Thursday, August 06, 2009

Heathcare, Seniors, and Taxes

Scroll for Updates! Things get ugly at Townhall meetings!! See below!

Karl Rove has an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about why things seem to have gone oh so wrong for Obama on health care:

We see this on health-care reform, which the president’s pollsters told him—six months into the debate—he must instead call “health insurance reform,” a phrase he repeated five times in his prime-time news conference and at least 20 times in five days of appearances since.

The problem is many Americans remember Mr. Obama started his health-care push by focusing on covering the uninsured and reducing costs, not knocking insurance companies upside the head.

Public support for his plans shrank when Americans saw the trillion-dollar-plus price tag, recoiled from the intrusive expansion of government into patient-doctor decisions, and came to understand the plan was financed in part by huge cuts in Medicare and large tax increases.

So, after running into heavy opposition among Congressional Democrats and growing public hostility to his plan, Mr. Obama has now recast the debate as an attack on insurance companies, with the president serving as savager-in-chief. This would be more credible if he hadn’t surrounded himself with insurance CEOs and lobbyists when he kicked off his effort in March.

Many of you might remember when I posted about the name change from "health care reform" to "health insurance reform," but I had totally forgotten that Obama had insurance CEO's and lobbyists standing by him as he began this push for health care reform.

I bet those guys are feeling pretty stupid about now.

I also hadn't realized that Obama's plan included large cuts in Medicare. Well, no wonder all these seniors are showing up at all these townhalls. It makes even more sense now. Elderly people understand that when it comes to the rationed care we will be getting with Obamacare, they will be the first to be denied aggressive care. Better to give them "a pain pill," as Obama has said.

Karl also notes how Geithner and Summers refused to rule out middle-class tax increases on the Sunday talk shows, and Gibbs had to do some backtracking:

This dispute pits the economic team against the campaign team. The economic team awakens each day worried about reconciling two irreconcilable realities: The administration’s budget calls for huge, sustained new government spending, which threatens giant budget deficits. Being liberals, the economic team is inclined to raise taxes, not cut spending.

What the economic team realizes is what the rest of Obama's team refuse to admit. They must raise taxes on the middle class to pay for everything. But since Obama promised God and the American people that wouldn't happen, they find themselves between a liberal rock and a hard place.

But as Rove points out, Obama has already broken his pledge not to raise taxes on the middle and lower class:

On Feb. 4, Mr. Obama signed a $33 billion cigarette tax increase, which fell disproportionately on lower- and middle-income individuals. And the “cap and trade” energy bill, approved by the House on June 26, is a tax on anyone who owns a light switch, uses a car key, or has bought anything manufactured, shipped or sold in the U.S.

And of course the health care bill will be paid by the same middle class he promised he wouldn't raise taxes on:

The House version of Mr. Obama’s health-care—excuse me, “health-insurance”—reform already has four taxes that will largely be paid by people making less than $250,000 a year. There’s $8.2 billion in taxes for using health savings accounts and other tax-free medical savings vehicles to purchase over-the-counter drugs. There’s an 8% tax on employers who don’t offer insurance: The Congressional Budget Office says workers in those businesses would pay the $163 billion cost via lost wages.

Many Americans took Obama at his word when he said he wouldn't raise taxes on them. They were sold a bill of goods. Democrats ALWAYS raise taxes. It is what they do.

Obama was elected by campaigning as a moderate. But he is not a moderate and he never was a moderate. He fooled us. It's that simple. And all those people who believed him because he was so charismatic, so cool, so handsome, now understand that those things don't lead a country. They now understand that he is far left and that is not where they want this country to go.

If these dissenting voices were just Republicans, there wouldn't be a problem. Because we are completely out of power now. But it isn't just Republicans and they know it. That is why they are trying to paint it as if it were.

Update I: Here is video from Gene Green's townhall last night. You tell me if you think this is the kind of debate we need to have. I sure do.

Update II: I want to include this post from Hip Hop Republicans. "The Arrogance and Hypocrisy of the "fake protestors" charge."

Update III: The Union is sending out it's minions to the townhalls now. In a memo sent out on Thursday, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney urged supporters to attend townhalls to counter rightwing "tea party patriots". Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee, also sent out a similiar missive.

They certainly have a right to do this, and we should welcome any and all debate. But so far the most we have seen is some yelling. But since the Democrat supporters have gotten involved it's gone further than that.

At two healthcare town halls last night, one in Tampa and the other in St. Louis, violence broke out. There were six arrests at the one in St. Louis. Among those allegedly arrested were SEIU members. One black conservative was reportedly beaten up by a union thug and had to be taken to the hospital.

Passions ran high in St. Louis because Congressman Carnahan (D) locked out 1000 tea party people and then snuck in SEIU members through a door marked handicapped. You can't keep people out of the townhalls just because they disagree with you. You can't just let in people that agree with you. You work for ALL the people. When people see that they are being treated unfairly, things turn ugly, and it did.

Here is a photo of one Obama healthcare supporter slapping another against it.

Expect more stories like this. When passions run high, these kinds of things happen and it's too bad. I've been at many protests where people argued loudly and passionately, but violence is never acceptable. Never.

But people are scared. Really scared. Let's hope it doesn't get worse.