American Elephants


On the Campaign Trail: Policies Right, People Stupid. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama is out on the campaign trail, complaining, self-pitying, and demanding.  He says the tough economy has made it hard for his supporters to retain their buoyant sense of optimism. “I know there are times when probably it’s hard to recapture that sense of possibility.”  The public is just not thinking clearly.  It is always about him and it’s never about the policy.

The economy had turned sharply down when Obama entered office with a Democrat controlled House of Representatives and a Democrat controlled Senate.  Although Republicans did not have the votes to change any legislation, the president likes to claim that Republicans made a strategic decision to oppose all of his policies.  Since there was nothing Republicans could do to oppose his policies except talk, this is simply whining.  The president views “bipartisanship” as the necessity for everyone to agree with his policies.

Abe Greenwald had a line in his post at Commentary today that got right to the point:

Those opposed to the stimulus were not the reactive “party of no;” they were the party of knowing.

Republicans tried to explain that Keynesian stimulus has never worked in the past.  They tried to explain that incentives matter, and that the “multiplier effect” was a flawed idea.  Greenwald went on to say that the president is getting an education:

Kind of like a school where the $862 billion tuition is picked up by the public and word problems describe real people in real circumstances.  If unemployment is at 7.7 percent and you invest $7 billion of taxpayer money in the study of ant behavior, sage grouse mortality, and corporate travel and the refurbishment of abandoned forts, how many speeches attacking George W. Bush will you have to make before November?

Obama apparently knows that much of his stimulus money was wasted.  David Brooks says that Obama told him a year ago that “there are no shovel-ready projects.”  We don’t know if he has learned anything about health care.  Ms. Sebelius at HHS is busily granting exemptions to McDonald’s, the United Federation of Teachers, and 28 other employers, exposing the unworkability of ObamaCare even before it comes into effect.  The waivers clearly threaten the whole idea of America as a country of laws, not men.  “Hall passes for some, not others,” to return to Greenwald’s analogy.

This bunch of naive economic illiterates is so intent on the ideology — we will have free public health care for everybody and they will be dependent on us and reelect us in perpetuity — that they cannot recognize the actuality staring them in the face.

The Massachusetts plan on which ObamaCare is based has the most expensive insurance premiums in the country.  People wait till they get sick to sign up.  Doctors are fleeing Massachusetts for places where they are better treated.  All those “scare stories” about NHS in the British papers are real life-damaging  or life-ending results of an inevitable sluggish bureaucracy making decisions for and about people who should be making those decisions themselves with their doctors.

Most countries with government-run health care are desperately trying  to find a way to turn medical decisions back to patients and their doctors.  Basic arithmetic should inform that if you insure some 30 million more people it is going to cost more — way more, but this simple calculation is beyond them.

“Obama 2.0″ which the administration is planning now, will involve the same bad policies, but they will explain them better, so that everyone understands how inspirational they are.

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