transit oriented development.” This features aggressive campaigning by advocates of very high-density, heavily-subsidized housing. Although this was around before the emergence of Obama, it was announced during the Democratic Convention that the attack would now be aggressively pursued. Various groups connected to the “Progressive” movement see this as a step in control and Socializing of housing.
Good to their word, the Obama administration announced in mid-January that priorities for transit project funding would be based on the level of development opportunity created. The criteria of reducing travel time would be rescinded. Can everyone out there spell “Socialized housing?”
Many real estate brokers will recall implement-ation of the Community Reinvestment Act, whereby they were urged, sometimes threatened, to direct minority buyers away from “ghetto” enclaves, ostensibly for the goal of integration. Radical activist Saul Alinsky campaigned for implementation of the Act with the hope that it would lead to the crippling of banks, overloading of welfare rolls, and disruption of local governments. This strategy was taught to ACORN volunteers by Obama. The policy required brokers to abandon the universal practice of qualifying buyers by verifying enough income to afford the expense of home ownership. Brokers were instructed to direct buyers to certain lenders who package risky “sub-prime” loans into incorporated instruments with phony high ratings. Brokers and bankers had lived through the sub-prime underwater loan fiasco of the 80s, and the incredible incompetence of Resolution Trust, which was organized to dispose of the millions of HUD-foreclosed properties.
Astute brokers and investors predicted that resurrection of sub-prime lending would flood the market with homes having more debt than value. Few realized it would total trillions and cause the current national financial disaster. This contrived “crisis opportunity” paves the way for Socialist takeover. People without adequate income, encouraged by liberal policies to purchase homes, will build little equity and lack pride of ownership. They become ripe for Socialized housing. We haven’t met anyone who doesn’t consider the sub-prime market to be the cause of the current recession. Nor are there many who don’t believe this crisis to be a forerunner to government interference with housing and the construction industry.
The debacle hasn’t discouraged more of the same. Lenders are scraping the bottom for unqualified buyers and aggressively advertising loans of 105%-110% of value. An example of the market: 65% of all Nevada households owe more than their home’s value, according to American CoreLogic. Three days after Christmas, Obama gave blank checks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without announcing any strategy, encouraging speculators to pour money in. Analysts consider it money down a rat-hole.
FHA guaranteed a quarter of all US home loans in ’09, having learned nothing from the 80s. For the first time in history cash reserves are below the Congressional stipulated minimum. The government has taken over 80% of Fannie and Freddie, and will take the remainder after the forthcoming complete failure, which in turn will lead to complete control of the housing industry, in contrived Communist style.
Obama has blamed loans that couldn’t be paid back for the crisis, although the architect of sub-primes and long-time Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines, is one of his economics advisors. It should also be well noted that as general counsel for ACORN, Obama sued banks to force them to make loans to low income buyers.
The President views health insurance as a right, and as an egotistical personal goal, worth political risks. In all the thousands of incomprehensible pages of proposed legislation, there lurks the “public option.” Make no mistake about this, titled “affordable choice,” being the entire motivation behind the issue of health care reform.
First of all, this is a classic case of manufacturing a problem and selling a solution to the non-existent situation. The 47 million uninsured hype is a count of everyone who may be without a policy for as little as one day during a year. Subtract the young and healthy who can afford insurance but choose not to have it, and those in the country illegally, and the figure is 5 million. Of course the “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens makes them eligible for health care entitlement.
Accounting for one-sixth or one-fifth of the economy, depending on who does the calculation, it is an essential element of the Socialist movement. Little intelligence is needed to see that private health care providers and insurance firms cannot compete with subsidized government programs that have no bottom line commitments. Consumers rationally choose the cheaper. The public is told that creates competition that will drive costs down. At the same time, they oppose the ultimate competition of an interstate market, because that would stall Socialization.
A key element of the confusing legislative mess is a federal subsidy for most people’s insurance. The fine print reveals that this will not take effect until 2014. Legislation calls for mandatory purchase of specified insurance to force everyone out of their chosen policies. Willful failure can result in a $25,000 fine and a year in jail, or $250,000 plus five years in jail for felony evasion. People who want additional, more costly “Cadillac” plans will be taxed. Preferential deal-making by Obama provides exemption from the tax for union members, who constitute the majority of “Cadillac” plan holders, as well as an Obama voter base.
Obama’s press secretary advised us after Christmas that the administration’s goal was to stop plans where employees are given better than average insurance plans as part of their compensation. Those considered excessive by Obama czars would be eliminated. Articulating Obama’s position, Speaker Pelosi stated that health insurance companies are the problem, and there would be a crackdown, including a requirement that they spend 85% of their revenues on benefits.
A temporary back-off to mollify the skeptical popular majority, calls for the private companies to participate in “non-profit” plans. If there is foot-dragging, the public option will be triggered. The trigger is a foregone finality. This is one major segment of the economy that could start out as Communist with the intent to make it Socialist. A feature of all plans is the requirement that people cannot be denied membership because of pre-existing ailments. This would be like insuring your car after an accident. In other words, health insurance becomes a Socialist redistribution of wealth.
Of course with the possible loss of a filibuster–proof Senate, “Obamacare” it is not a done deal. The closed-door meetings, taking the place of traditional open bi-cameral conferences, have so-far failed to produce Congressional agreement. The administration may ignore political repercussions and fight for this ultimate command-and-control segment of government, while ignoring the lack of Constitutional provision for any of it.
A major element in soaring medical costs, frivolous lawsuits, could be corrected with tort reform. However, this has been carefully sidestepped at the direction of trial lawyers, who are the second largest contributors to the Democratic Party.
A big step toward Socialized medicine is the proposal to reduce Medicare age to 55 or lower. Where the money comes from is anybody’s guess. Taking $500 billion out of one Medicare pocket and putting it into the other pocket is the plan to help pay for it. The SCHIP “children’s program,” insuring people up to age 25, and as old as 37 in some cases, and covering many who are financially sound, is another inroad to Socialized medicine.
You have noticed the TV ads endorsing reform. These are part of a sweetheart deal with Obama, who promised favors to the drug industry in return for a $150 million ad campaign, paid for by pharmaceutical firms. With monumental hypocrisy the left demonizes the drug industry, while simultaneously taking their money.
Columnist and self-styled economist Paul Krugman has announced that Obamacare critics are the “lunatic fringe.” He added, “…now that (Republican) policies of tax cuts and deregulation have led us into an economic quagmire, their prescription for recovery is…tax cuts and deregulation.”
A recent metaphor likened the Socialist health insurance takeover struggle to the Greek myth, where Sisyphus is condemned to push a boulder up a hill for eternity. Although Obama may temporarily pull back after the Massachusetts message, we cannot envision abandonment of this capstone of his first year whether he is a Socialist or a Communist.