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Counting Obama's campaign promises
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shadow777



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Counting Obama's campaign promises

By Robert Farley, Angie Drobnic Holan
Published on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 at 04:00 p.m.

Barack Obama made 510 promises when he was running for president, a list that is stunning in its scope and leaves almost no part of the executive branch untouched, according to a new analysis by PolitiFact.

The analysis found that Obama made more than twice as many promises as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whose campaign pledges were examined by other news organizations. Bush made 177 promises in 2000 and Clinton made 204 in 1992, as reported by the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau (now McClatchy).

Obama made sweeping promises like ending the Iraq war and cutting taxes on the middle class, and narrow ones like establishing programs to help animals survive global warming, weatherizing 1-million low-income homes per year and increasing tax deductions for artists.

The promises reflect a philosophy that government can, and perhaps should, play a role in solving problems at all levels.

"I would describe him as an activist realist," said Bill Galston, a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton and a senior fellow for governance study at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution. "On the one hand, he does not share the reflexive antigovernment position that has dominated the last 30 years of American politics."

On the other hand, Galston said, it would not be fair to call Obama a "gung-ho intervener or spender." Obama is grounded by a sense of what is economically and politically feasible, he said.

PolitiFact, the St. Petersburg Times fact-checking site, compiled the 510 by examining Obama's campaign Web site, position papers, interviews and speeches. PolitiFact staffers will be tracking each one on the Web site's Obameter, which will show whether they are In the Works or Stalled, and will ultimately indicate whether the promise was Kept or Broken. The ratings will be tallied on a chart on PolitiFact's home page that will show the overall progress of the Obama presidency.

Among PolitiFact's findings:

• Obama calls for more regulation, new agencies and at least 11 new groups that would have "corps" in their name, including: an America's Voice Corps to foster international diplomacy; an Artists Corps to work in low-income schools and communities; and a Health Corps to improve public health.

• Of the 510 promises, most deal with foreign policy (87); followed by health (76); the environment (59) and energy (51). He's also fond of transparency (33) and government efficiency (32). Only one deals with canines — a promise to buy his daughters a dog.

• He likes advice. We found he wants to create at least 10 new advisers such as a director of urban policy, a special adviser on violence against women, the nation's first chief technology officer and an American Indian policy adviser.

• Even before the need arose for a major economic stimulus bill, Obama proposed hundreds of billions in new spending. His ideas include $150-billion over 10 years on green initiatives, $60-billion for roads and bridges; $50-billion for the global fight against AIDS; and $25-billion more in foreign aid. He also promised billions in cost savings by ending the war in Iraq, reducing earmarks and reforming federal contracting, to name a few.

• He likes green. Overall, Obama hopes to create 5-million "green" jobs as part of a more energy-efficient economy. He wants to retrofit federal buildings to save energy. For veterans, there's a "Green Vet Initiative" to help vets get jobs in renewable energy. He even has a plan to help spur a "Green Revolution" in Africa.

Obama's high level of detail — and the large number of promises — reflects the need for a newcomer to establish his credibility.

"Obama was relatively unknown at the national level," said Martha Joynt Kumar, a professor of political science at Towson University, "so he had to have a greater degree of specificity about what his plans were. You've got to let people know who you are."

Although at times ridiculed by opponents as little more than a gifted speaker who emphasized abstract platitudes like "change," Obama and his policy team laid out an extremely detailed agenda for America. He was well-known for his pledge to end the war in Iraq, but his position paper on the issue details eight other promises, including a specific pledge to provide at least $2-billion to assist Iraqi refugees. Likewise, his broad health care plan includes a pledge to name a coordinator to oversee all federal efforts to combat autism.

It's clear that policy wonks likely wrote many of the promises.

Some are wrapped in nearly indecipherable jargon. "Institutionalize the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)." (It's actually a global security program launched in 2003 to stop the buying and selling of weapons of mass destruction.)

Others are just plain obscure and suggest that Obama was targeting some very small constituencies.
For example, he vowed to "fight to protect roadless areas on Forest Service lands from all new road construction" and to implement "cooperative projects to remove brush, small trees and other overgrown vegetation that serve as fuel for wildfires."

Kumar and other political scientists said Obama's presidency should not be judged solely on the success of his campaign promises.

They noted some promises are far more weighty than others. And circumstances change. Consider how drastically the economic picture has deteriorated even in the months since the election.

"In some senses, the world has changed a lot," said Bob Williams of the Tax Policy Center. "When a lot of those promises were made, we were in a different situation than we are now. It would be wrong to go blindly forward without re-evaluating."

Nevertheless, Obama's campaign promises form a road map for his presidency. Obama's supporters will certainly expect him to keep many promises, while his opponents try to maintain the status quo.

Gary Kalman, the legislative director for the nonpartisan U.S. Public Interest Research Group, is monitoring Obama's initiatives on health care, energy and education. He said he expects Obama's economic recovery package to include several goals Obama outlined during the campaign, such as funding for electronic health records and green energy.

"I think the economic recovery package will include several down payments on his campaign promises," Kalman said. "Campaign promises matter, not only in the context in which they were made, but also looking at the events we're currently facing."

Galston, the former policy adviser to Clinton, said campaign promises "provide a reasonably accurate X-ray of what he really cares about and what his inclinations are."

"Campaign promises don't just drop into a void," Galston said. "They represent transactions with people. They represent promissory notes that people accept at face value and expect to redeem at some point, maybe not right away."

In other words, he said, "You'd better not say it if you don't mean it."

And if you aren't going to keep a promise, he said, a president better be able to say with a straight face that circumstances have changed in a way that makes keeping the promise impossible or unwise.

"Campaign promises are not like civil war bonds," Galston said. "They are worth something. Woe to the politician, in these distrustful times, who appears to be taking them lightly."
Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:59 pm View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
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Obama's Dems To Spend Nearly $1 Trillion and Can't Promise a Single Job?

http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/7rq9j/video_dems_to_spend_nearly_1_trillion_and_cant/?sort=top
Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:28 am View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
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Obama promises to close Gitmo' Why?

