I, For One, Welcome Our New IPAB Overlords

If I were the government and had a 1984-style telescreen (and who is to say that, after four more years of Obama, we won’t?), I’m sure I would see many dour conservative faces out there. And that’s okay. Given Tuesday’s election results, it’s perfectly normal for conservatives to feel as if our heads have been sliced open with a Ginsu Knife and the contents fed into a Veg-O-Matic.  So don’t hold back the tears. Let it all out and cry if you want to.

But don’t succumb to complete despair. There is a bright side to Obama’s reelection, you know; several, in fact. For example:

– Have you been meaning to read Atlas Shrugged, but haven’t gotten around to it?  Well, you needn’t bother now, as you’ll be experiencing it in real life.

– Has that full-time job (assuming you have one) got you too busy? Obamacare’s 30-hour work rule practically guarantees that many of those jobs “created or saved” (singlehandedly!) by President Obama will be of the part-time variety very soon. Who’s to say that the next full time worker to have his hours cut won’t be you? Just consider the extra ‘me time’ a gift from Washington.

– Any of you younger folks jealous of your parents ‘tales of derring-do during long hours spent waiting to gas up the ol’ jalopy during the Carter years? Then prepare yourself for a real treat as you stand in line to exercise your “right” to health care insurance. Though they both contain the word health, having health insurance is not the same thing as having health care. Don’t worry, you’ll understand the difference soon. And when you do, you are in for a real treat. Take it from me, whose internist accepts no insurance, of any kind — you haven’t lived until you’ve had to scrape together $2,500 for a colonoscopy.  

– Speaking of health care, do you really trust yourself to make your own decisions in that department? For example, if you’re a senior citizen, are you really fit to weigh the costs and benefits of a medical treatment that could save your life? No, better to leave such decisions to an objective third party, such as a gaggle of unelected bureaucrats in Washington who don’t know you from a hole in the ground – a hole in the ground not unlike the one in which you could soon find yourself, thanks to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (don’t worry, it won’t necessarily be that bad — cremation is also an option). I, for one, welcome our new IPAB overlords.

– Are you ashamed of the U.S. dollar because, even after years of Bernanke money-printing, the darn stuff still retains just too much purchasing power? If you are, you’ll be happy to learn that the printing presses have continued to operate through the election cycle and now, with Obama around for another four years, appear unlikely to stop anytime soon. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

– Journalists longing for the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate can look forward to Benghazi-gate. As former president Bill Clinton once said, “The truth will come out.” And as someone who was temporarily disbarred for lying to a federal judge, he should know. So, all you Woodward and Bernstein wannabes out there, fire up those laptops, hit the pavement, and remember: No one died in Watergate.

– Are you embarrassed by your bad habit of taking on only as much debt as you can handle and paying it back on time? Do would-be friends shun you for your thriftiness?  Do people shake their heads and sigh when you inadvertently reveal your strong credit rating?  Just remind them that S&P has already downgraded the credit rating for the entire nation. And if that doesn’t do the trick, inform them that Fitch is threatening a second downgrade.  So in fact, you are in debt.  We all are.

  1. Mel Foil

    Yup. Poverty is fun. It’s like going camping all the time.

  2. jerry crimmins

    This was fantastic. Thank you for cheering me up, in a gallows humor kind of way.

  3. The Mugwump

    All true.  And if you happen to be obese, you’ll be pleased to know that shivering in the dark burns more calories than jogging.  

  4. RightinChicago

    kent.jpg

    kent-2.jpg

    At least we won’t have to work in any underground sugar caves. 

    Edit:  I just want to say that I commented before going to your Kent Brockman link.  Recognized it from the post title.

  5. BlueAnt

    If you are picking up Atlas Shrugged, or already did but can’t get past the writing style, or read it back in college and liked it… also pick up The Auctioneer, a less fantastical take on similar themes of man’s tyranny.  It’s one of those books that makes your blood boil and your spine crawl, because the incremental disaster is all too plausible.

    (Ignore that weird cover art on the reprint, it’s a seriously good read.)

  6. Goldgeller

    Gene, what you say appeals to me. I think the post is good. But I’d put money on this: whatever goes wrong with Obamacare will be because “Republicans fought the good parts of the bills” and “we didn’t fund it enough” and here’s the kicker– “things would be worse without it! (After all, only rich people had coverage before Obama.)

    What about the stimulus? They say the same thing– “we should’ve spent 1.5 trillion.” (No one ever says we should’ve spent 2 trillion.)

  7. Elephas Americanus

    Both the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns call to mind another Simpsons line:  “The politics of failure have failed.  We need to make them work again!”

  8. Indaba

    IPAB Overlords can be fun too

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  9. DocJay

    It is easy to see when the winners and losers are picked.   I greatly fear the end of medicine outside the reach of the overlords.  I’m not too old to reinvent myself but I’d rather not.

    For society, many of your concerns will come true.  We rejected a skillful financial manager in favor of Robin Hood.   Atlas Shrugged indeed.

  10. Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor
    C
    ~Paules: All true.  And if you happen to be obese, you’ll be pleased to know that shivering in the dark burns more calories than jogging.   · 4 hours ago

    Thanks, I hadn’t thought of that!  And did you know, laboratory rats fed starvation diets, live longer?

