Trump is Stalin, Hillary is Hitler & #NeverTrump are in Deep Denial

“If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”   Winston Churchill

Churchill had an intense hatred of communists.  But he realized that Hitler presented the greater immediate threat to the United Kingdom, and so was willing to ally temporarily with Stalin in order to defeat the greater threat.

Trump was not my first choice, second choice, third choice, fourth choice or fifth choice, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  I disagree with him on trade, on foreign policy, on illegal immigration, on entitlements among other things  But what Churchill said applies with equal force here.

Standing on the principle of anti-communism made it much more likely that the United Kingdom would fall to Nazi Germany.  Standing on the principle of #NeverTrump makes it much more likely that eight years from now -after Hillary has finished her second term- America will resemble a European style socialist-democracy even more than it does now after eight years of Barack Obama.  And there will be no going back.

To be clear, I don’t think that Trump will win even with a united Republican Party.  But a divided Republican Party, or worse a third-party along the lines advocated by Senator Ben Sasse, guarantees a victory for Clinton, who would keep American careening down the path to European socialism.  #NeverTrump also makes it more likely that the Democrats will win majorities in the Senate and perhaps even the House.

It is likely that by the time Clinton finishes her first term the United States Supreme Court will consist of six liberals and Justices Thomas, Roberts and Alito.  This guarantees that the Heller (Second Amendment) and Citizens United (First Amendment) decisions will be reversed.  There will be no individual right to bear arms, even in one’s own home (what the Heller decision was about), and government will be able to broadly regulate political speech under the guise of regulating campaign spending, which heavily favors Democrats because the media -which is overwhelmingly left-wing- will have a free hand in shaping public opinion.

But that’s not all.  Racial and gender quotas will once again be legal.  And Congress’ power to set policy will be drastically undermined as such a Supreme Court will uphold executive orders issued by Clinton when a GOP Congress (if we have a GOP Congress) “fails to act.”  Similarly, the scope and power of the unelected DC bureaucracy will continue to grow because a Clinton Supreme Court will “defer” to agency “interpretations” of federal law that go far beyond the intent of Congress.

With Trump there is at least a chance that the Supreme Court will not become a de facto hard-left House of Lords.

A Clinton presidency would continue the drastic shrinkage of the United States military.   A weak military is a far greater threat to the peace and security of the country than any intemperate tweets from the Commander-in-Chief.  I am confident that Trump would rebuild the United States military.  Indeed, I think he would do a great job at this.

Eight more years of Obamacare and heavy and ubiquitous regulations under Hillary will make us look back with nostalgia on the 2%-GDP-growth of today as the good old days.  While Trump is not a believer in free-markets he would do far less damage than Hillary.

If the #NeverTrump movement wants to keep GOP majorities in the Senate and House then they’ll rename themselves #NeverHillary and direct their fire there.  Otherwise, expect Trump’s supporters not to vote GOP down the ballot.  In fact, I think #NeverTrump will result in the worst possible outcome: Democrat control of the White House and Congress.  Remember what we got the last time that happened?

The Most Effective Argument That Trump Can Make Against #NeverTrump

It’s either me or Hillary is not a very effective argument for Donald Trump to use against #NeverTrump.  They already know that, yet they believe that Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils because Clinton would leave conservatism to fight another today as opposed to co-opted.

Without getting into the argument whether conservatism is better or worse in the long run with a Clinton presidency versus a Trump presidency, let’s agree that Trump has to give #NeverTrump a better reason to hold their noses and vote for him than otherwise you get Hillary

What Trump should do is say that his first act as President will be to nominate Ted Cruz to the Scalia seat.

The damage to the Constitution and the country from a Hillary nominee, who would probably serve 30 or 40 years on the Supreme Court, is inestimably higher than anything Trump could do.

Indeed, just in the next couple of years a Hillary nominee would result in the Heller (Second Amendment) and Citizens United (First Amendment) being overturned.  The so-called “moderate” Merrick Garland would have upheld the laws in issue in Heller, which required firearms to be kept inoperable in one’s own home.  Imagine what a Clinton nominee would do!

