President Obama’s Quest To Remake America & America’s Gut Check

Only question: Do Americans want America remade? In this weeks American Issues Project column I talk about the choice before America:

While this is very much about Barack Obama personally–his whole life was made for this moment when he would be in the position where he could “remake America”–it’s even more about the American people.

Do American citizens want America remade?

During the campaign, I wrote often that people generally like the idea of change, but not the actual implementation of change and all that it means. Change is a very dicey word and can be a rhetorical double edged sword. The wielder of the “change” mantra must take care not to cut himself. And when executing change, care must be taken that the transition doesn’t descend into chaos. People are used to certain things, and they keep the status quo because it works on some level.

The energy and faith it takes to remake a whole system, requires significant planning and sure-handedness. That is something that has not been existent with the changes coming from Congress and the Administration. But that’s process, the way things are done. What of the actual intended change?

President Obama campaigned on tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans. The upper 5% of Americans were in pretty big trouble, though. Americans were okay with that. Essentially, class warfare worked. That is, the majority of Americans who produced less than the minority of Americans who produced the most were content to take from the minority to meet the needs of the majority.

That sounded wonderful in theory, but now, the same thing, but on a grander scale is being expected of Americans with health care. That is, say 60% of Americans have stellar health care while the rest of the citizenry is underinsured or uninsured either by choice or by circumstance. The American who have insurance are being asked to underwrite the insurance of those who don’t have it either through coverage cuts of their own care or higher taxes.

Americans are being asked to voluntarily redistribute their wealth. While it sounded great when taking from the rich, top 5%, it doesn’t sound so great when it means more taxes for people who already see themselves as struggling. The old Margaret Thatcher quote comes to mind, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Americans are being asked to trade in a known, but flawed, health care system, for an unknown, and by all accounts, equally flawed health care system. The benefits don’t outweigh the negatives, so Americans wonder why change at all? The benefits should be self-evident and the system should simplify. As with all things government, though, the health care proposals are a litany of rules and regulations seemingly designed to compete with the IRS.

Americans are also being asked to suspend disbelief. So when the Cap and Trade legislation is delved into or receives an even cursory reading, scary proposals like retrofitting ones home to sell it come to the fore. And of course, a person sees that his home or his business would be subject to taxation due to energy use. It is another tax. Far from being part of the lucky 95%, the tax scheme seems to penalize everyone and the poor most of all.

A new portrait of America emerges: Everyone drives a Prius made by unproductive unions, lives in old, small homes with special lightbulbs, waiting in lines for health care a bureaucrat decides a person needs, and being taxed for the privilege of all of the above.

Where are the hot rods? Where are the dreams of a home and a pool? Where is the specialist when you contract a rare form of cancer? Where is the exuberant individual pursuing his dreams?

Please go read the whole thing. There are so many great columnists at American Issues. T.J. Brown discusses a health care system Without Doctors.
There’s much more.

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