Accomplishments: real and imaginary

I was reading an article saying that President Obama’s aspirations were unrealistic. I agree. But the reason the article thought they were unrealistic was what I found most interesting. The article said they were unrealistic because Republicans would not vote for them. I think they are unrealistic because they don’t work. The difference is important.

Take the example of ObamaCare. Why is it not working? It is not because it has been blocked by politics but rather because it doesn't work in reality. The idea that some people seem to have is that anything is possible if the people and politicians want it. This is just not true. Many things, most things cannot be legislated in practical form.

I recall an old Polish story about a village that had shortages of sour cream around Easter time every year. The village women needed sour cream for their Easter recipes and appealed to the village leaders for relief. The leaders did some research and found out that there was indeed a shortage of sour cream during these periods, but spring rains meant there was plenty of water, maybe even too much. In their wisdom they hit on the solution. They just declared that sour cream would be called water and water called sour cream.

After that there was never again a shortage of sour cream at Easter time. The problem had been solved by government fiat and the will of the people. But the village woman noticed they now had a shortage of water for their recipes.

You can accomplish a lot, as long as you stay in the imaginary world. Things tend to be a bit harder in the real one and some things cannot be done even if everybody wishes they could.

Posted by Christine & John at February 14, 2013 7:53 PM
Comments
Comment #361731
The article said they were unrealistic because Republicans would not vote for them.

Lets begin with this bit of truth C&J. I think it is factually correct that repubs/conservatives did not agree with Obama. If anything he said during the SOTU speech was agreeable to them I still doubt they would allow anything to become law that came from Obama. They have allowed hate to take control of them as a group. They have shown in action that not only will they not cooperate they will intentionally obstruct anything they can. Yet you speak of Obama’s imaginary world as if it were true.

You would have us believe Obamacare isn’t working without a stitch of evidence to back it up, as if by saying it you make it less imaginary.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/05/23/more-solid-proof-that-obamacare-is-working/

This was the one example you provided to back up your argument ” I think they are unrealistic because they don’t work”. You are wrong on this and you offer no other input to justify your imaginary beliefs.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 15, 2013 11:57 AM
Comment #361733

LOL, j2t2, you point to a blog post from almost 2 years ago that starts off with the proof that it is working because it forces people who Rick Unger admits do not need health insurance (younger individuals more better served with catastrophic insurance or paying for their annual healthcare costs out of their own pocket) to pay for the more elderly who need more care.

Taxing the poor to young working poor to pay for the elderly is apparently the great achievement of Obamacare…

It is simply amazing…

ecent data provided by the nation’s largest health insurance companies reveals that a provision of the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is bringing big numbers of the uninsured into the health care insurance system.

And they are precisely the uninsured that we want– the young people who tend not to get sick.

Oh, neverrmind that the amount individuals pay for health insurance is skyrocketing, nevermind that the system is unsustainable, we are getting those deadbeat younguns on the rolls!

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 15, 2013 1:11 PM
Comment #361734

This from a guy who lists the major accomplishments of his party as being preventing the Democrats Legislation and Obama’s policies from coming to pass. I mean, really, that’s as hypothetical as you get.

And where is your evidence for this “not working” theory? Glaringly absent! No links, just an assertion.

The real question people are going to ask of the Republicans, is what have they done lately, and the most they will be able to answer with is the absence of policy. This, really, is all you can get when you do not have the legislative numbers nor the presence in the White House, and most importantly, the complete lack of willingness to compromise on anything unless you’re forced into it.

What use are Republicans to anybody these days? Government can’t even function normally, with relative certainty on their account. I know you dump on us about the budget, but Republicans are the only reason why Democrats didn’t pass that budget, what with their filibuster. Meanwhile, Republicans, with the House, have not even passed one real Budget on time, in its proper form. They’ve insisted instead on a motion-sickness inspiring set of lurches from one crisis to another. They’re not interested in governing, they’re interested in making their radical political statements, and the country is suffering for it.

We don’t need people in power, necessary, who are in love with government, but we do need people who take care of their real world responsiblities, instead of indulging their political fantasies at everybody’s cost.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 15, 2013 2:52 PM
Comment #361737

j2t2 & Stephen

I think it is correct that Republicans won’t vote for them. My concern is the underlying reality. If you tell me that you can jump off a tall building and fly to the next one and I tell you that you cannot, is it really my veto that is keeping you from realizing your dream of free flying?

Re ObamaCare - the promises I recall was that everyone happy with their insurance and their doctors could keep both and that it would lower costs, at least, Obama insisted “from the beginning that health care reform will not add one dime to our deficit.”

A CBO report came out last week saying Obamacare’s cost has risen to over $1.3 trillion–even higher than originally estimated.

Not good.

I have also been looking for all that new infrastructure built by the stimulus. How much have you found?

And that unemployment down around 5% by now? Did Obama really promise that unemployment would be hovering around 8% four years after he took office?

Posted by: C&J at February 15, 2013 3:43 PM
Comment #361744

Rhinehold Steven King, the #@$% from Iowa and you are LOL’ing me over a Forbes article. BTW I couldn’t get the first link to work, but skyrocketing health insurance is due to the private insurance companies desire for more record profits. The “free market” go figure.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/14/business/14health.html

C&J despite the conservative rhetoric to the contrary it seems Obamacare is still working.

A CBO report came out last week saying Obamacare’s cost has risen to over $1.3 trillion–even higher than originally estimated.

