Thanksgiving Story: The Pilgrims, Collectivism, and Free Markets

pilgrims-300x215The story of the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving is widely taught in all our schools. What is seldom taught, however, is what those Pilgrims learned, at great pain, about Collectivism versus Free Markets.

This story stands as perhaps the clearest and starkest-ever before-and-after comparison between those two rival systems for human interaction and governance.

Read the full article at this link.

Take The Quiz! Who Said It?

Who Said It!

It’s time to have a little fun and see if our readers can tell the difference between Fred DuVal and Scott Smith. We’ve pulled a number of quotes from or about each candidate on issues important to Arizonans. We’ll post the issue followed by the quote and then let the readers guess who said it. (And no using Google search to cheat!)

COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM

A. “…we cannot continue with a broken system that keeps millions of people living in the shadows of our communities.”

B. “he supports driver’s licenses for young immigrants awarded work permits under a new Obama administration program. He also praised the U.S. Senate’s Gang of Eight for working on comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

DREAMERS

A. “My first action as governor will be to rescind Gov Brewer’s Executive Order against driver’s licenses for Dreamers.”

B. “The federal government’s half-steps on immigration are not doing us any favors, taking us further from the goal. These side discussions, such as the driver’s licenses discussion, are a distraction. The end game is a fair and just immigration process that includes allowing our DREAMERS to become legal.”

SB 1070

A. On Gov. Brewer “I think she got 1070 wrong…

B. “It’s not exactly the law I would have written.”

COMMON CORE

A. “I believe (Arizona’s) College and Career Ready Standards (Common Core) accomplish these objectives, and I support their implementation.”

B. “I fully support Common Core and applaud Governor Brewer’s efforts to ensure the implementation of these vital standards despite opposition from some members of her party.”

C. “And what we have proposed here, whether you call it common core or ready achievement or whatever, I don’t care the label you put on it, we have to do it. …”

D. “Rather than a top-down, one-size-fits-all, Washington, D.C. approach to education, Common Core is a perfect example of how states can lead the way on improving education.”

OBAMACARE MEDICAID EXPANSION

A. “It would be a terrible mistake not to expand Medicaid on federal dollars.”

B. “I supported the governors Medicaid restoration because she did what was best for Arizona.”

TAXES / BUDGET

A. “After the massive cuts to K-12 schools, defunding all-day kindergarten, and ending the once-cent sales tax that funds our children’s schools, the last thing the folks at the Capitol should do is to set another tripwire on our children’s road to opportunity.”

B. “Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a state legislator cutting spending without raising taxes.”

ENVIRONMENT

A. “It’s the Senate’s turn to pass energy-climate legislation.”

B. “I welcome the opportunity to join with 1,000 of my peers in this truly bipartisan effort to improve not only the environment, but our communities and our nation.”

POLITICAL LEANINGS:

A. “…a self-described moderate, said serving in the House would be a “wonderful opportunity to reach across the divide.”

B. “He will allow himself to be called a progressive, but takes pains to note the lowercase ‘p’…”

 

Feel free to post your answers in the comments!

Tempe’s Private Little Fiscal Cliff

By Michael Gibbs

Lemmings

What Tempe Council believes

I can’t think of the right adjective to use. Discouraged? Shocked? Appalled? Dismayed? Incredulous? That’s how this week’s Tempe City Council candidate forum left me feeling.

At one point candidate Matt Papke responded to a question by expressing concern about the city’s finances. Several current members of the council dismissed the issue by telling the audience that, by law, the budget has to be balanced. The attitude went beyond nonchalant–they implied that the city’s debt is a GOOD thing.

When Papke showed that in the last ten years alone Tempe’s debt has increased three-fold to nearly three quarters of a billion dollars his opponents made fun of him and one even asked if he had a mortgage on his house. Another stated flatly that you cannot run a city without incurring debt.

It’s this kind of thinking that has driven the entire nation to a $17 trillion dollar deficit, the only difference being that Tempe doesn’t have a printing press in the basement to make more dollars! No wonder Tempe is digging an ever deeper hole despite having the highest property taxes in the valley–it’s run by a bunch of profligates with no regard for their fiscal responsibilities. The spendthrifts in Detroit must be very proud to have Tempe following in their footsteps.

