Last Sunday we witnessed what has repeatedly been called a "historic vote" in favor of universal health insurance coverage. I felt compelled today to …
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Last Sunday we witnessed what has repeatedly been called a
"historic vote" in favor of universal health insurance coverage. I
felt compelled today to offer another point-of-view.
In the 21st century we need to shift our thinking on which
Congressional or Presidential action we consider "historic". In a
time when the rest of the world is moving rapidly to catch up with
us economically, we should not label another massive government
spending bill which locks us into spending trillions of mostly
borrowed money, as historically positive.
Such spending puts even more strain on an already strained
economic system. We simply can not afford to stress the US taxpayer
and the US budget any more, even when economic growth returns.
The only way Sunday's vote was "historic" is in that this is the
same old thinking we've seen from Washington since the 1930s.
Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and others have
continually thought in a very simple and two-dimensional way: If
there is a perceived problem in our land the solution is to create
a government program and require government mandates to address the
issue. If the public doesn't want it, force it on them. This
represents a playbook based on yesterday's thinking and is not
"liberal" or "progressive". This thinking is actually illiberal and
New thinking is needed. It is distinctly possible that we need
to begin to consider a Congress "historic" when it does not pass so
many big laws and programs. Maybe we should label "historic" any
action which unleashes American ingenuity rather than nudging and
pushing Americans into certain behaviors. Putting us in-line with
Europe and Canada on health insurance or any other major issue will
not enhance our competitiveness around the globe.
So, in November and all elections moving forward, I am going to
examine candidates for truly new thinking and creativity designed
to make us more rather than less competitive in a challenging 21st
century. I invite others to do so as well.
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