The Texas GOP’s Lieutenant Governor Runoff Race

May 8th, 2014

The runoff between Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst, the two remaining GOP Lieutenant Governor candidates in Texas is May 27th. Neither choice is ideal, and both are running what, in my opinion, are lackluster campaigns. Nevertheless, liberty-minded Republicans (including my original choice for Lt. Governor Jerry Patterson) are leaning toward  the current Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst, which I sympathize with despite prior wounds from the last Texas Senate race in which Dewhurst was a candidate.

Looking back to 2012, I was a hardcore Ted Cruz supporter during the Texas Senate primary. I certainly engaged in my share of Dewhurst bashing at the time. Some of it I regret in light of finally interacting with the Lieutenant Governor (I wish he’d been more accessible to the grassroots back then, as it would have served him well. He’s a very likable man in small group settings).

What I stand by however, is the fact that the Dewhurst campaign released some really classless ads against Cruz. Despite preferring Dewhurst over Patrick in the current Lt. Gov runoff by a significant margin, I’ve been quite vocal about the fact that I’m still having a hard time getting over many of those ads. Especially the not-so-subtle race baiting “Cruz supports amnesty” one.

However, one of the reasons I’ve chosen Dewhurst over Patrick despite my concerns is because I’ve never heard the Lieutenant Governor personally use the divisive rhetoric that, unfortunately, his Senate campaign was reduced to utilizing in the aforementioned attack ad. Sadly, I cannot say the same of State Senator Patrick, who regularly engages in insensitive commentary, handing ready-made talking points to Battleground Texas operatives.

But now, I find myself frustrated yet again by the tone deafness of Dewhurst’s campaign, despite my new-found appreciation of his reasoned approach to accomplishing legislative goals in his current role. The recently released “Dannie Goeb” parody of a song from “Frozen” is just bizarre, and is rightfully getting made fun of across the internet. Instead of focusing on the serious problems with Dan Patrick (and there are many), Dewhurst’s campaign is choosing to highlight the fact that Patrick changed his name, and has appeared in public shirtless.

The overall level of discourse in this race has been a disappointment to me. I know that attack ads are more effective than positive ones, and I don’t have a fundamental problem with going negative. But the “Frozen” ad reeks of desperation, and makes it look like there’s nothing substantive to criticize Patrick on, which is simply false. That being said, I’m still supporting David Dewhurst despite wondering what goes on in the man’s mind when he OK’s ads that go out under his name.

Another relevant point is to remind Ron Paul supporters outraged over his recent endorsement of Dewhurst that this is nothing new. Dr. Paul has been endorsing less than ideal politicians longer than those of us who jumped on the bandwagon in 2008 and 2012 have been alive. Sometimes, he actually exercises a bit of political savvy, and thinks about the the long-term impact of certain races. It’s much better to keep Dewhurst in a position he’s held for quite some time after he’s demonstrated that he can’t move much higher than to provide someone like Dan Patrick, who makes Dewhurst look like a saint, an upward trajectory.

Obamacare’s 7.1 million sign-ups: This year’s worst April Fools joke

April 7th, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

In a twist of fate that reflects the dishonesty built into Obamacare, the president took to the White House Rose Garden to proclaim victory for his signature legislation on, of all days, April 1st. It might have been funny, if Obamacare wasn’t premised on falsehoods that are causing problems for the economymiddle class families, and Millennials. But Obamacare’s impending legacy appears to be increasingly tarnished with the deceit that has been central to the law’s political viability.

Parroting the claim that 7.1 million people have signed up for Obamacare, the White House coupled the president’s aforementioned speech with the Twitter campaign #7MillionAndCounting. Critics of the law rightfully used the hashtag to point out the many falsehoods promoted by the president — in a setting where, unsurprisingly, questions from the press were disallowed. While the White House pretends this  scheme is working (even as midterm election projections paint another picture), a quick reality check tells us the following:

– At least 5 million Americans lost their health insurance because Obamacare banned it. This means that even if 7.1 million is an accurate representation of those who bought plans, Obamacare is an expensive game of musical chairs with the collateral impact of hurting the economy and transferring earned wealth away from young Americans.

– The Department of Health and Human Services defines someone as being enrolled in Obamacare as long as they’ve “selected” a plan. Furthermore, their metrics don’t count whether people actually have paid for their plan or not – the centrally important question.

– Obamacare has only decreased the amount of uninsured Americans by 1.2 percent from the last quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. This needs to be considered in the context of the fact that at least 1 million individuals who had plans they liked before Obamacare banned them remain uninsured as of today. Perhaps many of these people are the low-income college students Obamacare has created nightmares for.

