The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Republican Political Courage in Partial Obamacare Repeal

According to a Pete Kasperowicz The Hill article on Wednesday, the House voted 235-191 (roll call vote) to pass HR1214 (full text), a small Obamacare repeal of $100M in grant money for construction of School-Based Health Centers (SBHC).  While the dominant mood of the Republicans voting for HR 1214 was to turn around the out-of-control spending binge by the Democrats, liberal-leaning The Hill failed to present the controversial nature of SBHCs as ensurers of teenage access to contraceptives and abortion services providers (read more about SBHC's at Human Life International).  HR1214 is a simple, three-paragraph, easy to understand repeal of irresponsible SBHC spending backed by all but four Republicans and supported by three Democrats.

A Disappointing Vote:  Rep. West
Today, in a Russell Berman The Hill article, Mr. Berman pointed out the irony in the Allen West (R-FL22) vote.  Rep. West, a tea party favorite, had voted along with all the other Republicans in favor of a different partial Obamacare bill the day prior (HR1213) but cited the importance of focus on international issues including Libya as a reason for his "no" vote.  The Hill went further and pointed out that two SBHC applicants were within Rep. West's district, implying and perhaps rightly so, West's vote was influenced by the two applicants.  While I respect Rep. West's natural leadership and his voting record to date, this particular one I cannot accept.

True Political Courage:  Rep. Dold
While The Hill wasted no time in bagging a tea party member, they failed to present a true hero in the HR1214 vote:  Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL10).  Rep. Dold, a fiscal-conservative social-moderate freshman congressman who replaced Mark Kirk (Sen. Kirk won the Senate seat previously held by Obama), sits in "the most Democratic district of any Republican in the country" (National Journal) with redistricting controlled by Democrats.  Add to that, according to a Democrat-complied list of all applicants for the SBHC grant a whopping 13 applicants were within Dold's district--nearly double the number of applicants in any other congressional district!  To vote to deny the pork within one's own district takes a huge amount a political courage and Dold earned my admiration.  Too bad Mr. Berman at The Hill could only make a case against an aberrant Republican Congressman and not balance it with the Congressman who demonstrated true political courage.

Utah's Take
Utah's three Congressmen all voted party-line.  By his vote, liberal Matheson demonstrated his continued support for outrageous spending and Planned Parenthood referrals.  It was, however, nice to see on the SBHC grant list that Utah was devoid of applicants for the pork-barrel federal spending.

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