Posts Tagged carl wimmer
How in God’s name does this man win elections?
Every time Carl Wimmer is at the Capitol, the town of Herriman is missing its idiot.
Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, says Republicans should stick to their guns and demand spending cuts and a balanced budget — even if it means shutting down the federal government temporarily.
Seriously? Republicans asked for $60 billion in spending cuts. In the face of a $1.5 trillion dollar deficit. In what universe does that even come close to a balanced budget? In a three trillion dollar budget, that’s a rounding error.
“Right now, the federal government is $14 trillion in debt,” Wimmer said. “They’re spending one and a half trillion more than they bring in. We need to cut the deficit and pass the balanced budget. Anything short of that, then they are taking us into a train wreck.”
Any suggestions about how we’re going do that? Of course not. That would require the Mustache to think in something other than talking points. As yet there’s no evidence he’s able to do that.
I’m no economist, but I can recognize silly economic philosophies when I see them. One that I keep running into is that of market fundamentalism, which in the current crazy climate, seems to be frequently rearing its head.
Market fundamentalism is the notion that the free market, unfettered by regulation or other interference, is the only way to go to solve all of our problems, economic or otherwise.
I actually didn’t realize they even had a name for it when I ran into Utah State Representative Carl Wimmer last year. At the time, he was successfully pushing his bill which was trying to make sure that Utahns wouldn’t benefit from federal health care reform legislation.
I was doing my first (and only) official lobbying at the state capitol building, when who did I somehow run into but Carl Wimmer, the guy who had put forth the bill we were complaining about (namely that the Utah legislature would have to approve implementation of federal health care reform – ha ha). He was kind enough to engage in a discussion that revealed his market fundamentalism, it went something like this:
Me: “So your website says you think deregulation of the health insurance market will solve our health care problems, is that right?”
CW: “Yes, and if we could just sell insurance across state lines, that would really help things.”
Me: “But what about my patients with preexisting conditions, don’t you think some regulation that mandates fair policies for them is necessary, otherwise they’re uninsurable!”
CW: “Well, no one ever died from lack of insurance, all they have to do is go to the ER and they’ll get care.”
Me: “Oh, yes they do die from lack of insurance, if they don’t get the preventive care they need, they may show up at the ER, but often they do so while dying. I’ve got a lady who only ever shows up at the ER, near death, luckily not yet dead, but she wouldn’t be showing up there if she’d come in for regular visits and labs and treatment, but she doesn’t show up for fear of the costs of these things.”
CW: “Well that’s the beauty of a market based solution, once we deregulate and sell insurance across state lines, some enterprising insurance executive is going to be the one to say to himself ‘I’ll tap into that huge pool of sick patients’”.
Me: “What insurance company executive would be dumb enough to try to insure patients who are already sick, if they could avoid it? Why offer an affordable policy to someone who may cost your business tens of thousands of dollars per year in medical care?”
CW: “Well, maybe you have a point on preexisting conditions.”
Me: Proceed to explain how the rest of HCR falls into place from that..blah blah blah.
CW: “Gotta go” gives speech, passes bill.
As you can see from above, it’s hard to defend this silly ideology, but it does provide a framework to give politicians policy ideas that can be quite deadly, if implemented.
What is quite frightening is that several figures who may soon be in control of future federal policy as potential US Senators have the same silly, deadly, ideology:
The bottom line is: I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules,” Paul said at a recent campaign stop in response to questions about April’s deadly mining explosion in West Virginia…”You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.
To a market fundamentalist, the unfettered market will take care of things, if coal owners and local officials make sloppy rules that don’t really protect workers (as they did when thousands of miners per year died) then the market will ensure that less miners will apply for those jobs, and everything will be fine. If a few thousand die because they can’t find other jobs, it will be worth it, these fundamentalists might even consider them “defenders of liberty”.
QUESTION: You have been in support of onshore drilling in the United States as well as offshore drilling, are you rethinking that policy with what is going on in Louisiana?
ANGLE: No. I think that what happened in Louisiana was an accident. They’re cleaning it up. We need to go forward and talk about prevention and not about whether we keep it out all together. We know that lot of the problems that have been caused for us with foreign policy and even with our own gas prices here domestically going up is our dependence upon foreign oil.
We have oil reserves and petroleum reserves that we should tap into. And that’s a policy that we really need to look at as a nation. How do we deregulate enough to invite our industries to come back into the United States and quit outsourcing their business?
Of course, in the wake of a deadly and environmentally disastrous oil spill, where deregulation has been implicated as a causal factor, more deregulation is the answer when you’re a market fundamentalist.
But yeah — ultimately, we’ve got to transition out of the Social Security arrangement and go into more of a privatization.
The market will make for better retirements for everyone. It doesn’t make sense to have a retirement insurance plan that is independent from the all-knowing, never failing, free market. Why did we come up with this plan in the first place? Well, at least if we all had private retirement plans they’d be safer than some socialistic government scheme, since the market never falters.
Unfortunately, of course, this season has brought many other market fundamentalists out of the woodwork and near to power: Marco Rubio, Ken Buck, Christine O’Donnell, Jim Toomey, and Utah’s own Mike Lee to name a few.
I think that any fundamentalist ideology (if defined as strict adherence to principles even in the presence of contrary evidence) is inherently dangerous, and why humans hold to fundamentalist views is a very interesting discussion meriting another diary. I just hope these current market fundamentalists are exposed enough to be voted down by rational voters.
