Opinion

Opinion

Romney should focus on ideology

August 10, 2012

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— There are two ways to run against Barack Obama: stewardship or ideology. You can run against his record or you can run against his ideas.

The stewardship case is pretty straightforward: the worst recovery in U.S. history, 42 consecutive months of 8-plus percent unemployment, declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of another $5 trillion of accumulated debt.

The ideological case is also simple. Just play in toto (and therefore in context) Obama’s Roanoke riff telling small business owners: “You didn’t build that.” Real credit for your success belongs not to you — you think you did well because of your smarts and sweat? he asked mockingly — but to government that built the infrastructure without which you would have nothing.

Play it. Then ask: Is that the governing philosophy you want for this nation?

Mitt Romney’s preferred argument, however, is stewardship. Are you better off today than you were $5 trillion ago? Look at the wreckage around you. This presidency is a failure. I’m a successful businessman. I know how to fix things. Elect me, etc. etc.

Easy peasy, but highly risky. If you run against Obama’s performance in contrast to your own competence, you stake your case on persona. Is that how you want to compete against an opponent who is not just more likable and immeasurably cooler, but spending millions to paint you as an unfeeling, out-of-touch, job-killing, private-equity plutocrat?

The ideological case, on the other hand, is not just appealing to a center-right country with twice as many conservatives as liberals, it is also explanatory. It underpins the stewardship argument. Obama’s ideology — and the program that followed — explains the failure of these four years.

What program? Obama laid it out boldly early in his presidency. The roots of the nation’s crisis, he declared, were systemic. Fundamental change was required. He had come to deliver it. Hence his signature legislation:

First, the $831 billion stimulus that was going to “reinvest” in America and bring unemployment below 6 percent. We know about the unemployment. And the investment? Obama loves to cite great federal projects such as the Hoover Dam and the interstate highway system. Fine. Name one thing of any note created by Obama’s Niagara of borrowed money. A modernized electric grid? Ports dredged to receive the larger ships soon to traverse a widened Panama Canal? Nothing of the sort. Solyndra, anyone?

Second, radical reform of health care that would reduce its ruinously accelerating cost: “Put simply,” he said, “our health care problem is our deficit problem” — a financial hemorrhage drowning us in debt.

Except that the CBO reports that Obamacare will cost $1.68 trillion of new spending in its first decade. To say nothing of the price of the uncertainty introduced by an impossibly complex remaking of one-sixth of the economy — discouraging hiring and expansion as trillions of investable private-sector dollars remain sidelined.

The third part of Obama’s promised transformation was energy. His cap-and-trade federal takeover was rejected by his own Democratic Senate. So the war on fossil fuels has been conducted unilaterally by bureaucratic fiat. Regulations that will kill coal. A no-brainer pipeline (Keystone) rejected lest Canadian oil sands be burned. (China will burn them instead.) A drilling moratorium in the Gulf that a federal judge severely criticized as illegal.

That was the program — now so unpopular that Obama barely mentions it. Obamacare got exactly two lines in this year’s State of the Union address. Seen any ads touting the stimulus? The drilling moratorium? Keystone?

Ideas matter. The 2010 election, the most ideological since 1980, saw the voters resoundingly reject a Democratic Party that was relentlessly expanding the power, spending, scope and reach of government.

It’s worse now. Those who have struggled to create a family business, a corner restaurant, a medical practice won’t take kindly to being told that their success is a result of government-built roads and bridges.

In 1988, Michael Dukakis famously said, “This election is not about ideology; it’s about competence.” He lost. If Republicans want to win, Obama’s deeply revealing, teleprompter-free you-didn’t-build-that confession of faith needs to be hung around his neck until Election Day. The third consecutive summer-of-recovery-that-never-came is attributable not just to Obama being in over his head but to what’s in his head: a government-centered vision of the economy and society, and the policies that flow from it.

Four years of that and this is what you get.

Make the case and you win the White House.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Chuckie's real prescription to Romney-- Lie deeply, and lie often, and because facts aren't on your side, focus on the fairy-tales of trickle-down ideology and extol the virtues of plutocracy.

Abdu Omar 2 years, 9 months ago

Just try to imagine a Romney Whitehouse. He will try first to repeal the health act, nicknamed Obamacare. What will we have if he does? Nothing!! The republicans have no alternative but they hate this law. Come up with something, but better yet, tweak this law into making it what they want. They have no imagination and couldn't come up with their own plan, so change this one to where it is affordable for ALL, not just the wealthy (your only constituents).

