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Founders wouldn't be fond of Pelosi's pander

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Sunday, July 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Whether the outcome is the result of arrogance or stupidity, it's rare for politicians to admit failure and fix what they've messed up.

One of those rare occurrences of self-correction happened July 2, when the Obama administration announced it had decided to delay the scheduled implementation of ObamaCare's employer mandate for a year, until 2015. The mandate requires all firms with 50 or more employees — regardless of their profitability or ability to pay — to provide health coverage or pay steep fines.

It doesn't take a Ph.D in economics to see how this mandate delivers a clear disincentive for job creation among firms with fewer than 50 employees — exactly the wrong prescription for recovery in an economy with doggedly high levels of unemployment and low levels of economic growth.

Nevertheless, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, displaying not even a smidgen of political smarts or common sense, declared at the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties that good things were coming our way, even if we were too dumb to see them, once the feds started to call all the shots in the nation's health care system, which amounts to one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

Just trust that the Obama-Pelosi supercilious crew knows what it is doing and join the administration in the feverish push for a fast-track enactment of ObamaCare, Pelosi told the delegates — even if no politician had read the bill's thousands of pages.

“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” she explained.

Last week, seemingly unaware that the White House was ready to announce a rollback of ObamaCare's employer mandate, Pelosi declared that Americans should celebrate Independence Day this year by celebrating their newfound “health independence,” courtesy of ObamaCare.

The federal takeover of health care “captures the spirit of our Founders, the spirit they wrote in the Declaration of Independence — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” she said.

ObamaCare might not be delivering on the key goals of “bending down the cost curve,” allowing people to keep their health care plans or helping businesses to control costs and create jobs, but a pumped-up Pelosi gleefully pronounced that the new health law, new mandates and new fines on noncompliant employees and employers give Americans “the liberty to pursue a person's happiness.”

Similarly in May, Pelosi joined the craziness on MSNBC and explained how ObamaCare “honors the vows of our Founders” by creating more liberty for people to jump out of boring jobs and become essayists, photographers and small-business owners.

“If you want to be a cameraman, a writer, if you want to be self-employed, start a business, change jobs, whatever you want to do, you can do that,” she said, because of ObamaCare.

Her pie-in-the-sky analysis painted a picture that overlooked the employees who had already been cut from full-time to part-time, or not hired at all, as companies tried to keep below the 50-employee mandate level.

And Pelosi's view of the Founders? She might want to do some brushing up.

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined,” explained James Madison. Or from Thomas Paine: “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University and a local restaurateur (

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