The American public wants to keep Gitmo open
Obama promised to listen to the people.
Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:43 am View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
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[quote="shadow777"]Obama promises to close Gitmo' Why?

[b]The American public wants to keep Gitmo open[/b]
Obama promised to listen to the people.[/quote]

[url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/21/AR2009012103652.html]Most Agree With Obama Plan To Close Guantanamo[/url]

An excerpt:
[quote]A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that[b] 53 percent of Americans said the United States should shutter the controversial facility in Cuba and find another way to deal with the prisoners there.[/b] But 42 percent of those polled, including 69 percent of Republicans, said terrorism suspects should remain at the prison. Most Democrats (68 percent) and independents (55 percent) said they would prefer another way to handle the detainees. [/quote]

It sounds like the President IS listening to the people.

But as with most polls, there's undoubtedly another one where the majority wishes to keep Gitmo open indefinitely.
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[quote="OmegaMonk"]It sounds like the President IS listening to the people.

But as with most polls, there's undoubtedly another one where the majority wishes to keep Gitmo open indefinitely.[/quote]

[b]I sincerely hope that Obama doesn't base his decisions on poll results.

Remember, the people (according to the polls) wanted to invade Iraq and rid the world of Saddam Hussein too.[/b]
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PM



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[quote="BobbyDigital"][quote="OmegaMonk"]It sounds like the President IS listening to the people.

But as with most polls, there's undoubtedly another one where the majority wishes to keep Gitmo open indefinitely.[/quote]

[b]I sincerely hope that Obama doesn't base his decisions on poll results.

Remember, the people (according to the polls) wanted to invade Iraq and rid the world of Saddam Hussein too.[/b][/quote]

I agree. And we all know that polls (just like other stats) can be manipulated to say whatever you want or need them to say.
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shadow777



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[quote="OmegaMonk"][quote="BobbyDigital"][quote="OmegaMonk"]It sounds like the President IS listening to the people.

But as with most polls, there's undoubtedly another one where the majority wishes to keep Gitmo open indefinitely.[/quote]

[b]I sincerely hope that Obama doesn't base his decisions on poll results.

Remember, the people (according to the polls) wanted to invade Iraq and rid the world of Saddam Hussein too.[/b][/quote]

I agree. And we all know that polls (just like other stats) can be manipulated to say whatever you want or need them to say.[/quote]

Agreed!
But now there are Obama
's polls.
Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:09 am View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
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Change? Not Really

Friday, January 09, 2009
Ron Smith

Barack Oboma Faceless Profile.


Barack Obama promised hope and change. It was the mantra he used to stir up enthusiasm for his successful presidential candidacy. Millions of voters, fed up with the current occupant of the White House, seized upon the notion that this attractive multi-racial politician from Chicago was sincere and capable of affecting the kind of change they, the voters, wanted.

A sizeable number convinced themselves that an Obama presidency would lead to a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and to a less belligerent foreign policy, one not driven by the war-loving neocons who steered us into what the late Gen. William Odem memorably described as “the greatest strategic disaster in American history.” It looks now very much like a delusion, considering the hawkish collection of recycled notables he has been selecting to fill important positions in the foreign policy apparatus.

The latest is particularly revelatory. Here’s Justin Raimondo:

“The news that Dennis Ross will be appointed the special envoy to Iran – and, more, that he will function as a Middle East "czar" – is "staggeringly bad news," as Philip Weiss so trenchantly put it. The appointment, Weiss avers, is "illustrative of the fact that neoconservatism by one of its more amenable names is still in our lives, and the Israel lobby is a big component of the Establishment. Dennis Ross, who pushed the settlements in '92. Dennis Ross, who moved from party to party with indifference, because he had a bigger power than party behind him. ...A friend says that Dennis Ross in Arabic means, Expletive you!”

The hawkish Hillary Clinton is to be Secretary of State, and the neocons that were so influential in the Bush years are thrilled with a raft of Obama appointments. Patrick Krey explains:

“Obama's multiple appointments of liberal war hawks, former Clinton officials, and individuals with neocon ties are worrisome. Investigative reporter Robert Dreyfuss reported on the close alliance between these new appointments and the neocons. ‘Several top advisers to Obama — including Tony Lake, United Nations ambassador-designate Susan Rice, Tom Daschle and Dennis Ross, along with leading Democratic hawks like Richard Holbrooke, close to vice president-elect Joe Biden or secretary of state-designate Hillary Clinton — have made common cause with war-minded think-tank hawks at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and other hard-line institutes.”

During the campaign, the President-elect distanced himself from lobbyists, pledging that no members appointed to his administration would be allowed to work on issues related to their prior employer for two years. That was then, now is now, and that promise turned out to be empty with the selection of William Lynn III to be the deputy defense secretary, the number two man in the Pentagon. Lynn lobbied as recently as last June for defense contractor Raytheon Co. where he was senior vice president for government operations. The explanation for this was less than persuasive. A spokesman for Obama said, “Because Mr. Lynn came so highly recommended from experts across the political spectrum, the president-elect felt it was critical that he fill this position.” The truth is if lobbyists were shut out of top government jobs when their particular party wins the White House, there wouldn’t be very many people with needed qualifications available to do these jobs. Remember, the government racket revolves around the swinging door between government positions both elected and appointed, and lucrative jobs in the private sector arranging access, tax breaks, and favorable legislative action for those paying the salaries of the former government officials. That’s the game and it quite apparently won’t be changing under the new president.

It’s part of the game as well for presidential candidates to promise things will be different in Washington if he or she is elected. So far, it’s always been a meaningless bit of electioneering, and it doesn’t appear likely the new guy will deliver on his promise, either.


http://wbal.com/apps/news/templates/smith_show.aspx?articleid=19392&zoneid=19
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We’ll support Obama like the Dems supported Dubya for the past 8 years.
Obama needs to be held accountable for his actions and if he screws up, I’ll say so


I support Obama like I support the Taliban and that ain’t much!!

