Ebola

Can You Blame Ebola Outbreak on "Republican Cuts" to Health Budgets?

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"Republican Cuts Kill" is the message coming from The Agenda Project, a 501(c)4 organization that is placing ads in various battleground states. According to an email signed by the group's founder Erica Payne and titled "If you die, blame them," the group is starting a

a multi-pronged blitzkrieg attack that lays blame for the Ebola crisis exactly where it belongs– at the feet of the Republican lawmakers. Like rabid dogs in a butcher shop, Republicans have indiscriminately shredded everything in their path, including critical programs that could have dealt with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country.

If you die, blame Republicans is a pretty gutsy (read: OMFG) campaign slogan. The ad above does a good job of clipping together a series of GOP lawmaers saying the word cut, but does that mean that budgets at agencies have fallen through the floor now that, what Democrats have controlled the White House and Senate since 2009?

Not so much. 

Here's a chart from Kaiser that shows U.S. Global Health Program spending over the past 15 or so years:

Kaiser Family Foundation

The large number shows a spending pattern that's familiar to Reason.com readers. Spending grew rapidly under full GOP control and then leveled off at high amounts once divided government and the fiscal crisis kicked in.

The report notes that "Pandemic Preparedness funding through the GHP account totaled $50 million, a decrease of $22.5 million (-31%) below FY14." Let's stipulate two things. First, $50 million is both a lot of money and not a lot of money in terms of federal spending. I doubt anyone seriously thinks that spending more in the year to come would have stopped Ebola outbreaks that began in fiscal 2014. Second, the requested decrease is in President Obama's budget. Is he a Republican now?

Here's the Centers for Disease Control budget trend:

Centers for Disease Control

Beyond the generally stable funding levels over the past five years, note the uptick between 2013 and 2014, especially in the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The proposed 2015 request is lower than 2014's but again this figure is coming from the president's budget plan.

Then there's the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whose role in developing new medicines and interventions has been supposedly destroyed by cuts over the years, right? According to its budget documents, the NIH got about $23 billion in fiscal 2002 (George W. Bush's first budget year), a figure that rose to $30.2 billion in 2009 (his last budget year) before peaking at $31 billion in 2010. It dipped a bit from then and came to $30.1 billion in 2014, which is about the same amount the NIH requested in President Obama's 2015 budget plan.

You can argue that the United States needs to be constantly and massively increasing its spending on everything and that every time spending doesn't go up in a lockstep fashion (and faster than inflation, as it did throughout the Bush years) that you're killing people. You can also argue that the topline budget figures for various agencies don't matter, but then you're really talking about the ways in which bureaucracies, especially in the budget sector, misallocate resources. The one thing you really can't do is say that the federal government, which is not actually controlled by the Republicans (just saying), has been slashing its spending on anything. 

Mercatus.org

The sequestration argument is a loser, too, as the chart above made by Mercatus Center economist and Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy shows.

If we were living on such thin ice that the difference between sequestration (the president's idea, just saying) and non-sequestration is the difference between life and death or Ebola and health, we're screwed anyway.

I can understand why Democrats are trying to turn the Ebola outbreak here and abroad into a campaign issue. But that sort of gambit is more likely to draw attention to the failure and incompetency of public health bureaucrats here and abroad. That's probably not good for Democrats, given that the run the White House and the agencies in question.

And, as Ronald Bailey pointed out on Friday, it's governmental regulatory agencies that have slowed the development and deployment of cutting-edge techniques related to Ebola and other issues. For god's sake, the FDA in August put a hold on a Canadian company's therapeutic in August, just as the Ebola outbreak was generating headlines here (the FDA has since changed its policy).

There are many reasons to say that Republicans kill (their foreign policy certainly comes to mind, even though it is now being conducted by Democratic politicians). But trying to blame Ebola—or just about anything else wrong with in the world—on essentially flat spending over the past five years is beyond lame. It's just desperate.

Related: My latest at The Daily Beast: "The Upside of Ebola (Yes, There May Actually Be One)."

Can anything good come out of the disease, which has no known cure and a terrifying mortality rateof 50 percent?

Yes. To the extent it forces a conversation about the regulations surrounding the development of new drugs and the right of terminal patients to experiment with their own bodies, Ebola in the United States may well accelerate adoption of so-called right-to-try laws. These radical laws allow terminally ill patients access to drugs, devices, and treatments that haven't yet been fully approved by the Federal Drug Administration and other medical authorities. 

NEXT: Is it trademark infringement to publish an online article with the title 'NAACP: National Association for the Abortion of Colored People'?

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  1. Politicians are the worst kinds of scum.

    1. It’s like a post hoc version of Washington Monument Syndrome.

  2. …the FDA in August put a hold on a Canadian company’s therapeutic in August…

    What?

    1. There were several such mistakes in this piece.

      Does anyone who writes for a living ever proof read their stuff these days before posting it for others to read.

      No editors, yeah, I get that.

      But proof reading doesn’t take much time.

      1. Uh I used to write documents that might be read by the FDA. I proof read them many times and there is a signature list and some of them on the list will actually read them as well.

        They are somewhat boilerplate and are used as the basis for similar reports later. I get the old copy and modify it for the new report and I see mistakes in the already signed off and filed documents.

    2. A Canadian company was apparently seeking FDA approval for its drug. FDA approval is the gold standard and the vast majority of all pharmaceuticals have gone through clinical trials in the US. That will usually guarantee approval from the rest of the world’s regulatory agencies based on the data and results of clinical trials in the US. So no, there is no reason to believe this is a typo. It is plausible and common place for a foreign company to seek FDA approval for its drug

  3. Any decrease in the rate of growth, no manner now minor, is a massive cut. All right-thinking people know this.

    1. You mean left – thinking.

      1. left- feeling

        1. True. My mistake.

      2. No, the left-thinking people don’t know that, which is a problem.

    2. I think you have the definition of low information voter right there.

  4. I blame the outbreak on all the Botox injections and Facelifts that Nancy Pelosi has gotten. The money spent probably could have stopped Ebola in its tracks.

