The Bright Side of the Stimulus Bill

Miss Coulter, with marvelous malevolence, takes on the new “stimulus” bill:

…There are hundreds of examples in the 800-page “stimulus” bill [of government bureaucrats aggressively intervening in our lives] but here are just two.

First, the welfare bureaucrats are coming back.

For half a century, the welfare establishment had the bright idea to pay women to have children out of wedlock. Following the iron laws of economics — subsidize something, you get more of it; tax it, you get less of it — the number of children being born out of wedlock skyrocketed.

The 1996 Welfare Reform bill marked the first time any government entitlement had ever been rolled back. Despite liberal howling and foot-stomping, not subsidizing illegitimacy led, like night into day, to less illegitimacy.

Welfare recipients got jobs, as the hard-core unemployables were coaxed away from their TV sets and into the workforce. For the first time in decades, the ever-increasing illegitimacy rate stopped spiraling upward.

As proof that that welfare reform was a smashing success, a few years later, Bill Clinton started claiming full credit for the bill.

Well, that’s over. The stimulus bill goes a long way toward repealing the work requirement of the 1996 Republican Welfare Reform bill and rewards states that increase their welfare caseloads by paying unwed mothers to sit home doing nothing.

Second, bureaucrats at Health and Human Services will electronically collect every citizen’s complete medical records and determine appropriate medical care.

Judging by the care that the State Department took with private visa records last year, that the Ohio government took with Joe the Plumber’s government records, that the Pentagon took with Linda Tripp’s employment records in 1998, and that the FBI took with thousands of top secret “raw” background files in President Clinton’s first term, the bright side is: We’ll finally be able to find out if Bill Clinton has syphilis — all thanks to the stimulus bill!

HHS bureaucrats will soon be empowered to overrule your doctor. Doctors who don’t comply with the government’s treatment protocols will be fined. That’s right: Instead of your treatment being determined by your doctor, it will be settled on by some narcoleptic half-wit in Washington who couldn’t get a job in the private sector.

And a brand-new set of bureaucrats in the newly created office of “National Coordinator of Health Information Technology” will be empowered to cut off treatments that merely prolong life. Sorry, Mom and Pop, Big Brother said it’s time to go.

At every other workplace in the nation — even Wal-Mart! — workers are being laid off. But no one at any of the bloated government bureaucracies ever need fear receiving a pink slip. All 64,750 employees at the department of Health and Human Services are apparently absolutely crucial to the smooth functioning of the department.

With the stimulus bill, liberals plan to move unfirable government workers into every activity in America, where they will superintend all aspects of our lives.

Also, thanks to the stimulus bill, the private sector will gradually shrivel and die. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of servicing the bill’s nearly trillion-dollar debt will shrink the economy within a decade…

Allen Barra, writing in the Wall Street Journal about the Alex Rodriguez steroid case, notes that A-Rod’s civil rights were violated and thus seconds Ann Coulter’s point about the dangers of government bureaucrats getting their hands on medical records:

…The main issue is . . . Well, since baseball had no penalty at the time Mr. Rodriguez used the drugs and there is no evidence that they improved his performance, what is the major issue? According to Marvin Miller, former head and founder of the Major League Baseball Players Association, “There is a major issue, one which virtually no one has mentioned, namely Alex Rodriguez’s civil rights.”

Mr. Miller was referring to the leaking of information from the test results. In 2003, the union and MLB agreed to anonymous testing of 1,198 players to determine the extent of drug use in the sport. It was agreed that if 5% of the players tested positive, then random testing would be implemented in 2004. The linchpin of the agreement was that the names of the players who tested positive would not be revealed to the teams or the athletes. When results indicated that 104 players had used some type of PED — at least 104 is the number now being given, though it has not been confirmed, nor were the samples retested to make sure the initial findings were accurate — the agreement for random drug testing was activated.

On Nov. 19, 2003, only six days after the testing was finalized, a grand jury subpoena requested by federal agents investigating the Balco steroids scandal was issued for the actual test samples, which were at a lab in Long Beach, Calif. The union requested that government lawyers withdraw the subpoena for all the 2003 test results. And when they refused, the union filed papers asking for clarification on what the government was entitled to. The next day, however, all samples were seized, not just samples from the 10 players associated with the Balco investigation.

In April 2004, both the baseball commissioner’s office and the players union were dismayed to receive a report from federal officials that listed the names of the 104 players believed to have tested positive. How could that have happened if the tests were anonymous? Apparently, says a source connected with the union, the lab’s code was cracked and the samples were identified.

Fast forward to this past Saturday, when the [Sports Illustrated] story was released. We’re now left with three major unanswered questions: Who made the leak, why did they leak it, and why was Alex Rodriguez’s name the only one leaked?

No one can be sure why A-Rod’s was the only name mentioned, but as baseball’s most highly paid and publicized player, and the only player to be publicly linked with Madonna, outing him would have generated the most publicity.

As to who did it and why, there’s a very short list of candidates, says Mr. Miller. “MLB, the union and the federal investigators all have the information, and if the first two had anything to gain by revealing a name on the list, I can’t imagine what that would be.” [emphasis added]

Meanwhile, after more than five years of litigation, the union’s lawsuit to recover the 2003 test results is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and might end in the Supreme Court. And at least 103 other players will be having some uneasy nights.

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