1. I support him as much as Code Pink supports our troops.
2. I support him as much as N.O.W. supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
3. I support him as much as the Hollywood community supported Theo Van Gogh.
4. I support him as much as Nancy Pelosi supports the Catholic Church’s teachings on life.
5. I support him as much as Al Gore supports cutting down on his personal carbon footprint to save the world.
6. I support him as much as John Edwards supports The National Enquirer’s right to publish pictures of his girlfriend and baby.
7. I support him as much as Western gay rights groups support Mehdi Kazemi.
8. I support him as much as the Castro brothers support Oscar Biscet’s right to free speech.
9. I support him as much as Ted Kennedy supports renewable wind energy off the coast of his summer mansion.
10. I support him as much as Bill Clinton supports Hillary’s ambitions for higher office.
11. I support him as much as the National Education Association supports the rights of students and parents to get a quality education over the security of a teacher’s job.
12. I support him just as much as he supports the right of a baby who survives an abortion to not spend its only living moments waiting to die in a storage room.
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Obama’s Priorities: War and Profits Over People
Wednesday, 14 January 2009

FloydObamaAndAdvisorsby Chris Floyd

It is not as if Barack Obama didn't warn us where he was headed. It's now official: Obama's administration will target "entitlements" for budgetary "overhaul." To the right, march! "The war machine and the financial markets will continue to be gorged and comforted in their wonted manner. Programs to help ordinary citizens, programs to enhance the quality of life for individuals and the well-being of society, will be the first - perhaps the only - areas to feel the budget axe."


Obama's Priorities: War and Profits Over People

by Chris Floyd

This article originally appeared in Counterpunch.

"Obama will let the great budget axe fall on what he and political and media establishments are pleased to call ‘entitlements.'"

If you want a glimpse of the fundamental moral obscenity that underlies our bold new era of hope and change, look no further than Barack Obama's promise this week to "overhaul" Social Security and Medicare. This effort to cut back on support for the sick, the old, the weak, the unfortunate and the abandoned will be a "central part" of the new administration's economic program, a linchpin of its struggle to curb federal spending, Obama declared.

He pointed to a looming federal deficit of $1.2 trillion this year, with more to follow, as urgent reasons to deal with "entitlement spending." Given the hundreds of billions of dollars that the Bush Regime has already given away in its no-strings bailout of selected corporate cronies, and the hundreds of billions that Obama plans to spend on "economic stimulus" (a large portion of which is going to "tax breaks" that will give, at most, a few hundred dollars to people losing their jobs and homes and medical insurance), it is imperative to get government spending under control, said the president-elect. The New York Times described Obama's remarks as an effort to offer "some soothing words to Republicans and the financial markets" - two groups who certainly need special comforting in these trying times.

The Times goes on to tell us helpfully that there is a threat that these "entitlement programs" might "grow so large as to be unsustainable in the long run." This is of course the same argument that George W. Bush made after the 2004 election, when he sought to sell off Social Security to those same "financial markets" that Obama is now trying so assiduously to soothe. No doubt, we will soon see the old scare stories that filled the media then trotted out once again, this time in "progressive" garb. But the truth remains the same: the programs are essentially sound and can be maintained with only relatively small adjustments for many decades, as far as one can reasonably project into the future.
"This is of course the same argument that George W. Bush made after the 2004 election, when he sought to sell off Social Security."

Yet it is here, on "entitlements," that Obama wants to make a "tough stand" on government spending. It will be a "central part" of his entire economic program. Getting "entitlements" under control will be one of the first major campaigns of his administration, he says, promising plans in February, just days after he moves into the White House.

At the same time, he promises to expand - to expand - the multi-trillion-dollar war machine that has literally bled the nation dry. He wants to expand a military-industrial-security complex that already devours more money and resources than every other military force on earth combined. He wants more troops, more weapons, an ever-increasing "global strike capability," an escalation of the endless, pointless "War on Terror" in Afghanistan and Pakistan (for starters). He has never said a single word about "curbing government spending" on this vast conglomerate of death and destruction. He has not said a single word about rolling back even a few of American military outposts that in their several hundreds now cover the entire globe. At every point, it seems, government spending on the war machine - including the tens of billions of dollars spent in secret each year on the various tentacles of the "national security" apparatus - will be increased under the Obama administration.
"Obama promises to expand - to expand - the multi-trillion-dollar war machine."

No "cutbacks" here then. No concerns that spending in this area might "grow so large as to be unsustainable in the long run." Spending on death and domination is sacrosanct, the true "third rail of American politics," and Obama is not going to touch it - except to augment it. Instead, he will let the great budget axe fall on what he and political and media establishments are pleased to call "entitlements" - a weasel-word that conjures up images of welfare queens and lazy bums living large and easy, in the belief that the world owes them a living. It is strange how this description of the programs has gained such universal currency. Or rather, it's not strange at all; think how differently we might perceive them - and their recipients - if we spoke of them more straightforwardly, as, say, "old-age pensions," "family support programs," "medical assistance programs," and so on. Instead, the use of such a bland and abstract term distances us from the intent, and the reality, of the programs. They are not helping sick people with medical bills, they aren't supporting a widow or an orphan, or helping a retired couple or an injured worker attempt to live with a modicum of dignity; no, they are just this opaque, abstract thing out there, some kind of political football up in Washington, to be "dealt with," "tackled" and "curbed" by "efficient managers." Nothing human about them at all.

It's true that the United States government is facing a severe and prolonged budget crisis. But what does it say about the underlying moral philosophy of an administration when its first target for budget cuts are programs designed to help ordinary people - including the weakest among us? When it will not cut a penny from a war machine that has only made the nation more and more insecure over the long decades of its ascendancy, involving the American people in an endless series of conflicts in which they have no business, and no genuine national interests at stake? If urgent cuts in government spending are needed, why would you not look first to this gargantuan swamp of waste and corruption and dangerous meddling? Instead, Obama proposes to pour even more money into it, and to increase the dangerous meddling.