– 83 percent of Obamacare enrollees have their insurance subsidized by taxpayers. This essentially means that Obamacare is the new unsustainable entitlement its critics always said it would be. Couple this with the problems Medicare and Social Security face, and you’ll see that the government’s full-fledged war on youth is alive and well.

– Only 27 percent of Obamacare enrollees are young and/or healthy, falling significantly below the Congressional Budget Office’s projection of the needed 40 percent figure. This tells you a lot about who Obamacare attracts, who has chosen to opt out, and why the program is unsustainable in the long-run.

It’s a crafty political bait-and-switch, banning the insurance several million people depended on and then claiming you were responsible for “expanding access.” From an ethical standpoint this is absurd, and speaks to why placing essential services in the hands of government bureaucrats is dangerous. Those who believe in programs like Obamacare are often critics of alleged “unbridled capitalism.” They point to profit motive in a market as an inherent moral negative. On its face, this concept sounds as if it could have merit – and sometimes it does. There are many bad actors in a free market, but when consumers have an abundance of choices, companies that consistently treat their customers poorly will go out of business.

To assume that government meddling in an industry such as health care will intrinsically yield positive outcomes is to suspend realistic thinking. If the profit motive of a private insurance company is something that concerns you, the power motive inherent in politics (which more often than not leads to ill-gotten profit) should be that much scarier. What we’re currently seeing with Obamacare is simply another example of this timeless truth. The larger government grows, the less effective it is at managing its basic functions, and the more it enriches the powerful at the expense of the less-connected.

In this case, the less-connected and thusly-screwed are largely members of my generation. Obamacare puts a target on the back of Millennials who already suffer as a result of record un- and under-employment, not to mention unreasonably high federally subsidized student loan debt. By mandating that we pay for costlysub-par Obamacare plans, the government is doubling down on its war on youth. This conflict is both immoral and unnecessary – but it can only be stopped by an informed electorate unwilling to stand for this unseemly generational transfer of wealth. After all, a government ultimately reflects its citizenry; and a corrupt one, its apathy. Let’s change that.

Obamacare’s latest target: Low-income college students

February 24th, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

Much has been made of Obamacare’s “adult child” provision — the portion of the law that allows dependents to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26. Some have interpreted this to mean that all plans must cover individuals up to that age, but it actually just allows for the possibility if you’re fortunate enough to have a comprehensive plan. Ultimately, it’s a bone thrown to upper-middle class Millennials who can afford to sip hot cocoa in their onesies while mom and dad foot the bills. But not every “adult child” has that luxury.

What about families that lack the resources to fund their twenty-something’s health insurance? Or young adults who, like me, reject the condescending “adult child” concept outright? Advocates of Obamacare claim that the program’s subsidies should make up for a lack of dependency on our parents (ignoring, of course, market reforms that would actually make healthcare affordable). But like any taxpayer funded redistribution scheme, these subsidies create economic distortions and discourage the kind of competition that lowers overall costs.

Even worse, Obamacare has explicitly banned millions of plans people were happy with, offering in their place more costly, substandard insurance with narrower doctor networks. Sadly, one of the targets of this failed attempt at social engineering has been low-income college students. Across the nation, young people who purchased plans through their universities are now seeing sticker shock beyond their wildest dreams.

In some states, the situation is so bad that colleges have dropped the requirement that students be insured – putting a damper on Obamacare’s alleged goal of reducing the number of uninsured Americans. Take North Carolina as an example. Plans at the state’s public schools increased from $460 per semester to $709. At private schools, a hike of $668 per semester to $1,179 was seen. Unfortunately, this trend isn’t isolated to just North Carolina and a few of its campuses.

Health care policy analyst Avik Roy warned that because Obamacare bans the sort of affordable policies that low-income college students depend on, we could expect price hikes as high as 1,112 percent. This cost increase has profoundly damaged young people attempting to better their economic prospects. College students are already dealing with tuition costs that have risen by 6.5 percent each year for the past decade due in large part to federal loan subsidies. Despite this, the government continues to pile on while politicians feign confusion over the 15.8 percent youth unemployment rate.

As Roy noted at Forbes, these cost increases for students are happening virtually across the board. A couple of particularly egregious examples include the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, where for the entire school year, premiums were $440 per student. Now, they’re between $1,300 and $1,600. The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington is facing an even bigger disparity: a jump from $165 per year to somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000 annually, and will no longer be offering coverage through the college. Cornell College in Iowa, Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina, and Bethany College in Kansas are also among many institutions of higher education that will no longer provide school-based coverage due to Obamacare.

