Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So, are we getting anywhere?

Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech was okay for a practical, pacifist Christian war president - straight out of Reinhold Niebuhr. Find a way out, Mr. Obama. You can't have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq "keeping the peace". As Niebuhr says, "Goodness, armed with power, is corrupted".

And the health care bill passed last night: No single payer, no public option, no downward extension of Medicare. All it seems to do is close some gaps for those who are uninsurable due to pre-existing health problems - much needed, by the way, but paid for by taxpayers. Taxpayers will also foot the bill for subsidies for low income people who will be required to buy health insurance and pay out of pocket $6,000 to $12,000. So, as I understand it, it's a boondoggle for the insurance and drug companies at tax-payer expense. Wouldn't we get a better deal if the government just ran the program?

And the auto companies and banks are back with their executives making obscene salaries and benefits.

I guess I can't expect even Obama to get the insurance companies, drug companies, banks and auto companies all to play fair and obey the law at the same time in just a few months. Of course it isn't all Obama's fault. Congress - both houses and both parties - appear to be unduly influenced by big corporations.

Maybe Obama has a plan I don't see yet and is biding his time for the right moment as his other hero, Lincoln, was so good at doing. I hope so. If it were up to me I would re-instate the draft, publicly fund and limit campaign financing and revise the income tax laws to make it expensive to be "too big to fail".

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