Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste…

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. This is an opportunity. What used to be long-term problems -- be they in the health care area, energy area, education area, fiscal area, tax area, regulatory reform area -- things that we had postponed for too long that were long-term are now immediate and must be dealt with. And this crisis provides the opportunity for us, as I would say, the opportunity to do things that you could not do before.” ~ Rahm Emanuel, Obama Chief of Staff

Dear readers, this quote from Rahm Emanuel says it all. This is the Obama political philosophy. In fact, this has been the prevailing political philosophy since November 2008, when Mr. Emanuel uttered these now infamous words, and former President Bush, looking frazzled, scared, and tired, proclaimed that in order to save the free market, he was going to abandon free market principles.

I want to get that out of the way up front; because I just know that many on the left will try and characterize me as a Bush sycophant, even though I have proven time and again that I am anything but. Bush screwed up. I acknowledge that. It does not give Obama the right to also screw up in the same way. Ok.

How many God-forsaken crises must we tolerate from this current administration? You realize that we have been in a perpetual crisis for many years, but especially now that Obama is president?

We HAD to do TARP. We HAD to force banks to take bailout money. Bank of America HAD to buy Merrill Lynch. We HAD to step in and take over Chrysler and GM. It was a CRISIS! The whole world was about to collapse in on itself if we didn’t give the government the ability to act in all these unconstitutional ways RIGHT NOW!!!

We now know that these were all lies to get us, the public, to concede to ever increasing government action. Ford took no bailout money and now they are stronger than ever. In a poll out April of 2009, Americans were 70% more likely to buy a Ford than a Chrysler or GM vehicle. Difference? No government ownership. Our financial system did not collapse right away when Congress initially balked at the idea of TARP. We did it anyways. Many of the banks who were literally forced to take money by Hank Paulson, the former Treasury Secretary, did not want to and have tried to give it back to avoid any connection with the government.

But still, the crisis perpetuates. We were told that we HAD to pass an $800 Billion “stimulus bill” RIGHT NOW or else COLLAPSE! We were told that we were facing the Great Depression Redux! (Another lie perpetuated by Obama. We STILL are not as bad off as we were in 1981 when Reagan took over and began the cleanup of Carter’s mess). Nevertheless, we had not a moment to lose! If we didn’t pass Obama’s stimulus bill without even reading it, elderly people would be dying in the streets! Kids would have no education or healthcare! Puppies would be destroyed by wandering vagrants! (Ok, that last bit wasn’t said, but it certainly felt like that was a possibility if you listened to Obama go on about it). We asked Obama, “Oh dear leader, how will we know when your magical stimulus bill is working? What will we use to gauge your omnipotent presence and skills?” Obama told us one word: Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Remember that we were warned by Obama that if we did not Pass His Stimulus Bill Right Away Without Any Reading Or Debate we would face such horrible unemployment as 8.0%! (its now 9.5% and climbing). When presented with this staggeringly clear example of his own bill’s failure, Obama says that his bill is working just fine, and as intended. Indeed, Biden says that to those of us who question whether his administration’s policies are working, we are to “look around!” Enjoy all that His wondrous works have beheld. Look around at what Joe? 9.5% unemployment? Record levels of people remaining on the dole? Rising debt and projections that are just unfathomably high? (Some estimates put the total future debt from TARP at $23.7 Trillion, yes, with a “T”) Mr. Biden seems to have “open mouth-insert foot” disease worse than any politician, well pretty much ever. He admits that they “guessed wrong” about how bad the economy was.

GUESSED WRONG!?! They were telling us it was the worst economy since the GREAT DEPRESSION!!! How much more bad will it get? (This is another absurdity upon itself. The unemployment for the 8 years of FDR’s presidency prior to the war getting us out of the depression never dropped below 14% and was in the low 20s for many of those years). And these are the best and brightest economic minds? Holy crap, we are screwed guys.

