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The Case for Repeal

August 1, 2010

The new health care law is as unpopular as ever. Rasmussen found that repeal is favoured by 58% of likely voters, a number that has been ranging from a hardly ambiguous 52% to 63% over the last months since ObamaCare’s enactment.

What most Americans know by instinct is what former CBO director Holtz-Eakin and Michael Ramlet spell out in a piece at Bloomberg. In disproportionately burdening small businesses (including, ironically, medical service providers), ObamaCare hurts the economy in general and employment numbers in particular.

Holtz-Eakin and Ramlet describe what the French Cowboy thinks is the fundamental flaw in the logic of the Obama administration’s way of handling not only the health care system, but the entire economy:

The authors of the health-care law reflect liberal indifference to the climate for business, perhaps believing that businesses have a hidden well of resources or an infinite ability to evade the burdens placed on them. Businesses will try to shift costs. But their ability to push the burden on customers with higher prices is quite circumscribed.

Instead, we would expect that the effective burden will be borne by workers in the form of lower wage growth, fewer hours and reduced job growth. The only other avenue is for business owners to pay the costs out of scarce capital, raising the prospect of increased failure rates.

The Obama administration must be quite aware of the trade-off in which they’re engaging. It’s inconceivable that they don’t know that the level of redistribution and bureaucratic inefficiency they’re introducing is coming at the cost of losing the advantage the US economy used to have over less dynamic, less robust economies. So they must think that the sacrifice of not only strong economic growth numbers, but also of a culture of excellence and innovation, as well as of social mobility and economic liberty, is worth a narrower national income spread.

It makes sense that Obama, who has shown at multiple times that he considers US dominance over other nations rather a bad thing, sees no harm in stifling the outstanding characteristics of the US economy, in which the self-made man is more regarded than anywhere else, and in making it resemble the currently sclerosing European economies.

If Obama really believes in American exceptionalism as he does believe in Greek exceptionalism, then American dominance of any kind — militarily, economically, or culturally — is a usurpation. How to right this wrong more effectively than by restructuring the economy into a system that has been proven to be less powerful than that of the US?

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