The Case Against Obamacare

41sa1iavfmlBook #7: The Case Against Obamacare, Avik Roy

A lot of attention is being paid to Obamacare.  Some claim that it saved their lives.  Other say that it is itself in a death spiral.  Without doubt, Obamacare has been the largest, most comprehensive legislative package affecting the delivery of health care.  And the effects of Obamacare (for good or ill) will be felt by every patient and every doctor.  So why is Obamacare so criticized?  Why is it overall such a bad piece of legislation?  In this book Avik Roy explains the reasons why Obamacare is a policy disaster.  Bottom line, it comes down to, Incentives Matter.

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The Conservative Heart

b00nepdgrw-01-lBook #29: The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America, Arthur Brooks

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  These immortal words penned by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 describe the ethos of what it means to be an American.  But sadly, for many people in our country, the principles of this statement are just out of reach.  There are a large number of people who are trapped in a cycle of poverty and don’t have the ability to pull themselves up into a life of dignity.  Liberals and conservatives debate how best defeat poverty.  In this book, Arthur Brooks gives an apologetic for why conservative principles are the best way to elevate the status of the poor and bring dignity to those who have been left behind.

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Founding Brothers

51kjtm7pcrlBook #28: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, Joseph J. Ellis

The Revolutionary era was an important and iconic era of our history.  And with 200 years of retrospection, it is often easy to romanticize the constitutional era and believe that it was a period of ideological clarity and political unanimity.  We often view the founding fathers as a generation of compatriots who worked together to build the nation we enjoy today.  And while these men were all motivated by a unified vision for an American nation, their ideas for how that nation should be build were often vastly different.  This is a fascinating look into the politics of the 1790’s and is a detailed accounting of a generation who gave of their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to give us the nation that we enjoy today.

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Term Limits

b002f53lyu-01-lBook #25: Term Limits, Vince Flynn

The President’s budget is the brink of passage.  And this legislation is the latest manifestation of runaway, centralized government and out-of-control, wasteful spending.  But as leading politicians are whipping votes, the government is thrown into a tailspin when three prominent politicians are executed.  The ultimatum that follows complains of inflated government power and demands that power be returned back to the people.  One young congressman holds the key to unraveling the mystery.  This an interesting, fictional mystery thriller.  While this is not based on real events, it certainly highlights a growing concern in contemporary American life: that is the growth and lack of accountability of government.

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If You Can Keep It

4107e7gu95lBook #24: If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, Eric Metaxas

When asked whether the Constitutional Convention produced a republic or monarchy, Ben Franklin answered, “A republic, madam – if you can keep it.”  What seems obvious to us with the benefit of over 200 years hindsight was a fragile dream in the hearts and minds of our founders.  They realized that what they produced was something so completely different than had ever been tried that it’s very existence was subject careful, generational preservation.  And though we as a nation have survived many great trials, the preservation of what has made us as a nation unique is as fragile today as it was in the days of the founding.  If we do not safeguard this idea and pass the torch to the next generation, we are at risk of losing the very essence of what makes us American.

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So what do I think?  This is perhaps one of the best books that I have read this year and perhaps in the past few years.   Continue reading

Hostile Takeover

51fn7uvusllBook #23: Hostile Takeover, Matt Kibbe

In 2008 with the election of Barak Obama, our politics shifted strongly toward a liberal, progressive agenda.  But while certain policies have been noticeable in the last 8 years, our federal government has been growing substantially for the past century.  And through presidents like FDR, LBJ and now Barak Obama, we have seen the expanding size and scope of the federal government.  At it’s heart, is a political worldview that all can and should be managed from a centralized place and in a centralized manner.  But our country was founded on the principle of individual liberty and freedom.  We threw off the yolk of centralized government in 1776 and the war to follow.  It is this top down vs bottom up perspective of economics and politics that was at the heart of the debate then and is at the heart of the debate now.  And while we do not take up arms against our federal government, the Tea Party movement was the call of the American people to return to decentralized, market based politics.   This book offers a prescription for market based solutions to the challenges facing our country.  From medicare to social security utilizing the free market and decentralizing regulation will allow for better quality and greater affordability both to the U.S. government but also to each and every tax payer.

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The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution

b00ehmmhwq-01-lBook #16: The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution, Wayne Grudem & Barry Asmus
The last century has seen the emergence economic theories ranging from free markets to centralized planning.  And across the world there are nations that live in prosperity and nations that live in poverty.  The prosperity of a nation is directly related to the economic and social policies of that nation.  In this book the authors discuss the reasons for impoverishment and a plan for how a nation can move from poverty or prosperity.  They blend free market economics with biblical teaching and social ethics to propose a path from poverty to prosperity.  It is a one of the best apologetics I have seen on the benefits of a free market economy.  It is a must read for anyone interested in free market economics and a biblical view of economic/social policy.
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Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped to Make Bill and Hillary Rich

b00q33prds-01-lBook #14: Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped to Make Bill and Hillary Rich, Peter Schweizer

Bill Clinton has become one of the most post-office presidential celebrities.  And it is no secret that he has spoken countless places and is compensated multiple times the average American salary per speech.  However with Hillary in public office throughout the tenure of Bill’s post-presidency life, there is great potential for interested parties to buy Hillary’s influence.  Though corruption is difficult to prove, there are financial behaviors with the Clintons that appear suspicious.  This books describes the large contributions to the Clinton Foundation and curious decisions made in the senate or the state department.  At the minimum this appears as a careless disregard for potential conflict of interest.  But at its worst this is a quid-pro-quo bordering on political graft that would suggest a behavior of corruption that seems to be a pattern with the Clintons.  This book raises serious questions about a person who is currently seeking the one of the most politically influential office in the world.

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HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

b00ertepkg-01-lBook #10: HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, Jonathan Allen & Amy Parnes

As the 2016 presidential election approaches, Hillary Clinton seems to be the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.  And as we approach the general election, we will begin to hear more about Hillary’s tenure as the Secretary of State being the defining reason why she should be president.  In this book Jonathan Allen and Amy Parnes chronicle Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State under Barak Obama.  It is a fascinating read for anyone who wants to understand at a deeper level the politician and diplomat Hillary Clinton.

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As is my custom, for books that have profoundly shaped my opinion or where I have a strong opinion, I usually add some additional commentary.  This book is no exception, so here goes.  Feel free to read, or not read…

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The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary Clinton and the Coming of the Second “Clinton Era,”

b00t3e77pu-01-lBook #4: The Queen: The Epic Ambition of Hillary Clinton and the Coming of the Second “Clinton Era,” Hugh Hewitt

500 years ago, Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince, a political discussion from an Italian diplomat to his political rival.  500 years later, this book is written in the same style.  Hugh Hewitt (a center right political commentator and talk show host) writes this book as a letter to Hillary Clinton instructing her how she ought to run her campaign in order to win.  But in doing so, he masterfully builds a case illustrating the failings of Hillary Clinton as a political figure.  For a book that came out in June, 2015, it has been remarkably prophetic of the 2016 race for the presidency.

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