The president-elect has made his fundamental priorities clear - for anyone who wants to see them. The war machine and the financial markets will continue to be gorged and comforted in their wonted manner. Programs to help ordinary citizens, programs to enhance the quality of life for individuals and the well-being of society, will be the first - perhaps the only - areas to feel the budget axe. Whatever you may think of the efficacy of such programs, this ordering of priorities -- war and profits over people -- bespeaks the same depraved sensibility that has prevailed for generations in Washington. It is the same old rancid swill in a stylish new container.

Chris Floyd is an American writer, and frequent contributor to CounterPunch. His work can be found on "Empire Burlesque" at www.chris-floyd.com.


http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=978&Itemid=1
Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:08 am View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
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Obama breaks five-day pledge

By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN | 2/5/09 6:21 AM EST

President Barack Obama kept one campaign pledge Wednesday afternoon and at the same time violated another when he signed into law the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which extends health care coverage to 11 million low-income children.

The White House views the SCHIP legislation as a down payment on Obama’s pledge to provide universal health care by the end of his first term. The bill ran into some partisan resistance because it allows states for the first time to use federal money to cover children and pregnant women who are legal immigrants.

But Obama’s 5 p.m. signing came barely three hours after the House approved the bill, breaching Obama’s promise to have a five-day period of “sunlight before signing,” as he detailed on the campaign trail and on his website.

“Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them,” the Obama-Biden campaign website states. “As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.”

Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act only two days after it received final passage last week, and it wasn’t posted on the White House website until after it became law.

Politifact.com, a project of the St. Petersburg Times that tracks Obama’s campaign promises, says the five-day rule is the only pledge he has broken outright.

On the Ledbetter Act, the website wrote: “We recognize that Obama has been in office just a week, but he was very clear about his plan for a five-day comment period, and we can’t see why this one needed to be rushed. It is somewhat ironic that with the same action, Obama both keeps and breaks a campaign promise.”

A White House spokesman refused to comment on the matter.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18441.html
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Obama promised change


Is the Administration Winging It?
Obama's reputation for competence is at risk.

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By KARL ROVE

Team Obama demonstrated remarkable discipline during the presidential campaign. From raising an unprecedented amount of money to milking every advantage from the Internet to grabbing lots of delegates from inexpensive caucus states, they left nothing to chance.

And now the administration has scored a major legislative victory in an extraordinarily short period of time. Less than 700 hours after taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama signed the largest spending bill in American history.
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Nevertheless, this fast start can't overcome a growing sense the administration is winging it on issues large and small.

Take the vetting of cabinet nominees. Mr. Obama's aides ignored a federal investigation of New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson that started last August for a possible pay-for-play scandal. Mr. Richardson had to withdraw after being named to become secretary of commerce.

The administration treated as inconsequential the failure of its choices for Treasury secretary and White House performance officer, as well as its labor secretary-designate's spouse, to pay taxes. It failed to uncover Tom Daschle's problems with more than $102,943 in previously unpaid taxes, penalties and interest -- and once it did, aides assumed Mr. Daschle would be given a pass.

Team Obama promised Gen. Anthony Zinni he'd be ambassador to Iraq, then cut him loose without explanation. After the Bill Richardson fiasco, it romanced Republican Sen. Judd Gregg for commerce secretary -- then ignored his advice on the stimulus and wouldn't trust him with running the department, moving supervision of the Census into the White House. Mr. Gregg withdrew himself from consideration.

Then there is the stimulus itself. Mr. Obama's economic team met with congressional leaders in December to green light a bill costing up to $850 billion. But they described less than $200 billion of what they wanted in the envelope. In return for outsourcing the bill's drafting to Congress, the administration took on two responsibilities: running polls to advise Hill Democrats on how to sharpen their marketing, and putting the president on the road to sell a bill others wrote.
About Karl Rove

Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy making process.

Before Karl became known as "The Architect" of President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.

Karl writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, is a Newsweek columnist and is now writing a book to be published by Simon & Schuster. Email the author at Karl@Rove.com or visit him on the web at Rove.com.

Team Obama was winging it when it declared the stimulus would "save or create" 2.5 million, then three million, then 3.7 million, and then four million new jobs. These were arbitrary and erratic numbers, and they knew there's no way to count "saved" jobs. Americans, being commonsensical, will focus on Mr. Obama's promise to "create" jobs. It's highly unlikely that more than 180,000 jobs will be created each month by the end of next year. The precise, state-by-state job numbers the administration used to sell the stimulus are likely to come back to haunt them as well.

Bipartisanship? The administration failed even to respond to GOP offers to endorse an Obama campaign proposal to suspend capital gains taxes for new small businesses.

Inexplicably, the president, in a prime-time press conference, raised expectations for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's bank rescue plan, which turned out the next day to be no plan at all. The markets craved details; they got none. When markets cratered, spokesmen didn't acknowledge the administration's poor planning, but blamed the markets.

Team Obama was also winging it on enhanced interrogation of terrorists. First it nullified all the Bush administration's legal authorities before considering what rules it should have in place. When the CIA briefed White House officials on the results obtained from these techniques, the administration backtracked and organized a four-month study of what rules were appropriate.

Something similar happened with the promise to close Guantanamo Bay within a year: The administration has no idea what it will do with the violent terrorists detained there. And on ethics, Mr. Obama proclaimed an end to lobbyist influence in government -- even as he was nominating lobbyists for major posts and filling White House ranks with former lobbyists.

Team Obama has been living off its campaign reputation for planning and execution. That reputation is now frayed, and all the bumbling and unforced errors will have an impact. Such things don't go unnoticed on Capitol Hill or in foreign capitals.

The president, a bright and skilled politician, has plenty of time to recover. The danger is that what we have seen is not an aberration, but the early indications of his governing style. Barack Obama won the job he craved, now he must demonstrate that he and his team are up to its requirements. The signs are worrisome. The world is a dangerous place. The days of winging it need to end.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
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Giving Obama a Chance

by Selwyn Duke | February 22nd, 2009

Those of us with ears to hear and eyes to see know what Obama is.

