Patterico's Pontifications


Study: Support of Trump Now Considered “Conservative”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:30 am

Ain’t it great when an Official Study backs up something you already know?

In a paper presented last week at a conference in Chicago, two political scientists compared Republican senators’ voting records to their perceived levels of conservatism among grassroots activists. . . . What they found was that some of the senators with the most traditionally conservative voting records—like Arizona’s Jeff Flake, and Nebraska’s Ben Sasse—were viewed among activists as fairly moderate. Meanwhile, former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions—whose record is considerably more moderate than many of his peers’—was viewed as one of the chamber’s most conservative lawmakers.

The explanation for these discrepancies?

The paper’s authors—Daniel Hopkins, from the University of Pennsylvania, and Hans Noel, from Georgetown— have a theory: Sasse and Flake were both outspoken Trump critics during the election, whereas Sessions was one of the president’s earliest and most vocal cheerleaders.

Indeed, it appears many of the grassroots-level Republicans surveyed for the paper—the kind of people who make small-dollar donations to candidates, volunteer for phone banks, and staff local campaigns—believed that the more loyal a senator was to Trump, the more conservative he was.

Anyone who has opposed big-government policy positions held by Donald Trump and then been called a leftist knows this already. It’s not surprising. Public choice theory holds that citizens have little motivation to learn about the positions of public officials. Nor do they have much reason to learn free market economics, the history of the Constitution, or the less obvious nuances of policies that infringe on liberty (take Net Neutrality as an obvious example of that last point). Accordingly, the positions of the most visible politician from a party — such as the President of the United States — tend to be adopted by the vast majority of voters as the “right” position.

This is why it is so ruinous for Donald Trump to have become the standard bearer of the Republican Party — which is the reason I left it last May. Perhaps it’s also time to shed the meaningless mantle of “conservatism” — a word that has no real meaning when it is defined by Donald Trump — and exclusively refer to myself as a classical liberal. (This is a stance that has the added benefit of confusing Trumpers who don’t know the historical meaning of the word “liberal.”) The disease of Trumpism easily spreads — whether in the Republican party or in “conservatism” generally — when the president himself is its champion:

“If Trump is shaping and changing the next generation of Republican foot soldiers to think of conservatism as what he thinks it is … instead of what Paul Ryan thinks it is, he’s going to lead the party in that direction,” Noel said. . . . And as long as grassroots Republicans are demanding fealty to Trump from their elected leaders—lest they be branded “moderates” and made vulnerable to primary challenges—Trumpism has a good chance to flourish and spread throughout the GOP.

Massive infrastructure programs during a time of crushing debt. Support for unsustainable entitlements without reform. Health care provided by the government, and movement away from repeal of ObamaCare. Ruinous tariffs. These are the policies now deemed “conservative” by many members of the voting public. These are the goals that threaten to become part of the fabric of the Republican and even “conservative” belief system.

At times I feel like I’m standing on a beach, facing a fast-approaching 60-foot tidal wave of statism, and shaking a stick at it angrily as it rushes towards me. I know that any moment now I’m about to get carried by the giant wave and dashed against the rocks — but it’s too late to run. All I can do is hold my ground, stare it down, and hope that someday my example will mean something to someone else.

Happy Wednesday!

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

85 Responses to “Study: Support of Trump Now Considered “Conservative””

  1. Populism: It’s the new rage in politics. Say goodbye to underpinning principle and the application of rigorous logic. Somewhere H.L. Mencken weeps for us.

    JVW (257f4c)

  2. thats a failure on your account JVW. Not presenting your message clearly enough, or persuasively enough, to reach a mass audience.

    You have to lead the band with your stick, not just fan the air with it.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  3. In the last 20 years the republicans have accomplished zero in conservatism. I’ve been surfing around that 60′ wave my entire life, the key is having a powerful jet ski to pull you out of the way of the 20 years of filthy lying by republicans, i mean uni-party. blaming Trump is b.s. for the last 20 years of corrupted and stupid republicans.

    mg (31009b)

  4. Hey, there’s no doubt that GOP leaders did an extremely poor job of making the conservative case and explaining principles and logic to people. I can’t deny that. But that shouldn’t lead you to just hop over to the nearest carnival barker who has a big mouth and a colorful tent. I know we’ve trod this ground for the past 15 months and I’m not really interested in reigniting old debates, but last year was the best year we’ve ever had to put forth a bona fide conservative candidate who could have pushed a small-government pro-liberty agenda, and instead we allowed a TV personality to suck all of the air out of the room.