NFIB Arizona weighs in on latest economic report

Congress can help where Arizona fell down

PHOENIX, Ariz., June 10, 2014Today’s release of one of the nation’s most trusted economic surveys casts in sharp relief how pervasive our political leaders’ inattention to small-business job creation is, according to the Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s voice of small business.

As it does very month, NFIB releases its Index of Small Business Optimism, which measures the pulse of the nation’s largest employer group—Main Street entrepreneurs. Although the index rose to its highest level since 2007, the underpinnings of a strong economy are still not seismically sound.

“What stood out for me in the latest optimism index was Arizona’s missed opportunity to spur capital spending and new job creation by our own small businesses when Governor Brewer vetoed House Bill 2664 earlier this year,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for NFIB. The bill, which passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, would have created an immediate state income tax allowance for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000, similar to federal Section 179 expensing.

Indeed, in summarizing the latest optimism index, economist William Dunkelberg, its author, noted, “May’s numbers bring the Index to its highest level since September 2007. However, the four components most closely related to GDP and employment growth (job openings, job creation plans, inventory and capital spending plans) collectively fell 1 point in May.”

“Shifting capital spending into a higher gear is essential to a full and sustainable economic recovery,” said Quinlan. “Now, even though Arizona’s capital expensing vehicle stalled, Congress can turn on the ignition of job creation by passing H.R. 4457, the Small Business Tax Relief Act, when it comes up for a full House vote Thursday.

H.R. 4457 would allow small businesses to immediately deduct on their federal taxes the full value of equipment in the same year the investment is made, instead of depreciating the investment over time. This simplifies accounting and frees up cash to be reinvested and grow the business.

“The job-creation user’s manual is pretty straightforward and easy to follow,” said Quinlan. “If business owners have an incentive to invest in more equipment, they will need to hire more employees to meet the increased sales that equipment will generate. But I worry H.R. 4457 may face a similar grim fate in Congress as House Bill 2664 suffered in Arizona, despite everyone—Democrats, Republicans, business and labor—favoring it, a tragic misreading of the economy’s weakness will lead to continued inertia and another missed opportunity.”

Despite broad, bipartisan support, small-business federal expensing fell from $500,000 to $25,000 this year because previous extensions were temporary. H.R. 4457 would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.Click here to read a letter 154 business associations signed and sent to Congress.

NOTE: The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. For almost 40 years, NFIB’s Index of Small Business Optimism has been one of the nation’s bellwether economic barometers, used by Federal Reserve, chairmen, congressional leaders and presidential administrations.

###

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

Will Kyrsten Sinema Support Obama’s Job Destroying Cap-and-Trade Scheme?

NRCC

Kyrsten Sinema Will Have to Choose Between Saving Jobs or Backing her Friends in D.C.

WASHINGTON – Is Kyrsten Sinema going to listen to Arizona voters and save American jobs, or will she fall in line with her Democrat allies and support President Obama’s latest cap-and-trade scheme that could cost the U.S. economy $50 billion a year and eliminate an estimated 224,000 jobs?

A recent study, issued by the United States Chamber of Commerce, found that President Obama’s new cap-and-trade edict will force more than a “third of the coal-fired power capacity to close by 2030.”

“Not only will this new Obama regulation cost billions of dollars for taxpayers, but it will limit American energy production and spike electricity prices – hurting families across America,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek. “Arizona families deserve a Republican leader in Congress that will stand up to President Obama and his Administration’s job-destroying regulations.”

Will Kyrsten Sinema Support Obama’s Job Destroying Cap-and-Trade Scheme.
(Michael Bastasch, EPA To Unilaterally Push Cap And Trade On Carbon Emissions, The Daily Caller, 5/27/14)

“President Obama’s climate rule change will force more than a “third of the coal-fired power capacity to close by 2030.”
(Mark Drajem, Chamber Study Predicts Obama Climate Rule Will Kill Jobs, Bloomberg, 5/28/14)

Cost nearly $50 billion and eliminate an estimated 224,000 jobs
(Energy Institute Report Finds That Potential New EPA Carbon Regulations Will Damage U.S. Economy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 5/28/14)

It will limit American energy production and spike electricity prices.
(Ralph Vartabedian, U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good, LA Times, 4/25/14)

ELECTRICITY: “U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good. There is a growing fragility in the U.S. electricity system, experts warn, the result of the shutdown of coal-fired plants, reductions in nuclear power, a shift to more expensive renewable energy and natural gas pipeline constraints. … ‘We are now in an era of rising electricity prices,’ said Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…” (Los Angeles Times)

