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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

There Used To Be a Phrase for Folks Like President Obama

We called them bleeding heart liberals. A bleeding heart liberal is an individual of immense compassion. They feel for everyone but they also believe it is the government's role to solve each and every problem. If someone can't afford their health care, the government must provide it for them. If we aren't energy independent, the government must fund our energy independence. If cancer research isn't going fast enough, the government must provide more funding. If someone can't pay their mortgage, the government will subsidize it.

Politically, a bleeding heart liberal can make a very strong case. That's because there is no problem that you aren't ready, willing and able to solve. Of course, almost always, it is in the execution of said policy that things go awry. Make no mistake, last night, President Obama was the definition of a bleeding heart liberal. There was nearly nothing that he didn't think it the duty of the government to resolve. People who couldn't afford their mortgages would be helped. The automakers would be restructured with the help of the government. The banks would be capitalized with the help of the government. The way in which we use energy will be transformed guided by the government. No longer will anyone in this country ever go without having health insurance. Even a broken school in South Carolina is, in President Obama's view, his duty to fix. Don't get me wrong. Education is the government's responsibility, but I don't know that it is so much the federal government's responsibility.

President Obama committed several trillion Dollars last night to fix everything from a cure to cancer, to decrepit roads, to broadband in rural areas, to even fixing a school in South Carolina. Such a massive expansion of the reach of the federal government rivals only that of FDR and LBJ. President Obama has taken to being the antithesis of my favorite Reagan line

the nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help

President Obama wasn't resigned to first navigate our economy out of this recession. In fact, in the view of President Obama, navigating our economy out of the recession hinged on making us energy independent, providing health insurance for all, and making sure everyone had top notch education. Furthermore, President Obama felt it was the federal government's duty and responsibility to solve all these problems all at once. Don't get me wrong. It isn't that Conservatives aren't problem solvers. It isn't that they don't see a role for the federal government either. It's just that conservatives don't believe it is the government, especially not the federal government, that should be solving every one's problems.

This isn't the era of big government. This is the era of a government who's size we can't imagine and likely, we'll never undo. We really have entered a new era. Politicians like President Obama are really a dime a dozen, and Conservatives could easily tag them with the label, tax and spend, (or in President Obama's case borrow and spend) but now President Obama promises everything to everyone, and promises to provide everyone everything himself, and gets overwhelming approval.

I suspect that eventually President Obama will go the way of all bleeding heart liberals. Big government eventually leads to bloated government. That eventually leads to waste, corruption, deficits and higher taxes. Still, it is impressive how well President Obama articulates that which should so easily be derided.

24 comments:

stuiec said...

I thought you were going to say, "jive turkey."

rachel said...

The word I was thinking was more like "PINKO".

Because his heart really only bleeds for those whose votes he can buy, ala ACORN.

Anonymous said...

"Government" must provide for its constituents. That is the sole and singular purpose for which the governed consented to be governed.

Try reading the constitution. This Republic was formed for the COMMON GOOD and GENERAL WELFARE.

When a nation does not employ and care for its people you are living in a third world toilet, which is exactly what the USA has become under Republican rule. There is a class war ongoing and the wealthy have won it.

This is why "government" which is merely an agency for the people, utilizing tax dollars paid by the people (and since Bush II, only middle/low income earners pay taxes anymore) services SHOULD and MUST be provided FOR THE PEOPLE.

The Republican philosophy of "trickle down" economics (which is just a euphamism for "Hooray for me and screw you") has benefited only 1% of the population, while everyone else has suffered.

The USA infrsastructure is crumbling, most skilled jobs have been farmed out to other third world toilets where most populations live in abject poverty on horrifyingly low wages, many Americans are discovering what it means to live on $1 a day if they can even manage that. Health care? Totally dominated by the private insurance industry which profits obscenely while cherry picking the recipients of policies and "affordable" health care.

Perhaps you liked it better in feudal days when large populations simply died of starvation and illness. Most human beings with souls understand that none of us is in this thing alone.

