Obama Goes For Broke

Tonight, Barack Obama took to the airwaves in an effort to drag the bloated, corrupted, discredited and misguided health care bill through the Senate.

His words weren’t exactly inspirational.

In an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Obama had this to say:

“If we don’t pass it, here’s the guarantee….your premiums will go up, your employers are going to load up more costs on you,” he said. “Potentially they’re going to drop your coverage, because they just can’t afford an increase of 25 percent, 30 percent in terms of the costs of providing health care to employees each and every year. “The president said that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid are on an “unsustainable” trajectory and if there is no action taken to bring them down, “the federal government will go bankrupt.”

“This actually provides us the best chance of starting to bend the cost curve on the government expenditures in Medicare and Medicaid,” Obama said.

Obviously, Obama feels that using scary words like “bankrupt” is a necessity; given the utter disdain the American people have for his legislation his only real card to play is the one he’s had all along – that being the crisis card. The president has been howling since the very beginning of his campaign that the health care system is irretrievably broken, a rather transparent claim given that 85 percent of the American people are insured and a similar percentage call themselves satisfied with the qualty of health care available to them.

So he says the federal government is bankrupt if Obamacare doesn’t get passed. Obamacare will cost more than a trillion dollars in the most recent iteration scored by the Congressional Budget Office, but that’s going to keep the federal government from going broke.

One must ask the question whether Obama is even up to speed as to which version of the bill which will keep us from going broke is even the current one. Do we require a public option to keep the government from going broke? Will expanding Medicare keep the government from going broke? Will forcing everyone in the country to buy health insurance from a private company keep the government from going broke?

The unmitigated sloppiness of the president’s approach toward this bill is breathtaking. Obama seems to be careening in his attempts to come up with some formulation which would give him a legislative victory, and at this point he doesn’t even particularly seem to care what that formulation might be. Health care has become a tarbaby for Obama; a personal Vietnam in which he is unable to achieve a victory for the American people (because all of the underlying assumptions behind his health care plans are wrong, and obviously and demonstrably so) and yet his ego and that of his congressional minions will not allow a step back from the precipice, an admission of at least partial defeat and a fresh approach which seeks to incorporate Republicans in a balanced, and much simpler, piece of legislation which makes sense to the country.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans smell blood. They have opened up their basket of delaying tactics and are now openly trumpeting that they’re not going to stand on the sidelines anymore – they’re going to do everything they can to drag out the bill and let the American people squeeze the Democrats until they break. As Jim DeMint (R-SC) said today:

“Americans are tired of watching their leaders in Washington pass bills they haven’t even bothered to read. If Senator Reid won’t slow down this debate, we will do it for him. This bill allows the federal government to take over our health care system, and it must be stopped. We will use whatever procedural tools are necessary to defeat this bill.”

Bear in mind that it has been six months of legislative agony on this health care plan, and the more the American people have seen of it the less popular it has grown. Things are now so bad that the bill is getting torn apart by hard-left types like Howard Dean in addition to the GOP and the conservative movement; as Jay Cost writes today:

Amazingly, this bill has produced the broadest political coalition I have seen in my lifetime. Peruse the liberal blogs and you’ll discover widespread disgust at this corporate boon. Cruise over to the conservative sites, and you’ll encounter much the same thing. Then, check out the opinion polls and you’ll find a mass public that is staunchly opposed to this bill.

But while his health care plan might have served as a vehicle for declaring potential bankruptcy, a statement which probably didn’t sit overly well with the president’s Chinese creditors, Obama fails in a key respect with his rhetoric – namely, as the American taxpayers are absolutely aware, that this government is ALREADY bankrupt. The course this president has already set this country on will put America in some $25 trillion of federal debt within 10 years, and the unfunded liabilities of the entitlement programs the government has foolishly purveyed to the nation total over $100 trillion. The taxpayers are already greatly overtaxed and the economy is regulated and limited out of all ability to compete worldwide, meaning a vast number of structural changes must be made in order to create the economic revival the country will need to repair its financial house.

Obama talks about the country going broke, and the people of the country agree with him. But his prescriptions to avoid bankruptcy are completely out of phase with reality, and the American people understand that as well. Alarmist, overheated rhetoric will only confirm two things; (1) that Obama is not up to the task of leading this country, and (2) that he and his party have no idea how to remedy the nation’s problems.

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