The Lowe Down



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FDR he ain't


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There are several ways to look at this.

You could say--if you were a starry-eyed believer in the Obama campaign speeches of a year ago--that the so-called "public option" was already a compromise from a pure single-payer plan, which is the holy grail for the left. So this is a compromise of a compromise, or in other words, a sellout.

Or, you could say that Barack Obama is a pragmatist, and that by abandoning one of the cornerstones of his health care reform plan, he is merely acknowledging reality. A partial loaf is better than nothing at all.

I can appreciate Obama's realpolitik, particularly since health reform has been staked out by all sides as a make-or-break issue for his presidency. If your entire credibility depends on getting something--anything--passed, it's better to pass an empty shell so that everyone can declare victory and maybe flesh things out later.

As we all know, government programs are virtually impossible to kill. They develop constituencies that tend to vote as self-protective blocs. They are much easier to fatten over time, like a Christmas goose. If you want to be cynical about it--and there is always a large component of cynicism in any White House's strategy--just getting the framework in place is enough to ensure a thriving, growing bureaucracy as well as mission creep.

Give it a decade or two, and even conservatives will be fighting to protect the National Health Care we have come to accept as an American birthright. Have you ever seen one turn down Medicare?


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"Have you ever seen [any]one turn down Medicare?"

Nope! Even Lolly the Libertarian has said that he/she will sign up for Medicare. We've all been paying for it for our working lives, so that decision makes sense.

On the other hand, I've been paying taxes to support Bush's folly in Iraq, which really promises no personal return like FICA payments.


Give it a decade or two, and even conservatives will be fighting to protect the National Health Care

You are right. Look how the republicans have defended social security and medicare after attempting to block their enactment by democrat presidents. The republicans even expanded medicare with the pharmaceutical company enrichment (AKA prescription drug) plan. As I have been saying, there is really little difference between the republicans and the democrats.

Even Lolly the Libertarian has said that he/she will sign up for Medicare.

Medicare is a good deal for the participants. Compare medical insurance premiums for a 64 year old with those for a medicare recipient, including supplement premiums.

The problem is that medicare is a drain on everyone else. The medicare withholding tax does not come close to covering the costs. In order to support the program, either taxes must be raised unfairly on the young, or the federal reserve will continue to debase the currency.

Ultimately (maybe sooner than most people think), the dollar will collapse under the weight of all this spending for things we haven't earned with production. Our standard of living will plummet when that happens.

I've been paying taxes to support Bush's folly in Iraq...

Here, again, war consumes a great deal of money. People won't stand for enough tax increases to actually pay for the war. We have been creating money out of nothing to pay the bills.

The Roman Empire collapsed because of the high taxes and inflation created to support the army. The Soviet Empire collapsed after its Afghanistan adventure when it essentially went broke. I fear our American Empire is perilously close to collapse for the same reason.

If we want peace, we must control the government and stop its profligate spending. The so-called bailouts will only hasten the demise of the country.


The real problem is that President Obama hasn't yet learned anything might be impossible. I mean look at his career, only 1 term in the Senate then President at one swell foop. Why should he think anything is impossible? Nothing has been yet...


Why dont you do one with the DRUNKS at the WHITE HOUSE BOOZE PARTY ? Good IDEA thats the way to solve things GET DRUNK AND TALK LIKE IDIOTS


Lolly:

Ultimately (maybe sooner than most people think), the dollar will collapse under the weight of all this spending for things we haven't earned with production. Our standard of living will plummet when that happens.

Correct. Warren Buffett's op-ed piece featured in the NY Times today explains this rather succintly.


Correct.

And yet, people are completely unprepared for the worst. How many people own even a half ounce of gold. There is no sense of history. Most people never heard of the Weimar republic, or Zimbabwe for that matter.

I blame the schools for improving self-esteem while, at the same time, making people completely dependent upon their government.


i trust on him..


Warren Buffett's op-ed piece featured in the NY Times today explains this rather succintly.

I read Buffet's piece and am rather unimpressed. He may have been a brilliant investor, but his analysis and political prescription for our financial problems is awful.

He says: The crisis required our government to display wisdom, courage and decisiveness. Fortunately, the Federal Reserve and key economic officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations responded more than ably to the need.

He doesn't understand the financial crisis was caused by government profligate spending, abetted by the Federal Reserve. He agrees with the Bush-Obama plan for unprecedented deficit spending which did give temporary economic relief, only to make our next financial crisis that much worse.

Then he says: Unchecked greenback emissions will certainly cause the purchasing power of currency to melt. The dollar’s destiny lies with Congress.

He is right that increasing the money supply will destroy the dollar (and our prosperity). The only way to control this is to abolish the Federal Reserve. I doubt congress has either the wisdom or political will to do that.


Even if you are the most enthusiastic supporter of healthcare reform...what is the rush? Why saddle our struggling economy w/ a massive weight?
My question is will Obama's healthcare reform work better or worse than his stimulus program?
Why not wait and see how or even if the stimulus package works?
Oh...that's right...now I remember why...democrats have massive majority and want to ram it down our throats...sorry...that fact slipped my mind momentarily.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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