  5. Is an Ebola outbreak something negative? Then yes, you can blame Republicans for it. For instance:

    No alt-text? I blame Bush.

    1. The root cause is systemic, the profit system. The answer is a socialist world where the priorities are health care for all, healthy food, clean water, housing and education, with equality and justice for all.

      He forgot to mention free dental care and birth control for all, and free pre-pre-school AND unicorn farts. With these things and of course only once we’ve plundered all the plunder there is to plunder, then can we have a happy existence. I mean look at Cuba, as mentioned, they are an example to live by.

        1. He should emigrate to Cuba. It would raise the IQ of both countries!

        2. “[can’t] all be rugged individualists” = I am a humongous douche and utterly dependent on everyone around me to provide for me

          1. “[can’t] all be rugged individualists”= strawman

            *people peacefully interacting = rugged individualism

            *people interacting at gunpoint = community / togetheriness

        3. You know who else wanted to put COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD (#24)?

      1. I love the way that sentence sorta peters out and he just goes back to some uplifting cliche. You may as well end every sentence with, “with equality and justice for all.”

      2. Just heard on NPR their training their sights now on free dental care for all, now that everyone has health care.

        1. So Obamacare covers birth control but no dental care? Good to know what the priorities are.

          1. The lack of teeth will improve the quality of state felating.

        2. In such contexts, it is advisable to put “free” in quotes, since it isn’t really “free”.

      3. And of course a government program to mandate all the revenue required to implement any fantasy you may dream up.

    2. There they are in their full glory. Goddamn fucking lying pinkos.

    3. Funny how so many want to blame the single source of every major advancement in healthcare in the last century. You’re right though-it has shock value to those that don’t use their heads for anything other than a hat rack.

    4. I’d like someone explain to me how rent-seeking is better than profit-seeking?

  6. Can You Blame Ebola Outbreak on “Republican Cuts” to Health Budgets?

    If you are a member of the leftist hive-mind you can blame anything on cuts to the level of government plundering.

  7. For god’s sake

    Nick, is that you? Nick? Oh, it’s a lower-case “g”. We’re all good.

  8. The Dems ran an agitprop campaign against Bush after Katrina if you’ll recall, led by Sidney Blumenthal of all people. He claimed, among other things, that Bush cut funding for the levees.

    This is a common tactic for the Left. Unfortunately, as the past two elections proved, there are enough stupid people to elect Obama twice in this country.

    Propaganda like this is used because it works.

    1. Unfortunately, true.

  9. I blame Reason budget cuts for making Nick use the same thumb pic in two unrelated articles.

  10. Hmmm, certainly issues are more complex than they seem at first glance, but any article short of book length would have to take into account the GOP and Libertarian talking points….

    1. The most dangerous words in the english language are “I’m from the gubment and here to help you”.
    2. FACTS such as massive cuts to programs like sex education and increases to stuff like abstinence and other false medicine and science.

    Of course, this does not take into account that Bush decided to give vast tax cuts while increasing Gubment $$.

    Obama should be your hero! That is, as we all know, total Federal Spending has been leveled out (rose MUCH less) under Obama (whichever congress ) than under the GOP leadership. Independent of partisanship, that’s the Libertarian Way.

    Nick is being a Monday Morning QB here – and, frankly, that’s also the Libertarian Way. They want to cut out just about everything….until something happens. Then it was THEY who were the champions of increased Federal Spending.

    Laughable if it wasn’t so harmful. At least Nick admits in a roundabout way that the Gubment was hamstrung because of GOP games…but it’s hypocritical to now lament that when, most of the time, Libertarians cheer a chaotic (and therefore useless) gubment.

    I guess the pertinent question is “which side are you on?”. As a liberal, I would fund science and medicine to the highest degree. Really – nothing is more important….even to the business world.

    1. I guess the pertinent question is “which side are you on?”. As a liberal, I would fund science and medicine to the highest degree.

      even really shitty science that doesn’t help humanity?

      1. He would pour money into the global warming propaganda machine. Better to enslave us all.

        1. He would pour other people‘s money into it. It tells you something that the worldview he promotes, isn’t even theoretically feasible without a gun at other people’s head to make it happen.

      2. even really shitty science that doesn’t help humanity?

        Yes. If it is your money, there is no amount that is too big to squander.

      3. “even really shitty science that doesn’t help humanity?”

        Yep!
        You can’t cheery pick. Lots of good stuff has come from programs which sucked…..

        That’s what science is! You lose most of the time….or at least you don’t win. It takes staying power.

        Did you know how they ended up beating Typhus? Yep, The Gubment….Army Medical School.

        Malaria? Yep, your US Gubment again…..

        Same goes for many other diseases and conditions. Let’s not be ideologues. Public Health IS a function of good government. .

        Oh, and there is no “Ebola outbreak” in the USA anyway, so this whole point is moot.

        1. Malaria? Yep, your US Gubment again…

          The government invented DDT? Nope. Indeed, the millions of deaths that have occurred from malaria since the ban on DDT are all a result of government. Of course, what do you care about dying children in Asia and Africa?

        2. Public Health IS a function of good government.

          6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.

          Orwell had you pegged, dipshit.

        3. Health IS a function of good government. .

          Periods of time where this held true is called “genocide”.

        4. Lots of good stuff has come from programs which sucked….

          Such as?

        5. Wow, that’s some great reasoning there, craiginmass. Lemme make sure I have this right: if I accidentally achieve a good result by doing something inefficiently, possibly contrary to my actual motives, and often despite myself, then whatever I happened to be doing at the time becomes the best and only way to achieve that result, yes?