But guess what, the crisis continues! Even after an $800 billion stimulus, a $500 billion “omnibus” and a 2010 budget that PLANS on being $1.8 trillion in the red, WE ARE STILL IN CRISIS! OUR ENVIRONMENT IS BEING DESTROYED BY EEEEEEVIL CAPITALISM! So we have to pass Cap and Trade! Again, without even reading the freaking bill, as it was not yet even finished being WRITTEN, our wonderful congressmen in the House voted to pass the Waxman Markey legislation that by all accounts will increase electricity rates by 90%, gas and oil by 55%, and will have such a ripple effect throughout the economy on the prices of anything that gets shipped…so pretty much ALL goods, that the Heritage Foundation projects an annual GDP loss of over $200 billion. Not to mention that for every “green job” this bill is designed to create, we can expect, from Spain’s own research and example, to lose 2.2 jobs. All of this so that maybe we could lower the temperature of Earth by .02 degrees C in 50 years.

But WE HAD TO DO IT! No choice in the matter! No time for debate, or even reading the bill! Our very future was at stake!

And people wanted to call Bush a fear-monger.

But my friends and dear readers…this man is not finished. Now, we are engaged in a ferocious debate over nationalized healthcare. Obama is going on the stump, he is in campaign mode. He is all “Si Se Puede” and Hopenchange! Just like October of last year. Go on Youtube and search for his healthcare addresses. It is nothing but the same, predictable, pap. We have to do this, we must fix our healthcare system. The status quo cannot stay. People will die in the streets! Healthcare costs will crush our economy!

And we MUST do this before the August recess! It cannot wait! Never mind such un-totalitarian principles as public debate over issues or letting the people have a say in what their elected representatives are doing. Never mind the fact that Republicans ARE NOT saying they want the status quo to remain. We have to do this now! Our future depends on it! The country is at stake! We don’t have time for silly things like actual cost control or basing our legislation on sounds economic principles or common sense! WE MUST ACT NOW!

The truth is, Obama needs to act before August because his poll numbers are slipping. In a recent Gallop poll, only 49% of Americans viewed Obama’s plan for healthcare favorably, down considerably from just a couple of months ago. His presidential tracking poll number is negative, and has been for a couple of weeks (Rasmussen takes the “Highly favorable” and “Highly Negative” and adds them. Obama has recently been as low as -6%) Obama can’t wait until after the August recess because that will give people like me and other common sense Americans too much time to spread the truth about Obamacare and what it will mean for the quality and availability of healthcare in this country.

We have to stay strong and demand that we at least allow our congress the time it needs to fully vet all the options and issues and costs associated with any new legislation. If during that extra time, it is determined that the American people DO NOT WANT a single payer system (make no mistake, that is the intent of this president and this very legislation being discussed in the House, check out the link I posted on SJ’s most recent post below this one), then we should look at other ways of fixing healthcare. The bottom line is, we need our government to slow down, take a deep breath, and allow us all time to digest what is going on in the houses of government.

Just remember this quote and apply it to what is going on today:

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. This is an opportunity.”


  1. If any of you listened to Obama's "press conference" today on healthcare, just remember...and I hate having to say this, but it is the truth...

    He was lying through his teeth about this legislation the entire time.

    He says you get to keep your current plan and/or doctor if you like it. BS. Check page 16 of the House bill. If ANY of the provisions of your current plan change or you switch jobs or your employer drops coverage, which they are LIKELY to do (since in that same section of the bill it gives employers a 5 year grace period to DO exactly that, dump their coverage and shift you over to a "qualified plan"), you get stuck in the public option.

    He talks about encouraging competition and offering choice. BS! Its in the bill, if you cannot PROVE to the IRS that you are in a "qualified plan" at tax time, YOU ARE FINED thousands of dollars and RANDOMLY ASSIGNED TO A GOVERNMENT PLAN.

    He acknowledged tonight that this legislation is estimated to cover about 97% of Americans in just a few short years after implementation. THAT IS NOT CHOICE OR COMPETITON. It is government run healthcare.

    Folks, it may run counter to your belief in this man, The One...but he is lying through his teeth about this healthcare plan. This is not about improving care, it is about control. Its about Marxist ideologies. Its about Obama's vanity.

    We must defeat this bill. Even common sense Democrats are rallying against this bill. Public opposition is up around 53% per the newest Rasmussen survey. This is not the Hopenchange that many of you voted for and I voted against. This is not America.

  2. "He acknowledged tonight that this legislation is estimated to cover about 97% of Americans in just a few short years after implementation. THAT IS NOT CHOICE OR COMPETITON. It is government run healthcare."

