Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama's Idealistic Hypocrisy

Why has Obama's promise of redistribution and collectivism turned into a special interest hay day? We all remember how Obama told Joe the plumber that it's a good thing to spread the wealth around. There is no question that Obama is a firm believer in redistribution policies, and most all his policies have that stated goal . But, are they really doing what they were intended to do? Let's take a look at the stimulus bill, and it's structuring and timing. In fiscal year 2009  the stimulus money was distributed to twenty five congressional districts, and only eight of those are either represented by Republicans or Blue dog {Fiscally Conservative democrats}. Is that their idea of an egalitarian utopia? Only 24% of the stimulus funds appropriated was spent in fiscal year 2009, while in 2010, an election year, 48% of the funds will be spent, in an obvious attempt to help the democrat majority in the midterm elections. Now let me ask you this, is this a fair redistribution of taxpayer money? Of course there's always a political motive to appropriation bills, but this bill was rushed through to help the America people, and get the economy back on track. But, it's obvious structuring and timing is blatant politics, meant to help democrat Americans and their economy, as well as their representatives.

Let's take a look at the auto bailouts and the bankruptcy restructuring of Chrysler. First of all a bankruptcy of this magnitude should follow established norms, but the Obama administration stepped in and tinkered with the process. Richard A. Epstein in a fine Forbes article points this out. I quote him, "the nonstop political interference of the Obama administration, put it's muscle behind the beleaguered United Auto Workers. It's onerous collective bargaining agreements are off limits to the reorganization provisions, thereby preserving the current labor rigidities in a down market. Equally bad, the established priorities of creditor claims outside bankruptcy have been cast aside in this bankruptcy case as the unsecured claims of the union health pension plan have received a better deal than the secured claims of secured bond holders, some of which may represent pension plans of their own." Does that sound like policy that's good for all, or does it look like a blatant political favor for the unions, that gave their support, and millions of dollars to the president for his campaign, and an unfair cram down to the secured bond holders, and their obligation to the pension plans of many non union workers

How about the health care plan passed by the senate? Once again we have an attempt to redistribute health. Sounds like a noble goal. They will cram down medicare by 500 billion dollars, to pay for a government controlled health care system that will only add about twenty million  newly covered to the insurance rolls and guarantee the insurers whom they love to bash, unprecedented profits because of a mandate that all must buy in. Of course that still leaves about 16 million uninsured, but  these numbers vary depending on whom you ask. They will also tax so-called Cadillac plans, except, once again, for the unions who will be exempt for the next eight years. The trial lawyers, who are major democrat donors are rewarded by a refusal to even discuss tort reform in the bill. So both the elderly, by reduction in service, and non union wealthy Americans will bear the brunt of paying for this redistribution of health.  The process itself is also wrought with favoritism. The two most blatant examples are the Cornhuskers kickback which exempts Nebraska from ever paying for medicaid expansion again, and the Louisiana Purchase which gives that state a $300 million increase in medicaid. These two deals were necessary to secure the votes of Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu. We have seen the conservative state of Nebraska push back at this favoritism as Nelson numbers have plummeted since the deal was made. It's rather Ironic that a conservative state doesn't want to receive special treatment, and seems to be more concerned with fairness than this administration. 

It's clear that  every major policy undertaken by this administration and rushed through congress doesn't resemble their ideal of redistribution. In their mind it's right to tax the rich and redistribute to the poor and needy. But, their policies are good only for those who support and fund democrat candidates, those living in liberal congressional district, and of course the unions. Remember the statement that Biden made during the campaign. "The wealth of the country needs to be returned to it's rightful owners." Well, we have seen who they feel the rightful owners should be. Their policies are directed at rewarding political allies and punishing political foes. Their code of governing is more partisan than any administration has ever been, and their polarization of the country is second to none, as a recent Gallop polls shows.

It's hypocritical to continue to preach class warfare and declare that the rich should pay their fair share, to help those trying to get a hand up. If they really believed that, they would have to admit that they are now the powerful in Washington. The rich, so to speak. If they believe in redistribution they would be giving up some of their political wealth. They talk about the winners in life giving their fair share to the not so fortunate. But, they declared after their electoral victories, We won, so we'll write the stimulus and health care bills. We will decide, as we intrude into bankruptcy court, who gets what,  and what goes where to whom and how. Sounds like those evil rich corporate CEOs  they so like to vilify, and now they want to punish for their avarice behavior. They are constantly talking about the growing gap between the haves and have nots, all the time separating themselves from the will of the people as a ruling elite that declares without reservation, "We know best." While they excoriate corporate America for profiteering at the expense of the poor, they themselves exclude nearly half the American people and their representatives in congress a voice in the process. Their hubris has offended the public to the point of a rebellious insurrection, that could result in this administration going down in history as the Enron of politics, whose fall from the heights of power could be more sudden and dramatic as to become an infamous historical benchmark of hypocrisy. The court of public opinion, {the American voter} will decide their fate..
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