Romney has had no good ideas and will not have a house that opposes him, so he should be able to stop Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid in its tracks so that the poor will wither and die. Then all of America will be rich and prosperous.

This is not the time to elect Romney, but we have to point out to Obama that he had better wake up and get this country moving again. He can do that by trying to work with congress and create ways to start the economy. His biggest fault is that he is black and the prejudice in this country reigns strong.

Getaroom 2 years, 9 months ago

The Krauthammer has vividly explained the path that Willard Romney (The Wanna-be-Pretender- In-Chief) should take, the path to greater riches for the already rich and the continued Corporate takeover of the country. What is new with this Republican ideology, it has always been that way?
Tune into Faux Nuz for more of the same bat dung craziness.
Oh! Charles, how we long for the nostalgic Corporate Restaurant on corner and the Corporate farm. NOT!

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

changing the subject because the romneybot is going to implode from all of the different positions the puppet handlers have yanked on him with..... the culture of depending on always roping in the clueless with god, guns, and abortion, and of course code language......people who aren't even smart enough to know what biped on nuanced means......maybe you should go back to watching hee haw or deliverence for authentic dialect coaching....... stop using words above your pay grade......

MarcoPogo 2 years, 9 months ago

"stop using words above your pay grade......"

If you're going to bash on peoples' vocabulary abilities, then you should spell "Deliverance" right.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Not only sagely words, but very fair and balanced. A+

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"but very fair and balanced."

I agree-- a fine example of Fox News channeled.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

This must be part of the ideology Chuck is talking about. (After all, true class warfare includes the torture and murder of tens of thousands of peasants, priests and nuns, right?)

"Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied To Death Squads"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/mitt-romney-death-squads-bain_n_1710133.html

Excerpt--

"In 1983, Bill Bain asked Mitt Romney to launch Bain Capital, a private equity offshoot of the successful consulting firm Bain & Company. After some initial reluctance, Romney agreed. The new job came with a stipulation: Romney couldn't raise money from any current clients, Bain said, because if the private equity venture failed, he didn't want it taking the consulting firm down with it.

When Romney struggled to raise funds from other traditional sources, he and his partners started thinking outside the box. Bain executive Harry Strachan suggested that Romney meet with a group of Central American oligarchs who were looking for new investment vehicles as turmoil engulfed their region.

Romney was worried that the oligarchs might be tied to "illegal drug money, right-wing death squads, or left-wing terrorism," Strachan later told a Boston Globe reporter, as quoted in the 2012 book "The Real Romney." But, pressed for capital, Romney pushed his concerns aside and flew to Miami in mid-1984 to meet with the Salvadorans at a local bank.

It was a lucrative trip. The Central Americans provided roughly $9 million -- 40 percent -- of Bain Capital's initial outside funding, the Los Angeles Times reported recently. And they became valued clients."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

" If these accusations are true,"

Why do you doubt them? It's pretty much a slam dunk that it happened, and the record of these families financing death squads that killed tens of thousands is extremely well-documented.

"they would pale in comparison"

If your assertions weren't so desperately wrong, I'd say "nice try." So all I can say is your hole is already deep, so stop digging. But we all know that digging like a terrier who has a rat trapped in a hole is all you're capable of.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Wow, you really do believe anything that arrives in your email, don't you?

You forgot about the webbed feet, though.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Looks like posts are disappearing again.

(and with Sage going on a birther tirade, how long till he does something to get dissappeared again?)

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

No he shouldn't.

We need for politicians, and regular citizens, to stop focusing so much on ideology, and look at reality, in order to come up with practical solutions.

Of course, he also shouldn't lie about what Obama has said, and oversimplify the political process in order to blame Obama for everything.

"We succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together"

That's hardly equivalent to saying the government is responsible for your success.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

Bozo got it right.

Romney needs to lie and distort the truth to win. He just might do it.

After all, Obama saved the economy, killed Osama Bin Laden, ended the Iraq war, is ending the Afghan war, passed the ACA which was validated by the Roberts-led SCOTUS, and managed the Arab Spring effectively.

Mitt cannot run on the truth and the facts. Trouble is, many of Mitt's positions in the past have been nearly identical to Obama's.

Most everyone knows what Obama was really saying with the "You didn't build that" comment. This plays only with the hardest right in the GOP. That 20% is already in the bag for Romney.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"He believes only The State should be in charge of a country's resources."

