September 08, 2009
One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess-- for a program that would not take effect until 2013!
Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years-- more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election?
If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect? And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next Presidential election?
If it is not urgent that the legislation goes into effect immediately, then why don't we have time to go through the normal process of holding Congressional hearings on the pros and cons, accompanied by public discussions of its innumerable provisions? What sense does it make to "hurry up and wait" on something that is literally a matter of life and death?
If we do not believe that the President is stupid, then what do we believe? The only reasonable alternative seems to be that he wanted to get this massive government takeover of medical care passed into law before the public understood what was in it.
Moreover, he wanted to get re-elected in 2012 before the public experienced what its actual consequences would be.
Unfortunately, this way of doing things is all too typical of the way this administration has acted on a wide range of issues.
Consider the "stimulus" legislation. Here the administration was successful in rushing a massive spending bill through Congress in just two days-- after which it sat on the President's desk for three days, while he was away on vacation. But, like the medical care legislation, the "stimulus" legislation takes effect slowly.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will be September 2010 before even three-quarters of the money will be spent. Some economists expect that it will not all be spent by the end of 2010.
What was the rush to pass it, then? It was not to get that money out into the economy as fast as possible. It was to get that money-- and the power that goes with it-- into the hands of the government. Power is what politics is all about.
Posted by Cassandra at September 8, 2009 08:04 AM
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"Power is what politics is all about."
I would also probably add, "and blaming someone else when things go wrong", but that isn't the primary purpose of politics. It is SOP for politicians, though.
Posted by: Charodey at September 8, 2009 11:11 PM
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Posted by: Ree at September 9, 2009 01:42 PM