HEALTH CARE: “More employees are getting hit with higher health insurance premiums and co-payments, and many don’t have the money to cover unexpected medical expenses, a new report finds. More than half of companies (56%) increased employees’ share of health care premiums or co-payments for doctors’ visits in 2013, and 59% of employers say they intend to do the same in 2014, according to the annual Aflac WorkForces Report.” (USA TODAY)

FOOD: “Rising food prices bite into household budgets. Prices are rising for a range of food staples, from meat and pork to fruits and vegetables, squeezing consumers still struggling with modest wage gains.” (USA TODAY)

FLYING, THE MOVIES, OIL CHANGES, AND MORE: “David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, said other areas beyond food and energy … are getting costlier as well. ‘Airline fares are on the rise,’ he said in his morning note Tuesday. ‘Movie tickets and other such recreational services are on the rise. Repair service fees are on the rise. Shelter costs in general are on the rise. Tuition costs are on the rise. Medical service prices are on the rise.’” (NBC News)

Arizona agriculture needs immigration reform

Tom Nassif

Tom Nassif

Agriculture is a central pillar of the Arizona economy, but without workable immigration laws that provide growers with a dependable, legal workforce this essential industry faces huge barriers to success. Western Growers Association has stressed the urgent need for immigration policy changes in recent meetings with Arizona Congressional delegation representatives, and will continue to do so in the next several months. It is important to urge our leaders to make fixing our broken immigration system one of their top legislative goals this year.

Agriculture is a $9 billion Arizona industry, a crucial segment of the state economy that supports jobs for thousands of Arizonans, all working to provide nutritious food and fiber to millions of people around the nation and the world. Immigrant workers are a necessity for this important industry, as many farm, ranch, and food processing job openings simply do not attract enough American applicants. Without the hard work of immigrant laborers, Arizona harvests as we know them today would simply be impossible to sustain.

Arizona growers want and need a legal workforce. Undocumented workers can be gone in an instant – victims of an immigration system that gives them no method of complying with the law while still providing for their families. The constant specter of deportation not only negatively impacts the lives of so many immigrant families; it directly hinders investments in training and agricultural production that could significantly increase Arizona – and U.S. – economic output.

Ineffective guest and seasonal worker programs have resulted in a nationwide farm labor shortage. Studies have shown that farm income could drop by as much as $9 billion and thousands of U.S. farms could fail if this situation is not addressed. Failing to act on this critical issue will create negative economic consequences and cause our food production to be controlled by foreign countries.

Reforming our outdated immigration laws is the answer. We must rewrite immigration statutes to provide enough visas to meet the needs of U.S. employers, and devise a method of bringing the millions of undocumented workers living among us out of the shadows and into fully productive participation in our economy.

There are significant benefits to be gained – in all economic sectors – from immigration reform. Analysis conducted by REMI estimates that increasing the availability of visas for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers would create hundreds of new Arizona jobs, and add almost $15 million to wage and salary disbursements in just the first year. By 2020, Arizona workers would receive an additional $55.5 million in wages from instituting this single, simple immigration reform strategy.

Bringing undocumented workers into legality would also boost job creation and economic growth. The first year result from the creation of a pathway to legality would amount to more than 3,200 new jobs and a $265 million increase in Arizona Gross State Product. Six years later, 14,500 jobs would be added and GSP would expand by almost $1.2 billion.

Arizona growers not only put food on our tables, they pay taxes that fund public services and play a key role in maintaining a strong state economy in which other businesses can succeed – every farm job supports 3 to 4 good jobs in other industries. Arizona agriculture is a valuable resource we must protect, and reforming our immigration laws to ensure growers of a viable labor force is one of the best ways to help them survive. We applaud the Arizona delegation for meeting with groups like ours, and hope that they will fight for the issues in immigration reform that are important to the agriculture and general business communities of Arizona.

Tom Nassif  is President and CEO of Western Growers.

Americans for Prosperity: Congress and the President are shortening the fuse

By Christine Harbin Hanson and Tom Jenney

Imagine paying an extra $15,000 a year in taxes. For 50 working years.

That is the burden Washington is placing on our children and grandchildren.

America’s unfunded government liabilities over the next 75 years are between $100 trillion and $200 trillion, depending on how you crunch the numbers. Those are the spending promises our politicians have made through Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and other federal programs, including “Obamacare.”