I'll take that over giving complete control to the Koch Bros.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Sage, since the two words before "If you've got a business" were "roads and bridges," you're clearly just being another obedient hack in perpetuating this disingenuous misreading.

Meanwhile, you don't see the left trying to get infinite mileage out of this gaffe:

"[Obama] says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Do you hear that one in endless loops and see everyone suggesting that Romney secretly wants to privatize all these functions? No, because that would be a bunch of runaway nonsense and conspiracy-theorizing, which is clearly your forte.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Look up Ockham's Razor. The simplest, most reasonable, and likely explanation is: "That"="road and bridges," because "that"="business" is a total contradiction. Too bad that it's just too temptingly convenient for desperate little minds. Oooh yes, isn't he dastardly and insidious! It must make life really easy and simple to paint villainish caricatures, both literally with your avatar, and figuratively with your accusations, when you disagree with someone. Such a broad sloppy brush is useless for adult discussions but it's all your mind seems to know.

fiddleback 2 years, 9 months ago

Sage, since the two words before "If you've got a business" were "roads and bridges," you're clearly just being another obedient hack in perpetuating this disingenuous misreading.

Meanwhile, you don't see the left trying to get infinite mileage out of this gaffe:

"[Obama] says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Do you hear that one in endless loops and see everyone suggesting that Romney secretly wants to privatize all these functions? No, because that would be a bunch of runaway nonsense and conspiracy-theorizing, which is clearly your forte.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

I suggest you pack up and move to the backwoods of Idaho where you belong. Be sure and take all of your fully automatic weapons with you so some little kid doesn't stumble across it and hurt themselves or kill a playmate. It will be the perfect opportunity for you to set up that pirate radio station and build that bunker for the coming revolution.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

"Most everyone knows what Obama was really saying with the "You didn't build that" comment. This plays only with the hardest right in the GOP. That 20% is already in the bag for Romney."

Pretty much---except for the people who only hear the echo and not the original. That's the reason why the lies have to be repudiated over and over and over again and again and again. Tiresome, I know.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, kind of like Palin's "death panel" claim. There are still people out there that believe that old piece of bull hockey.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Republican economic policy makes buying homes a huge risk as a long term investment

They have established this risk under Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney which of course is easily documented.

It is these two administrations that brought the USA frauds that effectively took down home values substantially.

Why isn't the democratic party reminding voters,taxpayers and homeowners of this monster risk? Sweeping matters under the rug will not protect homeowners and new buyers.

Brownback and other Kansas delegates were in the beltway. Did they warn their constituents of the coming financial disaster?

It was fraud and republican politics not the housing market that destroyed an all American long term investment.

somedude20 2 years, 9 months ago

Blows my mind that any non rich person would even think about voting for ole Mittens. Guess they will ignor all of the info that has been coming out about Mitt's wealth and how he has broken rules to get it. People get pissy about the drop-in shelter and how the poor mooch, well friends, he is the same as them but he doesn't do it for chump change. If you really think that Mitt has your best intrests at heart, you are fooling yourself...look at his track record. Look at the crap that happened when he was running for Gov of Mass while being a resident of Utah (because the taxes are lower, and his cult of course)

Obama is very far from perfect, but this "anything but Obama" train of thought will sink America!

chootspa 2 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations! You're today's ironic post winner.

somedude20 2 years, 9 months ago

Just knowing my audience there Sage! When talking with thinking adults, use words. When talking with women, use politie words. When talking with a criminal, use harsh words and when talking to non-thinking adult children, use pictures, lots of them. "Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?"

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Well a picture IS worth a thousand words.

jaywalker 2 years, 9 months ago

Neither ideology is a track worth running on.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Here's a take on how Obama ought to run, by someone whose understanding of the economy and politics isn't derived through his being a shill for the plutocracy, as Krauthammer is.

Obama, Not Reid, Should Be Taking on Mitt Romney's Tax Record by Matt Taibbi.

"In the case of Romney, what we’ve mostly heard is that he’s a turnover specialist who sometimes creates jobs and sometimes eliminates them – a kind of ideologically-neutral efficiency consultant who takes a cut when poorly-run companies cut out the fat. The Obama ads about Bain have been emotionally effective, but they’re still frustratingly vague about the actual mechanics of these takeovers. We learn from these ads that a bunch of rich guys took over plants and fired workers, but what we don’t learn is how companies like Bain raise the money for those takeovers, why the plants subsequently become cash-poor, how this industry works generally, and not just at Bain.

