Obamacare

NY Gov. David Paterson Is Really Anti-Markets and Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland Is Really Stupid

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Democratic New York Gov. David Paterson was on The Colbert Report the other day. Here's what he had to say about free markets:

The free market would destroy health care as we know it. It has been a problem in terms of the deficit. We've run up $490 million in this year alone. I think it hasn't helped in terms of business because jobs have been offshored and sent overseas. So I think there are two different theories [of government] but we've seen the example of one of them after the last eight years and we probably wouldn't want four more years of the same thing.

More here (I can never get Comedy Central links to embed properly).

I'd love to see the destruction of health care as we know it—especially given that the public sector spends a majority of the money for it, and George W. Bush blew the doors out with the Medicare prescription drug benefit, etc. Paterson's sort of anti-market demagoguery strikes me as stupid, but it's really not a good sign for the Empire State if its chief executive is still talking like Mario Cuomo.

Also on TCR, a hilarious interview update with Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), who really should be kept away from heavy machinery and cars. Westmoreland is the idiot who called Barack and Michelle Obama "uppity" and famously couldn't name the 10 Commandments despite sponsoring mandated displays of same. A snippet:

Colbert: You have not introduced a single piece of legislation since entering….This has been called a "Do-Nothing Congress." Is it safe to say you're the do-nothingest?

Westmoreland: Well, there's one other do-nothingerer. I don't know who that is, but they're a Democrat….

Colbert: You co-sponsored a bill requiring the display of the 10 Commandments in the House of Representatives and the Senate….What are the 10 Commandments?

Westmoreland: What are all of them?

Colbert: Uh-huh.

Westmoreland: You want me to name 'em all?

Colbert: Yes.

Westmoreland: Mmm…Don't murder. Don't lie. Don't steal. Uhh…I can't name 'em all.

Vastly entertaining video here.

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  1. Clearly Westmoreland wants them listed so that it will help him remember them.

  2. I like Eliot Spitzer better than David Paterson.

    HEY NICK CHECK THIS OUT

    Funny article.

  3. Well, let’s see. There’s “Thou shalt not lyeth in the green pastures with a shepherd.” And “Thou shalt not covet thine mother and father’s car.”

  4. “I’d love to see the destruction of health care as we know it”

    Yes, and a good thing you’re young and healthy if they ever get around to actually doing it. See what “choice” the market offers you if you’re not!

  5. Maybe that’s “lieth”.

  6. See what “choice” the government will offer, healthy or not.

  7. Nick – the public sector spends a majority of the money for it

    Don’t doubt it, but I’m curious if you’ve got a link…

  8. It’s good to see that Paterson has such a firm grasp of 18th century mercantilism. Anybody want to hand him an economics textbook not printed on papyrus?

  9. The private health care industry is non-optimal. Medicare is extremely non-optimal. Solution: replace non-optimal case with extremely non-optimal case.

    The pro-socialize medicine politicians are deliberately misleading people simply to differentiate from opponents. Or if you want to believe they’re not that corrupt, then they are willfully ignorant and must try very hard not to ever read the news, in case they might read about rampant medicare fraud, not to mention all the other problems socialize medicine causes.

  10. The Wikipedia says that Medicare is about $440B and that overall US healthcare spending is $2.2T. So, that’s about 1/6. Do Medicaid, the VA, and other public sources cover another 1/3 ($700B)? I tend to doubt it.

    No matter, it’s still a staggering, market-skewing plurality of the overall spending.

  11. There hasn’t been a free market in health care in New York since the medicare and mediciad programs started.

  12. Yes, but whether he can name the 10 Commandments is beside the point. The issue is independent of whether one of its supporters has memorized anything about it. He should have said, “If they would post them, I wouldn’t have to remember them.” Which, of course, is true. Why memorize something you can easily look up?