But Cruz wouldn’t just be a reliable conservative jurist.  He could well be a worthy successor to the great Antonin Scalia.  He combines an off-the-charts intellect -it has been reported that he got a perfect score on the LSAT- with the right type of judicial philosophy, that is the philosophy that Scalia practiced.  That it is the judge’s duty to say what the law is, not what the law should be.

And at only 45 years old, Cruz could serve for three decades or more.

Given the enormous influence the Supreme Court has, influence far beyond what our founders ever imagined, and that this influence has been used to advance the policy goals of the Left, I think the prospect of a Supreme Court Justice Ted Cruz should prove irresistible to all but the most diehard of the #NeverTrump.

Enough With the Revisionist History of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

Recently, Bryan Gould, writing in #DyingPaper, a.k.a. the Union Leader, argued that conservatives “owe Sen. Forrester their serious consideration in the governor’s race” because she “voted against reauthorizing expanded Medicaid.”

The problem with Gould’s argument is that the vote that really mattered was the vote to authorize expanded Medicaid two years ago.  Indeed, in Gould’s own words:

There was widespread opposition to Medicaid expansion among grassroots Republicans in 2014 for many reasons. Among them, they saw the 100 percent federal funding as a means to get the program in place, after which the federal government would diminish the funding and leave New Hampshire taxpayers holding the bag. They also didn’t believe that enough Republicans in the Legislature would be able to withstand the Democrats’ predictable cant about depriving poor people of their access to medical care to allow the 2014 legislation to expire this year if the federal government failed to keep its word. 

And sure enough that’s exactly what happened.  Again, Gould’s own words, “a minority of Republicans joined with a united Democratic caucus” and reauthorized Medicaid expansion.

Gould defends Forrester’s vote to authorize Medicaid expansion:

because it provided roughly 48,000 uninsured low-income New Hampshire residents Medicaid coverage and made the federal government entirely responsible for a substantial portion of the uncompensated care that its mandatory treatment laws had created.

Gould omits that not all of these 48,000 were uninsured.  Many had private insurance, which they dropped to get free Medicaid insurance.

Gould also omits that the federal funding is not “free money,” as proponents described it.  The federal government is running a deficit.  So Medicaid Expansion is “free money” in the sense of running up a credit card bill that your kids are responsible for.

Gould also defends Forrester’s vote to authorize Medicaid expansion on the ground that it reduced healthcare costs for the non-Medicaid population:

In most cases, federal law requires hospitals to provide care to people even if they have no health insurance and are unable to pay. Of course, hospitals can’t simply absorb those costs (which are called uncompensated care) so they pass them along to their other patients through higher prices for their services. In other words, because of federal law, the cost of uncompensated care has been socialized among other patients and their insurers for years.

The 2014 Medicaid expansion law changed this by using federal funds to reimburse hospitals for uncompensated care. In 2015 alone the federal government paid New Hampshire hospitals $142 million to reduce uncompensated care. The net effect of the law was to shift the burden of the subsidy for uncompensated care from New Hampshire patients to federal taxpayers. 

In 2009, healthcare costs in New Hampshire were over $10 billion.  The $142 million is 1.4% of 2009 spending.  It’s probably less than 1% of current spending.  It is not a significant driver of healthcare costs.  As Greg Moore -the head of the Koch organization in New Hampshire- has noted, there has been no reduction in costs as a result of Medicaid expansion:

Next, ObamaCare fans argued that uncompensated care (indigent health services without repayment) represented a “hidden tax” on health insurance consumers and that Medicaid expansion would cover these costs and lower health insurance rates for everyone. However, after spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on new Medicaid recipients, analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce shows that premiums still went up between 7.5-8% this year.

So on the vote that really mattered, Forrester was clearly on the wrong side.

Gould argues that Forrester should get credit for offering amendments to reauthorizing Medicaid expansion that failed:

Sure enough, this year the federal government will fund only 95 percent of uncompensated care under Medicaid expansion plans, and that will fall to 94 percent in 2018. HB 1696, the 2016 bill that extends Medicaid expansion, would therefore leave a $9 million hole in the state’s budget and require up to $2 million in new administrative costs that would have to be borne by taxpayers.