If the above instances aren’t bad enough, it’s become clear that those most adversely impacted by Obamacare’s gutting of their university plans are students at historically black colleges and community schools. As Eugene Craig, the President of Young Americans for Liberty at Bowie State University in Maryland noted during an appearance on Fox News, the school’s plans that many of his peers were dependent on were suspended after Obamacare increased rates from $100 to $1,800 per year.

In New Jersey, the state’s entire network of community colleges has suffered as costs increased up to $1,700 per year. Students are struggling so much that the state’s legislature repealed a longstanding law that required all university students to have coverage. Perhaps the fact that Obamacare has banned affordable university health insurance won’t impact students who are able to depend on their families. But minorities, recent immigrants, unskilled workers, and low-income students are being pushed into uninsured status or forced to rely on substandard Medicaid plans they could’ve avoided had Obamacare not made the private insurance they used to have illegal.

Creating government dependency when an existing system was working for both the university and student body speaks to the trouble with Obamacare and other programs like it. Most Americans agree that some form of a safety net to eliminate the possibility of absolute poverty is a favorable concept. But when politicians ban cooperation between consenting parties in order to foster a reliance on government, they’re discouraging personal responsibility and social mobility: two hallmarks of the American Dream. Young Americans have had enough of being treated like children who need to be dependent on either our parents or the government, when all we really want is the same opportunities past generations have been afforded as a result of economic freedom. It’s time for government to step out of our way once and for all, and let us thrive.

The “Unanticipated” Consequences of Obamacare

February 10th, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

Stop the presses! Obamacare is going to be trillions more expensive than originally projected and will destroy millions of jobs? That’s what last week’s report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) declares, coupled with some almost humorous commentary about how these results were “unanticipated.” As the CBO states in making projections through 2017, “Reduced incentives to work attributable to the Affordable Care Act – with most of the impact arising from new subsidies for health insurance purchased through the exchanges – will have a larger negative effect on (labor force) participation toward the end of that period.”

This was far from the only observation the CBO made about Obamacare – but it’s the most important one philosophically. It begs the question, what kind of country are we leaving to American youth? One that encourages hard work as a prerequisite for fulfilling boundless potential? Or a nation where we’re artificially “free” from obligation through regulations that discourage wealth creation and social mobility? Unfortunately, Obamacare is promoting the latter. Even worse, there are people defending the outcome.

The New York Times’ editorial board didn’t try to spin the truth of how severely Obamacare is impacting job growth, but rather chose to celebrate the alleged positivity of elevating government handouts over employment. In their own words, “The Congressional Budget Office estimated on Tuesday that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time workers by 2.5 million over the next decade. That is mostly a good thing, a liberating result of the law.”

Apparently, liberation doesn’t mean freedom from a government that limits one’s ability to enhance their well-being. Instead, “liberation” is a luxury afforded to some, while others subsidize the programs they depend on. This is not an outlook steeped in long-term sustainability. It’s actually a disturbing indication of the fact that there are Americans willing to trade the incentives that encourage social mobility for government-induced mediocrity that has the net effect of dragging the entire economy down.

Physician and scholar Scott Gottlieb put it well when he said, “The old employer sponsored system forced people to stay in jobs they didn’t like because they needed the health insurance coverage. The new Obamacare system will force people to stay out of jobs they do want because they need to maximize their subsidies. And this is social progress?” A crucial inquiry indeed.

Most advocates of a free-market health care system recognize the problems with insurance being tied to employment and care being tied to insurance. Portable, affordable plans tailored to meet the needs of consumers are what’s desperately required, but they have been banned by Obamacare. Moreover, health insurance should specifically be geared toward coverage for catastrophic events – not utilized to pay for basic care.

This is the route young people who have chosen to opt out of Obamacare are taking. Whether they sign up for a short-term plan or purchase any one of the many of private options still available, it’s wholly possible to reject Obamacare and act responsibly. Ultimately, the better understanding consumers have of actual health care costs, the morecompetition will bring prices down. These concepts are simple – but they seem to evade politicians who refuse to acknowledge the value of policies that shift power out of their orbit and back toward the people.

Indicative of that problem, Obamacare has exasperated what was wrong with the health care market prior to its enactment. Instead of creating more choice, it has restricted doctor options. Instead of making health care more affordable, it has disproportionately burdened the middle class. Instead of increasing options, it has banned millions of plans. Instead of “freeing” young people, it has pushed several trillion dollars more in government debt on our shoulders. Instead of reining in corporate excess, it has guaranteed insurance companies bailouts.