It must have been a different report than this one .
“In figures released last week, the Congressional Budget Office said it had erased hundreds of billions of dollars in projected spending on Medicare and Medicaid.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/us/politics/sharp-slowdown-in-us-health-care-costs.html?hp&_r=0

Posted by: j2t2 at February 15, 2013 6:39 PM
Comment #361745

j2t2

This is where I got my figures

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/281213-cbo-says-obama-health-law-will-cost-13t

It doesn’t necessarily conflict with your NYT, if people are using less.

The report says that higher fees included in Obamacare will pay off part of it. This raises taxes, whether or not we call it a tax.

Posted by: C&J at February 15, 2013 7:26 PM
Comment #361762

Doughboy writes; “Republicans are the only reason why Democrats didn’t pass that budget, what with their filibuster.”

It would seem that if one is a liberal dem and their party holds the majority in a branch of government that the minority loyal opposition should simply go home while leaving behind a signed proxy giving the dems authority to vote for them in their stead.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2013 4:17 PM
Comment #361769

Royal Flush-
Pathetic. Minorities in the Senate operated for decades without this procedural crutch. It was taken for granted that the party with the majority of the seats would control the chamber in question.

Once, the tougher predecessors among the Republicans were willing to go through the effort of A) unseating their rivals, and B) persuading the more conservative of the members of the other party to go their way on votes.

The voters and the constitution put you in this lousy position, but for the most part, that happened because your misjudgments while in control were so profound that people lost heart in your ability to function. Since then, your people have made a habit of losing even supposedly locked down elections, thanks to the fact that you field such radical and obnoxious candidates.

You could, if your leaders weren’t so lazy, so entitled, appeal to several of the Democrats on the other side, and get them to defect on critical votes. You could mount campaigns in their states to force public opinion against them… Ah, but instead, you take the cowards way out, and just prevent votes.

Nobody would blame you for falling short, if you demonstrated the same party discipline you do with filibusters. They would know what you voted for, and you could do with our policy, what you already have been doing, and that is, blame anything bad on it.

And if you happened to win back enough seats eventually, you’ll have given yourself the gift of being able to actually legislate. Because you know what? I might think it’s petty to block the other side’s agenda whole sale by less than majority means, but here isn’t a Republican out there who can claim, and have people keep straight faces, that the filibusters they inflicted on the Democrats, can’t be inflicted on them. I wouldn’t put it past you to hypocritically strike that procedure down, or modify it, but really, you’ve filibustered just about everything the President’s done, or the people he’s tried to appoint.

You have no defense against this, unless you completely flip-flop on the issue.

C&J-
The insidious lie in your argument should be plain for anybody to see: without substantial government stimulus, there is no ****ing way that job growth would go fast enough in order to get unemployment down to the fives. What we are seeing right now is what happens when you get enough of a stimulus to bounce you out of a recession before it absolutely razes your job market, but not enough to do much else.

In other words, with your diligent efforts to maintain a certain economic policy through the filibuster, this is what has resulted.

You’ve made no serious effort to make the kind of compromises necessary to get a jobs bill to the President that he’ll actually sign, and the Senate will actually pass before then. You’re living in a fantasy land where budget cutting creates immense growth. But nowhwere has that actually occured.

You can’t go out of your way to exercise power, and not share in the blame for the situation. More to the point, you can especially not avoid it when you deliberately sabotage any other methods of stimulus, and provide no real alternative. You’re getting what you wanted, and you hate the results, and that is the sickening irony of it all.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2013 7:14 PM
Comment #361771

Stephen

You seem to be sure that government stimulus rents jobs. I say rents because you seem to think that continued stimulus is required to keep things going. This is unsustainable.

I know you enjoy being enraged, but I really believe that additional stimulus will not permanently increase employment. I do not believe President Obama job bills will create jobs. That is why I am not enthusiastic about additional jobs bills.

How can government stimulate jobs? Targeted infrastructure works. Obama talks re but doesn’t do a good job of making it happen. We need to upgrade our ports and freight rail, as well as our oil and gas pipelines. These things could help create conditions for job expansion in the relatively short run. Obama pushes high speed rail, which makes little sense and “investments” in green energy, which may be good but will certainly do nothing to create sustainable jobs in the short or medium term.

He also wants to create a new entitlement in pre-K education. I don’t think this is a good use of money, but even if you assume it is smart, it won’t create jobs for 16 years. He wants to raise minimum wage. Even if you think this is good, it will COST jobs during the next years.

In other words, most of what Obama proposes will not create jobs and may even cost jobs. This is not the stimulus we need.

But if you want to talk stimulus, let’s see exactly what Obama proposes, not this general stuff. It will also be nice if Reid finally passes a budget. You blame Republicans for Reid’s failure, but let him propose a budget and IF Republicans filibuster, let’s fight that out. He and you cannot say you do nothing because you fear a filibuster.

Posted by: C&J at February 16, 2013 8:28 PM
Comment #361783

Doughboy wrote; “They would know what you voted for, and you could do with our policy, what you already have been doing, and that is, blame anything bad on it.”

I will not resort to Doughboy’s nasty language and simply laugh at his incredibly hypocritical comment. With a memory of convenience, Doughboy forgets the constant and ongoing drumbeat with which the obamaites blame everything bad on Bush or the other party.

Beyond that, his comment illustrates disturbing infantile thinking. It is outrageous to suggest that the minority should just go along to get along even when they know a policy is damaging to the nation. That is cowardly and worthy of contempt. We, the People, always pay the price for lousy legislation. To ignore the pain inflicted on the people by saying that the politician will pay a price is just disgusting.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 17, 2013 3:19 PM
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