Being a cerebral sort, when I ponder President Obama's seduction of America, I think of the story of the snake and the duck. To be brief, the snake wants the duck to take him to the other side of a creek, but the duck is reluctant. He says, "But when we get there, you'll bite me." The snake is very persuasive, however, and convinces the duck he wouldn't do such a thing. He just wants help and would have the utmost appreciation. Well, I think you know what happened upon concluding their little crossing. Bam! The snake bit the foolish bird, who then started stammering, "Bu-bu-bu-but you said . . ." The snake just replied, "Hey, you knew what I was when you picked me up." I suppose the duck just wanted to give the serpent a chance.

That certainly is what many want us to give Barack Obama. Criticize the President and you're admonished for being unfair and partisan. "Give the man a chance!" hiss the critics. Or is it that they quack? Whatever.

I could be snide and just say that I'll give the President every bit the chance the Left gave George Bush. With him they certainly did hiss, and spew venom, attacking him viciously and relentlessly for eight years starting with the oath of office. The man could do nothing right in their eyes, even when spending like any liberal Democrat, even when supporting amnesty for illegals, even when lavishing tax money on Africa, even when signing the prescription drug benefit. He was a "fundamentalist," a "right-wing zealot" and wholly incapable of even one good intention. That is the irrationality of the prejudiced, of people who see a red-state politician and only see red.

But I won't take that leaf out of the Left's book. I'm not a child and don't play tit-for-tat. If Obama is right about something, I'll acknowledge it and just chalk it up to the inevitable twice-per-diem correctness of a broken clock. What I also won't do, however, is "give Obama a chance." I'll explain why with a couple of analogies.

Imagine there is a businessman who manages a small fast-food restaurant in Illinois. His record is one of virtually always embracing the wrong policies and making bad decisions. Nevertheless, he is offered a position overseeing operations on a statewide level, wherein he once again pursues the same bad policies and makes the same bad decisions. Will you now propose making him the CEO of the company?

Or, let's say there is a lawyer with a small practice, oh, as it happens, also in Illinois. He continually commits misfeasance but nevertheless is appointed state attorney general. He then continues to commit misfeasance. Will you next consider making him Attorney General of the United States? If not, why not? Sure, he never demonstrated competence in law before, but, come on, U.S. Attorney General is a different position. Give 'im a chance.

Maybe even ducks get the point.

There is an old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Contrary to the Republican campaign mantra about Obama having no experience, quite the opposite was true. He had tremendous experience doing the wrong thing, more than enough to paint a picture of what kind of animal he might be. The picture may seem like a resplendent deity to followers or a repugnant demon to foes, but it existed. And if you didn't see it, it wasn't because Obama hadn't done enough but because you didn't know enough.

In reality, Obama has had chance after chance after chance after chance, in the Illinois and U.S. Senates and as a community agita . . . uh, I mean, organizer. If you don't believe me, simply peruse the section dedicated to him at OntheIssues.org. It provides 37 pages and more than 14,000 words on his votes, positions and pronouncements, all compiled prior to the election. And, largely drawing from that site, here is a synopsis of Obama the Chanceless' words and deeds (every quotation except the one indicated by the asterisk is from OntheIssues.org):

* He voted for illegal-alien amnesty, "YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security" and "YES on continuing federal funds for declared 'sanctuary cities.'"
* He said that his policies would bankrupt the coal industry.
* He said, "*You need to make sure your child can speak Spanish" and that it's "OK to provide government services in Spanish." He also "voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government."
* He opposes so-called "racial profiling," which is actually just an element of proper, comprehensive profiling.
* He received an 89 percent rating from the NAACP, "indicating that he supports affirmative action."
* In the Illinois and national Senates, Obama was Planned Parenthood's poster boy, supporting the murder of not just the unborn but also the born, through his opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
* He voted against prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion and notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.
* He has the worst possible rating – 0 percent – by the National Right to Life Committee.
* He opposed school vouchers.
* He voted YES on factoring mythical anthropogenic global warming into federal project planning.
* He has supported "age-appropriate" sex education for kindergartners, as if there is such a thing.
* While Obama has said he doesn't believe in faux marriage, he opposed California's Proposition 8, the one-man-one-woman marriage amendment, and voted against the constitutional ban on faux marriage.
* He called homosexuality "no more immoral than heterosexuality" and said it's "OK to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples."
* He "cast 130 'present' votes in the Illinois Senate," indicating an unwillingness to step up to the plate.
* He "sponsored resolution rejecting photo ID for voting."
* He endorsed an Illinois handgun ban, advocated banning semi-automatics (weapons firing one shot every time the trigger is pulled), and voted against prohibiting the frivolous lawsuits designed to destroy gun manufacturers.
* He supports nationalized medicine, and said that he wanted to insure the 47 million people without health insurance, a figure that includes illegal aliens.

All this, not to mention his associations with raving racist Reverend Wright, avowed "small-c communist" and ex-Weathermen bomber Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and the socialist New Party of Chicago.

For you leftists who would go off half-cocked and defend the above, save your breath. My goal isn't to convince you to change your ideology. That is impossible. You can agree with Obama, you can disagree with him, but the point is that when viewing his record in its totality, no rational person will conclude that the few missing pieces in the change-unity-hope jigsaw puzzle prevent us from perceiving the big picture. An editor may not know my feelings on blueberry cupcakes or Allen wrenches, but, if he scours my work, he will find enough relevant information to know whether or not I'm suited to his publication. Likewise, those of us with ears to hear and eyes to see know what Obama is. We're not ducks.

Of course, to some, the give-'im-a-chance plea is a ploy, a political artifice used by snakes to silence critics. But these folks really aren't all that interesting. The ducks are more so, as what often drives them is man's lamentable propensity for rationalization.

Generally speaking, people have trouble facing hard truths; they live with many fears and want to believe the sun will come out tomorrow. They want to hope that Obama will really be that moderate, really be that liberal Utopian of their dreams, really be a pragmatist when push comes to shove, really make things better after all. Thus, what many are actually saying is, "Give my hope a chance! How dare you crush my dreams well before dawn! Do not deny me a few months of delusion." The problem is that this doesn't work for those of us who prefer to stare reality straight in the face. We know that, as a book title says, "Hope is not a strategy." Moreover, what you call giving Obama his (umpteenth) chance, we call driving the last nail into America's coffin.

