There’s been talk that our Dear Leader might be over exposed. Back in the day, the President would rarely give a big speech or a big interview. Then when he did, you knew it was important. This President seems to call a prime time address everytime his poll numbers run into trouble, which is why I don’t totally hold it against Fox for airing “So You Think You Can Dance?”
This past Sunday spoke to FIVE different Sunday shows (he skipped Fox because he’s afraid of people who are critical of him), then finished it off with a trip to the growing ideological David Letterman. He didn’t break new ground our announce a new policy shift, as much as he kept pushing a health care plan people don’t like, using the same talking points people aren’t listening to.
Well, not everybody isn’t listening. Thankfully my role model Karl Rove was paying attention, and here’s what he heard…
Take, for example, his dustup on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” over whether requiring Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine was a tax. Legislation in the House and Senate defines it as a tax, and Mr. Stephanopoulos said it fit Merriam-Webster’s definition of a tax. But the president insisted it was not a tax. That’s because by favoring the mandate Mr. Obama is breaking his pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. He already signed a cigarette tax increase in February, but this tax could be as much as $3,800 a year for a family and is therefore a more material breach of his promise.
On “Face the Nation” Mr. Obama said he would pay for two-thirds of his health-care proposal by redirecting Medicare funds that are “just being spent badly.” “This is not me making wild assertions,” Mr. Obama said, “waste and abuse” can provide “the lion’s share of money to pay for” health-care reform. If that is true, Mr. Obama could flip the health-care debate to his advantage by offering a stand-alone bill that would cut the $622 billion from Medicare and Medicaid that he sees as badly spent. Such a bill would show that Mr. Obama can be trusted when he says overhauling health care will be painless. But the White House won’t do any such thing because those cuts aren’t easy to make. If they were all “waste and fraud” they would have been cut already. And such a bill would force Democrats to either stick with the president or side with constituents who would be hurt by the cuts.
Mr. Obama opened a different can of worms on “Face the Nation” when he told Bob Schieffer health insurers and drug companies “are going to have to be ponying up” more in taxes because “they’re making huge profits.” Everyone except for the president seems to know that such a tax increase would be, in Mr. Schieffer’s words, passed “right on to the consumer.” That would drive up health insurance costs for everyone. How does that help the middle class afford health care? Mr. Obama’s dig at profits reveals a certain disdain for markets. Health insurers have a 3.3% profit margin, less than the 4.6% average for all businesses in the country. Drug companies do enjoy, on average, a 17% profit margin. But that’s still less than software companies, which earn on average a 22% profit margin. Brewers make 18%. Are these industries the next targets for a revenue hungry Obama administration?
These are all excellent points that I wish were being made by someone on our side OTHER than a columnist from the Wall Street Journal, or a blogger who doesn’t like pants.