          So, really, Jim Crow was an example of the brilliance and selflessness of Southern state governments helping Northern states develop an ethnically-diverse workforce.

          1. “emme make sure I have this right: if I accidentally achieve a good result by doing something inefficiently, possibly contrary to my actual motives, and often despite myself, then whatever I happened to be doing at the time becomes the best and only way to achieve that result, yes?”

            Well, “Libertarians” would have said Edison had a bad result when “‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.’,”

            That’s Fucking Science – and why, throughout history, Gubment has had to initially fund many big projects.

            1. Like the pyramids and World War 1.

            2. Your argument is unfalsifiable…. so much for good science.

      4. I wonder if crackinass really knows what a computer model is and how they relate to doing science?

        1. “I wonder if crackinass really knows what a computer model is and how they relate to doing science”

          I wonder if rotten eggs understands that the vast majority of science to date was done without computer models?

          But, just so you can pontificate, what was the chance – per computer models – that the Financial Meltdown we just had could have happened?

          Also, what were the computer modeled chances of Pat Buchannan getting 3,000+ votes in Palm Beach County?

          I know the second answer was in the low trillions….in terms of the meltdown, it depends on what specific part you look at…..but some of the chances were one in a million or less.

          BUT, they happened – didn’t they? Fuck your models.

          1. BUT, they happened – didn’t they? Fuck your models.

            Thus revealing your utter hypocrisy on global warming.

            1. Lol, he walked right into that one.

      5. And like a typical Progressive idiot he thinks if you throw enough plunder at “science and medicine” you get more and better of it, as if “science” is a physical resource like paint or coal or something. Because, like all of the left, he thinks that there is no problem that can’t be solved–whether it exists or not–with force and theft.

    2. “I guess the pertinent question is “which side are you on?”.

      A question I don’t have to ask you. I know which side you are on and what you are.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLqHv0xgOlc

      1. My favorite line from that interview;

        “Most of these people (people like Craig, Tony, Shreek, etc. ) would be marked for extermination because the psychological shock of what they will see in the future, what the beautiful society of equality and social justice means in practice will make them very unhappy.

    3. As a liberal, I would fund science and medicine to the highest degree.

      You wouldn’t fund shit. You would support the plunder of other people’s property to politically favor the expansion of scientific theories that promote further plundering by the state you fellate.

    4. As a liberal, I would fund science and medicine to the highest degree.

      Yet I bet you give not a dime above your taxes and now-mandatory insurance premiums to “fund science and medicine”.

      Believe it or not, you fascist idiot, people rich and poor do not want to contract ebola. They will spend their money on ways to prevent and treat it. But when you destroy the profitability of their efforts and you fine them and throw them in jail for not complying with your arbitrary rules, you make it clear that you have no interest in helping anyone and instead desire control.

      If your real desire was to promote science and medicine, you would be talking about abolishing the FDA, DEA, ATF, and EPA. You would want people to be free to pursue their interests without interference and racketeering.

      Yet here you are, talking about keeping government lackeys employed, instead of solving problems.

      1. Emphasis on racketeering. That’s the New Progressivism, apparently.

        1. To be fair, racketeering was the Old Progressivism too.

      2. Yet here you are, talking about keeping government lackeys employed, instead of solving problems.

        It’s all about the public sector class – the new nobility. The rest of us are just here to be harvested.

      3. craig’s out of his element.

        Every single ebola treatment in existence today was created by a private drug company, the kind of company that craig and his Maoist ilk want to destroy. If the CDC was in charge of coming up with a cure for ebola we’d all be dead by year’s end.

        Anyone who has ever worked with the federal government for any period of time knows that, if you want to make sure that you wind up going over budget, past your deadline, and without actually achieving whatever you meant to achieve, give the project to a fed. The federal government is just like a massive corporation–except it has no competition, no profit incentive, no motivation to operate efficiently, and no accountability to its “customers”. This is an organization which hired an ex-Congressman who ran the OMB to be the Director of the CIA, presumably on the basis of his two years of experience in the Army, then, I guess on that same basis, moved him to Secretary of Defense.

        1. “Every single ebola treatment in existence today was created by a private drug company”

          Right – and all of us came out of a womb, so your War on Women is gonna destroy ALL OF US.

          In your fine rant, you forgot to mention that the Big Gubment we libs support PARTNERS with corporations, academia and even other nations to help us all get the best results.

          I know…you’d rather swat at BS…it’s fun!

          1. Right – and all of us came out of a womb, so your War on Women is gonna destroy ALL OF US.

            You are perhaps the stupidest motherfucker to ever draw breath.

            In your fine rant, you forgot to mention that the Big Gubment we libs support PARTNERS with corporations, academia and even other nations to help us all get the best results.

            Which always involves one or more of the following:

            – Venal thugs taking credit for the work of others;

            – Witless morons getting swindled by conmen;

            – Incompetent fools micromanaging projects into quagmires;

            – Meddling egotists creating needless obstacles;

            – Sensitive snowflakes taking every problem personally.

            The government is an unwelcome bedfellow, and any academic or businessman who partners with the government gladly should be viewed with great suspicion.

          2. The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in their respective associations, circulate within the State.

            Wanna guess who said that?

            1. Wanna guess who said that?

              craiginmass?

            2. craiginnuts won’t answer; he either found out (like I did via Google) and doesn’t see the connection or is so ashamed of himself he’s now reevaluating his entire political ideology.

              Yeah, right.

              It was that fat italian guy…you know, the one whose governing style Hitler so admired.

          3. In your fine rant, you forgot to mention that the Big Gubment we libs support PARTNERS with corporations, academia and even other nations to help us all get the best results.