    JVW (257f4c)

  5. Trump nominating Grouch sucked
    boosh nominating roberts effing brilliant

    mg (31009b)

  6. Gorsuch

    mg (31009b)

  7. if neither the freedom filth or the paul ryan establishment jack-offs want to lead then what do you expect

    see this is why President Trump is just so special

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  8. In the last 20 years the republicans have accomplished zero in conservatism.

    Washington conservatives, maybe. But tell that to Republicans in Texas, Wisconsin, and even states like Ohio and Indiana who have worked hard to keep taxes low and regulation light. Look at what Republican governors are trying to accomplish in blue states like Massachusetts and Maryland. We could have done way better.

    JVW (257f4c)

  9. boosh and the republican party spent money like drunk and stoned democrats at a Soros hummer convention.

    mg (31009b)

  10. Trump nominating Grouch sucked
    boosh nominating roberts effing brilliant

    GHW Bush nominated Thomas, GW Bush nominated Alito. Both absolute stalwarts. Are you saying that no other Republican President would have nominated Gorsuch? Hell, I’ll bet even Lindsay Graham would have. And as I pointed out last week, the real hero there was McConnell for keeping the seat open.

    JVW (257f4c)

  11. boosh and the republican party spent money like drunk and stoned democrats at a Soros hummer convention.

    No kidding, mg. Don’t you think that Patrick, Dana, and I, as well as virtually every other commenter here, knows that? But even National Review pointed out in 2000 that GW Bush was not known as a budget cutter or limited-government advocate in Texas. We knew what we were and were not getting with that guy, but back in the late 90s with the alleged balanced budget we didn’t think it was that important.

    JVW (257f4c)

  12. I live in Massachusetts the govna has a 70% approval. That alone should tell you he is a complete failure in promoting conservatism. Govna Baker lets the democrat lesbian attorney general run the state. He will never win with conservatives, only sick independents find him tolerable .

    mg (31009b)

  13. gorsuch is an untested cipher he could be just as open to blackmail as our hopelessly corrupt friend john roberts

    hope for the best but plan for the worst

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  14. plus i think they went to like the same college or something

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  15. I think Obama NSA wiretapped Justice Roberts, and Bob has a skeleton in his closet.

    Under normal circumstances, were he not assailed by organized crime and their mob boss, Judge Roberts would be an okay guy.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  16. Govna Baker lets the democrat lesbian attorney general run the state.

    Would you rather have had the third term of Deval Patrick? I lived in Mass when we went from Dukakis to Bill Weld, and even though Weld was no one’s idea of Ronald Reagan he at least had the gumption to attack the culture of welfare dependency and public employee feather-nesting that ran rampant in the Bay State. I’m sure that Baker is disappointing in a huge way, but the guy is on a battlefield where he is constantly surrounded and where he has to know when to skirmish and when to retreat in order to avoid getting routed, the way Schwarzenegger got routed in his final few years here in California.

    JVW (257f4c)

  17. Trying to say Grouch was a good pick by Trump and roberts was and will be on the wrong side of major conservative votes.

    mg (31009b)

  18. Gorsuch-damn me

    mg (31009b)

  19. I’ll be judging this prez by his actions, appointments, who he surrounds himself with. His words are all over the place, so they don’t appear to be any metric for analysis. So far, for the most part, I like what I’ve seen.

    Colonel Haiku (e725d8)

  20. “the democrat lesbian attorney general”…

    That is hot!

    Colonel Haiku (e725d8)

  21. Fixeloflake as traditionally conservative? Not to mention his amnesty stand. Sasse is a better standardbearer but note how long did it take him to endorse cruz?

    narciso (1166e2)

  22. we call baker the white deval
    as he continues to deceit us all

    mg (31009b)

  23. so many so called conservatives in the last 20 years have gone missing – should be on a milk carton.

    mg (31009b)

  24. ryan conservatives have taken congressional approval from 28% – 20% after the failure of conservative ryan care failed miserably.
    Blame Trump.

    mg (31009b)

  25. Conservatives care more about a third bathroom than they do cutting taxes.

    mg (31009b)

  26. Severing at hhs his counterpart from North Carolina at justice

    As for tariffs, this was the traditional funding source as of a hundred years ago.

    narciso (1166e2)

  27. The term “conservative” was useless long before this, and statists have used it for a long time. Every single person who wants to impose Christian values on the nation calls themselves a “conservative” when in fact they are utter statists.

