In last Thursday’s column, Paul Krugman admitted to having fun watching “right-wingers go wild.” One of the things that apparently delighted him was this map which Sarah Palin posted on her Facebook page:
Each of the cross-hairs represents a Democrat from a conservative district who voted in favor of health reform. Immediately after highlighting the map, Krugman wrote:
All of this goes far beyond politics as usual…you’ll search in vain for anything comparably menacing, anything that even hinted at an appeal to violence, from members of Congress, let alone senior party officials….to find anything like what we’re seeing now you have to go back to the last time a Democrat was president.
I applaud his decision to open up some off-shore drilling sites (don't really understand why he sad "yes" to the Virginia Coast, and "no" to certain areas in Alaska-couldn't be politics, right?) to help reduce dependence on foreign oil. On the surface it appears he's trying to make nice with the Republicans, but will it anger his own base?
Under post-Enron accounting rules, the corporations were required to revise their projections to account for the effect of Obamacare on their bottom lines. The effect is negative because Democrats, in their zeal to raise revenues and improve Obamacare's claimed effect on the federal deficit outlook, took away a tax break these companies needed in order to supply prescription drugs to their retirees. The tax subsidy, itself a government accounting ruse crafted in 2003 by the Republican Bush administration to dissuade corporations from dumping their retiree drug benefit programs on the then-new Medicare Part D, becomes taxable under Obamacare. Corporations are now being reminded of the harsh truth: What Big Government giveth, Big Government taketh away, too.
According to the American Spectator, top White House advisers reacted with angry phone calls to the corporations in question. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., issued harassing document requests and demanded that the chief executive officers appear before his committee next month to answer for their sins. These corporations, which legally owe an honest reckoning to their shareholders, are only doing their duty by restating projections. By contrast, Waxman and many of his fellow Democratic leaders in Congress have used every government accounting and budget gimmick at their disposal to deceive Americans for the last year about the true costs of Obamacare. These Washington politicians have no business lecturing CEOs on honesty in accounting.
On the one hand, it has found in the health-care legislation a paradigm of how to pass a bill that polls below 50 percent, authored by a Congress that polls below 30 percent and championed by a President that polls below 50 percent, without a single vote from the opposition: legislative gymnastics; picking up reluctant Democratic votes with promises of financial largess, executive orders, or personal perks; galvanizing a compliant media to champion the "success" and "momentum" of the president; and ridiculing as racist those who oppose the bill, comparing them to opponents of the landmark civil-rights bills of the 1960s.
In theory, energy and immigration bills could be cast in the same light and rammed through with the same procedure, perhaps even in the Senate. But on the other hand, it is hard to see the president's polls improving enough to prevent an implosion in November. Even apparent legislative success brings no lasting political rewards, since the majority of voters will resist things like cap-and-trade and amnesty even more than they did health care. The more Obama advances out on the plank, the more his supporters applaud his progress, the more the frail board will start to bend, crack, and break.
The point when liberal Democrats most applaud his momentum and progress will probably be the same moment when things implode — sort of like the proverbial army that rushes headlong well beyond its base of support, emboldened by a sense of progress, unaware that each step forward is further isolating it and winning it a host of new vulnerabilities.
“When you actually look at the bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas. I mean a lot of commentators have said this is sort of similar to the bill that Mitt Romney, the Republican Governor and now presidential candidate, passed in Massachusetts.
“A lot of the ideas in terms of the exchange, just being able to pool and improve the purchasing power of individuals in the insurance market, that originated from the Heritage Foundation…”
Why would you mention a program that isn't working as intended, costs more than anticipated, and gets poor marks from the people who use it to make your point?