As promised in comments, I read up on President Obama’s health care meeting, ready to pounce on any dissembling. Rather than pen an inferior context graph of my own, I’ll quote the estimable Ms. McArdle:
Obama’s health care plans are very, very expensive, and they mean higher taxes for everyone, not just that elusive klatch of greedy fools who are not in the 95% of working families now allegedly slated for stable or lower taxes. Otherwise, how could Obama hope to pay for it?
I think we found out today: magic!
Were there a function on Babelfish that translated the lively prose of Ms. McArdle into the staid style found in a New York Times news analysis, it would read just like Robert Pear’s article:
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Obama had told the health care executives, “You’ve made a commitment; we expect you to keep it.”
If history is a guide, their commitments may not produce the promised savings. Their proposals are vague — promising, for example, to reduce both “overuse and underuse of health care.” None of the proposals are enforceable, and none of the savings are guaranteed. Without such a guarantee, budget rules would normally prevent Congress from using the savings to pay for new initiatives to cover the uninsured. At this point, cost control is little more than a shared aspiration.
My aspiration is to one day vote for a president who gets the nation to go along with his trillion+ dollar policy proposal by persuading us the trade off is worth it, rather than pretending that there is no trade off. But it seems instead I’ll be forced to choose between Republicans who act as though military spending isn’t real, Democrats who act as though social services spending isn’t real, and George W. Bush, who managed on this issue to be a uniter, not a divider, by pretending that all spending wasn’t real.