That's why we COLLECTIVELY join forces to pay taxes in order to provide for the COMMON GOOD AND THE GENERAL WELFARE. Governments that take from the poor and give it all to the rich are despotic tyrannies that only cause suffering and misery to the masses and masses of people upon whose backs their great ill-gotten fortunes are wrought.

getaclue.

mike volpe said...

Only if our Republic turned into a Communist state would that last statement be correct. The government is not based on the common good. The government is there to protect the citizenry. That's its most basic function.

The nation is not responsible for employing people. That is a bunch of nonsense. That's what we have industry and business for. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that says that it is the federal government's role to provide jobs to those that can't find them in the marketplace. There is nothing about providing health insurance to those that don't have it. There is certainly nothing about creating an environment for energy independence and absolutely nothing about curing cancer.

You are the definition of a bleeding heart liberal. You see problems in the world and think it is government's job to solve them all.

Anonymous said...

You are incorrect. But probably not to blame if you were educated under the "No Child Left Behind" Act.

Try actually reading the constitution and you will begin to understand why this Republic was formed.

Stoutcat said...

Anonymous: Okay, here's part of the Constitution:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Where does it say PROVIDE EVERYTHING FOR THE PEOPLE? Union? Check. Defense? Check. Justice? Check. General welfare? Check. Liberty? Check.

That's about it. We as citizens should be responsible for pretty much everything else. Want a job? Go out and get one. Want a house? Work hard, save money, go buy one. Need health insurance? Either get a job that gives coverage, or purchase on your own. Want something? Stand on your own two feet and earn it.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Anonymous said...

'decrepit' is spelt with a t, not a d.

Orangutan. said...

Thank you Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

This bleeding heart liberal will be your President for the next 8 years.

Your views are reflective of the out of touch and out of date GOP. Govt are the only ones who can help and restore confidence right now. Tax cuts for the rich wont work all the time.

The GOP have no viable alternative to Obama as a candidate. Did you see the charisma of Jindal - wooaaah!!!

Never mind, you always have the hockey mum who thinks living next to Russia gives her foreign policy experience.

mike volpe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike volpe said...

First of all, I don't hold policy views because they happen to be chic or trendy at any given time. I hold them because I have a political philosophy and that doesn't change even if they happen to be unpopular at any given time. Second of all, neither I nor the Republicans are suggesting tax cuts for the rich only. I want tax cuts across the board and so do the Republicans. I want corporate tax cuts and capital gains tax cuts. I would combine that with cuts in government spending. Nothing instills confidence like everyone keeping more of their own money.

Third of all, there is absolutely no evidence that out of control government spending ever instills confidence in anyone. Never has there been proof that out of control government spending is a blue print to economic success.

Anonymous said...

I for one am absolutely convinced that a national health insurance program can be cheaper and more efficient than a private for profit industry. One thing I don't think enough conservatives consider is that private sector companies, whether individually or as an industry group, aren't much different than a government bureaucracy. At least the government wouldn't have to worry about billing and direct to consumer advertising.

mike volpe said...

Do you have any idea how weak your argument is? Government run health care is cheaper because you think it is. Are you serious? That is the substance of your argument. Lot's of businesses are bureaucratic but none are as bureaucratic as the government.

When people that can't afford health insurance are given it anyway, that is very cheap for them, it isn't so cheap for those that have to fund them though.

Anonymous said...

And what of your own argument? The United States should remain the only western nation with a patchwork of private companies administering health care because "that's the way it should be" and some abstract allusion to government bureaucracy?

There's a lot more to my thinking than "that's what I think". There's the "every other major industrialized nation does it this way without any serious problems" argument.

mike volpe said...

The rest of the western world may have nationalized health care but to say they have no problems is a total distortion. First, the rest of the western world has much larger taxes. Second of all, it takes all sorts of time to get care. In Canada, a Member of Parliament went here to get cancer treatment because it would have taken too long to get treated there. In Britain a lady pulled out her own teeth because the wait was too long.

Frankly, though, I wrote about all of this a while ago. here is the piece...

http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2008/02/fallacy-of-socialized-medicine.html

Anonymous said...

Health care is a right, not just a a privilege of those who can afford it.

Profit focused entities [the health insurers] will act according to the interests of their own shareholders, not the good of the public.

