Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I’ll be really brief. (My Corn Flakes are getting soggy.) I believe in the intelligence of my readers. Most of you will fill in the blanks. Others, well, won’t realize there are any blanks, so it won’t make any difference.
First example: President Obama’s program for healthcare reform is a mess. Grotesquely too complicated and way too costly, as far as we can tell, in ways we can’t fully calculate yet. Interferes with established markets with who knows what impact. Difficult to impossible to administer. Yada, yada, yada.
Alternative, much simpler solution: (1) Ask the medical profession to define the minimum coverage Americans should have. (2) Ask the medical profession and insurance underwriters to define the cost of that coverage – provided exclusively by the private sector. No profiteering, please. (3) Give the money for that coverage to people who can’t afford it. (“Honey, would you put my English muffin down again? …Thanks.” I make a kissing noise with my mouth without looking up so as not to interrupt my typing.)
Second example: The economy is in trouble due, in part, to the irresponsible behavior of many of our nation’s leading financial institutions. “Oh my God!!” our new President says to himself, giving out k-billions of dollars in bailout money to solve problems the economy would have resolved more effectively and far less expensively on its own. To paraphrase Admiral Farragut, “Damn the budget deficit, full speed ahead! Who wants bailout money?” (Personally, I get a kick out of imagining President Obama wearing one of those old horizontal Admiral’s hats.)
Flash forward just 6 months… Many of the same companies are showing huge multi-billion dollar profits and are returning to their pre-bailout ways. “Way to go, President Obama!”
Oh, and did I forget to mention that he’s only managed to spend $90 billion – some of it still in “the pipeline” which, for the government, is a lot like having a fur ball – of the $787 billion he insisted he needed on an emergency basis to save the economy?
Okay, my English muffin is getting cold, and the fake, high-in-Omega-3s butter my wife buys me won’t be melting in the nooks and crannies anytime soon. And that’s where I draw the line. You’re on your own. Good luck.