    Just different goals than the ones who want to impose Humanist values.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  28. There is no “try”, there is only “do”.

    Plenty of “conservative” politicians talk a good game, let’s see them get it done.

    Colonel Haiku (e725d8)

  29. Tillerson must be doing something right. Putin all of a sudden has time for a 2 hour meeting with Rex?

    mg (31009b)

  30. interesting

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  31. Jeff Sessions thinks our immigration laws should be enforced as written. Jeff Flake does not support the enforcement of our immigration laws.

    And you’re telling me Flake is the true conservative?

    I can hardly think of a better conservative litmus test in a republic such as ours: should our laws be enforced as written?

    For the past 100 days, we have seen one conservative policy after another emanate from the White House – we are seeing the deconstruction of the administrative state. The crowning jewel was the confirmation of Gorsuch. It has been a wonderfully transformational few weeks.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  32. Courtesy of John Hinderaker over at Powerline:

    “We haven’t heard the last of this story (Obama Administration spying on Trump), but for the moment one thing is clear: a great many people, inside and outside of the media, owe President Trump an apology. Assuming that President Obama knew of, and approved, the FISA application–a safe assumption, I think–Trump’s much-reviled tweet was true:

    Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  33. It’s called AMNESTY Patterico.

    Open borders like Flake wants is leftist and will lead to the dissolution of our nation.

    NJRob (967e98)

  34. A huge reason why we as conservatives haven’t gotten our agenda passed since Newt’s “Contract With America” is because leftists make up a larger percentage of the Republican party than conservatives.

    The Freedom Caucus is outnumbered by leftists sabotaging our agenda.

    NJRob (967e98)

  35. I resigned from the GOP years ago, and reported it here. I was fed-up with working to elect conservatives only to find that once in office they were willing to stab loyal constituents in the back.

    The GOP establishment’s callous snub of the TEA Party is a pertinent example. Obama set the government’s hell hounds on conscientious citizens attempting to exercise their constitutional right to assemble and petition the government for redress, yet the GOP not only sat by quietly, they joined in by undermining the TEA Party’s motives and calling their legitimacy into question. Then, when Obama’s blatent criminal misuse of the IRS came to light, the useless GOP congressmen couldn’t even hold an effective investigation. The idiots even let Lois Lerner off the hook, and worse, her replacement is still in office obstructing any real investigation from locating hidden records of Obama’s direct involvement.

    The dirty two faced GOP cowards did everything they could to deny Donald Trump a fair chance to make his case to voters, and they’re still at it trying to undermine his presidency. A pox on the GOP – the enemy of the people.

    ropelight (194a2b)

  36. The bastardization of the term “conservative” is a classic ploy by the progressives. Words are to have no meaning! The media have consciously and studiously stuck the label to Trump as a way to discredit/devalue it. They know full well DJT will govern in, shall I say, an uneven manner. When the caca hits the cuckoo, it’s a two-fer for the left.

    It did not help. Not one little bit. That Rush refused to properly identify DJT. His tacit seal of approval gave DJT all the cover he needed amongst the less informed far right voters.

    For the posters insisting that DJT has demonstrated conservative bona fides in office: Conservative philosophy is not situational. It is necessarily consistent. It must be a bulwark against the sustaining and growth of the State. DJT went after actual conservatives in the ACA debacle. He demonized them! He just literally blew up his ubiquitous and forceful isolationism rhetoric as it pertains to the war in Syria. Sorry, not sorry. DJT is a classic populist pragmatist.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  37. At times I feel like I’m standing on a beach, facing a fast-approaching 60-foot tidal wave of statism, and shaking a stick at it angrily as it rushes towards me…

    Caught Deep Impact recently on cable, eh. Well, that’s one way to look at it.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… meet… the future!” Bicycle Salesman, [Henry Jones] – ‘Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid’ 1969

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. It seems like he’s been drinking enough swamp water it’s hard to find much daylight between his policy actions and the Bush/Clinton policies the beltway was expecting – NATO, Ex-Im bank, China, Syria, fedcare public option, no entitlement reform. The GOP establishment is winning, not the reforming outsiders. Strip the bluster and BS away and it’s another term of Bush/Clinton.

    crazy (d3b449)

  39. Kevin pretty much already said it. To a lot of people, conservative means don’t question authority, follow the leader, play along to get along, don’t deviate from the current mode.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. “DJT is a classic populist pragmatist.”