            Liberals believe in regulatory capture, rent-seeking, and old-fashioned corporatism*.

            Gotcha.

            * By “old-fashioned corporatism”, I mean what pre-WWII fascists called corporatism not what modern liberals call corporatism but the corporatism that was designed to prevent what modern liberals call corporatism.

          4. your War on Women

            Who are you accusing here of being a Democrat?

    5. Obama should be your hero!

      Libertarians cheer a chaotic (and therefore useless) gubment.

      And the “More Honest than I Intended to Be” award goes to …. May I have the envelope, please?

    6. There isn’t a single intelligent argument being made anywhere in your book length post.

    7. Nice game of smoke and mirrors you’ve got going on here.

      What you meant to say, but were too dishonest a hack to say it, was that government spending (discretionary only, mind you!) leveled off AFTER Obama’s orgy of Stimulus spending gifted Democratic interest groups with trillions of dollars in looted swag.

      Jesus. You people learn nothing from History. You all run around thinking that Weimar can’t happen to you.

      When this monopoly currency that the Fed is currently printing like bad wallpaper to finance Obamacare and the Permanent Warfare/Welfare state goes belly up, I want to be here on Reason when you show up to blame Bush and the Rethuglican Regressives.

      You poor lad. You’re what I used to be. You’re a Republican in 2006, still hoping that Bush could somehow turn things around. I woke up. You can’t. You’ve got too much of an investment in the Radiant Future.

      Progressive True Believers, just like their counterparts who act as Pilot Fish for the GOP, can never admit to themselves just how much they’ve been conned.

      1. “When this monopoly currency that the Fed is currently printing like bad wallpaper to finance Obamacare and the Permanent Warfare/Welfare state goes belly up”

        I guess it depends on your definition of “true”.

        I’ve been hearing about that monopoly money for 40+ years now – virtually my entire financial life – and, yet, the stuff is still buying me a part of happiness.

        So you can join Shiff in jail if you like or read cartoons. Our currency is the envy of the world and I’m going to work to get more of it.

        1. I’ve been hearing about that monopoly money for 40+ years now

          Yes and they’ve depleted it’s value over 98% since inception. Purchasing power is much lower than it would otherwise be and wages struggle in futility to maintain a parity with inflation. But of course a socialist like you doesn’t see the actual injustice to the working population doesn’t come from the people whom workers trade their labor with, it comes from the state who is stealing the value of their labor while they tax them at the same time.

          – and, yet, the stuff is still buying me a part of happiness.

          You unintentionally validate the position that markets and the consumer goods they provide, make life better. Markets expand welath so much so fast that it makes ‘unseen’ the effects of currency manipulation that make you worse off.

          Our currency is the envy of the world and I’m going to work to get more of it.

          The banking cartel’s position as the chief banking cartel, is the envy of banksters around the world.

          1. “Markets expand welath so much so fast that it makes ‘unseen’ the effects of currency manipulation that make you worse off.”

            Well, you better tell that to my two houses, the cars, the boat, the hobbies, the medical care we get, the way we can help our kids and our investments.

            You are nutso, my friend, and I suspect if I bribed you with a couple million you’d accept any point of view. Now imagine what hundreds of millions from the Kochs does!

            1. Well, you better tell that to my two houses, the cars, the boat, the hobbies, the medical care we get, the way we can help our kids and our investments.

              Your refutation to the power of markets is to cite examples of how they have bettered your life?

              You are nutso, my friend, and I suspect if I bribed you with a couple million you’d accept any point of view. Now imagine what hundreds of millions from the Kochs does!

              You don’t understand the difference between having a principle and keeping bread on the table. Sure, millions of dollars can buy whatever opinion you want, but it can’t buy a sound mind and a strong argument.

              It is nice to see you project your moral failings onto others, though. So revealing.

            2. Well, you better tell that to my two houses, the cars, the boat, the hobbies, the medical care we get, the way we can help our kids and our investments.

              So generations worth of inflation made you more able or less able to purchase those things?

              You are nutso, my friend, and I suspect if I bribed you with a couple million you’d accept any point of view. Now imagine what hundreds of millions from the Kochs does!

              So the Kochs have paid me hundreds of millions to do what exactly? I know you keep implying that the ONLY reason that someone would support principles of liberty is because they are bribed by some enemy of the proles, but you have yet to demonstrate the time machine in possession of the Koch’s that would allow them fabricate the existence of libertarian philosophy that predates them and their money.

              1. So the Kochs have paid me hundreds of millions to do what exactly?

                Wait, there’s Koch money? Where do I get some?

                All this time…

                1. No you don’t get the money right now. It’s like Superman 3.

              2. “So the Kochs have paid me hundreds of millions to do what exactly? ”

                A small amount of it goes to feed you Red Meat here and elsewhere so you will spend time on their sites and read their stories and comment on them.

                This site is not free. No. Eyeballs are expensive and the Kochs are paying.

                1. This site is not free. No. Eyeballs are expensive and the Kochs are paying.

                  Why would they pay people to comment on “their” own site, you fucking retard?

                  1. Why would they pay people to comment on “their” own site

                    For the same reason government spending “boosts” the economy?

                    Man, I dunno, that’s some dumb stuff even for craig.

              3. I’ve noticed a common theme with all of our leftoid trolls: on one hand, they come here and badmouth the wealth and achievements of others both in the abstract and pertaining to concrete companies and individuals.

                On the other hand, whenever said lefties talk about themselves, they always tell us how rich and successful they are–like they expect us to become envy-eaten subhuman creatures like themselves.

                Personally, I think these guys are *entirely* full of shit. I don’t buy their common claim of being rich; if they were rich, why would they sit around bashing wealth and achievement on the internet all fucking day? It’s a glimpse behind the curtain of the psychology of leftoids.