According to realistic estimates by the Congressional Budget ­Office, the unfunded liabilities in Medicare alone are $89 trillion.

Let’s take a midway total liability estimate of $150 trillion. If we divide by the 90 million children in this country who are under the age of 18 (and who did not vote for the politicians who made the spending promises), it comes to more than $1.5 million per child over their lifetimes — above and beyond what they are currently scheduled to pay in taxes.

Over a 50-year working lifetime, that’s $30,000 a year. Lucky for them, financial markets will put some of that burden on those of us who are currently working adults. But if they absorb half of the burden, that would be an average of $15,000 a year in extra taxes per child or grandchild.

Of course, any attempt to actually collect that much extra revenue from American workers or their employers would create massive, long-term structural unemployment and destroy economic growth by causing even more capital and jobs to move overseas.

Unfortunately, Congress and the president are doing nothing to defuse America’s gigantic bankruptcy bomb; instead, they are shortening the fuse.

These past few months were a critical time for conservative members of Congress to stand firm behind their promises to get runaway government spending under control. Congress considered two of the biggest spending bills of the year, the Ryan-Murray budget deal and the farm bill ­conference report.

The first disappointing vote was on the budget resolution in October. Crafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray, the deal boosted discretionary spending to a whopping $1 trillion a year for each of the next two years. Worse, the plan shattered previously agreed-upon spending caps for fiscal year 2014 by $45 billion — an alarming increase and a broken promise.

The deal also further nickel-and-dimed American families by hiking airline ticket taxes and making changes to military pensions.

Most alarming is the fact that the Ryan-Murray deal traded higher spending now in exchange for the promise of $28 billion in cuts in 2022 and 2023. American taxpayers deserve spending cuts now, not promises to cut spending in the future.

The second vote was the farm bill conference report in February. This legislation authorized $1 trillion in spending over the next decade. Passed under the false guise of helping small farmers, the bill expanded a number of corporate welfare programs such as crop insurance, massive taxpayer subsidies and revenue guarantees for politically connected farmers.

It also neglected to make any meaningful reforms to ballooning food-stamp spending, which has more than doubled since President Obama took office and is rife with abuse.

Americans for Prosperity urged legislators to vote against both bills, and we will include these votes in our next congressional scorecard.

We are grateful to report that a number of Arizona’s legislators stood up for American taxpayers and voted against both of these bloated bills. House members who voted the right way included Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert.

On the Senate side, Jeff Flake also voted correctly. AFP applauds these members for standing up against more government handouts and higher spending.

A number of Democratic legislators voted against the bills, but for much different reasons. Some Democrats overwhelmingly felt that the budget resolution and the farm bill conference report didn’t spend enough.

Worse, a disappointing number of Republican legislators cast a “yes” vote for both the Ryan-Murray budget deal and the farm bill conference report, signaling their support of higher federal spending. Remember: This is the party that claims to support controlling spending and limiting the size of government.

Meanwhile, the fuse continues to burn on America’s bankruptcy bomb.

Americans for Prosperity is committed to defusing that bomb and securing a bright fiscal future for our children and grandchildren.

Tom Jenney is director of Americans for Prosperity’s Arizona chapter. Christine Harbin Hanson is federal issues campaign manager for Americans for Prosperity. More information: www.americansforprosperity.org.

LegisTraitors Drunk with Power Demand Increase in Deficit Spending

LegisTraitors(picture from Arizona Capitol Times)

Drunk with power, or simply dazed from visions of hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars dancing in their heads, Jeremy Duda from the Arizona Capitol Times, captures Heather Carter, Ethan Orr, Kate Brophy McGee, Doug Coleman, Rob Robson, and Jeff Dial leaving the House before the gavel to make their case to spend-increase-expand with money we lowly taxpayers have not even made yet.

Geez Louise Republicans! The budget you passed in the Senate only has a $400 million structural deficit. That is just not enough!  The Coalition of Corruption including these six and all the Democrats (again) want bigger government – more agencies – increased spending – and to expand on the expansion of last session.  If we are going to borrow money to pass a democrat budget then let’s go all the way!

No money into the rainy day fund. No money to buy back our buildings. No money to decrease our debt. Actually they are demanding that money is spent that does not exist.  In their power-induced-drunken-state the LegisTraitors are blind to the plight of Arizona taxpayers preferring to prioritize the interests of the crony capitalists who bankroll their campaign committees.