Whatever the ducks' motivation, what they essentially suggest is comical. To wit: "A doctor who committed malpractice when operating on your toe, hand, leg and stomach should be allowed to operate on your brain because, by gum, he hasn't had a chance to work above the neck yet." Well, what can I say? If you would make such a decision, it probably couldn't do any harm, anyway. But the problem is that these owners of misfiring neurons have given Obama the chance to take the scalpel to the whole nation. And while I accept that people get the government they deserve, the problem is that I'm going to get the government they deserve.

The issue is not that Obama isn't being given a chance; it's that he has been given too many. But this is a persistent problem in our nation; in fact, we live in a second-chance society. Children are given too many chances to misbehave. Miscreants are given too many chances to commit crime. And, worst of all, the ducks are given too many chances to vote.

And the end result is that America just may have run out of chances.

http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2009/02/22/giving-obama-a-chance/
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Hawk in Hoc
Obama pretends to be frugal as we sink deeper in debt.

Jacob Sullum | May 13, 2009

Remember President Obama's New Era of Responsibility? It got off to an inauspicious start, with a $787 billion economic stimulus package, a $410 billion appropriations bill, and a record $1.8 trillion budget deficit.

But now Obama wants to signal that he's getting serious about cutting the federal budget. Unfortunately, his plan hinges on the assumption that Americans do not know how to calculate percentages.

Last week the Obama administration, after going through the budget "line by line," unveiled $17 billion in budget cuts. That amounts to less than 0.5 percent of the president's proposed $3.6 trillion budget for the next fiscal year and less than 2 percent of the projected $1.3 trillion deficit.

On Monday the White House raised its estimate of the budget deficit for the current fiscal year from $1.75 trillion to $1.84 trillion. The $89 billion correction was more than five times the cuts Obama had proposed four days before.

The president dismissed critics who were unimpressed by his $17 billion in savings as inside-the-Beltway snobs with no understanding of how regular people view things. "In Washington," he told reporters, "I guess that's considered trivial. Outside of Washington, that's still considered a lot of money."

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs used the same rhetorical strategy. "I've said this before, and I'll say it again: $17 billion is a lot of money to people in America," he said. "I understand that it might not be to some people in this town, but that's probably why we're sitting on a $12 trillion American Express bill"—a reference to the national debt.

This is the sort of populist argument that insults the public's common sense while pretending to flatter it. Yes, $17 billion is a lot of money for an individual, a municipality, even a mid-sized state. But it is emphatically not a lot of money for a federal government that spends trillions of dollars every year. If you had $12,000 in credit card debt and paid off $17 of it, would you feel like you had made significant progress?

"These savings, large and small, add up," the president said. That is literally true; they just don't add up to much.

But wait. The $17 billion in savings Obama touted last week was on top of the cuts he had already ordered his cabinet to find. Last month, saying he was determined to make government "as efficient as possible" and ensure that "every taxpayer dollar is being spent wisely," he instructed department and agency heads to come up with a total of $100 million in savings.

Here is how The New York Times described the reaction this mandate elicited: "Budget analysts promptly burst out laughing." The fiscally conservative Republican Study Committee, perhaps fearing that the White House was right in thinking that voters can't do basic math, performed the calculation for them, dubbing the president's initiative "Obama's 0.0025% spending cut."

Obama also talks about $2 trillion in "savings" over the next decade, but this amount consists mostly of tax hikes and phantom reductions from unrealistically high baselines. Meanwhile, he is seeking big increases in domestic spending, especially on energy, health care, and education.

This year, the Associated Press notes, "the government will have to borrow nearly 50 cents for every dollar it spends." Even with optimistic economic assumptions, the Obama administration projects budget deficits of more than $500 billion every year from 2010 to 2019, totaling $7.1 trillion in additional debt at a time when Social Security and Medicare spending will be skyrocketing due to the retirement of baby boomers—a problem Obama has not begun to address.

"We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits do not matter and waste is not our problem," the president said last week. "We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration—or the next generation." I wish that Obama had some influence on the one who is setting the administration's fiscal policy.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.
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The Truth About ObamACORN
by Michelle Malkin


Left-wing groups in Washington, D.C., are panicked. The New York Times and other Team Obama whitewashers are downplaying the connection between the Obama presidential campaign, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Obama's old employer Project Vote (ACORN's nonprofit canvassing arm). Alas, the truth keeps seeping out.

At a closed-door powwow hosted Thursday at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, activists discussed how to combat a relentless stream of corruption charges from ACORN/Project Vote whistleblowers. But it's too late for a reputation bailout. Former Project Vote official and whistleblower Anita MonCrief has harnessed the Internet to crowd-source a massive cache of documents showing ties between Obama staff members and the supposedly "nonpartisan" ACORN operations.

Last fall, The New York Times abandoned an investigation into whether Obama had shared donor lists with Project Vote, a 501(c)(3) organization that is prohibited from engaging in political activity. Public editor Clark Hoyt earlier this month called it "the tip that didn't pan out." Critics suggested the donor lists could have been compiled through public records. But I have obtained the lists -- not only of Obama donors, but also lists of Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry contributors. The records include small donors to the Obama campaign, who are not disclosed in public campaign finance databases. It's information only a campaign could supply.

MonCrief testified under oath last fall that her then-boss, Karyn Gillette, gave her the Obama donor list and told her the campaign had furnished it. Moreover, e-mail messages between ACORN, Project Vote and other affiliates, including ACORN subsidiary Citizens Services, Inc. (CSI), make explicit references to working on "Obama campaign related projects." The "list of maxed out Obama donors" is specifically mentioned in staff e-mail. Another message from ACORN/Project Vote official Nathan Henderson-James warns ACORN and affiliated staff to prepare for "conservatives … gearing up a major oppo research project on Obama."

Henderson-James wrote, "Understand I'm not suggesting that we gear up to defend a candidate's campaign." But that, of course, is exactly what the ACORN enterprise did.