    Firing 59 missiles at Syria because Ivanka was upset about dead baby pictures is not the action of a pragmatist. He didn’t even get a poll bump from the Wag the Dog due to a serious miscalculation of the ‘nother day, ‘nother atrocity weariness of anyone even modestly aware of the ME.

    At the moment he’s just looking for something to regain his touch as a cheap demagogue who couldn’t fool half of the people any of the time. Being the lesser evil isn’t really that big a deal.

    Rick Ballard (a9369a)

  41. sickening is conservatives have failed to jail anyone from the benghazi killings. the charade gowdy has displayed is pathetic.

    mg (31009b)

  42. Think of it as broken window writ large, volodya will need to rebuilt shayrat, conservatives are law and order, strong military, and promotion of traditional values, that has been mostly true in his appointments

    narciso (6261f8)

  43. By that standard, the Tories sans hannon and gove and Johnson aren’t particularly conservative either, may certainly was a qet.

    narciso (6261f8)

  44. Private contractors deserve more from the CIA. Private contractors love this country. CIA and republicans, not so much.

    mg (31009b)

  45. Wut? lol I think happyfeet and I have been corrupting you with Etisoppo-speak, mg.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. Gowdy is early stage Lindsay Graham. I saw that long ago. If Trump has a malaise-lite speech after realizing how slick the Russians really are plus these retreats on trade, its ovah!

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  47. Safe spaces must be bermetical

    narciso (6261f8)

  48. Benghazi makes me crazy.

    mg (31009b)

  49. Goose was more blanc mange then howdy, but his performance in the benghazi committee were not encouraging.

    narciso (6261f8)

  50. Neal Stephenson has a new book coming out in june, involving mAgic and time travel.

    narciso (6261f8)

  51. Statism isn’t everything the government does.

    Roads are not statism. Nor are other common-area projects unless they replace functions the private sector used to do. City-run buses are statism, and usually socialism. Roads projects CAN be wasteful, but even the most capitalist business can throw money down a rathole. See Toshiba.

    Keeping public order is not statism, until it intrudes into private, non-coercive behavior.

    Enforcing individual rights against encroachment by others is not statism. Limiting personal choices by law IS statism.

    I am still waiting for an overt statist act by the Trump administration. I hear of their approach daily, but I have yet to see one.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  52. Neal Stephenson has a new book coming out in june, involving mAgic and time travel.

    narciso (6261f8) — 4/12/2017 @ 5:33 pm

    Just take my money.

    NJRob (967e98)

  53. Much of what “conservatives” say they want seems like statism to me.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  54. The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland. June 13th

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  55. Well some of his projects like seveneves seemed more interesting than they turned out to be.

    Sasse overreacted to the eo, that included criteria he likely voted for, he has looked askance at the surveillance claims

    narciso (6261f8)

  56. “Somewhere H.L. Mencken weeps for us.”

    No he most certainly does not. He is laughing his head off. What is happening now is exactly what he saw in his own time.

    We are still people, hairless monkeys with a taste for theft, dishonesty, gin and bad women. As it is now so it was in the beginning and shall be forever and ever, amen, and thank God, otherwise the boredom would kill me.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  57. This fellow otoh

    narciso (6261f8)

  58. Anyone else think it’s strange that most American news outlets (including Drudge) are ignoring the terror attack against the Dortmund soccer team?

    They were lucky no one was killed but the intent was there.

    harkin (f611c5)

  59. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Bill O’Reilly – who rode in on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal – rides out on his own, personal sex scandal?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  60. No just another sign of media malpractice.

    narciso (6261f8)

  61. 53 – Kevin M. His adoption of the principle that the federal government MUST mandate universal minimum health insurance coverages is as statist as it gets. Make no mistake…this was not strictly Ryan’s initiative. DJT has spoken all along about “better coverage.”

    DJT is slowly and surely being co-opted by the usual suspects on the other side of the Potomac. The perception of a strong deal is everything, The actual deal? Not so much.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  62. Look at this way, Reagan who campaigned against Medicare back in the ge theatre days, did not appreciably trim back the system as president.

    narciso (6261f8)

  63. “Somewhere H.L. Mencken weeps for us.”