The amendments and increased spending requested by the Coalition of Corruption has been scored by the non-partisan JBLC to give Arizona a $1 Billion deficit by 2017. This is “recurring spending” meaning the spending will occur every single year.  

So another day and no budget for Arizona.  The taxpayers, small businessmen, and Principled Conservatives will have to wait and see who is offering what to whom before we will know what is being shoved down our throats this year.  Will there be a fundraiser with a gift-in-kind equal to the amount it takes to educate one child for half a year in a Charter School?

Will we see a new traitor or will the traitors have a traitor? And how much does a LegisTraitor vote go for?

The vote is tied at 30-30. It will be an interesting day.

Stay tuned.

Christine Bauserman
Chair, Alliance of Principled Conservatives

Americans for Prosperity – Arizona: Legislative Action for Week of February 3

Americans for Prosperity-Arizona

The week of February 3, three of AFP-Arizona’s key bills will be in committee. Please use the information and links below to take action TODAY.

HB 2260 — The Small Business Bill of Rights

HB 2260, sponsored by Rep. Tom Forese, will be heard by the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday, February 5 at 10:00 am. It would create a list of protections for all business owners and require regulatory enforcement agencies to publicize them.  (Thanks to NFIB-Arizona for pushing for this important bill!)  We need to protect Arizona job creators from government regulatory assault, so please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Commerce Committee,
and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights, when it comes to a floor vote.

HB 2508 — Criminal Background Checks for ObamaCare Navigators

HB 2508, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Insurance and Retirement Committee on Tuesday, February 4 at 2:00 pm. It would regulate ObamaCare insurance exchange Navigators, by requiring them to undergo criminal background checks and by instituting other privacy protections. These Navigators will have access to very sensitive personal health and financial information of citizens — and many citizens are essentially being forced by ObamaCare to go into the exchanges. Please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Insurance and Retirement Committee, and ask them to support HB 2508 to protect citizens’ personal health and financial information from fraudsters acting as Navigators.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2508 when it comes to a floor vote.

HCR 2005 — The “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act”

HCR 2005, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Reform and Human Services Committee on Thursday, February 6 at 9:00 am. The bill would put a “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act” on the 2014 election ballot. If approved by the voters, the reform would allow drug manufacturers to provide investigational drugs, products, or devices to terminally ill patients. No individual should be denied the right to save their own life — and, with this legislation, Arizona would recognize that dying patients have a “Right to Try” treatments that have been deemed safe by the FDA but which have not been granted full FDA approval.  (Thanks to our friends at the Goldwater Institute for coming up with this great idea!)  Please take the following two actions today to support this important health care freedom reform:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Reform and Human Services Committee, and ask them to support HCR 2005 to protect the rights of terminally ill patients.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HCR 2005 when it comes to a floor vote.

And here are even more ways to take action:

1) Register in support of the bills. If you do not already have an account with the ALIS system, you will need to come down to the Capitol to set up an account at one of the several kiosks (after you sign up, you will be able to voice your opinion on bills from the comfort of your home). For help getting set up with an ALIS account, contact Bill Fathauer at bfathauer@afphq.org. A member of our legislative team will also be there in advance of the hearing to help anyone who needs to sign in.

2) Attend the committee hearings and testify in support of the bills. If you or someone you know has been personally affected by an issue being raised in committee, you can attend the hearing in person and tell your story. Requesting to speak also requires setting up an ALIS account in person if you do not already have one (see #1 above), but after that it is very easy to request to speak at any time from your home computer or a mobile device.

3) Forward this email to family members. After you’re done lobbying your legislators yourselves, please forward this email onto your friends and family — or anyone else you know — and show them how they can be a part of the process. Every new voice helps!

Thank you for all you do to help win free-market victories for the people of Arizona. I hope you’ll continue to stand with us going forward!

