Friday, June 12, 2009

You Know It's Gotta Be Bad...

...when even a unregenerate liberal like Charlie Rangel (sign of the cross), says that the price tag for the Obamacare down payment will exceed a trillion. More to the point, take a look at the package the Dems are putting together. Read it. Here's the money line:

Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.

Yup, that's tax increases, my friends. More importantly, take note of the cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, said payments already being quite low. Watch all the Medicare HMO's in unprofitable towns head for the hills and leave the codgers scrambling for the postage stamp coverage of traditional Medicare. Watch for fewer and fewer providers to accept these patients. As for the rest of us, we can read our future in their fate. Face it, folks, you're not gonna get Congressional style coverage. And forcing employers to provide insurance sounds marvelous until you factor in that these same employers might be more reluctant to hire.

On The Subject of Automobiles...

No, no, this time I made it to Tampa Airport with the same four tires with which I started. There was the one hour traffic jam on the H-F Bridge with the attendant "Are the newlyweds going to miss their flight?" excitement, which in turn was further heightened by the phone call to American Airlines during which the customer service rep informed the young bride that her reservation was cancelled because of a "do not honor the credit card" from the online provider which turned out to be untrue, but not until a few crying jags later. Anyway, all was well that ended well.

No, I was thinking of PJ O'Rourke's recent post-mortem on the death of the love affair with the car. If I've got it right, his premise is that familiarity bred contempt. As for me, I have never been able to fathom why the clunky boxlike Japanese cars of recent years have been so popular. It's not like they are particularly cheap. So says the proud owner of a Hyundai, Tiburon that is. At least it's not shapeless.

O'Rourke's piece reminded of the grandaddy of all automobile valedictions, EB White's essay, "Farewell, My Lovely." While White's effort was about the Model T, the passion he associates with the automobile is the one O'Rourke maintains has cooled. We are the more diminished by it. After all, can you picture the Dukes in a Nissan Altima?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some Automatic Questions

The Federal Government steps in, abrogates the rights of pensioners, upends contract law, and the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case. If the Supremes won't, who will defend the rights of the individual against the government?

Secured bondholders are sent to the end of the payment line, but Fiat is apparently gaining 35% of the new Chrysler for...what exactly? It doesn't seem to be money.

And speaking of no money down, how exactly does the government have the right to take away the property, albeit near defunct, of shareholders and bondholders and buy the majority stake only to give it away to the union which helped bring the companies down in the first place? Smacks of the cigarette tax medical care giveaway.

What does union ownership mean anyway? Will they be running the joint? If there are ever profits, will they trickle down to the workers?

Unifying principle here: take from one group and give to another. Income redistribution at its highest form. He told you so.

If you ask me, these auto deals are a travesty and the beginning of the road to perdition.

I'm Baack

Update: I apologize my information was not quite correct. That's what I get for getting info when I'm feeling no pain and then passing it on. Let it be a lesson to me. So far, I have been able to confirm the loss of dental and vision and learned about cuts to those getting more than fifty four thou in pension, but more investigation needs to be done. More later.

My apologies, but the twenty people inhabiting my four room house kept me from the computer these past weeks. Memo: Force your children to elope. A funny thing happened at the wedding, however.

(Removed by author, pending confirmation. Let it be a lesson to same.)