In fact the takeover method espoused by Bain and many other private equity firms is a lot closer to the Tony Soprano-takes-over-Davey-Scatino’s-sporting-goods-store "Bust Out" model (and we’ll be getting into this more in the magazine in upcoming weeks) than it is to anything like legitimate consulting."

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/obama-not-reid-should-be-taking-on-mitt-romneys-tax-record-20120809#ixzz239r8LgFa"

jaywalker 2 years, 9 months ago

"In fact the takeover method espoused by Bain and many other private equity firms is a lot closer to the Tony Soprano-takes-over-Davey-Scatino’s-sporting-goods-store "Bust Out" model (and we’ll be getting into this more in the magazine in upcoming weeks) than it is to anything like legitimate consulting."

Brilliant bozo. Espouse a plan to take on Romney from someone that doesn't have a clue what they're talking about.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

I've read Taibbi's articles and seen him in interviews. He knows what he's talking about.

I've read your rantings here, and while you occasionally display a shred of cognitive ability, most of the time, you do little more than try to score points at someone else's expense, and you're not even very good at that.

Taibbi has earned credibility. You, not so much.

jaywalker 2 years, 9 months ago

Always returning to the ad hominem well, and yet you choose to dip into the 'credibility' well. Ironic.

And I don't care how Taibbi's come off in other articles or interviews, this was a pile of manure.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh, get off your hypocritical high horse. The majority of your posts contain an ad hominem attack of one sort or another.

And what has your posting in this thread consisted of? Calling the author of the article "clueless." An ad hominem attack, and nothing else.

And I suspect that your judgement of that author rests not on anything he has ever read or written, but merely on the fact that I provided the quotes and links, which was all Pavlov's Poster needed to swing into pump-himself-up action.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

As others are saying: "...The point is that more than any President we can recall, Mr. Obama isn't trying to persuade voters that he deserves to stay in office because of his philosophy, record or positive vision for the country. Rather, his case is that he deserves re-election because Mr. Romney is worse, and he is so very much worse because of things that were invented in the West Wing but are detached from reality. The entire theory of the Obama campaign seems to be that the more outrageous the claim the better, because the more you repeat it the more the media will talk about it, and the lie will achieve a kind legendary truth.


A postmodern postscript: The Obama campaign was at first more than happy to slipstream behind the Priorities USA smear, refusing to disavow the cancer ad and deflecting questions by claiming not to "know the specifics" (Robert Gibbs) or "know the facts" (deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter). But even their professions of ignorance turn out to be false. In May, Mr. Soptic appeared in an official Obama for America ad—"I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message," it concluded. Mr. Soptic told reporters his life story on a conference call, hosted by the Obama campaign and . . . Ms. Cutter." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443537404577577193632921170.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"Rather, his case is that he deserves re-election because Mr. Romney is worse, "

That pretty well sizes it up-- except that they forgot to include that it would also enable the Republicans in Congress to do untold damage to pretty much everything else they can. Not that the Democrats won't do plenty of damage themselves, it's just that the Republicans would be significantly worse.

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 9 months ago

Much of this will be alleviated once Romney's tax records are revealed. And clearing up this mess about the golden magic dancing horse and offseas savings accounts will be helpful in locking in my vote.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

When is Romney going to release his tax returns? What is he hiding?

John McCain knows, as Romney provided McCain with his tax returns in the VP vetting process.

McCain chose Palin, calling her the better candidate Yikes!

We all know Romney is rich, so it can't simply be that. There might be some unsavory things in his returns.

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

I believe Romney will run on his deep conviction to not release his tax returns.

Can any of the Romney supporters here tell us what he stands for and how he intends to achieve his goals? All I've heard is that he isn't Obama, that he doesn't support the healthcare act that was based on his healthcare act, and he believes everyone should be wealthy and pay the low percentage of income taxes he pays. Beyond that...what is there besides hair?

beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

I believe Romney will run on his deep conviction to not release his tax returns.

Can any of the Romney supporters here tell us what he stands for and how he intends to achieve his goals? All I've heard is that he isn't Obama, that he doesn't support the healthcare act that was based on his healthcare act, and that he believes everyone should be wealthy and pay the low percentage of income taxes he pays. Beyond that...what is there besides hair?

