Friday, July 24, 2009

The push for health care - our economy depends on it

I have to give our current administration the credit, they've certainly learned the way to America's pocketbook. "It's the economy stupid!" is what I've been reading between the lines the last few days.

See, President Obama keeps telling us he inherited this mess, it was worse than anyone thought and the stimulus plan is working exactly as planned (was this Plan B or Plan C?). Then he tells us the we have to have health care reform in order to save the economy.

This way, he wins either way. If health-care gets voted in, obviously he's lived up to his campaign promises (until it doesn't work - then he changes his promises). If it doesn't get voted in, well he tried. If the economy continues to go south, it's not his fault, he tried to pass health-care to fix it. Soon, the economy will be the reason we do everything.

It really bothers me the "change" I've seen in the last six months. During the campaign, abortion issues were above his paygrade. Well, he's gotten a payraise and now we are funding abortion in other countries and he's pushing for funding here. The stimulus plan was needed immediately to fix our economy, the money was going to create jobs immediately and now it's working as designed and will take a few years.

Sadly, none of this surprises me, I expected it all along. Now what's next?


Cameron said...

The rhetoric on the stimulus is a really hard one for me to take. When they were pushing for it a few months ago they could not have been more clear that we needed it now to fix the economy now. And now with the economy still doing poorly they completely switch the argument to try and convince everyone the stimulus was a long term thing. The GOP put out a nice video with clips showing what President Obama said then vs what he's saying now. It does a good job illustrating the moving of the stimulus goal posts.

Randy said...

Yes, I've seen that video. The sad thing is, four years from last November, everyone will have forgotten (at least I hope the econonmy is better by then, if not, we're in a LOT of trouble.)

Chuck said...

You could see this coming. Of course the economy was going to be worse than they thought.

"The Edge" said...

I don't want to dump cold water on the process, but there seem to be a few shortcuts we're all missing here:
1. When 9-11 happened, the war on terrorism was handed to us on a silver platter. Regardless of whether you think Clinton is to blame for not taking out Obama earlier, the fact is, right now, he's still out there, and he will strike again if we let down our guard.
2. It cost money to fight terrorism. And it's better fought far from the shores of America. Want proof of that? Look at New Orleans - it was devastated by a hurricane - not even an attack. Suppose a few of our cities that size were all leveled at the same time - where would we be then. We'd be trying to fight terrorism AND rebuild cities, a double-hit in terms of the money outlaid.
3. War isn't cheap. Call it what you want, but when you have to budget for war, it's really had to use that money on healthcare, medical research, education for kids, etc.
4. What was passed on from Bush to Obama was the cost of the military involvement in the war on terror. That alone wipes out any possibility of the federal budget being balanced. But despite all that, the tax cuts Bush put in place were working - more tax revenue was being collected, and the overall sense of stability was good.
5. The outlays we all made (generic: all Americans collectively) on buying houses we couldn't afford, cars we didn't need, and not learning from our prior generation's mistakes all hit us a once financially. The [Democratic] congress of the USA inflated the problem and engineered it to hit about 1 year prior to the 2008 election (give or take a month). This led to a wave of negativism and "panic" among our populace. Money was pulled back, and hoarded. The doomsday attitude then fed on itself, making Bush look really bad at managing the economy.
6. In steps Obama on the groundswell of "change" and here you go...we asked for change and we got it. We've gone from bad to worse, because the guy running things has no clue how to run this kind of organization. He was ill-equipped, ill-prepared, and ill-trained for this job he's now in. And we're bearing the cost (literally) of his poor choices.
7. Add it all up, and it's designed to make us "feel" more dependent on government to "bail us out" - but I have just one question for everyone:

If government got us into this mess - how's it gonna get us out of it?

The answer is that it won't. All it can do is to set conditions favorable for the tide to turn. Lower taxes would go a long way to doing that from where I sit, not more stimulus money.

Randy said...

Edge, I agree with your comments, however, I want to clarify one thing. If the HealthCare thing is important, it shouldn't be rammed down our throats on the basis of economic stimulus (and you point out that it's contradictory).

Also, if the HealthCare thing is bad (and I believe it is), it shouldn't be passed just because some people think it's good for the economy.

"The Edge" said...

Yes, the way bills are passed in DC is interesting to say the least. I think one way to provide more accountability is to not allow amendments not directly related to the original language of the bill.

Allow me to illustrate. Many years ago, my father and I got bored watching television on a few evenings and we flipped over to CSPAN, which televised the coverage of bills being passed and the amendments to them. Up for debate on this day was whether or not U.S. Naval officers should be forced to stand guard while their ship was docked in San Diego and they were on liberty time (leave). Now, if the idea to make them stand guard on their off time was bad enough, it was being proposed as an amendment to some spending bill that had nothing to do with the liberty status of U.S. Naval officers.

The worst part wasn't that the original bill had been approved for amendments. I believe it was that after the amendment (which shouldn't have been approved) was attached to the original bill, I believe the bill was then voted down on the basis of the amendment. This raises 2 questions: (1) Why couldn't the original bill stand on its own for a yes/no vote? (2) Why couldn't the amendment have stood on its own as a separate bill? At the very least this would have provided accountability of the individual items. As it stood in this scenario, both were killed because of the combined nature of them along with other amendments.

If you gave the president line-item veto power to strike out unneeded language in each bill, each bill would be smaller for fear of line-item-veto power of the president, and then the individual amendments could stand or fall on their own as separate bills.

At the very least, our senator and representative might actually read the bills prior to passing/rejecting them. That would be good regardless of their original intent.