    I doubt he ever wept.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  64. It’s soccer and a team in Merkeland at that. Only the USMNT would garner that concern and only a real Murican like Zach Thornton, Clint Dempsey or that Drusilic kid getting wounded would rile people up.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  65. His adoption of the principle that the federal government MUST mandate universal minimum health insurance coverages is as statist as it gets

    They get into a bind when they shove Medicare into the system make rules about must-issue coverage. If they don’t have a minimum coverage, then companies might way, “Here, we have this fine coverage for people with preexisting conditions. It gives them a 5% discount off list.” Or some other bogus coverage. It’s how they think.

    My preferred plan is this: Companies can sell whatever they want, anywhere in the country, but they cannot discriminate except actuarially. Older people pay more, women of child-bearing age pay more (or pay for pregnancy coverage separately). Etc. People who try to enter the system after a notable break in coverage* get charged considerably more until they pay their dues. Companies deal with preexisting conditions of new patients by subrogation with the old company.

    Oh, and there is no tax benefit or corporate subsidy. If your company buys you coverage, or subsidizes your coverage, the policy has to come from the public market and you get taxed on its value.

    * and here we get back to “what is coverage?” This sh1t isn’t easy.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  66. Ed–

    Reagan wasn’t perfect either. If Trump delivers on half his promises, appoints decent judges and makes the illegal immigration stop (even if he cannot roll it back), it will be 1000% better than what Hillary would have done.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  67. 71… that is the way I’m approaching this and I find it hard to understand what is so complicated about this bit of reality.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  68. Kevin M (25bbee) — 4/12/2017 @ 8:05 pm

    People who try to enter the system after a notable break in coverage* get charged considerably more until they pay their dues.

    Twoo problems with this:

    1) It’s more money than many eople have

    2) It’s not actuarially sound, as people with pre-existing conditions will pay the back premiums, and other people will not.

    Pre-existing conditions (or extraordinarily high costs) have to be paid for by taxes and reinsurance.

    And then there’s the whole problem that there is no market.

    The health care market doesn’t work like other markets because “what the market will bear” is vastly greater than what a well-functioning market should bear. As Rosenthal describes American health care, it’s not really a market; it’s more like a protection racket — tolerated only because so many different institutions are chipping in to cover the extortionary bill and because, ultimately, it’s our lives that are on the line.

    Consider the epicenter of America’s cost crisis: the once humble hospital. Thanks in part to hit TV shows, we think of hospitals as public-spirited pillars of local communities. Yet while most are legally classified as nonprofits, they are also very big businesses, maximizing surpluses that can be plowed into rising salaries and relentless expansion even when they are not earning profits or remunerating shareholders. And they have grown much bigger and more businesslike over time.

    Rosenthal tells the story of Providence Portland Medical Center, a Northwest hospital system founded by nuns. Four decades ago, its operational hub in Portland, Ore., consisted of two modest hospitals: Providence and St. Vincent. As it happens, my mother was a nurse at St. Vincent for more than half those years, and thus had a front-row seat as Providence transformed from a Catholic charity into one of the nation’s largest nonprofit hospital systems, with annual revenues of $14 billion in 2015.

    Along the way, Providence jettisoned most of its original mission, replacing nuns with number crunchers. Once run mainly by doctors, it filled its growing bureaucracy with professional coders capable of gaming insurance-reimbursement rules to extract maximum revenue. Meanwhile, Providence stopped paying doctors as staff and reclassified them as independent contractors (though not so independent they could skip a “charm school” designed by its marketers). Yet even as its C.E.O. earned more than $4 million, Providence touted itself as a “not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry” upholding the “tradition of caring” started by the nuns (now listed as “sponsors” in promotional materials). Rosenthal sums up the result as “a weird mix of Mother Teresa and Goldman Sachs.”

    Actually, not much of Mother Teresa: Providence-like consolidation in every part of American health care has created a structure at least as concentrated as the European systems conservatives decry, yet without the economy or coordination of care such concentration might offer if it were focused on people rather than profits. The Yale economist Zack Cooper has shown that prices paid by private insurers are not just massively higher than those paid by Medicare. (They’re in a different orbit from those paid abroad.) They are also hugely variable from place to place and even institution to institution, without any evidence that higher prices produce better care. Providers charge high prices not when and where they need to; but when and where — courtesy of consolidation — they can.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  69. ThOR (c9324e) — 4/12/2017 @ 2:07 pm

    I can hardly think of a better conservative litmus test in a republic such as ours: should our laws be enforced as written?

    That’s not conservative – that’s statist. And also impractical.

