President Obama was asked a question in a recent town hall meeting on tax increases in Obamacare. He took 17 minutes to finish his response. Charles Krauthammer manages to dismantle it in about 6 sentences:
I don’t know why you’re so surprised. It’s only nine times the length of the Gettysburg Address, and Lincoln was answering an easier question: the higher purpose of the Union and [of the death of] soldiers who fell in battle.
The president had an easy answer. He could have said: I wanted to make history with health care and to do it, I have to raise your taxes. Sure, it’s not a good time economically in the middle of a recession, but politically, I had to, because I have a majority in Congress and I’m going to lose it in November. End of answer.
…that seven-hour televised exercise had the unintended consequence of showing the Republicans to be not only highly informed on the subject, but also, as even Obama was forced to admit, possessed of principled objections — contradicting the ubiquitous Democratic/media meme that Republican opposition was nothing but nihilistic partisanship.
Republicans did so well, in fact, that in his summation, Obama was reduced to suggesting that his health-care reform was indeed popular because when you ask people about individual items (for example, eliminating exclusions for pre-existing conditions or capping individual out-of-pocket payments), they are in favor.
Yet mystifyingly they oppose the whole package. How can that be?
Allow me to demystify. Imagine a bill granting every American a free federally delivered ice cream every Sunday morning. Provision 2: steak on Monday, also home delivered. Provision 3: A dozen red roses every Tuesday. You get the idea. Would each individual provision be popular in the polls? Of course.
However — life is a vale of howevers — suppose these provisions were bundled into a bill that also spelled out how the goodies are to be paid for and managed — say, half a trillion dollars in new taxes, half a trillion in Medicare cuts (cuts not to keep Medicare solvent but to pay for the ice cream, steak, and flowers), 118 new boards and commissions to administer the bounty-giving, and government regulation dictating, for example, how your steak was to be cooked. How do you think this would poll?
Perhaps something like three-to-one against, which is what the latest CNN poll shows is the citizenry’s feeling about the current Democratic health-care bills.
Krauthammer is the greatest of all columnists. Always read Krauthammer.