Building a leaner USA?

From Med-Events:  “The demise of the public sector union is an essential ingredient in rebuilding a leaner USA which can continue to grow and prosper”.

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“Building a leaner USA” is an extremely problematical issue loaded with bombs and traps. The theory is that cutting back on government expenditures would lead to a better cost/benefit.  In fact the real chances of this happening EVER is vanishingly small, regardless of Republican rhetoric, for the following reasons:

1. In order to achieve the desired lean-ness, government programs must be cut.  Some say to the bone. At least 80% of the expenditures of government are entitlements:  Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other benefits accumulated by voters who have paid premiums for them though their working career.  The voting public seems to agree with cutting back to a lean USA……..until they, themselves, feel the pain. Cut Medicare for oldsters eating cat food to afford their hypertension medications?  Cutting Social Security benefits for oldsters that paid into it their entire working careers?  I don’t think so. When voters feel the pain of proposed (Republican) cuts, they will do what they did in 2010.  Any congress person that actually gets identified as being part of a painful cut will be a one term, or part of one term sacrificial lamb.

2.  Even if the congress (or the President) had the balls to make these cuts, which they don’t, NO ONE can (or will) agree on how to accomplish it. Simpson & Bowles came up with the most fair and equitable system of spreading the pain yet and they all said it “needed more study”.  That means they support all measures to lean out the USA until it comes time to actually go on record as voting for one.  See # 1 above.

3.  Former gov. Romney has not to date actually uttered a formal plan for the economy other than broad generalizations he doesn’t have to personally defend to voters. His plea is “Elect me and I’ll stop everything Obama is doing”.  The same Obama that is at least holding some degree of defense on an economy that was headed into the ground at the speed of sound in October of 2008.

Exactly what would Gov.Romney do different than Mr. Obama?

a)  Cut “government spending”?  Cut exactly what?  Medicare?  Social Security?  Government Pensions? Government employment?  Does he expect that all those directly affected by such cuts would smile broadly and say: “I’m proud to tighten my belt for the good of the country?  Not likely. As Gil will tell you, every innocent bystander that got hit over the head by a cop at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago became an instant radical protester. This is precisely why Gov. Romney is being very vague as to exactly how he plans to cut costs. He’s hoping the disaffected 8+ percent of unemployed will sweep him into office?

b)  Abridge the reproductive rights of women? Those so abridged will collectively squeal like pigs in hot oil and the media will broadly cover all of it. And of course none of the Santorum-like plans will stop one single abortion from taking place. It will simply establish a freely moveable cottage industry.

c)  Make Government more transparent and visible to the voters? I seem to recall promises like that in 2008, few of which came true. Few will come true for Gov. Romney either in the unlikely circumstance he’s elected. Obama thought he could bring a new paradigm to the Presidency on the basis of his organizational ability and personal magnetism.  He didn’t change it, it changed him as it would Romney. Romney’s experience and expertise is in a business realm where he can make decisions that affect others that are hamstrung to do anything about them.  The government isn’t Bain. It doesn’t work that way in Politics, and it definitely won’t work that way for Gov. Romney.

Gov. Romney is a weak sister consolation prize that shuffled out of the worst slate of would-be candidates in history (Sarah Palin in a class by herself). Republicans speed-dated through some of the most incredibly offensive candidates ever trying to find anything better than the inevitable Romney and finally gave up. Those that now smile broadly and extol Gov. Romney as the savior of the country do so not-so-convincingly through gritted teeth.

The stark reality is that no one can fix the problem in the economy because no one is willing to sink with the painful cure. Obama puts it off by priming the pump. Romney would hasten it by cutting off flow to the pump. No one in congress wants to go on record with supporting the cure and then facing the pain.  There is only one way the economy will be fixed and that’s when it crashes and burns and we’re forced to start over from what remains. That day will come regardless of who wins the Presidential race in 2012.