    8. Laughable if it wasn’t so harmful. At least Nick admits in a roundabout way that the Gubment was hamstrung because of GOP games…but it’s hypocritical to now lament that when, most of the time, Libertarians cheer a chaotic (and therefore useless) gubment

      Incoherent. Seriously. Incoherent.

    9. Hey fuckwit, please show me a libertarian who wants to cut sex education while simultaneously increasing funding for abstinence education.

      Maybe someone would take you seriously if you were at least mentally capable enough to distinguish a libertarian from a conservative.

      But that’s not what you’re going for, is it shitstain?

      1. “Hey fuckwit, please show me a libertarian who wants to cut sex education while simultaneously increasing funding for abstinence education.”

        Please give me harder questions!

        The Koch funded sites, astroturf orgs, etc. all back the GOP Candidate who, in turn, backed all those programs and take money away from public health and other interests.

        You can’t on one hand tell me I have a hand in big gubment (while I have no relation to it or the dems at all) and then act as if Libertarians aren’t the same these days as Republicans….while commenting on yet another site financed by the Kochs….

        It just doesn’t make sense. It’s like that 14 yo with a boner lecturing me about family responsibilities.

        1. Request for:
          a libertarian who wants to

          “Proof” given:
          all back the GOP Candidate

          “Therefore”:
          Libertarians are the same these days as Republicans

          More association fallacies. Logic isn’t your strong suit, I can tell.

      2. “Maybe someone would take you seriously if you were at least mentally capable enough to distinguish a libertarian from a conservative.”

        Libertarians are conservatives who smoke dope.
        There you go!

        1. Libertarians are conservatives who smoke dope.

          Woah, mind = blown.

          Oh wait, I don’t smoke dope, and conservatives tend to not like my positions. Your argument is invalid.

    10. The president requests the budget and Congress approves it. Under Obama, the national debt had increased from about 70% off GDP to nearly 100%, out from about 10 trillion to about 16 trillion in six years.

  11. Actually Glenn Reynolds had a quite pertinent piece on just this topic. The U.S. public health system has focused increasingly on sociological missions (e.g. obesity, smoking, gun violence), rather than preventing the spread of communicable diseases. Perhaps funding should have been properly allocated to core missions, rather than political agenda-setting.

    1. Don’t hold your breath waiting for govt health systems to focus on things that don’t allow control of people’s behavior. If they had their way they would drop the communicable disease mission altogether and focus on behavior.

      1. -focus exclusively on behavior-

      2. True. But, perhaps focusing on this mission creep will clarify the issue. If they’ve got enough money to study lesbian obesity patterns (actual funded research), they don’t need more money for ebola.

        1. Repeat after me: NOTHING. LEFT. TO. CUT.

    2. If you look at the budget of just about any agency over a longer timeframe than whatever the chattering classes find convenient to harp about, you will see that growth in funding has drastically outpaced mission need. Even if actual cuts came down, the agencies in question would still be well funded to tackle their core missions, relative to the standards of 2000, never mind the standards of 1980 or 1960.

    3. “sociological missions (e.g. obesity, smoking, gun violence), rather than preventing the spread of communicable diseases”

      Actually, there is little difference! Many of the diseases that were eradicated had to do with white (and otherwise civilized) people wanting to live and work in areas where they were not adapted to. Isn’t that “sociological”?

      Obesity and smoking are rooted deeply within the lizard brain….it’s just as foolhardy to say they are some man-made condition as it is say that a 14 year old boy shouldn’t spring a boner in class when the hot girls walk in.

      Of course, we don’t want the Gubment working on vaccines to cure spontaneous teen erections – although Republicans would probably fund this along with their anti-science anti-medicine Abstinence Programs.

      Also, if only they would allow more prayer and bible reading in public schools – this would make boners recede and teens stop having sex!

      1. You do realize, I hope, that in noting that funding with regard to obesity and smoking make as much sense as trying to prevent 14-year-old boys from springing boners, you’ve refuted your own point.

        But, you’ve gotten the money to study lesbian obesity. Don’t complain when you now don’t have the money to combat ebola.

        1. “You do realize, I hope, that in noting that funding with regard to obesity and smoking make as much sense as trying to prevent 14-year-old boys from springing boners, you’ve refuted your own point.”

          Well, actually……
          “Gallup’s annual update on Americans’ smoking habits finds the rate of cigarette smoking among the adult population near the low point in the more than 60-year history of this question”

          “Obese children are more likely to live in homes where the heads of the households lack high school diplomas.”

          We can surmise that BOTH of those problems, unlike boners, respond to Big Gubment therapy.

          Facts Matter.

          On the other hand, those fine conservative states tend to have more STD’s, Obesity, etc.

          It’s like you can’t see what’s right in front of your eyes! Science, education and medicine do work. Yes.

          1. On the other hand, those fine conservative states tend to have more STD’s, Obesity, etc.

            Find a county in a red state with higher than national average rates of STDs, obesity, or smoking, and chances are very good that county will be blue. You are trying to lecture about statistics but you don’t even understand Simpson’s paradox.

            1. Big Government therapy = violating civil liberties in order to socially engineer the desired outcome.

              Doesn’t realize that the ONLY reason his “therapy” works is because the market responds to draconian taxation.

              Then cheers when the cops choke to death a guy who was selling cigarettes on the black market.

              Fucking scumbag.

            2. “You are trying to lecture about statistics but you don’t even understand Simpson’s paradox.”

              Oh, having lived in the south, I can understand how the gated communities of Hilton Head with the corporate CEO’s are low in STD’.

              But we are talking about gubment policies and their effects on people. In fine liberal states, we serve both the poor and the country club set, as well as those of either, both or no party. That’s a big difference.

              1. Of course, to an Obama cocksucker like yourself, there are only the downtrodden poor and the ennobled country club elites who look after them.

