A Few Modest Questions Answered
Hi Gil, Can you address some questions?
1. I notice you think Obama a liar. What about Bush and Co getting us into Iraq - no lies there - right?
2. Why are Conservatives so afraid of competitiion - I thought the free enterprise system was all about competition?
3. Have you ever been without health care insurance or has the paper always picked up the tab for you?
4. If the free enterprise system is so great what about these three letter words AIG, BOA, and Citi (alright a 4 letter word).
5. How come Conservatives can see their 401k's become 201k's during a Republican administration but go nuts when there taxes are raised a little..
Thanks in advance for answering these.
Fair questions all. I'll try to answer them.
1. Telling a lie is an attempt to intentionally deceive. The main supposed "lie" that the left clings to over the invasion of Iraq was over the lack of "weapons of mass destruction" found in that country. If the Bush administration KNEW there were no such weapons then that would have been a lie. However, it is more plausible based on the record that the administration was simply WRONG. Intelligence services from all over the world, including our own, believed Saddam Hussein was hoarding chemical and biological weapons. Saddam wanted his enemies to BELIEVE he was hoarding them, so as to maintain his power. He certainly he acted as if he had them. Anyway, it was Saddam who was attempting to deceive and Bush and others who decided trusting him one way or another was a fool's errand. Obama on the other hand, said in 2003 said he favored a single-payer, universal healthcare system. He now says, he favors a "public option." Has Obama changed his mind or is he simply changing tactics and deceptively trying to lead the country down the path of a single government-run health "insurance" system? I think the evidence leans toward the latter.
2. The naivete of this question is quite stunning. Government doesn't exist to compete with private enterprise. It is supposed to exist to play referee among private actors and let the free market work. Government already intervenes too much in the healthcare market, distorting incentives and the transparancy of the costs. The government, state and federal, already regulates the crap out of healthcare for good and for bad. But when it becomes a direct competitor of private health insurance companies it can't help but drive most of them out of existence. Profits and losses discipline the marketplace. What discipline has government ever shown when it comes to controlling the costs of any of its programs?
3. Yes, I have been without health care insurance, when I was younger, like millions of other young people. And today, like millions of other workers, I pick up a pretty good portion of the tab of my own insurance. But then I work in the private sector. Those who work for government entities and their unions have managed much better deals for their own health coverage but only on the backs of private taxpayers. School boards, city and state governments offer very generous health plans to their "workers." This is all the more reason to doubt politicians will have the courage and inclination to tame health care costs. They never have before.
4. I didn't like the bailouts of those companies. And that isn't "free enterprise." When badly performing businesses can rely on the federal government and taxpayers to bail them out, they take financial risks that wouldn't be justified in the "free market." These sorts of bailouts are moving us toward a "state capitalism" that is unjustified and dangerous. (See George Will's column below.)
5. It isn't just conservatives who had the 401Ks hit by the financial market crash. A lot of Independents and liberals got socked too. It wasn't a Republican adminstration that caused the market crash but politicized government entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that helped drive it. The markets have been chastened a great deal by what happened last fall. But politicians like Barney Frank and Barack Obama have not. They have more faith in themselves and the government to run things than ever. Fortunately, a good number of taxpayers are standing up and saying "WHOA!" Whether these vocal citizens will be enough to stop the liberal intellectual class from their grand plans of taking more and more control of the U.S. economy remains to be seen.
Paul, you're welcome.