Thursday, March 25, 2010

Killing the Golden Goose

I *know* you've been waiting for my pithy response to the situation, so here goes... A few quick notes based on your post...

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"This is the death knell of the American Dream!"
- Arguable. Depends on which side of the fence you're on and whether you think America is great because of it's people (when left alone) or its government (when in control).

People are going to lose a lot of sleep over this.
- Correct. On both sides. From the Right: “I can't afford this - what do we do now?” And from the Left: “How do we keep the productive people funneling all their money and efforts into our new vote-buying Ponzi scheme?”

the real loser here is the Republican Party itself.
- Probably. But they have time (a little) to turn this into a dynamic process and return to power. We'll see. (I doubt they have the cojones to do what it will take.)

the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.
- That seems like a slight misrepresentation, based on my typically flawed memory. However, the process of “building on ideas” which change the focus of the idea itself (e.g., from a focus on self-reliance to government-reliance) is the creation of a HUGE gap.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views?
- Why? At what point do principles become “not for sale at any price?”

...voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?"
- Hardly. They have, however, been persuaded (and correctly) about WHO intends to be making the ultimate decision on the care that grandma gets.

..Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination...
- This whole diatribe assumes that talk radio hosts *only* have a desire to generate ratings for their own personal gain and do not have legitimate political principles behind their statements. Hogwash. Just because I disagree with you does not mean I don't have a valid political point, even if my career will, as a side point, be impacted positively. Is this any different from claiming (as PROOF) that Al Gore *doesn't* really care about (or believe in) global warming because his business holdings will expressly and directly benefit from the AGW proposals? will come as no shock to you that I am happy we managed to pass this bill. I consider it to be a step in the right direction.
- Just as it will not be a shock to you that I disagree on the direction being taken. Atleast you and I are willing to TALK, even if all we do is agree-to-disagree. much better I believe this bill could have been with Republican input.
Better? For WHO? For those who believe government has a better grasp of what is in *my* best interests than I do?

private enterprise is the engine which harnesses that energy
- And demonizing those who work to provide the fuel driving the economic engine is a morally correct approach?

standing up for their principles and working out compromises which included at least some of the important and necessary market based solutions which health care reform desperately requires.
- Agreed up to the point that there MUST be a line which cannot be crossed. However, in my opinion, there was no true desire or consideration of market-based solutions being offered or that would be accepted by the party in power.

...the real problem at the heart of the health care crisis in this country is supply and demand.
- Agreed. And the demand for a 'free' product or service is infinite. Apparently, that simple economic fact is beyond the authors of the bill.

This bill is going to address some important issues. It has the potential to give government the tools it needs to correct many of the excesses and inflated costs which government itself has been largely responsible for.
- And it has been prevented from making those corrections... how? This bill also has the potential to give government the power to make things MUCH WORSE. All the more reason to more in small, carefully targeted, incremental steps as opposed to the drastic restructing of 18% of the economy. Liberals seem to believe that (effectively) nationalizing health care - which has never functionally worked anywhere else in the world on this scale - will “work” THIS TIME simply because THEY are going to be the ones doing it this time.

Should we not at least expect our representatives to possess the power to read?
- Many on both sides, and IMHO most of the party in power, never read it. We also expect them to LISTEN, and they're not too good at that either.

I repeat: "What then?".
- It depends on which branch of the Republicans find themselves in power. If
it is the 'Country Club Big Government' bunch that has been running things for the last decade or so, then I agree that they will likely screw things up, too. On the other hand if a truly traditional conservative (e.g., self-reliance focus) power base, then we'll have to see, won't we?

They have not only dismissed the public option (understandable), but also trashed the idea of insurance exchanges (preposterous).
- As stated many times before: I have no objection to government agencies providing optional (*not* mandatory) services ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. But when government programs don't have to make a profit and can dip into the public trough as needed without limit, the field ain't level.

if there isn't anything in the bill worth saving, how exactly do Republicans plan to go about fixing a broken system?
- You start over. Everything - including Social security and medicare and all other entitlements - *must* be on the table. No exceptions. When the hole is getting too deep, you have to stop digging first. That's the difficult (but correct) place to start.

they have gone along with the right wing entertainment media's demonization of Democrats.
- Just as the MSM tame dogs are demonizing Republicans. Both sides are wrong by shifting attention away from the ISSUES to one of personal attacks and personal destruction.

do you actually believe liberals running for office in this country all secretly want to euthanize old people?
- Please. No, not expressly. But I do believe there is a substantial number of liberals who believe THEY (and government as a rule) are better able and better qualified to make decisions directly affecting MY life than I am. And, IMHO, they're the same bunch that are more than willing to say “sacrifices must be made” when grandma's treatment is not considered 'cost effective' to the bottom line (assuming she's still alive after the paperwork winds its way through the system).

We need honest, rational conservatives in government and we just aren't getting them.
- I agree 100%. We need some honest, rational liberals, too. In effect, we need fewer politicians and more statesmen. 'Nuff said!

* * * * *

It is no surprise to you, that I believe this bill is a Huge mistake (or 'wishful thinking' at best). Further, while I desperately HOPE the voting public will toss the Big Government politicians (in *both* parties) out on their ear in November, I fear that will not happen. If the appropriate corective steps (in my learned opinion) are not taken by the voters this fall - I and many others will stop arguing, stop protesting, step back, stop growing the economy, and seek to do as little as possible economically - with the explicit goal of providing for me and mine and nothing more. As succinctly described elsewhere, I will be “Going Galt”. If you prefer to call it 'giving up', so be it. In essence, all those folks clamoring to put THEIR hands into MY wallet for THEIR benefit at MY expense, can go pluck the gifts of freedom and liberty off the tree where they think it grows. And please take note that wishing will not make it so. Bread and Circuses.

Short form: I cannot actively support a government (or a society) that demands the human sacrifice of SOME of its (most able?) members to achieve some arbitrary, and unlimited benefit for OTHER (most demanding?) members. I will not willingly braid the rope that will be used to hang me.

- Steve

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