  11. Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor
    C
    RightinChicago

    At least we won’t have to work in any underground sugar caves. 

    Edit:  I just want to say that I commented before going to your Kent Brockman link.  Recognized it from the post title. · 4 hours ago

    Edited 4 hours ago

    Here, where I live, NYC, sugar caves not an issue – or it won’t be, if Nanny Bloomberg achieves his dream of banning sugar.

  12. Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor
    C
    One other thing – it’s a not so dirty little secret that the national debt would be significantly higher if the interest rates had not been kept down to near-zero by the Fed.  Any guesses to interest costs on $16T would be if the rate goes up by 2%?  Bueller, Bueller… · 3 hours ago

    You’ve put your finger on one of the most worrisome problems. Interest rates cannot stay this low forever; eventually, they must rise. Another credit downgrade? An especially disastrous Treasury auction? All it takes is one major creditor – or an enormous aggregation of minor ones – to demand a higher rate and the whole house of cards collapses so fast, our heads will spin. 1987… 2000… 2008… when a bubble bursts, the ensuing avalanche comes fast.

  13. Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor
    C
    Goldgeller: Gene, what you say appeals to me. I think the post is good. But I’d put money on this: whatever goes wrong with Obamacare will be because “Republicans fought thegood parts of the bills” and “we didn’t fund it enough” and here’s the kicker– “things would be worse without it! (After all, only rich people had coverage before Obama.)

    What about the stimulus? They say the same thing– “we should’ve spent 1.5 trillion.” (No one ever says we should’ve spent 2 trillion.) · 58 minutes ago

    That’s why we need to hold Boehner’s feet to the fire. Refuse any offer to “improve” Obamacare. Demand repeal; if the Democrats won’t, then let them (and, sadly, us) live with the results of the bill they shoved down our throats, until it collapses under its own weight.

  14. Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor
    C
    Indaba: IPAB Overlords can be fun too · 35 minutes ago

    I want the blonde babe in the “Wink of an Eye” episode from the original Star Trek:  

  15. Goldgeller

    Gene, I totally agree with you on Boehner. Please add McConnell to the mix as well. We need to hold them to the fire. I wonder how long it will be before he caves on repealing Obamacare?  I wonder how long it will be until great conservative writers say “take the compromise here so that we can have the important fight later on.” That’s what happened last year with the Continuing Resolution battle. The real important thing was the debt ceiling! (My mistake!) And what did we get from the debt ceiling? A “compromise”  where Obama get’s what he wanted. Mitch McConnell’s gambit that the Democrats would “pay” for owning the national debt really paid off. 

    Here’s to hoping! 

  16. Southern Pessimist
    Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor

    Goldgeller: Gene, what you say appeals to me. I think the post is good. But I’d put money on this: whatever goes wrong with Obamacare will be because “Republicans fought thegood parts of the bills” and “we didn’t fund it enough” and here’s the kicker– “things would be worse without it! (After all, only rich people had coverage before Obama.)

    What about the stimulus? They say the same thing– “we should’ve spent 1.5 trillion.” (No one ever says we should’ve spent 2 trillion.) · 58 minutes ago

    That’s why we need to hold Boehner’s feet to the fire. Refuse any offer to “improve” Obamacare. Demand repeal; if the Democrats won’t, then let them (and, sadly, us) live with the results of the bill they shoved down our throats, until it collapses under its own weight. · 1 hour ago

    I agree with you about not compromising on repeal. I am almost willing to drive over the fiscal cliff to show what Obama’s policies result in, but Obamacare fundamentally transforms the relationship of a citizen with a no-longer free society.

  17. Southern Pessimist

    I didn’t say exactly what I mean. I know that is a surprise. There is no resonable path to repeal. Improving Obamacare is not possible without repeal so we are going to have to live with the horrible consequences until  it collapses. Make sure you have a physician who knows your name and will return your call when you need him or her.

  18. Southern Pessimist

    Consider it dissaster preparedness.

  19. Indaba
    Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor

    Indaba: IPAB Overlords can be fun too · 35 minutes ago

    I want the blonde babe in the “Wink of an Eye” episode from the original Star Trek:   · 3 hours ago

    Edited 3 hours ago

    You have sophisticated taste – she knows how to get Kirk’s heart rate up and keep him out of sick bay though.

  20. Gene Schwimmer, Guest Contributor
    C
    Goldgeller: Gene, I totally agree with you on Boehner. Please add McConnell to the mix as well. We need to hold them to the fire. I wonder how long it will be before he caves on repealing Obamacare?

    Here’s to hoping!  · 5 hours ago

    Fair enough, but keep in mind that in the Senate, McConnell and the GOP are in the minority – even more so in 2013 and if Reid succeeds in reducing the ability to filibuster…? The good news is, he’ll be getting reinforcements from Tea Party-worthy Ted Cruz to add to Rubio, which will strengthen McConnell’s hand somewhat. But the real battlefield is the House, which the GOP controls, plus “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” (U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 7), so the Senate can do nothing before the House acts and, theoretically at least, Boehner and the House can pass any such bill they want, send it to the Senate, hit the golf course and leave the ball in the Senate’s court.  McConnell doesn’t have nearly that much power.