The controversy over the TSA’s new tactics in screening airline passengers has put the same progressives who were against the violation of civil liberties during the Bush administration into somewhat of a dilemma: Criticize the administration for its invasive pat down and scanning procedures or support it as necessary and look like hypocrites. The latter seems to be the tact most taken.
This has led more ‘progressive’ figures like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Ed Shultz to support the clear violation of the Fourth Amendment in the name of security. Matthews suggested that the Obama administration had no choice but to implement these measures, because if there were to be another terrorist attack, they would be blamed for not keeping Americans sufficiently safe. Shultz expressed on air the confusing position that resorting to profiling was “trading liberty for security,” but the invasive pat downs are justified because only around two percent of Americans are having to endure it. He even stated it was OK because counter-terrorism experts say it is necessary.
The ‘progressive’ among us have now hypocritically voiced support for a violation of civil liberties all in the name of security — something they would have decried the government for under the previous administration. One can’t help but wonder how conservatives would have behaved had these pat downs taken place under the previous administration. Sadly, they would have more than likely supported them.
Politicians are experts at ignoring economics. One of their favorite activities is to mandate price and service requirements from private companies and just expect that, like magic, all will be fixed. They seldom acknowledge the perhaps unintended, but yet inevitable, consequences of their wishful mandating.
The most pertinent example is the list of nice-sounding mandates on insurance carriers included in the new health-care ‘reform’ law. Many of them took effect this week.
The list includes, among others, the following requirements:
Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
Insurers can no longer put lifetime caps on benefits
Preventive services are now free
Kids can stay on a their parents’ plan until 26
All of these, of course, will add to the overall costs of insurance policies. There is a difference between “price” (how much is directly charged a consumer for a service) and “cost” (the amount of money required to provide the service).
Somewhere along the line actually requiring government spending to be paid for went out of fashion. Take the case of Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) recent efforts to hold off another extension of unemployment benefits until Congress could lay out how it would pay for the extension.
Bunning’s efforts were at least temporarily successful, angering many lawmakers. A Fox News report quoted Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) lamenting Bunning’s actions by stating the following:
It is unthinkable, unforgivable that we would cut off unemployment insurance payments to these people, that we would cut off COBRA payments, which helps them to pay for their health insurance while they’re unemployed. … And yet, that’s what’s going to happen Sunday night. It’s because the senator from Kentucky has objected to extending unemployment insurance payments and COBRA health insurance payments for 30 days.
Bunning said he was concerned about the level of debt currently heaped up by the federal government. But those not phased by increased government spending (of money it doesn’t have) were fierce with their criticisms of the senator.
Take for example this segment from MSNBC making Bunning out to be little more than a heartless, bitter nut:
Here’s an interesting segment from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” featuring Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski debating the health care reform issue with Chris Matthews. Matthews, someone who has maintained all along that the country was rushed into the War in Iraq by the Bush administration without asking enough tough questions, seems to totally ignore the need for such tough questioning in the debate over what to do to reform health care in the U.S — something that may well cost much more money and affect many more lives than the Iraq War.