Sen. Forrester sought to amend the bill in the Senate to protect taxpayers and New Hampshire patients from absorbing these costs. She also tried to restore a provision that the House of Representatives had removed that would have required the beneficiaries of this welfare program to work or engage in community service for at least 30 hours a week.

But we knew that federal funding would drop to 95% when Medicaid expansion was initially authorized in 2014.  Any amendments to protect the taxpayers could have and should have been included in the law authorizing Medicaid expansion given that, as Gould himself notes, it was a sure thing that enough Republican State Senators would vote with the the Democrats to reauthorize.

Most importantly, expanding Medicaid is the wrong way to provide access to health insurance.  It is a government-dependency trap in that the recipients lose their benefits if they cross the income threshold, which disincentives looking for a better paying job (more than 133% of federal poverty line).  The better approach is to provide a tax credit for health insurance, which would be paid directly to the private health insurer to the extent that someone does not make enough to use the credit.

#DyingPaper (aka Union Leader) Embraces Supreme Court’s Upholding Obamacare

Say what you will about Donald Trump, but I can’t remember any other Republican Presidential candidate ever standing up to Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid:


Indeed voters everywhere owe Trump a thank you for exposing that the “coveted” Union Leader endorsement required taking #StinkyJoe golfing (in the case of Trump and who knows what else in the case of the others).  But this post isn’t about Trump.  I just wanted to explain the title.

Recently, the Union Leader editorialized glowingly about a New Hampshire Supreme Court decision Continue reading #DyingPaper (aka Union Leader) Embraces Supreme Court’s Upholding Obamacare

Colin Van Ostern Reveals He is No Friend of the Second Amendment

Earlier this week, New Hampshire Public Radio “interviewed” Democrat gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern.  I put interview in quotations because NHPR, unsurprisingly, served up softballs that allowed Van Ostern to repeat his talking points.  But one portion actually is elucidating: Continue reading Colin Van Ostern Reveals He is No Friend of the Second Amendment

NHPR’s Ridiculous Definition of Gerrymandering

The term gerrymander originally referred to manipulating the shape of a political district to benefit a political party.  The term apparently originated in 1812, when a Massachusetts newspaper drew a cartoon that likened a state-senate district drawn by the Democrat-Republicans to favor their candidates over the Federalist candidates to a salamander:


More recently Continue reading NHPR’s Ridiculous Definition of Gerrymandering

Socialism, Including “Democratic Socialism,” is Intellectually Vacant, Morally Reprehensible and Socially Corrosive

I think the “textbook definition” of socialism is something along the lines of government owning or controlling the “means of production.”

Based on his website, Bernie Sanders’ “Democratic Socialism” involves using a progressive tax scheme (higher tax rates on higher incomes) to redistribute income from the “rich” to the poor and the middle class.  However, this redistribution does not take the form of government cutting checks to the middle class and the poor from the taxes taken from the “rich,” but rather involves expanding existing government programs (e.g. social security) and creating new government programs (e.g. “single payer” health insurance, “free” college).

It is important to note that Sanders’ position is that in order to achieve “Democratic Socialism” the government must be able to limit and ban political speech which it disagrees with.

With that context, let’s discuss three unassailable criticisms of socialism, which apply both to the classic model and Sanders’ variation: socialism is intellectually vacant, morally reprehensible and socially corrosive. Continue reading Socialism, Including “Democratic Socialism,” is Intellectually Vacant, Morally Reprehensible and Socially Corrosive

In New Hampshire, the Illusion of a GOP Statehouse

Former State Representative and current political activist Spec Bowers has compiled a scorecard that indicates that 34 State Representatives who ran as and were elected as Republicans actually vote with the Democrats 40 percent or more of the time:

Spec.Bowers.1 Spec.Bowers.2 Spec.Bowers.3 Spec.Bowers.4

I don’t know what votes Bowers used, but he states that, “Almost all of these votes were to pass or kill a bill, or to adopt an amendment. There were 5 that might be labeled procedural and those were important. The simple fact is that the majority of Republicans voted one way, but they voted the other way.” Continue reading In New Hampshire, the Illusion of a GOP Statehouse