It wasn't too long ago that everyone was talking about avoiding the next big Federal bailout. Whether we were discussing mainstreet or wallstreet, nobody was in favor of the concept "too big to fail." The next big bailout, however is more meta than the housing crisis. Read on to get my meaning.
Let's start by acknowleging that it took all of a few years to move the U.S. from struggling with healthcare to suddenly imagining it as an entitlement. I am going to be honest here in saying that I am forever thankful that we have access to good healthcare in this country. But I do not believe it has ever been the charge of our Federal Government to be the great manager and provider of entitlements. Whether we are talking about home owners feeling entitled to annual credits for owning property, or businesses feeling entitled to rebates for participating in certain green-du-jour improvements to their facilities, or individual citizens demanding subsidized healthcare. Someone might call me a heartless anti-philanthrop, but the other side of that coin is actually selfishness coming from the people making the demands.There is nothing more hypocritical than wanting more out of a system you pay less into. So before you start telling people you are willing to have your taxes go to pay for entitlements, if you are expecting more out of a system you are paying less into, then you are not on the philanthropic side of that coin. You are on the selfish side. That is just simple math.
Having said lets just imagine that our country was flush with money. Let's imagine that President Obama didn't just reduce his deficit spending trend (he did not ever claim to eliminate it or the debt, but only reduce the rate of overspending), but actually reduced the national debt and we had some sort of ability to pay for healthcare from a federal savings account. Let's imagine it was written into the Constitution of the United States that it was the job of the Federal Government to provide for citizen healthcare and make it affordable and attainable. Hopefully, that puts all of us on equal footing here. And it begs the question, is teh Fed doing a good job?
At the moment there is only a small contingent of Rebublicans challenging the idea that this Federal healthcare thing is not supported by the constitution. They believe Federal entitlements weaken the U.S. and are a well documented weakness of democrazy historically leading to it's demise in some democratic countries.
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.” - Elmer T Peterson
This is the very notion that people want to vote on the side of getting more out of a system of investing less, personally. That selfish notion is easy math. But let's pretend we can all afford to invest more and only ever take out less than we can put in, with the notion that we are investing in the future, not creating a fictional self-sustaining scheme were group one pays for group two while group one litterally feels entitled to live their life within those terms and never climb out of group one and become a part of group two.
All of this to say, even if things were great, Obamacare is litterally collapsing. It is like a house imploding on itself. It's already been "bailed out" by the billions and which is like going down to the basement and hammering vertical beems to hold the above floor up, while the rest of the house is slowly folding in.
So the Republicans in Congress are saying, let's repeal it (that is all of the republicans). If we were investing in that house, they are saying, let's divest ourselves of that imploding sink-hole money-pit. At the same time (and this is where Republicans disagree with each other) some Republicans want to say "We never should have invested in that. That is litterally not our job," while other Republicans are saying "But we have already made the investment. We cannot let this falling house crush people! We need to quickly build a new house!" All of this while the Demorats are still hammering vertical beems in the basement and upstairs trying to hold the walls upright.
I am going to group all of those Democrats in with the people who have a lot tied up in the exchanges or who are currently benefiting from the entitlement/selfish side of the coin (again - I think people will need help from time to time, but go back and watch the movie Cindarella Man and how while that historical figure took benefits from the government during the Great Depression, he knew it was not an entitlement and would not let that harm his family or his character, so he paid it all back once he was able). Here is my hope.
Get out while you can!
The house is falling to pieces. Do not keep squatting in the shoddy house that Obama built acting like someone is taking your house from you. It was a never a whole home. It was a broken dream based on false promises. Whether we want a Federal Healthcare solution or not, this isn't it. You are taking a medical placebo and once you've learned it will not cure you, you want those you gave it to you to change it into something that will cure you. But here is the bad news. It will not. They didn't sell you a cure. They sold you an attitude of entitlement to that cure, a cure they could not deliver.
Back to the point of this blog post: Obamacare cannot be too big to fail
That is the argument I am hearing. That it IS too big to fail. First, I completely disagree. Nothing is too big to fail. The bigger the blunder, the bigger the collapse. Anything else is simply postponing reality. The thing is, everyone is feeling the pain and suffering of the cost of healthcare. But we just got schooled in how big government can only make things worse. So the answer won't be found there. We just proved it. Time to grow up and move forward. We are not slaves to big brother standing with our hands out and our hearts on our sleeves hoping that the next Federal daddy Warbucks will cure what ails us, missing the last Federal Daddy Warbucks. That is misplaced hope. The answer will need to be forms of weening ourselves from the Government treasury, while learning to be captains of our own fate. The Fed should do only what the Constitution affords it responsability to take care of, and our state and local governments should be accountable to us and BE us as we stop voting for platitudes and start refashioning a sustainable future that comes from responsible local feasible action. No more bailouts! In the words of James Taylor, 'Let it all fall down"