And what a learning curve it’s been.
This may come back to haunt the Democrats; I certainly hope so. We’re always told not to sign a contract without reading and studying every word. Well, HCR was one whopping big contract that the Democrats signed by proxy for the American people, on the advice of slick con artists Pelosi and Obama.
Under ordinary circumstances a great deal of time would have been taken for the task of designing a major bill with huge consequences for the public and the economy. But Obama and Pelosi and Reid couldn’t risk taking that time; they didn’t want the voters or the leaders’ Congressional underlings to read it and figure out what might actually happen as a result. So no real debate, no Republican input, and no care was taken. The bill seemed to spring fully-formed from some leftist bureaucratic Zeus’s head.
But all of the deliberation and conferencing that were bypassed for this law aren’t ordinarily entered into merely to create some nicey-nicey bipartisan cover, but to actually iron out legislation that might make sense, be coherent, and do what it’s intended to do. The lengthier and more deliberative process at least has a chance of protecting we the people from those who pass the laws on our supposed behalf. But the focus for this particular bill wasn’t so much on what it would say or what it would actually do to the public or the economy, but on constructing it in such a way as to game the CBO system and get the votes in Congress.
Now we discover embarrassments involving who may get subsidized and how much they will have to pay anyway (Althouse thinks Americans will “freak out” when they find out), who is exempt from paying the individual mandate penalty (hint: maybe Muslims), how the bill will hurt large corporations such as Caterpillar and Deere and AT & T and make them lay people off, and how much uncertainty the whole thing will add to the economy (economies don’t like uncertainty).
The WSJ says it warned the Democrats:
Turning over every couch cushion to make their new entitlement look affordable under Beltway accounting rules, Democrats decided to raise taxes on companies that do the public service of offering prescription drug benefits to their retirees instead of dumping them into Medicare. We and others warned this would lead to AT&T-like results, but like so many other ObamaCare objections Democrats waved them off as self-serving or “political.”…
What’s more, now that the CEOs are objecting, the Democrats would like them to shut up about it:
Democrats don’t like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet …
The Democratic political calculation with ObamaCare is the proverbial boiling frog: Gradually introduce a health-care entitlement by hiding the true costs, hook the middle class on new subsidies until they become unrepealable, but try to delay the adverse consequences and major new tax hikes so voters don’t make the connection between their policy and the economic wreckage. But their bill was such a shoddy, jerry-rigged piece of work that the damage is coming sooner than even some critics expected.
This highlights the abysmal economic ignorance of the Democrats in Congress, as well as that of our very own president. They don’t seem to recognize that there is a financial reality that cannot be stopped by spin and words (although spin and words can get bad legislation passed by “hiding the decline”), that once this bill is actually let loose on our gasping and choking economy there will be actual real consequences in the actual real world, and that these things will not be hidden or blocked by Obama going out on the road again to tell us, as he pisses on our leg, that in fact that wetness we’re feeling is just the gentle touch of a soothing rain.
[NOTE: You might call the revelations of these unintended economic consequences a kind of poetic justice---as in Kipling's "Gods of the Copybook Headings":
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!]