This is the great mistake of America's system of medicine, and they have brainwashed people like you into believing any alternative it better than letting them remain in control of who gets coverage.

Unfortunately, they are so entrenched within your system, that it will be very difficult to ignore them

Your example of the MP of Canada coming to America to get healthcare reveals the fallacy of your argument,

Yes, IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY, you can be quickly taken care of in America. And in a way shows your bias and absolute ignorance of the standard of health care given to American without the money.

Overall, you seem very out of touch with the very real level of suffering in your own country.

You would rather throw phrases around like "socialized medicine" and have blind faith in big business.

Haven't the events of the last year taught you anything about where the interests of big business lie?

I suppose it doesn't matter to you if you have money, but for the many it don't, its a matter of life and death.

Imee said...

In a way, it is the government's problem. But not completely! As the famous saying goes... Give man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach man how to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime. Good intentions, Obama has. However, what he's doing is more of giving fish rather than teaching how to fish.

mike volpe said...

Health care is a right? You will have to show where in the Constitution that is said. health care is no right, and certainly affordable health care and even more extreme, free health care is no right.

Anonymous said...

Health care should be a right for citizens of a country, especially a country as wealthy as America.

Only a heartless person would want to see a family without the money be denied an adequate level of health care.

mike volpe said...

That last comment is the perfect example of a bleeding heart liberal.

Rights aren't determined by the wealth of the country. Those that can determine a right from a privilege are not heartless, they just know the difference.

If health care is a right, what else is a right? Housing, food, clothing, a job. That's how socialists think. They think everything is a human right. Making health care a right is the first step toward socialism.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Your philosophy seems to be based on business-minded selfishness and some kind of nostalgia that everyone benefited from Reagan.

His policies were derided as "Trickle-down economics," due to the significant cuts in the upper tax brackets. There was a massive increase in Cold War related defense spending that caused large budget deficits, the U.S. trade deficit expansion, and contributed to the Savings and Loan crisis.

In order to cover new federal budget deficits, the United States borrowed heavily both domestically and abroad, raising the national debt from $700 billion to $3 trillion,and the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation. Reagan himself described the new debt as the "greatest disappointment" of his presidency.

A blind belief that business will solve most of our problems is mistaken, especially in the region of health care.

Not to mention that you didn't rebut the claim made in another post that private health insurers operate in the interest of shareholders, not the people.

mike volpe said...

Yes, free markets and capitalism are what my philosophy is based on.

I don't know who derided his philosophy, who I assume you mean is Reagan, but he walked into office with both unemployment and inflation heading toward double digits. He left with both below five percent. Those number speak for themselves, and only liberal ideologues still argue that the tax cuts you deride weren't directly responsible.

The deficit was due mainly to increased defense spending. This defense spending lead directly to the bankruptcy of the Soviet Union.

It sounds like the only one deriding Reagan today are clueless bleeding heart liberals like you.

Anonymous said...

I am bleeding heart liberal am I?
I can see the foam coming out of your mouth right now.

Your standards are slipping.

I thought your blog says you don't tolerate name-calling. Oh well...

You Mike are a perfect example of a selfish conservative.

No one said anything about free housing, food or clothing. But of course, one would hope people don't starve, thats why we have soup kitchens.

Your use of the "slippery slope to socialism" scare tactics argument is a typical example of why the Republicans have such a low approval rating right now.

More people are seeing through it and the underlying self-serving nature of the private enterprise will solve everything argument.

Notice the Republican approval lately?

Will you post my reply? I am not sure

mike volpe said...

Are you serious? I don't think I meant bleeding heart liberal as name calling.

It's interesting that you use the slippery slope argument against me and then immediately say that my own slippery slope argument is ridiculous.

I don't have a political philosophy because it happens to be popular at any given time. Besides Republicans have lost favor because they have overspent not because they governed as conservatives, because frankly they didn't.

If people aren't concerned by those that make up rights where they don't exist, they should. Today, there is the right to health care and that makes it that much easier to create other rights.

When you say I am selfish, I assume you mean that government should do more for people. Well, of course, that is called socialism.