I've Lived Through Every Government Shutdown in History, and This is the Worst
I'm going to support pundit John Giokaris in his excellent essay, “Blame Obama For the Government Shutdown.” The liberals can go berserk on me as well, if they choose.
I think President Obama made a huge mistake by not taking up a Republican offer to delay individual Obamacare for a year. The president responded to pleas to delay business Obamacare without any political kickback, so it made sense for him to repeat the tactic to ensure that universal health care becomes a reality in more than name. The president must know that this is the right thing to do, but he cannot get out the way of his own ego for the benefit of all those who need health insurance.
The country is not prepared to bring another 30 million Americans into the entitlement mega-bureaucracy. Obamacare is too complicated for average people to understand and there isn’t enough advisory support or computer infrastructure to accommodate all the people who are “looking into” Obamacare.
The health care entitlement that has been foisted upon us is far larger than anyone had expected. Current estimates for Obamacare are in the $1+ trillion range. Given the country’s fragile financial condition, should we be spending so much money now to help only 10% of all Americans?
Many people are starting to believe that Obamacare is too expensive to buy into. You have to be at a certain income level to qualify for a subsidy. So, why should a young, healthy person buy insurance without a subsidy? Many will opt out and pay fines that begin at the higher of $95 or 1% of salary and increase to $695 or 2.5% of salary in 2016. If too many opt out, the economics of the plan will not make sense.
Initial reports indicate the promise of being able to keep current doctors may not come to pass. Certainly for the elderly, continuing to use current doctors is a very important feature that seems to be a problem. This is yet another broken promise made by the president. Moreover, the need for additional doctors is expected to be overwhelming to the medical system.
Republicans, it appears, are ready to do everything possible to not fund Obamacare, even if it brings the country to its knees. The initial ploy is to not approve a short-term budget, and then possibly prohibit the U.S. from increasing its debt level. Some constitutional gurus are saying that the federal government must pay existing commitments, and other say it would be unconstitutional to disregard the House of Representatives power of the purse. The bottom line is that a constitutional battle is brewing if a compromise is not negotiated.
Then there are the negotiations, or should I say, the lack of compromise. Each side is blaming the other. I’m in the blame Obama group. In my opinion, he is the worst negotiator in the history of the country.
Since he became president, he has demonized, degraded, and ignored the opposition. That’s because he started his tenure controlling all aspects of the government. You would think that a new, more conciliatory strategy would have made more sense when the Democratic Senate lost its filibuster-proof majority and then Republicans took control of the House. Nope. Obama stayed on his current course of ignoring the opposition, and now he, and the country, are paying a price.
And what about the Tea Party? I’m not a Tea Party supporter, but you’ve got to give them credit: They organized, won elections, and asserted themselves into the Democratic process. For all those that think that the Tea Party is acting unconstitutionally, think again. Remember they gained power by legally utilizing the democratic process.
Tom Friedman, columnist for the New York Times, indicated in an op-ed that the Tea Party was destroying democracy in this country. Then he wrote (at the end of the second paragraph) that if you are dissatisfied with the government, organize and vote in people that you agree with. This is exactly what the Tea Party has done.
Right now the president thinks he needs to teach Republicans a lesson and be a tough guy. His ego and legacy concerns are interfering with his responsibility to protect the country. He is the one who is not negotiating. He is the one who blasphemes against the democratic system. The Republicans were elected to office, and they are not breaking laws. They have the authority to negotiate from their position of strength.
Frankly, I’m sick of all the naysayers and crybabies in this country. The radical elements of both parties are digging us into a hole. Yet, all we do is repeat that the other group is responsible. Both groups are culpable. Our country is being destroyed by 536 politicians (including the president), who are more interested in their own position than the health of our country. Voters should consider this in the midterm elections in 2014.