Nothing about Obamacare represents a “step in the right direction,” unless one believes the government is a self-sustaining entity upon which everyone can depend without contributing. That outlook has collapsed many an economy and been the catalyst for vast social unrest. We’ve already seen problems of this nature in countries like Spain andGreece recently.

The United States must avoid going down the same path and ultimately handing young Americans a country where instead of pursuing our dreams, we’re forced to pay for the mistakes of those who thought mortgaging our futures for their personal gain was acceptable. In these trying times, it would be wise to heed the words of French philosopher Frédéric Bastiat:  ”Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.”

State of the Youth

January 29th, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

Enduring the pomp and circumstance of the State of the Union can be an ordeal in and of itself. For those of us inherently skeptical of the president being presented in too king-like a fashion, Barack Obama’s latest exhibition did nothing to moderate our doubts. In fact, we were fed a vision of the president as supreme legislator, in which a compliant Congress enacts his schemes or is cut out of the governing process. In the second year of his final term, as his signature legislation unravels before the nation’s eyes, it appears that Barack Obama cannot abide the divided government the American people intentionally installed. And so we contend with his agenda.

When one listens to Barack Obama, it’s hard to dismiss the unsettling feeling that he believes government is the economy. That any cut to federal spending chips away at growth potential. That progress is achieved through “investments” made by politicians with assets they stole from us. Surely, without the benign hand of government directing our resources toward commitments it deems laudable, we peasants would drown in a sea of decentralized incompetence. You and I cannot be trusted with the fruits of our own labor, lest the bureaucratic machine miss an opportunity to regulate more of our voluntary interactions with one another.

Naturally, it’s terrifying to think that the leader of the free world could even hint at subscribing to such an authoritarian outlook. It is especially troublesome for those of us under thirty, who will bear the consequences of policies crafted under this vision. We are already inordinately burdened by a government keen to enact new “youth jobs training programs,” but never considers reforming the regulatory regime that strangles would-be Millennial entrepreneurs. Just so, Obama’s address doubled down on the debt-fueled policies that have contributed to the 15.9 percent unemployment rate 18-29 year olds currently face.

The manner in which the President chose to discuss issues like the minimum wage, Obamacare, and income inequality clearly demonstrates his inability to see solutions implemented outside of Washington as viable. His command-and-control approach is tiresome to young people who have heard this rhetoric before, yet feel disempowered due to the lackluster economic results it yields. Ultimately, words don’t create jobs, and results do matter more than intentions.

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The Obamacare Enrollment Campaign’s Fuzzy Millennial Math

January 23rd, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

You’d better keep a close eye on your wallet this month, because the government’s spinmasters and money-grabbers are out in full force. They’re working to simultaneously placate and extort an Obamacare-weary public in the wake of dismal signup numbers.

But fear not, citizen! All you need to know about the demographics of Obamacare enrollment is that everything is fine, and there’s nothing to see here. Except that it’s unclear how many people have actually paid their premiums, 3.9 million people have been added to the already troubled Medicaid rolls, and only 21 percent of enrollees are paying their premiums in full without government assistance. Oh, and there’s the pesky little fact that more people have had the insurance they liked banned by Obamacare than signed up through the exchanges — by a figure of 2.5 million. But no big deal, right? Just ignore all of the lies used to sell Obamacare, and trust that politicians and their cronies have your best interests at heart. Ah, if only life were that simple. Here in the real world, the economic and social costs of Obamacare cannot simply be written off.

As this chart from CNN shows, only 24 percent of the 2.2 million Obamacare enrollees are between the ages of 18 and 34. What remains unclear is how many 18-25 year olds were added as dependents to family plans — thus contributing less in premiums than their peers who purchased individual coverage. And even if you assume everyone in that 24 percent bought a plan on their own, it’s important to remember that the White House originally had a goal of wrangling 2.7 million people in that age bracket – ostensibly to offset the costs of the sicker Americans who would surely sign up due to guaranteed issue.

At this juncture, they’ve only managed to bait about 648,000 into the Obamacare trap; some of whom are dependent “adult children.” So naturally, they’re hoping to lure more of us with desperate gimmicks like Youth Enrollment Day. This post-Valentines Day extravaganza – during which we can only hope we’re spared frantic “free” birth control pitches — is expected to consist of the White House partnering with their resident Millennial mouthpieces at Young Invincibles – the group that’s taking shady Obamacare math to newly disingenuous heights. In response to this data, Young Invincibles stated that 30 percent of new enrollees are under 35. Their implication is that all 660,000 of the people between the ages of 0 and 34 counted in the new enrollment statistics purchased their own individual plans – a claim that’s simply inaccurate.

