Yesterday’s election showed many cracks developing in the alliance that put the Democrats into power just one year ago. Independent voters were the most obvious but there were others, while still voting democratic young and urban voters were not motivated to come out for Obama’s candidates, especially in New Jersey the state where the POTUS invested the most time and political capital.
The other group shifting away from the Obama coalition is suburbia. Already facing growing property taxes, they see a federal government with no inclination to curb spending and the higher taxes the deficits will bring. According to Karl Rove Tuesday’s results were the first sign that voters are revolting against runaway spending and government expansion. But Democrat likely ain’t seen nothin’ yet if they try to ram through health-care reform. There is nothing in the House bill that would do anything to reverse the voter trend we saw this week.
If the democrats insist on forcing Obamacare down our throats with all the associated taxes and higher costs, the Republican party will be moving into their new digs in the suburbs.
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By KARL ROVE
Tuesday’s elections should put a scare into red state Democrats—and a few blue state ones, too.
Barack Obama was said to have redrawn the electoral map by winning Virginia last year with 53% of the vote. On Tuesday, Republican Bob McDonnell flipped the state back to the GOP, winning his election for governor with 59% of the vote. Mr. Obama carried New Jersey easily last year with 57% of the vote. This year, despite being outspent 3-to-1, Republican Chris Christie ousted Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine there by 49% to 45%. Mr. Obama carried Pennsylvania last year by 10 points. On Tuesday, Republican Judge Joan Orie Melvin was elected to the state’s Supreme Court by 53% to 47%, leading a GOP sweep of six of seven statewide contests.
The trend here is that suburban and independent voters moved into the GOP column. The overall shift away from Democrats was 13 points in Virginia, 12 points in New Jersey, and eight points in Pennsylvania.
Even a five-point swing in 2010 could bring a tidal wave of change. Today, Democrats enjoy 60 votes in the Senate, Republicans a mere 40. Had there been a five-point swing away from Democrats last fall, the party would have started this year with 54 seats and the Republicans 46.
A five-point shift in 2006 would have left the GOP in control of the House. In 2008, a five-point shift would have produced a Democratic loss of six House seats rather than a gain of 21. It would also have put John McCain into the White House with 279 Electoral College votes to Mr. Obama’s 259.
Looking ahead, the bad news for Democrats is that the legislation that helped lead to the collapse of support for their party on Tuesday could yet inflict more pain on those foolish enough to support it. The health-care bill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to vote on this week could sink an entire fleet of Democratic boats in 2010.
For starters, the bill is a lot more expensive than advertised. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) pegs its cost at $1.055 trillion over 10 years, not the $894 billion Mrs. Pelosi claims. Politico reports that “the legislation is projected to create deficits over the second five years” by front-loading revenue and benefit cuts and back-loading costs. The real cost, according to a Republican House Budget Committee report, could be $2.4 trillion for its first decade of operation.
In its first 10 years, the bill calls for $572 billion in new taxes (including a 5.4% income surtax on anyone making more than $500,000 a year), and $426 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts, which will hurt seniors and the poor and could lead to rationing of care.
The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reported recently that the House’s legislation will whack small businesses because they would pay $153.5 billion of the surtax. Small businesses unable to provide health coverage to their workers would also pay up to 8% in new payroll taxes. This would cost them $135 billion more over the next decade, thereby diminishing their ability to create jobs.
In the House bill there is a $2 billion tax on those who already have health insurance, $20 billion in taxes on medical devices, $8 billion in taxes on anyone who buys over-the-counter drugs with money from their health-savings accounts, and $140 billion in higher taxes on drugs.
Mrs. Pelosi’s bill will drive up premiums. A family of four with an income of $78,000 would pay $13,800 for insurance a year by 2016, according to CBO. Their tab would average $11,000 without the bill.
Every American would be required to buy health insurance or be fined up to 2.5% of their income.
The CBO estimates the public option will have higher premiums than private plans, even though it will get a $2 billion, interest-free start-up loan from the government. The public option is also likely to mimic Medicare, which denies reimbursement claims at almost twice the rate of private insurers, according to the American Medical Association’s 2008 “National Health Insurer Report Card.”
The bill dumps $34 billion onto already strained state budgets by pushing more of the working poor off private insurance and into Medicaid. There’s no proof of citizenship required for the public option, so illegal aliens could get subsidies. And the legislation doesn’t close the door to using taxpayer funds on abortion.
Younger people with healthier lifestyles would subsidize older, sicker Americans as insurance companies lose flexibility to charge lower prices for healthier habits.
Every page of the 1,990 bill seems to contain a landmine that could explode on Democrats.
Tuesday’s results were the first sign that voters are revolting against runaway spending and government expansion. But Democrat likely ain’t seen nothin’ yet if they try to ram through health-care reform. There is nothing in the House bill that would do anything to reverse the voter trend we saw this week.