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

If the ACA should be repealed, we're going to run into some big problems taking back the parts that have already been instituted. That may be the point where people start to regret what they wished for.

Katara 2 years, 9 months ago

Those are true statements.

People are going to be unhappy when they can no longer help their kids out by keeping them on their policy when said children graduate from college and haven't gotten a job that offers insurance.

People are going to be unhappy when they get dropped from their insurance because they cost the company and they will be even more unhappy when they can't get any other insurance due to their pre-existing conditions.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

But, if it continues over time until all elements are in place, many people will be unhappy with some of the results of that as well.

It was a clever, perhaps purposeful move to institute the parts that most people like first, and save the others for later.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

What parts do you think people won't like?

And can those parts be altered without changing the whole or the good parts?

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I think that the costs of the program will be much greater than predicted, for one thing.

Many people don't like the "tax" if they don't purchase health insurance.

Since many of the provisions won't take effect for some years, and it will take some time after that to evaluate the whole thing, I think it's hard to know exactly what the outcome will be, in a variety of ways.

That's one of the problems for me, and it's why I think people that like the two or three things that have been put into place aren't seeing the whole picture.

Will health care costs go down or not? Will quality improve or not? Where will all of the money for subsidies come from? The subsidies are quite generous, and yet few people will have to pay the "tax". Will the "public-private" combination of health insurance work well or not?

There are some funny aspects to the CBO analysis - it assumes what it's told is accurate, as far as savings, and is only over a 10 year period, of which only about 1/2 that time includes most provisions of the bill in effect. So, what happens in the next ten year period, with all of them in effect over the entire period?

It's just such a large and complicated bill, rolled out over time, that to say we like it because 3 provisions that most people like have taken effect seems premature.

That's a hard question to answer, and it depends on which parts are being discussed. I find the insurance requirement distasteful, and it's said to be an important part of the bill.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to answer.

For the most part I agree with you, but I don't have a problem with requiring insurance due to the fact that the only other fair option would be to refuse care to people who are uninsured and can't pay and I don't think most of us are ready to do that.

My opinion is that single payer would have been the way to go.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Sure.

I think single payer would be better than this bill as well.

Or requiring all health care to be non-profit, as Switzerland did.

Or providing socialized care directly to those below a certain asset/income level, and letting the private sector work freely above that level.

The thing about the uninsured is that a large percentage of them may very well be people like me - I was uninsured for about 20 years, by choice. I took good care of myself, and paid for my own health care out of pocket. Telling otherwise young and healthy people that they have to buy health insurance whether they need it or not is distasteful to me.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

I would disagree about letting the private sector work freely at any level because I don't think it will ever work well for health care.

You took a gamble on health insurance and won. My father took that gamble and lost. He became a strong believer in having insurance at any age. Fortunately that was 60 years ago and we didn't lose the farm. Today would be different and a number of people would lose their livelihood.

I see where you're coming from, but don't agree with you. Young people do get sick whether they take care of themselves or not and do have accidents. I keep my house insured even though I hope to never need it and take care about safety issues.

What would you have happen if a person who chooses not to insure has a catastrophic illness or accident that they can't pay for? The only "fair" thing would be to let them die rather than making those who are not gambling pay for it. Again, most of us are probably not willing to do that.

Do you have any numbers on the uninsured by choice?

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't see why it couldn't work out ok for those with money, who choose to purchase good plans. And, with the low income folks out of the private insurance arena, they'd have to compete a bit more for customers.

Doctors say that most folks from about 20-40 don't need a lot of health care. In addition, I've always been health conscious, eat well, exercise, don't smoke or drink much, etc. So it's not just luck. Also, I don't run to the doctor every time I have a cold.

Well, the catastrophic stuff is a bit problematic, but we could of course require everybody have a catastrophic policy, which would be a lot cheaper, and perhaps more appropriate for many young people. That would be a bit better than requiring comprehensive insurance, in my view.

Or we could just pick up the tab as a society in those situations.

No, but we could do a little research and see.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

"Or we could just pick up the tab as a society in those situations." There lies the problem. We're picking up the tab for those who choose not to participate, which makes our premiums higher. Isn't it fairer for everyone to pay in (and I'm quite sure younger people don't pay as much for insurance as the older).

I'm over 60 and rarely go to the doctor except for preventive care or when my boss demanded that I go so I could get pills and get back to work. I'm pretty sure I've paid more into the system than I've gotten out and part of it is because I take care of myself, but part of it is just very good luck and having the right parents.