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Corie Whalen on Your World With Neil Cavuto

December 18th, 2013


On December 18th, I appeared on Fox News to discuss why young people are opting out of Obamacare on behalf of Generation Opportunity. Thanks to the Daily Caller for the footage, and their story about the segment.

 

Corie Whalen on the Sean Hannity Show

November 22nd, 2013


On November 22nd, I appeared on a special studio audience edition of the Sean Hannity Show, featuring a panel of millennials. We tackled various issues, and I discussed how support for Obamacare cratered among young people after the exchanges were launched.

The second portion of the segment can be watched here.

If You Like Your Plan, You Can Blame Someone Else

November 14th, 2013

On November 14th, the President of the United States went on national television and berated insurance companies for enforcing Obamacare as written. It has become politically inconvenient for Democrats who have to contend with reelection next year, that millions of Americans have had their insurance policies banned by Obamacare, despite the President’s oft repeated promise to the contrary.

Once again elevating politics over economic and logistical reality, King Obama decreed that insurance companies can suddenly UN-cancel the banned plans (even though Obamacare hasn’t been legislatively amended) and re-sell them. How dictatorial! But, there’s a catch. Insurers will only be allowed do this through 2015 – and don’t even know how it can be achieved. What company in their right mind would suddenly expend resources to sell in a market they’ve explicitly been told is illegal? Oh, right. None. Which is why Obama made the statement he did.

The President went into his press conference fully aware that his purpose was to deflect blame and solve approximately zero problems. After all, the banning of low-cost catastrophic plans to induce stealth redistribution is the point Obamacare. To its advocates, replacing actual insurance that calculates for risk with expensive plans that contain unnecessary mandates is a feature, not a bug. Anyone pretending otherwise either doesn’t understand how Obamacare is supposed to work (and therefore shouldn’t have advocated for it), or is being intentionally dishonest in their sudden outrage.

Ultimately, the sad display we saw from the President on Thursday constitutes a desperate attempt to shift responsibility for the unmitigated disaster that is Obamacare away from politicians who knowingly lied to defend him as they face the wrath of their constituents. Conveniently, the new 2015 deadline for banning the insurance plans millions liked and depended on should be just enough time to give red and swing state Democratic Senators like Pryor (AR), Landrieu (LA), Hagan (NC), and Begich (AK) political cover – not to mention all of their colleagues in the House.

Keep in mind through all of this though, that the insurance companies certainly aren’t victims in this schadenfreude. They have been willing participants in a corporatist redistribution scheme that they stood to profit from through coercive plunder enacted by government fiat. What’s that saying about laying down with dogs and getting fleas? Congratulations, insurance companies. You’re getting the PR treatment you should have expected, and frankly, deserve.

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Do You Got Insurance, Bro?

November 13th, 2013

Originally posted at Generation Opportunity

Good news, bros and hos!  There’s a new ad campaign geared toward fulfilling your wildest government-funded fantasies! At the grammatically challenged DoYouGotInsurance.com, you can browse through a compelling selection of hard hitting pro-Obamacare ads, just like the classy and clearly not condescending one below.


This, ladies and gentlemen, is the level Obamacare advocates have stooped to. They know that millennials are opting out of the expensive, creepy Obamacare exchanges in droves, and their desperation is showing. As a woman in her twenties, I can’t imagine this message resonating with any sane female, regardless of her political views. I’m sorry, but there is no young lady on earth who says to herself, “Wow, if only the government made me pay more for insurance before, I could’ve had access to ‘free’ birth control and fulfilled my dream of getting with a bunch of tequila-shot-wielding-bros!” Also, the use of the term “hot to trot” in the ad? Really? Disparagingly treating women like sex objects and encouraging government dependency? So totally empowering! Or something ….

I have to imagine that you won’t be seeing these sophisticated purveyors of “brosurance” make ads about recent news that Obamacare has actually banned the affordable insurance plans of over 3.5 million Americans and counting. After all, that’s a pretty devastating statistic considering only 50,000 people have allegedly signed up through the exchanges. But wait, there’s more! The official number we expect the White House to release soon will count individuals who have merely kept a plan in their online shopping cart. Yes, seriously. HealthCare.gov wasn’t operational when I tried out of curiosity to see if I could get a quote. If I had saved a plan to review later, the government would consider me enrolled in Obamacare? Really? Earth to the White House: Attempted research on a dysfunctional website doesn’t constitute someone purchasing your sub-par, corporatist product. After all, there are better options for insurance procurement – especially if you’re a young person.

Oh and additionally, as if the aforementioned ad that implies females are the are brain-dead sums of our lady parts isn’t bad enough, there’s this:

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