Why does this matter? Transparency, tax dollars and electoral integrity. ACORN's own lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley acknowledged last year that a vast web of tax-exempt ACORN affiliates were shuffling money around -- making it almost impossible to track whether campaign rules and tax regulations were being followed. ACORN receives 40 percent of its revenues from taxpayers. Americans deserve to know whether and how much commingling of public money with political projects has occurred over the last four decades -- and what role the Obama campaign played in this enterprise.

Remember: Last August, the Obama team admitted its failure to properly disclose $800,000 in payments to CSI -- which works hand in hand with Project Vote and the ACORN parent organization. Obama mysteriously reclassified the campaign advance work expenditures as "get-out-the-vote" activities. Nary a peep from electoral integrity watchdogs.

Despite heated denials from Team Obama, the links between ACORN, Project Vote and CSI are inextricable. As Obama himself reminded ACORN leaders after its political action committee endorsed his presidential candidacy in February 2008:

"I come out of a grassroots organizing background. That's what I did for three and half years before I went to law school. That's the reason I moved to Chicago was to organize. So this is something that I know personally, the work you do, the importance of it. I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work."

As I've reported before, the Obama campaign's "Vote for Change" registration drive, run simultaneously with ACORN/Project Vote, was an all-out scramble to scrape up every last unregistered voter sympathetic to Obama's big-government vision.

In an e-mail message to whistleblower MonCrief last summer, New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom told the truth: "The real story to all this is how these myriad entities allow them to shuffle money around so much that no one really knows what's getting spent on what." By Oct. 6, 2008, Strom had thrown in the towel in the wake of blistering phone conversations with the Obama campaign. She wrote:

"I'm calling a halt to my efforts. I just had two unpleasant calls with the Obama campaign, wherein the spokesman was screaming and yelling and cursing me, calling me a right-wing nut and a conspiracy theorist and everything else. … I'd still like to get that file from you when you have a chance to send it. One of these days, the truth is going to come out."

It's only just begun.

http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2009/05/29/the_truth_about_obamacorn?page=full
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Health Care Tax Battle Heats Up

Monday, June 15, 2009
WashingtonPost.com

The White House is caught in a battle within its own party over how to finance a comprehensive overhaul of America's health-care system, as key Democrats advocate a tax plan that could require President Obama to break his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class.

Sensitive to voter anxiety about a soaring federal deficit, Obama and congressional leaders have vowed to pay for a sweeping expansion of the health-care system -- expected to cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade -- without additional borrowing.

Much of the money is likely to come from reining in spending on federal health programs for the elderly and the poor. Obama has proposed trimming more than $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid by 2019 -- including more than $300 billion in cuts unveiled in his Saturday radio and Internet address -- which could fulfill the promise to curb the growth of federal health spending.

The rest of the cash will probably come from new taxes. But Democrats are deeply divided over which taxes to raise, and the issue has become a central stumbling block in the push to enact legislation by fall.

In recent days, Obama has revived a tax plan he first offered in February: limiting itemized deductions for the nation's 3 million highest earners. Polls show that the idea is popular -- it was Obama's biggest applause line last week at an event in Wisconsin -- and it would enable him to abide by a campaign pledge to pay for coverage for the uninsured with new taxes on the rich.
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Obama and the ‘Noble Lie’
Our philosopher-king prevaricates on behalf of us all.

By Victor Davis Hanson


For much of the Bush administration, the media splashed stories of neoconservative conspiracies and cabals. Exposés about mostly Jewish liberals-turned-conservatives charged that they were adherents of the philosopher Leo Strauss and embraced the Platonic notion of the “noble lie.”

In his Republic, Plato outlined an elaborate, ranked utopia, a good city (“Kallipolis”) run by a sort of benign natural selection. The philosopher-kings sat atop hierarchies in which occupations were assigned for the citizenry. To justify arbitrary selections, the rulers would make up “noble lies” about divine edicts, making clear that the occupations chosen for lesser folk were god-given.

Once the inferiors understood that there were divine sanctions behind their lot in life, they would feel happier. And society at large would benefit by each worker’s having the proper aptitude for his occupation. The larger point Plato was making was simply that sometimes an all-knowing elite must hedge on the truth to convince the ignorant public what is good for it.

Other Greek authors likewise were willing to give an educated elite wide latitude. Many aristocrats, such as the historian Thucydides, felt that religion was a sort of superstition of the ignorant masses. But he tolerated it as something deserving support by rational leaders, inasmuch as it provided a valuable bridle on the dangerous appetites of the mob. Some of our own Founding Fathers were deists — rationalists who may have believed in a creator, but believed even more that adherence to religious ritual among the more ignorant and potentially dangerous classes was critical for a good society.

The Left charged that President Bush was surrounded by wannabe Guardians who, via the work of Leo Strauss, bought into Plato’s argument. Therefore, according to their critics, they played fast and loose with the truth (Saddam’s ties with al-Qaeda, WMD in Iraq, etc.) in order to scare clueless Americans into accepting the invasion of Iraq and waging a war on terror. These “noble lies” were deemed necessary, since the authoritarian threats from the Middle East after 9/11 were, in fact, real, and the public otherwise would never have appreciated the mortal danger to our country.

No accuser, however, was ever able to demonstrate a pattern of sustained, premeditated prevarication on the part of neoconservatives. How, after all, had Platonic Straussians taken over the government from WASP or African-American realists like Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, and Rumsfeld? In most cases, “neo-con” ended up simply as an acceptable anti-Semitic slur to describe Jewish intellectuals who supposedly put Israel’s national security on a par with, or above, our own.

The irony is that during the Obama administration’s first six months, we have seen ample evidence of noble lies.

The first category is the historically inaccurate statement designed to bolster the spirits of the Islamic world. This type of lie offers proof of Obama’s noble intentions and conduces to the greater good. Obama, of course, seems to know little history. And to the degree he is interested in the past, history becomes largely a melodramatic, rather than tragic, story, in which we are to distinguish victims and oppressors based on modern moral standards, and allot sympathy and blame accordingly.