    On a side note:

    The government will not be seeking to make a profit in their providing of healthcare. There cannot possibly be competition when the "competitor" doesn't seek to make a profit. Scott is right, this is government run healthcare folks.

  3. Scott - I have to admit you are right on this. On top of that, I do like that you mentioned Bush was just as big of a fear mongerer (sp?). It runs both ways and it is a big stopper of good debate. Speed of policy does not mean good policy - this is true even in time of war.

    Senator Harry Reid just said that he won't bring the healthcare plan to a vote in the Senate until after the August recess. Good for him. We need to take time. This is a serious issue and a simple solution does not exist. President Obama replied to Senator Reid that he is okay with wait, especially if it brings more bipartisan support. I hope that means more than just the three Republicans who voted for the stimulus.

    There are parts of the Democratic plan that I find appealing and parts of the Republican plan that I find appealing. This is a major issue and one we must address. Health care will cause big financial problems in the near future. However, it won't destroy us before Christmas - that sound like a reasonable timetable for debate and compromise.

    One thing that is true - when one party controls the White House, the House and the Senate, that party ends in failure. Recent examples include the Republican from 2000-2006 and it looks like the Democrats are following suit.

    I pose the question then - is it good to have a split government in terms of power between the parties? It doesn't get as much done, which people complain about, but it seems that the best things that have come out of this country has been due to the compromise between the two parties.

  4. "Speed of policy does not mean good policy"

    Case in point...Texas. Their state legislature meets once every two years...and they have the lowest unemployment in the land these days... Maybe government isn't the answer to all our problems. They also have no income or property tax, just something else to consider.

    As far as getting proper healthcare legislation that more than the 3 RINOS sign on would have to be pretty much the opposite of what the Democrats and Obama want. I've offered several suggestions: Proper tort reform to help bring down malpractice insurance premiums, removal of government mandates in coverage to allow people the freedom to choose to buy only policies that suit them, more transparency and competition in the healthcare industry, instituting HSAs for all Americans and putting each man and woman in charge of choosing their best route for healthcare. These are but a few ideas.

    The point is this, one person or one body of people is not smart enough to conceive of THE SOLUTION to our healthcare insurance problems. There are 300 million people here and it is just too big to expect any government to be able to properly see to it that each person gets the treatment they choose or need. If you let US come up with the solutions, we will find the solutions.

    ANY solution that involves adding people to government doles or the institution of this absolute farce of a "government option" is not going to fly with the American public...we can see that already.

  5. My only philosophical problem is that any life or death decision should not be left to the decision of for-profit middle manager insurance workers. The catastrophic care plan Scott L. proposes still does deal with the general problem of denial of coverage even when the medical procedures would save the person's life (i.e. liquid food at home for a terminally ALS patient that is denied but would be covered if he entered an assisted living facility - see Bill McClellan's article on 26 July).

    Scott L., I know you believe in change to the system - good. However, your options continue to keep good health care in the hands of the wealthy. An HSA does nothing for the people who can't afford to put money into it.

    Furthermore, we will always have a philosophical difference on our views of government... I don't fear it, nor do I think it screws everything up. I see the things the government has done that is good and you see the things it has done that is bad (from an economic prospective). Different world views.

    I do want people to understand that both liberals and conservatives have Americas future in the foremost of our thoughts. No one wants to see the great nation that is the USA fail (unless we are talking about the Gold Cup final - I didn't want that result, but it was a complete failire - soccer fans understand what I am saying).

    We need to get past the partisan name calling. It is okay to disagree philosophically, but it is not okay to demonize the opposition. I am guilty of doing this with President Bush (43) and Scott L. is guilty with President Obama. It is hard to remember that these are people that have differing ideas and nothing else.

    Case in point - I was ashamed of the St. Louis audience at the All-Star Game who booed President Obama when he took the mound for the first pitch. Dislike his policies, but for God's sake, his heart is dedicated to the best possible future for the United States. He is the President and, whether you like him or not, carries great responsibility. You may dounbt his ideas on helping Ameircan get back on its feet, but don't doubt his intentions.

  6. "My only philosophical problem is that any life or death decision should not be left to the decision of for-profit middle manager insurance workers."

    But far-removed, "cost cutting" bureaucrats are going to do a better job?

    SJ, I admire your bleeding heart. I really do. I feel like you are one of the liberals who fall into the "bleeding heart, well-intentioned" liberal group. But the problem is that good intentions, as we've seen with government, rarely lead to good results.

