Thursday, September 10, 2009

“The Speech” and Captain ObVeeous

Side is beside itself over the speech given by our President in front of a joint session of Congress last night. How could anyone not be?

Our take on the message was illuminated by a call from Captain O’Seau ObVeeous as bedtime neared. Dedicated readers are already familiar with this valued consultant to our blog.

Before elaborating on Captain ObVeeous’ reaction, Side wants to address “decorum in the chamber.” As readers know, the airways have been overloaded with shocked reactions to the supposed “breach of dignity" in the halls of our Capitol last night.

Here’s a suggestion. If they want dignity and decorum, have the President enter the chamber accompanied by US Marine side boys to symbolize the seriousness of his position as Commander in Chief. And proceed directly to the dais, rather than play meet and greet.

Instead, what we got was the equivalent of Rapper “Fitty Cents” entering a Hollywood nightclub. Except it was “Dollar Trillion Barry” entering a gathering of ego-inflated big spending junkies, each hoping that face time and camera time would advance their careers. And neutralize allegations of tax evasion, bribe taking, or promise breaking.

It went on for what seemed like an hour, insulting the concept of “public service,” and reminding us that the top priority of all too many in that chamber is serving themselves, not us. In a recurring theme, we wonder why they’re surprised that we little people don’t see them in a positive light.

Before you call me a partisan, I find this behavior inappropriate and shameful no matter whom the President is. Elected officials acting like teenaged bimbettes who have a chance to touch the garment of a Jonas brother is an affront to our Nation’s founding principles.

Side hated this ego frenzy when President Bush entered the chambers to give a State of the Union address. One could rationalize, however, that such an event was pro-forma, destined to provide gratuitous media coverage.

Last night was different; it was a political stage show, pure and simple, specifically designed to attract and influence a susceptible public. State of the Union speeches discharge a Constitutional obligation, which in and of itself is a near miracle in our day. Last night’s event was a blunt instrument attempt to sway public opinion.

Alright; let’s move on to the specifics.

“You won’t be required to give up your current Doctors or your current coverage.”

“Require” is an interesting word. The legislation may not include it, but it will likely include lots of other words whose net effect is the same. For example, suppose private coverage is taxed at 10% to ‘fund coverage for others.’ Think that’s crazy? I refer you to Maine’s revolutionary Dirigo health care, which is a bona fide failure.

Or, the feds could regulate private coverage to the point that it is unaffordable; once again, see Maine. If you want single payer, make the current system so unbearable that voters will flock to “government help.”

This reminds me of something I heard a while back. The concept was that Government can exercise gun control without actually legislating “gun control.” What do I mean?

Suppose Government says you can keep your guns, but you’ll be required to have a personal liability policy of $5 million for each firearm you own. And that a Social Safety Administration (SSA) will be created to administer this policy, and will withhold the premiums from your paycheck to make sure you comply, and otherwise administer the program.

“See….we don’t want to take your guns away.”

“We just want to make gun ownership fair and responsible.”

“There are hundreds of millions in fraud and abuse of Medicare.”

Is there anyone who doubts that? Well, then, why isn’t the administration attacking that problem independent of any reform legislation?

And why isn’t the state attacking the same problem in Medicaid?

“I won’t sign any bill that adds to the deficit.”

Did I tell you that the word gullible does not appear in the dictionary? That aside, there is a simple way to keep this promise: raise taxes in the amount that the program will cost (or more.) No increase in the deficit, but a major decrease in your income, which is to say, a major decrease in your right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

“If the savings we promise don’t materialize, we’ll cut elsewhere to cover the difference.”

Hey…here’s an idea: if there is spending that can be cut to fund this new program, why aren’t you cutting it now in order to reduce the ridiculous growth in our deficits?

Here’s another idea: how about outlawing taxpayer funded “gender reassignment surgery” in prisons, and what must be hundreds of other expenses that have nothing to do with “health care.”

And,yet another idea. It’s widely accepted that tort law and the consequent costs in our system add $100 billion or more to the national health care total. Dealing with this distortion has nothing to do with remaking the overall system; why aren’t you addressing it separately?

“My plan will not cover those here illegally.”

Given the political realities of our day, is there anyone who really truly believes this?

For starters, there goes about 30% of the “uninsured” problem. Which is the motivation to destroy our system and replace it with a government system.

One way to fulfill that promise is to issue an executive order declaring every illegal legal.

But that’s not necessary. We have Medicaid and the requirement to treat anyone who shows up at the ER. Add to that the prevailing trend to make inquiring about a person’s immigration status illegal. Law enforcement officials are prevented from questioning such status; why would health care providers be given greater latitude?

And if all else fails, there’s always the ACLU/MCLU, the LaRazas, and the rest.

Side has another question. We’re not sure how many folks are employed in the private health insurance sector, but it must be a million or so. Once the sector is destroyed, how will those unemployed be dealt with? Will they all become government employees?

There’s some heartburn, to recall a cute commercial of some years ago.

OK, it's time to wrap this up. But as we do, let’s agree that critical thinking is a lost art.

And that “end of life” counseling is called for at this point.

Specifically, that the current reform initiative should be declared dead on arrival.

Because it’s anything but life affirming.

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