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January 6, 2016

Morning Editorial Report: Repealing Obamacare

Congress prepares to send a bill gutting the law to the Presidentís desk. Plus, Obama repeals a Clinton gun policy.
IPI expert referenced: Merrill Matthews | In The News | Media Hit
  Wall Street Journal

“As early as Wednesday the House will vote to send a bill repealing most of ObamaCare to President Obama,” notes a Journal editorial, which adds that “the 2016 election is all that stands between ObamaCare and history’s dust-bin.” The editorial continues: “Liberal spin can’t disguise that the law is failing on every level other than expanding coverage—as if anyone ever argued that a new entitlement couldn’t reduce the uninsured rate. The huge premium increases and other disruption in the health-care markets that the critics predicted explain why the law continues to be so unpopular with the public six long years after passage.”

As Donald Trump continues to lead Republican polls, Journal contributor Jason Riley explains how a GOP policy intended to deny benefits to illegal aliens ended up turning California into a solidly Democratic state. Proposition 187 not only turned off Hispanic citizens but the GOP’s “perceived animosity toward Hispanics gained notice from other nonwhite voting blocs, which led to a drop in support among the Chinese and Koreans who had a history of voting Republican. The decision to double down on white voters in a state that was becoming less white haunts the party to this day,” writes Mr. Riley.

President Obama’s executive action on guns, “taken under the banner of ‘common sense’ gun control to make Americans safer, reverses a Clinton administration gun-control policy that also was supposed to make us safer,” writes Fordham law professor Nicholas Johnson. “The impact on gun crime, which is already dramatically down since the 1970s, will be negligible.”

A Journal editorial adds that the main result of the Obama action will be “the sale of tens of thousands of guns to Americans who worry that the government might soon block any new purchases. No American leader has done more for gun sales since King George III.”

Speaking of Americans worried about encroachment on their rights, a separate editorial on the citizen takeover of a government facility in Oregon says, “The armed occupation of federal buildings is inexcusable, but so are federal land-management abuses and prosecutorial overreach.”

Penn law professor David Skeel warns that bankruptcy for Puerto Rico won’t do much good unless it is structured to prevent creditor abuse. He notes that “the rule of law took a beating in the Detroit bankruptcy. Holders of the city’s general-obligation bonds, which had the same priority as pensions, got stiffed, receiving roughly 41% of what they were owed. Pensioners got at least 60%. Those holding Puerto Rico’s municipal bonds are right to worry that they too could get mistreated.”

Journal columnist William Galston says Hillary Clinton is missing an opportunity to address voter anxiety about the economy by “pursuing transactional politics with the Democratic Party base.” And voters have good reason to be anxious. Mr. Galston notes that “the U.S. just concluded the 10th straight year in which economic growth failed to reach 3%. Even excluding the Great Recession years of 2008-09, economic growth since 2005 has averaged just a bit over 2%. There is no parallel for this since the end of World War II, maybe not since the beginning of the Republic.”

And while it may be fashionable to blame the decline in oil prices for economic stagnation, our Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. says, “A more accurate diagnosis suggests the West has hit a crisis in its post-World War I expansion of government, to the point where growth and dynamism seem permanently to have fled.”

The Environmental Protection Agency is mandating that more ethanol be blended into gasoline, but Merrill Matthews notes in our pages the inconvenient truth that “ethanol adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than it eliminates by replacing fossil fuels.”


 

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