So I’m driving through the Aves, when I spied this sweaty Mexican gardener wearing a dirty a Patrick Henry Caucus t-shirt. When I slammed on my brakes and backed up to check it out, he started to slunk away. It took some time to explain to him why I wanted to take his picture.
You can tell be the look on his face, he had no idea why I thought his t-shirt was so special. His English sucked. But eventually, he figured out I was a friendly, and he kindly posed for this picture.
I asked him why he was here. He said, “I just want to work.” I asked him if he knew Carl Wimmer. That’s when he gave me the Patrick Henry Caucus salute.
I asked him where he got the shirt. It looks pretty new. Finally, he said he found it in a trash can. I figure somebody’s wife isn’t totally in line with the hubby.
Back when Utah had a governor who thought global warming existed, and who also though we might need to take significant steps regarding our air pollution, the state funded a study by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc, with the help of the Harvard School of Public Health. It estimated, predictably, that each year over 2 billion dollars in health and water costs are wasted, and approximately 200 lives lost due to coal plant power production in Utah. Not to mention that other “externality” to coal power, global warming.
Wow! Our state funded study showed us that that nasty air we see every winter is bad for us? It’s time for us all to come out for energy efficiency and renewable energy power generation, right? Say farewell to King Coal right Governor Herbert?
Of course not, this is Utah, and what happened next was also as predictable as it is sad.
According to a report at KSL.com, the state “sidetracked (the study) and refused to vouch for it — after it ran into a wall of opposition from industry.”
The study figured $8 million per death, using long established statistical methods.
Clean energy advocate Arthur Morris was at a state meeting where industry representatives denounced the study.
“Kind of went crazy,” Morris said. “It was a little bit surprising to me that they were so incensed by valuing people too much.”
“Anything that would increase energy costs gets our attention,” said attorney Jim Holtkamp, air quality chairman for Utah Manufacturers.
Of course, no one seems to have quibbled with the 202 lives lost, just how much dollar value was placed upon them. Which, makes some sense, I suppose, when all you really care about is the bottom line.
Supposedly “public meetings” were held when the study came out a few months ago. Check out Rocky Mountain Power’s statement to KSL about their meeting:
We disagree with the study’s conclusions. Rocky Mountain Power participated in an initial review of the published study along with a broad group of Utah business stakeholders including the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Utah Manufacturers Association, Utah Association of Energy Users, Utah Industrial Energy Consumers, Utah Mining Association, Deseret Power and others. Together, we identified enough concerns with the assumptions used in the study’s analysis to determine that its results should not be relied on.
-Jeff Hymas, Rocky Mountain Power
Funny, I wonder why clean air advocates and “the public”, never heard about any meeting, and somehow all of the business stakeholders managed to get the news…
It’s time to choose clean air over dirty air, and make the state pay attention to this study and do something about it. The study not only shows the cost of the current path, but was designed to show the benefits of changing course. It estimated the cost of substituting energy efficiency and renewables for 1/3 of the least efficient coal plants and found:
To achieve even more dramatic co-benefits, if approximately one-third of Utah’s most inefficient and polluting coal generators are replaced with a rigorous energy efficiency program and either gas or renewable energy, externalities amounting to $70 – $79 could
be realized for each MWh of coal retired or displaced.5
Did I say cost, sorry I meant savings, as that number “exceeds the cost of most electrical generation.”
If anyone out there would like to participate in getting this study publicized and forcing the state to do something about it, feel free to attend this Thursday’s 6pm meeting of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE), at the University of Utah Orthopedic Hospitals’ 3rd floor conference room. All who care about Utah air quality are welcome, whether health care providers or not. I will summarize the meeting and action plan in a post after Thursday night.
I’m at work but can answer comments or questions about the meeting after 5 or tomorrow.
By the way, hello and thanks for having me, I’m a physician in Salt Lake, and I’d much prefer cleaner air!
Thanks to pressure form OneUtah readers, Carl Wimmer has recanted his rookie move and, predictably, banned me from his Facebook page.
Wing nuttery is a professional sport in Utah and relative newcomer, Carl Wimmer is trying as hard as he can to out wingnut the rest. If his recklessness is any indication, we are probably safer with Carl the Politician than Carl the Cop.
I can only assume that Carl Wimmer, as a product of Taylorsville public schools, is unfamiliar with the concept of hypocrisy.
Continuing to be the Party of No, Utah Republicans think it’s a bad idea that everyone should have health insurance, and they want to opt out of any plan passed by congress. State Representative Carl Wimmer feels so strongly about this, he is pushing for an amendment to the state constitution.
According to KSL, Wimmer says:
We’re going to pass a state Constitutional amendment stating that people will not be forced by the national government to purchase health care insurance and that small businesses will not be forced to provide them.
Wimmer says state Republicans have made some good progress on their own plan and that help from the Feds is anti-states’ rights. I don’t even want to get into the Patrick Henry club of which he is a part. But I am definitely interested in hearing the details of this Republican plan and how it is so great we won’t miss the Federal dollars we are likely to lose.
I’m willing to bet there are no details to be had.
Of course, getting an amendment through will not be easy as noted in the story, “. . . an amendment would have to come in the form of a joint resolution, approved by two-thirds majority in both houses, then approved by voters in a general election as well.” So this may just be grandstanding after all.
Utahns should be worried. Sometimes politicians can get so wrapped up in party politics and being anti anything the opposite party proposes, that they are even willing to harm their own constituents.