                The other half of the population, who works hard to fund your tee times and food stamps, ain’t so fond of your crony welfare bullshit.

          2. Post. Hoc. Ergo. Propter. Hoc.

            Good grief…

          3. But now you’re reversing yourself. Before it was “it’s just as foolhardy to say they are some man-made condition as it is say that a 14 year old boy shouldn’t spring a boner in class when the hot girls walk in.”

            Now, we’re supposed to believe it’s just a question of pushing the right button.

            Except that button doesn’t exist. You were more accurate before. Spurious correlation does not an argument make.

            1. “Now, we’re supposed to believe it’s just a question of pushing the right button.”

              The button of proper sex education, cleanliness and preventative and other medicine will help those 14-18 yo boners result in less misery.

              Don’t you agree? Or do you think massive amounts of children born out of wedlock that cost us all more later is the answer?

              1. For fuck’s sake, it’s not 1950. We’ve had sex education for 50 fucking years and it ain’t done jack shit. Shut up you useless idiot.

      2. And if you think infectious disease is sociological, you’re a bigger buffoon than I thought.

        “There’s an ebola outbreak in Boston.”
        “Not to worry, we’ve got our top team of sociologists working on it!”

      3. Also, if only they would allow more prayer and bible reading in public schools – this would make boners recede and teens stop having sex!

        You don’t like religion in schools? Well that’s fine. In a market-based education system you don’t have to send your kids to schools that teach nonsense. In your version of education however, it’s one size fits all where the right to teach nonsense becomes a political prize.

        1. They’re not concerned about their own choices, Free. They’re concerned about everyone else’s.

          Progressivism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere is doing something you don’t like.

          1. Everyone knows progressives are ‘pro-choice’ though.

      4. Obesity and smoking are rooted deeply within the lizard brain

        So are murder and rape; as human beings, our higher brain functions can override our “lizard brain”.

        In the case of obesity, poor nutritional information and bad food policy by the US government are also partially responsible.

        Many of the diseases that were eradicated had to do with white (and otherwise civilized) people wanting to live and work in areas where they were not adapted to. Isn’t that “sociological”?

        Oh my, you apparently hold racist beliefs too. I’d be curious to know what public health relevant diseases you believe “white people” have particular trouble with. Sunburn?

  12. Like rabid dogs in a butcher shop, Republicans have indiscriminately shredded everything in their path, including critical programs that could have dealt with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country.

    This twat wants us to pay for “critical programs” in Africa, to which I reply: fuck you.

  13. a multi-pronged blitzkrieg attack that lays blame for the Ebola crisis exactly where it belongs– at the feet of the Republican lawmakers. Like rabid dogs in a butcher shop, Republicans have indiscriminately shredded everything in their path, including critical programs that could have dealt with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country.

    Uh, yeah. Maybe if the criminals in our government really wanted to deal with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country they could have shut down all arriving flights from the infected countries. At the very least, people arriving from those countries could be quarantined for three weeks. But no, they must stick with their PC ideology no matter who or what it costs.

    Blame Ebola on the Republicans? Just another example of the Big Lie.

  14. I thought 501c(4) organizations weren’t allowed to engage in political advocacy.

    Oh wait, that only applies if they are Republicans, my bad.

    1. You don’t understand, HazelMeade, when proggies do it, it’s voter education and a vital public service.

      1. I’m curios to know if this 501c(4) got approved before or during the IRS scandal where all the Tea Party groups were being denied 501c(4) status because of political advocacy.

  15. If you are a Liberal you can blame ANYTHING and EVERYTHING on either Bush or the “Republican budget cuts.” Just last week a Liberal blamed Kublai Khan’s attack on Japan in 1274 on Bush and the Republican House.

    1. “‘Just last week a Liberal blamed Kublai Khan’s attack on Japan in 1274 on Bush and the Republican House.”

      We’d have to check the Bush ancestry more closely before making this news.

      1. That doesn’t even make sense! Kublai Klan’s invading armada was wrecked by a freak typhoon. Wait a minute! That’s it! Freak Typhoon/Globall Worming!!!! It WAS Bush’s fault!

        1. That doesn’t even make sense!

          Kuwanki, meet craig.

    2. “Liberals” never accept blame for anything bad and always grab credit for anything good that happens. Their genius in the White House is the poster child for that.

      1. Blame is the only thing they’re liberal with.

  16. “No, fuck you, cut spending.”

    1. I blame the delays in the production of Star Trek: TOC on Republican obstructionism.

  17. my neighbor’s aunt makes $69 every hour on the laptop . She has been fired for eight months but last month her check was $16750 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    Go to website. ? ? ? ? ? ? http://www.jobsfish.com

  18. Can You Blame Ebola Outbreak on “Republican Cuts” to Health Budgets?

    Well, duh, everything bad that’s ever happened in the history of the world is the TEATHUGLIKKKANHADIST’S fault, everyone knows that! /DERP

    1. We haven’t reached Peak Derp, yet, but it’s coming.

      1. Peak Derp is a myth. They can always get derpier.

        1. ^This^

          Stupidity is the world’s only unlimited resource.

          1. Idiocracy was a documentary.

          2. Stupidity is the world’s only unlimited resource.

            And for exhibit A, I give you craiginmass.

    2. It is why they call themselves progressives, so they can take credit for all progress humanity has ever made, while simultaneously claiming that the other side has always been against them and the progress they have brought to humanity.

  19. Odd that the greatest statement on Liberals is this from Michael Douglas in The American President (although I don’t think he meant it this way), “they’re not the least bit interested in our problems. They’re interested in making you afraid of it-and telling you who to blame for it.”. Pretty much sums it up. Don’t fix-just blame. The Lib way.

