Friday, July 14, 2017

Does the Trump-Russia Scandal Help or Hurt?

A week is a long time in politics. So said British politician Harold Wilson. Only he may not have said it, and it may have been "two weeks" rather than one.

After the week of the Donald Trump Jr. collusion-with-the-Russians scandal, people are worrying that the president's tax and health care agenda is in peril.

But I wonder. Is it worse to have Democrats on CNN wailing that millions will die if Obamacare goes down, or is is better to have them raging about Trump Jr. having a meeting with a Russian woman that has connections with the Fusion GPS Democratic opposition research organization and mysteriously got to enter with US without a visa?

I'm not a pollster or a politician so I really don't know how all this comes down on the politicians that are no doubt wheeling and dealing behind the scenes on the Republican health bill.

All I know is what I read in Buchanan and Tullock's book The Calculus of Consent. The basic argument of that book is that, if you are a county council and some of the landowners want the government to pay for a county road that benefits them, then the representatives of those landowners are going to have to buy the votes of the landowners that probably won't benefit enough to want to pay for the new road.

In other words, when you read of Republican United States Senators that are opposed to the health bill currently up in the Senate, you might easily think that the GOP leadership hasn't made a good enough offer yet.

You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.

See, I don't know if the swing votes in the 2018 midterms will be the folks that lost some of their Obamacare subsidies or whether they will be the folks that will cancel their expensive Obamacare health insurance and go naked if they don't have to pay a penalty.

My instinct is that the folks getting Obamacare subsidies are dyed-in-the-wool Democrats. My guess is that the folks that would go naked are probably Trump supporters. But, of course, the voters in an election are usually motivated by anger rather than satisfaction, so I would guess that the dyed-in-the-wool Democrats that lost their subsidies would be more inclined to vote than the Trump voters that can now risk their non-existent fortunes on the odds that they might find themselves in the ER and be facing a $100,000 hospital bill without insurance. But what do I know?

All I know is that, if you don't have home equity or a retirement nest egg, you don't need health insurance. The point of insurance is to protect your assets against a big hit. If you don't have assets then you can just go bankrupt.

The only thing for the Trumpsters and the GOP to do is to enact their agenda, buy the necessary votes is concerned, and hope for the best. Get the tax rate cuts out there and have them take effect immediately. Get the Obamacare reform out there and make sure that it starts relief on premiums as soon as possible. Help the fracking revolution along as much as possible, and ease the way for oil and natural gas exports.

What most people want is a decent job and a home and decent schools for the kids. They are not that interested in identity politics and not that interested in the SJW activism that is consuming the educated class right now. In fact, most people are probably afraid of political correctness, because they recognize that a careless tweet could cost them their job.

And never forget that the reason Donald Trump is president today rather than Jeb! is that the old Republican order failed. It failed because it did not know how to push back against the bully boy tactics of the left that made everyone that disagreed with the Democratic line du jour into a racist sexist homophobe. Or a fascist.

1 comment:

  1. My son and I were talking about health care over beers yesterday and we both agreed the issue of health care reform should be framed in terms of its overall impact on the American economy. But that isn't happening.

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but an (admittedly) cursory look at per capita health care costs in the U.S. vs other developed nations seems to indicate we are spending anywhere from 1.5 to 2 times as much as they do.

    If that's true, one way or another these inflated health care costs will be added to the production costs of goods and services. I need hardly point out the several ways this negatively affects the economy.

    Not to be critical, but you say in your post: "If you don't have assets then you can just go bankrupt." I assume this means that an uninsured person without assets can always avoid the high cost of treatment by just not paying the bill. But it doesn't mean that personal bankruptcy will make these costs just magically disappear.

    I really don't know what the best solutions to the problems high cost and limited access are. But it seems to me the best way to start would be a thorough, unbiased review of why and how the health care establishment is poorly serving the American public.