Robert Samuelson is a man on a mission: almost all of his columns are dedicated to making the point that we are driving the country off of a financial cliff. Today’s article is particularly compelling, focusing on how disingenous it is to pretend that the proposed health care reform is going to do anything but add to our budgetary woes. He writes:
There is an air of absurdity to what is mistakenly called “health care reform.” Everyone knows that the United States faces massive governmental budget deficits as far as calculators can project, driven heavily by an aging population and uncontrolled health costs. Recovering slowly from a devastating recession, it’s widely agreed that, though deficits should not be cut abruptly (lest the economy resume its slump), a prudent society would embark on long-term policies to control health costs, reduce government spending, and curb massive future deficits. The administration estimates these at $9 trillion from 2010 to 2019. The president and all his top economic advisers proclaim the same cautionary message.
So, what do they do? Just the opposite. Their sweeping overhaul of the health care system — which Congress is halfway toward enacting — would almost certainly make matters worse. It would create new, open-ended medical entitlements that threaten higher deficits and would do little to suppress surging health costs. The disconnect between what President Obama says and what he’s doing is so glaring that most people could not abide it. The president, his advisers and allies have no trouble. But reconciling blatantly contradictory objectives requires them to engage in willful self-deception, public dishonesty, or both.
Right on — I’m glad that Samuelson has taken on this campaign, and hope the public gets the message and demands more from elected officials.