  20. Similar article but read about some of the essential things the NIH spends your money on near the middle.
    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..ervatives/

  21. Can you blame it on the GOP? Sure why not?
    Are there people that will believe it? Yup.

    1. “Are there people that will believe it? Yup.”

      Yup, just like there are people who believe conservative states have lower unemployment, healthier populations, lower taxes or any of the other great benefits of “libertarian ways”…..

      1. Are you also ARealGamer from yesterday ?

        You sound just like it.

        I have a hangover after drinking too much while celebrating the Cowboys stomping of the Seahawks.

        I blame Bush and Republican budget cuts.

      2. conservative states … “libertarian ways”

        I found your logic problem, you should get that looked at.

      3. Why would conservative states have any benefits of libertarian ways?

  22. Before I am willing to even DISCUSS whose fault the putative cuts might be, I want to see some evidence that, overall, government spending does more good than airdropping the same number of dollars and letting folks spend it on what they want.

    Yes, I’m a Crank.

    1. Government funding for basic research in areas like physics and medicine seems to be doing some good. And that kind of research is a public good, so it is hard for the market to provide it.

      It’s unclear whether it’s the best use of money among all possible choices, but I think it’s clear that it is better than Keynesian stimulus programs or health care subsidies.

      For Ebola, however, a loosening of government regulations and price controls would probably be more effective than large amounts of funding.

      1. And that kind of research is a public good, so it is hard for the market to provide it.

        I really, really, want to dispel with fire the notion that “a public good” cannot be provided by “the market”.

        A public good by definition has value to “the public”. Therefore, absent coercion, people will pay for them.

        And if they don’t, well then it’s not actually “a public good”, now is it?

        1. Therefore, absent coercion, people will pay for it.

          My kingdom for an edit button!

  23. I am generally an optimistic person who tries to give people the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, it seems that liberals are dead-set on their agenda of politicizing everything, including something like Ebola which no one with a shred of humanity would wish on their worst enemy. I’m still hoping against hope that Obama wouldn’t take advantage of a health crisis for his own political ends. As much as I dislike him, I don’t yet have reason to believe he’s that sadistic, nor do I want to.

    1. Ebola which no one with a shred of humanity would wish on their worst enemy

      I have multiple shreds of humanity that guide me down the path of hoping a very specific list of people contract the disease and then disappear from existence.

    2. including something like Ebola which no one with a shred of humanity would wish on their worst enemy

      Not to diminish the suffering from it, but Ebola seems similar to other severe viral infections. People fear it because it’s invisible, fast, and deadly. But in terms of suffering, many common diseases in the West, and many common medical procedures that our medical system imposes on people are arguably worse.

      I’m talking, for example, about terminal patients being kept alive against their will, motivated by a medical system intent on extracting the maximum amount of money from an insurer.

      1. motivated by a medical system intent on extracting the maximum amount of money from an insurer

        The role of the law in “encouraging” doctors to err on the side of keeping people alive without regard to cost probably plays as much of, if not a bigger, role in this.

        1. What would you suggest, then? Death panels?

          1. If you can’t find the money to pay a doctor to keep you alive, can’t convince somebody your life is worth saving, and can’t find a charitable doctor to do it for free, then you die.

            Since you were going to die anyway, no one has harmed you. You are not owed life saving medical practices by virtue of your existence. Doctors are not your slaves.

            1. Should such decisions be made ad hoc, or by a committee?

    3. He’s a radical Progressive ; the kind of swine that made excuses for Stalin and made a saint of Che. I wouln’t put anything beyone him, if we are talking about intentions. Fortunately he’s a relatively ineffectual twit.

  24. So when Obama shifts money from the NIH to Solyndra and Goldman Sachs, the Republicans have cut healthcare?

    Yes, it’s an outrage that public research funding has gone down, and we should hold the guy who proposes the budget responsible: the president.

    1. “So when Obama shifts money from the NIH to Solyndra and Goldman Sachs, the Republicans have cut healthcare?”

      1. The reason we have big bad gubment is that it can do a lot of things at one time.

      2. In this time period, TRILLIONS were spend on the Security state…..with little to show for it.

      3. Francis Collins, the guy who made the statement about cuts doing away with the vaccine timing, is a devout Christian (some would say Fundamentalist) and I doubt he is lying for a political point…

      4. The downturn in funding for NIH started about 2002, as you can see by this:
      http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2159…..NS-570.jpg

      But, yes, other than being completely wrong – maybe you are right!

      1. The reason we have big bad gubment is that it can pretend to do a lot of things at one time.

        FTFY

        In this time period, TRILLIONS were spend on the Security state…..with little to show for it.

        So you refute your #1 point with your #2 point, you’re off to a stunning start.

        Francis Collins, the guy who made the statement about cuts doing away with the vaccine timing, is a devout Christian (some would say Fundamentalist) and I doubt he is lying for a political point…

        That he goes to church on Sunday has no bearing on his ability to lie (or be misled) for a political cause.

        4. The downturn in funding for NIH started about 2002, as you can see by this:

        Their budget in 2000 was $17 billion and went up to $30 billion by 2010. That is a 76% increase against 40% inflation and 10% population growth.

        Lies, damn lies, …

      2. (1&2) Obama could have taken the money he wasted on the stimulus and bailouts and put them into something more worthwhile, like research. You point out correctly that trillions were spent on the security state, another thing Obama is responsible for.

        (4) Yes, and Obama was elected largely because people were pissed off at Bush’s policies. Yet, Obama broke his promises and continued, and in many cases exacerbated, Bush’s idiotic policies.

        You obviously operate under the mistaken assumption that everybody who is dissatisfied with Obama and the Democrats must love Republicans. Stop being so damned stupid. The problem with Obama and the Democrats is that they are corrupt and incompetent in pretty much the same way that Bush and the Republicans were corrupt and incompetent.