    And undesirable in the case of certain laws.

    That sounds really like what the Wickersham Commission recommended about Prohibition.

    It may even be undesirable that the laws be changed, or at least unachievable.

    And you can’t quite get the same result with any law that you get with a combination of draconian laws and partial enforcement. no, hat’s not good. But it may be a compromise people can agree on.


    Jeff Sessions also wants to enforce the federal marijuana laws.

    Although we don’t hear anythng about not paying insurance companies money that Congress didn’t appropriate, because it would wreck the individual insurance market right away.

    The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for certain low-income consumers. The “cost-sharing” subsidies, which total $7 billion a year, compensate insurers for these discounts. Seven million people selecting marketplace plans for 2017 qualified for cost-sharing subsidies. They account for 58 percent of the people signing up for plans this year.

    House Republicans sued the Obama administration, saying that the spending — in the absence of an appropriations law — was unconstitutional. A Federal District Court judge agreed and ordered a halt to the payments, but suspended her order to allow the government to appeal.

    Democrats and consumer advocates say millions of people could lose coverage if the Trump White House reversed the position of the Obama administration, dropped the appeal and accepted the argument of House Republicans.

    The Trump administration has not clearly indicated its position on the appeal. Asked to clarify, the Department of Health and Human Services sent a written statement on Monday: “The precedent is that while the lawsuit is being litigated, the cost-sharing subsidies will be funded. It would be fair for you to report that there has been no policy change in the current administration.”

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  70. 71 – Kevin M. Thank you for your response. You first wrote that there was not a single example of statism in any DJT action. I cited one.

    You are correct about Reagan. He made the classic error any well-intentioned outsider makes: He trusted the permanent power structure in DC to behave with at least a modicum of honor. To his dying day, he expressed regret for entering into bargains with them.

    The trend for DJT is quite obvious to me and it is not conservative. Those who have known DJT best almost to a person warn that all DJT really ever cares about is DJT and his perceived legacy. I’ll go a little further and express my belief that he truly loves his family. A lot.

    But, unless an anti-statist president is utterly convicted, s/he stands no chance against the crushing apparatus of the DC political plutocrats and the Deep State. DJT was a Democrat for most of his life. Does that suggest a convicted anti-statist to you?

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  71. Ed from SFV (3400a5) — 4/12/2017 @ 9:40 pm

    DJT was a Democrat for most of his life.

    he was only a Democrat from 2001 through 2009 – that is, during the George W. Bush administration. He was Republican most of his life, and he was in neither of the two major parties from 1999 through 2001, and again, during part of 2011 and 2012.

    Now he gave lots of money to Democrats, and maybe more than Republicans, until around 2011 or 2012, when he started mostly limiting himself to Republicans.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  72. Ed–

    What I was saying about statism is that it means more than just “government.” Not all collective activity is bad. I cannot lay out the sewer from my house, nor the roads, nor the other utilities. Even if these are done by private entities, there need to be rules, agreements and standards.

    In short, some modicum of government is inevitable. Our host berates Trump for his giant roads program. It may well be unnecessary, graft-ridden and expensive, but it not “statism”. Statism is saying I cannot drive on those roads without a seat-belt on. It is putting constraints on my choices.

    Trump has a few statist ideas, such as medical care, but even then his plan is replacing a VERY statist plan with one that is less so — one that gives people more choice. No mandate for starters. No crushing income caps on the tax credit, where at $61,000 you get a big credit and at $61,001 you get nothing. That’s incredibly coercive.

    Removing CAFE limits is not statist except in the sense that there are more things you didn’t remove. Etc.

    So far, I do not know of a single proposal of his that ADDS coercion to the system.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  73. 71- Kevin M
    Copy that.

    mg (31009b)

  74. DJT was whatever the people he was dealing with insisted he be. I’m sure there are some libertarian professors who nod sagely at the Marxist claptrap that passes for received wisdom at their school. To do otherwise, at least without tenure, is self-defeating.

    In his current environment, he has to be some sort of Republican. We’ll see what that is.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  75. Sammy, the problem with the current system is that it is balkanized. There are tens of thousands of insurance pools, and the danger of perturbing any one of them with some outlier participant is great.

    If insurance companies all dealt with one common national pool — no state lines or corporate groups or special programs or … or .. or — then no one person could have much effect. Corporate plans have very mild rules about preexisiting conditions and no one is ever turned down for insurance.

