by Larry Huss
In a recent column Doug MacEachern was describing how President Barack Obama’s Five Pillars of economic recovery were, in fact, crushing employment and America’s small businesses. It’s a column worth reading because it basically cries BS on the extraordinary lies Mr. Obama told to promote his agenda. http://www.azcentral.com/insiders/dougmace/2013/04/18/obamacare-the-fifth-pillar-in-an-economic-revival-that-never-was/ . And if they aren’t lies, then they are proof positive that Mr. Obama understands less about business, jobs and the economy than any person who has ever held public office.
But it was a series of comments in the article about a different politician that caught my eye and rekindled my recollections of another politician. MacEachern noted: "Another of the pillars was health-care reform, about which the president that day said: ‘Major American corporations are struggling to compete with their foreign counterparts, and small businesses are closing their doors. We cannot allow the cost of health care to strangle our economy any longer.’ Four years later we now see one of the president’s top reform architects, Sen. Max Baucus, D- Montana, describing his fears of the approaching introduction of the Affordable Healthcare Act. In a recent hearing, Baucus described the Act to a stone-faced Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, as a ‘huge train wreck.’"
I remember Max Baucus from the early 70’s when he came back to Montana from Washington, D.C. for the specific purpose of running for public office. Max was like many Montana rivers – a mile wide and inch deep. He was uncertain whether to run as a Republican or Democrat but after he purchased his lumberjack plaid shirt and his hiking boots he opted for the Democrats because they were the dominant force in the area of Missoula he then called home. Three decades in Congress and chairmanship of the powerful Senate Finance Committee have not made Mr. Baucus any smarter or any more principled. Chairmanships of Senate committees are based on seniority, not on skill.
Baucus was the primary sponsor of Obamacare, though he had little, if anything, to do with writing it. The man has difficulty stringing together three sentences, let alone 2000 pages. He almost certainly didn’t read it, nor would he have understood much of it if he had. But as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee he was one of the congressional leaders who assured his colleagues and the American public that all of what the president promised, his bill would make reality: Everyone would be covered, healthcare costs would go down, small business would be relieved of the tremendous burden of healthcare under the current system, job creation would abound, and all of this would miraculously occur—in defiance of all known laws of economics—without raising a single tax.
But as usually turns out to be the case with matters arising in D. C. after a few rocks are overturned, the folly and monkey business run even deeper. George Ochenski, a columnist for Baucus’ hometown newspaper, The Missoulian, tied the can to Mr. Baucus’ tail in a recent article: “(T)he law, which is more than 2,000 pages long, was actually authored by Liz Fowler, formerly his top Senate staffer on health care who came to that position after serving as Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs at WellPoint, a multi-billion dollar health insurance corporation. That explains why the measure mandates that all Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS, which is easily the most odious part of the law. But it’s a huge boon to the insurance industry and would force as many as 32 million citizens to purchase health insurance – with or without government assistance.”
Ochenski continues: "What’s even more puzzling is why Baucus would criticize the implementation of the law when Fowler left his Senate staff, went through yet another D. C. revolving door, and was hired by the Obama administration specifically to implement the law as the deputy director of the Office of Consumer Information and Oversight at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Apparently Fowler, who had no problem writing a bill to massively enrich the health insurance industry, somehow can’t figure out how to spin that simple and inescapable truth to the public who must now live under that mandate."
He concludes: "Baucus is right, a "train wreck" lies ahead. But remember it was Baucus who laid the tracks, built the corporate-friendly locomotives, and sent them barreling into the lives of every citizen nationwide. Suddenly he realizes the bridge to his re-election is out – and try as he might, pulling on the whistle won’t avert the impending disaster."
So, what is it that Baucus proposes to do about this train wreck? As chairman of the Finance Committee, He presided over the writing of Obamacare. He has the same resources available to him to correct its flaws. But what he is going to do about it is precisely NOTHING. Having expressed his dismay that the creature he helped create is a monster, Mr. Baucus is now washing his hands of any responsibility by retiring. Would that he had done so at the end of his last term.
Baucus is but one of the hallelujah chorus of snake oil salesmen who inhabit Congress. They will say anything, do anything, and repeat anything to gain and hold power. They will ignore the obvious while staring wide-eyed at the camera and stating, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" And when the obvious proves to be true, they are the first to denounce that which they created, or else run from it as from a burning house.
Can there be worse human beings on this planet than those who inhabit Congress? Max Baucus, take a bow.
"Somehow it became a conventional view in contemporary American politics that it is non-urban conservatives who in every case have to accommodate their beliefs to a national culture created by people who live somewhere else. 'They' must adjust on abortion, guns, school prayer, sexual mores and all the rest of it. Liberals, meanwhile, not only feel no need to concede anything but use the commanding heights of the press and academia to define anyone who dissents from their ever-evolving national culture as a political fringe obsessed with people, one might say, who aren't like them."