Travails of Obamacare

Last week I provided a litany of political cartoons demonstrating the ongoing issues with the implementation of Obamacare. That was so well received that I’ve decided to offer another cartoon series today. The follies of this “landmark” piece of legislation are so legion that cartoons are the most appropriate way of highlighting them, in my opinion. We can begin with a reminder of how this bill became law in the first place:

Force Fed

It’s a given that it wouldn’t have passed the current Congress; Republicans in the House would have stood unified against it. That’s another reminder, if we need one, that midterm congressional elections are just as important as presidential elections.

As the new law lumbers into action, a few kinks have been discovered:

Flowchart

And when things don’t work out as the starry-eyed proponents expected, there’s only one thing to do—that’s right, throw it in the Republicans’ lap and blame them. Why? Because it’s standard operating procedure for this administration:

Fix It

 Made Me Do

Yet, despite this comedy of errors, Obama and his people put on a happy face and say nothing’s wrong. They seem incapable of seeing the train wreck approaching:

 Right Track

The latest news is that many of the unions that were solidly in Obama’s camp have suddenly awakened to the disaster that awaits them if it should ever be implemented. They are crying out for—shall I say it?—hope and change. But again, what do we hear from the administration?

Right on Time

Is this the cluelessness of the ideologically blind or just another example of dishonesty in the hope of fooling the masses one more time? Maybe both?

Political Disillusionment & the Christian Calling

I understand why people are turned off by politics. It seems to attract more than its fair share of charlatans and those who are in it primarily for their own personal gain. Anywhere power and authority exist, there will be those who take advantage of it. Sometimes, the allure manifests itself in grandiose misstatements of facts for purely political purposes. We had a rather obvious example last week on the Democrat side when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, commenting on the loss of seven Marines in an accident in his home state of Nevada, sought to somehow connect the tragedy to the now-infamous sequester. The implication was clear: Republicans were to blame. While he was careful not to phrase it too blatantly, everyone knew what he was doing:

It was a disgusting display, which, again, speaks to the disdain many feel toward politics. For some politicians, there are no boundaries:

No wonder there’s the perception that basic morality doesn’t apply in the political realm:

Then there are the problems on the other side of the aisle. Right now, they’re of a different stripe as Republicans try to find their way in a wilderness of their own making. I commented last week on the RNC report that tossed aside steadfastness in principle for a path of expediency, pandering to society’s cultural trends. The siren song of “change” has an allure of its own, particularly after a stunning loss:

What the party should be doing instead is reevaluating the prevailing wisdom of its mainstream consultant class. The counsel the party has been receiving may be its undoing:

Somehow, these wizards of political genius have never figured out that the media is the enemy, and a clear strategy for dealing with the media arm of the Democrat party [which consists of most of the media] is nonexistent. They try to play nice with the media, believing they will receive fair treatment—but they are always disappointed.

So on the one side we have dishonesty and political gain without any principle; on the other, foolishness and wavering principles. Yes, I understand why there is widespread disillusionment with politics, but Christians have to remain steadfast in their commitment to bringing Biblical principles into all areas of society, politics included. We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of standing aside; we are called to the fray, no matter how difficult.

We are reminded in the book of Galatians, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” We must be obedient to the call.

Negotiating the Fiscal Cliff

Less than one month from now, unless Congress does something substantive, taxes will rise for everyone. If that occurs, the economy will suffer another major hit. Economists are worried that history will repeat itself: during the Great Depression, FDR’s policies never really worked, and at the start of his second term, the country fell into a recession within the Depression. Currently, we have a president in FDR’s mold—only worse—whose policies haven’t worked, and now we’re poised to have a recession that has never gone away suddenly get worse.

President Obama says the problem is not enough revenue. I beg to differ. Here’s the proper perspective on the real problem:

You see, there really aren’t enough rich people to make up the difference. You could confiscate all their wealth and not make a serious dent in our fiscal black hole. The problem is spending. Beneath that spending problem is the ideology that constitutional limitations mean nothing.

Of course, Obama talks a good talk. If you listen to him, he’s a real deficit hawk. Is that why he’s added nearly $6 trillion to the national debt? The claim that he’s fiscally responsible is balderdash on its face, but there seems to be no end to the number of people who will fall for his line. He sounds so reasonable when he promises a “balanced” approach to our financial woes. Maybe people would understand him better if they could see a visual representation of what he means:

He and his party are all about bringing everything to the table for the negotiations. But again, their understanding of what that means differs from how the Republicans view it:

Treasury Secretary Geithner last week revealed what the Democrats are bringing to the table: $1.6 trillion in new revenue from tax hikes; a “promise” of $400 billion in savings in entitlement programs, but talks on that will be put off until next year; another stimulus bill, this one in the range of $50 billion; no limit on the debt ceiling—in other words, we can add debt upon debt without ever saying “enough.”

This is a plan? Where’s the compromise? This reminds me of a recurring image I have from my younger years, found in the comics pages of the newspaper:

Here’s another vivid illustration of what the current negotiations look like:

Obama thinks he can get away with this intransigence because he just won reelection, and he’s well practiced in blaming others for any impasse. Conversely, Republicans are not too good at getting out their message that the president and Democrats are the ones holding up the talks. Republicans fear being demagogued to death and having the American people think they’re the ones responsible for pushing us over the cliff.

The big thing Obama has going for him is that he’s not really concerned about the cliff; his ideology comes first: punish the wealthy and carve out more territory for the government to take over.

Obama is already blaming Republicans for wanting to raise taxes on the middle class. He says the only thing stopping the rise is the GOP’s insistence that the wealthy not pay more. In fact, Republicans are already proposing closing loopholes that would add to the taxes the wealthy will pay. And they are the ones who want everyone to keep their lower tax rates. Yet they are being cast as the evil party that wants to take more of your money. This would make an excellent situation comedy.

What should Republicans do? First, get a spine. Second, since they control the House, go ahead and call the president’s bluff. Pass their own bill that will show the American people they favor giving everyone lower tax rates while dealing seriously with the spending mania, particularly with entitlements. Third, learn how to communicate their policies so it will be clear to all but the most deluded Obamaites that the Republican approach is the only way out of our mess.

Put Obama on the defensive for a change. Take control of the message. Time is short.