  25. There’s half a point buried in there somewhere, despite your ignoring that the GOP controls the House (you know, the chamber of Congress where all spending bills originate), the facts that Obama’s proposing the sequester was a tactic, not a desired end-goal, and that his budgets since the sequester have been constrained by it, and that the heads of US public health agencies are technocrats, not politicians (because he can’t get a Surgeon General confirmed). But when you cite Veronique de Rugy as a trustworthy source, and then claim that Democrats are the ones trying to make Ebola a political issue after multiple GOP candidates have been yammering for weeks about how illegal immigrants are going to invade the country carrying Ebola if the border-security-hatin’ Democrats stay in power, then you’ve lost all credibility.

    1. the facts that Obama’s proposing the sequester was a tactic, not a desired end-goal

      With that logic you can justify anything. For example, “Elizabeth Warren’s crony capitalism is just a tactic, not an end goal.” (In fact, she said as much.)

      Fact is that the president submits the budget and it is his responsibility to come up with something that is acceptable to Congress. Obama’s budget was loaded with corrupt handouts to special interest groups that favored him, while at the same time cutting important government functions. Republicans tried to fight it but eventually had to give in.

      Ebola is a political issue. If there is an outbreak in the US, it is the president’s responsibility because preventing that is his job. And funding public health related research is also the president’s responsibility. He is failing on both counts.

    2. I’m going to say without much reservation that Veronique de Rugy has far more credibility than you, whoever the fuck you are.

  26. Things are going so well for the government plan to contain Ebola that I think its time for a Senate junket to the affected regions. Visits to containment centers and empathetic selfies with patients. I wonder if Obama will do a photo-op at one of the airports with a thermometer in hand to greet passengers de-planning from Liberia?

  27. Hell, Obama isn’t even President. George Bush is still President. Ask anyone in the D’s.

  28. So, you cannot blame Republicans for Ebola. But let’s not forget there are many reasons to say that Republicans kill.

    Ok. Got it. Point made. Republicans — killing machines.

  29. Craiginmass, when corrected by someone or has nothing of substance to contribute –

    “Well, you guys think believe Obama was born in Kenya and global warming is a myth, so there”

    Palin’s sex toy merely disappears when proven wrong. Craiginmass will come back with a lot of lefty talking points that has nothing to do with an argument that he started.

    1. “”Well, you guys think believe Obama was born in Kenya and global warming is a myth, so there””

      Well, you have one part correct there! Folks in this thread are lecturing me about COMPUTER MODELS! That’s hilarious….

      1. You are literally too stupid to understand what people are saying, but that’s unsurprising considering the quality of your arguments.

  30. This article makes a legitimate counter-argument to the budget-cut accusation, but the sequestration section was lacking. From other research, it looks like the CDC got a real increase (i.e., over inflation) of 10% during George W.’s term, but that the entire 10% was clawed back by sequestration.

    The link to Mercatus was lazy, and the top-level view of sequestration was in noticeable contrast to the detail on the CDC’s budget. If you want to persuade independent people, rather than just shout in your echo chamber, you’d compare likes to likes.

    As for sequestration, I don’t think there’s any real question that this was the G.O.P.’s baby. Now, there’d be a legitimate possible rejoinder in which the writer would argue that the CDC cut the wrong things in response to the sequester, but that argument was not made.

    If it’s just another Internet pissing match, fine. But the first half of the article seemed better than that, anyway.

    1. As for sequestration, I don’t think there’s any real question that this was the G.O.P.’s baby.

      I’m sorry, were you an independent thinker or a shill for one of the major parties? The President proposed sequestration and signed it into law.

      If you want to be neutral about something, then start off by being fucking neutral.

      1. Ooooh, the f-word from a libertarian. I quake in my boots.

        1. You’d get your ass kicked by any of us, you’re a lefty faggot because you’re weak-minded, weak-willed, and limp-wristed.

          You tuck your balls and sit down to piss with the feminists.

  31. I’d like to know how much money is coming from the member states of the “Untied” Nations….I mean, the United Nations…..and from WHO. Like many diseases, Ebola will eventually become a global problem rather than just a regional one. We, the U.S , can’t continue to police the world. Neither can we alone combat diseases such as Ebola, SARS, West Nile, et al. We have the best technology and resources, therefore, we can do a lot of good but, we simply cannot solve all the world’s problems alone.

  32. I hear a fair bit of coin was spent on bonuses to VA administrators killing veterans. Maybe that wasn’t the best use of those funds.

  33. I laugh out loud when PROGS bemoan “Waske’lee Wee’publicans” for “cutting” GUB-mint $. Aside from the ridiculous notion that ANY part of the FED monster doesn’t have “enough money” (25% of GDP can’t feed the beast!), one need only look at HOW the BEAST digests its “free lunch”.

    The CDC receives BILLIONS, but chooses to divert money AWAY from programs that fight infectious diseases. Liberal cronyism never ceases to amaze!!

    Consider the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new series of mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare. For five years, the CDC got $3 BILLION in transfers from the fund. Yet only 6 PERCENT ? $180 million? went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity.

    Instead, the CDC had other priorities. The COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION GRANT received 3X as much as fighting disease ($517.3M)!

    The CDC’s website tells US that the PROG-infested program funds “increasing access to healthy foods by supporting local farmers and developing neighborhood grocery stores,” or “promoting improvements in sidewalks and street lights to make it safe for people to walk and ride bikes.” (Goofy liberal THEORY anyone?).

    Bike lanes and farmer’s markets may indeed help a community, but they do NOTHING to combat dangerous diseases like Ebola.

    LIBERALS MAKE ME BARF and I don’t have Ebola. Dennis Miller says, “he’s more likely to believe in a bearded God in Birkenstocks walking on clouds without falling through, than a FED that spends his money WISELY”.

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