The president recorded this week's address from Seoul, South Korea where he's wrapping up his Asian trip. Frankly, this particular address was more of President Obama's double talk. We all remember how during the campaign he excoriated the Bush administration for "outsourcing jobs to India/China, or you choose your favorite country". Now, he's talking about expanding into the Asian markets and expanding our exports.
Of course, the two are exactly the opposite of each other. If our companies sell more in China, Japan and Korea, then they also create jobs there. I am all for his current rhetoric except that it's an exact dichotomy from his rhetoric during the campaign. Beyond this, he pays lip service to free trade but that's it. There's a free trade pact on the table with South Korea and he's done nothing with it.
The president finished the address by talking about his upcoming jobs summit. Politicians hold summits when they want to look as though they're doing something all while having no answers and this jobs summer is exhibit a of that scenario.
Senator Mike Crapo, of Idaho, delivered the Republican response. If you want to know why the Republicans are winning the health care debate, you only need to listen to the first minute of his address. Here's what he said the Democrat's bill will do: drive up health care costs (that's according to the CBO), cut Medicare, increase the size of government by over $2 trillion, increase taxes by hundreds of billions, and "push the needy and uninsured into a FAILING medicaid program", push hundreds of billions in new mandates on the states, and create a massive new government intrusion into health care.
That's a devastating assessment, and it's even more devastating because it's entirely accurate. Crapo spent a couple minutes discussing the plethora of new taxes that would be created and pointed out that most of these would break Obama's pledge not to tax the middle class. Crapo pointed out that spending medical care would go up no less than four times. That's what it appears the Republicans will latch onto and hammer from the CBO's assessment.
Crapo also pointed out that it was a budget "gimmick" that kept the cost below $1 trillion. It was. The program won't start until 2014. The CBO projected from 2010-2019. So, that $849 billion was over 5 years. That makes this plan cost about $165 billion yearly in new spending.
Crapo also pointed out that expansions in Medicare and Medicaid mean more spending burdens on "cash strapped states". Essentially, Crapo took every single Republican talking point against the Democrat's health care proposals and unloaded them all in just over 6 minutes. There was of course nothing new in these criticisms, and that's what make them even more devastating. They've been hammered home since the summer. That's why the latest Fox News poll puts support at 35% for this plan. Crapo, in just over six minutes, summed up why the Democrats are getting beaten so badly in this debate.