Thursday, July 23, 2009

"SELLING A DREAM," or Real Reform?

President Obama did well in his latest national "prime time" press conference, according to Charles Krauthammer. Of course, that opinion was based on a comparison to a "Snake Oil" salesman, so it might not count as praise. I have to admit that, on some level, the president's "pitch" sounded good to me, as well. Then I thought of an old friend, who used the phrase "sellin' you a dream" often, when talking about politics, business, or any similar subject. I think this is a prime example of politicians' "selling a dream."

"97 or 98 percent of people will be covered" is not possible, for many reasons, and the president knows it. For him to say that without challenge, or follow-up shows what a friendly environment he was in. Also, minutes after he singled out a Republican strategist and a Republican Senator for attacking him, he claimed not to be attacking them back, politically. Is this really the "new" politics he championed? And again, not one press person called him on the obvious discrepancy from reality.

More interesting was how he "pitched" it. It sounded so reasonable. He had the answer to everyone's problem with the health-care system, even those who don't don't have a problem with their own health care insurance coverage. Of course, he's "selling a dream" to as many people as he can, to get this new "entitlement" passed into law. Make the taxpayers think it's "revenue neutral," then raise the taxes to pay for the inevitable "crisis." That is the history of "new" government programs.

There is a snag in the plan. Since we have seen several "crisis" bills passed into law recently, starting under the "hated" President Bush, the "crisis/immediate action" mantra is wearing thin. The House leadership had to "twist arms" to get "cap and trade" through, and the Senate left them "high and dry" on it, by not acting on it. The Dems that got hell from their constituents about that don't want to repeat that mistake with health care. I hope all of our representatives have a grasp on the text of whatever they vote on, but I'm doubtful. Few of them know what the bailouts or stimulus packages contained, to this day!

Luckily, there are more people interested in politics than ever, which means more voices being heard. Challenges to a president with the "MSM" on his side are heard by more of the public than ever before, which is a good thing. For the record, I support reform of the health-care system. I just think Pres. Obama is "selling us a dream," which will turn out to be a nightmare, if it follows the pattern of the other monstrosies he got passed. I opposed the bailouts under Bush, and preferred my "stimulus" money in one check, instead of weekly increments in my paycheck. That just showed me how small a tax break it was.

PS: Some real "reform" might be ending employer-paid health insurance. It's a relic from WWII, when government "capped" wages. That's just the "acorn" of a huge tree of bureaucracy that's grown from it, but it's as good a place as any to start. I also wonder what a "federal tax holiday" for six months would do for the private sector economy. Now that's a dream I'd like to sell, if you want radical ideas!

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