The GOP’s Anti-Bailout ObamaCare Legislation Could Backfire

By Grace-Marie Turner

Conservatives who are angry with health insurance companies over ObamaCare are getting behind legislation to stop the “bailout” of the industry, but they may regret the consequences.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is the latest to introduce legislation, called the “No Bailouts for Insurance Industry Act of 2014,” that would repeal two sections of the ACA, Section 1341 – the “reinsurance” fund – and Section 1342 – the “risk corridor” provision. The reinsurance and risk corridor provisions were designed to help cover losses if companies found that those who had selected their plans in the health insurance exchanges were significantly more expensive to cover than predicted.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is sponsoring similar anti-bailout legislation and wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last year explaining that his bill “would eliminate the risk corridor provision, ensuring that no taxpayer-funded bailout of the health insurance industry will ever occur under ObamaCare. If this disaster of a law cannot survive without a bailout rescue valve, it is yet another reason why it should be repealed.”

A series of worst-case scenarios is unfolding that could trigger the bailout, starting with the incredible difficulty of enrolling in exchange coverage through the botched website and significantly more older – and presumably sicker – people signing up.  The administration has been pleading with young, healthy people to enroll so they can pay more than their share for insurance to offset the more expensive older people signing up.  But they’re not buying it.

Further, the president keeps changing the law.  The companies priced their policies under one set of rules, and people now are buying policies – or not – under a very different set of rules. The president has allowed non-grandfathered plans to be extended, for example, and he has given a waiver from the individual mandate to people whose health insurance policies were cancelled last year because they didn’t comply with ObamaCare’s mandates. These and other moves draw more healthy people out of the exchange pools.

The American Academy of Actuaries has warned that such changes could destabilize the new markets and result in higher premiums in 2015.  This would trigger the risk-corridor and reinsurance provisions of the ACA, which many conservative leaders say are “bailouts” for the industry. They are supporting the Rubio and Coffman bills to protect taxpayers by repealing one or both provisions.

But every action or change can have a series of unintended reactions in this Rube Goldberg contraption of a law.  And it is important to be aware of these risks of making changes.

It is likely that insurance companies would have to increase premiums higher than otherwise if the reinsurance and risk corridor provisions were altered, as the Actuaries warned.  Republicans could be blamed for causing premiums to be even higher than they will be next year.

Also, taxpayers are on the hook either way. If premiums go up, taxpayer subsidies for policies purchased through the exchange will automatically increase as well.

Some conservatives say that a vote by the House would be safe because the legislation never would be taken up by the Senate or signed by the president.  But I’m not so sure.  The Democrats and especially the president would like nothing more than to have someone else to blame for at least some of the failures of Obamacare.  If Republicans initiate this legislation, then the White House could blame them for the higher health insurance premiums that would result.

Attacking the private health insurance companies was exactly the tactic that the Democrats used to get ObamaCare passed in the first place.  And liberals are urging the White House to revive the strategy.

An article late last year in Politico underscored this: “Democratic allies…are publicly and privately urging the White House to ramp up its attacks on insurers, arguing that the tactic shored up support as they struggled to push the bill through Congress. A group of Democratic strategists pressed senior administration officials during a conference call last week.  They’d like a repeat of 2009-10, when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called insurers ‘the villains,’ Obama blasted their willingness to ‘bend the truth or break it,’ and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius accused them of banking excessive profits.”

And Democratic pollsters are saying the same thing: “When Obamacare got into trouble, we juxtaposed our message against the insurance companies, which are very unpopular,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has advised her 2014 clients, including Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, to go after insurers. “We should be messaging against the insurance companies this time as well. This is not good faith. If there is a snowstorm, the insurance companies are blaming it on Obamacare.”

If we attack the insurance companies, we are playing from the liberal playbook.  We should focus on the bigger battles, like delay and ultimately repeal of the individual mandate.

While the anger over ObamaCare and its massive failures is real and legitimate, I think conservatives need to be careful with this “anti-bailout” bandwagon.  It really does play into the hands of critics of private health insurance companies who are still distraught they didn’t get a government “public option” when the law was passed.

Where else would conservatives propose that people go for health insurance?  Liberals see the government as the answer, of course. Conservatives don’t, but our free-market policy alternatives do depend upon people having choices from a range of private health insurance and health coverage options.

Further, the “anti-bailout” initiative takes time, energy, and focus away from the much more dangerous provisions of ObamaCare, especially the individual mandate, the employer mandate, new and higher taxes, and the next wave of people losing their insurance because it doesn’t comply with the law’s long list of mandates and rules.

Do we really want to invest effort in this anti-bailout bill instead of focusing on the structural damage core provisions of ObamaCare are doing to our health sector and economy?

Posted on Forbes January 15, 2014