Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Shaky Foundation Indeed

Charles Krauthammer had an exceptional article on Friday picking apart the "New Foundation" speech that our Dear Leader in Chief gave at Georgetown. Obama used the speech to outline his plan to take our country on a radical turn to the left - and he did so with mind numbing dissembling.This from the pen of Dr. Krauthammer:

Obama offered his New Foundation speech as the complete, contextual, canonical text for the domestic revolution he aims to enact. It had everything we have come to expect from Obama:

The Whopper: The boast that he had "identified $2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade." It takes audacity to repeat this after it had been so widely exposed as transparently phony. Most of this $2 trillion is conjured up by refraining from spending $180 billion a year for 10 more years of surges in Iraq. . . .

The Puzzler: He further boasted of his frugality by saying that his budget would reduce domestic discretionary spending as a share of GDP to the lowest level ever recorded. Amazing. Squeezing discretionary domestic spending at a time of hugely expanding budgets is merely the baleful residue of out-of-control entitlements and debt service, which will increase astronomically under Obama. To claim these as achievements in fiscal responsibility is testament not to Obama's frugality but to his brazenness.

The Non Sequitur: "To make sure such a crisis [as we have today] never happens again," Obama proposes his radical health-care, energy and education reforms, the central pillars of his social democratic agenda. But Obama's own words contradict this assertion. Notes The Post: "But as his admirable summation of recent history made clear, these pursuits have little to do with the economic crisis, and they are not the key to economic recovery." Obama rarely fails to repeat this false connection. A crisis -- and the public's resulting pliability to liberal social engineering -- is a terrible thing to waste.

To interject here, our fiscal crisis resulted from the sub-prime market, government's social engineering in bank lending practices, a bond rating market that completely failed to accurately assess risk, all compounded by Wall Street's development of a new product that failed catastrophically when the market for subprime mortgages came to a grinding halt. Not a single thing Obama has done or proposes to do - beyond new draconian regulation of Wall St. - addresses these fundamental causes of our problems. And indeed, Barney Frank, one of the major architect's of our current disaster, has proposed mandating that municipal bonds be given top ratings for investment despite the real risks associated with those bonds. This is swindle and fantasy writ large.

Now back to Mr. Krauthammer's analysis of Obama's "New Foundation."

The Swindle: The Obama administration is spending money like none other in peacetime history. Obama is smart. He knows this is fiscally unsustainable. He has let it be known privately and publicly that he intends to cure the imbalance with entitlement reform. . . .

In the New Foundation speech, Obama correctly (again) identifies the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid as the key fiscal problem. But then he claims that Medicaid and Medicare reform is the same as his health-care reform, fatuously citing as his authority a one-day meeting of handpicked interested parties at his "Fiscal Responsibility Summit."

Here's the problem. The heart of Obama's health-care reform is universality. Covering more people costs more money. That is why Obama's budget sets aside an extra $634 billion in health-care spending, a down payment on an estimated additional spending of $1 trillion. How does the administration curtail the Medicare and Medicaid entitlement by adding yet another (now universal) health-care entitlement that its own estimate acknowledges increases costs by about $1 trillion

I was going to write a pithy conclusion to all of this, but cannot do better than Krauthammer himself:

This is the sand on which the new foundation is constructed. Obama has the magic to make words mean almost anything. Numbers are more resistant to his charms.


Ex-Dissident said...

I am certain that his healthcare vision incorporates what his wife did for University of Chicago Medical Centre. Essentially a patient shuttle service to get rid of people who don't pay. How will this work with universal coverage? Same as it works in Russia and most other countries that have universal care. You want an operation, you bring your own doctor, your own medications and pay for equipment use. You don't do the above, then you wait in line. Another logical step would be to take over the pharmaceutical companies. Why do they charge so much for their medications, when the same drugs can be bought for pennies in India. Oh, these companies need to cover their research and development costs? Then forget research and if bacteria become more and more resistant to our current antibiotics,...well that is a problem for the "distant" future generation. No different than Obama's approach to our current fiscal problems.

Ex-Dissident said...

Just sweeping dirt under the rug.

Glad you're back.