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Friday, June 19, 2009

Rushing to Radicalize

I've noticed a pattern in the manner in which the president frames each and every one of his policies. No matter the policy proposal, ultimately, it must get done immediately. That's what we heard in the debate over the stimulus. It was passed at lightning speed because, presumably, our economy would crumble without it. Since then, we've spent about one tenth of the money allocated so far. It appears we needed to pass it right away just not implement it all that quickly.Now, we have a similar call on health care. The president has all but demanded that health care get passed by August. Here's how the president characterized it earlier in the month.
The status quo is broken. We cannot continue this way," Obama said in his weekly address. "If we do nothing, everyone's health care will be put in jeopardy."

The president wants a health reform bill that covers all Americans on his desk by August, reaching for a goal that has eluded presidents for decades -- in a single summer.With cap and trade, the president has indicated he'd like that to be on his desk by October.


Now, the administration is encouraging the same kind of speed for their financial regulatory reform.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner urged Congress to pass the Obama administration's regulation reform proposals quickly today. Testifying in front of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Geithner said changes were needed to rebuild confidence in the U.S. financial system. Debate over the plan and lobbying efforts are expected to occupy Congress for the next several months.


If you've ever been part of your fair share of business deals, you have come across your fair share of folks that try and rush you into decisions. Now, it's a simple matter of salesmanship to create urgency in any business transaction. After all, if you never create any reason to buy now, the buyer will never decide.

At the same time, you know there is a huckster when they dismiss reasonable concerns in order to create urgency. That's what we have here with the president. The president is dismissing reasonable concerns: the enormous power of the fed, the gateway from the government option to single payer, the hidden tax of cap and trade, by creating a sense of urgency. With each of these pieces of legislation, the president eschews the deliberate debate process that is supposed to happen in the legislature in favor of speed meant for emergencies.

How many emergencies do we have? It seems that President Obama's entire agenda is a response to emergencies. What would happen if health care reform passed at the end of 2010 as supposed to this summer? What would happen if energy reform passed at the same time? Would the sky really fall if we actually allowed the legilative process to move along in the speed it was intended? There is a fine line between someone creating a sense of urgency and someone dismissing legitimate concerns using a sense of urgency. The latter is a huckster and that's the president's M.O. in all these debates.

1 comment:

Gail said...

"What would happen if health care reform passed at the end of 2010 as supposed to this summer? What would happen if energy reform passed at the same time? Would the sky really fall if we actually allowed the legilative process to move along in the speed it was intended?"

No, the sky wouldn't fall, but if we take enough time to actually critically examine and evaluate these programs, we will reject every one of them. That is the urgency. If we don't buy it before we discover it is rotten, we won't buy it at all.

Best regards,
Gail S