  13. It always strikes me as ridiculous that people’s main indictment of health car failure in the US as a result of the “Free Market” stems from those of the HMO system. These critics never mention that the HMO system, while not fully nationalized health care, is nevertheless a government operated insurance cartel complete with price controls. Could it be that the drawbacks lie in the competition we don’t have, rather than the little we do?

  14. The free market would destroy health care as we know it.

    If you mean the dysfunctional, quasi-socialized, hyper-regulated health care system that we now have, why, yes, I would agree.

    That would be kind of the point. Feature, not bug.

  15. I’m an atheist and can probably do much better. Without looking the up(swear to nothing) –

    No worship of other gods.
    Keep the Sabbath.
    Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.
    Honor Mom and Dad.
    Don’t murder.
    Don’t screw around outside of marriage.
    Dont’t steal.
    Don’t lie about your neighbor..
    Don’t covet his wife.
    Don’t covet his other stuff.

    Wow, I got ten. Those catechism classes ust paid off. Not enough to make up for all the Saturdays ruined though.

  16. The Wikipedia says that Medicare is about $440B and that overall US healthcare spending is $2.2T. So, that’s about 1/6. Do Medicaid, the VA, and other public sources cover another 1/3 ($700B)? I tend to doubt it.

    If you factor in all public sector employees coverage, from POTUS to the local meter maid, and their dependents, add in the 3 million prisoners and it just might.

  17. I’m not big on Elliot, but I like his ‘ho’ a lot…

  18. I’m an atheist and can probably do much better.

    You just played the game that I’m pretty sure nearly every Atheist played after seeing that video. I know my S.O. and I did. I got ten, she got nine.

    What kills me is the number of people for whom these are supposed to be the BIG TEN that can’t name even five.

  19. That’s because political Christianism treats the trappings of their religion like so much spray paint, to tag certain places and things as belonging to their gang. That they’d argue “ceremonial deism” proves as much.

    Which violates #3, as far as I’m concerned.

  20. The Wikipedia says that Medicare is about $440B and that overall US healthcare spending is $2.2T. So, that’s about 1/6. Do Medicaid, the VA, and other public sources cover another 1/3 ($700B)? I tend to doubt it.

    Medicaid is pretty huge too, around $300b. Anyway, link: National Health Expenditures

    A near-majority of health care spending (46%) is from $1b in public spending.

    You just played the game that I’m pretty sure nearly every Atheist played after seeing that video.

    10/10 also. I wonder what the correlation is between religiosity and religious literacy in the US.

  21. By no meaningful definition could you say we have a “free market” in healthcare. It’s simply flat-out not true, but it’s a lie that suits both the Democrats (because they want to move towards socialism) and the Republicans (because they’re corporatist stooges who can defend ‘the free market’ a lot easier than they can the reality of the status quo- economic fascism).

  22. Lists of the ten commandments are not consistent. The command against idols and graven images becomes the second one and the two coveting commandments are the ones that are combined.

    There are also wording differences between the Commandments in Exodus and those in Deuteronomy, although they don’t change the sense of the Commandments.

    I remember them by the ten episodes of Dekalog, which made an enormous impression on me.

  23. The issue isn’t how much money is actually funneled through the government vs. how much goes directly to private providers, the issue is to what degree the market is controlled by the government. And every aspect of the health insurance market is mandated, in detail, by the government. What prices can be charged, exactly what services have to be offered, what kind of business structure you can have.

    Innovation and competition is *illegal* in the health insurance industry. To call this a “free market” just because everything’s not outright owned and operated by the government is absurd. This isn’t capitalism, where people are free to voluntarily exchange with each other as they see fit. This is something completely different, corporatism or economic fascism (which I mean not as a hyperbolic insult but literally- it’s the type of economic system advocated by the Italian Fascists,where big government and big business are mutually entwined and support each other).

  24. Religion is canned philosophy. You’re not supposed to think about it, you’re just supposed to obey the priest and his boss, thus the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Good Ideas. And it’s ten only because most cultures are and were obsessed with that number. I should think five or six would have sufficed. That’s all most cafeteria Catholics can recall anyway.

