H2: 03/31/10 Father Thomas Brundage, Brian Rooney, James Lileks

03311002 Hugh Hewitt: Hour 2 – Hugh talks about the Catholic priest scandal in Wisconsin with Father Thomas Brundage, then talks to our candidate of the day, Brian Rooney running for Congress in Michigan, and then back to the calorie counting mandates in Obamacare with humorist, author, blogger and columnist, James Lileks.

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H1: 03/31/10 Sue Hensley, Rob Neppell

03311001 Hugh Hewitt: Hour 1 – Hugh talks about the new calorie counter provision in Obamacare with Sue Hensley of the National Restaurant Association, and with Rob Neppell of Kithbridge.com.

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Take a write-off? That’s a grillin’

Two things to remember: Any failure of a highly-regulated capitalist system is proof that the pure free market doesn’t work. Any failure of a statist system is proof that the statism was insufficiently funded. True dat, you say, and now there’s another: premature failure of a statist program can be blamed on companies that did nothing but comply with the laws the state set forth. So we see in DC now, with Henry Waxman, a bitter piece of work whose nose always seems to be imitating the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, is demanding that CEOs sit down for a grilling because they said Obamacare will make them write off tens of millions – exactly as the law requires.

This causes no consternation on the left, because A) the idea of companies hauled to DC to account for themselves is a Good Thing, regardless of the cause; if Henry Waxman held hearings to uncover the conspiracy responsible for gas prices going up TODAY when oil futures shot up, he’d be roundly applauded. If you pointed out that gas goes up TODAY because it reflects the cost of replacing inventory, you’d get a blank look, followed quickly by a rote denunciation of Bush and his Oil Cronies. But of course since gas is going up now under Obama, it’s not an issue; nevermind. If you pointed out that Democrats blocked domestic oil exploration during Bush’s term, they’d still think Obama inherited the problem from the previous administration. Now that Obama is opening up areas to drilling, it’s good, because he’ll be using ACORN’s drilling-supply wing, not Cheney’s. The hour is forever Bush O’Clock when it comes to the reasons for bad things in the era of Hope and Change.

But then there’s B: whatever these companies experience is irrelevant, because A Good Thing Has Been Done and nothing can change that. Even if it means the companies don’t hire more, or lay off people, or pay shareholders less (that’s good; freakin’ parasites) it can only mean there’ll be more pressure down the road for single-payer national health-insurance run by the same wise, compassionate solons who are figuring out at this very minute how to gut your Social Security payments. The objective is not the best possible care for everyone; the objective is the same level of care for everyone.
Your average progressive may burn with righteous fury over an illegal immigrant not getting a kidney transplant at government expense two days after he staggers over the border, but he’s really cheesed off by the rich guys who can get special treatment on their own dime. (Exception: George Soros. National treasure. Spend whatever’s necessary to keep him alive.)

This is the egalitarian imperative: not level the playing field, but raze the goalposts and erase the yard-markers, kill the refs, unionize the cheerleaders and nationalie the ball.. Equality of outcome is proof of a just society. The quality of the outcome is irrelevant.

So if Caterpillar doesn’t hire, and Deere doesn’t hire, and Verizon and AT&T and the rest don’t hire, that’s fine; a life on the dole is preferable to a life in the cubes or the factory line, anyway. No one has an obligation to work, but we all have the right to the product of other’s labors. Simple test: put your hands on your ribcage. Do you detect a rising and falling motion? Then you are entitled – but while this sounds like the surly bonds of obligation have been sundered, it really means you’re beholden to a new boss. Not the one who made you show up daily and do things daily. Just one who wants you to show up every other year and flip the lever marked D.

Twenty percent unemployement sounds bad, but when you consider that fifty percent don’t pay Federal taxes, the equation changes. The more people out of work because of dunderheaded laws and policy decisions, well, the more people who need benefits; the more people out of work, the more evidence that capitalism is a cock-up best left on the dust-heap of history. The more people out of work, the more evidence that statist solutons aren’t working because they’re underfunded.

Repeat until you’re Greece. Is it too late to join the EU? It would be amusing to ask Germany to bail us out. They might say yes. But they’d probably ask for the Polish corridor.

Podcast Archive Calendar

March 2010