 

Answers to some comments:

Comment:  You may be partially correct in this claim but there is enough

waste in the federal government that some reductions could occur that

would help reduce the deficits and out of control spending.

Since most of the “waste” is spent on entitlements, and assuming that entitlements are inviolate (they are), then reducing any other wastage does not amount to any meaningful savings. Like your argument that taxing the super rich won’t actually bring enough money in to matter. Give me some idea who is willing to come out for reducing Social Security?

The future medicare spending could be reduced by setting

an age limit and shifting to a less costly program.

And that’s exactly what’s in the future. The only problem is getting it done without a trail back to who is guilty of making those changes. that issue has not been resolved, so those changes won’t happen anytime soon if ever.

I expect my President to lead. Obama is not a leader. He is a spender,

a radical socialist, and a finger pointer to others but provides no

leadership unless it is for one of his socialist programs.

Watch out now, there is no convincing evidence he is a radical anything. He is spending to prime the pump to keep things going. Not the same as idle spending just to spend. And a socialist program like that in Sweden is definitely not in force in this country.

One of his bigger failures is his inability to submit a

reasonable budget that even his own party can support.

Then I must ask exactly who would be capable of submitting a budget that would pass this congress, each and every one of whom is only interested in doing whatever it takes to insure he or she is not blamed for anything.

Romney is no different that Obama in this respect.

Every program that Obama wants only increases

spending but really doesn’t solve any problem. Obama

Care will bankrupt this nation.

Well, that’s arguable. Look at an analogy. “Life Support” in an ICU. We keep sick patients on ventilators and other modalities while a healing process occurs, then take them off the support when the healing occurs. Were it not for the machines, the patient would die before healing is accomplished. Obama is keeping the support for business open so it can function until better times takes over support. If ever. The Republicans want to discontinue the life support and hope the healing process occurs without it. I say unlikely.

Change the system to promote primary care in the non-hospital

setting, eliminate the EMTALA Laws, and enact TORT

Reform and I will support some better version of the Affordable Care Act.

None of most of the above will happen in our lifetime, if ever.  Exactly who will eliminate EMTALA?  It’s a technocracy now. No one can identify who is making the rules so they can’t be found to change them. Lawyers make the laws. Tort reform will never happen in our lifetime and beyond as long as there is a demand for tort actions by the public, there will be lawyers to fulfill that demand.  The Affordable Care Act of 2008 is a better deal than a huge portion of the population risking a lifetime of financial ruin and progressive loss of health insurance due to unrestrained cost.

 

Medical Care including reproductive rights are a private matter

between a patient and their doctor. Get the Democrats to support

this and I will support the democrats that comes out for this.

The above does NOT sound like Santorum who proudly proclaims he’s the only real conservative. I will support the Republican version of this when they tell Santorum he’s out of line and to buzz off.

GWB made some mistakes. However, He was responsible for

making this country safer from terrorist acts.

Iraq, a country with a two bit tin horn dictator that had no interests in the USA and ignoring Saudi Arabia, home of every one of the 911 terrorists?  By attacking Iraq KNOWING there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Obama has had 3.5 years to work on some problems.

He has been a miserable failure.

Well, everyone knew this issue was not going to be resolved in four years, or ten years or ever. We’re all guilty of inappropriate optimism. No power on earth could have resolved this issue in 3.5 years. Certainly not McCain.  Romney has the same inappropriate optimism.

Let’s argue just for grins that Romney is elected in 2012. Here’s exactly what will happen.  He will be in office for about two weeks and he’ll loudly exclaim that the economic situation is infinitely worse than he or anyone else could have known (because of the incompetence of the previous President).  So it’s unfortunately going to take a little longer to fix so he calls on the Democrats to work with the GOP to get things done effectively. The Democrats sneer that Romney is an idiot and he can’t fix the situation because he’s incompetent and he won’t be able to fix anything anyway because they (Dems) will throw the full force of their influence to insure he doesn’t. Then in 2016, each party will start the cycle again.  Does that sound familiar.

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