So even now, although I cost the system less than a lot of much younger people, I pay in more. I also pay for people who don't take care of themselves. I don't particularly like that, but I'm not sure that much can be done about it. I'm not even sure that I will benefit from ACA.

I'm not necessarily wedded to one particular plan, but I do think if we want to be a first world and a civilized country, we need to have universal health care. I would like to see good sense used rather than bowing to those who are interested only in how much money they can extort from the customer.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm just saying we have options, and it's not a choice between the ACA and nothing.

The private sector works best, in my view, with extremely elastic demand, when people can just choose not to buy something at all. But it also seems to work pretty well with some less elastic demand things like food, clothing, housing.

I find it problematic that I'm paying much more in than I'm using, and apparently you do as well.

The reason for that is the way insurance works - if insurance weren't such a part of routine and preventive health care, it wouldn't be that way as much.

I would also like "good sense" used - I just don't think the ACA is necessarily the best example of that, since it's so complicated and long.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes, of course, we have options. I agree that the ACA is probably too complicated and has a lot in it that probably shouldn't be there.

"I find it problematic that I'm paying much more in than I'm using, and apparently you do as well."

That's the way all insurance works as far as I can see. I pay for the idiot who drives incompetently or doesn't carry insurance as I have to pay for uninsured motorist. I pay for the person who goes to sleep smoking and burns his house down. I haven't even begun to get back what I've paid for in homeowners and vehicle insurance and I have an umbrella policy that I have never collected on. I hope I never will get back as much or more than I've paid, as it means bad things will have happened to me. Insurance means we share the risk.

Whether we do single payer or some other method, some will always pay more than they receive. I don't see how we can get around that. Not doing that would mean that we all just pay for our health care out of our pocket and not have insurance at all.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I think paying directly for basic routine, preventive medical care is a great idea, actually.

Insurance generally covers large, unexpected and expensive things, not routine ones - homeowner's insurance doesn't cover annual HVAC cleaning/checks, for example.

Also, I'd like to see those who take care of themselves get lower rates than those who don't - seems only fair to me. I resent having to pay for people that don't care, and wind up with preventable problems when I'm taking great care not to have that happen to me.

And, if there were a way, I'd rather not pay for the idiot that smokes in bed and burns down their house as well.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Romney really should focus on ideology. It would make Obama's re-election a slam dunk.

headdoctor 2 years, 9 months ago

I figured it is high time for Mit Romney to join the long list of past participants. http://www.faithmouse.com/romney_pancake_stack.jpg

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

You do know that most people here ignore you just like Barack ignores George, don't you? For similar reasons.

camper 2 years, 9 months ago

I am sure glad that President Obama is not an idealogue. I am sick and tired of idealogy. Sick of it because I am guilty of it too. It is what we need less of.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 9 months ago

Is the Religious Rite still Christian?

Many so called Christian ministers have become political activists for right wing causes. These activities seem to drum up a lot of excitement and fear mongering rhetoric about abortion and gays is always well received by a certain part of the population. Sometimes you wonder if their shared hatred of anyone left of far right is their main source of inspiration.

But when you look at the statistics, Christianity is in decline in America and this trend is accelerating. Young people, who are more educated and more tolerant are being turned off by the right wing rhetoric that seems to reward the upper 1% at the expense of everyone else. The Ryan plan seems like the final piece of the puzzle to gut social programs such as Medicare, Social Security and Pell grants in order to give even more huge tax cuts to rich people.

There is a revolt in the Catholic Church by nuns who are willing to stand up against the "vatican" on issues related to poverty, gender and feminist issues. The Catholic Church seems at times to be pushing towards a right wing agenda but is hampered by their own membership which is much more moderate.

The Religious Rite may be inspired by political victories such as those in Kansas but they need to understand that the cost over time may be something they have overlooked.

I think the cost of the Brownback takeover of Kansas government will cost much more in the long run and it may have a profound effect on our religious communities for years to come.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

This could very well be the beginning of the end of the Roman Catholic Church as we have known it. Refusing to change eventually leads to irrelevance. Most people no longer believe that complete subservience to the rule of the Church is required for salvation, so the fear factor is gone and with it the ability for absolute control.

We have become too much a country of civil religion where conservative religion is equated with and married to so-called conservative (in truth, reactionary) politics. The marriage of religion and politics/government rarely if ever turns out well.

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