    Here is the dirty little secret about health insurance and healthcare in general.

    There are limited resources to pay for unlimited wants, needs, and desires.

    You argue against insurance companies being the ones to deny care to someone who will otherwise die, yet it seems you support a government bureaucrat. The problem is that SOMEONE is going to make that decision. I would rather it be in the hands of the patient. I know that many times, the patient cannot pay, and the result is an untimely demise. Its a tragedy, and it happens everyday.

    But if you take that decision completely out of the hands of the patient or patient's put government in charge of rationing, there is no chance of a community coming together to raise the funds...or of a bad publicity stink for the insurance company at fault causing it to go ahead and approve the procedure.

    When government is the insurance company, you cannot appeal. To this point, I heard a great point made by a doctor on Randy Tobler's show this weekend. He told a story of that exact type of event, where the insurance company denied payment. The victim went to the news and used public opinion pressure to force the company to provide payment. He then said this...if one had to call the government to complain all you would get would be an electronic voice telling you to push 1 for complaints and leave a message.

    Obama keeps saying that this plan is debt neutral. SJ, you HAVE to admit that either he is lying or he intends to drastically reduce the care that is provided to decrease cost. You absolutely cannot increase the number of people being provided coverage and reduce costs, unless you start denying care.

    And another thing...did I suddenly become wealthy? I make about 60K a year. I have exactly the health insurance that I want and need. That is because it costs me about $120 a year. The premium is almost nothing because of the large deductible, which I pay with my tax-free HSA. This is not keeping care in the hands of the wealthy.

    Now, I've said before that the answer to this problem is not one-size fits all. For somebody my age, what I have is perfect. I get one physical per year and that's about it. That's all I need. Other people have different circumstances. If the insurance market didn't have to cover all kinds of things that people don't necessarily need or want, cheaper, more directed solutions would be made available.

    The point is that this problem is too big and complex to be solved by one man, or a bunch of bureaucrats who have hardly ever solved any problem of this magnitude. Obama wants us to trust him on healthcare, but we did that on stimulus and by his own measure, his policies have failed miserably. Jobs are not being produced. Plus, the amount of spending scheduled in the upcoming years will cause increased inflation, perhaps even hyper inflation, and that will decrease purchasing power even more. Why not let Obama show us he can actually succeed at running an economy before we entrust another 3.5 trillion of our economy to him?

    You dont doubt his intentions, but Scott, it takes more than good intentions to be successful.

  7. Well, Scott L, you're right. You will end up with the public option, which is where you should be. Obama has already admitted that he wants single payer, but he can't get it. You would want single payer if you could get off your conservative horse for a moment. Just like the Medicare recipients who say, "They don't want government and they had better not lose their Medicare." Oh well. The point is that a government insurance company for all would be terrific. You don't know what insurance you have, anyway, until it's tested. And I assure you that you don't want a disease that's bad enough to provide the test. Still, it could happen, and with a government plan for everyone and for all diseases, you would certainly be covered. None of this would prevent great doctors or great research; it would only assure everyone coverage by "the" government insurance company. You could still use your money to buy plastic surgery for your mind; in fact, I'll contribute.

  8. Mark, its been a while since we've seen you on the blog! Welcome back, I always enjoy reading your progressive propaganda. :)

    If Single Payer is so great, why do we have countless stories of Canadians pouring across the border to pay out of pocket for treatment in America?

    Why do we now know that British women over 70 who get breast cancer are condemned to die without treatment?

    Why is it the case that you are 5 times more likely to recover from prostate cancer if you happen to contract it in the United States than England?

    The reason is that in those places YOU the Patient do not get to decide what treatments you may pursue. THE GOVERNMENT gets to decide, since they are paying.

    This may work okay on a broad-stroke, general level. Indeed, lots of critics of our system point to the relative life expectancy of other countries with the single payer system and compare results. The problem with this is that pretty much every country is all within a year or two of life expectancy. On a general level, human beings live, on average, only so long.

    The point is that only in America do we have the freedom to decide to seek ridiculously advanced treatment options for cancer or aids or whatever else.

    If your expected productivity is lower than the cost of care, the government will give you a pain pill (I paraphrase President Obama).

    Again, Mark, its about FREEDOM.