  25. “These critics never mention that the HMO system, while not fully nationalized health care, is nevertheless a government operated insurance cartel complete with price controls.”

    These are the same critics who think corporations are products of the free market, and not government-created legal entities that prevent participants from being legally or financially accountable for crimes committed in the name of the corporation. If us libertarians ever want to stick a stake in the heart of socialism, all we need to do is effectively point out that big government only makes corporations bigger and more corrupt, where laissez faire would decentralize their control and make them fully and financially accountable for their actions. That’s my goal in life – making the Left realize that 90% of their policies actually hurt equality, that trusting bureaucracies and wealthy politicians with solving the problems of the working class and the environment is idiotic, and that rejecting economics is completely counterproductive to attaining meaningful solutions for the problems of the world.

  26. Here’s a link about public-sector spending on health care. This article puts it at 56 percent of the total.

    This 2006 study from the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative, market-oriented group, says the number is 45 percent (based on OECD figures).

  27. The 10 commandments are easy to remember if you think about the 2 commandments that Jesus said were most important (even easier if you just reduce it down to the 2 in fact):

    1. Love God – which covers the 1st 5 (no other gods, graven images, name in vain, sabbath, honor parents [representatives of God])

    2. Do unto others – encompasses the last 5 (murder, adultery, steal, lie, covet)

    Personally, I never understood posting the 10 commandments from the OT instead of the 2 from the NT. Must be the jewish lobby.

  28. If the free market would destroy health care, then socialized medicine would destroy our country as we know it. Paterson’s interview was entertaining.. Spitzer may have broken a law, but it was a law that doesn’t deserve to be in the books..

  29. The thing that really bothered me about the Westmoreland interview was the audience’s reaction when he mentioned he’d like to eliminate the department of education. They sort of gasped and laughed, as though it were universally agreed to be a bad idea. Does the average person even know what the dept. of education does, how much power it has, or what it’s annual budget is? As much as I like Colbert and his show, both he and his audience always seem to be pro-big government liberals, and it takes a lot away from the show, in my opinion.

  30. @Chrispy:
    I happened to catch that last night. Same thing happened when Ron Paul was on The Daily Show. I think that it’s not even a leftist only thing. They say “end the department of education” and the audience hears “end education” never mind the departments deleterious effect on its namesake.

  31. Perhaps Westmoreland should be kept away from machinery and automobiles but I hope he stays in Congress as long as possible.

    More do-nothing representatives, please.

  32. The Healthcare issue is an area that follows a pattern that our government has been using on “we the people” for years now and they are applying it to other areas too….

    STEP 1: Take a very small and temporary market inefficiency and turn it into a great big deal and emphasis how the government “must do something”.

    STEP2: Introduce a small amount of regulation to “fix” the problem.

    STEP3:

    STEP4: Claim the market has failed to resolve the problem and demand government takeover.

    Steps 1 through 3 are often repeated until the problem seems hopeless.

    They’ve done this with RailRoads, Retirement systems, HealthCare, and I’m sure, others…

    Coming soon: Energy Production

    “We the people” get cooked everytime….

  33. Oops… Step 3 didn’t print out….

    It should be:

    STEP 3: Wait for the problem to get worse.

  34. There’s actually three sets of “Ten Commandments” depending on whether you use a Jewish, Catholic or Protestant interpretation of the text.

  35. Episiarch | September 9, 2008, 4:48pm | #
    Clearly Westmoreland wants them listed so that it will help him remember them.

    out of the blocks with teh WIN!

    ProGlib: it’s “luepfth”

    joe: #3 is violated. as are the first and fourth amendments.

  36. ah, Hells bells, I know what that means.

    NY Gov. David Paterson Is Really Anti-Markets

    There will be another influx of New Yorkers moving down here to the Carolinas just as they did during the Cuomo years. I could care less, except for the fact the transplants tend to join home owner associations and run for city councils where they try to impose the same shit that they moved away from.

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