That said, I still cannot quite believe Obama thinks that chattel slavery in America was ended without violence. Or that Islam was responsible for unprecedented breakthroughs in advanced math, sophisticated medicine, and printing, let alone that it served as a catalyst for the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

Instead, Obama seems to believe that fudging on facts is not fudging, but simply offers a competing narrative that gains validity by its good intentions. Most Americans, Obama further believes, are either too dense or too uneducated to discern his misinformation. But they will at some future date appreciate the global good will that results from his feel-good mytho-history.

No one in the Arab street is going to object when Obama assures us all that Islamic felonies — religious intolerance, gender apartheid, coercive government — are equivalent to American religious and gender misdemeanors. Hitler made up stories about World War I and German minorities in Eastern Europe for murderous racist reasons. His ignoble lies are in no way similar to present-day noble lies that are offered for exactly the opposite goal of promoting religious tolerance and global brotherhood.


A second type of noble lie is more personal. Obama as a Platonic philosopher-king advocates all sorts of exalted aims that he himself will probably never fulfill. That he is hypocritical matters little, given the fact that his bromides are unquestionably for the public good. Obama apparently speaks no foreign language, yet he deplores the lack of foreign-language fluency on the part of less sophisticated Americans. He is unable to quit smoking entirely, but emphasizes the role of preventive medicine and healthy lifestyles in his radical health-care reform initiatives.

He wisely calls for racial transcendence and an end to racial identities — even as he excuses Judge Sotomayor’s clearly racialist belief that race and gender inherently make one a better or worse judge. Obama, the healer, jumpstarted his own political career through religiously listening to and subsidizing the racist hate-speech offered by the charlatan Reverend Wright.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTMzMmE3ZjE3YTkzZGJjN2VmZWFlMzUwNzViNWFkNmY=
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Obama lied again


Senate bill fines people refusing health coverage

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR –
July 2, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the fines will raise around $36 billion over 10 years. Senate aides said the penalties would be modeled on the approach taken by Massachusetts, which now imposes a fine of about $1,000 a year on individuals who refuse to get coverage. Under the federal legislation, families would pay higher penalties than individuals.

In a revamped health care system envisioned by lawmakers, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now. The government would provide subsidies for the poor and many middle-class families, but those who still refuse to sign up would face penalties.

Called "shared responsibility payments," the fines would be set at least half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation.

In 2008, employer-provided coverage averaged $12,680 a year for a family plan, and $4,704 for individual coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual survey. Senate aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the cost of the federal plan would be lower but declined to provide specifics.

The legislation would exempt certain hardship cases from fines. The fines would be collected through the income tax system.

The new proposals were released as Congress neared the end of a weeklong July 4 break, with lawmakers expected to quickly take up health care legislation when they return to Washington. With deepening divisions along partisan and ideological lines, the complex legislation faces an uncertain future.

Obama wants a bill this year that would provide coverage to the nearly 50 million Americans who lack it and reduce medical costs.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...ZHW-ywD996J3NG0
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qoute

As I noted in another thread when discussing w/one or resident lefties, it would seem that abortion is the only choice dems want you to have. All else is forced upon you.
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O'S BROKEN PROMISES
HEALTH BILLS V. PREZ'S WORDS


By BETSY MCCAUGHEY

July 17, 2009
Posted: 1:00 am
July 17, 2009

PRESIDENT Obama promises that "if you like your health plan, you can keep it," even after he reforms our health-care system. That's untrue. The bills now before Congress would force you to switch to a managed-care plan with limits on your access to specialists and tests.

Two main bills are being rushed through Congress with the goal of combining them into a finished product by August. Under either, a new government bureaucracy will select health plans that it considers in your best interest, and you will have to enroll in one of these "qualified plans." If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year "grace period" to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time.

And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead (House bill, p. 16-17).

When you file your taxes, if you can't prove to the IRS that you are in a qualified plan, you'll be fined thousands of dollars -- as much as the average cost of a health plan for your family size -- and then automatically enrolled in a randomly selected plan (House bill, p. 167-168).

It's one thing to require that people getting government assistance tolerate managed care, but the legislation limits you to a managed-care plan even if you and your employer are footing the bill (Senate bill, p. 57-5Cool. The goal is to reduce everyone's consumption of health care and to ensure that people have the same health-care experience, regardless of ability to pay.

Nowhere does the legislation say how much health plans will cost, but a family of four is eligible for some government assistance until their household income reaches $88,000 (House bill, p. 137). If you earn more than that, you'll have to pay the cost no matter how high it goes.

The price tag for this legislation is a whopping $1.04 trillion to $1.6 trillion (Congressional Budget Office estimates). Half of the tab comes from tax increases on individuals earning $280,000 or more, and these new taxes will double in 2012 unless savings exceed predicted costs (House bill, p. 199). The rest of the cost is paid for by cutting seniors' health benefits under Medicare.

There's plenty of waste in Medicare, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates only 1 percent of the savings under the legislation will be from curbing waste, fraud and abuse. That means the rest will likely come from reducing what patients get.

One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration."

This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care. Do we really want government involved in such deeply personal issues?

Shockingly, only a portion of the money accumulated from slashing senior benefits and raising taxes goes to pay for covering the uninsured. The Senate bill allocates huge sums to "community transformation grants," home visits for expectant families, services for migrant workers -- and the creation of dozens of new government councils, programs and advisory boards slipped into the last 500 pages.

The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (June 21) finds that 83 percent of Americans are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their health care, and 81 percent are similarly satisfied with their health insurance.

They have good reason to be. If you're diagnosed with cancer, you have a better chance of surviving it in the United States than anywhere else, according to the Concord Five Continent Study. And the World Health Organization ranked the United States No. 1 out of 191 countries for being responsive to patients' needs, including providing timely treatments and a choice of doctors.

Congress should pursue less radical ways to cover the uninsured. We have too much to lose with this legislation.

Betsy McCaughey is founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former lieutenant governor of New York. betsy@hospitalinfection.org


http://www.nypost.com/seven/07172009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/os_broken_promises_179667.htm
Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:24 am View user's profile Find all posts by shadow777 Send private message Send e-mail
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