    There are several ways to deal with the intentional deadbeat, but all of them tend to be a bit statist. The Obamacare tax is one, the Ryancare premium bump is another. In the end you have to do something in a country that has poor people, stupid people, and bad luck. “You screwed up, go away and die” isn’t politically possible.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  76. “I’ll go a little further and express my belief that he truly loves his family. A lot.”

    Which one? After all, ol’ Semper Infidelis has three to chose from. Byron York has a decent piece today regarding how very few individuals demonstrate the level of sycophancy required to be included in the Trump inner circle of incompetence. His kids make the grade on the basis of their attachment to potential inheritance but continuing failure is likely to at least strain the bonds of avarice which hold La Famiglia together.

    Rick Ballard (a9369a)

  77. I never thought Trump was a conservative. All conservatives do is talk a big game, they never actually play it.

    W. Bush the conservative created the DHS, got together with Ted Kennedy on No Child Left Behind, and gave us Medicare D. And went to war with Afghanistan and Iraq after some Saudis attacked us. H. Bush the conservative raised taxes and got us involved in the war in the middle east. Reagan the conservative gave us amnesty and no fault divorce, a huge blow to marriage and the family. None of them shrank the size of government, and all of them contributed to the national debt.

    But yeah, let’s talk about how Trump is ruining the country and the conservative brand in his first 100 days of his first elected office. When he has actually reduced the size of government, by undoing Obama’s EO’s and regulations, in those first 100 days more than all three of those conservative presidents combined.

    Leon (79ca52)

  78. Kevin M (25bbee) — 4/13/2017 @ 12:05 am

    Corporate plans have very mild rules about preexisiting conditions and no one is ever turned down for insurance.

    Corporate plans are also Balkanized, but the balkinization is essentially random – there’s little or no “gerrymandering” except by healthy people.

    There are several ways to deal with the intentional deadbeat, but all of them tend to be a bit statist. The Obamacare tax is one, the Ryancare premium bump is another.

    Both of which actually do not work because the penalty isn’t crippling.

    The simple solution is take the highest risks out of the insurance system. Pre-existing conditions are not insurance so don’t try to pretend it is. And having everyone have insurance only causes people to waste money, and does not improve health.

    Pay for it with taxes, either directly or by paying for the re-insurance. I came up with a plan, which I outlined elsewhere. The problem I haven’t solved is how do you get price awareness back into the system. One thing I do want is that uninsured people have to be charged at 15rg percentile, but there’s a problem of coding.

    Maybe insure people only for emergency care, and otherwise have hospitals quote a per day rate with right of refusal or you pay extra and you cap it.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  79. In the end you have to do something in a country that has poor people, stupid people, and bad luck. “You screwed up, go away and die” isn’t politically possible.

    That wouldn’t happen, but it isn’t really possible either to say what would really happen: “Nonprofit hospitals: You absorb the cost.”

    If you give everybody a free unconditional tax credit sufficient to pay for catastrophic insurance, there’s no reason for anyone not to have insurance, and you could allow insurance to be bought retroactively.

    Someone proposed today giving everyone on Medicaid $7,000 in an HSA which they could save.

    The problem with that is:

    1) Medicaid is retroactive; regular insurance isn’t. This retroactiviy provision is very important – it’s how doctors and hospitals arrange to get paid.

    2) Most people don’t pay the avareage cost of Medicaid. Medicaid pays for nursing homes, but only some people are in it. Here is another problem: It would be better to give the person or the family the money rather than any nursing home. You need to exempt people from paying the minimum wage and taxes also. Using nursing students and letting them live in at least part time would be avery good idea.

    3) Medicaid has clawbacks, at least in theory. You’d have to eliminate the clawbacks if you wanted people to save the funsds in the HSA.

    I would have standadized (but no complusory) policies, maybe a dizen or two variants, where people would aloo be charged the same rate and the on;y diffewrence between people would be the size of the deductibel. I would giive people two pools of free money, one of which could not be used for insurance, and would also vanish if noot used, but could be used to buy medical gift cards or pay for someone else’s bills. The deductible might go as high as $1 million a year. the actual maximum out of pocket would be much less, and everyone wold have some method to fill that doughnut hole.

    The people with the highest deductibles would have the responsibility reinsured through an auction where the U.S. government would pay the premium, except that the original insurance underwriter would have to forfeit or pay the amount of the premium plus 5% or 15% whatever would get this to work.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

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