I’ve been telling you for several weeks now that Barack Obama wants a financial crisis. And just this week,he amped up the volume. The president went on CNBC and practically begged for stocks to sell off.
However,Obama must be disappointed. Like most Americans,the stock market has learned to ignore this president’s petulant whining. At this point,the only group really rallying to the president is the news media.
If you watched the evening news this week,you’d believe a day without the government is like Armageddon. By listening to the hysterical media reporting,you’d have believed a regime closure signified the end of the world. Fortunately,despite the government shutdown,the sun has still risen each morning since October 1.
Children have gone to school without the Department of Education. Roads,trains and airplanes function without the Department of Energy. I even pumped gas into my car this morning. And Wal-Mart (WMT) is still selling groceries without a functioning Department of Agriculture.
Unless you sell directly to the federal government or you’re somehow profiteering on the taxpayers,you barely noticed that 800,000 federal workers haven’t lifted a finger since Monday. And at over $100,000 in average salary for each federal employee – not to mention another $25,000 to $50,000 in benefits – the shutdown presents an opportunity for real savings!
In fact,America could save a whopping $100,000,000,000 if we simply asked them not to return.
Sounds like a good down payment on the deficit to me.
In All Seriousness,Though…
I believe this gives us a good opportunity to re-evaluate the purposes of government. Some people have been severely hurt. But the reason for their pain is an over-reliance on Uncle Sam. Americans shouldn’t need involvement from Washington,D.C. in order to,say,receive chemotherapy. Apparently,some cancer research is suspended and people have actually been turned away from cancer treatment,and that is the saddest story I’ve heard thus far. But,the reality is that Obamacare’s power grab will put us all at the mercy of government,just as these individuals are during the shutdown.
Look,this entire fight – and the resulting government shutdown – is because of Obamacare. And the salt in the wound is that,after several days of operations,the insurance exchanges appear so poorly designed and implemented that cynics have renamed Obamacare,“Glitchcare.”
Even after fighting through the glitches,less than 1% of people are buying the policies offered. Obama and his crisis team are doing their level best to hide the numbers,but from the statistics we’ve seen so far,one could conclude that the policies are too expensive for most Americans. We’ll see once more numbers are made public,but the way the administration is hiding them,it will likely take multiple and concerted Freedom of Information requests before the data is forthcoming.
In defending the Affordable Care Act,the most pathetic line of reasoning was proffered by Obama himself. He compared these poorly run online exchanges to the Apple iPhone. Here is what he said:“Like every new law,every new product rollout,there are going to be some glitches… Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system,and within days,they found a glitch,so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones … threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”
Obama may believe it’s an effective maneuver to equate Obamacare to Apple,but he is way off base. Apple doesn’t produce a new phone and require that everyone buy it or else pay Apple a hefty fine. Apple doesn’t make you get rid of your current phone and then control how you use your phone. The argument is bizarre and nonsensical.
The bottom line is that Capitol Hill is a mad house this week,and Barack Obama is playing the role of the Mad Hatter. And we all know the president is late for a very important date at the negotiating table. The U.S. Constitution is all about seeking consensus and,as the leader in D.C.,Obama has failed completely to build consensus.
At this point,we can only hope his dysfunction doesn’t lead to the market collapse that he seems to desire.
Your eyes on the Hill, Floyd G. Brown
This commentary originally appeared on CapitalHillDaily.com and is re-published here with permission
Photo Credit: Standard Compliant